Chapter IV: The Reaction to Sense Living
Genesis 6 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 6:1-7. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose. And Jehovah said, My Spirit shall not strive with man for ever, for that he also is flesh: yet shall his days be a hundred and twenty years. The Nephilim were in the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them: the same were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown.
And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
How do the "sons of God" wed the "daughters of men," and what is the fruit of such a union?
When we lower our ideals to a material basis, "the sons of God" are taking unto themselves wives of "the daughters of men." "Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." When we join spiritual faculties like faith, will, and imagination to material surroundings and personalities and sensual desires, we are falling short of the law of Being, which is that these higher faculties shall draw from the formless and be joined to that realm. The Nephilim represent spiritual ideas (sons of God) uniting with psychical forces to
bring forth unregenerated physical forces. To unite spiritual ideas with sensual images is in direct opposition to divine law and in the Scripture is termed "wickedness."
When the wrong use of the spiritual faculties reaches a certain limit, the law (Lord) of our being begins to regulate the consciousness. Outraged nature reacts; a destruction of the false, man-made condition sets in. This it is which is symbolized in the Book of Genesis by the "flood" of Noah.
Gen. 6:8-17. But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, and perfect in his generations: Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shall thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. And I, behold, I do bring the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is in the earth shall die.
What is the reaction to living in sense consciousness?
Lamech, the name of Noah's father, is a name
signifying "a strong young man," and the name Noah means "rest." In the days of our youth we idealize the material world and devote our spiritual faculties to the things of sense. This devotion becomes so complete that we no longer use our spiritual faculties for their proper functions on the spiritual plane. This results in abnormal conditions, and the balance must be restored. A reaction sets in and there is a flood of seemingly adverse experiences. But Noah (rest) finds "favor in the eyes of Jehovah."
What is represented by Lamech and by Noah, and what is their metaphysical relationship? What are the causes and results of crosscurrents in the body consciousness?
One who has indulged the strength of youth (Lamech) in pursuing the things of sense until under the law of spiritual equilibrium he begins to require rest (Noah) may have bodily ills. The cross-currents of thought have brought about a precipitation of negation in the body consciousness, caused by wicked or error thoughts clashing with the spiritually positive ideas. This is followed by the "flood," which drowns out the material thoughts and cleanses the "earth."
How is a balance maintained between the positive and negative conditions in the body?
Science teaches that man's body contains all the elements that are found in the earth. This gives rise to the thought of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Religion however goes a step farther and says that man is the epitome of Being, that he is like his Maker in spirit, soul, and body, the image and likeness of God. If man's body is of the same character as the earth, it is in some of its aspects like its prototype. The earth's surface is three fourths water and the body is about eighty per cent water. This is a major negative condition that needs but little augmenting to cause an overflow or a "flood." Only our positive spiritual thoughts hold back a deluge, and once there is an overbalance
the negative is let loose and there is great destruction. There is no stopping this flood by any material means, and one who is spiritually wise will not fear it but rather rejoice in the body cleansing it brings about.
Just as the earth's waters evaporate and surround it with clouds of mist, so the mists and clouds of life surround man's body. As the physical forces move on these mists and clouds of earth, so do the mental forces move on and cause the invisible ethers to condense and flood the body with its own negative thoughts. The poetic words "A flood of thoughts came o'er me" is no metaphor but a physiological fact. When mind and body reach a certain tenseness or strained condition, the law forces a conjunction, and a flood is certain to follow. This is exemplified by what is called a "nervous breakdown." Someone has said that America is fast becoming a nation of neurotics. We certainly need this lesson of Noah (rest) to learn to let go of physical tenseness and material things. This rest can be attained only when we realize that our faculties are spiritual and must seek spiritual expression.
Discuss experimentation versus spiritual revelation.
Man is an epitome of all that exists in Being, even as regards the Spirit of God, which is inspired in him. But man is a free agent. He can open his mind to the divine intelligence and know the creative law or he can work out his unfoldment through blind experimentation. Our race is in the experimental stage. In our ignorance we transgress the law to the very limit, and then, a great reaction sets in; a general condition that is negative to the point of dissolution. Then that in us which always looks obediently to God in an extremity
is awakened and we seek the divine law. This obedient disposition is represented by Noah, through whom the seed of a new state of consciousness is saved.
Gen. 6:18-22. But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of the birds after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
What and where in consciousness is the "ark" of Jehovah?
The only refuge from this "flood" is the ark of Jehovah. The ark represents a positive, saving state of consciousness, which agrees with or forms a covenant with the principle of Being, with subconscious inspiration, with Christ. This ark is the product of "rest," "abiding" (Noah), in the spiritual part of us, right in the midst of the flood of error. Noah heeded not the jeers of the people about him but rested on the promise of God.
What is the significance of the dimensions of the ark? What are the animals, why "two of every sort," and how are they fed?
Your ark must be built on a scientific understanding of the truth as regards the presence, power, and wisdom of God. This is suggested by the mathematical dimensions prescribed for the ark. Your ark is built on affirmations of what you are in Spirit. You take with you into the ark your wife, your sons and their wives (spiritual principles inhering in the soul),
and "of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort" (male and female or positive and negative activities of life in the organism).
The idea of divine Truth must be fed with true affirmations as you are being lifted up and above the flood of error thoughts that surge about you. In due time the waters of negation will subside and enable you to walk forth and to people the "earth" of your body with new and better ideas.
In case the error thoughts destroy the body of flesh, the ark represents the new body that the mind spiritually projects and that forms the basis of the organism in the new incarnation.
Discuss the symbolism of Noah and the Flood in relation to the unfoldment of a certain faculty of being.
The story of Noah and the Flood portrays in wonderful symbolism the manner in which one of the faculties of being operates in unfolding the perfect man. The faculty of renunciation is twofold in action: it eliminates the error, and it expands the good. The name Noah connotes the sweet rest and quiet comfort that come after the soul has worked out some of its problems in consciousness and has perceived that there is an original spark of divinity in man that is most sacred and holy and that man's spiritual development consists in the expansion of this original divine spark. Jehovah, the image-and-likeness man created by Elohim God, recognizes only the good and instructs His Adam man to open his consciousness to good thoughts and to cleanse his consciousness from all evil by the flood waters of denial.
Man is making his body temple an eternal dwelling place for the soul. His goal is to bring into expression the kingdom of the heavens and to establish it within himself. To do this he needs to realize that the old is constantly passing away and the new constantly coming in according to the outworking of the law. He should not resist this change but rather assist in bringing it about. We are born daily and we die daily in some phase of consciousness. Some errors may stick in our mind for a while, but when new light is born in consciousness, old thoughts are carried away by Noah's Flood.
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 71-72: Chapter IV: The Reaction to Sense Living
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 79-80: Genesis 7 Mysteries of Genesis