“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he placed the man whom he had formed.” (Genesis 2:8)
Most of us today are awake sufficiently and quite able to bear the “many things” the Master Jesus had to share with his disciples but could not due to their limitations of consciousness. After all, we’ve experienced more than two-thousand years of awakening in consciousness and spiritual maturity since then. What I’m about to share, then, concerning Man’s origins should not disturb anyone, and may even free some from limiting beliefs. Just for one, that it was Eve, tempted by the “serpent,” who then tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden to disobey God’s command that they not partake of “the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” thereby initiating the “Fall” that resulted in the loss of Paradise for them and their progeny.
Contrary to this belief, it was Adam, Divine Man, created in the image and likeness of God, a son of God, enamored by the beauty of the forms they had co-created with God, who acted contrary to the Law governing Creation by reversing his polarity with the Creator and polarizing his outer mind in Eve and in Creation itself, and then proceeding to judge the forms, no doubt with Eve’s full participation, as the forms were evolving toward becoming good and complete. (I take writer’s license here in spelling the word “evil” as “evol,” as it is a habit we humans seem to have inherited of judging and interfering with the Creative Process, thereby creating something evil.) And their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked, which apparently they didn’t think was a good thing, seeing as how they covered their nakedness with leaves. I’ll pick up on this later on. First I would like to give thought to the two different versions of the creation of Man as recorded in the first and second chapters of Genesis.
In chapter one, on the sixth day of Creation, God created Man.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth. . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Now, a “day” of Creation was a lot longer than an Earth day of 24 hours. Some 25,872 years longer, as author and biblical historian Grace Van Duzen explains in her epic work and legacy, THE BOOK OF GRACE — A Cosmic View of the Bible:
Cycles of time have been recognized, such as an “age,” consisting of 2,156 years; a “solar age” of 25,872 years; and a “universal age” of 310,464 years. The solar age is made up of 12 ages, and the universal age of 12 solar ages. It is the solar age that is referred to in the Book of Genesis as a “day,” with the seven days of Creation totaling 181,104 years.
The word us in this passage indicates that God, the Creator, was not a single entity but more like a conclave of Creator Beings. Grace offers a more precise explanation:
The word us in this text, “Let us make man in our image,” is derived from the word Elohim, plural of the ancient word for God, El—a designated number of God Beings under the focus of One, El. A term used later, and consistently, in the Bible story, will be LORD of Lords, referring to this same Being. Elohim was a group, or body of divine Beings who created a body of human beings, for the purpose of indwelling in physical form to continue God’s work on this planet, His image and likeness. Other derivations of the word El have come through varying religions, as for example, Allah, designating the supreme God or ultimate point of focus for the universe.
In chapter two of Genesis, we find this version of the same creation of Man, male and female:
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made, and he rested. . . .
These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. . . .
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2: 1-7)
A question one might rightly ask, then, is “Why was there a need for a ‘man’ to till the ground if the Garden of Eden yielded up food for foraging literally upon demand?” What’s going on here?
We find a fascinating answer to this question in Grace Van Duzen’s book, and further historical details in Richard Heinberg’s. So, between these two authors, I think we will come away with a deeper and more vital understanding of our origins in Genesis, and what caused the “Fall” and the expulsion of our first parents from the Garden of Eden. This will take several posts, so stay with me.
The Garden of Eating
So many legends and myths tell of a time when Man lived in a Garden of Eden before agricultural practices of tilling the ground to plant seeds for food became vogue. Food was plentiful in the Garden. And yet, reading the second version of the creation of Man from the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, supposedly written by Moses, one is left asking, “Why was a ‘man’ needed to till the ground?”
