Creating the New Earth Together

Archive for the ‘The Paradise Myth’ Category

Paradise Remembered, part 3: The Origin of Man

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth.”

Grace Van Duzen portrays Man as being first spirit, later to be clothed with form. Spiritual Man clothed with an earthen body—God incarnate on earth—to continue God’s work of creation as a steward of the creative process and keeper of the Garden. That’s the biblical story of Man’s origins.

Grace tells her “Story of Man” in THE BOOK OF GRACE from a cosmic view

“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.” 

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. . . .

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

At the conclusion of each creative Day, God saw that “it was good.” After the creation of Man the comment was that He saw every thing that he had made, and. . . it was very good.

On the Sixth Day, then, we have Man (and Woman), a perfect creation. In the sixth cycle divine Being was clothed in earth substance, in position to let God perform His cosmic creative acts on this planet through His earthly image and likeness—the means whereby the invisible things of heaven could be brought forth on Earth.

Dominion over every living thing is the result of obedience to the command to multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, which indicates a state where perfect control is operative in the act of multiplying, which involves sexual activity at all vibratory levels. 

The opposite has occurred, with overpopulation the primary cause of hellish distortions rampant in every corner of this planet which was created to be a paradise. The results of aberrant function in the most vital area of man’s creative activity, the limiting of that act of creation to the physical level, are taking their toll in increasingly massive numbers.

According to this command, dominion over all creatures and kingdoms of the earth is entirely dependent upon control in this central function of life. Multiplication is an essential aspect of all creation, the “seed within itself,” and without the control that causes the design in the heaven to take material form, the result is self-destruction, tragically obvious in man’s present function on this planet.

The fact that Man, male and female, was created with the faculties to extend the control and guidance of a wise and loving God to all the kingdoms of the earth causes one to look at the situation in today’s world, of misery and violence. Something went wrong! Man is afraid, not only of many creatures of the earth but of his own shadow; there is not much dominion in evi­dence. The drastic change in the being designed to control the earth and its creatures inevitably included that over which he was to have dominion. Animals took on the nature of their “fallen” god. It can also be seen how quickly a “creature” will return to the state of “grace” when in the presence of a human being expressing the Spirit of God.

The Being that incarnates into this planet at the present time assumes a much denser sub­stance than that in which man was first created. A finely tuned body, clothed with the highest vibrational substance natural to this part of the cosmos, would be equipped to travel vibra­tionally wherever the Spirit directed. Could this be the origin, deeply buried in the subcon­scious mind of man, of the concept of angels, radiantly robed in white, with wings that enable them to fly? It is an image that has persisted throughout the ages, and I was awed when I became aware, some years ago, that someone had perceived, in the aura of another’s body, the outline of a shape that resembled wings, extending from the area of the shoulder blades. I am not suggesting that the physical form of man’s imaginary wings would be the vehicle for his transportation, but the essence of the design is present, regardless of all that has been done, and cannot be dissolved by fallen human beings. It is still present.

CREATION IN MYTHS

Richard Heinberg tells the creation story as memorialized in myths.  Myths paint a much more colorful and imaginative picture. According to myths about “The First Time,” man’s abode was the heavens, the sky, in which we moved about like birds in the air—spiritual beings made by God—before diving into the water-covered planet Earth. That’s one scenario of Man’s origins. There’s a second scenario that has man emerging from Mother Earth—physical man formed by “the makers.” Heinberg cites both in Memories and Visions of Paradise:

The Earth Diver

Earth Diver myths tell the creation story from the perspective of a representative from the upper world who dives into the primordial chaos to bring forth the first seed of order. The Earth Diver myth tells of how a divine being (usually an animal) descends into the water to bring up bits of mud, which grow to form the whole Earth or even the entire Universe. Earth Diver myths are common among the northern North American tribes, whose cosmologies feature an original upper world inhabited by the immortal Elders and an unformed chaos of water below.

