[Page 3] The "common man" knows in a vague way the massive fact that the modern mind has made more progress in precise and profound knowledge of life and matter in the last century than it had been able to make in more than two thousand years previous to this epoch. He is at times disposed to wonder at this surprising phenomenon, but it is not likely to occur to him at any time what might be the historical rationale underlying and explaining the event itself. And he would have to read a work like Andrew D. White's great two-volume History of the Warfare Between Science and Theology in Christendom to have had his eyes opened to the realization of a mighty fact of sixty generations of Western history, which would be likely to stagger his thinking beyond measure. He would, by such a work — along with others that would further strengthen its force — come to understand at last that a brutal, if sanctimonious, power dominant in the West for over eighteen hundred years held the mind of the entire Occident in leash, and with summary vengeance crushed down every movement of that mind toward the grasp of truth in the realm of scientific fact. And finally there would crash through into his intellect the explosive realization that this searching, prying mind of Western man has achieved more knowledge that can lift human life immeasurably, in the hundred years since it has been free from ecclesiastical tyranny, and able to think and broadcast its findings, than it had won in all previous history.
And if the logic of events had its course with him, he would conclude at last that the age-long despotism of priestcraft in European history has been the most blighting calamity that ever afflicted assumedly civilized humanity. Gulled by the natural influences of pietism and sanctity traditionally flaunted before the mass mind by religionists, he would never have sensed the diabolical character of religious tyranny, had not science demonstrated what the free mind could accomplish, once it had thrown off the trammels and shackles of churchly [Page 4] prohibition. Fifty years of freedom — and science has advanced the human race in vital knowledge farther than it had ever progressed in all previous time! It took this astounding development of modern achievement to tear the veil of pious blindness and submissiveness from off the common man's eyes, and to reveal to his unobstructed vision the ugliness and falsity of two thousand years of futile religious hallucination for his world of the West. The Dark Ages indeed! And science, crushed to earth for long generations, is seen rising at last to lift the pall of superstitious pietism from off the mind of Western man, to let it prove its immortal divine genius.
If this average man's resentment flares out against the still lingering power of pious religionism, as the result of this challenging denouement of contemporary history, it is only the just balancing of! the scales of cause and effect. Religiosity can lay claim to no exemption from the force of natural law on any fictitious grounds of exceptional sanctity of any kind. It is amenable to historical consequence of its actions as is every other segment of human expression. It can claim no immunity from the law of reaction. If it has been a frightful enemy of human happiness and progress for dreary centuries, it must expect to receive its due and proper flagellation at the hands of indignant revolutionaries and dissenters. If it is further to serve the race for humanitarian culture, it must be purged of its unconscionable ineptitudes, falsities and oppressions of every kind. If it is to serve as tool and instrument of benignant history, it mUst release thinking mind from its fetters and shackles.
Not only in the outer world of physical achievement and material progress has dogmatic theology imposed its bondage on the life of Western man, but it has tyrannously thrown its blighting ignorance likewise and just as fatally over the pages of Holy Writ. It has laid sacrilegious hands upon the tomes of ancient esoteric spiritual wisdom and devastated at one stroke the priceless true meaning of all the sacred lore. Besotted in ignorance of ancient Pagan philosophy and Scriptural symbolism already in the third century, ignorant religionists laid the monstrous hand of literal and historical gross-ness upon the precious volumes of cryptic literature and befouled all the meaning into senseless caricature.[Page 5]
It mistook allegory for history, dramatism for actual occurrence, myth for supposed veridical narrative. Ancient Pagan philosophers like Plutarch and Plotinus, Philo and Proclus, and even a few early Church Fathers like Clement of Alexandria and Origen, stood helplessly by and saw the horrendous despoliation and mutilation of the books of the great Mysteries of the Science of the Soul, as triumphant ignorance travestied them into weird and unintelligible "history". And in the wake of this great cultural catastrophe, and hard on the heels of the havoc and wreckage of the luminous esoteric spiritual systems of the Sages like Pythagoras and Plato, Orpheus and Hermes, there came crashing the inevitable debacle of spiritual culture, clinching its victory with, the closing of the Platonic Academies and the burning of priceless libraries. And over Europe descended the dismal murks of the Dark Ages. Unintelligent religious fanaticism crushed out not only the springs of possible science, but fatally submerged for eighteen centuries the potential enlightenment that lay cryptically concealed under the surface literalism of the Sacred Scriptures, and that needed only the keys to its esoteric secrets to unlock its treasures of golden truth.
But at last the night of dark ignorance has run its course. History is at last to be released from its throttling grip. The human mind awaits its final liberation from the thongs of mental bondage fastened on it for so long by a frenzied religionism demoniacally activated by ignorance. Together the new twins, reborn science and restored symbolism, are conspiring to undo the aeonial folly of a literal-historical rendering of the great Scriptures. Science arises with irrefutable data to shatter the pronouncements of religion as to man's creation and his life and evolution on the earth. The theological creation of the world in seven days is shattered forever, and the special creation of a first man and woman is likewise shot into the limbo of all such preposterous religious chimeras. The authoritative dictum of Canon Usher hardly two centuries ago that the world was created at four o'clock of a Thursday afternoon of November, 4004 B. C., and would come to its end at the corresponding day and hour in 4004 A. D., is now thrust aside as the delusion of folly. Late evidence is now at hand to prove that a civilization long hoary with age was extant in [Page 6] the Eastern Andes Mountain regions some four thousand years B. C. Further evidence is out in the light indicating that man was civilized unpredictable ages ago, even on continents now submerged beneath the ocean waves.
Science and symbolism now march hand in hand to retrieve the books of a genuine philosophy and an astoundingly deep esoteric wisdom from this pall of blighting misinterpretation. The Bibles still harbor the lessons of the purest morality and the highest spirituality ever held before mankind as the goals of evolutionary struggle and presented in literary form. But they offer this science and this wisdom to mankind in subtly veiled forms. One must learn how to tear off a mask of cryptic disguise from the face of the literal narrative of the sacred texts before the diamond brilliance of the hidden truth can be caught. With the aid of science's findings and symbolism's strategic keys, the work of unveiling the concealed sense of the Christian and other Bibles is here undertaken. The work is dedicated to the emancipation of the Western mind from the lingering remnants of Medieval bondage and to the illumination of Holy Writ with that ancient Light, which, rekindled in the modern day, may come in time to save a still religiously blinded humanity in the West. [Page 7]
Alvin Boyd Kuhn
The Bible begins, as it should, with the account of creation in the Book of Genesis. Its first words are: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This primacy of creation in the Scriptures is due to the fuel; that the human mind must think of the universe as having had a beginning in time, as it seems to have undergone a growth or development now spoken of as an evolution. Under human observation all created things seem to begin and end at definite points. The world, the solar systems, the galaxies, the super — and super-super-galaxies now known to exist — the entire universe, must have had its origin from some potential creative source. So the Bible begins with Genesis.
But, in common with every other construction of ancient knowledge embodied in the mighty Scriptures given by masters of wisdom to early humanity, this creation story has been sadly misread and misconstrued. After the early centuries of Christian history the intelligence to read properly the profound meaning hidden in the archaic writings of the Sages of olden time vanished away and was finally lost. The very methods employed by these Seers and Prophets of the ancient day became a mystery and a lost art. For these writers did not use plain language, but embalmed their gems of wisdom and knowledge in constructions of fancy such as myths, allegories, drama, fable, parable, number graphs and astrological pictographs. These representations or "stories" were not intended to be taken as "true", as having literally occurred on the plane of history. They were in all external sense fictitious. But we will grossly and tragically err — as we have done — if we assume then that they are nothing but fanciful rubbish and valueless. We have committed a costly blunder by saying that they are only myths. We have vastly misunderstood, miscalculated the myth. The myth was designed by transcendent genius to convey to intelligence the deepest meanings the mind can grasp! The myths are myths of something, and that something is always the profoundest truth. The myths never happened, but they picture the significance and meaning of all that does happen in the long run of history. In the end they are infinitely more vital than history itself! [Page 8]
It is a doleful story, this loss of the ability to read the deeper meaning hidden under the Bible's artful constructions. It has left the world for centuries taking a childish instead of a mature view of the meaning of Scripture. It has darkened general ignorance instead of enlightening general intelligence. In place of revealing light we have had the grotesque and fantastic, the gross and preposterous maunderings of unintelligence as the outcome of centuries of study of the sacred texts. The tide of ignorance and superstition that flooded in to overwhelm the Gnostic teachings of early Christianity wrought world calamity. It is an awesome story, that blight of ignorance that fell in the third century upon the glorious philosophical systems of the ancient world. It has been told in the author's major works. It can not be reviewed in a brochure aiming to elucidate one small segment of the marvellous structure of ancient truth.
