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The Face of the Waters: The Book of Genesis & the Heaven Within Us

Jesus' Face in the Waters of Heaven

I. Introduction

The Bible is, at once – the most popular book of all time (according to the Guinness Book of World Records it has sold more than five billion copies), and unfortunately, it is also the most misunderstood book of all time.

The scope of this misunderstanding is profound. Think about it, 500 years ago people were being burned at the stake for translating this book into English. Now: there is a disregarded Bible in the nightstand drawer of every hotel in America.

Because of this misunderstanding and subsequent disregard – many people often associate the words on these pages with their most vocal champions, as if the two are actually in agreement.

Just because someone yells the loudest does not mean that they deserve to be heard.

It is time for this misunderstanding to be cleared up.

It is my privilege to be able to let you in on what is actually happening beneath these covers, in these sheets.

I invite you to continue reading this if you are interested in the real meaning of the Bible, that is to say, if you are interested in discovering the truth about mystery of the Word of God. The only requirements of you are your time and an open mind.

I must warn you though – this essay is much different than other Bible essays you may have read in the past – meaning, if you think I am going to try to explain away the reality of human life with some lofty, illogical notion of God with no basis in fact then you are in the wrong place; or if you are looking for me to dismiss this book as just another man made book, then you, too, are in the wrong place – because it is not just another man made book. I am going to show you why it is so much more.

This is the Word of God. {*He said, holding the Bible}

It is my intention to let the words on these pages tell their own story. God does not need me speaking for him. I am not a prophet. However the writers of these books were. There is a palpable power in these words. So stick around if you want to know how this power works.

II. Preamble

The preeminent prophet of the Old Testament is Moses – a Hebrew man who was raised in Egypt. He is the author of the first five books of the Bible. The first book, Genesis, will be the primary focus of this essay. It is in this book that we are provided with a comprehensive blueprint of how we are to understand the Bible as a whole – Heaven and Earth are distinct yet connected (seems simple enough – well, this is the thesis of the entire book and there is an important meaning behind it.)

Before we even open our Bibles to see how this central theme works, there are couple of things I want us to be aware of. The first is the cover itself. What is the name of this book? The Holy Bible. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but this book has encapsulated its entire theme/story in these words.

Let us break it down, we have Holy which means “Hallowed” and this is the Heavenly, and we have the word Bible which means “Book” and this is the Earthly.

So like I said, Heaven and Earth are distinct, yet connected.

Also, before we open our Bible we must also understand what is meant by the concept of “The Word of God.” Like the title, it too has the heavenly meaning and the earthly meaning. Starting with the latter, the earthly is the literal word of God (i.e. the book itself, scripture, the material), but “the Word of God” also has its metaphorical, heavenly interpretation, which is God’s promise. That is to say, when someone gives you their word, so to speak, they are making you a promise. This Book is God’s Word to man.

What is important to note here is that the Bible is broken down into two parts: the Old and the New Testament. “Testament” is another word for promise. In other words, these “Testaments” are the Word of God, literally and metaphorically, earthly and heavenly.

Also interesting to note here, Jesus who is said to be the fulfillment of God’s promise(s) is also called his “Word.” (I will return to that momentarily)

But for now what is important to understand is that “The Word of God,” or “The Holy Bible” have two layers of meaning. There is the literal, earthly interpretation, and the metaphorical, heavenly interpretation. Like I said, Heaven and Earth are distinct, yet connected.

And the ramification of this understanding – although it seems simple -- is spiritually profound.

III. In the Beginning

Now let us finally open our Bibles:

The first two lines of Genesis lay the groundwork for everything that is to follow.

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2).

So we see here, what we have been talking about. Right in the first line: Heaven and Earth are distinct (created separately) yet connected (created together).

I have made a very rudimentary diagram to describe what is happening.

The spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. The waters are the earthly part, and the spirit of God is the Heavenly part moving upon it. Again, Heaven and earth are distinct yet connected.

Moving ahead to line 6, “And God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven” (Genesis 1:6-8).

So the firmament is Heaven.

But as we can see, the Bible has repeated itself; for our diagram still applies. The firmament was “in the midst of the waters,” which is just another way of saying “the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” It is the heavenly within the earthly.

Let us return to the Word of God, It may surprise you to know that Jesus is very much present in these opening lines. But how can that be, he wasn’t alive yet? Line 3 says, “And God said, ‘Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Jesus is here. For you see, God used his Word to create. Or as the Gospel of John puts it, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. And without him, was not anything made” (John 1:1-3).

Jesus is this Word in the beginning; meaning he is the creative force within us, through whom we are all made. (I know this is sounding hyper religious – stick with me, it will all make sense.) Jesus’s presence in the beginning is re-emphasized in Genesis.

