The Bible’s Hidden Wisdom: God’s Reason for Noah’s Flood was first published in February 2014. The book contained a number of illustrations which were critical to understanding the text. As of this writing, we are preparing the manuscript to be available through Smashwords, which offers a text-only version. Because this version cannot include illustrations, we are providing a link in the book to this article so that the illustrations can be available online.
Most ebook formats do not handle tables well, so tabular data is replaced with a picture file of that data. Most of the illustrations in this book fall into this category.
This book is a detective story very much like an Indiana Jones adventure. For more information on the book, see The Bible’s Hidden Wisdom: God’s Reason for Noah’s Flood.
This article includes additional information and resources not found in any version of the book.
Chapter 1: The Water of Death
Estimated Count of Species Described by Science
Chapter 2: The Burning Question
Chapter 7: Clues in Genesis
Chapter 8: These Are the Generations
Chapter 9: Numbers of Perfection
Chapter 10: A Timeline Compatible with Science
The following illustration is also used in Chapter 12: The Water of Life.
For more information on the book, see The Bible’s Hidden Wisdom: God’s Reason for Noah’s Flood.
Other Articles on the Bible’s Hidden Wisdom
On HubPages, Rod Martin has written a series of articles on this topic.
- Genesis Bible Commentary: Overview
- Genesis Bible Commentary: Tree of Life (Part 1 of 6)
- Genesis Bible Commentary: Timeline Problems (Part 2 of 6)
- Genesis Bible Commentary: Timeline Clues (Part 3 of 6)
- Genesis Bible Commentary: Magic Numbers (Part 4 of 6)
- Genesis Bible Commentary: A Problem with Noah’s Flood (Part 5 of 6)
- Genesis Bible Commentary: God’s Reason for the Flood (Part 6 of 6)
Notes to the Book
For the reader’s convenience, the entire Notes section of the book is included here. This will make it easier to refer to specific notes without losing place in the body of the book while reading.
Introduction—God’s Enduring Love
1 As I was editing this book, I realized that I had no idea how fast the water must have risen during the Flood. Taking the scant information given to us in Genesis, we can make calculations, but are they correct? We may never know, for certain. If the Flood covered the tallest mountains, then we have an additional 29,000+ feet covering the world—land and oceans alike.
If it rained 40 days and nights and waters also came from the deep, I would suspect that rain contributed only a small percentage of the overall bulk of water to be added. Why? Well, let us do the calculations to gain a better understanding. First, assuming that the rate of sea level rise remained relatively constant, 29,000 feet divided by 40 days yields 725 feet per day! Dividing this by 24 hours, we get a little over 30 feet per hour. That’s 1 foot (12 inches) every 2 minutes! An inch every 10 seconds! If this was entirely rain, it would make “cats and dogs” look like a light sprinkle.
With God, anything is possible. Doing these calculations helped me appreciate the power of what was done, if indeed Noah’s Flood was a worldwide inundation. As we will see, it may well have been and with scientific evidence to back it up.
2 As a teenager living just outside the nation’s capital, I felt far closer to the pulse of the world than I had growing up in West Texas. Our next-door neighbors worked with the embassy for the Dominican Republic. The school district was scholastically rated the third highest in the nation. My father worked in the space industry.
I remember feeling confused and betrayed by Time magazine when its April 8, 1966 cover asked the bold question, “Is God Dead?” I knew the answer was “No,” but somehow merely asking the question seemed to tie me down, strip me of all dignity and slay me. It took me many years to put that feeling into words. I now understand that the question had such a big impact on me merely because I had not yet learned to turn the other cheek.
3 American journalist, former Baptist pastor and former White House press secretary, Bill Moyers has a different take on God and Auschwitz. In his book, Genesis: A Living Conversation (p.147), he says, “…God may not be like us. God may not be moved by Auschwitz.”
4 Non-theist covers a broad spectrum of beliefs from rejection of a deity to an attitude that holds a deity is not an important consideration. The deist, on the other hand, is a more specific term that refers to someone who acknowledges the existence of God, but rejects the notion that there has been anything magical since creation itself.
5 Professor Nof’s bizarre idea is creative, to say the least, but it ignores a great deal about the biblical story. In the New Testament, Jesus was walking on a stormy Sea of Galilee. Could ice form on choppy water that so frightened the disciples in their boat? The notion that Jesus walked on a sheet or even a block of ice is doubly dubious, because ice is slippery. A rocking block of ice being tossed by the waves would’ve been difficult in the extreme to balance on. It is equally ludicrous that Jesus also towed an additional block of ice for Peter to step on. Another detail Professor Nof seems to have ignored about the story is that Jesus stopped the storm moments after joining his disciples on the boat.
6 When I first read of the ridicule suffered by scientists because of “Clovis First,” I couldn’t believe I was reading about scientists. It sounded too much like children squabbling or bullies beating up on geeks. The “Clovis First” dogma is by no means the only example of science and ego combining with disastrous results.
The name-calling and dismissal of cold fusion researchers is another example that ego does not respect boundaries between disciplines. When cold fusion researchers discovered why cold fusion sometimes doesn’t work, other scientists had already made up their minds and closed the door on the topic. It surprised me, too, to read of the vile vitriol one scientist aimed at NASA researchers who had discovered arsenic-friendly microbes. The critic’s diatribe was pure emotion and know-it-all attitude.
Scientists dismissing ideas without a thorough investigation is nothing new. The mid-1990’s discovery of possible Amazon warriors is another example of this type of problem. Before the discovery, the Amazons of Greek myth were thought by some to have been completely fictional. With the discovery of women buried with armor and weapons, and men buried separately with the children, we find compelling evidence that the Amazons have indeed been found. Add to this the fact that these burial mounds were found in the region to which Herodotus, the Greek historian, had said the Amazons had migrated. Though there is still disagreement over the 1990’s discovery of supposed Amazons, there remains a strong possibility that there is some reality behind the myth.
It is human nature to miss clues that are prejudged not to exist. Obviously, such a human trait does nothing to prove any myth as real. It does, however, reveal that a potent blindness exists and that many investigators—scientists and others—seem oblivious to its existence.
7 Michael Collins, a University of Texas archaeologist, is one scientist at the forefront of the pre-Clovis debate. In a University of Texas 2006 article on their website, writer Tim Green quotes Collins about the conflict generated within the archaeological community. “‘If you want to get beat up, talk about pre-Clovis cultures in the Americas,’ said Collins. In the early days of the pre-Clovis movement, to suggest one had evidence of such inhabitants of the Americas was to ‘invite ridicule,’ he said. ‘It was very, very difficult to get funding for research devoted to that topic.’“
In a 2004 article in the Christian Science Monitor, writer Peter Spotts characterizes the debate in a similar fashion. “To claim a pre-Clovis find was akin to claiming to spot Big Foot. Researchers often hesitated ‘to dig below the Clovis horizon for fear of ridicule,’ says Dr. Waters.” (Dr. Michael Waters is a geoarchaeologist at Texas A&M University.)
8 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Note: All scripture is from the King James version, unless otherwise noted.
9 Why would Jesus do this? If he had wanted to make it easy for his listeners, he would have told them in plain language the lessons he had wanted to teach.
What value is achieved by making a lesson difficult? For one thing, difficult lessons stimulate the priceless personality trait of humility. For another, difficult puzzles make people think. They make people work. Hard work and humility are highly prized throughout the Bible. Strangely, one group of Christians insists that the Bible is supposed to be easy, requiring very little work. But when has God ever admired laziness?
Jesus also seemed to emphasize the intentional difficulty of scripture by characterizing salvation as a narrow, difficult path—not a place, and not a broad, easy path.
Understanding the Bible and the Law has never been the key issue. Understanding helps us move toward wisdom, but the Pharisees and others tripped themselves up with a barrier far closer to home—their own egos. Ego loves things to be easy. Ego loves to be right (first). Ego doesn’t want to learn anything new. As we shall see, ego may well be the source of all evil—the forbidden fruit itself.
10 In the book, The Sacred Books of the Jews (p.198), author Harry Gersh quoted Rabbi Simeon, “Thus the tales related to the Torah are simply her outer garments, and woe to the man who regards the outer garb as the Torah itself, for such a man will be deprived of his portion in the next world. Thus David said: ‘Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law’ [Psalms 119:18], that is to say, the things that are underneath. See now. The most visible part of man is the clothes that he has on, and they who lack understanding, when they look at the man, are apt not to see more in him than these clothes. In reality, however, it is the body of the man that constitutes the pride of his clothes, and his soul constitutes the pride of his body.”
11 One of the simplest and most compelling such pieces of evidence for an ancient universe can be found in NASA photos of colliding galaxies. Some of the pictures are of galaxies which collided hundreds of millions of years ago and have strewn billions of stars across intergalactic space.
