METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on September 16, 1975
Gen. 3:14-19, pp.40-44 of transcript.
Why Do We Do What We Do?
Let us now discuss the level of our being beyond conscious awareness prior, not in time, out prior in degree to the self-conscious existence in which we’re now so immersed. All this is symbolic, describing the happenings going on behind the scenes, prior to self-conscious existence, but I don’t mean prior in the sense of some place in time back, but prior to that degree of self-awareness. In other words, all this is going on to make self-aware existence possible, not in time but in present tense analysis. Now we have, then, the stirring of the desire for life experience, rather than to just be alive, to just partake of life isn’t enough, it does not satisfy the soul, the female part of man’s nature. The female part of man’s nature which contains the quality of desire has the forward-moving impetus occur there first. Eve is first.
We have been born into life in the three-dimensional world, time-sequential life consciousness, sensual consciousness of life, materialistic consciousness of life, which is not life as a divine idea, now, but life as a faculty expressing through human nature. Charles Fillmore says that the life faculty in us at this time is not the pure life faculty it shall become, the pure life consciousness which it will develop into, but it is now functioning as the faculty which he called, and I think he made a wonderful choice of words, generative life, which is the faculty which enables you and I to be conscious of life, to express life, to live on the materialistic and sensual level; but it is evolving, it is developing, it is in a transitional state right now.
The allegory of Adam and Eve also helps answer a question which troubles many minds: “Why do we do some of the things we do?” “Why does human nature act as it does, especially, why do we do some of the foolish and harmful things?” Man has always looked for a logical answer to this, and many persons have tried to take the easy way out and have accepted as an answer to why we often do foolish and harmful things: disobedience, and man’s innate wickedness. This has been the answer which most of the Orthodox churches have formulated and presented. But we find that more and more people are rejecting this concept as an answer to anything, and are looking deeper and trying to find a better answer, and in some ways the allegory of Adam and Eve at least points the way to a better answer.
According to this allegory, if you take the whole thing in context, the basic reason why you and I do anything in life good, bad, or indifferent, is that we are responding to a desire to experience some aspect of life. This is the basic reason for any human motivation we are responding to that innate desire to experience some aspect of life. Perhaps this does sometimes result in foolish or harmful behavior, but very seldom do we do something foolish and harmful. It turns out to be that way, after the fact, but very few persons, at least sane persons, say “Hmmmmm, I think I’ll do something foolish and harmful next.” We don’t reason that way; we do what we feel an impulse or a desire to do, hoping that it will turn out right and good, but if it doesn’t, it turns out destructive or harmful, then we call it a mistake. “I did a foolish or harmful thing,"but that wasn’t your primary reason for doing it, the love of harmfulness, the love of foolishness; nobody in his right mind has that.
We do respond to innate or hidden desires; many of our desires arise from levels of consciousness, which are still mysteries to us, which we do not fully understand, and this could be one of the reasons why so many of our good intentions go astray, and why the result of many of our actions and decisions come out unsatisfactory to us. It is great to realize that we do not do the things that we do merely out of some crazy inborn wickedness. Our wise and constructive acts and our foolish and destructive acts, our triumphs and mistakes, these all come about from the same basic cause, our response to the desire to experience life; Eve responding to the serpent.
In reality this had very little to do with goodness or wickedness, as such. It has really to do with wanting to sense life, to savor life, life’s possibilities through the senses. We want to see, to feel, to hear, to taste, to touch, as much of life as we possibly can; and very often we make mistakes in the way we do it. But, do you think wanting to do it is a mistake? You see, basically it’s not a mistake. The following the desire is not a mistake, but mistakes can result from methodology, from our modus operandi, understanding, and so we don’t want to be too concerned about that.