Moving on in the text we read, “Then God said. ‘Let us make man in our image and our likeness”(Genesis 1:26). Notice the use of the plural possessive here – “us” and “our.” What’s important to understand is that the Hebrew word used for God in these opening lines is the word “Elohim,” which is actually the plural of God. Meaning, “the Gods said, let us make man in our image and our likeness.” How can this be? I thought Christianity was monotheistic. “You should have no other Gods before me” (Ex 20:3) -- and all that? Well, returning to my previous point from John’s Gospel, it was Jesus as God’s Word (his creative force) who was with God, and was God in the beginning.

Furthermore, what is this image and likeness that the father (God) and his son (the Word) are speaking of? So far the only description we have of God’s image is this. The Earthly with a piece of the Heavenly in the midst of it – distinct yet connected.

Well this likeness holds true:

For Genesis continues, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7)

This is God’s image and likeness. For the dust is the earthly, and the breath of life is the heavenly inside of man – or another way to put it, “the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”Both, the earth and our bodies are over 70 percent water – (Coincidence? ~Perhaps.)

With the breath of life, scripture tells us, “Man became a living being.” Another way to put it, the dust from the ground plus the breath of life from God and we are a “human being.” The “human” is the earthly and the “being” – the breath of life or spirit of God inside of us – is the heavenly.

IV. God’s Being

We must step back from Genesis for just a moment and jump ahead to the second book of Moses: Exodus, so that we can add a bit of context to this idea of the “being,” which is God, inside of us. Before Moses returned to Egypt to save his people from slavery, he asked God who he should tell his people has sent him – in other words, he was asking God what his name is. God responds to Moses with, “”Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has me to you’” (Exodus 3:14). Put simply, God is “I Am”

What is more, if we were to describe ourselves we would use the phrase “I am” followed by an adjective: I am good, I am happy, I am spiritual, etc. What we are describing with these “I am…” statements is our state of “being.” So God, saying he is “I am” is essentially him saying that He is “being” itself, which confirms what Genesis is telling us about the breath of life inside of us; or another way to put it, “the spirit of God was moving over the face of our waters.”

The point is, God is metaphorically and literally within us, and scripture makes reference to this repeatedly.

V. The Trees in the Garden

Now let us return back to Genesis, and continue on. After man is created, he is placed in the Garden, and we read, “And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9).

Notice it is the same pattern yet again, evidenced by the same language – the firmament (i.e. heaven) was “in the midst” of the waters, and likewise the tree of life is “in the midst” of the garden.

We can think of the tree of life as the heavenly, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the earthly.

We will start with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God forbids this tree – which in light of all the other evidence seems to indicate that he wants man to not be concerned with the earthly, material world. Nonetheless, the serpent (i.e. the one that represents the earth because it is literally the closest to the ground, crawling through the dirt as it were) convinces mankind to disobey God, playing on earthly desires such as power and lust. Note how Man’s transgression is revealed to God; it is through man’s shame of his naked body. In other words it was the material/external/ earthly world that invaded man’s thoughts. And man’s punishment for eating from this tree is all earthly/ material/ bodily related – labor, pain, and death. Or as God puts it, “you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

Nevertheless, there is also the tree of life in the midst of the Garden. It represents the heavenly/ divine/ internal world. God says that man will be punished for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil “lest he put forth his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat and live for ever” (Genesis 3:22). In other words, the tree of life is the way for man to return from his earthly woes to his heavenly center. Nevertheless, we read that God “drove out the man” from the garden and “placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword” to guard the tree of life.

So we have the tree of life, which is how we escape our earthly woes, but it is guarded by cherubim and a flaming sword. What does this mean? To understand what the Bible is telling us here, we have to step back from scripture momentarily.

Let us look for a moment at this picture of the front of a brain. I want you to notice the interesting shape here. Its resemblance to wings is quite clear. And this can also be seen distinctly underneath the brain as well. The wing shape is apparent. The wings appear to sit at the top of the spine. Take a leap with me for a moment, and let us assume that the wing shape represents the cherubim and the spine represents the flaming sword.

I understand that just because the front of the brain looks like it has wings does not mean anything. At the current moment this connection between cherubim and a wing shape on the brain, and a flaming sword and the spine is extremely flimsy. But stick with me.

As we explore this further, this will all begin to make a lot more sense. There is an ancient symbol that is still widely used today. Perhaps you may recognize it. It is the caduceus. In the ancient world it was associated with the the Greek/ Roman Gods Hermes/Mercury – today it is often used (incorrectly) in the medical field. Nonetheless this symbol is very relevant to our current Biblical discussion. Many people have seen this symbol their whole life, and have no idea what it actually means. The wings are the wings of the brain that I just pointed out and the staff itself is the spine or “flaming sword,” if you will. Also note the serpents moving up the staff/ spine.

If this is true, then it would imply that the caduceus is symbolic of the tree of life.