Even with the “creationist” theory of varying velocities of light, there is no way around the fact that it takes many millions of years for stars to be drawn out of a galaxy and tossed to the incredible void of space between galaxies. Such effects take far more than 6,000–10,000 years. These effects take billions of years, if you include the time it takes for a galaxy to approach another galaxy from a distance, before colliding.
12 Here, of course, we’re talking about hundreds of facts contradicting one biblical interpretation (someone’s “guess”). This is a bit different than hundreds of individuals voting. Scores of facts in support of one idea tend to make that idea at least partially right, just as Newtonian physics was mostly right based on observable facts.
13 In this book, “biblical literalists” will be used instead of “Fundamentalists,” and frequently in place of “creationists,” “Young Earth Creationists,” and “creation scientists.” Not every label perfectly describes every individual of a group, but there are many similarities and common beliefs amongst a group’s members.
Throughout, the book may seem to pick on biblical literalists as well as scientists. This happens only to the degree that there is something amiss. But other believers likely bear similar flaws because of ego. As a source of imperfections, ego remains an equal-opportunity destroyer.
14 Obvious to him. There is still no universal consensus as to the past reality or the actual location of Troy. The inconsiderate Trojans did not leave any signs stating, “Now Entering Troy.”
15 Author Harry Gersh gives us some important background on the Kabbalah. In his book, The Sacred Books of the Jews (p.198), he writes, “Since everything in Judaism must be rooted in the Torah, and the teachings of mysticism were not specifically mentioned in the canon, the mystics called their teachings Kabbalah, from the Hebrew word for tradition, or transmitted teachings: in effect, ancient wisdom handed down. The secret mystic teachings were found in the Torah, said the Kabbalists, if one knew where and how to find them.”
Chapter 1—The Water of Death
16 Stargate was first a movie and then a set of television series involving an alien technology for transporting people and materials across great distances simply by stepping through the “gate” portal. This type of device has been a staple in science fiction for decades.
Typically, the fictional technology requires two gates tuned to each other or one tuned to the “address” of the other. Once turned on, people can merely step through one side and appear on the other. For instance, a gate in Los Angeles can make travel to Paris instantaneous when it is tuned to a comparable device in the French capital. Of course, this raises all manner of problems involving differences in time zones, air pressure gradients, passport control, disease vectors and more.
One could easily imagine a gate placed deep in the ocean of another world tuned to a gate shallow in Earth’s oceans gushing water from that other world by a large difference in water pressure alone. Then, when the Flood is over, reverse the positions—deep ocean on Earth and shallow on that alien world.
Would God make use of such a device? It seems unlikely, but we do not know for certain.
17 An alternate interpretation of this 120 years comes from Genesis and Archaeology, by Howard F. Vos. On page 39 he refers to this as a period of grace. “Genesis 6:3 states that man was granted a 120-year reprieve from judgment, during which time he had ample opportunity to repent.”
Mr. Vos was not the first to offer this interpretation. Archbishop Ussher, famous for his six thousand year timeline of the universe, said in his 1650 book on the subject, “ Before the deluge of waters upon the whole wicked world, God sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness to them, giving them 120 years to repent of their evil ways (1536a AM, 2245 JP, 2469 BCE).” Ussher may not have been the first, either.
In Hebrew Myths: The Book Of Genesis, Graves and Patai mention this same “120-year” passage, but interpret it differently. They write, “The children of their unions would have inherited eternal life from their father,” but that God limited man’s years to 120 to prevent this.
Are any of these interpretations literal? Perhaps the limiting of man’s lifetime to 120 years would be a literal reading of this passage. The structure of the phrase is similar to those giving the ages of the patriarchs—the “days” [were/shall be] “years.” Yet, taking this literally causes problems. Biblical scholars are well aware that the early patriarchs all lived far longer than 120 years, including many of those after the Flood.
18 Each of the known flood myths could belong to unrelated events—more than two hundred different floods. Or some of them could be different views of equivalent events. There is no way to know for certain, unless we had a time machine to follow each thread back to its source.
19 If Argalan-Zan was left out of the Mongolian ark, then the Flood would have been closer to 10,000 BC. This is approximately when the mammoths went extinct. Of course, the Mongolians could be mixing stories—perhaps an older flood myth with a more recent disappearance of woolly mammoths. Or it could be the other way around—a more ancient disappearance of mammoths and a more recent flood.
20 Naturally, this cannot have been in reference to the original 6 days of creation. Why? Because Adam already existed on the 6th day, and that was at the beginning of human history. Everything from Genesis 2 to the present happened after those 6 days.
Chapter 2—The Burning Question
21 We know that God brought about the Flood, but we don’t know the identity of the criminal who is behind God’s need for that devastation. That culprit is the one for whom we are searching. There have been a couple of popular theories, but each of them remains an unsatisfactory solution to this problem. We will investigate each of those theories more deeply in the pages to come.
22 See earlier in this appendix for a full copy of Genesis 1–8, King James version.
23 I’m moderately familiar with the Book of Enoch and the story of angels consorting with beautiful young women. This had remained a key source of the “angels as sons of God” interpretation throughout the ages, giving rise to Dante’s Inferno and other stories. Was this a literal story or a series of metaphors, like Revelations?
We have other references in the Bible to “sons of God” as angels in heaven. In Job, these angels as sons of God discuss with the Heavenly Father and with Satan the status of Job. It seems clear that the sons of God in Genesis 6 have a different meaning. Jesus talking to the Sadducees rules out angels in heaven, like the ones in the book of Job. God’s promise to Noah rules out the fallen angels idea.
24 At my first job in Los Angeles, the music of Iron Butterfly helped to keep me awake through many a late night at work sitting at the drafting table, producing the monthly newsletter. The evocative sense of the tortured soul kept me energized through the long hours. Though my taste in music has evolved over the years, I still feel some of the same soul-searching energy when I hear In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. These days, I get a natural high from the traditional Peruvian cultural music of Markahuasi or the evocative melodies of Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg or Debussy.
25 Some have also taken this to mean that humanity has 120 years in order to repent. H.C. Leupold wrote, “Before disposing of the guilty ones a time of grace of no less than one hundred and twenty years is allowed for their repentance.”
26 In 2011, Dr. Aubrey De Grey, co-founder of the SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) Foundation, announced that the first person to live to 150 had already been born. More amazingly, he stated that the first person to live to 1,000 would be born in the next two decades.
27 Bill Moyers, in his online introduction to his book, Genesis: A Living Conversation, notes how Noah is an uneven character. He writes, “Reading the story of Noah and the Flood, I am haunted by the ordeal of the survivor. I find Noah after the Flood both mystifying and troubling: God had spared him because he was a man ‘righteous in his generation,’ but he hardly behaves the way we’d expect a model of righteousness to behave. His story is full of contradictions and divine mystery—just like most of the stories in Genesis, just like our own.”
28 Science suggests that an event like Noah’s Flood would have caused a genetic bottleneck traces of which would show up in the people of today. The only bottleneck with which I’m familiar occurred about 70,000 years ago and there is no universal consensus on that one. Of course, if there were multiple Noahs, then the “bottleneck” effect might possibly have been less pronounced.
Chapter 3—Biblical Wisdom
29 Two potent articles tell the horror stories of lottery winners who were not prepared for such a windfall—http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/
SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx?page=1, and http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3012631&page=1. The second article tells the story of one of the biggest winners of all time, Jack Whittaker, who won nearly a third of a billion dollars in the United States. He is quoted as saying, “I wish I had torn that ticket up.”
30 One reference attributes this to the founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu (http://ezinearticles.com/?Lao-Tzu—Give-A-Man-A-Fish,-Feed-Him-For-A-Day.-Teach-A-Man-To-Fish,-Feed-Him-For-A-Lifetime&id=512280). Another reference tells us that this proverb is unlikely to come from any Chinese language, though it does not cite the reasons for this conclusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proverbs_commonly_attributed_to_be_Chinese).
31 Is it such a wild idea that the writers of the early Bible would have insisted that someone work hard at understanding what they were writing?
Advertisers occasionally use this technique in the wording of their promotions and packaging text. Once at breakfast, I noticed that the wording on a package of soy drink made use of this wisdom. It said, “Non-GM.” My first thought was, “What does ‘Non-GM’ mean?” It took me a moment to remember.
Immediately, I understood why the copy writers had not spelled out the words abbreviated there. “Non GM” means “not genetically modified.” It would have been unwise for the copy writers to spell out the words. A casual reader might have glanced at the carton, read the words “genetically modified,” and promptly placed the carton back on the shelf. “But we’re not genetically modified,” the carton might say in its defense. Too late. Lost sale. The consumer will now forever think of their product as evil, genetically modified materials.
