Chapter III: The Fall of Man
Genesis 3-5 Spiritually Interpreted
ACCORDING to the Bible, "the word of God" is the power that created the world, as stated in Hebrews:
"By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear."
The 1st chapter of John explains that "the Word" was in the beginning with God and was God and that through the Word all things were made. So it is not true to say that the Bible is "the creative Word" of God. The Christ in Jesus is the creative Word. Spiritual man is the Word of God, and the Bible bears "witness of the word of God." As Jesus taught: "Ye search the scriptures because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of me; and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life."
From what estate and into what condition did man fall?
Man fell because he did not keep his mind on the source of life. He departed from spiritual consciousness and saw both good and evil. If he had held to the one good, good is the only thing that he could have manifested.
The Word of God is the living, creative force that is man's spiritual mind. As Jesus said to those Jews who searched the Scriptures for eternal life: "Ye have not his word abiding in you."
Those who search the Scriptures and think that through them they will get life are, according to Jesus, ignoring the omnipresent creative word and separating themselves from its perfect manifestation, man.
Man is falling just to the extent that he is ignoring the living Word in himself. Man must keep affirming the living Word; then he will have the transformed body.
Jesus Christ is the Word demonstrated as perfect man, and through Him we are saved from the fall. In these words we find an epitome of both the law and the gospel.
The Bible is at the same time the simplest and the greatest of all books. It is great because it deals with great matters in simple ways. It eliminates the transient, unnecessary temporalities and goes direct to the gist of the subject.
We have not understood the depth and height of these simple allegories and symbols sprinkled all through the Bible. They are condensed explanations, stripped of minor details, of the great underlying laws of existence. A mortal description of creation would make time a necessary element, but the author of Genesis is not caught in this trap of mortality. "In the beginning God created."
Does time or states of mind bring about events?
Time is a human invention and acts as a barrier to a broader conception of creative processes. All attempts to find a date for the beginning of man are futile. Years are associated with events, and when the events are past the years go with them. States of mind make events, and new states of mind are constantly being formed; consequently every moment is the beginning
of a new creation to the individual. It is of no practical value to a man to know that the world has journeyed around the sun six thousand or six million years since it was formed. The important thing is to know where man stands in relation to the creative law. The Bible puts history before us as if we were part of every event, which we are. The one Mind is moving in its realm of ideas "over all, and through all, and in all."
Give the symbology of the man and woman and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
The allegory of the Garden of Eden, of the man and the woman and the serpent, represents the development of ideas in individual consciousness, not the development of a planetary system. The latter is the narrow conclusion of the casual observer. Creation is the evolution of ideas in mind. Creation is the development of individuality; hence the one object of all creative processes is the making of man.
In the development of individuality the factors described in the allegory are active in every one of us at this moment, and the creating is going on right now. The reason why God created man potentially perfect and then set him the task of proving it is found in the mysterious process called self-identification. Man makes himself after the pattern designed by the Great Architect. In proving his ability to carry out the divine plan he proves himself perfect.
As we study mind we find that every thought tends to find expression; that the formless and the formed go hand in hand; that you cannot have an idea in your mind without its immediately taking form as a mental picture, which in due course is clothed upon with substance and life, "a local habitation and a name."
What three fundamental factors are the basis of all manifestation? What does the serpent represent?
Three fundamental factors are at the basis of all manifestation, namely intelligence, life, and substance.
Divine intelligence reveals perfect ideas as the basis of existence. Any conception other than this is "eating" or appropriating thoughts that seem both good and evil. This conception of opposites leads to all kinds of inharmonies. It is the "serpent," "more subtle than any beast of the field," that suggests this to man. The serpent represents life, in which is vibration, color, sound, in fact all sensation. Sense consciousness is another name for the serpent. The word sensation, either written or spoken, suggests the sinuous movement and warning hiss of the serpent. The life idea is manifest in the sinuous shape of the mighty lightning chain darting from sky to earth as well as in the subtle sensations that sweep through the soul.
The soul (Eve) is attracted by this realm of sensation and is psychologized by its promises of pleasure. It is a "delight to the eyes," is "good for food," is to be desired to make one wise. When we indulge any of the sensations of the flesh for the mere pleasure that accompanies the indulgence, we are following the delusive suggestions of the serpent instead of listening to the word of God. Pain, disease, and finally death always result from such ignorant trangression of the divine daw.
Life is a fundamental factor in all existence. The most vital word in any or all languages is "life." Without life there could be no existence. In man's estimation life is so great a thing that he often uses the word "living" as representing all existence. But life is not all of existence. Love, substance, power, intelligence, these all play their part; and above all is man, spiritual man.
When man riots in the realm of ideas ("birds of
the heavens") and loses sight of God in the pursuit of his art, he becomes unbalanced. This applies to all who are so enamored of the outer that they lose dominion over the inner.
What is the result if man fails to exercise mastery and dominion over the forces of his being?
When man fails to master his sensations and gives himself up to the uncontrolled enjoyment of life, he is losing his dominion and must suffer the consequences of transgressing the law. Listen to the voice of wisdom and keep a steady rein on "every beast of the field": the life forces in the natural world.
Man should therefore be ever on the alert to maintain his dominion and mastery over all the ideas of the mind and sensations of the body. The wise man never gives himself up to pleasure seeking in the world or in his body. Everything has its use in the divine economy, and man as the master builder should ever be seeking to carry out the divine plan.
In considering a practical application of this allegory, let every man ask himself, Am I entangled in the coils of the serpent of sense? The Scripture says that the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts of the field that the Lord God created. That subtle sensuous feeling that thrills you is the beast of the field. The elemental life forces of your body are minute serpents. The reproductive elements in your body are in the form of minute serpents. These serpents are very obedient to your thought. By thinking about some sense pleasure you can concentrate them in the function of life giving, and they will blend all their energies to give you pleasure. But remember that in so doing you may be robbing some other function of its life, and it will deteriorate in consequence.
The person who gives up to the pleasures of sex
eats from the tree of life until the body is depleted in every function; even sex itself dies of its own ignorance.
What is the remedy for this condition?
What is the remedy? Conservation, mastery, control. Man must control every one of the elemental forces of his being. In other words, instead of being tempted by the devil of sensation, instead of yielding completely to the pleasure of living, he must study the object of life as a whole.
Is it necessary for man to experience "evil" in order to understand life and appreciate the good?
There are two ways of living open to man. One is Satan's way: through experience of evil man gains by contrast a concept of good. The other is God's way: through consciousness of good, man sees that evil is unreal and unnecessary. Every man and woman in the world is following one or the other of these two courses in the development of his individuality. Good and evil seem to be pitted against each other in the world, but it is not necessary for man to eat of the tree of good and evil; he need not have a knowledge of evil in order to realize the allness of good. If he follows God's way, which is to know the good first, last, and always, his mind will become so charged with good that evil will be to him totally unreal.
You will find men on every side meeting temptation in God's way, by knowing the good, affirming the good, and living it according to their faith in God. I know men who have never taken a drink of whiskey. They have not found it necessary to become intoxicated in order to experience the feeling of sobriety. They have better dominion over their appetites than those who have given up to Satan's way of experience. There are men in the world who are living a pure life. They know the joy of purity in the sex dominion. They have
proved that dominion over sex, under the guidance of Spirit, is a necessary part of the regeneration taught by Jesus. "For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake."
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 31-42: Genesis 2 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 50-57: Genesis 3 Mysteries of Genesis
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