The symbolism in Earth Diver myths is often whimsical: the Diver is often pictured as a muskrat, a duck, or a turtle. Yet the underlying meaning of the myths is nonetheless profound. Water is the unformed reality out of which matter appears, and the descent into the abyss is analogous to baptism, in that it is at once a cleansing and a creative act. “In the beginning there was nothing but water,” says a Huron myth.

Similarly, the Hindu Vishnu Purana tells of an original chaos of waters:

He, the Lord, concluding that within the waters lay the earth, and being desirous to raise it up …. He, the supporter of spiritual and material being, plunged into the ocean.

The Emergence

The Emergence myth centers around the symbolism of Mother Earth, from which human beings emerge through various stages or levels of underworld. Emergence myths are found among the Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Pawnee Native Americans, and certain groups in the South Pacific islands. In the Emergence myth the Earth is the fertile source of being, containing within herself the essences and potencies of all life. The lower world is described not as a hell, but as a previous mode of existence, a womblike paradise. Neither is the underworld considered to be a literal subterranean cavern, but rather a place “where at death we will all return,” another plane of existence “under”—that is, underlying-the perceptible physical world. Sun or Corn is often the agent of transformation and quickening, leading the First People up into the light. “Before the World was we were all within the Earth,” begins a Pawnee myth; “Mother corn caused movement. She gave life.”!’

In part, the Emergence myth is a metaphor for the journey from a spiritual plane of existence into manifestation in the material world. But the myth also epitomizes the role of the feminine in Creation: it is a symbol and a memory of the primordial Mother, the Earth herself, as she originally was—fresh, new, fertile, the source of all form, the receptacle of all seeds, the nurturer of all life. The tale is told from the perspective of the Creation, emerging from the womb of Earth Mother. . . .

Among nearly all of the variants on the creation-from-clay story, the breath of life is a common feature. For example, according to a Hawaiian myth, Kane and Ku breathed into the nostrils and Lono into the mouth of a clay image, which thereupon became a living being. In an Australian Creation story, Bunjil, the All-Father of the southeast­ern tribes, is said to have made two clay images, male and female, which he shaped onto pieces of bark. He looked at them, was pleased, and danced around them for joy. Finally he lay down on them and blew into their mouths, noses, and navels, after which they stirred and arose. Likewise, the natives of the Kei islands of Indonesia say that their ancestors were fashioned out of clay by the Creator, Dooadlera, who breathed life into the earthen figures. . . .

In many languages, the words for “spirit” and “breath” are identi­cal. Creation-from-clay myths imply that the breath within us—the essence of our being, our life—is a divine gift, a spark of deity. “I am Osiris,” declares the God of ancient Egypt. “I enter in and reappear through you, I decay in you, I grow in you.” The fundamental message of the Hindu Upanishads, similarly, is that Atman (the individual’s innermost Self) is identical with Brahman (the ultimate Cause of All-That-Is). Tat tvam asi—“That thou art”—perhaps the most famous phrase in Sanskrit, is a proclamation of this underlying oneness of God and man, a oneness that ultimately extends to all creation:  

You are everything … O self of all beings!

From the Creator (Brahma) to the blade of grass all is your body, visible and invisible, divided by space and time. . . .

O Transcendent Self! We bow to you as the Cause of causes, the principal shape beyond compare, beyond Nature (pradhana) and Intellect ….

We bow to you, the birthless, the indestructible, You are the ever-present within all things, as the intrinsic principle of all.

We bow to you, resplendent Indweller (Vasudeva)!
the seed of all that is! 

While the story of the animation of clay by an all-powerful Crea­tor describes the union of spirit and matter from creation’s standpoint (matter receiving the breath of spirit), the story of the descent of spirit beings to Earth, sometimes described as their taking on coats of flesh, describes the same process from the heavenly view of the Creator. According to the Molama clan of the Zulu, their remotest ancestors were a man and woman who came down from the sky and alighted on a certain hill. A similar idea is met with among the Wakuluwe, who live between lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika; they say that the first human couple came down from Heaven and produced their offspring from parts of their bodies.