By abbreviating the sensitive words, the reader is forced to think and to read more carefully. Add to that the fact that the prefix, “Non,” is longer than the sensitive abbreviation “GM.” The emphasis is on the negation of the “GM” identity.
More people are waking up to the fact that GM products have been linked to cancer and other health problems. Monsanto and other GM corporations have billions invested in their GM products and technology. They have done a great many things to protect their investment, including lobbying against labeling of GM products, pushing legislation to protect GM companies from consumer lawsuits, and placing former GM executives in editorial positions at scientific, peer-reviewed journals.
32 This may be a radical concept for some, but remember, first of all, that God created us in His image and likeness. Part of that likeness is the power of creation. We will discuss this in greater depth in the next chapter.
33 Jesus once said, “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16). Ego wants to be first, always. But ego is more than pride. Ego is self-importance and selfishness. Ego is separateness from God. Ego is the antithesis of love. The humble don’t mind being last, because their love is abundantly and unconditionally generous.
34 The nakedness of Adam and Eve before the fall was that of innocence. The nakedness afterward was that of self-consciousness. This was their attention directed inward toward the false, separate self—ego.
35 I must add a caveat, here. Some concepts included in the Bible might have multiple layers to them. In other words, there might be metaphorical, literal and other meanings to some passages. I make this point, not because I have located such multiple layers of meaning, but because I sense that by not being aware of such a possibility, I may be blocking my own awareness. We need to remain alert to all potential barriers that we could create in thought. The answers to our questions about a chessboard might not be on the board itself.
36 Perhaps a related concept can be found in Perle Epstein’s 1978 book on Kabbalah. “Bliss ungrounded in physical reality is not bliss but delusion, insists the Jewish master” (Bayha ben Joseph Ibn Paquda, an eleventh-century judge in the rabbinical court at Saragossa [Caesar Augusta], Spain). The transcendent state of faith or bliss cannot be achieved by blinding oneself from reality or ignoring the evidence of science.
37 Perhaps control should never be an issue for the church. Each person’s salvation is a personal issue. The church cannot do it for them, perform their prayers, penance or the following of Christ.
38 Statistics courtesy of the CIA World Factbook, via Wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate, retrieved November 30, 2013.
39 Statistics from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), via Wikipedia.org, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_illiteracy_1970-2010.svg, retrieved November 30, 2013.
40 One of the more notorious cases of burning at the stake involved Giordano Bruno, an Italian Dominican friar, mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and philosopher. Bruno was not only charged with disagreeing with the Catholic church on matters of dogma, but he believed in the existence of other planets and in the reincarnation of souls.
41 President Obama professed to be a Christian during his original presidential campaign. After entering the White House, he has repeatedly belittled Christianity and its core beliefs. The following links reveal this:
42 No matter how much I might convincingly argue the merits of this research, it may remain only a shadow of Truth. Even if the conclusions of this book are matched by what actually happened, we need to hold even such agreement as imperfect, because it pertains to the imperfect physical realm and its history. The Truth we need lays beyond such details.
43 The Lamsa Version of the Bible (not included at Bible Gateway’s website) arguably gives us a less corrupted version of the Bible. This claim has its critics. Taken from ancient Eastern manuscripts (“Peshitta text”), the Lamsa Bible is said to have been closer to the original source material, and thus subject to fewer mistakes and alterations. The front of the Lamsa version gives a list of examples showing how translators would have had a difficult time translating from Aramaic into Greek.
“Translators are well aware of these grammatical difficulties, particularly in a language like Aramaic where a single dot above or under a letter radically changes the meaning of a word. These tiny dots are made by scribes, who are not authors but mere copyists,… Furthermore as the lines are crowded for lack of space, a dot placed above one letter may read as though it were placed under a letter in the previous line. For example, the only difference in the words learned man and stupid man is a dot, over or under the word, respectively.”
The Lamsa (Peshitta) version gives several examples. These show the difference between their version and that of King James. In Genesis 30:8, for instance, the words “pleaded” (ethkashpeth) and “wrestled” (ethkathsheth) may have been confused. Peshitta text: “And Rachel said, I have besought the LORD, and pleaded with my sister…” while the King James Version: “And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister…”
In Numbers 25:4, the words “chiefs” (reshey with two dots) and “heads” (reshey with one dot) give us two translations. Peshitta text: “And the LORD said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people and expose them before the LORD in the daylight…” while the King James Version: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun…”
In Job 19:18, the words “ungodly” (awaley) and “babies” (eweley) lead to two very different passages. Peshitta text: “Yea, even the wicked despise me; when I rise, they speak against me.” while the King James Version: “Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.”
The Lamsa (Peshitta text) version seems to make a little more sense of these passages, and there are many other examples given. Attempting to take literally the King James Version of these passages seems to have been a wasted effort. In fact, any interpretation of a garbled message can be hazardous.
Chapter 4—The Sons of God
44 In his book, The Sacred Books of the Jews (p.197), author Harry Gersh tells us, “Physical man, said the mystics, cannot have communion with God. Only his immaterial essence, his soul, can achieve this communion.”
45 Perhaps the most famous passage on this theme is found in Matthew 26:41, “…the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
46 The Westminster Theological Seminary website has an interesting article that interprets Genesis differently. Douglas Green, there, translates Genesis as saying, “let us make humanity in our image,” and later the individual from dust.
There is a definite logic to this interpretation. Humanity has a unique nobility that rises toward creation (and away from chaos) with the formation of societies, civilization, and great works. Perhaps this is more “God-like” than the activities of animals, but this point-of-view misses the emphasis of a greater portion of the Bible (and most, if not all, major religions) on the spiritual nature of man. The transcendental quest (for example, Buddhism’s Enlightenment, Christianity’s “everlasting life,” and Jewish Kabbalah’s devekuth, or “cleaving to God”) frequently ignores the mundane pursuits of humanity as a group. The spiritual growth of the individual is what matters, though the methods and definitions vary from one group to another.
47 Self is very important to us. Perhaps because of this, we are not yet Enlightened beings, to use the Buddhist term. We do not yet have the “everlasting life” of which Jesus spoke. Frequently, Jesus mentioned selflessness as a key element of salvation—giving up one’s life in order to save it (Matthew 10:39, Luke 17:33), the blessedness of giving one’s life for another (John 15:13), and turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).
In Buddhism, there is a similar emphasis on selflessness. In Way to Go (p.10), by Khentin Tai Situ Pa, we learn that, “It is the illusion of ego which is the beginning, the very source of the twelve links of interdependence. The first of these links is ignorance, ignorance in the sense of not seeing, not knowing, the ‘as-it-isness.’ That which is not ‘I’ is held as ‘I.’ Since there is no ‘I’ then there is no ‘mine,’ yet we believe in ‘I’ and ‘mine’.” Is this ignorance (“ego;” act of ignoring) a willful and self-imposed separateness into the “here and now” from the source of our creation? Is this the “banishment” from the Garden?
Also, Perle Epstein, in her book, Kabbalah, The Way of the Jewish Mystic (p.72), points out similarities between Taoism and the Jewish Kabbalah that touch on this subject of selflessness or removal of imperfect “ego” self. She writes, “More remarkable still is the similarity between the Kabbalist’s cosmic tree and the Taoist’s ‘diagram of the ultimateless.’ Both are depicted as a series of ascending circles that lead to Hsu (non-being, Chinese) or Ayin (no-thing, Hebrew).”
The deed of holding onto one’s individual and separate point-of-view in the here and now might be considered to be an act of willful self-righteousness. Sometimes one’s survival depends on at least a little selfishness, but that crutch may be part of the problem. Perhaps that is what Siddhartha Buddha, Lao Tzu and Jesus were attempting to tell us.
48 This notion isn’t as farfetched as it may sound at first “whisper.” What seems farfetched is that physical fruit could create spiritual death. I sincerely doubt the forbidden fruit was one of the many possible fruits claimed by scholars—apple, fig, pear, pomegranate, carob or quince. Another meaning for the word “fruit” is “product,” as in “the product of his labor.”
In Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah), the Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim, is seen as a matrix of concepts instead of a physical, biological tree. The fruit of the Tree of Life is “everlasting life,” the promise given by Christ. So, immortality is a good thing, but that immortality seems aimed at spirit instead of flesh. Could the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil also be a conceptual matrix?
In his 2007 book, The Eden Narrative, Tryggve N D Mettinger comments on the notion made by others that the two trees may have been one and the same. This is an idea I don’t currently share, and if I understand the author, neither does he. Mettinger also makes points about the choice in the Garden between Life and Knowledge. Man can have one, but not both. God’s preference, of course, is that man have Life, but not Knowledge. Yet, what does “knowledge” mean? In some contexts, knowledge connotes arrogance, as in a “know-it-all” attitude.
