THE BIBLE AND ITS RELATION TO CREATION
Jesus, the wayshower said, “Search the Scriptures.” Now, why search, if the meaning is on the surface? Jesus knew the value of this injunction, and lost no opportunity to impress upon his hearers the importance of getting at the inner significance of what to many from a mere casual reading is a sealed hook. “You do greatly err, not understanding the Scriptures” thus spoke the greatest mystic that ever lived. He also said, “The letter killeth,” rendering its own verdict. Paul the seer, whom we love to cite, further said, “The Bible is covered with a veil.” We who are beginning to lift this veil, find it a “magic mirror,” which reflects the composite nature of man.
The Bible has four interpretations. These are historical, allegorical, spiritual and cabalistic. These correspond to our four faculties, and the Bible will be interpreted according to the development of these four God-derived powers.
Read with the Intellect, it will simply be historical, (dead letter) — Read with spiritual perception you see it, as an allegory. Read with understanding, we get the spiritual meaning. Read by the illumination of “The Power to Know,” we grasp its inner significance, which gives us the power to demonstrate, or the cabalistic interpretation. In order to get its full four-fold meaning, we need to read it in the light of our four faculties.
The Bible has its two halves, the human and divine. The old and new testaments represent these two sides of composite man.
There are three grades of man. Ideally he is spiritual, — practically he is human, ultimately he is spiritually divine. The first is the Image of God, or the Expression of Mind. The second is the Representation, and the third is the full manifestation or the Ideal made Real.
The Bible is mathematically constructed and this involves Principles and rules. The Principle is the One God, abstract, impersonal Truth, and the rules are how to add, what to subtract, when to multiply, and when to divide.
We add by right thinking, subtract by our denials, multiply or enlarge ourselves by our Idealization or Realization, and divide by our demonstration. The Bible is pre-eminently a present tense book for it deals with the everpresent now, and applies to the existent soul of today, furnishing daily food for daily needs, just as it has throughout the ages.
There are two sides to everything, as we all have discovered. The two sides of this Genesis Course are its scientific and religious aspects. The query naturally arises, upon what does its scientific side rest? On fundamental Principle; upon what does its religious aspect depend? Clearly upon the Bible, which is its confirmation. Are these two sides a unity? (Illustrate the hand has two sides). If we had but Genesis and the four gospels, these would be sufficient to establish the logical teaching of our Basic course. The first three chapters contain or cover the ten lessons. These give us the origin, nature, and destiny of Man, as a whole, — What he is, whence he came, and whither he is bound. This however, is all in the abstract.
The first chapter of Genesis is a statement of the composite nature of God’s man, entirely outside of time and space, dealing with Principles and Order. In it is no mention of aught beside God and Ideal Man, the Image of God. In solving the problem of existence, we are not wrestling with visible effects, but are dealing with the greater problems of invisible creation. Genesis is an allegory. Paul, the mystic, said, “These things be an allegory” which leads us to ask what is an allegory? Webster says, “It is a description of one thing, under the image of another.” The distinction in Scripture between a parable and an allegory is that the former, the parable is a supposed history, while the latter, the allegory is a figurative application of real facts. In this Word picture, everything is personified. Nature’s capacities, faculties, abilities are all represented by persons. So also cities and rivers and mountains and villages, animals, trees and flowers are used as symbols for natures, instincts, propensities, characteristics, & & &.
The first and second chapters of Genesis are not differing accounts of the creation of the world. That is not mentioned. From the standpoint of Theology it is supposed to be, but that is a mistake that has been a stumbling block in the way of its right interpretation. This first chapter is the enumeration of Creation as a unit or whole. If I enumerate the fractions of a unit, I must tell you of its ½, ¼ etc, naming each in order, compelled by the nature of the unit. The first chapter of Genesis gives us the order of Creation, as compelled by the Nature of the First Cause. These are the fixed factors, involved in the Creation, just as we have in mathematics, numbers and figures following Principle, — so Creation has its fixed factors.
