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Before the Beginning — Pt 5 — Of Added Words…

Of Added Words…

There was a time, a wondrous time, where all was right and Eve and I and He/She/They enjoyed our life and breaths and heartbeats and radiance in the Creation around us. Time was rather relative there and then. Sun rose, set, stars came, went, plants grew, animals played, came and went, it was all quite marvelous.

He/She/They gave us fruits and seed and yield for food and we learned “eat”, and “consume”, and “nourish”… along with “plant” and “increase”.

In the center of All were the Two Trees. Both trees used the word “beautiful”. But of one, the Tree of Life, He/She/They said we could eat. Of the other, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, we were not to eat. We did not understand. These were new words to us.

“Good”, we could understand. “Good” was the response He/She/They made when things were aright and there was no sadness. We, or at least I, had heard “Not” Good when I hungered not to be alone in this realm, before the coming of Eve.

But, “Evil”? “Evil” was a word I had never heard but for the name of this tree, nor did I understand its meaning. Somehow, I reasoned, it must be connected with this other new word, “Not”. He/She/They had never said a “not”-thing before. And, mark, there was only one “not” here… we were not to eat from that tree.

The Trees-in-the-Center seemed “special” somehow, though what exactly that meant, I was not yet sure. What made them “special”? Again, I am not sure. Perhaps it is simply that these had been set apart particularly by Him/Her/Them. Or, that there were particular instructions concerning them. Or, that all of Creation seemed to center on them in graceful arcs. See? With Eve’s help and conversation, we were mastering many new words! Always, we would present these to Him/Her/Them… always, the response was a muted “Good”.

But then there came that day… that Terrible Day.

It began like many another, as Eve and I toured the Garden, spoke with plants, animals, sang a bit to the skies with the rest of Creation.

It is sometimes hard even to remember what that time was like. It was so very very different from the now. Everything changed from that day.

As we walked, in our ease and freedom, we encountered the serpent I had named. With his lovely leathern skin and mottled pattern, he was a creature of great craft and beauty. But this day… this day he struck up conversation only with Eve, seeming to ignore me, as he gazed upon the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and, by his staring, directed her gaze there as well.

Now, it seems strange to say in this day and age, but you must remember that we, Eve and I, as yet had no words, no ideas, no conception of other sentient beings besides Him/Her/Them and ourselves.

We knew nothing of angels, or demons, or lies, or evil, or deceit. These were, unfortunately, Discoveries-Yet-to-be-Made. So when the Serpent asked his question of Eve, I did think it a bit unusual, as animals usually addressed us BOTH, but it did not disquiet me overmuch. At least not yet.

So he asked Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

Now this was the first time we had heard the word, “God”… but it seemed a good word. It did not say particularly He or She or They or It. “God” was a good and specific word for our Creator, so we adopted it henceforth. Though it did seem strange to be “taught a new word” by an animal. Still, this did not yet disquiet me much. Though, perhaps it should have. Especially to be introduced to such an important word as “God”, but still… I had no suspicions.

Animals often accompanied us on our walks, and even asked questions. We spoke to them of what we learned. So thus far, the Serpent’s behavior was not that unusual.

Perhaps I should have stepped in right there. Certainly much tragedy may have been averted. For God had spoken His instructions to me alone, before Eve came forth from me. Her answer would be “second hand”. “But”, I thought, “she and I are equal, we reflect one another. She can answer this, as she is bound by the same prohibition and is beginning to discover words on her own and share them with me.”

Eve answered, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

In this, Eve erred, and I was concerned. There were two trees, not one in the middle of the Garden. And God said nothing at all about “touching” the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We were forbidden only to eat from it. My heart knew, for the first time ever, “disquiet”, or “anxiety”. Something was “wrong”. Words had been “added to God” by Eve, and they were not what He said. I did not know why. Couldn’t have explained it if you asked, but somehow I felt this was “Not Good”.

Still I watched. She was me and I was she – the serpent too. Our oneness had named – had created – serpent. He/She/They had breathed “Good” … we were Good. Eve was Good. And now Serpent was … Not Good? I knew not why. But this I did know she must be me, just as I am she. In the midst of all this “Not Good” – I knew she will be me!

The Serpent seemed to loll in his most relaxed pose, his languid eyes took on a half-lidded serenity, and ever so gently he crooned to her, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

These words, these incredible words of his, struck me like a hammer blow. You must try to understand, I had had my “eyes opened” only twice. Once was when I first came to Be. The second time was to find Eve formed from my very self. I knew, somehow, that we were made in His Image, but that I – at least – was not yet fully “named”. I knew this was somehow bound up in my destiny with Eve. I was destined, I reasoned, indeed to “be like God” – for what else does “His image” mean, but that?

So these words stunned me momentarily, as my attention wavered into my own questions and reasonings.

Unknown to me in those moments was that her mind flashed just as quickly as did my own, but along a different line of thought. She moved forward with the implications of the Serpent’s words, forming new words within herself. She had never yet encountered God Alone, had never had the experience of Him teaching her to sleep at His command, and surrender purely to “trust”.

These were words, ideas, she knew only through me, not Him. She knew we were bound in His image, that we were delegated authority and power to care FOR life in the Garden. But while “yearning” was a part of her makeup, as it had developed in me while awaiting her creation, she had never known want or desire for anything.

This is what the Serpent exploited.

Eve stared at the forbidden fruit of this amazing Tree, and allowed the Serpent’s words to kindle desire in her heart. She “bent reality”, as she saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise. We could sense each other still yet still I did nothing. Something we had not named was in the Garden. We knew. Yet we did not know. And as she bent the Truth of Trust in God, that to eat of this would render death, into a new word, an untruth, that she should doubt and mistrust God, the Lover/Beloved/Love and His plans for, care for, protection of… her. … I sensed these new feelings too and I too was curious.