“Knowledge” has more than one meaning in the Bible. In Genesis 2:9, the word “knowledge” in reference to the Tree is “da’ath” (Strong’s Concordance number 01847, based on the root word “yada’,” or Strong’s number 03045). The idea of a man laying with a woman—becoming intimate with her—is one form of such knowledge (to “know” carnally; “yada’.”). Perhaps with the forbidden fruit, man (as spirit) had become intimate with the dichotomies of physical reality. These dichotomies might be every conceivable flavor: good-evil, right-wrong, wisdom-stupidity, confidence-doubt, compassion-indifference and many more. Perhaps the most insidious dichotomy is that of victim-perpetrator. Being trapped in this matrix may well be the essence of what ego is all about. Rather than being an invulnerable, invisible spirit, created in the image of God, the being has now made himself tangible and vulnerable. The being is now subject to the laws of physical reality, including Newtonian action-reaction, which, on a personal level, might be called “karma.”
The perfections of Buddhism, called the “paramitas,” might be ideal examples of the divine versions of these earthly, dichotomous states. For instance, paramita confidence would be perfect confidence without a hint or spot of doubt, like that of Jesus walking on water, or Moses parting the sea. The earthly form would be the dichotomy confidence-doubt. Within the dichotomy, spirit is dependent upon physical instrumentalities, like operating a human body, perceiving through its physical senses and thinking with its physical brain. Such earthly confidence comes with all manner of difficulty—doubts. Could this difficulty be the real meaning of the burden placed on Adam, Eve and the serpent described in Genesis 3?
We know, for instance, that the “goodness” of the Pharisees was something Christ derided. Why? Because that goodness was based on ego—the “separate self.” The goodness of the Pharisees was an imperfect abomination tainted with all manner of unrighteousness.
True goodness is not even in the same “playing field” wherein the dichotomy resides. True goodness has nothing to do with the artificial, separate “self.”
49 It took me more than 40 years to understand what happened that evening. It’s funny how writing about that incident in articles on a number of websites helped to jog the memories into greater clarity. Things which had not made complete sense, as pieces of the puzzle, suddenly came into sharp focus the more I played with those pieces.
50 Some of the individuals who have promoted this idea include, Lehman Strauss, Mark G. Cambron, S. Lewis Johnson Jr., E.C. Bragg, Witness Lee, George S. Hendry, Watchman Nee and Ruth Paxson. References to this tripartite view of man (trichotomy) go back to the second century AD.
51 This notion that the body was not the real Jesus, but a “cloak” he wore or a temple in which he resided exists not only in the New Testament and its Canonical Gospels, but also in the Gnostic Judas Gospel.
When Jesus tells his listeners that the temple will be torn down and rebuilt in 3 days, he is speaking of his shell—the body he wears.
In the Gospel of Judas, Jesus tells his future betrayer that the young disciple will exceed them all, because he will betray the man that clothes Jesus. Though the Gnostic text seems to portray Judas in more heroic terms, the fact that Judas, in that text, would be concerned with how he is viewed by others, makes it clear that Judas is self-centered (egotistical). This seems to match the portrayal of him in the New Testament gospels.
If there is any truth to the Judas Gospel, it may be that Judas was being led on by Jesus in order to accomplish the goal for which Christ had been sent to Earth. Certainly, as aware as Jesus was, he knew what kind of man Judas was. He knew in advance that Judas would betray him. Perhaps that is the only reason Jesus chose him as a disciple.
52 The idea that someone other than God could do miracles should not surprise us. Moses did miracles. So did his brother, Aaron. But so did the priests facing Aaron. The difference with the priests’ ungodly magic is that they were placing physical law above divine law, and that is why Aaron’s snake was able to eat theirs.
We also have Jesus telling someone that had been healed that it was nothing Jesus had done; it was by their own faith that they were healed. The caveat here is that we need to be careful of ego. If we put “self” into the mix, faith descends into doubt-ridden, mortal confidence. Was Jesus’s intent to make the person aware that miracles can be done without Jesus present? The Nazarene seemed to emphasize this notion when he sent his disciples out to perform miracles on their own. The problem is, ego wants to take credit for something it didn’t do. We must exercise the power that God gave us. We must be generous with it. This means, we need to use the power for the good of others, with love. Ego can never produce miracles, because it is a cog in the machine of physical reality. Only spirit is a creator, made in the image and likeness of the Father.
53 St. Athanasius once wrote of this passage in Genesis, “For the soul is made after the image and likeness of God, as divine Scripture also shews, when it says in the person of God: ‘Let us make man after our Image and likeness.’ Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being thoroughly brightened, the soul beholds as in a mirror the Image of the Father, even the Word, and by His means reaches the idea of the Father, Whose Image the Saviour is” (from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, P. Schaff & H. Wace, editors).
Chapter 5—What is Important to God?
54 These human bodies have the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Combined with ego, the human body also experiences many emotions that can be quite distracting: distress, fear, apathy, sympathy, grief, propitiation, anger, rage, boredom and others. Many people spend their time reacting with emotions to external stimuli. This is the ego speaking.
55 The Bible gives us a more straightforward example of this “individual-representing-group” idea in Genesis 5:2, “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” We will discuss this in greater depth in a later chapter.
The King Lists of Egypt and Sumer include individuals who lived for outrageously long periods. One hypothesis counts each such “individual” as a dynasty, instead of a single person.
We also find that some enigmatic myths make far more sense when we view the individual players as groups instead of single persons. One example of this effect can be found in Egyptian mythology and the war between Isis (Asett) and Seth (Sett). Horus (Heru), son of Isis, is locked in mortal combat with Seth as hippos under water.
Isis attempts to help her son by throwing harpoons, but hits her son, instead. Finally, she finds the right hippopotamus and strikes Seth squarely, injuring him. Surprisingly, Isis shows leniency and this infuriates her son. Horus then cuts off his mother’s head and hides it from her in the mountains. Ra, the sun god, comes to the rescue and returns the head to its owner, making her stronger than ever.
A goddess might be able to get along without her head for a few days, but an individual mortal would not. However, a group might do quite well without their leader (head) for a few days and might mount a rescue mission.
The myth of Metis as matriarchal Atlantis is yet another such story that benefits from looking at the players as groups. Athena is the group of refugees who escape the swallowing of Metis (Atlantis). The traits of Athena are those of the refugee society and their attempts to rebuild civilization in the wilderness of Europe, including their discovery of the olive as a source of food and oil.
Chapter 6—The Way to Find Answers
56 Science writer, futurist and atheist, Arthur C. Clarke observed the same problem with scientists. He once wrote, “It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible.
“When this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them.”—Profiles of the Future, 1963, Arthur C. Clarke.
It’s also interesting that Clarke would be so blinded by his own prejudices that he could see neither his own spiritual nature nor the presence of God.
57 We find this kind of activity more and more in the mainstream media. Simplistic labels are used to divide a population into pigeon holes. It should remind one of the old saying, “divide and conquer.” It is almost as if someone were playing our egos like a symphony. By using Closure through Ignorance, people are made not to want to investigate. It is as if someone has done the investigating for them in order to keep them divided. In America, we have Democrats versus Republicans, liberals or progressives versus conservatives, and many other polarizations along religious, social, economic and other dimensions of the human equation.
Normalcy bias is one attitude that uses this Closure through Ignorance. When Hitler came to power in the 1930s, the Germans didn’t want to look at any bad news about their beloved leader.
The same can be said about polarized Americans. Even after Obama betrayed many of his campaign promises, even those over which he had complete power (like closing Guantanamo and ending the wars overseas), his fans were blind to his failings. When Obama signed into law more and more tyranny, his fans forgave him, thinking that whatever their hero did was somehow necessary. To my own chagrin, I had voted for the man.
58 Basketball’s Pat Riley led the Los Angeles Lakers to dominate the NBA during and around the 1980’s with five championships and eight conference titles.
59 In 1994, I wrote an essay called, “Outsiderness in the Scientific Community,” which talked about this disease of separation, fueled by ego. You can find a copy at, https://rodmartinjr.wordpress.com/about/outsiderness-in-the-scientific-community. It won the first-place Krupnick Award at Los Angeles Valley College for that year.
60 [Spoiler Alert: This discussion of a film includes facts that are a plot spoiler.]
This was one of Peter Sellers’ last films, and one might contend, his most powerful philosophically. It is easy to poke fun at the character, Chance, who is obviously a bumbling idiot—a simple-minded gardener with the mind of a child. Yet world leaders are listening to this putative wise man. On the surface, this film seems to show these world leaders as mindless buffoons for listening to this simple man. It is all very comical. After all, Peter Sellers built his career on comedy.