It matters not, how many mistakes a child makes in using these factors, they remain always the same, perfect, spiritual, changeless, eternal. As a matter of adjustment to our basic lessons, all these things mentioned in the first chapter belong to our Ideal Being, the composite nature of Man, the Image of God. The nature of God is not defined, save in two instances, and these are, “In the beginning” and “Creator.” These comprehensive phrases cover Mind and its activity, the passive and active aspects of God, and all the rest belongs to the Genus Man.
“In the Beginning God,” — these four words are the most important of the whole chapter. They are the foundation on which rests the entire structure which is to follow. The first chapter begins at the Beginning as stated. In or within that Beginning which is God. This being true, we are reckoning Eternity, and the Eternal wholly outside of time and space. We are dealing with that fixed starting point from which all that is indestructible and enduring, proceeds. Life, Love, Substance, Intelligence are in the Beginning. There is nothing outside of It. God, as the Beginning, is the circumference of the Universe, in the sense of Boundary. There is but One Absolute, and God is that One. We are, we know that we are, and as such we are effects. This establishes the certainty that there must be First Cause. The nature of this Cause determines the nature of Effect. We have found the nature of First Cause to be, Spirit, Life, Love, Substance, Intelligence without the power of choice. The effect is not what it is because God chose to have it so. All that proceeds from First Cause is determined by the nature of its Cause. Then Creation, and all that it contains is determined by the nature of its Creator. If God is Spirit, Life, Love, Substance, Intelligence, the man the effect, must be spiritual, living, loving, substantial, intelligent as God’s Idea. Therefore, effect and its fractions have no power of choice. All is the consequence of fixed Law. In First Cause is now Its Effect, it is involved in It from the Beginning, which is God. If First Cause always was, then primary Effect must always have been which shows that Effect is not a product of tins, but preceded it, and is simply an opportunity for our discovery of ourselves. Creation in itself is. and always will be in God. We are to unearth, or uncover it. Solomon well said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
We are to find that which always was, and ever will be, which is eternally true in Itself. The first verse of the first chapter of Genesis covers the rest of the book. It is the circle containing the whole or the entire substance of what is expressed in that entire first verse.
When God, Heaven and Earth are understood with their relation to each other, we have the Bible in a nutshell. The rest is only an elaboration, the New Testament its demonstration. God, Heaven and Earth are together alway, a trinity in unity, the first trinity. They are not identical, but constitute one eternal inseparable, yet distinct trinity. One Cause, two consequences. Flame, heat and light are a like trinity, one cause, two consequences. Heaven and earth do not mean localities. The definite article”The” is used in connection with both, showing each to be a whole in itself. Note that the world is not mentioned. Earth does not mean dust, soil, clay, but the appearing of that which is to come. John says: “Now are we the sons of God, but it doth not yet appear what we shall be.” Soul is the earth or the a-p-pearing of what is in the Heaven. The Heaven as Expression of First Cause is our real Being. It is that which is compelled by nature of First Cause, as a logical necessity. Earth is manifestation, which means to make plain to consciousness that which we are in Being
TruthUnity note: Note the the author says, "When God, Heaven and Earth are understood with their relation to each other, we have the Bible in a nutshell. The rest is only an elaboration." For traditional Christianity, the Bible is about sin, judgement and atonement. For metaphysical Christianity, the Bible is about understanding the metaphysics of Mind-Idea-Expression, which is understanding how God and man, heaven and Earth are related to one another. For traditional Christianity, Genesis chapter 3 is the focus (expulsion from the garden). For metaphysical Christianity, Genesis chapter 1 is thee focus (creation and expression of God mind).
The Earth is without form, until the Spirit of God Moves; earth in this connection is universal, or subsistent soul, which is latent in Being. This inherent self must awake and become existent, or come forth and as it evolves, it will plant its seed. Existent soul is the specialized soul as distinguished from universal consciousness. It is like the stream coming forth from the reservoir. The wall is Being, the water is the subsistent soul in Being, fed from the mainspring or God-Fountain, and the stream pushed forth is existent soul. Until then, darkness, which typifies the unknown, covers the soul, or hides the face of the deep, which is the (as yet) unknown nature of Ideal Man or Being. Face is that which is outermost. “I Am” is the face of “What I am.” “Spirit of God” is the active aspect of First Cause. This gives us substance and motion at the foundation, and without these two factors, we could have no creation.