Heinberg waxes eloquent in this summation:

In the beginning there is One—a preexisting Intelligence, alone and limitless. The One, in which the polarities of existence are united in perfect harmony, exerts a conscious act of will and becomes Two—masculine and feminine, active and receptive, Heaven and Earth. The Two work as equal partners in initiating the cyclic cosmic pulsations from which all life emanates.

The reciprocal—one could say sexual—interplay of the Two gen­erates a multiplicity of divine beings, whose further activity, based in the same creative principles, results in the appearance of a manifest Universe of infinite scope and detail. The divine beings plunge into the watery abyss of chaos and return with the first seeds of physical form. Attaching themselves to these nuclei of substance, they continue to gather material about themselves and gradually emerge from the inner, invisible realms of eternity into the visible, tangible world of space and time.

Through this grand process, the One Intelligence differentiates itself into a myriad of self-conscious beings incarnate in material form. And thus there is generated a Universe of limitless diversity, of which each minute part is grounded in a single ultimate Reality.

As I bring these things forward, a question in the back of my mind asks “Why is this brought to me now at a time when the entire world is in the throes of a pandemic of historic proportion?” Actually, I started this series before the Coronavirus made its public appearance.  Perhaps its value lies in remembering that we are immortal beings incarnate in mortal flesh bodies. That design hasn’t changed. God incarnates yet on Earth through Man. The question might be “When are we going to return to our divine commission as keepers of the Garden of Paradise?” 

I will continue with this series in my next post. Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com 

Paradise Remembered

“Myth is the history of the soul”  

William Erwin Thompson penned those words. The Paradise myth, along with all the legends and stories about the “First People” handed down through the ages, are vivid and haunting reminders of our origins.  Who among us does not have a deep desire to live in Paradise—or for Paradise to be restored here on Earth?  It’s the unconscious impetus in our quest for the American Dream: “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  It’s what we seek and hope to find in most of our endeavors to make a comfortable and happy life for ourselves and for our families—and why we go to the wilderness and camp out in the forests and national parks.  We want to be in Paradise, if only for a few days and nights filling our eyes and hearts with “Kodak moments,” camping out under the stars, and sitting by a stream of cool, clear water drinking in the golden silence and peaceful beauty of the Natural World. 

Ken Burns has performed an outstanding service bringing the pristine peace and beauty of the natural world to the television for all to enjoy with his documentaries on the National Parks and Monuments airing on PBS again this weekend. Thanks primarily to John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, thousands of square miles of undeveloped lands and mountain ranges have been preserved and set aside for us and our progeny to visit and be nourished by and reminded of the Paradise our planet Earth still is—inspired even to do our parts in keeping it that way.

VISIONS and MEMORIES of PARADISE

I’ve been reading my friend Richard Heinberg’s MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE for the second or third time since it came into my hands many years ago, and my longing for Paradise has been quickened once again, this time with even deeper yearning.  Reading some of the stories about a once Golden Age when we were more angelic than human, and we spoke with the animals who “spoke” with us, I can almost taste the clean, fresh air and feel the pristine, magical Eden atmosphere. Here are a few memories from Richard’s book of what our ancestors, the “First People,” were like in the mythical Garden of Paradise:

The myths and traditions of the ancients do not portray Eden as the sort of technological Paradise that our present civilization tends to project into the future. If the Golden Age really existed, it must instead have been, as the Chinese describe it, an Age of Perfect Virtue—an age in which

they were upright and correct, without knowing that to be so was righteousness; they loved one another, without knowing that to do so was benevolence; they were honest and leal-hearted with­out knowing that it was loyalty; they fulfilled their engagements, without knowing that to do so was good faith; in their simple movements they employed the services of one another, without thinking that they were conferring or receiving any gift. There­fore their actions left no trace, and there was no record of their affairs.” *

They were kind and affectionate:

“The ability of human beings and animals to understand one another resulted in a condition, according to fifth-century B.C. philosopher Empedocles, ‘All were gentle and obedient to men, both animals and birds, and they glowed with kindly affection towards one another.'” *

They were radiant and could fly:

“According to virtually all accounts, human beings in the paradisal age were possessed of qualities and abilities that can only be called miraculous.

