Genesis: First Sentence

The first paragraph of Genesis, consisting of only three sentences, precedes the famous Six Days of Creation, which are outlined in the remainder of the first book of Genesis.

Below, we review this first paragraph from Genesis 1 as told in three popular versions of the Holy Bible: the Eastern Standard Version (ESV), the King James Version (KJV), and the New International Version (NIV).  The subtle differences between these versions are highlighted as bolded words or phrases.

ESV

1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

KJV

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

NIV

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

A full chapter will be dedicated to each of these three sentences, as well as to the paragraphs describing each of the Six Days of Creation.  For this first chapter of the unit, we delve only into the initial sentence of Genesis.

In the beginning God created the heaven(s) and the earth.

Nearly every word of this opening sentence of Genesis is left undefined, as if readers of Genesis would assume to know their meanings.  If you are anything like me, you would want to analyze and contextualize all of these words to insure that we have the most reasonable and comprehensive understanding of this famous creation story.

In this chapter we fully explore, rather than assume we know, the meaning of each of the following terms or phrases:

  • In the beginning
  • God
  • created
  • the heaven(s) and the earth

We seek contextual understanding within the remainder of the creation story of Genesis, and/or by comparing it with several other ancient creation stories.  We also look to science for parallel structures.  And, of course, Quadernity serves as our trusty translation key.

What is meant by “in the beginning“?

What the initial statement of Genesis does NOT say is this: “Before God created anything else, He created the heaven(s) and the earth.”  The opening sentence seems more likely to be prefatorial, foreshadowing what is to happen during the Days of Creation.  Support for this is possibility is found in the first sentence in Genesis 2.  Together, the initial sentences of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 can be thought of as bookends.  Whereas the initial sentence of Genesis 1 tells us that creation of the heaven(s) and the earth is forthcoming, the opening sentence of Genesis 2 (three versions below) tells us that creation of the heaven(s) and the earth has been “finished” or “completed”.  Again, the bolded words reflect the subtle differences of translation put forth by three popular versions of the Holy Bible.

ESV

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

KJV

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

NIV

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

 

From the quoted passages above, we take the word “thus”  to mean “by way of the actions sequenced over the Six Days of Creation described between these two bookend sentences.

The paragraph following the opening sentence of Genesis 2 tells of the Seventh Day as a Day of Rest for God.

The Seventh Day  (Genesis 2)

ESV

2And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

KJV

2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

NIV

2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Many of us have a tendency to think of ‘creation’ as the sum total of everything in existence.  We are told in Genesis that, over the course of “six days”, creation was accomplished by God and that on the seventh day, feeling quite satisfied, He rested.

So is that that?  Creation was finished/completed?  There is no mention of evolution, increasing complexity, improving efficiency, learning, etc.  Never mind the obvious developmental changes over a person’s lifetime, the striving to achieve recognition and reproduction, and the eventual acceptance of a decline toward demise.  Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a superficial view goes largely unchallenged that we, and all the other apparently separate entities, exist among those things that were ‘created’ once upon a time.

From Quadernity, we have learned that the process of Creation, or OUTformation, is necessarily coupled with an inverse process, namely INformation.  Instead of thinking that the word ‘creation’ is shorthand for everything in existence, we come to understand that every entity/system (E/S) is continuously being recreated via the entwined processes of OUTformation and INformation.

Each E/S is sustained for some time by virtue of its functional fit within the successive environments of greater and greater organisms/organizations.  In the opposite direction, every E/S provides an environment for smaller and simpler, embedded components.  Everything is fractally and holographically integrated with everything else.  For more on this, revisit The Holarchy.

Who or What is God?

From the opening sentence alone, we cannot tell whether God is an anthropomorphized gendered being or an ineffable power.

Elsewhere in the Bible, the terms ‘lord’ and ‘father’ are associated with the ultimate divinity.  The Lord’s Prayer initiates its invocation with, “Our father, who art in heaven…

Iconic depictions, like the one below, are in the collective psyche of those raised among Christians in America.

The Bible aligns the almighty God with the Male gender (light-skinned, no less); however, in several more-ancient scriptures, the Female has a role in Creation: 

Examples from the Tao te Ching (~500 B.C.E.) lead the list:

Chapter Six says:

The valley spirit never dies; it is the woman, primal mother.  Her gateway is the root of heaven and earth.

Chapter Twenty Five:

Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging.
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.