But it is desirable to state again that such a construction of the great archaic wisdom as the creation story in Genesis — and some fifty other ancient books — embalms a lucid meaning that has been lost, but which, if regained, would be priceless for its saving power over man's intelligence. The restoration of the lost meaning of the cycle of dramatic allegories in the Christian Bible is an event that will mark the present epoch as the date of the Western world's emergence from the Dark Ages into which the early loss of the esoteric keys to the Scriptures plunged it. No less than this restoration is the motive for the publication of this series of exegetical essays, every one of which will relight one of those burned out wicks of the ancient lamp of knowledge.
Without the brighter light to clarify the meaning and with only the surface sense to guide the mind, the interpretation of Genesis has been badly warped out of true line. It has been taken to be a more or less intelligent effort to describe the formation of this planet and the life upon it, culminating in the creation of the human family. It was for a long time even considered to be an account of the geological and biological formation of the earth and its genera of living creatures. This low view engendered the long and dismal controversy between [Page 9] religion and science which went rather badly for religion. But there never should have been any such dispute, as the proper understanding of the story would have obviated at one glance |the possibility of a conflict between these two in the account.It was never an attempt of child-minded early humans to describe the genesis of the world geologically or biologically, though these elements of course are remotely intimated. They can be seen as belonging to the story if oriented in their proper place and relation to the larger principia of the outline. The narrative was, as stated, a glyph or secret code formulation designed with majestic form and beauty to portray for eternal remembrance the total meaning of life and its great processes of creation.
What those grand constructions, preserved in the books of "Holy Writ", really are has never been measurably understood. They in fact are much what Einstein's imposing mathematical and physical formulas are. They are not accounts of events, but formulas which graphically delineate the structure and meaning of all event. They equate and symmetrize the balance of forces that hold the universe in organic shape and function. This has not been known or seen as the basis of the interpretation of these stately old prints of cosmic process. Not for over two thousand years has their true message been caught in anything like clear vision.
The Genesis story of creation, then, is one of those luminous graphs, and is not at all the story of the creation of one tiny planet as its sole revelation. It delineates the design and structure of all creation! It is a formula that depicts the form of world process and the cosmic evolution of life at any place in the universe. Wherever life comes to manifestation it does so according to the pattern spread out to view in Genesis. So it is that pattern that holds the meaning and the supreme value of it all. To unfold any adequate measure of it in a treatise of forty pages is a task of great difficulty.
The seven Hebrew words in the first verse of the Genesis narrative challenge immediate attention. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
The adverbial phrase "in the beginning" demands brief treatment. It asserts that creation had a point of beginning [Page 10] and by inference will have an end in the time process. This might not seem worthy of notice until one remembers that God exists from endless time to endless time and is without beginning or end. Why, then, should his creations have temporal existence, to be followed by annihilation and non-existence? The answer is found in a knowledge of the great philosophical archai, or fundamental principles, which, while they can not "describe" the nature or being of God, do outline the processes of his creative work. One of these laws by which he works is that of rhythm. God alternately sleeps and wakes to work, as do his creatures! Again, like us, he divests himself of all his "clothes" when he sleeps and similarly relapses into unconsciousness: and when he awakes he resumes his "clothing" and regains his consciousness. In this instance the "clothing" he doffs and dons again at the end and beginning of each period of creative work are the formations of matter which give him body to work with. We, being essentially "spirits", must have "coats of skin" or physical bodies to enable us to function in a concrete world. God labors under an analogous necessity and acts accordingly. He arises from sleep, puts on his garments of flesh and matter and sets to work.
The ancient books of wisdom virtually assert that God "lives" and "dies", or deploys his forces of being out into manifestation, clothed and instrumentalized in and by matter, and again withdraws them, retiring as the outer body "decomposes" at the end of the cycle, precisely as do our bodies, to live in bodies of finer invisible forms of matter. Matter is indestructible, but can be changed in form and constituency from visible substance to invisible immaterial essence. And it would be well if modern thought assimilated the difference between substance and essence in this view of matter. Matter can go out of existence and yet retain being or remain in being, And this is precisely what God does in his resuming a body and again dropping it, or dissolving it, in each creative round. His inner being remains continuous through it all, just as our identity remains constant while we are in sleep.
So we must know that while God is without beginning or end in his own interior being, his creations, building the bodies he is to animate in each cycle, have definite points of beginning and ending. The law of rhythm is his working principle. [Page 11]
Here — to anticipate later verses — can at once be seen the meaning of that profound utterance in Genesis that God made man in his own image and likeness. Modern cult religions, in particular Christian Science, assert that this means only that as God is a spirit, man's likeness to his Author is fulfilled in the idea that man, too, in spite of his obvious physical constitution, is only a spirit.
The meaning is far more specific and significant than that. It carries for us the very momentous realization that in actual truth and fact our being is patterned — in miniature, of course — over the same model of construction and procedure as that of God himself. The common mistake is made in the assumption that spirit has no form of structure. We should have learned from Plato first, and Berkeley and Kant later, that indeed it is spirit that is the author of all form. "Form" is precisely the word Plato used to describe God's spiritual activity. Man, as the ancients averred, is a microcosm, or little universe, and a strict copy of the Macrocosm, God's total being. If man will know himself, these wise men said, he will be cognizant of all the laws and secrets of the entire universe. This basic item of knowledge must be vitalized again. As the atom is now found to be a tiny universe in itself so it is true that man's organic life is a wonderful copy of the solar systems and the entire cosmos, in both form and operation. Little things are only big things reduced in proportion.
Other great Scriptures, more specifically than does Genesis, detail how God, after a long sleep, which the Hindus call pralaya, awakes on a new mom, to begin another cosmic cycle of activity. He, like us, has had enough sleep and awakes with renewed desire for bodily exertion. Having thrown off his body at the end of the former cycle, he has to rebuild each time a new body through which to gain consciousness and do his work. We must never forget Alexander Pope's celebrated portrayal of the cosmic nature in his oft-quoted couplet:
All things consist of one stupendous whole,
Of which the body Nature is, and God the soul. [Page 12]
Yes, God periodically wakes from sleep and dons a new physical body; otherwise how is our life an image of his? His pleasure — again like ours — is in creating something that expresses his nature and gives play to his faculties, his intelligence, his genius. The philosophical quest often comes to a dead end with the question: Why does God create at all? The answer is indeed basic for understanding. The ancients told us in a single word — Lila. It is variously translated as the pleasure, the delight, the joy, even the sport and play, of God. It is instructive to note that our word "recreation," in the sense of pleasurable, free, playful exertion, is re-creation. Evidently God creates because it is his pleasure and his delight, and, again in his likeness, man is never so truly happy as when he is creating something that exercises his highest and deepest powers. Are we not God's children, and do not children resemble their parents? Our parents are Father God and Mother; Nature, or Spirit and Matter. The two marry in our very bodies, They marry everywhere in the universe.
But who is the God who creates in the first verse? Here the translators have done the Christian world a great disservice. They have put a plural word into the singular number. They have written "God" when the Hebrew Bible says "the Gods". And they have thereby wrought endless confusion and misunderstanding in the sincere thinking of countless millions. Elohim" are "the Gods", for there are seven of them.