VI. The Fruit of the Tree

Let us continue

The most important part of the symbol is the cap, the fruit of the tree as it were, between the wings.

It represents the most sacred part of our body.

In Eastern cultures it is known as the Third Eye, the mind’s eye, the all-seeing eye. It is believed to be the portal to the inner realms of higher consciousness. The scientific name for it is the pineal gland, and it is located in the third ventricle of the brain. It is responsible for producing melatonin in the body, which regulates sleep. And this gland is the cap that is on the caduceus -- located right between your eyes on your forehead at the brow line.

According to Eastern thought, there is also a divine force within you that resides at the base of your spine called the kundalini (which means “coiled serpent”). The goal of the practitioner is to raise this life force up the spine -- through the sushumna which is the spinal canal -- to the head.

Let us move from the Eastern understanding of the third eye to the Western understanding. The esteemed French philosopher, Rene Descartes – the mathematical genius who invented the Cartesian plane – said that the Pineal Gland was “the principal seat of the soul.”

And likewise, one can see in Michelangelo’s famous creation painting -- which resides on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican – that God is shown as residing in the brain, and his creative force (represented by his outward reaching hand) emanates out from where the third eye/the pineal gland is located

I want us to take a moment here to acknowledge another insight of Rene Descartes. In his Discourse on the Method he wrote the famous line, “I think therefore I am,” which most scholars take to mean, “Because I am a thinking thing, I exist.” However, what these scholars fail to acknowledge is this same point of Descartes, which he elaborated on Meditations on First Philosophy, had a much bigger purpose. To say “I think therefore I am” is not to prove that he exists, but rather to prove that that God exists. Moreover, earlier we pointed out that God is “I am.” So, that being said, another way to read Descartes famous line is: “I think because God (exists).” For it only seems logical that the same person who said that the pineal gland was “the principal seat of the soul” would also say that a process of our brain (that is to say thinking) proves the existence of God.

Now let us return to scripture to see if we can confirm this extra-biblical understanding.

There are two statements of Jesus that seem to confirm Descartes perspective.

First he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58), which, in the light of what we have said thus far, seems to be him confirming his place in the beginning with God as God’s creative force – “the Word” -- through which all of us are made in the image and likeness of God.

John’s Gospel says that “the Word was God,” and the Word is Jesus. And as we already noted God is “I am.” And here Jesus is speaking in the same language, also saying that he is “I am.” Interesting to note, in Descartes native language, French, the way that you say “I am” is “Je suis,” which as you can tell is just Jesus with an “I” put in the midst of it.

Speaking of an “eye” put in the midst of things, Jesus also said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness” (Matthew 6:22).

With these two statements Jesus seems to be confirming his place in the beginning with God – as the “being” within us – and also that there is an “eye” of our body which determines our spiritual luminosity.

So as we have already pointed out, the caduceus seems to symbolically represent the tree of life. The Egyptians, the culture in which Moses was raised, was quite aware of this heavenly spot within our earthly body. The Eye of Horus and the serpent crown (called the Uraeus) are just a couple of the ways in which the Egyptians symbolically acknowledged the spiritual power within us. Would it surprise you to know that Moses also had a caduceus? Well, in the Book of Numbers (the fourth book of Moses) it is written, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live’” (Numbers 21:8).

So as you can see – this is the description of both the caduceus and the tree of life connected through Moses. His staff, referred to later in scripture as the “nehustan” is wrapped with a fiery serpent (i.e. a “flaming sword”), and it gave life to those who believe (which is to say, those who “eat of its fruit” so to speak).

VII. The Flood

Ok so to bring it back to Genesis – we can see how Heaven, the Firmament, the breath of life, and the Tree of Life are all the same – the heavenly in the midst of the earthly which symbolizes God’s inner connection to man.

Let us look again at the firmament, which God called Heaven, with this more complete understanding we have acquired. The word “firmament” is made up of the two Latin words “firmar” which means “to attach” and “mentum” which means “mind.” In other words, the “firmament,” which God called “Heaven” is by definition “attached to our mind.” Thus, Heaven is literally in our minds.

We are reminded yet again of the second line of Genesis: “the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” Like our body and the earth, our brains are also over 70 percent water. That is, the heavenly is distinct from, yet connected with the earthly.

Moving on in Genesis we come to the story of Noah’s Ark. And we can apply this same understanding to the Ark as well. It is the Heaven that resides within our minds. For as it is written, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of men was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). So you see God is mad at man not for his actions but for what takes place inside his imagination, in his thoughts. The story of Noah’s Ark clearly teaches us that what matters to God is what happens in our minds.

And notice the same language is used here as before. “The waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 7:18). The Ark is representative of the spirit of God, which was also moving upon the face of the waters, or like the firmament, which was “in the midst of the waters.”