Back when the Tao te Ching was written, ‘ten thousand’ meant ‘countless’, in much the same way as we might say ‘gajillion’ in slang today.  The “ten thousand things” are the infinitude of singled-out particular-entities, or, as Quadernity calls them, Particularities.

Chapter Fifty-One says:

All things arise from Tao.

Chapter Fifty-Two states:

The beginning of the universe is the mother of all things.

Stated in the Indian Upanishads, written several centuries before the Common Era:

Thou indeed art the undifferentiated first cause, the highest Prakriti.  Oh, Divine Mother!

The Gnostic Bible, edited by Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer says:

She became the universal womb, for She precedes everything.

The statements above help us synonymize the following sets of terms:

  • primal mother”, “valley spirit”, and “Tao”;
  • “gateway”, “root”, and “beginning”;
  • “the ten thousand things” and “all things”;
  • “heaven and earth” and “the universe”.

Why, in the Holy Bible, is there no mention of the Female participating in ‘creation’?

An answer comes from Elaine Pagels, historian of early Christianity, and author of several books.

Every one of the secret texts which gnostic groups revered was omitted from the canonical collection, and branded as heretical by those who called themselves orthodox Christians.  By the time of the process of sorting the various writings ended — probably as late as the year 200 C.E. — virtually all the feminine imagery for God had disappeared from orthodox Christian tradition. …

Elaine Pagels says that though there are theologians among the primary Abrahamic religions who agree that God is asexual, this understanding is belied by traditional practices:

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theologians today are quick to point out that God is not to be considered in sexual terms at all.  Yet the actual language they use daily in worship and prayer conveys a different message: who, growing up with Jewish or Christian tradition, has escaped the distinct impression that God is masculine?  And while Catholics revere Mary as the mother of Jesus, they never identify her as divine in her own right: if she is “mother of God,” she is not “God the Mother” on an equal footing with God the Father.

Must the cause of creation be EITHER Female or Male?  Perhaps BOTH Female and Male together create the Heavens and the Earth.

For example, Chinese Fuxi and Nuwa are shown spiraled-together (con-spirators) amidst celestial constellations.  BOTH Female and Male are co-creators, conspirators, each having equal stature and complementary powers.

Astana BannerSri Aurobindo Ghose said:

The whole wide world is only he and she. 

Walter Russell tells us:

The keystone of the entire structure of the spiritual and physical universe is Rhythmic Balanced Interchange between all opposites.

From The Gnostic Gospels, written by Professor Pagels:

[The] gnostic writing, called the Great Announcement, quoted by  Hippolytus, 170-235 C.E., in his  Refutation of All Heresies, explains the origin of the universe as follows:

From the power of Silence appeared a great power, the Mind of the Universe, which manages all things … the other … a great Intelligence … is a female which produces all things.

The “Mind of the Universe” is ConsciousnessConscious minds attempt to manage all the things that the great Female Intelligence produces.

What Does it Mean to Create, Manifest, or Bring into Existence?

The first of the Seven Mesopotamian Tablets of Creation, called the Enuma Elish, dating from 18th to 16th century B.C.E., say that before Heaven and Earth, there were Apsu and Tiamut, whose waters were mingled together.

When in the height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them
[Heaven and Earth],
And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both
[Heaven and Earth],
Their waters were mingled together,
And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
When of the gods none had been called into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained.

The Enuma Elish indicates that both Male/Apsu and Female/Tiamut are present before Heaven or Earth, and before the gods are called into being.

Interestingly, the ancient Indian scripture, Rig Veda, seems to agree:

The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.

Next we hear from the ancient Upanishads: an ancient Indian text written thousands of years ago:

Whether we know it or not, all things take on their existence from that which perceives them.

Here, I quote from a previous chapter, Quadrants of Creation Appear in Chalkboard Visions:

One day I was pondering these questions [of creation] while roaming, coffee-in-hand, around my local bookstore.  My attention was deeply drawn to a particular book, so I picked it up and quite randomly (or so I thought), flipped it open.  This passage was the first thing I saw in The Bit and the Pendulum: From Quantum Computing to M Theory, the New Physics of Information by Tom Siegfried:

You simply cannot say, or even calculate, where an electron is in an atom or where it will be.  You can only give the odds of its being here or there.  And it is not here or there until you look for it and make a measurement of its position.  Only then do you get an answer, and all the other possibilities just disappear.  This is a difficult point to grasp, but it needs to be clear.  It’s not just a lack of knowing the electron’s “real” position.  The electron does not have a real position until somebody (or something) measures it.