The startling truth of the matter is that the creative work is not done by the Supreme or the Absolute, but by his seven emanated powers, the Elohim or Archangels. Many passages from the wisdom literature of the nations expressly state that the Infinite, the Boundless, the Absolute, is not conscious and neither thinks nor creates. The Greek word applied to him (It) was to apeiron, which is neuter gender. God is not neuter, but masculine, as Nature (Matter) is feminine. In Hebrew the Absolute is Ain-Soph; and a line from an ancient tome in view as this is written says: "Ain-Soph cannot be the Creator or even the modeller of the Universe, nor can he be Aur (Light)." For the Absolute is darkness and the light has not yet been formed. "Darkness was over all the face of the deep", [Page 13] says Genesis; and the great deep is what is known to us as the universal sea of "empty space." And in "empty space," apart from the presence of a star or sun, darkness reigns. In Hindu Scriptures the Absolute is Brahm, and It does not create until It becomes Brahma; and only then does he create through his seven "mind-born" Sons, who are called the primordial Rishis, or "the Builders".
The doctrine of divine emanations is supposed to have gone out of Christian theology when early Gnosticism was made a heresy. But the truth of the Bible can not be glimpsed without restoring them. It surely can not be heresy to say that from the Absolute Source of all things come the forces, both of mind and of matter (and we now know what force is in matter!) which form the worlds and their living creatures. And these forces or emanations are the agencies through which the divine work is accomplished. In our blunt way of conceiving things, the Absolute is that which is when, from our point of view, there is — nothing! Indeed the word connotes just that. It means "released from", having no relation with anything. But from that Absolute Nothing issue the Forces , which do create.
To have relation to anything — and to all things — the Absolute must, so to say, perform an operation upon itself, to bring it from nothingness to somethingness. Even as nothingness it contains within it the potentiality of becoming all things. Since in the nothing-state it is "without form and void", it must generate within itself the two indispensable elements of somethingness, which are spirit and matter, mind and body, substance and consciousness. It can not become something without developing consciousness and matter; consciousness in order to know what to create and how to do it; matter, to have something with which to create. Since there is nothing outside of It, to begin with, It must produce from Itself the two things which will enable It to become aware of its own existence. And these two "things" are subjectivity and objectivity. It must evolve Itself into consciousness, to become aware, and matter, to have something to be aware of. So It must break Its original oneness apart into a twoness, to objectify Itself to Itself.[Page 14]
And just this, be it stated, is what our first verse of Genesis announces. For the first act of creation, the formation of the "heaven" and the "earth", is precisely the statement that the Absolute split its unitary being apart into the two nodes of life, spirit and matter. "Heaven" is universally the term used to typify spirit, and "earth" that used to represent matter. This meaning has been missed because of the inveterate tendency of the later Christian leaders to interpret the Scriptures literally, having lost the keys to its more recondite significance. That first verse, in a more explicit esoteric rendering of its meaning, should read something like this: Out of the Absolute potentiality of infinite being the (seven) Elohim generated spirit and mater. Before this bifurcation of the One into its operative duality it could not have created. It would have lacked both knowledge and material. It had to produce these out of itself, or in a sense, turn itself into these two.
Producing both these primary requisites from the depths of its own essence, it could begin the work, the processes of mind acting upon matter.
And the seven Elohim? They are found under a variety of as many as thirty or forty names in the different national religions. For its value as information a partial list of these designations is given: Elohim; Demiurgoi; Logoi; Rishis; Prajapati; Kabiri; Archangels; Spirits of the Presence; Angels before the throne; Cosmocratores; Titans; Uranidae; Kronidae; Saturnidae; Rulers; Archons; Pitris; Amshaspends; Hohgates; Lumazi; Rebels; Devils; "The Seven"; Children of Inertness; Serpents; Sons of Ptah; Sons or Ra; Sons of Sydik; Cyclops; Companions of Horus; Companions of Arthur; Sons of the Mother (not of the Father); and are generally called the Seven Primary Powers, the Seven Elementary Forces, the Seven Gods of Nature. In many religions the seven are named individually. In the Hebrew pantheon they were Ildabaoth, Jehovah, Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloeus, Oreus and Astanphaios. In the Babylonian they were Bel, Ea (Hea), Rimmon, Nebo, Marduk (the Mordecai of the Bible!), Nerra (Nergal) and Ninib (Ninev), from which comes "Nineveh." In the Persian they are Azazel, Amazarak, Armers, Barkayel, Akabeel, Tamiel and Azaradel. In pre-Christian and Gnostic [Page 15] terminology they are correlated with the planets of the solar system, as regents of the stars, namely, Michael (the Sun), Gabriel (the Moon), Samael (Mars), Anael (Venus), Raphael (Mercury), Zachariel (Jupiter) and Orifiel (Saturn).
In the Christian system they are the (Seven) Archangels, for arch is the Greek for "first" or "primordial". Hence they are those first seven rays of power that were emanated from the being of God to go forth into the realms of empty space and effect the creation. They were God himself at work, but through his seven arms of power, so to say.
There is infinite mystery attached to this number seven. And well there can be, for it is the number that determines the structure of. the substantial universe. It is a fact and not mystical fancy, that the worlds are built over the pattern of the number seven. It is astonishing, indeed unbelievable, that so mighty a basic fact as this has gone to oblivion in the Christian system. The great fundamental that the ancients built upon were not childish phantasies, but primary cosmic data. They knew that all creation was consummated in seven great - waves or propulsions of energy from the heart of God, and that each one of these seven radiations subdivided itself into a minor seven, and even these into lesser sevens. The pulse of the universe beats in sevens. Marvel at it we must, but deny it we cannot. To ignore it is to perpetuate our ignorance.
Every wave of released energy projected outward from the heart of being (just as our hearts propel the blood stream outward to do its sustaining work) runs round a cycle of energization till its force is spent. This cycle is itself broken upon into seven sub-cycles, and is not completed until the seventh angel has sounded his seventh trumpet to marshall the hosts of created things into their proper order and harmony at the end.
Here enters a point of great importance for understanding. While there are seven propulsions, the seventh and last is both a new note and at the same time the summarization or synthesis of the preceding six. It includes the six and unifies their vibrations in one new and consummative vibration. It is as if six singers of successive notes in the scale of an octave [Page 16] each in turn sounded his individual note and then all together united with the seventh when his note ended the diapason.
Here, then, is the cosmological basis for the oldest and most universal social ordinance in the world, the institution of the week of six secular days, crowned with a Sabbath (meaning itself "seventh") day, in honor of the sun. As was seen a moment ago, the seven Archangels were correlated with the planets and the sun, or six with planetary bodies and the seventh with the sun. This reflects the scientific hypothesis as to the formation of the solar system. For the seven were originally undifferentiated, being ethereal and gaseous in one mass, before segregation, and before the final focus of productive energy had become nucleated in the sun at the center. For this reason the seven were first called brothers, , but later the six were changed to sons of the sun, which had now become the central dominating seventh. The Kabbalah, or esoteric book of the Jews, says that a soul traversing, as souls must, the kingdoms of nature, must spend six "days" on each one of the six planets of a solar system and the seventh "day" in the sun of that system.
It is a thing to fill the reflective mind with wonder and awe that an abstruse segment of most ancient cosmological symbology has become fixed in the world's most sacred ordinance, the Sabbath. To our discredit it has little been noted that our week is composed of six days devoted to profane and secular activity ("six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work") and the terminal seventh devoted to the sun, the symbol and embodiment of the supreme divine life of the system. The amazing feature of our dullness is that we have not realistically noted that our week repeats a constantly recurring glyph of the order of cosmic creation. Each week's course should remind us of the eternal frame and mode of the universal creation. If man lived in constant closer affinity with nature, the week should indeed be a renewed expression in his life of the macrocosmic cycle of creation. Each seven days should repeat in miniature the processes of development in the whole order of being. Man was thus to be reminded of his kinship with nature, and so be induced to maintain his stride with the beat of the life-pulse of the progressing universe.