On a larger stage, the simple wisdom they gain from Chance’s naïve viewpoint is powerful and profound. Chance has unwittingly become a catalyst for positive change. And at the end of the movie, Chance is seen walking on water. Somehow, between the lines, there is an element of deeply rooted Truth that is easy for the skeptic to dismiss.
I read somewhere that Peter Sellers disagreed with the director for including comical outtakes in the end credits. When I saw the film for the first time, I was outraged by their inclusion. Given the right point-of-view, the film can take on a spiritual significance. Comical outtakes only seemed to trivialize something important.
Being skeptical or dismissive can cause one to miss out on a great many valuable ideas. One example of this my late father told me about when he worked for a NASA contractor in the 1960s. He told me that engineers were fussing over a solution for docking spacecraft in orbit. They could not come up with an effective way to solve their problem. The son of one of the engineers suggested to his Dad using a funnel, and that solved it. If the father of that child had been of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard, he may never have solved his engineering problem as elegantly.
61 This story was passed down from my high school chemistry teacher in Rockville, Maryland. I could not find a published source for this, but the idea behind the story seemed compelling enough to warrant it being repeated here.
62 In 1980, PBS American Playhouse distributed a miniseries of a BBC production named Oppenheimer, starring Sam Waterston as the scientist who led the American effort to develop the atomic bomb during World War 2.
63 As with all of the other barriers to discovery, both believers and non-believers are subject to logical fallacies. An attitude of unsupported dismissiveness has been known to cripple the thinking of both laypersons and scientists. It can lead to all manner of logical fallacies.
In an article reprinted in Lehmann and Myers’ book, Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion, anthropologist, I.M. Lewis warns his fellow scientists not to jump to hasty conclusions. In criticizing Weston La Barre, Lewis wrote, “He asserts that the visions of hallucinating shamans are literally the origins of religion…. All the evidence shows that shamanism is not the origin of religion, but of religions.” In other words, La Barre was saying that all religions come from drugged out medicine men; Lewis more reasonably says that only some religions can find their origins there. He says of La Barre’s rash conclusion, “this can only represent a hypothesis. It does not entitle us to affirm categorically that there are no spiritual forces save those that well up from man’s subconscious.”
Lewis concludes, “…the anthropologist’s encounter with the supernatural seems to me destined to remain ambiguous and inconclusive.”
64 The thought experiments detailed in the book, Einstein’s Dreams, are an example of suspending disbelief, and holding skepticism at bay. The grand “what-if” portrayed in the book is what scientists do when they are at the top of their game.
65 Politicians frequently use similar techniques to shield their hidden agendas. Their legislation or other actions are labeled “patriotic,” thus any opposition is “unpatriotic.” After 9/11, the Corporate Party media and government used labels like “conspiracy theorist” to marginalize anyone who questioned their version of what happened on that day. Even someone mentioning facts that called the government’s conspiracy theory into question were labeled as a “conspiracy theorist” or “kook.” Incorrect labels can be powerful tools to hide lies.
66 This definition of intelligence is not a new idea. I learned it from the controversial works of L. Ron Hubbard, and he may have borrowed the concept from some earlier source.
67 In What is Creation Science? (p.299), Henry Morris and Gary Parker wrote, “Scientific creationism is not based on Genesis or any other religious teaching. There is not a single quotation from the Bible in this entire book!” And yet, creation is a religious topic. The authors attempt to skirt this issue in order to circumvent American laws against teaching religion in public schools.
68 Henry Morris and Gary Parker collaborated on one such creation science book named, What is Creation Science? The book seems to go out of its way to label as “evolutionist” any concept not in agreement with their “young Earth” beliefs. However, most of the scientific fields they argue against have nothing to do with biological evolution.
An important alternative argument to their “creation versus evolution” thesis is relegated to the appendix of their book—evolution as a product of creation. This alternative may prove to be closer to truth, but their adherence to a literal interpretation apparently makes this an unacceptable idea to them.
69 For more information, see http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast05apr_1/.
70 In 2003, Y-J Kuan et al, reported in the Astrophysics Journal, the discovery of a glycine spectral signature coming from an interstellar dust cloud many thousands of light years away from Earth. Of the 20 different amino acids, glycine is the simplest.
In 2009, NASA scientists reported finding amino acids in a comet. NASA’s Stardust mission flew by comet Wild 2 in 2004. Upon the mission’s return to Earth, the samples retrieved from the comet were examined and several amino acids were detected, including glycine.
71 The use of labels is a common method of ad hominem attack. A believer calling a scientist “evolutionist” is one frequently used attack. A skeptic calling a believer “superstitious” is another.
Such labels stop the discussion and the focus is left on the person, not the controversial topic they raised.
72 For more information on this controversial, but fascinating topic, see https://AtlantisQuestScience.WordPress.com/ and http://MissionAtlantis.WordPress.com. The latter is my own. Both contain a great deal of science and logic in pursuit of a greater understanding of the legend and its possible past reality. We don’t know if Atlantis ever existed, but evidence is stacking up in favor of that fact. Some scientists are unwilling to say that we “don’t know, yet.” They have the Know Better attitude.
73 A well-rounded education is frequently underappreciated by students and teachers alike. Students frequently ask why they should learn something they are not going to use later in life. Teachers frequently cannot connect the dots between subjects to show any valuable relationship.
In high school, I aced mathematics. The subjects were so easy for me that one time I aided a substitute teacher in their class. During Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry class, I once asked the teacher the purpose of the quadratic equation. “What can we use it for?” His reply was less than satisfactory: “Uh, er, you’ll learn that in college.” Regrettably, I never did.
What is the real value of a well-rounded education? Perhaps not everyone will gain value from this. Those who do benefit will likely find an ability to make connections across disparate subjects—to find a relationship between nuclear physics and art, or psychology and mathematics, or calculus and creation. Of what value are such connections in thought? If you want an inkling of the value, see the original BBC miniseries, Connections, by James Burke. Modern civilization is built on connections no one would have been able to predict prior to those connections being made.
Subjects like physics and calculus need not be made excruciating, especially to students who are not taking mathematics or physics as majors. Teaching is an art, and many teachers are lousy artists. Can they be taught the art? How does one make a subject exciting? How does one show the connections between an integral or a limit from calculus and the real world? I’ve seen some publishers attempt to decrease the boredom factor with cartoons, but cartoons frequently do very little to show the connections so vital to understanding.
Several college textbooks I’ve seen on the subject of calculus did nothing to define the subject in layperson’s terms. Some of the writing was so cryptic that I, a math major, did mental contortions in an attempt to fathom their meaning. Why is it that some textbook writers demand a PhD from their students before they take the introductory course? One simple connection could shine a light on the subject and make everything else about it easy. When I wanted to study calculus before starting college (I was writing a short story for which I needed a better understanding of atmospheric science), I found one book that did shine a light on the subject. It was called, Calculus Made Easy, by Sylvanus P. Thompson. It was first published in 1910. The author could not understand the arrogance of mathematicians in making the subject more difficult than it needed to be. Can education of such subjects be made better? Can calculus be made to seem vital to an art major? Why not!
74 Also called an “LC circuit,” which stands for inductance (L) and capacitance (C) circuit. An enlightening article on this subject can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LC_circuit.
75 For more details about this imaginary face, see http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast24may_1/.
[NOTE: The preceding link appears no longer to work. An archived copy can be found at,
76 sophate, adj. (sah-FATE)—derived from or made by intelligent beings. [sophos, skilled, clever; -ate, derived from.] After searching for a word to describe this and not finding one adequate to the task, I located suitable roots for creating a new word with the appropriate meaning.
Chapter 7—Clues in Genesis
77 It has taken 40 years of experience with miracles to be able to put this in such a succinct form in writing. Do not worry if it remains unclear to you for a time. Only experience with miracles will make it entirely clear to you. Since the original publishing of this book, I have completed two others that help understand miracles and our relationship with God—The Science of Miracles and Proof of God.
78 Too often someone will say that they can forgive, but cannot forget. Frequently, this is an indication that the person has not truly forgiven. Latching onto a memory and repeatedly telling others of the pain one has suffered are guarantees that true forgiveness has not been accomplished.
If, on the other hand, one also forgets the trespass, then there is no longer an attachment. By “forgetting,” we’re talking about judging the memory to have zero importance. Continuity has been broken. The person is free of the burden.
79 One controversial, but very interesting hypothesis seems, on the surface, to support the Young Earth (Young Universe) idea (http://setterfield.org/constc/constc.shtml). Here the velocity of light is thought to be variable, decreasing with time. Based on values of the speed of light over the last three hundred years, it appears that the “so-called” constant velocity is not so constant after all. The suggestion was made in Walter Brown’s book, In the Beginning…, that the average velocity was great enough over the last six thousand years that light from the edge of the universe could easily have arrived at Earth since Creation (six thousand years ago). This hypothesis agrees with the size of the universe, but takes exception with the constancy of light’s velocity and with the traditionally scientific age of the universe.
