Chapter I: Spiritual Man
Genesis 1 Spiritually Interpreted
Give the metaphysical interpretation of the name Genesis.
THE WORD genesis means "source" or "origin." It points to new birth and to the perfection of man in the regeneration. The law of generation is undoubtedly one of the mysteries in human consciousness. Men have probed with more or less success nearly every secret of nature, but of the origin of life they know comparatively nothing. In the matter of life we discover that the clues given us by our own experience point to intelligence as well as force. In other words, life falls short of its mission if it is not balanced by intelligence.
Man is constantly seeking to know the origin of both the universe and himself. But nearly all his research of a scientific nature has been on the material plane. As a rule, he has ascribed the beginning to matter, to atoms and cells, but much has eluded his grasp because their action is invisible to the eye of sense. Now we are beginning in the realm of mind a scientific search for the origin of all things. We say "scientific" because the discoveries that come from a right understanding of mind and its potentialities can be arranged in an orderly way and because they prove themselves by the application of their laws.
What is stated in the Book of Genesis in the form of allegory can be reduced to ideas, and these ideas can be worked out by the guidance of mental laws.
What is the one and only logical key to the beginning of man and the universe?
Thus a right understanding of mind, and especially of Divine Mind, is the one and only logical key to an understanding of the beginnings of man and the universe. In this book we have many symbols explained and their meaning interpreted, so that anyone who sets himself the task can understand and also apply to his own development the rules and laws by which ideas are related to one another and discover how they are incorporated into man's consciousness, thus giving him the key to the unfoldment of the primal ideas implanted in him from the beginning.
It is found that what is true in the creation of the universe (as allegorically stated in Genesis) is equally true in the unfoldment of man's mind and body, because man is the microcosmic copy of the "Grand Man" of the universe.
Why has the Bible been preserved and prized beyond all other books? Explain the threefold character and purpose of the Bible.
The Bible is the history of man. In its sixty-six books it describes in allegory, prophecy, epistle, parable, and poem, man's generation, degeneration, and regeneration. It has been preserved and prized beyond all other books because it teaches man how to develop the highest principle of his being, the spirit. As man is a threefold being, spirit, soul, and body, so the Bible is a trinity in unity. It is body as a book of history; soul as a teacher of morals; and spirit as a teacher of the mysteries of being.
With what three phases of man's development do the Bible allegories deal? What is the key to an interpretation of these allegories?
The student of history finds the Bible interesting if not wholly accurate; the faithful good man finds in it that which strengthens his righteousness, and the overcomer with Christ finds it to be the greatest of all books as a guide to his spiritual unfoldment. But it must be read in the spirit if the reader is to get the lesson it teaches. The key to its spiritual meaning is that
back of every mentioned thing is an idea.
Explain the real purpose of these allegories.
The Bible will be more readily understood if the fact is kept in mind that the words used have both an inner and an outer significance. Studied historically and intellectually, the external only is discerned and the living inner reality is overlooked. In these lessons we shall seek to understand and to reveal the within, and trace the lawful and orderly connection between the within and the without.
Genesis, historically considered, falls into three parts: first, the period from the creation to the Flood; secondly, the period from the Flood to the call of Abraham; and thirdly, the period from the call of Abraham to the death of Joseph.
What is a "day," as the term is used in Genesis 1?
The 1st chapter describes creation as accomplished in six days, and refers to a seventh day of rest. There is no reason to believe that these days were twenty-four hours in length. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." They simply represent periods of development or degrees of mind unfoldment.
How are numbers or figures used in allegories? What is the "heaven" mentioned in the first creation? The "earth"?
Numbers are used throughout the Bible in connection with faculties or ideas in Divine Mind. There are twelve divine faculties. They are symbolized in the Old Testament by the twelve sons of Jacob and in the New Testament by the twelve apostles of Jesus. All of these have a threefold character: first, as absolute ideas in Divine Mind; secondly, as thoughts, which are ideas in expression but not manifest; and thirdly, as manifestations of thoughts, which we call things. In man this threefold character is known as spirit, soul, and body. Therefore in studying man as the offspring of God it is necessary to distinguish between the faculties
as they exist in the body. We find heaven to be the orderly arrangement of divine ideas within man's true being. Earth is the outer manifestation of those ideas, this manifestation being man's body.
In the 1st chapter of Genesis it is the great creative Mind that is at work. The record portrays just how divine ideas were brought into expression. As man must have an idea before he can bring an idea into manifestation, so it is with the creations of God. When a man builds a house he builds it first in his mind. He has the idea of a house, he completes the plan in his mind, and then he works it out in manifestation. Thus God created the universe. The 1st chapter of Genesis describes the ideal creation.
The 1st chapter shows two parts of the Trinity: mind, and idea in mind. In the 2d chapter we have the third part, manifestation. In this illustration all theological mystery about the Trinity is cleared away, for we see that it is simply mind, idea in mind, and manifestation of idea. Since man is the offspring of God, made in the image and likeness of Divine Mind, he must express himself under the laws of this great creative Mind. The law of manifestation for man is the law of thought. God ideates: man thinks. One is the completion of the other in mind.
Describe the nature and character of the first man God created.
The man that God created in His own image and likeness and pronounced good and very good is spiritual man. This man is the direct offspring of Divine Mind, God's idea of perfect man. This is the only-begotten Son, the Christ, the Lord God, the Jehovah, the I AM. In the 2d chapter this Jehovah or divine idea of perfect man forms the manifest man and calls his name Adam.
The whole of the 1st chapter is a supermental statement
of the ideas on which evolution is based. Mind projects its ideas into universal substance, and evolution is the manifestation of the ideas thus projected. The whole Genesiac record is an allegory explaining just what takes place in the mind of each individual in his unfoldment from the idea to the manifest. God, the great universal Mind, brought forth an idea, a man, perfect like Himself, and that perfect man is potentially in every individual, working himself into manifestation in compliance with law.
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Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 14-28: Genesis 1 Mysteries of Genesis