To be sure — it need hardly be said — the "days" of creation [Page 17] in Genesis are not days of earthly rotation, twenty-four hours in duration. To take the word thus literally is to read preposterous nonsense into the grand writing. Both "days" and "years," sometimes also "weeks" and "months," in the old Scriptures arc figurative terms used to designate any and all cycles, of whatever length. They can refer to any specific cycle or round of life in its periods of manifestation. "The morning and the evening were the first day." The birth, development, life and death of any living creature or stellar system is its "day" or its "year." Infinite perplexity and controversy could long ago have been saved if this one little item had been correctly registered.
That the six "days" of Genesis, however, can be taken as six geological eras of earth formation, as has been advanced to save something for the literal rendering, has little to stand on in the allegory. The creation story is not specifically dealing with the formation of this one planet.
The six days of work, with rest on the climactic seventh, can readily be seen in its most pertinent relevance if we take the "days" as denoting the six kingdoms of nature, each of which took an aeon of time to develop, coming to their consummation in the seventh. This approach at any rate yields the clearest and most natural sense from the symbolism. We have definitely under observation in our world four kingdoms or planes of life clearly distinguished from each other. They are the mineral, vegetable, animal and human. But what is not at all commonly known, and is one of the vital disclosures to us from the ancient knowledge, is that there are three kingdoms below the mineral in the stages of the development of matter out of its initial "pure" state of primal essence. They are not apparent visibly, for the very good reason that they are constituted of atomic matter below the range of human sight. Yet they exist, as we now know the atom exists, although invisible to us.
These three kingdoms are in reality states or stages in the formation of the atom itself. The atom is only completely formed in the mineral kingdom. To bring it to perfection three preceding epochs in its life history are necessary. These three are classed as subatomic, and matter existent in these conditions [Page 18] is called "elemental essence". Strictly in our sense it is not yet matter at all, but the elementary substance that is to become matter. In the first of these kingdoms matter is as yet only a latent potentiality. It is sheer be-ness, not yet "being" at all. It must "become" in order to "be". So the first of the divine emanations gives it the initial impulse on the road to becoming something from "nothing," by virtue of which becoming it is to pass from potentiality to actuality.
Matter in this primordial state is symbolized by the egg. An egg must be fertilized by creative potency, or the male seed. The female is matter; the male is spirit. The first creative impulse can be thought of as the fecundation of matter by the seeds of spirit or mind. As the male fish places himself in suspension over the female eggs to fertilize them, so the spirit of God "brooded over the waters" in the beginning stage. And the waters are the indubitable symbol of matter. All things proceed out of the womb of matter; all physical birth originates out of water. The first kingdom, then, is matter in its first impregnation by spirit-mind. The ray of spirit "flashes into the germ", as an old Hindu phrase puts it, and gives nonexistent matter the first agitation of the essence which is to generate it. This is God brooding over the face of the deep.
In the second elementary kingdom the process works on to the segregation of primal essence into a duality, represented in old accounts by the analogy of the separation of the curds from the whey in the churning of butter, or indeed the separation of the cream from the protein in the milk, or again the protein (albumen; white) from the yolk (fat; yellow) in the egg.
And the third-stage resulted in the granulation of the essence into particles, the atoms. The analogy of churning the cream to butter holds with astonishing fidelity right through the cosmic process. Matter has now been worked over into numberless granules, or atomized, by the endless combinations of which Creative Mind can now shape substance into any form or condition desired to meet its purposes. The divine aim of life is to "multiply" its being infinitely. The only way a One-Thing can multiply itself, or escape its oneness into multiplicity, is by first dividing itself into infinite pieces, giving each the potential capacity to grow to parent status [Page 19] in turn. This is why God commanded creatural life of all kinds to increase and multiply. Matter, then, went into infinite division of its original homogeneous essence and began the process of endless differentiation. The one prime essence was broken up into atoms.
For the work of the fourth kingdom, the mineral, the forming of actual visible substance was achieved by the wave of force that energized the various affinities and repulsions that are found in chemistry. By these laws the physical elements — of which we now know some ninety-four — were generated, to become the basis of all natural formation and all growth. Their various "loves and hates", as Empedocles termed them, determined what materials should constitute the bodies aggregated for life's purposes, for living entities. Over all presided the Goddess of Harmony, us the Greeks name this principle of Deity, seeing that those elements were organically related that would provide the mechanisms for happy life and prevent the bad relationships of hostile ones.
The fifth wave carried elemental structure to that degree of organic complexity that would facilitate such a condition as vegetable life. And the sixth swept the development on to the still more complex organization of elements and functions into what became animal life.
When the animal evolution had proceeded from tiny moneron or single cell up to the noblest animal creature, a point was reached at which the brain and nervous system of the body had become sufficiently sensitized and refined to be capable of registering the vibration rate at which the first stage of true self-consciousness could be realized. The animal could be conscious, even of its existence; but only man could be conscious of being conscious. The animal could not think in the proper sense of that term. "Man" is derived from the Sanskrit man, meaning "to think". Manas is the thinking principle and man the first thinking animal. And this was the divine manna that fell from heaven to sustain the children of God. And the primitive tribes used always to say that any fetish or object embodying God possessed mana. The American Indians' Deity was Manitou. [Page 20]
So a wholly distinct kingdom came to being when the bud of matter, so to say, burst out at its summit in the wonderful flower of human consciousness. This was the crowning act in the septenary drama. Matter, the universal Mother, had begotten her divine Sons. This was the aeonial event for which, as Paul says, "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth until now, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God". The great mother of all life, away along in her old age, had borne the Christ-child of divine mind. (Need we pause to bring out the amazing significance of this hint for the solution of the eternal conundrum, never solved by a single theologian or clergyman, of the phenomenon of Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth and several others of the mothers of the Christ character in the Scriptures, bringing forth the divine child in their old age? It was Mother Nature, Mother Matter, generating the Christ-consciousness, not a human woman bearing a babe.)
The work of creation for the cycle was finished with the seventh impulse. Well could the Man-become-God exclaim: "Consummatum est!" — "It is finished!" And wisely did the author of the Book of Proverbs sing: "Wisdom hath builded her house! she hath hewn out her seven pillars." Yes, the material house which gives spirit "a local habitation and a name" was constructed, and as always, reared upon seven "pillars," seven states of atomic organization, seven notes of the scale of energic being, seven grades of matter. It needs no extended dissertation to certify the fact that this physical universe is actually built on the number seven. There are seven colors in the full white light, seven tones in an "octave," seven envelopes to the gestating human foetus, seven steps in the periodic table of the weight of the elements, and the gestating period for all creatures up to and including man is seven days or a multiple of seven. A circle can be surrounded by just six circles of equal size tangent to it and to each other, giving you the outer six with their center in the seventh. The Egyptian God of earth was Seb, originally Sevekh, whose name is etymologically "seven". On earth all manifestations take a sevenfold or seven-partite formation. This is indisputable. But the failure of Christianity to incorporate it in its proper place in its "scheme of theology" has left exegesis groping for want of this deft key to many secrets. [Page 21]
If man is to follow out this incontestable time-plan and developmental rhythm in his own life, it can be seen that a realistic observance of the seventh day is a very real necessity. As all lesser cycles run over in miniature the same unfolding pattern as the larger cosmic aeons, it is clear that man can maintain his rhythm with the heart-beat of the universe only by dedicating each seventh day to the interests of the mind, soul and spirit. "The seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." For the labor of the six "days" was to prepare the body for the reception of the divine King of Righteousness in the seventh cycle.
It is a gross mistake, however, and one made all to generally by unintelligent pietism, that to consecrate the Sabbath one must indulge in heavy, lugubrious or doleful religionism, or regard it a sin to enjoy the physical life to the full. It is demanded, however, that the Sabbath be devoted to the interests of the inner consciousness, rather than to bodily activity. It should be man's day for the profoundest of his spiritual cultures.