For this variable light speed to work, the average velocity over the last six thousand years would have to be roughly 2.5 million times the current velocity of light. This means that the velocity six thousand years ago would have to have been far greater than this. A roughly geometric curve might require a velocity of 16.8 million times the current velocity. Such a curve is, however, too steep close to the present and does not fit the data. A shallow curve that steepens sharply close to 4000 BC seems to be required, and this would mean that the velocity 6000 years ago would have to have been far greater than 16.8 million times the current value. All right. Three trillion miles per second is only slightly more mind-numbing than 186,282 miles per second. Even if they have proof of a variance in light’s velocity, they are a long way from proving light had such an interesting velocity six thousand years ago.
As a scientist, I have a hard time buying the literalists’ idea of a young universe. Perhaps that is no surprise. The idea that God is powerful enough to create a universe in six rotations of Earth (six days) is not an issue for me. Creation, as I’ve experienced, transcends the continuity of time. Because of this, time would be irrelevant to creation. That said, take a look at a picture of “The Mice”—two galaxies long after they have collided (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040612.html). To astronomers, their traditional “name” is NGC 4676 and they lie about 300 million light years away from us in the constellation Coma Berenices. Such a collision takes several hundred million years.
If the universe is only six thousand years old, why would God create the aftermath of a collision that never occurred?
80 “And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died” (Genesis 5:8). We see this pattern repeated throughout the list of begats—the “days” of were “years.”
81 Naturally, form follows function. Effect can never govern cause—even in a feedback loop. Creation is superior to what is created.
Are some believers concerned that the secular arts will claim superiority over the Bible, if we consult reality in our study of the Bible? This should not be a concern so long as we realize that creation comes before that which is created. Confusion occurs when believers equate their interpretation with the Truth behind creation.
How do we validate any interpretation? It might seem an easy solution to ask, “How many believers have ever performed miracles?” But this distinction is not good enough. Even evil can perform miracles. The Egyptian priests who confronted Aaron and Moses had their own weaker magic. The difference is in the intent—the “fruit” of their actions.
We can check the physical universe to gauge our interpretation of a biblical timeline, because we are checking reality, as documented in the Bible (and interpreted by us), against reality, as documented by science.
Yet, we would never consult physical reality on whether or not we can perform miracles. When it comes to creation and miracles, faith comes before “proof,” so proof becomes inconsequential, always.
82 As always, we need to be prepared to take each element as non-literal. Could the “water” here merely be one of the elements which makes up water. Hydrogen is a common gas amongst the stars. The name of the element literally means “water generating” or “water source.”
83 These (mass, time, distance, and energy) are the basic dimensions used by scientists, today. Mass is frequently measured in ounces, pounds, kilograms or tons. Time is usually measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. For distance, we use inches, feet, miles, centimeters, meters, kilometers, astronomical units (AU), light years and parsecs. Finally, for energy, we use ergs, joules, foot-pounds and kilowatt-hours.
84 In his book, The Eden Narrative, Tryggve N D Mettinger reaches the conclusion that “…we are not justified in placing the events in Gen 2:10–14 in a real-world geographical context.”
Some of the details don’t seem to fit the real world. Could it be that we need to take some quality about each of those details and apply them to some other item? Like the magical idea of an island “moving” West possibly referring to the sinking of Atlantis, the rivers and other details might be clues as to the nature of the Garden or Heaven itself.
85 Part of our analysis of biblical text includes considerations of intent. Which parts are supposed to be literal? Which parts are metaphor? Could the first few chapters of Genesis have been more thematic than sequential? Could this be part of the writers’ intention to evoke more humility? A biblical scholar, confronted with a literal interpretation might be forced to forego the literal and accept a spiritual view that sees beyond the literal. There is great risk in such a leap, but that is what faith is all about—to risk being wrong, forever holding faith in God, in order to gain spiritual righteousness.
86 Again, the physical nature of Adam and Eve in the Garden is called into question. We are using restraint to hold off any conclusions about the exact nature of the Garden and the physicality of its occupants.
87 Again, the idea of spatial gateways comes to mind. The “windows of heaven” might be a connection around the continuity of space to borrow water from another world. We don’t know, for certain. Such an idea is merely speculation. But we need to remain open to all possible meanings.
88 Adam, here, is the “tribe” of man. In fact, the Hebrew masculine noun, “adam,” can refer to an individual or to all of humanity. And “adam” was created from “adamah” (dust of the ground, referring to Genesis 2:7).
89 H. C. Leupold, in his book, Exposition of Genesis (p.106), gives a rather simple view on the similarity of names. He writes, “It is quite reasonable to assume that the identity or similarity of names is traceable to the contact, more or less close, that the two branches of the human family had with one another. No one will be able definitely to say which group did the borrowing. Both may have done it in a measure.”
Chapter 8—These are the Generations
90 Prayer done properly always achieves instantaneous results. If you do not see results, then the prayer has been improperly done. A lack of faith will spoil the attempt. Or the prayer was asking for something other than what you thought. Doubt, fear and uncertainty will result in more reasons for doubt, fear and uncertainty. God isn’t being callous or indifferent. The Heavenly Father wants you to stand on your own spiritual “feet.” That’s the meaning of “faith.” That’s the true value of the required unreasonableness.
Reason is good for the things of physical continuity (reality), but it only gets in the way when creativity, inspiration and miracles are involved. There is valuable wisdom in the idea that one should not be so “reasonable” as to tell someone that something is impossible while they are in the midst of doing it.
91 There seem to be at least two main versions of Kabbalah (also written Cabala, Qabbala and other spellings). One is ancient Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), and the other is a New Age corruption of that ancient tradition.
Any body of wisdom can become corrupted or perverted in its use. Don’t confuse the ancient version with the modern. Understandably, some purists might view the discoveries in this book as a perversion of their tradition. Please look at all of the evidence before passing judgment.
92 A note in Wikipedia refers to the second Tree of Life drawing as invalid.
“This Tree does not accurately represent traditional kabbalah in that it contains 11 equal spheres, at the same time. Sefer Yetzirah states (SY 1:3) that the Tree is ‘Ten Sefirot of nothingness: Ten, not nine, and not eleven.’ The mistake of the Tree in this image is that both Da’at and Malkut appear in full manifestation simultaneously. In an imperfect (fallen) Tree, Da’at becomes Malkut. In a perfect Tree, Malkut goes back up (and appears in the image) to its original position of Da’at, representing a Garden of Eden state, a state of non-duality. This present image represents both states at the same time and is thus misleading as far as traditional kabbalah is concerned and should be changed. Furthermore: This tree doesn’t show the paths between Malkut and Hod or Malkut and Netzach. Additonally, the Hebrew letters are all kinds of out of order on the paths between the Sefirot.”
So, why do I use it here? For one, it shows all eleven Sefirot. The critical discussion in Wikipedia also helps us to understand more about the Tree of Life. We see that Da’at concerns a Garden of Eden state—non-duality or perhaps a non-dichotomous state.
Despite its supposed flaws, a drawing similar to this one gave me a clue that led to a possible solution. Even though traditional Kabbalah considers the Tree of Life to be valid with only ten Sefirot at any one time, the fact that it has eleven over a span of time, opens the possibility that a Tree with eleven does not represent any one moment, but more than one moment across the dimension of time. Thus, the Tree with eleven represents both possible states of the Tree, and is thus valid when viewed as a 4-dimensional representation.
Pouring the names into such a 4-dimensional Tree may not be “traditional,” but could it be valid from a different perspective? After all, God views all dimensions of our universe simultaneously.
I hope that experts in the ancient Kabbalah will weigh in on this question. I hope that they will add greater understanding to the possibilities being explored here.
93 These two chapters seem well-coordinated to produce the intricate structure of the Kabbalists’ Tree of Life. This fact seems to call into question the already increasingly challenged Documentary Hypothesis of Julius Wellhausen (1844–1918). That principally two different groups in different centuries worked on two halves of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life seems more than a little far fetched. That Wellhausen cared enough to dig deep into scripture works to his credit.
94 There are many dichotomies in human interaction. We’ve already looked at some of these in a note for chapter 4. The dichotomous forbidden fruit may include good-evil, right-wrong, wisdom-stupidity, confidence-doubt, compassion-indifference, responsibility-blame, love-hate, perpetrator-victim and others. The last one seems to be a special case. All of the others seem to be paired as positive-negative. The perpetrator-victim pair seems, on the surface, to be both negative qualities. When we realize that these dichotomies make up the flesh and bone of ego, we begin to see that none of these are entirely positive. Only the spiritual, non-dichotomous attitudes are worthy of being called spiritually positive—good, right, wisdom, confidence, compassion, responsibility and love. There are others, of course.