The above linked chapter describes how one cannot be a Creator until after the act of Creating/OUTforming, nor can anything be labeled Created until after the act of Creating.  Before the act of Creating, there are potentials: the Creative (a form/Structure, URQ) and the Creatable (raw, unformed Substance, ULQ).  The Creator (LLQ) and the Created (LRQ) emerge together from the central act of Creating, just as Rig Veda and Enuma Elish tell us.

Whereas the potentials, Creatable Substance (ULQ) and Creative Seed/Structure (URQ), were mingled-in together in the upper quadrants, the Creator (LLQ) and Created (LRQ) are singled-out  in the lower quadrants.

The Fathergod who comes with the Created (not Creation, for that is an entire process) can be any Observer/Creator (LLQ) who establishes the Created‘s position in space (LRQ), as per Siegfried’s quote above.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Thirty-Two:

The Tao is forever undefined.

Once the whole is divided, the parts need names.
There are already enough names.
One must know when to stop.
Knowing when to stop averts trouble.
Tao in the world is like a river flowing home to the sea.

In Genesis, who is dividing the light from the darkness on the first day?  Who is dividing the waters above from the waters below on the second day?  It is the Creator/Observer (LLQ) who divides and names all the things, not the God in Heavens!

From the Tao te Ching, Chapter Thirty-Nine:

These things from ancient times arise from one:
The sky is whole and clear.
The earth is whole and firm.
The spirit is whole and strong.
The valley is whole and full.
The ten thousand things are whole and alive.
Kings and lords are whole, and the country is upright.
All these are in virtue of wholeness.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Twenty five:

Tao is great; Heaven is great; Earth is great; the king is also great.
These are the four great powers of the universe, and the king is one of them.

From these two quotes we can align sky to Heaven, earth to Earth, kings to Kings, and valley to Tao.  We recall from above that the valley spirit was linked to the Mother and the Mother to Tao.  Spirit is not linked and for now we will leave that on the table, returning to this when we get to the chapter elaborating on the third sentence in Genesis.

Of the four powers, the Tao (ULQ) is the Feminine Omnipotence, the womb, or Zero Point Field, from which are born the ten thousand things (LRQ).

Earth (LRQ) is the home of those ten thousand entities.

Heaven (URQ) is the field of collective memories…of words spoken, thoughts entertained, and emotions emanated.

The King is the Creator (LLQ) who, by Observation singles out, or differentiates one thing from another.

The Tao te Ching tells us that, as Observers ourselves, we are the ones who are dividing things up and naming them, and we must know when to stop so as to avert trouble.

Chapter Twenty One tells us what to do instead:

The greatest virtue is to follow Tao and Tao alone.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Forty:

Returning is the motion of the Tao.
Yielding is the way of  the Tao.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Thirty Seven, repeats this advice:

Tao abides in non-action, yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
the ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
they would return to the simplicity of formless substance.

The Observer is warned not to lose dispassion and, by desire, interfere with the natural way of things.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Forty-Eight:

In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.
Less and less is done until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

What are the Heaven(s) and the Earth?

The only discrepancy in the three versions of Sentence One in Genesis is whether the heaven(s) is singular or plural.

The singular term ‘heaven’ may be an interpretation influenced by abundant exposure to religious iconography (including the painting below), which shows Heaven as a singular place, the habitat of the primordial deity, whom Christians call God.  Cima_da_Conegliano,_God_the_Father Seven heavens are recognized in several traditions, including esoteric Judaism, known as Kabbalah. This may explain the origin of the plural term, heavens.

The ancient Indian scripture known as Rig Veda opens its creation story, the Nasadiya Sukta (Hymn of Creation), with these two sentences:

There was neither non-existence nor existence then.
There was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond.

In Vedic terminology, the Antariksha is the atmosphere, the realm of space between the Earth and the “the sky beyond”.

We have learned from science that the atmosphere is divided into multiple levels, as shown below.

We might think of Earth’s atmosphere as the “realm of space“, and the vastness of outer space as the heavenly “sky beyond“, as depicted in this nineteenth century print known as the Flammarion engraving.

universumSomeone looking up from Earth toward the Heavens (plural) would first encounter the “realm of space”, while the “sky beyond” would require penetrating a boundary, supposedly separating the two spaces.  This boundary will be the topic of Day Two.