Much obscurantism has been bred in theology and Bible exegesis because of a cardinal misconception relative to the location of Paradise and the Garden of Eden in the narrative. In Greek the word paradeisos means "a park". As a park in an earthly sense is a beautiful place of rest and enjoyment, it was the symbol chosen by the ancient Sages to denote that other place of beauty and delight in higher consciousness — the heaven world. This must be so, because, when man was expelled from this Garden of Delight he landed down on earth. It can therefore not be considered as located on earth, in the Euphrates Valley, the Shangri-La of the East, the Shamballah of Tibet or any Holy Land on the map. It is not on this planet; and what dismal wallowing in the errors of mistaken exposition of "Bible meaning" could have been avoided if this one simple item had been kept in knowledge.
Reinforcement is given to this academic conclusion by the identity of the description conventionally drawn of the Garden with those assuming to picture the life of heaven. Both are depicted as places of serene blissful consciousness, perfect happiness and sinlessness. The pervading atmosphere of both is the innocent purity of childhood. It is therefore the place [Page 22] where man was in the childhood of his racial development, and the place to which he is destined to return when freed again from body at the end of his life cycle.
All traditional theology has pictured man in Eden as still subsisting in his original state of purity and innocence, before his "sin" had brought his "fall" into the state of mundane life and labor. Therefore it is conclusive that while still in the Garden he had not yet been driven out of the celestial Paradise of bliss in worlds of consciousness graded higher in vibration than his earthly one. From our knowledge of the basic principles of the radio mechanism we can now understand that any consciousness "lives" on that plane or in that world, with whose vibration rates and wave lengths its organic mechanism can vibrate in unison. Its world is that to which it can attune its receiving apparatus; worlds manifesting at other rates do not exist for it. That is another clarification immensely worth our making.
The old books, it must be noted, do not describe the "fall" of man out of heaven in the manner of the literal realism with which, Milton invests it in his Paradise Lost. He shows Satan falling straight down in one dire descent for nine days and nights. (Jesus in the Gospels says "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.") But this is not after all meaningless fancy. It is meant to represent the soul's descent by nine gradual stages, or by nine successive steps, from highest spirit freedom to embodiment in deepest matter, each step or stage bringing it to a lower kingdom of matter of denser organization. Usually the number of successive steps in the "fall" was seven, but in some forms of the Greek and Egyptian symbology they were counted as nine.
It would take a whole volume to expound fully the doctrine of the "fall" of man into "sin and death" through an act of primary disobedience to the command of God. Hardly anything in all the warped and distorted misconstrution of Christian doctrinism has been so wretchedly and tragically misconceived as the common teaching on this matter of man's "fall" from Paradise. Features of the Bible narrative which were never more than fanciful modes of dramatical representation of [Page 23] man's evolutionary history — even produced in the great Mystery dramas on the stage in olden times — have been ignorantly (mis) taken for factual occurrence or interpreted in gross literal and historical sense. Their meaning was never intended to be so construed. The outward representation must be seen as a suggestive formula, an outline pictograph, to enable the dull human mind to pierce through the mask and discern the fuller shape of the truth that is always, in old books, hidden beneath such an enigmagraph.
Christian theology would have done well had it kept in vogue the original name for this feature of ancient anthropology. The Greeks called it simply "the descent of the soul". Resting after previous incarnation in the heaven world of more sublimated consciousness, the soul finds itself under the necessity of descending to earth for another whirl round the cycle of mundane experience; for without experience it could grow no further. Its coming to earth is in no sense a "fall" in anything like the lamentable connotation of sin and punishment that morbid religiosity has attached to it over the centuries. It is just its inevitable and inexorable bending to the "cycle of necessity" which periodically confronts all souls in the ongoing of evolution. The soul, to grow, must live through an experience in contact with every grade of matter and organic growth. To be the later master of life — since it is to become creator in turn of future life below it — it must have mastered the knowledge of every form and expression of life, and so must have experienced it on its way up. It must therefore descend again and again to live in every cycle of life's gamut. It must hear every note of life's music. So it descends or "falls" down, step by step into earthly body.
In the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul, in utter agreement with this exposition, says that he was at one time without sin himself and was not "in bondage to the law" of "sin* and death". This unquestionably is no reference to any earlier state of the Apostle's own human life or religious condition; for how could he who, even after his conversion and glorious spiritual exaltation in the faith of the Christ, did not claim to be free from grievous sin, make the bald assertion that he had at any time in his human career [Page 24] been "without sin"? This puts the statement beyond dispute as being a reference to the premundane residence of his eternal soul in the celestial realms before its descent into the present body. What he states is that then, in that high octave of consciousness, being untainted with in, he descended to earth and came under the law. For he says: "When the command came home to me, sin sprang to life and I died."
Here is one of the most enlightening passages in all Scripture, yet it has lain for centuries with its mine of meaning wholly unexploited. It throws a whole new light on the disfigured understanding of this gruesome element in Christian systematism, — sin. The verse gives us the warrant for affirming that the true and only legitimate connotation of this sadly misunderstood word "sin" is simply the attitude and disposition of the soul toward the prospective and actual enjoyment of its incarnational existence in bodies of flesh. In the strictly logical and theological ancient esoteric sense, there is nothing evil in the "sin" that is dramatically represented as luring Adam and Eve to their "fall".
The soul could not grow further without meeting, overcoming and finally converting the powers of the carnal nature into subservient forces of its own evolution. Had this more dialectical meaning of the term been kept alive in general intelligence, all the untold weight of "sin and remorse," of morbid torturing of conscience that has so darkly marked Christian pietism, might have been replaced by a happier righteousness.
The sin that man commits through his ignorance and consequent violation of natural law is a matter that should rightly concern him to the point of disturbance of his equanimity and the torturing of his conscience. But Christian theology has plagued the peace and natural happiness of its millions of votaries down the centuries by poisoning their minds with the injection of a doctrine that thrusts sin upon them vicariously. "In Adam's fall, we sinned all", chants the Bay Psalm Book of the Massachusetts Puritans. "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge", has been an acceptable slogan of the Christian systematism. To be sure we sinned in Adam's "fall", because "Adam" is the generic term connoting mankind, and therefore it was all [Page 25] mankind that "fell into sin." Mankind was not constituted as such until the hosts of celestial inhabitants descended here to incarnate, and their "fall" was simply their coming here. And their evolutionary bent to enjoy life in the flesh was dramatized as their "sin".
Indeed there is solid scholarship and impressive data behind the determination that the Mount Sinai on which man was to commune with God is but an extension of this same word "sin." For the earth is often denominated "the Mount of Sin". An elucidation that will play a great part in the revelation of lost meanings in the Ark and Deluge treatise discloses the remarkable fact that in the early figurative language used by the Bible composers, the earth was commonly referred to under the symbol of "the Mount".
Had the Christian mind been open to catch the significance of Paul's remarkable statement that "sin sprang to life" only "when the command came home in him", all theological history could have had a far brighter coloring. So far as can be seen in extensive study, no Christian theologian has ever remotely guesed at what this mysterious "command" actually connoted. The disclosure of its meaning here for the first time will constitute in itself a revelation of no inconsiderable moment in the history of interpretation.
The exposition begins with the realization that it is impossible for the soul to "sin" as long as it resides in the heaven world. That element of influence which tempts it to "sin" is not present in that world. Its only possible incentive to "sin" springs from the carnal nature, and it is only linked with that when it arrives on earth. Neither above man with the angels, nor below man with the animals, is "sin" possible. Only, then, in the human stage, where soul is linked to the bodily nature and subject to its promptings, can it be tempted to "sin".
This fact then provides the dialectical background for determining the moaning of the "command" that caused "sin" to spring to life in the Apostle's case. The exegesis of this word lifts from off the face of theology a blanket which obscurantism, partly innocent and partly designed, has flung over it since the days of early enlightenment. It releases to the light of day once more a cardinal doctrine of primitive Christianity that later chicanery was at immense pains to [Page 26] becloud and finally ostracize. Clement of Alexandria and Origen had incorporated the doctrine of reincarnation of souls into the Christian system; both it and its promulgators in the Church were excommunicated and anathematized within three hundred years after their deaths. Efforts were made to erase all traces of it from the Scriptures. Yet here it rises tip to mock their ignorant designs. For unquestionably the "command" Paul refers to can be nothing but the command that to all souls — to reincarnate.