“They were wise, all-knowing, and able to communicate easily not only with one another but with other living things; moreover, they could fly through the air, and they shone with visible light.” *

They were wise and godlike in appearance:

“In contrast to the contemporary view of early humans as dull and brutish, the myths speak of them as sages. In Jewish folklore, Adam is described as being so wise and so beautiful to behold that the creatures of the Earth mistook him for the Creator and, together with the angels of Heaven, bowed down and chanted, ‘Holy, holy, holy.’ It is also said that God revealed the whole of the future to Adam, as well as the geography of the entire Earth. In these respects, Adam resembled Adapa, the Babylonian First Man, who ‘was equipped with vast intelligence …. His plane of wisdom was the plane of heaven’” The ancient Mayans similarly described the four First People as wise and all-knowing. According to the Popul Vuh, the Mayan book of lore and customs, the people of the first age were so perceptive that when ‘they lifted up their eyes … their gaze embraced all; they knew all things; nothing in heaven or earth was concealed from them.’ These created ones rendered thanks, saying,“‘Truly, thou gavest us every motion and accomplishment! We have received existence, we have received a mouth, a face; we speak, we understand, we think, we walk; we perceive and we know equally well what is far and what is near; we see all things, great and small, in heaven and upon the earth. Thanks be to you who created us, 0 Maker, 0 Former!'”*

AN AGE OF INNOCENCE 

The Golden Age was an age of innocence; its inhabitants simple and childlike—much like the late and memorialized Mr. Rogers as portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” With Richard’s permission, I will share a few excerpts from his thoroughly researched and captivating book, with little if any commentary from me.  I invite you to just read the stories and let the magic they still hold enchant your heart as you ponder them deeply in your imagination.  They may even trigger up memories of Paradise from out of the collective unconscious, as they did for me, and quicken in you an inspiration to live as though in Paradise.  Perhaps the adage “To become, act as if” may apply in our shared work of creating a heavenly home for our Creator here on Earth. Legends tell of a time when the Creator lived with his Creation and walked with Man in the Garden of Eden.  Listen to these stories.

ONCE UPON A TIME all human beings lived in friendship and peace, not only among themselves but with all other living things as well. The people of that original Age of Innocence were wise, shining beings who could fly through the air at will, and who were in continual communion with cosmic forces and intelligences. But a tragic disruption brought the First Age to an end, and humanity found itself estranged from both Heaven and Nature. Ever since then we have lived in a fragmented way, never really understanding ourselves or our place in the Universe. But occasionally we look back, with longing and regret, and dream of a return to the Paradise we once knew. . . .

The tribes of central and southern Africa preserved myths of an original time when the celestial God and human beings were friends, before the separation of Heaven and Earth. It was an age that was typified in the saying of the Ngombe tribe of Zaire: “In the beginning there were no men on earth. The people lived in the sky with Akongo and they were happy.” Ethnologist Paul Schebesta recorded the following tradition from the Bambuti Pygmies of central Africa:

After God had created the world and men, he dwelt among them. He called them his children. They gave him the name of father. … He showed himself a good father to men for he so placed them in this world that they could live without much effort and were above all free from care and fear. Neither ele­ments nor animals were inimical to man and foodstuffs grew ready to his hand. In short, the world was a paradise as long as God dwelt among men. He was not visible to them but he was in their midst and spoke to them.”

Summarizing African myths about the First Age, folklorist Herman Baumann wrote:

In the view of the natives, everything that happened in the primal age was different from today: people lived forever and never died; they understood the language of animals and lived at peace with them; they knew no labor and had food in plenitude, the effortless gathering of which guaranteed them a life without care; there was no sexuality and no reproduction—in brief, they knew nothing of all those fundamental factors and attitudes which move people today’

It was only when the people set themselves against the other creatures that God was driven away and the original harmony of Nature was destroyed.

And that will be the consideration of my next post in this series. Until then,

Be love. Be loved

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

Credits: 

* Richard Heinberg, MEMORIES and VISIONS of PARADISE — Exploring the Universal Myth of a Lost Golden Age. 

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