"The Bible has been given to the Western World by the Recording Angels who give to each and all exactly what they need for their development."
— Max Heindel
References: Genesis, Chapter 1
The opening sentence of Genesis is a very good example of what was stated in the first self-study module about the interpretation of the Hebrew text, which may be changed by differently placing the vowels and dividing the words in another way. There are two well recognized methods of reading this sentence. One is: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth"; the other is: "Out of every-existing essence (of space) the twofold energy formed the double heaven."
Much has been said and written as to which of these two interpretations is correct. The difficulty is that if a certain explanation is true, all others must be wrong. But, emphatically, this is not the way to get at truth, which is many-sided and multiplex. Each esoteric truth requires examination from many different points of view; each viewpoint presents a certain phase of truth, and all of them are necessary to get a complete, definite conception of whatever is under consideration.
The very fact that this sentence and many others in the vestment of the Thorah can thus be made to yield many meanings, while confusing to the uninitiated, is illuminative to those who have the key, and the transcendental wisdom of the wonderful Intelligences who inspired the Thorah is thereby shown. Had the vowels been inserted, and a division made into words, there would have been only one way of reading it and those grand and sublime mysteries could not have been hidden therein. That would have been the proper method to pursue if the authors had meant to write an "open" book of God; but that was not their purpose. It was written solely for the initiated, and can be read understandingly by them only. It would have required much less skill to have written the book plainly than to have concealed its meaning. No pains are ever spared, however, to bring the information, in due time, to those who are entitled to it, while withholding it from those who have not yet earned the right to possess it.
Regarded by the light thrown upon the genesis and evolution of our system, it is plain that both renderings of the opening sentence of the Book of Genesis are necessary to an understanding of the subject. The first tells that there was a beginning of our evolution, in which the heavens were created; the other interpretation supplements the first statement by adding that the heavens and the Earth were created out of the "ever-existing essence," not out of "nothing," as is jeeringly pointed out by the materialist. The Cosmic Root-substance is gathered together and set in motion. The rings formed by the inertia of the revolving mass break away from the central part, forming planets, etc., as the modern scientist, with remarkable ingenuity, has reasoned out. Esoteric and modern science are in perfect harmony as to the modus operandi. There is nothing in these statements inconsistent with the two theories, as will presently be shown. Esoteric science teaches that God instituted the process of formation and is constantly guiding the System in a definite path. The modern scientist, in refutation of what he calls a foolish idea, and to demonstrate that a God is not necessary, takes a basin of water and pours a little oil in it. The water and the oil represents space and fire-mist respectively. He now commences to turn the oil around with a needle, bringing it into the form of a sphere. This he explains represents the Central Sun. As he turns the oil ball faster and faster, it bulges out at the equator and throws off a ring, the ring breaks and the fragments coalesce, forming a smaller ball, which circles around the central mass as a planet circles around the Sun. Then he pityingly asks the esoteric scientist, "Do you not see how it is done? There is no need for your God, or any supernatural force."
The esotericist readily agrees that a Solar System may be formed in approximately the manner illustrated. But he marvels greatly that a man possessing the clear intuition enabling him to perceive with such accuracy the operation of Cosmic processes, and the intellect to conceive this brilliant demonstration of his monumental theory, should at the same time be quite unable to see that in his demonstration he himself plays the part of God. He was the extraneous power that placed the oil in the water, where it would have remained inert and shapeless through all eternity had he not supplied the force that set it in motion, thereby causing it to shape itself into a representation of Sun and planets. His was the Thought which designed the experiment, using the oil, water, and force, thus illustrating in a splendid manner the Triune God working in Cosmic substance to form a Solar System.
The attributes of God are Will, Wisdom, and Activity. The scientist has Will to make the experiment. He has ingenuity to supply ways and means for the demonstration. This ingenuity corresponds to Wisdom, the second attribute of God. He has also the muscular force necessary to perform the action, corresponding to Activity, which is the third attribute of God.
Further, the universe is not a vast perpetual-motion machine, which, when once set going, keeps on without any internal cause or guiding force. That also is proven by the experiment of the scientist, for the moment he ceases to turn the oil-ball the orderly motion of his miniature planets also ceases and all return to a shapeless mass of oil floating on the water. In a corresponding manner, the universe would at once dissolve into "thin space" if God for one moment ceased to exert His all-embracing care and energizing activity.
The second interpretation of Genesis is marvelously exact in its description of a twofold formative energy. It does not specifically state that God is Triune. The reader's knowledge of that fact is taken for granted. It states the exact truth when it says that only two forces are active in the formation of a universe.