The point is Noah’s Ark tells the same story – the heavenly resides in the midst of the earthly. And you can see how the same diagram still applies. The ark is “on the face” or “in the midst” of the waters.

So Heaven is equal to the firmament, which is equal to the breath of life, which is equal to the tree of life, which is equal to Noah’s Ark. Or to put this all another way: Heaven is “attached to the mind” (i.e. firmament) and it is the source of eternal life/ all life (i.e. the tree of life/ ark).

VIII. Babble On

I began this by pointing out how people often misunderstand the Word of God. Although it seems unfortunate that this is the case, this confusion is by design. Many of you have probably only ever been taught or thought that these words of scripture only had a literal or surface meaning. And perhaps it all seemed too trivial, too hard to believe, or maybe that to look for a different meaning was to disregard the orthodox “truth” as you had been taught it. Either way, the point is that most of you have likely never had these stories of scripture explained to you in this way. As I said this confusion, or hidden meaning, is by design.

The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus taught in parables to fulfill the prophecy from the Book of Psalms, “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35).

The word parable shares the same root as the word “parallel.” “Para” means ”alongside.” In other words there is one story (the literal, explicit, earthly story) that runs parallel or alongside another story (the metaphorical, implicit divine story).

Or as Jesus says, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables” (Mark 4:11).

Note how he seems to compare the literal interpretation of God’s Word with being on the outside. Which is to say focused on the external, earthly world

After Noah’s Ark, we read a story about the Tower of Babel. The people of Babel said, “Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens.” (Genesis 11:4). How high would a tower have to be built to reach what many believe to be where heaven resides, based on the literal interpretation of scripture – at the top of the sky? The Tower of Babel is a story that represents the almost ubiquitous misunderstanding of scripture. This is highlighted by God’s punishment for man’s attempt to build such an earthly tower. God says, “Let us go down, and there confuse their language” (Genesis 11:7).

Man just doesn’t understand where heaven is.

We have already been told where heaven is. The firmament, which “God called Heaven,” resides “in the midst of the waters.”

IX. The Covenant

I want to clarify something before I continue, I have obviously been emphasizing the inherent value of what I describe as the metaphorical/ heavenly meaning of scripture because of the connection it suggests between man and God. That is not to say, however, that the literal interpretation of scripture is not compelling and valuable in its own right. It is hard to completely dismiss the historical leg upon which scripture is standing. Much like that leg, though, it can only maintain the right balance if something else is there to “prop it up,” so to speak.

Moving on, if we were to go by the literal interpretation of scripture, according to archaeologists and scholars the Tower of Babel was actually a ziggurat built in the ancient city of Babylon called “Etemenanki” which means “the temple of the foundation of heaven and earth.”

The ancient city of Babylon was located in Mesopotamia, which brings us back to the beginning of recorded history. It also brings us back to the beginning of the world, as it were. That is to say, this historical hypothesis of the Etemenanki of Babylon being the Tower of Babel conveniently works to connect us with the next part of Genesis: God’s covenant with a man named Abraham, who is described in scripture as an old man from “Ur of the Chaldeans” (Gen 11:28). Ur was just down the river from Babylon, and theses same Chaldeans, of which Abraham is explicitly connected, also lived in Ancient Babylon. So it only makes sense that after we read that the people of Babel spread across the earth, we would read about one of these men leaving his home in search of a land promised by God. Through this lens, it is not hard to see that history and what some call Biblical “myth” sure do seem to have a lot in common.

Nonetheless, we continue on. As we read the story of Abraham, it is not hard to see the similarities between him and Noah. They are each chosen to make a covenant with God.

Remember a covenant is simply a “promise” or “testament” or God’s “Word.” God’s Word to Abraham is that he will make him a great nation. Let us think about that word for a moment – a “nation” can represent a people (the earthly) or it can represent the land in which they reside (the heavenly).

So heaven is the firmament, which is equal to the breath of life, which is equal to the tree of life, which is equal to Noah’s ark, which is now equal to the Promised Land.

The heavenly always seems to be in the midst of the earthly. And it appears that our extra biblical understanding is confirmed yet again. For it is written, “After these things the Lord came to Abram in a vision… look toward Heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them… so shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:1,5). God told Abraham to look toward Heaven for his promise, and he did this “in a vision.” That is to say, the Lord appeared to Abraham through the sight of his third eye, which is what it is to “look toward heaven.” As we already said, the pineal gland produces melatonin, which is responsible for sleep. Or another way to put it, the pineal gland alters our state of consciousness – it shuts down our bodies and opens up our inner dream world.

This is what it means to have “in sight” – literally.