It is the natural, inescapable and altogether salutary command to arise from cyclical sleep following a former period of activity in body, to descend to earth and resume the evolutionary march at the point where it left off at the last cycle's end.
But from the time soul comes to dwell in mortal body, it comes under the sway of the forces that rule animal life. Its susceptibility to the seductive power of these appetencies is all that its "sin" could possibly connote. And for a time the soul's attachment to and immersion in the sensual life of the body inevitably overwhelms its diviner spiritual nature with the flood of carnal-mindedness that gushes up from the earthly side. This is the springing to life of "sin" that the Apostle alludes to. He adds that when "sin" sprang to life he "died". What is expressed here is simply that "sin" sprang to life as he "died", that is, as he descended to the "death" of soul in mortal body.
It is therefore the body itself that tempts the divine part of man to "sin." Here we face the necessity of making another vital rendering of long-lost ancient meaning, this time connected with the word "temptation." Its complete elucidation is reserved for the succeeding number in the series, The Tree of Knowledge. But it can be stated briefly here that this word has been, like so many others carrying pivotal meaning, twisted out of its true reference and bent to a crude falsification of its significance. It is, in briefest form of statement simply the trial and testing to which life in body subjects all souls. It is not a trap set by divine strategy to catch man in sin.
In the fact that the trial of man comes to his soul from the side of the body we have the explanation of the allegorical [Page 27] feature that depicts the temptation as coming to Adam from the "woman". Universally, unequivocally, the male figures in old Scriptures typify spirit and the female ones matter. Man's soul is represented ever as masculine, his body as feminine. The body (woman) tempts the soul (man). That is the inescapable and simple meaning back of the temptation of Adam by Eve.
Most significantly in this connection the real sin of theological scholarship comes to light in a little matter of English translation. In the twentieth verse of chapter three of the Genesis account it is said that "Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living". The Greek Septuagint Old Testament lies open under our eyes as this is written, and in the plainest of print it says nothing of the kind: "And Adam called the name of his wife Zoe, as being the mother of all the living." Now Zoe of course means "life" in the Greek. So Paul is incontrovertibly correct when he says that "sin sprang to life" when the soul obeyed the divine . command to come down to "life." Whole volumes of controversy and blind groping for true meaning can be resolved now to clear and simple understanding. Adam, the soul in body, plunged into this entirely necessary and wholesome life of "sin" or fleshly trial, as it entered the mortal body, which was "the woman" whom, as he says to God, "thou gavest me." And the whole beautiful truth of the soul's relation to body is thus pictured in allegory under the common human representation of "man," the soul element, being given the "woman", type of fleshly body, as his companion and helpmeet. And let no theological mind fail to comprehend that the soul can not partake of life, can learn little from life, can not generate its own divine capabilities and faculties, its sons, without the aid of an instrumentalizing body, — the "woman."
Then comes that remarkable statement that has never had anything but the wildest guesses as to its profound sense from twenty centuries of exegesis. Any competent reader can judge for himself as to the epochal significance of a single determination of this kind in the history of theology. It floods an area of darkness with welcome light. It is the verb in the [Page 28] opening verse of the fourth chapter of Genesis: "Now Adam knew Eve (spelled in Greek Eua!) his wife and she conceived and bore Cain." As, assumedly and outside of some "miracle" or whimsical action of God, sexual cohabitation was necessary for Eve's conception and the birth of a son, the verb "knew" has perforce been accepted as a squeamishly delicate and polite euphemism for sexual copulation between the "first pair." But let it be affirmed once again that natural relationship on the earthly bodily plane, as here suggested, only stands as dramatic depiction of a far deeper cosmic and evolutionary truth that is meant to be discerned on a higher plane of esoteric relevance. Always an outer dramatic fact or phenomenon becomes to the discerning intuition the type or analogue of a hidden and recondite truth.
What is adumbrated here, then, is the great cosmic fact that for the generation of life anywhere it is necessary that the two poles of being, which in the first verse of Genesis were segregated apart into the duality of spirit and matter (heaven and earth), must effect a union or conjunction of their two opposite potencies, and out of the natural intercourse between them generate the progeny that can proceed only from such a union. In the case of man the final union of the two will give birth to the Christ-child of divine consciousness. This glorious birth of deific mind in man will be the outcome of the At-one-ment of the two natures struggling over long periods to achieve a final amity in the breast of the human. The Hindus call this consummation Yoga, or union. The picture of Adam and Zoe in physical conjunction to generate their children, is the dramatic typing of spirit and matter, soul and flesh, in incarnational conjunction to give birth to a new creation of spiritual mind in the creature man. Again the Sages used a natural and physiological fact to sublimate the thought to a profounder mystical meaning. But eighteen centuries of dogmatic folly crushed out the possibility of discerning this deeper import. It has spelled horrendous tragedy for ages.
But, it will be asked, how does this touch the little verb *'knew" ? This is an ancient mystery of such cryptic linkage that its subtle clue would never have been regained if Egypt's treasure house of secret wisdom had not been unlocked. It is [Page 29] here revealed for the first time.
Perhaps everybody has wondered at one time or another why a group of words in English have the combinations "kn" and "gn", with the k and the g silent, in such words as know, knee, knight, knuckle, knoll, knack, gnostic, gnarled, knot, knit, gnaw and many more. The wonder should have extended us well to the reversed combinations, where the n precedes the k or g. This is seen in such words as anchor, angel, ankle, ink, link, cling, linger, king, messenger, clang and many more. No dictionary has gone back far enough to locate the true origin of these formations. But a mountain of evidence that has escaped philologists exists to substantiate the claim here advanced that these arrangements of letters derive in the distant past from Egypt's oldest and most majestic symbol, the hieroglyph for "life" itself. This was the "ankh", or crux ansata, the ansated cross. It was carried in the hands of all the Gods, their fingers run through the circular loop above the tau (T). Its pronunciation equivalent was expressed by the English spelling ankh (recently changed by the grammarians to enkh).
This symbol entails a whole sermon in itself, for it means basically three things, the most significant things in man's world, namely life, love and tie. To elucidate the relation of these three under one meaning demands considerable elaboration. They together comprise a sacred glyph, a hieroglyph or transcendental pictograph of great truth. Why would one hieroglyph cover the combined meaning of life, love and tie? Briefly as can be put, it does so for the reason that there can be no-life until two opposite forces are tied together in creative relationship by a power sufficient to hold them in conjunction, which power everywhere in life is an attraction denominated by the representative term, love. The two opposite forces are, of course, spirit and matter, soul and body; and all life is generated only when they are conjoined in connubial relation in an organic body such as man's, and held together by the divine energy of an affinity that is well symbolized by the word love. The circle above the T cross is universally tho feminine or matter symbol, matter having no beginning or end, and giving birth to all things; whilst the straight line or vertical shaft of the T is ever the symbol of male or spiritual [Page 30] potency. The horizontal line both separates and unites them, as it stands on the borderline between them. The ankh then represents the tieing together of soul and body, and life results from this union, which is sustained by the mutual love of the two. The outer analogue shadowing this high truth is, to be sure, the love that draws together male and female in conjugal union, to beget a new cycle of life.
With this background we can see why "know" is spelled with the ancient nk, here reversed to kn. It was employed in both arrangements and the order makes no difference. Only through this ancient etymology do we arrive at the basic significance, illuminating for epistemology, of the function of "knowing." For it is revealed in this light as the mental act which unites (ties) consciousness, the knowing power, with an object of consciousness, the thing known, by a power of mind which links the two. Knowledge is constituted only by the tieing of mind to an object to be known. Knowledge arises from the love-union of subjective consciousness with objective reality. The ankh cross typified this cosmic marriage that is the basis of all life.