What is the difference between spiritual confidence and dichotomous confidence? The mortal version is tainted with its opposite. It remains imperfect. Achieving the best of any dichotomy only serves ego and keeps us spiritually blind and mortal. The difference between dichotomous confidence and spiritual confidence is like that between a pasty, pale gray and a blinding white light. Dichotomous confidence allows the mortal to struggle valiantly toward some goal, full of effort and difficulty. Spiritual confidence is entirely effortless and achieves instantaneous results. This is also called “faith.”
95 Why would now be the right time? Perhaps now is the first time that all the right pieces would be available. Science has only recently determined an age of Homo sapiens equal to 200,000 years. Less than a generation ago, that figure was closer to 50,000 years. The internet has made research far easier for far more people. The flexibility of modern civilization has made “cross-pollenization” of ideas far more common. In my own life, I have learned, in-depth, several different religions, numerous scientific disciplines and several fields of art.
But the timing may be more a function of purpose than one of convenience. Perhaps revealing this Tree of Life embedded in Genesis serves the End Times prophecies. Civilization seems to be expanding at a runaway pace. Population is skyrocketing, national debts are skyrocketing and society has become far more polarized, creating dichotomies that bring ego to a fever pitch.
96 There is an added dimension to this barrier to discovery. Existing knowledge! An existing body of knowledge can be a barrier, depending on how attached to it ego has become, and depending on how far from perfect is that body of knowledge. If Einstein had held Newtonian physics as perfect, he never would have considered Relativity. Scientists frequently claim to be neutral about past discoveries, but this seems far from true in practice.
97 Again, romance between offspring of opposing families seems insufficient reason to destroy all life on Earth. Children of Cain and children of Seth should not fear becoming romantic. The fact that the Capulets and Montagues were sworn enemies should not have affected the legitimacy of Romeo and Juliet’s romance. Also, there is biblical justification for assuming that the children should not be condemned for their ancestors’ crimes. We looked at this fact in an earlier chapter (see Ezekiel 18:18–20).
98 Archbishop Ussher also gives this interpretation of Moses’s life in his 1650 work on his timeline of history. “168. When Moses was 40 years old, he visited his brethren, the Israelites. When he saw their sad plight and an Egyptian smiting a man of the Hebrews, he killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. This became known not only to his brethren but also to Pharaoh who sought to kill him. Moses fled from there into the land of Midian. He married Zipporah the daughter of Jethro and stayed there 40 years. Ac 23:30 Ex 2:11,12 3:1 18:1,2 Nu 10:29 Jude 4:11 (2473b AM, 3183 JP, 1531 BC).”
Chapter 9—Numbers of Perfection
99 Some readers may feel uncomfortable viewing either gender as positive and the opposite as negative. But look at the use in physics of the terms “positive” and “negative.” They are entirely arbitrary. Typically, we humans view “negative” as somehow bad and “positive” as good. In physics, however, electrons, with their negative charge, are no more “bad,” than protons with their positive charge. I can only recommend that more sensitive readers look beyond their own attachments to gender and understand the spiritual intent of what was written. View the words without the vulnerability of ego.
100 The biblical reference is from Matthew: “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:39–41).
An interesting, but unusual interpretation on this was written by an online commentator named Overt at tinymind.com. There, the author gives insight into the culture at the time of Jesus, and suggests that these three lessons use the cultural mores to put the evil attacker on the defensive. They suggest that each lesson “gives you the tool to demand your dignity no matter the rank or nationality of your oppressor and without resorting to violence or the use of the legal courts.”
In one example, the author cites a Roman Law of Angaria that gives a Roman soldier the right to demand someone carry their gear for a mile. Apparently the law had been abused, and the law limited the requirement of a citizen to one mile. By suggesting that a citizen carry the gear for two miles, the citizen would be getting the soldier in trouble for breaking the law of Angaria. The author also gave examples for someone striking your cheek and for someone suing for your coat.
These are clever ideas, but Jesus did not seem concerned with an individual’s dignity so much as their immortal spirit. Claiming power as a mortal human through the continuity-based laws and mores of this world is not what Jesus was attempting to teach us. Such mortal “power” would never allow one to walk on water, or to achieve “everlasting life.” A greater power was sought—one that empowers the immortal spirit of the individual to awaken and to resume their role as a creator in the image of God. The kind of one-upmanship suggested by the article’s author feeds only the ego, and not the spirit.
101 This is a trick I had used in creating artwork. The composition of a graphical piece is important for the overall feeling of the piece. If the composition is imbalanced, then the viewer will feel uneasy about the artwork, even though they may not know why. Literally squinting at a sketch to test its compositional balance allowed me to see beyond the details to the overall form and flow of the composition. The beauty of thinking “outside” the proverbial box is in being able to use tools such as this “squinting” in other areas where they may not literally seem to apply.
102 In a note for chapter 8, we looked at the untraditional nature of a Tree of Life with eleven Sefirot at one time. We looked at the idea that two of the Sefirot (Da’at and Malkhut) cannot coexist in the Tree at any one time, but that they each exist in the Tree at separate times. Thus the Tree of Life with eleven Sefirot is a 4-dimensional Tree; i.e. it includes the dimension of time.
Chapter 10—A Timeline Compatible with Science
103 There are countless examples of scientific fraud, administrative fraud, and peer-review fraud. When the pressure of ego is so great to protect one’s own career rather than to pursue truth for its own sake, then truth has little chance in the court of mortal man.
I had included nearly a dozen examples of such things in this note, but felt it distracted from the primary direction of this book. Whatever the crimes of others, we need to keep forgiveness in our hearts. We need to turn the other cheek, gladly. Our attention needs to be on the spiritual realm, not the physical.
104 We do not yet have proof of Atlantis, but we have evidence for an Atlantis-like event 9620 BC—about when Plato said the legendary island empire had subsided. Mainstream science treats the topic of Atlantis with ridicule which seems to measure somewhat stronger than the ridicule leveled at pre-Clovis artifacts during the era of “Clovis First.”
105 In Lytle Robinson’s book, Edgar Cayce’s Story of The Origin and Destiny of Man, page 57, he writes, “The second important land change came long after the first, around 28,000 BCE, and resulted in the submergence of many large islands. The Bible gives an account of it in the story of Noah and the Flood.”
Number 470-22 of Cayce’s readings contains one of the references alluded to here (July 5, 1938). “(Q) What was the date of the Peruvian incarnation as given in Life Reading, and what was the disturbance in the earth as mentioned? Give such details as will clear up this period. (A) As indicated from that just given, the entity was in Atlantis when there was the second period of disturbance – which would be some twenty-two thousand, five hundred (22,500) before the periods of the Egyptian activity covered by the Exodus; or it was some twenty-eight thousand (28,000) before Christ, see?”
One other reading clarifies this (#364 6, February 17, 1932): “(Q) In relation to the history of Atlantis as presented, at what period did the flood as recorded in the Bible in which Noah took part, occur? (A) In the second of the eruptions…” This refers to the “second period of disturbance,” mentioned above, or 28,000 BC.
106 Lytel Robinson, on page 37 of his book (see previous note, above) writes, “With the second influx of souls—i.e., the coming of the perfect race, some 10½ million years ago—a new era was to begin in the evolution of man in the earth.”
This “perfect race” is taken to mean “Homo sapiens,” the first of whom is taken to be Adam and his tribes.
Cayce’s reading number 5748-2 of May 28, 1925, speaks of this age: “The Courts as were made were in the tents and the caves of the dwellers of the then chosen priest from the Arabian or Tibetan country, who came as one among those to assist with the astrologer and the soothsayers of the desert of now the eastern and western worlds, and with this the conclave was held for many, many, moons. The period in the world’s existence from the present time being ten and one-half million (10,500,000) years, and the changes that have come in the earth’s plane many have risen in the lands. Many lands have disappeared, many have appeared and disappeared again and again during these periods, gradually changing as the condition became to the relative position of the earth with the other spheres through which man passes in this solar system.”
107 The timeline for research includes studying the Kabbalah in 1998, from books borrowed from a co-worker, and performing the calculations over the next 2–3 years. My first use of those figures were in an early draft of a novel being produced in 2003. I began some rough outlines of this book in September, 2004. In late 2007, I began the first draft. Two complete versions of the book were written and then scrapped. This final version began in 2010, part time. The bulk of the writing was completed in late 2013.