God’s covenant with Abraham is passed on to his descendants. The story of his grandson Jacob re-emphasizes the points we have been making thus far. Jacob also communicates with God through internal visions, in the form of profound dreams. For it is written, Jacob “dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:12)

“Then Jacob awoke from sleep, and said, ‘Surely the Lord is in this place; and I did not know it. And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven” (Genesis 28:16)

Jacob’s Ladder, which he sees inside of his mind, is surrounded by angels (cherubim if you will). It touches earth and reaches heaven. This all sounds an awful lot like the tree of life that we have already seen and described at length. – represented by the caduceus – this is the ladder. This might seem like quite a scholarly leap to take, stick with me. Let us continue on, and hopefully you will see how it all comes together.

We read of another dream of Jacob: “And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day…The man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob… Then he said, ‘Let me go for the day is breaking,’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ Then he said to him, ‘What is your name?’ And he said, ‘Jacob.’ Then he said, ‘Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel’” (Genesis 32: 24-25, 27-28).

Although it is not explicitly said, there is a very important aspect of this story that often goes overlooked. The passage never explicitly says that this is another one of Jacob’s dreams, nonetheless, it is implied by the context, and confirmed by the meaning of the name “Israel.” We know that this is a dream because it says, Jacob was “left alone,” and also that he wrestles the unnamed man “until the breaking of the day” (when one would typically awake). But if he wrestles a man, how can he be alone or asleep? The name “Israel” means “struggles with God” So, it is the name that confirms Jacob’s dream for he is in fact “alone” in the sense of the earthly material realm, and as the name implies he “struggled with God” which is to say, he wrestled with his internal self -- his being – the “I Am” heavenly part of him.

This is all confirmed as we continue reading, Jacob says to this unnamed representative of the God he is struggling with, “Tell me, I pray your name, But he said, ‘Why is it that you ask me my name? And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved’” (Genesis 32:29-30).

It would appear as if it has all come full circle. After reading this passage, you may be thinking: does scripture explicitly refer to the Pineal gland here!? Although many have claimed that the place Jacob names “Peniel” is just a different spelling of the word “Pineal” – I cannot confirm this outright, because their etymological roots are slightly different, and thus not a direct connection.

The word “Peniel” comes from a combination of the Hebrew words “panim” which means “face,” and “el” which means “God” and thus means “the face of God” And the word “Pineal” comes from the words “pinus” for “pine” and “al” for “God” meaning “Pine God.” This is in reference to the shape of the pineal gland, which is similar to that of a pinecone. Nonetheless, despite this slight linguistic root difference, Peniel and pineal share a clear overlap in meaning and significance in Christendom. As we just pointed out Peniel is mentioned in the Bible and has great significance because it is where the name Israel first emerged, and the Pineal is, likewise, significant to the church as revealed through their pinecone regalia, adornments, and trappings.

As you can see, the pinecone is depicted at the top of this caduceus staff, and this is typical. Bringing this whole picture together, you can see the staff that the Popes are holding also has a pinecone near the top. What is more this is an image of the Fontana della Pigna or “Fountain of the Pine Cone” at the Vatican. The point is, whether it’s called Peniel or Pineal – it is a place of great spiritual significance where the face of God has been and can be seen.

X. The End of the Beginning

And Genesis continues on to its conclusion, with the story of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph. He, too, had dreams that connected him with God. When he told his brothers, each of whom would become the namesake of one of the tribes of Israel, about his dreams they hated him and sold him into slavery in Egypt. While in Egypt he used his ability to dream, and by extension, his ability to interpret dreams, which is to say to translate the word of God, to rise to second in power after Pharaoh, and to save Egypt and Israel from famine.

Pharaoh said of Joseph, “Can we find such a man as this, in whom is the spirit of God” (Genesis 41:38). In other words, Pharaoh is saying that the spirit of God is clearly alive within this man who dreams.

And once again, we can use the same diagram: the heavenly resides within the earthly.

And after fifty chapters, we finally come to the conclusion of Genesis, which ends with the death of Joseph.

XI. A Recapitulation

Let us recap everything really quick.

- God called Heaven the firmament, which he put “in the midst of the waters. Broken down, the word firmament means “attached to the mind.” So in other words heaven is attached to the mind.

- The breath of life is what makes us a living being. Another way to describe one’s being, just so happens to be the name of God: “I am”.

- The tree of life is placed in the midst of the garden, and it is the source of eternal life, and is protected by cherubim and a flaming sword – these symbols seem to have a connection with the mind as seen when related to the caduceus.

- Noah’s ark holds within it all life, and like the “spirit of God” it, too, moved upon “the face of the waters.”

- The Promised Land is symbolic of the kingdom of heaven in the midst of Earth.

- And Jacob’s Ladder is the way to get from earth to heaven, and it was seen in Jacob’s mind at Peniel. And also recall the same angel symbolism in this story as well.

Throughout everything we read in Genesis we see the same thing over and over: Heaven and earth are distinct yet connected – and the heavenly is in the midst of the earthly. These two symbols encapsulate everything.