When the first aspect of the Triune God manifests as the Will to create, it arouses the second aspect (which is Wisdom) to design a plan for the future universe. This first manifestation of Force is Imagination. After this primal force of Imagination has conceived the Idea of a universe, the third aspect (which is Activity), working in Cosmic substance, produces motion. This is the second manifestation of Force. Motion alone, however, is not sufficient. To form a system of worlds, it must be orderly motion. Wisdom is therefore necessary to guide Motion in an intelligent manner to produce definite results.
Thus we find the opening sentence of the Book of Genesis tells us that in the beginning, orderly, rhythmic motion, in Cosmic Root-substance, formed the universe.
The second interpretation of the opening sentence also gives us a fuller idea of God when it speaks of the "twofold energy," pointing to the positive and negative phases of the One Spirit of God in manifestation. In harmony with the teaching of esoteric science, God is represented as a composite Being. This is accentuated in the remaining verses of the chapter.
In addition to the creative Hierarchies which worked voluntarily in our evolution, there are seven others which belong to our evolution, and are co-workers with God in the formation of the universe. In the first chapter of Genesis these Hierarchies are called "Elohim." The name signifies a host of dual or double-sexed Beings. The first part of the word is "Eloh" which is a feminine noun, the letter "h" indicating the gender. If a single feminine Being were meant, the word "Eloh" would have been used. The feminine plural is "oth"," so if the intention had been to indicate a number of Gods of the feminine gender, the correct word to use would have been "Elooth." Instead of either of those forms, however, we find the masculine plural ending "im," added to the feminine noun "Eloh," indicating a host of male-female, double-sexed Beings, expressions of the dual, positive-negative creative energy.
The plurality of Creators is again implied in the latter part of the chapter, where these words are ascribed to the Elohim: "Let us make man in our image;" after which it is inconsistently added. "He made them male and female."
The translators have here rendered the puzzling word "Elohim" (which was decidedly not only a plural word but also both masculine and feminine) as being the equivalent of the singular, sexless word "God." Yet could they have done differently, even had they known? They were forbidden to disturb existing ideas. It was not truth at any price, but peace at any price that King James desired, his sole anxiety being to avoid any controversy that might create a disturbance in his kingdom. The plural "them" is also used where the creation of man is mentioned, clearly indicating that the reference is to the creation of ADM, the human species, and not Adam, the individual.
Six creative Hierarchies (besides the Lords of Flame, the Cherubim, the Seraphim, and two unnamed Hierarchies which have passed into liberation) were active in assisting the virgin spirits which in themselves form a seventh Hierarchy.*
The Cherubim and the Seraphim had nothing to do with the creation of Form; therefore they are not mentioned in the chapter under consideration, which deals principally with the Form-side of Creation. Here we find mentioned only the seven creative Hierarchies which did the actual work of bringing man to where he acquired a dense physical form, through which the indwelling spirit could work.
After a description of each part of the work of Creation it is said, "and Elohim saw that it was good." This is said seven times, the last time being on the sixth day, when the human form had been created.
It is stated that on the seventh day "Elohim rested." This is all in accord with our esoteric teaching of the part taken by each of the creative Hierarchies in the work of evolution down to the present Period. It is also taught that in the present Epoch the Gods and creative Hierarchies have withdrawn from active participation, that man may work out his own salvation, leaving the necessary guidance of ordinary humanity to the "Elder Brothers who are now the mediators between man and the Gods."
*Esoteric science teaches that in the beginning of a Day of Manifestation a certain Great Being (designated in the Western World by the name of God, but by other names in other parts of the Earth) limits Himself to a certain portion of space, in which He elects to create a Solar System for the evolution of added self-consciousness.
He includes in His own Being hosts of glorious Hierarchies of, to us, immeasurable spiritual power and splendor. They are the fruitage of past manifestations of this same Being and also other Intelligences, in descending degrees of development down to such as have not reached a stage of consciousness as high as our present humanity.
At the beginning of our scheme of manifestation there were twelve great Hierarchies active: two nameless, Seraphim, Cherubim, Lords of Flame, Lords of Wisdom, Lords of Individuality, Lords of Form, Lords of Mind, Archangels, Angels, and the Virgin Spirits.
(You are welcome to e-mail your answers and/or comments to us. Please be sure to include the course name and Independent Study Module number in your e-mail to us. Or, you are also welcome to use the answer form below.)
1. For whom was the Bible originally written?
2. State the two methods of reading the opening sentence of Genesis.
3. Explain the first method or interpretation.
4. Explain the second interpretation.
5. State in one concise sentence what the opening sentence of Genesis tells us.
6. What is the meaning of the term "Elohim"?
7. What is meant by the statement that "on the seventh day the Elohim rested"?
Note: Please do not fail to read and reread the pages in which you find the answers to these questions. After carefully studying the subject matter, strive to condense your answer as much as possible, taking into consideration the principal points.