108 For those unfamiliar with the Star Trek fictional universe from television and movies, Klingon is the name of a race of aliens who were once enemies of humanity. Their chief human adversary was a human named James Tiberius Kirk, born 2233:0322 in Riverside, Iowa, planet Earth.
109 “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49–50).
110 In recent years, it seems that several fallacies have crept into our discussion of science and evidence. First of all, science is never done by consensus. To think this is an argument to popularity type logical fallacy. True science is done by evidence and careful analysis.
Also, science is never “settled.” The common idea about a topic may reach a plateau—a place of resting—but no part of science is ever entirely finished. We will never achieve that until we know everything and that is likely never to happen. So, we need to get used to the idea that science is always going to change. Scientists should be willing to change with it. That’s part of humility.
The idea that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence seems, on the surface, to be a reasonable working principle. All too frequently, though, extraordinary evidence is not an overnight or instantaneous thing. Evidence builds up over time. If all such evidence is rejected, then it can never build. So, the requirement of extraordinary evidence is itself a self-reinforcing bias to block progress.
The Valsequillo artifacts are only one set of examples that show extraordinary evidence being trashed in favor of the status quo. What would it hurt to publish unruly data? Why not make it known even if you cannot immediately explain it? Perhaps someone else can make better sense of it. Or perhaps it will be part of the accumulation of extraordinary evidence for a new paradigm. Chaos theory was borne from such evidence. So was plate tectonics.
Chapter 11—God’s Reason for Noah’s Flood
111 Scientists do not agree on a date for the extinction of Homo neanderthalensis. For many years, the extinction date seemed to hover around 28,000 BC. One of the latest finds of Neanderthal bones was thought to be 30,000 years old, but recent studies have modified that figure to about 45,000 years old.
The “Lapedo child”—a near-complete skeleton found near Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal—seems to show a mixture of Neanderthal and human features, though this description has been contested. Lapedo has been dated at about 24,500 years ago (~22,500 BC).
Genetic studies have shown that some modern humans have small traces of Neanderthal DNA in them.
112 Is evolution gradual? If so, then the starting point for any species can only be a broad span of time. If so, then Homo heidelbergensis did not suddenly give birth to full-blown Homo neanderthalensis.
In my book, Proof of God, I touch on the fact that punctuated equilibrium—the sudden appearance of new species, followed by their persistence for geologically long periods of time—suggests that God built within physical matter and life an “intelligence” to change its own form for greater survival.
113 Minnie Apolis of newsvine.com writes that the hyoid bone may have entered the “humanoid fossil record” as early as 800,000 years ago. The author wrote, “Modern hyoids are now known (or thought) to be common to modern sapiens, Neanderthals, and even Homo heidelbergensis of 800,000 years ago,” citing E.B. Bolles (2008). She goes on to say, “Jeffrey Laitman of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, believes that speech began developing with Homo erectus about 1.5 million years ago,” citing S. Bunney (1989).
Capasso, et al (2008), describe “…a hyoid bone body, without horns, attributed to Homo erectus from Castel di Guido (Rome, Italy), dated to about 400,000 years BP.” They suggest that “the morphological basis for human speech didn’t arise in Homo erectus.” So, the hyoid bone may or may not be used in fluent speech. The bone may be a requirement, but having the bone does not prove that human-like speech was developed. And we have conflicting opinions amongst the experts, but no proof of smooth dialogue in any species other than modern humans.
114 Two articles are cited, here. One by Annalee Newitz of io9.com, and the other by Heather Pringle of nationalgeographic.com. Newitz states that the boats had been built, “…most likely by homo erectus, an ancient hominid species from Africa.” Pringle states, “The discovery of the hand ax suggests that people besides technologically modern humans—possibly Homo heidelbergensis—island-hopped across the Mediterranean tens of thousands of millennia earlier than expected.” Both sound like educated guesses.
How can they be certain that the tools were made by proto-humans instead of humans? Perhaps admitting modern humans made the tools would force anthropologists to rethink their timeline for anatomically modern humans.
115 Some researchers hold the unconventional idea that Cro-Magnon did not come “out-of-Africa,” but may have come from nearby Atlantis. Despite “conventional wisdom,” Atlantis has not been disproven. Quite the contrary, a great deal of evidence has been accumulated in support of the past reality of Plato’s lost island empire (see http://AtlantisQuestScience.WordPress.com, established by R. Cedric Leonard; and http://MissionAtlantis.WordPress.com, established by the author).
There are several times in the anthropological record where Cro-Magnons showed up in Western Europe, but without evidence of having traveled through Central or Eastern Europe. They also showed up in western North Africa. Cro-Magnon sites show a pattern of clustering toward the West and longer occupation in any one place than their eastern counterparts.
Unlike the Homo sapiens of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the Cro-Magnon were taller, larger-brained and less gracile (Leonard, 2001). They also possessed a different tool assemblage than their cousins farther East. These western men seemed to appear out of nowhere, unless you consider the possibility that Atlantis was real. And there is mounting evidence in support of this hypothesis.
116 Numerous independent studies have found problems with GMOs, but the power of corporate reach and financing has infiltrated the very journals that have been tasked with reporting on such things. Articles have been retracted for purely monetary concerns—not for the journal, but for the corporations threatened by those articles. Some GMOs have been found to increase the risk—if not outright cause—cancers, allergies and sterility.
Labeling GMOs would pose very little burden in direct costs. The real danger for Monsanto and the other corporations is in public backlash when their corporate party media can no longer contain the stories of GMO disasters. Perhaps this is why Monsanto now has protection from consumer lawsuits. Perhaps they know they will be getting many complaints as more and more people become filled with GMO products.
Perhaps the scariest aspect of GMOs is the fact that, unlike hybridization through grafting and breeding, genetic manipulation used today takes DNA from species that are not even close. Bacteria DNA is combined with crop DNA. Without adequate testing, we have no idea what type of results this will produce.
Will we see the destruction of genetic laboratories from heavy meteor showers? Will the Lord scorch the Earth of such abominations?
Chapter 12—The Water of Life
117 We may begin to see that judging anything as important is a function of ego. Following Christ may not be “important” in the way ego would view it. Following Christ merely is what it is—a return to the Heavenly Father and that is good for the sake of righteousness, but not important for the sake of ego.
The moment we judge anything to be important, we bring it into the realm of effort and physical continuity. We make it something to cling to and to protect. If anyone jeopardizes our progress, we may not turn the other cheek so long as it is important.
There may be an importance that is righteous, but it may help to find that specific type of importance by practicing the idea that things are unimportant. This does not mean that we forgo responsibility. Quite the contrary. With the right attitude, we should find taking responsibility far more easily.
118 We see similar faltering throughout history and even into modern times. One story I saw on television greatly inspired me, then dismayed me. A young man who loved to skydive found one day that his parachute would not open and that neither would his backup chute. As he neared the ground, he offered up himself to God with a prayer. He relaxed and willingly accepted whatever God had to offer. A few moments later, with only a few minor bruises and scratches, he picked himself off the ground and walked away.
Later, he became arrogant. He expected the same protection. He leapt out of an airplane a few weeks later and plummeted to his death. His lesson teaches us the difference between humility with confidence in God and self-confidence with the arrogance to think that the power of creation belongs to the ego self.
The first time, like King Asa facing a million Ethiopians, the young skydiver knew that God could do anything, but he placed his insignificant life in God’s hands; thus he was saved. The second time, like King Asa assaulted by a belligerent King Baasha, the skydiver no longer felt himself insignificant under God, but took it upon himself to find a solution; and thus died in disgrace. Through ego, he was now disconnected from the loving God who had saved him the first time.
119 Jesus repeatedly told parables warning us to stay alert and righteous. No one knows when the master will return or the bridegroom will arrive. If we are caught sleeping—or doing unrighteous things—then we will be found unworthy.
Once salvation is achieved, we should protect it with everything we have. Like the pearl of great price, if we sell everything we have in order to obtain it, then we would not want to leave it out in the open for anyone to steal.
Perhaps this is one reason why Jesus said that the path is narrow.
120 We know that we do not have perfect knowledge of everything. That should automatically tell us that we need to remain humble and hungry to learn more at all times. This is why we should walk away from any denomination. This does not mean that we give up fellowship, but we should not flock together for ego’s sake; fellowship is for increasing the spirit.
121 To investigate a denomination is not wrong or bad. To converse with those of a denomination is not evil, either. The true evil is in deciding that you have found all that you need to learn. The due diligence we must maintain while awaiting our master is one of perpetual humility and hunger to learn. So, learn all denominations, but cling to none. Learn other religions. Learn science. Learn philosophy and logic. Read the Bible at least once, from cover to cover. Read more than one version. Study scripture deeply. Read other people’s comments and ideas. More than anything, let the spirit guide you on your journey.