XII. Looking a Head

This model of the heavenly residing in the midst of the earthly is not only repeated throughout the book of Genesis, but throughout the rest of the Bible as well.

The Ark of the Covenant and the Temple of Solomon are just two glaring examples of this same pattern of scriptural understanding.

What is of particular interest is the fact that both the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple each feature prominent cherubim, which guard over their most precious area. As we already saw, the cherubim are symbolic of the wings of the brain, which surround the third eye. Highlighted here by this common depiction of the Eye of Horus. See the wings on the left side, and the serpent protruding through the front. It symbolizes everything we have been talking about.

Similarly, the Ark of the Covenant feature cherubim on its mercy seat which sits atop the stone tablets of Moses (the Word of God), and the Temple features very large cherubim in in its most sacred sanctuary: The Holy of Holies.

Or as it is written, “The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most Holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering above the ark and its poles” (1 Kings 8:6-7).

So from this perspective one can see the alignment of the Tree of Life with the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple.

[Whenever cherubim are mentioned, this understanding that heaven resides within, should be at the front of your mind (no pun intended.)]

More to the point, God dwells within the Temple – metaphorically and literally. It is not just some random coincidence that the “temple” is the name of the side of the forehead – within which the pineal gland/ third eye/ kingdom of heaven resides. It is our “Holy of Holies.”

This calls to mind the beginning of the Gospel of Luke, when Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, has “a vision in the temple” (Luke 1:22), where an angel of God speaks to him.

Scripture tells us over and over that the temple is the body and God dwells within that temple:

For it is written, “But he spoke of the temple of his body.” John 2:21)And “I will destroy this temple that is made from hands, and I will build another not made by hands” (Mark 14:58).

And “Do you not know that you are God’s temple, and that God’s spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy and that temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

So as we can see it is not only in Genesis, where the Heavenly resides within the earthly, it is the repeating pattern that unfolds over and over again throughout scripture. The point is that heaven dwells inside of us.

XIII. The Key To It All

Okay, so we have captured an overarching theme in the Book of Genesis, which lays the foundation for the Bible as a whole. The point of everything we have explored thus far can be reduced to: the heavenly resides in the midst of the earthly, and from that we understand that there is something heavenly within us.

But what does this mean? Why does any of this even matter? How are we to make sense of this?

The truth is, the only reason at all we can understand any of this is because of Jesus Christ. He is the key to understanding the entire Old Testament – which to be completely honest without Jesus is practically incomprehensible -- meaning, it would have been nearly impossible to arrive at the same understanding without him there to decipher things for us like our scriptural Rosetta stone. He is the Word of God, as well as the meaning behind it. The fact that he is the key to it is represented by the layout of the Vatican. Notice the lock and key symbolism.

Jesus is also the epitome of the second line of scripture: “The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters,” For he is the ultimate fulfillment of the heavenly in the midst of the earthly – both, as a God within a man, as well as the representative of the kingdom of heaven within mankind.

Connecting with Genesis, Jesus represents the complete fulfillment and embodiment of the Tree of Life, Noah’s ark, and Abraham’s Covenant. Let us further explore Jesus’s connection to the beginning, because only by recognizing Jesus in what we read does any of it matter or make sense at all.

XIV. As the Tree of Life

First, as the tree of life – we can see how it is all connected. The New Testament connects Jesus back to the Book of Genesis, and makes the connection between Jesus and the tree of life quite clear when it says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). In this verse the crucifix is emblematic of the tree of life, and by being crucified, which is to say dying for mankind, Jesus is directly linked to the words of God about the Tree of Life redeeming the sins of man. The tree of life is not only the antidote to sin; it is also the source of eternal life.

The letters of Paul follow this same line of thought. Paul writes, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive… The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit… The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:22,45,47).

As we have said the tree of life is symbolic of the heaven within our minds. So does that mean Jesus is in our minds, if he is from “heaven?” Like Paul said, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

You see, it is not simply a coincidence that Jesus died in Golgotha (a name that means “skull”.) And the heavens opened up when the man Jesus died.

The most explicit connection between Jesus and the tree of life is found in John’s Gospel, when Jesus on the cross is compared directly with Moses’s nehustan. For it is written “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the son of man be lifted up that whoever believes in him shall have eternal life.’ Taking what we know about Nehustan, and its connection to the caduceus and tree of life, and applying it to our understanding of Jesus on the cross, we can better understand what scripture is really telling us here.

The story of the struggles of man on earth, which are resolved through the life and death of Christ, is analogous to the kundalini (i.e. coiled serpent) energy within us that lies dormant in our sacrum (the base of our spine – a name which comes from “os sacrum” which means “holy bone”). The base of the spine represents the earth, thus its association with the serpent. And scripture tells us that man must “be raised up” “from the dust” or from the earth so to speak, up to our mind’s eye, which is to say: heaven – the source of eternal life.