So we feel that Eve in us is not to be blamed or condemned. She should be thanked, really; we should thank her, that she listened to the serpent. Or let’s thank God that He created a feminine nature for us which could do such a thing, which had the freedom to do it. Of course many of us feel that there’s an awful lot about life which we want to see changed; but there’s even more about life which we never would have wanted to have missed. Just because there are things about life that we now think are wrong and we’d like changed, that doesn’t counterbalance the things about life that we wouldn’t have missed for the world.
So, we’re going forward now, but now toward the fullness of consciousness, the fullness of spiritual consciousness, which in Scripture is not the Garden of Eden but comes in the very last chapter of the whole Bible in the Book of Revelation, as the new Jerusalem, the new dimension of consciousness, towards which all mankind is headed at this moment. You will find in that chapter, which describes the New Jerusalem, the common denominator which runs all through every detail of that city or state of consciousness is the number twelve.
First, the Lord God or Jehovah, clearing up this business with the serpent, wherein He says (Chapter 3, verses 14 and 15), Jehovah, after telling Adam and Eve that they made their decision and therefore that’s the way it is, but that they’d better expect hardships, lots of hardships. And it’s funny — when Jehovah, or the Lord God, talks about suffering, he addresses those words entirely toward Adam and Eve. But He talks about hard work only to Adam; and this is such accurate metaphysical analysis, so correct. The writer of Genesis realizes that all the suffering that man will go through in his adventure of earthly existence and evolution will be felt by him in his feminine nature. You don’t think suffering, folks, you feel it. And all the hard work that one does, he does with his thinking self, his male self. The female is the sufferer, the endurer of human nature, and male is the worker, the so-called doer. And this is what is entailed in going into the adventure of evolution toward perfection through life experience and growth of consciousness.
But then we read that Jehovah says to the serpent,
“Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all the cattle and above every beast of the field, and upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust thou shalt eat all the days of thy life, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Now this is very grotesque language if you’re thinking of a snake and a being called Jehovah God.
But metaphysically this makes sense because here the writer is indicating that now the human nature is ready to appear on the scene embodied in actual persons, that original impetus that moved us forward into this state of existence, now is to be consigned a place in the embodied individual, which is not a very high place. It is called in our terminology, sense consciousness, the sense appetites, the sensual impulses, all of that goes along with that level of existence, that level of awareness, we just lump into the term sense consciousness, and the writer of Genesis is saying that it is the sense consciousness level of man which is going to prove to be the tension causer and trouble maker in his consciousness, especially concerning the female, feeling and emotional nature, and isn’t that true?
It says that there’s going to be enmity between the feeling nature and the sense consciousness, and that’s true, not enmity in that they hate each other, but they cause tensions for each other. Any time you’re, going through an emotional tension of any kind, you can be sure that somehow it’s connected with your sense appetite, or your sensual desires. You know, folks, being jealous and suffering from it, unrequited love in the romantic sense, or not being treated right by someone whom you want to treat you right, or many of what we now call sexual hangups, are all predicted here in this very short passage, about now that you’ve decided to enter into an existence that was impulsed through the sense consciousness; now you’re going to have to live with that part of you in its unredeemed state for awhile, not permanently.
It says that thou shalt bruise his heel, this is spoken to the serpent. Now the heel in Bible symbology has two meanings: sometimes it means the place of vulnerability, the place where the person is vulnerable. Also in some cases it means that point from which one exercises some control. It has a dual meaning according to how it’s used. In this cases the meaning is, of that place from which control will be exercised.
When a person tries to control his sense consciousness, or his sense nature, or his sensual appetite, very often he is bruised in trying to exercise that control. You all know how difficult it can be under certain circumstances to control or to curb certain impulses, or appetites, or longings that you have, and sometimes in trying to exercise that control, your feeling nature gets bruised, but is that bad, do you think? No, it’s a temporary thing, and it’s very subtle. It does not mean what I head an Orthodox preacher say: “This proves that God hates snakes; that the Lord disapproves of snakes.”
Transcribed by Bill Nelson on 02-12-2015