Natural Science gives us substance and motion. We grant them that. They claim matter is substance. We say “Mind is Substance.” They say, “Motion is blind force.” We claim that it is the Force of Infinite Mind and as such is ever operative. It is the primal Energy, the Creative Power, and as such is the “God Said” that follows all the way down the chapter, preceding all that is enumerated in it, and this is our authority for its being eternal. God is here personified. God utters Itself through the Thought-Word. “In the Beginning was the Word” which is Thought-Force. It is the Creative Force in mind, and these two are always together in the sense of unity. God is not a Being, but Infinite Mind, uttering Itself through the Thought-Word. Its action is called speech. “Let (it) there be Light.” How do we “Let”? This is a vital query, for there can be no desirable result until we “let”. This implies co-operation on our part with the Creative Power, voluntary co-operation according to Principle, which means thinking only God-like thoughts, speaking only God-like Words, (illustrate, this is not I, I am Spirit Life, Substance and Intelligence, &.) What do we mean by Light? It does not refer to natural lights, which are supposed to be sun and moon, in the natural firmament. Then Light must mean something else. How only can Mind be revealed? Evidently, through the “Power to Know” which is not the actual knowing, but a channel through which knowledge is to come. It is said of Jesus, “In Him was Light” and surely, this does not mean daylight or moonlight.
TruthUnity note: This course was given when traditional religion was being challenged by science. The writer acknowledges that natural science explains matter (substance) and motion (life), but adds that religion adds Intelligence, which is Light. That is to say that the cosmos does not evolve randomly, but rather with purpose. Today we call that Intelligent Design. Life, Substance and Intelligence are the foundational components of a metaphysical understanding of the cosmos.
Mind proceeds by days, or stages, to create according to order, not time. These days are not periods of 24 hours, but degrees of Expression, and degree follows degree, until all that Mind is has been expressed. One day is a fraction of the whole. Light is an expression of the wholeness of Mind, as the first fruits or nearest to mind. Darkness precedes Light. It symbolizes ignorance, but is not evil. Jesus was the Light of the world. He knew the “Power to Know” had done its work for him and he knew that he knew. It is a channel through which knowledge is to come. We here make a distinction between a faculty, and what comes through it. The evening and the morning, together constitute a day. The evening is ignorance or the unknown, which precedes the morning, or the knowing even in a degree. We speak of the morning first and the evening afterward, while the Bible reverses this order. This is because we work inductively, and Creation works deductively. Thus, the evening of the unknown, precedes the morning of the knowing. One day follows another as God continues to express Itself. The second day or degree of unfoldment of Mind to Expression is the firmament which does not refer to the sky above us, but means to stand firm, and how can we do this without understanding?
What is the difference between belief and understanding? Belief is variable. “Don’t know” surely does not stand firm, — Understanding does. We become positive at this stage of soul-growth. We do not say much about it to others but get still and know. Then the waters begin to be gathered together in one place, (the water) for understanding begins to be established. Thus, we see that the “Power to Understand” is a faculty through which understanding is to come. Through this faculty, belief gives place to positive knowing. The Third Day, or degree, has its evening and morning, — the evening is our mortal sense existence, the morning is the revelation of True Being. First, we have the waters, or the unknown. As these recede, an island appears. It must have been there, or it could not appear. Dry land manifestation, earth, living soul are synonymous terms, meaning visibility, or the coming forth of that which is hidden. The human self for a time, obscures the divine Self, but there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, even to the son of God that is wrapped up in the son of man. But the faculties are not all there is. “Dry Land” is product. It is earth and this must “bring forth” grass, herb, and tree. There must be product from product giving us the law of Re-production. Everything in the 1st chapter of Genesis is spiritual, not material. They are natures, not things. The question naturally arises how do we know this interpretation to be correct? A portion of this evidence is, that we all possess these faculties and natures in common. We all have the nature of Generic Man. Logic proves that the expressions of Mind must be mental, not material. Both our reason and intuition confirm this view.