So you see, the symbolism is all the same whether it is the caduceus staff, Jacob’s ladder, the spinal cord, the nehustan, the tree of life, or even the crucifix – whatever you call it, the point is clear: heaven dwells within the earthly. And it is by ascending, or looking upward -- which is really to say looking inward -- that we resurrect this Christ within us from the earth and share in the gift of eternal life that lies above. Or as Christ said, one must be born again “of water and spirit” (John 3:5).

People often misunderstand scripture because they are looking too much at the literal/earthly meaning. And that is not to say that that is not true in its own way. Despite what skeptics repeatedly say, the Bible has significant historical accuracy and there is essentially unanimous scholarly consensus on the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth, but his earthly existence is of secondary importance to his heavenly purpose. As Paul wrote in the second letter to the Corinthians, ‘We look not to the things that are seen but the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

What we need to derive from all of this is simple: Christ is alive in us – scripture makes this point abundantly clear.

Paul wrote, “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

In the earliest writing of the New Testament, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, it is written, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)

And, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

Paul is telling us quite explicitly how we should understand Christ. He says Christ is in us, and the direction we set our minds either brings us closer to the earthly and death or to Christ, Heaven, and eternal life.

XV. As the Ark

The connection between Jesus and Noah’s Ark is likewise profound. When we read of Jesus’s baptism in the Jordan, we see a lot of the same language and imagery that we see in the story of Noah’s Ark.

In the story of Noah it is written, “On that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11-12).

“At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark which he made… Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth…He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth” (Genesis 8:6,8-11).

We can see similar language when Jesus was baptized. For it is written, “He went up immediately from the water and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him“ (Matthew 3:16)

“Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights…” (Matthew 4:1-2)

So you can see, the language of Noah’s Ark and Jesus’s baptism is very similar. Both speak of the heavens “opening up,” a dove which acts as a messenger of God, (for our discussion, one can associate this with the cherubim) and the two stories share a connection with “forty days and forty nights.”

What is interesting is Noah’s Ark is not the only Old Testament connection being made in these lines about Jesus’s baptism and temptation.

For the referral to “the wilderness” hearkens back to Moses and the Israelites making their forty-year journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Furthermore, as we continue reading about Jesus’s baptism, we also see the connection between Jesus and the Temple:

For as it is written, “Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you’” (Matthew 4:5-6)

As you can see this connects directly with our previous discussion of the temple, the angel wings, and all of the symbolism we have gone over at length.

XVI. As The Word of God

What is more, Jesus’s baptism not only connects him directly with Noah’s Ark, through the purification of water, but the fact that Jesus is baptized in the Jordan also connects him directly with the covenant of Abraham as well, a covenant which is represented by the Promised Land.

For it was Joshua – the heir to Moses -- who led the Israelites across the Jordan to the Promised Land in his first act as leader. And here we see Jesus (a name which comes from Yeshua which is another way of saying Joshua) -- also an heir to Moses – likewise beginning his ministry at the Jordan where he too was also guiding his people toward the Promised Land, so to speak. The kingdom of Heaven that Jesus speaks of, however, is the one inside of us.

For Jesus says, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you” Luke 17:20. This sounds a lot like the firmament “in the midst” of the waters – that is, the heaven attached to our mind.

What is more, Peniel, the place that Jacob named for the face of God is said to be located along the Jordan. The evidence seems to suggest that the Jordan River can be seen as symbolic of the spine itself. This symbolism becomes more apparent when we explore the science behind it. For the spine, much like a river, is a channel for “water” -- which is actually how the Father of Medicine, Hippocrates described the clear liquid that travels from our brain down our spinal canal (otherwise known as the cerebrospinal fluid).

What is of particular interest to our discussion is that Emanuel Swedenborg, the eighteenth century Christian mystic was the one responsible for the rediscovery of cerebrospinal fluid. That is to say, cerebrospinal fluid, as a medical concept, had been left out of the books for over 1600 years. The Roman physician Galen was the last one who mentioned it, prior to Swedenborg. It has been suggested that ancient autopsy procedures are responsible for this glaring oversight. Nonetheless, Swedenborg described the cerebrospinal fluid as the “spirituous lymph” that secreted from the brain ventricles down the spinal chord.

The following words of Paul make a lot more sense with this understanding applied to them, for he writes, “this substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you insisting on self abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows from the growth that is from God” (Colossians 1:18-19).

As we can see, this passage helps us to complete the whole picture. When we read these words in light of our new understanding, this passage transforms from a vague statement of God’s connection to the body, to a very clear lesson on how we should understand God’s place within us.