Here are a few excerpts from Heinberg. (I will share excerpts from Grace’s book in the next post):
Somewhere down in the underworld we were created by the Great Spirit, the Creator. We were created first one, then two, then three. We were created equal, in oneness living in a spiritual way, where life is everlasting. We were happy and at peace with our fellow men. All things were plentiful, provided by our Mother Earth upon which we were placed. We did not need to plant or work to get food. Illness and troubles were unknown. (Hopi Elder Dam Katchongva)
Under the subheading The Golden Race there is this:
The third-century B.C. Neoplatonist Porphyry said that the Greek philosopher Dicaearchus, of the late fourth century B.C., spoke of
men of the earliest age, who were akin to the gods and were by nature the best men and lived the best life, so that they are regarded as a golden race in comparison with the men of the present time … of these primeval men he says that they took the life of no animal. … Dicaearchus tells us of what sort the life of that Age of Cronus was: if it is to be taken as having really existed and not as an idle tale, when the too mythical parts of the story are eliminated it may by the use of reason be reduced to a natural sense. For all things then presumably grew spontaneously, since the men of that time themselves produced nothing, having invented neither agriculture nor any other art. It was for this reason that they lived a life of leisure, without care or toil, and also—if the doctrine of the most eminent medical men is to be accepted-without disease …. And there were no wars or feuds between them; for there existed among them no objects of competition of such value as to give anyone a motive to seek to obtain them by those means. Thus it was that their whole life was one of leisure, of freedom from care about the satisfaction of their needs, of health and peace and friendship. Consequently this manner of life of theirs naturally came to be longed for by men of later times who, because of the greatness of their desires, had become subject to many evils …. All this, says Dicaearchus, is not asserted merely by us, but by those who have thoroughly investigated the history of early times.
The classical Roman authors Ovid, Cratinus, Pausanias, Tibullus, Virgil, and Seneca expanded freely on Hesiod’s story of the original golden race, always emphasizing those qualities that characterize the benefits of the simple, primitive life—freedom, self-sufficiency, and lack of dependence on technology and complex social organization. Ovid’s Metamorphoses was for centuries standard fare in all European schools, and his description of the Golden Age in Book I became the definitive form of the myth for the Middle Ages and the Renaissance:
The first age was golden. In it faith and righteousness were cherished by men of their own free will without judges or laws. Penalties and fears there were none, nor were threatening words inscribed on unchanging bronze; nor did the suppliant crowd fear the words of its judge, but they were safe without protectors. Not yet did the pine cut from its mountain tops descend into the flowing waters to visit foreign lands, nor did deep trenches gird the town, nor were there straight trumpets, nor horns of twisted brass, nor helmets, nor swords. Without the use of soldiers the peoples in safety enjoyed their sweet repose. Earth herself, unburdened and untouched by the hoe and unwounded by the ploughshare, gave all things freely …. Spring was eternal … untilled the earth bore its fruits and the unploughed field grew hoary with heavy ears of wheat.
Elsewhere, Ovid speaks of the peaceful amity of Nature herself, before the degeneration of humankind. “That ancient age,” he writes, to which we have given the name of Golden, was blessed with the fruit of trees and the herbs which the soil brings forth, and it did not pollute its mouth with gore. Then the birds in safety winged their way through the air and the hare fearlessly wandered through the fields, nor was the fish caught through its witlessness. There were no snares, and none feared treachery, but all was full of peace.
Under the subheading Paradise of the East there is this Indian legend in the Vaya Purana:
In the Krita age human beings appropriated food which was produced from the essence of the earth …. They were characterized neither by righteousness nor unrighteousness; they were marked by no distinctions. They were produced each with authority over himself. They suffered no impediments, no susceptibilities to the pairs of opposites (like pleasure and pain, cold and heat), and no fatigue. They frequented the mountains and seas, and did not dwell in houses. They never sorrowed, were full of the quality of goodness, and supremely happy; they moved about at will and lived in continual delight …. Produced from the essence of the earth, the things which those people desired sprang up from the earth everywhere and always, when thought of. That perfection of theirs both produced strength and beauty and annihilated disease. With bodies which needed no decoration, they enjoyed perpetual youth …. Then truth, contentment, patience, satisfaction, happiness and self-command prevailed …. There existed among them no such things as gain or loss, friendship or enmity, liking or dislike.”
In China, we again find the Paradise myth flavored somewhat according to local cultural sensibilities, but nevertheless characterizing humankind’s earliest condition as one of ease, plenty, and freedom. Taoist philosophy, profoundly and often sardonically primitivist, has permeated Chinese thought for at least the last two and a half millennia. According to the earliest Taoist sages, Lao Tzu and Chuang
Tzu, it is Nature herself who is wise, and the intelligent man knows better than to impose on her creative rhythms. “Profound intelligence,” according to Lao Tzu, “is that penetrating and pervading power to restore all things to their original harmony.” (Emphasis mine)
I will take up from this last paragraph in my next post—and share some of Grace Van Duzen’s perspectives from THE BOOK OF GRACE. Until then,
Be love. Be loved.