Adam's "knowing" his wife, who was to become the mother of all life, was the dramatic typology to represent the linking together in the human organism of the two elements, the man, or knowing, thinking principle, and woman, the matter or body principle, and the impregnation of the latter by the former, for the new production of all life. The result was that matter conceived and bore her son, spiritual mind. Etymology again sheds much light into dark regions of exegesis. It is interesting to note that both the English conceive and the Greek equivalent for it in the Septuagint version, sullambano, mean "to take together", to unite or tie together. Conception, physically, is always the union of male sperm with female ovum. Exoterically it is the "story" of the first man and the first woman uniting physically to beget their progeny, and as such it has ever been taken as a recital of the beginning of the progenation of the race of mankind. But esoterically it reveals its more plausible, more acceptable and more enlightening purport. And more capable intelligence both needs and demands the profounder, more abstruse sense. For the deepest mind of man must be fed, equally with his body [Page 31] and his emotions. It would be well if mystical and emotional religionists would remember this. The rational element in man can not be ignored or starved, for the soul is a compound of thinking and lofty feeling, and both ingredients must be present to insure inner harmony. Irrational pietism has been anything but an unmixed blessing in human, history. It has activated much of the foulest inhumanity of man to man recorded in human annals.
Several items in the Bible's second chapter are worthy of special analysis. An apparent mistranslation in verse 6 of this chapter has led to some confusion. It is stated that "there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." The Greek word rendered "mist" is pege, and the dictionary meaning of this is given as "spring", "source-spring," headwaters, fountain-head. Obviously it is a reference to the generation of the moist element, water, its segregation from the fire or dry element, out of the bosom of primordial first matter. Fire and water are the symbols universally employed to represent spirit and matter. Without water the dry land could produce no life. The rising up of the "mist" out of primeval chaos denotes the original production of water from out the inchoate mass, in the evolutionary process which segregated earth, water, air and fire severally into their distinct natures and positions in the universe.
As, likewise, water is the universal symbol for matter itself, the rising of the "mist" could not inaptly symbolize the general formation of matter as atomic substance, gradually arising and spreading everywhere in the course of visible creation.
Far more significant is the statement in verse seven of this chapter, which traces the very creation of man from "the dust of the ground." This "dust of the ground" must be seen as another apparently wild and free translation of the Hebrew text. The common version has it phrased that "God formed man of the dust of the ground." It is amazing that scholars and the clergy have not pointed out or been struck by the [Page 32] identity of the two words in Hebrew, the one denoting "man" and the other rendered "dust of the ground."
The word for "man" is no less than the word Adam itself, with the article "the" prefixed: ha-Adam in Hebrew; while, astonishingly, the word for "dust-of-the-ground" is the same word, thrown into the feminine gender by the addition of the regular feminine singular ending — ah. It is ha-Adamah! Now if ha-Adam is "man," it is more than plausible to read into ha-Adam-ah at least one sense of the meaning of "woman". Indeed it entirely harmonizes with the esoteric meaning of the whole story to say that God formed "man" from "woman". For "man," as we have seen, is the thinking principle, soul or spirit; and "woman" is the symbol or glyph for matter; and assuredly it is matter that gives birth to or forms "man" in this sense. Matter generates cosmic consciousness from out its interior womb. Either the original translators were ignorant of the symbolism of "woman" for nature, matter, earth and body, and mistakenly substituted "dust" for Adamah; or they knew the deeper meaning and deliberately disguised it, which is what we are told by Plato, Plutarch and other ancient philosophers they did do.
At any rate the only logical connection between the feminine counterpart of ha-Adam, the thinking man, and "dust of the ground" is the idea that links this feminine element with material substance, from which, of course, the earth (ground) and all concrete things are formed. The conception that most truly goes with the Adamah is just that of "atomic matter". God evolved the thinking principle out of atomic matter, which must be the rock-bottom meaning of the statement. By "dust of the ground," then, we are to understand atoms of matter, poetically translated as "dust." It can be seen, however, that it would not have been a gross mistranslation had it been made to read that "God made (the) man out of atomic dust," if we can poetize atoms as dust.
We will miss the entire sense of the story if we fail to realize that the words "Adam" and "man" as here used cannot possibly refer to a single human being. Folly has ridden along with the idea that Genesis is talking of the formation of the two first human persons. The man of Genesis is humanity, man generically. Ha-Adam is man collectively, not a man. [Page 33]
Then in verse ten of chapter two there is the division of the "river" that "went out of Eden to water the garden" into four parts or "heads," with the four names, Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates. Again theological fatuity, attempting to make something factually geographical out of this, especially since the name of one of the four streams is a known river on earth — Euphrates — has floundered helplessly over one of the simpler features of early esoteric emblemism. The great river that proceeded out of Eden to make verdant the Garden was not a river of earthly water. It was the typal representation of the stream of cosmic energization, of creative power, that under the impulsion of God's will went forth to organize matter into bodies instrumental for the expression of life's ordained purposes. The blood stream in our bodies, projected from the heart to "water all the garden" of man's organic being, is an apt analogue of it. The outflowing sap of a tree is another. The dividing and subdividing branches of this stream carry the "rivers of vivification" to every portion of the cosmos.
But its division in the creation of physical universes and animal life on them is always basically a quatrapartite one. The physical base of life's constructions is by dialectical necessity fourfold. The universe, so to say, must rest on a four-square base. This is not, of course, to be taken in crude literal sense; but a four-square object is nevertheless the type of a solid basis for the world of life in a higher sense. Evolution constructs one of its seven ultimate forms and expressions with each of its seven propulsions of energy waves outward from center. The first four build up the base of the pyramid of life and the last three add the superstructure of a triple consciousness. Mind and soul must rest on a physical base, which is ever four-square. At last can be seen what the figure of the altar connotes in the Old Testament.
The shape of the great pyramids of Egypt, Mexico and Yucatan exemplifies this basic architecture of the microcosm and the macrocosm. Their four-sided base and upper triangular faces give us the mathematical formula for the edifice of life. The universe, says Pythagoras, "is built on number". "God geometrizes." Four plus three makes the seven-ply [Page 34] pattern of life on its physical side. Four times three equals twelve, which structuralizes the pattern of the spiritual nature and evolution of man. For the great number twelve, as of the months, the hours, the zodiac and the companions or disciples of the Christos in all religions, is representative always of those twelve divine powers of consciousness that man is destined to unfold in his on-going to godhood. And the twelve divine powers will be brought to full function within the course of the unfoldment of the seven physical properties. The pyramid is thus the mighty glyph in stone of the nature and k organic evolution of the creature man, the Son of God. The word itself shows this. For pyr is the ancient Chaldeo-Egyptian word for "fire," and mid is the altered form of met, as in the Latin metior, "to measure". As life builds her structures it allots to each formation its due portion of its elementary "fire" of creative energy. And so the plan of it marks off the seven and the twelve measures of the creative fire that builds the house of life. Wisdom, as says Proverbs, builds her house with its seven pillars and she crowns the base with the great circle of the twelve upright stones, such as Joshua was ordered to set up in the dry bed of the Jordan River when he led the Israelites into the Promised Land of Canaan, and as the Druids erected in their sun-temple at Stonehenge, and as all the nations represented in the twelve-house zodiac, not to mention the twelve Urim on the breastplate of the Hebrew high priest, and the twelve sons of Jacob, the foundation of spiritual Israel.
Turning to man to find in his microcosmic sphere the reduplication of this universal creative structure, we see the basal four present as four lower vehicles or bodies. There is readily enough apparent first the gross physical body, and, less visibly but still really existent, an etheric or vital body, an "astral" or emotion body, and a lower mental body. The erudite esoteric knowledge of the past assures us of these elements in our make-up. Modern psychology is making the same differentiations. These constitute the four-fold base of man's organization.
Resting on these and drawing dynamic energy from their atomic springs of power are three more finely "atomized" bodies, which are vehicles of higher modes of consciousness: [Page 35] a higher or abstract mental body, a buddhic or intuitional body and an atmic or soul body. Thus we have the lower quaternary and the upper triad, as the ancients speak of them.