Paul writes “let no one disqualify you insisting on self abasement and worship of angels,” which is another way of saying, that there are others who will mistakenly take scripture literally and will want you to literally destroy your flesh, and worship mythical winged beings. Paul is instead leading us to a more profound understanding, a more profound understanding that most people will not or cannot accept. As Paul says, they have taken their “stand on visions” meaning they do not believe this third eye/pineal gland stuff and they refuse to accept that the true spiritual significance of scripture is happening within us (and not without us), even though the Bible persistently uses “dreams” and “visions” as the means through which God speaks to man -- From Joseph in the beginning of the Old Testament dreaming in Egypt, to another Joseph in the beginning of the New Testament dreaming about escaping to Egypt.

Paul continues by saying that this one who misunderstands scripture and tries to lead others astray is “puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,” meaning they are so attached to the earthly, and the literal that it has made them egotistical, and thus far from God. When instead, they should have been “holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body … grows with the growth that is from God.” Paul is being quite explicit about what is happening. The “substance of Christ” as he calls it comes from “the Head” (which is capitalized suggesting that it is indeed referring to God). So you see, the Head is God anointing us with his Christ (from the Greek “christos” for Oil) that secretes within us.

Another way to put it, we are baptized in the Jordan as we begin our journey into the Promised Land. Or better still, “the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters” (our waters).

This calls to mind what Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly I say to you unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

XVII. The Word Within Us

What is more, Jesus is not only metaphorically connected to Abraham through the Promised Land, and the Jordan River, he is connected to him through genealogy. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke list the genealogy of Jesus. Interesting to note here is that the word “Genesis” and the word “genealogy” both mean “generation.” So Jesus’s Genesis, so to speak, goes back to Abraham, thus establishing him as the heir (and fulfillment) of God’s promise – which as we said is just another way of saying that he is the “Word” of God.

And again we are reminded of Jesus’s poignant words, “Before Abraham was I am” (John 8:58).

In John’s Gospel we read, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The word used for “among” in this passage is translated from the Greek word “en” which also means “in.” So really, John is saying that “the Word dwelt in us.” That is, God’s promise, the Christ, resides inside of us in our temples, our promised land, our tree of life or whatever you want to call it. The Bible is quite clear: “the Word became flesh.”

The irony is that the literalists did not take John’s Gospel literal enough. When it says that “the Word became flesh,” most theologians claim that this is referring to Jesus becoming a man – hence the use of the word “among” instead of “in.” That is to say, Christ as a man dwells “among” us, but Christ as the Word dwells “in” us. The truth is, as the Word of God in the beginning, Jesus was God’s creative force put within each of us, so to say the Word became flesh, is not to say that he became one man, but that he became every man.

Scripture tells us that in the beginning all things were made through the Word, suggesting that there is something within us that is communicating the divine to us, a divine fingerprint if you will, of the heavenly within us. Scripture also tells us that Jesus, who is the Word is from the line of Abraham, meaning he shares the same genes as Abraham. Our genes are expressed through our DNA. Science tells us that DNA uses a process called “transcription” in order to create Messenger RNA. The word “transcription” comes from the word “transcribe” which means “to put thoughts into written form,” which is to say, to turn a thought into a word. The Messenger RNA then carries this genetic code to the ribosomes, which then use a process called “translation” to synthesize the proteins. An analogous way to understand this is that this process of Gene Expression, is our Genesis. And these nucleic acids are “translating” and “transcribing” the Word within us – our being – our genetic code without which there is no life. Both DNA and the Bible convey the story of our life as written by our creator.

Let us recall the caduceus and the tree of life here – now let us add a picture of a DNA molecule – the language of our genes, the promise of our creator: HIS WORD became flesh. This is the “immaculate conception” – the word “conception” comes from the word “concept” which is another word for thought. We were just a thought in the mind of God written into material form.

His word has been clearly written on the world.

The spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

XVIII. Final Thoughts

As we wrap up our discussion on Genesis, I want us to look at two passages from Paul -- One from his letter to the Romans and one from his letter to the Colossians -- because they poignantly capture my over arching point concerning the two different understandings of scripture – the literal and the metaphorical, the earthly and the heavenly, the exoteric and the esoteric and how the significance of this distinction between the two reveals to us the true meaning of scripture, which is the power of God within us. That is the point of this whole book {*He said holding the Bible}

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).

And in his letter to the Colossians Paul writes, Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation (the word) for in him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible … all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 1:16-18).

So many people dismiss the Bible out of hand, whether this is a result of people twisting scripture for their own ignorant or selfish purposes and thus ruining it for others, or because of the seemingly impenetrable nature of the text that is put there by design, it is difficult to say, but what I hope I have shown you with this post – is that there is a profound understanding hidden beneath the literal, material earthly world residing on the surface of the page – and this hidden meaning is analogous to the inner world it is describing (or not describing, as it were).

The hidden meaning of scripture is easy to see, once you open you eye, so to speak.

In other words, the kingdom of heaven is open to those who understand this scriptural “in sight.”


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