BIBLE: GENESIS

[NOTE: I present here my interpretation and understanding of some of the religious texts of the Semitic faiths (Islam, Christianity and Judaism).  I apologize ahead of time if my presentation does not quite agree with the traditional interpretation. I welcome any discussion and consequent correction.]
[Revised April 8, 2011. Revisions are in blue.]

BIBLE:  GENESIS

 

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

This first verse of the Bible introduces, acknowledges and celebrates the fact of CREATION. Creation is “bringing into existence,” or “manifesting that, which was not manifested.”

In creation there is always a manifestation that was not there before. That manifestation may simply appear out of nothing. Or, that manifestation may be wrought out of existing materials. In a light bulb, we have a form that didn’t exist before the light bulb was invented.

That there are manifestations (heavens and earth) is self-evident. That these manifestations appear and disappear is also self-evident because all this can be observed. But the claim that there is God prior to creation is not self-evident. It is only from the use of logic that we surmise that there ought to be an ultimate creator. Some may feel that “there is an ultimate creator”. Since logic and feelings themselves are part of creation, we may logically conclude that God appears as part of creation or after the fact of creation. “That” before creation is UNKNOWABLE because it is not manifested. Anything we say or feel about “that” would simply be a creation. Please see THE NATURE OF GOD.

The idea that God is a person presents God as a bundle of desires, intentions, thoughts, emotions, efforts, viewpoints, etc. Please see THE NATURE OF BEING. One may wonder how these desires, intentions, etc., got manifested in the first place without any agency. This may be explained by stating that what is beyond creation is un-manifested and unknowable and can only be speculated upon.

That God is unknowable seems to be a truer statement.

Thus, any identity claimed for God is a created identity. However, as unknowable, God forms the background against which any manifestation, whether mental (assumption, postulate, opinion, etc.), or physical (space, energy, matter and time), may be known.

Vedas state that gods came after the creation (see The Creation Hymn of Rig Veda). Buddhism does not acknowledge an ultimate creator. God as the ultimate creator is emphasized in Judaism. Christianity makes God a personal being. Islam seems to de-emphasize that identity of a personal being by declaring God to be formless.

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Comments

  • Chris Thompson  On April 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    Religions generally teach that creation had both a beginning and a creator(s) and that “before any beginning” was “without form and void.” I have never been taught that “god as formless” was a new concept nor that it came from Islam.

    Man has considered himself and his relationship to the universe for tens of thousands of years. Almost all of human history is either unrecorded or destroyed and buried. The destroying and burying has been routinely been done in the name of a religion.

    The muslim prostrates himself before his visualization of the creator entity, whom he creates as both anthropomorphic and male. Whether “formless” is Islamic in origin can be your opinion. Whether this concept is an “advance” is your consideration. Maybe your bias is showing?

  • vinaire  On April 8, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Vedas state that gods came after the creation (see HYMN OF CREATION on Internet). Buddhism does not even acknowledge a creator. A creator is emphasized in Judaism. Christianity gives it a more solid identity by making it more personal. Islam seems to de-emphasize that identity. However, you are right that we don’t see it practiced at the mass level.

    As Hinduism says, “The root cause of all misery is ignorance.” There may be knowledge out there; but how much it is understood and practiced is another story.

    .

    • fredwx  On June 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Genesis 1 may have been written during the Hebrew captivity in Babylon and may have been influenced by the Babylonian creation account “Enuma Elish” where creation is accomplished in seven steps. The Enuma Elish, like the Creation Hymn of Rig Veda, starts with an original condition before there were even gods.

      Enuma Elish
      When the skies above were not yet named 
      Nor earth below pronounced by name, 
      Apsu, the first one, their begetter, 
      And maker Tiamat, who bore them all, 
      Had mixed their waters together, 
      But had not formed pastures, nor discovered reed-beds; 
      When yet no gods were manifest, 
      Nor names pronounced, nor destinies decreed, 
      Then gods were born within them.

      The Genesis 1 account seems to answer that question by offering an original cause.

    • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Thanks for this information. The idea of gods is different from the idea of God, which Genesis 1 puts forth. You are right in saying that Genesis 1 account puts forth the idea of “an original cause” as God. This is the basis of Monotheism. The following is what I consider in this respect.

      MONOTHEISM, POLYTHEISM, ETC.

      Looking to the past for answers to creation is not absolutely necessary. The universe is being re-created at every moment of NOW, and that needs to be examined.

      .

      • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        Yes, and the word is “iterated.”

        • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

          Within this word, iteration, you may find a new view to understanding the discreetness of the universe which you have been rejecting.

        • vinaire  On June 13, 2012 at 2:19 PM

          Moments may not necessarily occur in some finite unit. There may be a calculus of moments.

          .

        • Chris Thompson  On June 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM

          based on?

        • vinaire  On June 14, 2012 at 5:10 AM

          Based on the mathematical notion of continuity.

          .

  • vinaire  On April 9, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    It is interesting for me to observe that somebody gave a “very poor” rating to this essay without expressing his or her disagreement and be willing to discuss it.

    I am fully aware of the fact that people have beliefs that help them restrain their confusions in life. They feel very uncomfortable when their beliefs are closely examined.

    My view is that when beliefs are closely examined, there may be initial discomfort, but after such examination one always ends up with a higher and more satisfactory belief.

    ~Vinaire

  • Chris Thompson  On April 9, 2011 at 7:58 AM

    I noticed this too, Vin. I agree with your statement and have come to “love” this uncomfortable feeling. Maybe love is too strong. “Appreciate” and “utilize” this feeling is closer. My personal belief is that my own spiritual “ideal scene” does not include these uncomfortable feelings. I take these uncomfortable feelings to indicate that I have spiritual weakness in these areas and use these discomforts as a gauge as “where to look.” These “somatics” point toward my service facsimiles, false data, and misunderstood words. I find this useful on my spiritual path.

    Vin, you are a good cyber friend and I hope you are encouraged to continue to write your truths as you see them. Often they are my own truths. Sometimes you just make me uncomfortable! Please continue.

  • Chris Thompson  On April 9, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    I want to share a funny story. As an adolescent, I was sitting in a Baptist church and listening to the preacher tell me that the Holy Spirit is referred to in the Bible as the “Great Comforter.”

    The preacher said, ” . . . and if’n you are already comfortable, he’ll make you uncomfortable so that he can comfort you!”

    Back then, I thought “how preposterous!” But looking back to that statement from where I am today I think maybe it can work that way! hahaha

  • vinaire  On April 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Thanks for your observation, Chris, and the wonderful anecdote. You are a good cyber friend.

    ~Vinaire

  • vinaire  On April 10, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    At this moment my belief is that the highest level of LOOKING is spotting the inconsistencies among the considerations one is subscribing to.

    ~Vinaire

  • Chris Thompson  On April 15, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Yes. Locating inconsistencies in one’s own considerations is an OT ability – I am sure of this.

  • vinaire  On April 15, 2011 at 6:50 AM

    Thanks, but is there such a thing as an OT (Operating Thetan)?

    Thetan was originally an algebraic symbol used in Scientology for “unknown” in the equation of “life”. I do not think that Hubbard fully solved that equation, looking at his own life.

    .

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