Life as it emanates from the heart of energic being shortly divides into the four "heads", which flow out to build the fourfold base of consciousness. The names given to the four would unquestionably be found to yield the meanings of physical, vital, emotional and mental nature, though their etymological origin seems to be lost in obscurity. At any rate the name Euphrates cannot apply to the river in the Mesopotamian Valley in Asia, geographically.
It is significant that the "garden" in which the Lord placed the man was allegorically located "eastward in Eden." General theology has not taken heed of the significance of the cardinal points of direction as used in ancient Scriptural symbolism. East and west are very direct vanes of meaning in esoteric philosophy. From its being the place of the rising sun, the east was made to carry always the imputations going with the soul's resurrection from its "death" in incarnation, the point at which it returned from earthly exile to enter the kingdom of spirit in celestial mansions and its home of bliss, released from its imprisonment in mortal body. Hence its reference is distinctly to the heaven world. And this brings the allegory into full accord with the statement made earlier herein, that the garden of Paradise was in ethereal regions, not on earth. The west, on the contrary, universally speaks of the setting sun, which in turn symbolized the descent of the soul from spiritual spheres to earthly body. With the Egyptians the west was the Tuat, the gate to the underworld into which all souls descended or "fell" in the arcane systemology. Not even to this day has it dawned upon the scholars and savants that this "underworld" of mythology is this good earth of ours. The soul descends into the underworld when it incarnates in the flesh.
Only with the aid of the arcane symbolism and a particular linguistic link is it possible to probe into the allegorical hint at evolutionary process deftly hidden under the outer veil of the story of woman's creation from the "rib" of the man. [Page 36] Taken as ostensible factual occurrence the narrative here is preposterous. As is so often the case, the clue to esoteric mystery is found in a single word. Here it is the "rib." The truth would not have been so tortuous a matter of discovery if the story had been frank enough to tell us that the part of the Adamic anatomy referred to was the "midrib," and not just one of the man's ordinary costal ribs.
Discovery of cryptic meaning was aided by the reflection that in old English, even in Shakespeare, the word "midrib" is spelled "midrif." It is therefore from the old Anglo-Saxon verb, of which we have only the past participle left: "riven." "Riven" means split, cleft. The original verb, to "rive," has dropped out of use. But lying close to the original stem and preserving its meaning is the noun "rift." And this form of the word leads the mind directly to the fundamental and only rational sense of the entire allegory. The "rib" allegory is a very subtle "cover" for the allusion to the primeval "cleft in the rock", or rift in the unitary being of God in the initial stage of every new cycle of creation, when he breaks his oneness apart into the duality of spirit and matter, positive and negative life, male and female. And the operation resulted in the distinctive separate creation of male and female. It is the Biblical occult reference to what is voluminously described in works expounding the arcane science of old as "the separation of the sexes". Life is androgyne, or male-female undifferentiated, before it bifurcates into distinctive male and female. The archaic books tell us that in the early stages of the soul's descent from spiritual realms into body its first embodiments were quite tenuous or ethereal and that in that state both sexual functions were found in the one organism. Only as the soul neared ultimate physical embodiment did it manifest in the fully divided forms. In the great Book of the Dead, the "Bible" of Egypt, it is clearly stated that "the soul makes the journey through Amenta in the two halves of sex". "Amenta" is this world of life in body — although the scholars have not yet arrived at that vital determination.
The sum and gist of the "rib" allegory is simply the recital, in disguised form, of this bifurcation or forking apart of the unity of creative function into the two embodiments [Page 37] of male and female entities. It is possible that the original allegorical form of the story has been altered somewhat by the tampering with, and re-editing of ancient manuscripts indulged in rather freely — and admittedly — by copyists and scribes of the early day. It is to be best understood by thinking of God as running a (mid) rib through the center of his unity and thus splitting it into duality, or as dividing that unity by cutting a rift through its middle, as one would cut an apple in two. If one will watch under a microscope the bifurcation of a paramoecium or any of the single-cell organisms that split in two equally living entities, and will realize that what nature does in the small is a replica and reduplication of what nature does in the cosmically universal, there will be little difficulty in understanding that the human race, starting out as androgyne, separated into male and female. It was effected by means of the opening up of a middle line of cleavage, or a mid-rift (rib) between the two halves as they moved apart. Any other rendition of the allegory leaves it floating about in the realm of nonsense.
The pair, it is dramatized, twice found themselves "naked." The first time it was in the celestial Paradise, in which instance it is said that they "were not ashamed." The second time it was on earth, and although the text does not say specifically that they were this time ashamed, it infers as much by saying that they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves aprons. Here is a touch of allegorism designed to bring out another forgotten item of ancient esoteric knowledge.
The inner meaning is involved in an aspect of the soul's history that brings in the matter of its clothing and unclothing itself, so to say, each time it makes the descent from supernal realms down into the flesh. Starting out for earth from its condition of almost "pure" spirit in the heavens, it successively enwraps itself in one body after another as it descends from plane to plane. Being the higher triad, it puts on first a lower mental body, then an emotional body, then a vital or pranic body and finally the gross physical vesture. Through the friendly offices of these several bodies it is able to relate itself in conscious experience with the actualities of each plane in turn, and finally all together. But the figure or symbol of [Page 38] nakedness was used by the ancients to hint at its spiritual condition when divested of all these garments in the empyrean.
And surely the soul has no cause to feel shame at this "nakedness," for, although divested of all material clothing, it was nevertheless, poetically considered, "in robes of light arrayed," as the Christian hymn has it. It had, as it put off earthly "rags", replaced them with the glorious apparel of the redeemed, the divine garments of solar radiance, the "body of the resurrection". The allegory could permit no sense of shame to be imputed to that investiture of the soul with the robes of more than royal majesty.
But on the downward way to the flesh, in proportion as the soul put on successively heavier and coarser garments of matter, it lost its more resplendent and more real clothing of spirit, and finally stood on earth bereft of all its heavenly raiment. Then it saw itself "naked" indeed, and its want of the true spiritual clothing brought keenly home to it the realization of its relatively debased and degraded condition, a heavenly citizen and son of the divine Father reduced to the state of incarceration in the body of an animal on earth and forced even to procreate in the low fashion of the beasts. Briefly as this is put, it sums up in a sentence the origin of the human sense of shame of the procreative function and organs.
The tree, as a symbol, stood always for the evolutionary development in matter, and the fig was perhaps the foremost of all the symbolic trees. To say that the first pair clothed themselves with fig-leaf garments is to allegorize their clothing themselves with the several material and physical bodies, which the soul puts on and throws off, exactly as the tree dons and doffs its clothing of leaves each season, as it comes to earth. To be divested of earthly clothing in the Father's house was no shame; but to be divested of spiritual radiance even while clothed in flesh, was the soul's shame. Or so it was dramatized. Although the god-soul loses in large part the memory of its diviner home and kingly origin when it has descended into mortal body, it undoubtedly retains some degree at all times of subconscious sense of its pristine and innate divinity. And the impingement upon this consciousness of the low estate it has fallen into on earth generates the sense [Page 39] of shame. As it arrives here through the agency of the sex functions, this sense of shame naturally centers upon those functions. This is innately and instinctively the repercussion upon its inner cognition of its experience in body, and it requires the later birth of philosophical understanding of the whole motive and plan of earthly incarnation in all its beneficence to bring a reflective mind to see that there is no true cause for shame in it. Indeed it is finally seen that there is no intrinsic shame in it at any time, because it is understood to be the reflection, at its level, of that attraction of spirit and matter, soul and sense, which is the law of life in all the universe.
As the first act of Genesis is the separation of life into its two aspects of spirit and matter, all later cosmic procedure brings them together in that knowing relation from which all new birth springs. And while the soul blushes a little at her birth springs. And while the soul blushes a little at her earthly nakedness, she knows in the depths of her secret heart that her union with material body will be blessed and fruitful.
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