Each of us has a kind of ‘personal space’, about an arm’s length in radius around us.  We feel uneasy when another enters our personal ‘realm of space’ without an invitation to do so.  Everyone’s personal space bears an energetic signature that many animals and some sufficiently sensitive people can detect and interpret, despite the field’s moment-by-moment flux.

Interestingly, the linked September 2018 article from Quanta magazine tells that even quantum particles have an “atmosphere”.

Whether a planet, a person, or a particle, what can be called its ‘atmosphere’, is energetically and informationally more concentrated than in the ‘outer space’ beyond.  Although an entity’s energy patterns permeate the space/atmosphere immediately surrounding it, those energy patterns are not secured therein; rather they gently fade into the space beyond, where they combine with the attenuating energies of other entities, forming interference patterns (see Fourier waves).

So far, we have been discussing the heavens as if they are physical places.  Quadernity shows us that Heaven is a metaphysical domain of Consciousness.

Tao te Ching, Chapter One, refers to two points of view, one within the other:

Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
This appears as darkness.

Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

An Observer‘s perspective can be from either of two standpoints:

  1. the personal realm of space, or atmosphere, in which desired manifestations appear to arise, and
  2. the mysterious outer-space, the sky beyond, which escapes the pull of one’s individual desires.

Both states spring from the same Source:  the dark/invisible pure Consciousness, without which neither the collective memories (interference patterns in outer space, or Akasha) nor the individual Consciousness, limited as it is, would be possible.

The restless-darkness of personal Consciousness apprehends transient manifestations, while the restful-darkness of Consciousness is the abode of mystics.

Rig Veda and Tao te Ching designate bi-level heavens, one superior to the other, whether those Heavens are thought of as spatial locations or non-located degrees of Consciousness.

What if NEITHER Female nor Male create the Heaven(s) or Earth.  Instead, perhaps the Female and Male together populate the domains of Heaven and Earth.  Dreams of Quadernity showed me that the Female and Male Subjects, who reside in the left-hand quadrants, populate the domains/environments in the right-hand quadrants that are designated to hold Objects of Consciousness and Corporeality.

Earth (LRQ) is the physical domain of OUTformed Corporeality, or Matter in Space. Quadernity leaves this lower space (personal space, or atmosphere) connected to its associated Matter, Earth (lower right quadrant, LRQ), and considers Heaven, the space beyond/above, the metaphysical domain (URQ) of non-located, yet ever-present, collected memories of all Conscious entities of every scale.

Of Apsu and Tiamut we are told “their waters were mingled together“.  Quadernity tells us that the Male memory Patterns, or Seeds of Mind (Objects, URQ) and Female Creatable Substance (Subject, ULQ) are mingled-in together in the metaphysical domain of the upper quadrants.  (Refer to graphic below.)

Quadernity’s Heaven (URQ), being a non-located domain, never houses the Observer/INformable Creator, Himself (Subject, LLQ), despite abundant iconography to the contrary.

It is the Female in Her Omnipotence, as Creatable Substance (Subject, ULQ), who is mingled-in with the INformed Patterns (Objects, URQ), a.k.a. Akashic Records, or Omniscience.

Nikola Tesla says in Man’s Greatest Achievement, 1907.

All perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never-ending cycles, all things and phenomena.

Again, with brackets and color-coding used to compare phrases with Quadernity terms:

All perceptible matter [LRQ] comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space [Tao, ULQ, is mingled-in together with], the akasha or luminiferous ether [URQ], which is acted upon [requiring a causal Subject] by the life giving Prana [Female Creatable, Subject, ULQ] or [rather, and the] creative force [Male Creative Seed, Spirit/breath/pneuma, URQ], calling into existence, in never-ending cycles, all things and phenomena [LLQ].

Tao te Ching, Chapter 21, describes how the Creative Seeds are mingled-in with the elusive and intangible Tao:

The Tao is elusive and intangible.
Oh, it is intangible and elusive, and yet within is image.
Oh, it is elusive and intangible, and yet within is form.
Oh, it is dim and dark, and yet within is essence.

Says Paramahamsa Tewari, Engineer, Physicist and Inventor:

The akasha is not destructible, it is the primordial absolute substratum that creates cosmic matter and hence the properties of akasha are not found in the material properties that are in a sense relative.  The akasha is the eternally existent, superfluid reality, for which creation and destruction are inapplicable.

Again, with brackets and color-coding used to compare phrases with Quadernity terms:

The akasha is not destructible, it is the primordial absolute substratum [the INformed, URQ, mingled-in with Creatable, ULQ] that creates cosmic matter [Mother and Father create together, not separately] and hence the properties of [metaphysical] akasha are not found in the material properties that are in a sense relative [physical].  The akasha is the eternally existent, superfluid reality [the incomprehensible, non-resistant, irresistible Tao, a.k.a., the “waters” that are spoken of in nearly all creation stories], for which creation and destruction are inapplicable.

Says Bill Steele, of Cornell University:

A superfluid can flow without resistance from its surroundings. If you put some of it in a circular channel and start it flowing around the circle, it will flow forever, not slowed by friction.  This behavior of helium is of great interest because electrons in a superconductor also behave as a superfluid, flowing without resistance from the atoms in the conductor.

In the attached video, Justin Khoury explains that at extremely low temperatures, helium atoms will begin to behave in unison, as if they are one.  In other words, they lose differentiation.

Read more about superfluids here.

From the Tao te Ching, Chapter Twenty-Five, describes the primordial fluidity and calls it Tao:

Something mysteriously formed, born before heaven and earth,
in the silence and the void, standing alone and unchanging,
ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.  Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows.  It flows far away.  Having gone far, it returns.

Tao te Ching Chapter Sixteen:

The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
The way of nature is unchanging.

In the excerpt above, returning to source is called stillness.  Returning full-circle brings something back to its source, whence it came; therefore, the movement away and the movement that returns are canceled out, leaving only the stillness of its omnipresence.

Tao stands alone and remains ever present.  Tao, as the way of nature, incessantly flows far away and then returns.  The constancy of nature is to always return to Source.

Tao te Ching, Chapter Sixteen, says more about constancy:

Knowing constancy is insight.
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.
Knowing constancy, the mind is open.
With an open mind, you will be openhearted.
Being openhearted, you will act royally.
Being royal, you will attain the divine.
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.
Empty yourself of everything.  Let the mind rest at peace.

Isha Upanishad describes the state of pure Consciousness:

It is not outer awareness; it is not inner awareness.
Nor is it a suspension of awareness.
It is not knowing; it is not unknowing.
Nor is it knowingness itself.
It can neither be seen nor understood.
It cannot be given boundaries.
It is ineffable and beyond thought.
It is indefinable.
It is known only through becoming it.

Kathopanishad (Indian Vedic text) describes the pre-existent, undifferentiated “Tao“:

The ever unchangeable is devoid of sound, touch, form, taste or smell.
It is without beginning or end, ever beyond the prime cause of all evolution. 

Only things in the lower quadrants are singled-out, and only the singled-out have a beginning, middle, and end.

Physicist, David Bohm (1917 – 1992) says of it:

The implicate order can be thought of as a ground beyond time, a totality, out of which each moment is projected into the explicate order.

The idea of permanence of both Heaven and Earth are put forth in the following two quotes:

From the Tao te Ching, Chapter Seven:

Heaven and earth last forever.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They are unborn, so ever living.

And from renowned esotericist, Madame Blavatsky, 1831-1891:

The Kabalistic deity, En-Soph, this Concealed Unity is then Endless, non-Existent, the boundless and termless time.

En-Soph conceals/con-seals into a unity the endless/boundless (Infinity of Substance/Matter) and the non-Existent/termless time (Eternity of Structures/Patterns). The whole-cloth includes the inter-woven potentialities.  Infinity is the potential state for Matter, which is bounded, and Eternity is the potential state for Patterns, which recur in temporal succession.  From this unified state, the totality wherein distinctions, such as Consciousness and Corporeality, are mingled-in and indistinguishable, moments may be projected.

We leave this chapter with a final consideration. What if “the Heaven(s)” and “the Earth“, are metaphorical rather than actually real?

If the collective memories of Consciousness (URQ) are metaphysical, non-located Objects, and Patterned Matter (LRQ) is nothing more than transient Objects experienced and delineated within a Conscious Observer‘s state of mind, then the domains that would hold such Objects are nothing but concepts, or convenient “place-holders” for the philosophical analysis of the dynamism that is constantly occurring and negating itself, while leaving the overall stillness unaltered.

Quadernity models are maps of these place-holders, showing us a minimal unit of dynamism, which requires two inverse processes that feedback and feed-forward in cycles within cycles.  Serving as both source and sink for these cycles, regardless of scale, is the uniform and everlasting stillness, the simple Oneness in which complex multiplicity erupts and subsides.