She took of the fruit and ate and then handed me fruit bidding me eat as well. Startled as I was, both by the Serpent’s apparent revelations, by her silent reflections, and by my own musings and speculations… I ate as well. I would like to claim the excuse that I simply did not want us to “lose face” in front of the Serpent, and of course, that fleeting thought did cross my mind. But truthfully I was more concerned with completing my destiny, to be Image (Likeness) of God… to be Source of All That Radiance, not just recipient or reflector of it. I yearned to create – not just create by leave with endorsement. I yearned to speak “Good” of my OWN judgment… not waiting for His.

As I swallowed the sweet pulp and juice of this tree of wisdom, all these thoughts clarified in my mind.
New words rose, unbidden, to the surface of my consciousness. “Mistrust”, “secret”, “defiance”, “negation”, “dissonance”, “evil”, “darkness”, “concealment”, “deception”, and, worst of all… “shame”. Oddly enough, despite all the discussion thus far, “death” or “die” did not yet have a meaning for me. But suddenly, inexorably, “fear” did.

Like a thunderbolt, “fear” struck us both, as Eve and I joined hands, panic-stricken, and plunged into the deepest thicket of woods we could find. Our hearts pounded, our breath came in short painful gasps, as we sought to hide from the very tree leaves and needles that surrounded us everywhere. All that life and consciousness in which we had, only moments before, taken such joy… now became sources of paranoid fear. We were certain that all in the Garden knew, had seen, what we had done. That all condemned us and despised us, that we were vulnerable to everything.

We believed we could no longer be nurtured, cared for, protected. We could no longer trust God to do this. We could no longer trust one another to do this. We needed more, somehow. We were “naked”, we were “vulnerable”, we were “ashamed”. We cast about, all around us, seeking armor, protection, clothing. We tore vegetation from plants binding together garments for ourselves. What were we to do now? What could we do? All we knew to do was hide. And so we did. We ran, plunging headlong into the deepest of foliage… terrified… of… we knew not what.

[To be continued…]

 

Before the Beginning — Pt 4 — “First Sleep”

First Sleep

He/She/They bid me come apart for a bit, had me lie down, and, for the first time ever, I knew “sleep”.

It was quite different from sleeps since then. Things changed radically shortly after this first sleep. This was not the healing sleep of recovery from illness or injury. None of that was yet possible. This was not even the sleep of the mind and heart recovery from fears or worries or hurts from others. None of that was yet possible, either.

This was an amazing sleep of oblivious trust. He/She/They took me, I lay down, and there was simply this new word… “sleep”… and I was.

And then, I awoke. Truly awoke, this time, and there before me… right in front of me… there “she” was.

She awoke, I awoke, at precisely the same moment. What a wondrous moment! No words. There are, and were, no words for such a moment. He/She/They just seemed to “glow” in the moment with an indescribable joy. I… I did not know what to say or what to think. I looked into her eyes, as I had learned to do when presented with all new living beings, and I saw her fashioning out of my very own body in His/Her/Their hands.

She was,,, like ME. She was of me, from me. She was, in a sense, me. There was nothing of her that was NOT me, but for her own life as a life opposite me. She reflected me. In our first moments, we moved, and it was synchronous. I raised my hand in the very same moment she raised hers. I looked at her hand as she looked at mine. She stared into my eyes as I stared into hers. In tandem, we looked towards Him/Her/Them with the same expressions of wonder and awe.

I felt the word coming within myself, and I spoke the word aloud… “Woman”, I said. She is/was from me, “Man”. He/She/They responded, “Good”.

I was no longer “alone”, or “sad”. I had my “other”, my own “beloved”.

I heard a truth reverberate from deep within Him/Her/Them/It. I cannot say I understood it completely yet, but I could hear it. I/We, man/woman, were made in the image of Him/Her/Them. We could create through the words birthed in the consciousness we all shared. Our words could “create”, as He/She/They affirmed each word.

I sensed, thus far, only one “mystery”. One thing I felt “should be”, that as yet “was not”, and I asked Him/Her/Them of this.

I had named the animals. I had even named woman. But I had not yet been named myself, and that did not seem right. I could not name myself. No more could the animals name themselves, nor the woman herself. I yet needed to be named. I yet lacked my own name, my own full name. I “knew” somehow, that I was “Adam”… I was the first of men, yes. But there was something more than this, something beyond all this that I lacked.
I could not look into my own eyes. I could not see my own beginnings and destiny. Only He/She/They could do this. I needed yet to be named… but not by myself… by Him/Her/Them! I lacked my own name, as yet.

Feeling my heart on this, hearing my thoughts on this, He/She/They responded. “No fear. Name comes. You will have simple names. You are discovering. Go on. No fear,” and with all that, the simple conclusion, “Good”.
I knew I was not wrong to wonder. I had discovered more new words. “Yearn”, “wait”, “patient”, and the beginnings of “Trust”.

Eve the Woman, and I, Adam the Man, dwelt together. We spoke. We explored. We discovered and created words. All was open, all was light of day or twilight of night, all was new and clean and perfect.

When our awareness extended to Him/Her/Them, the response was always, “Good”.

[To be continued…]

 

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Before the Beginning — Pt 3 — “Good”/“Not Good” – The Crafting of Words

“Good”/“Not Good” – The Crafting of Words

He touched His breast and spoke, “Lover,” He said.

Then He touched my own and said, “beloved”.

Then He spread His arms and said, “Love”.

I was confused. I did not understand. He nodded, and somehow, within me, I could feel Him infusing understanding a little at a time. I could hear His words and assign them a place in my mind. He explained that He had created me, that I was to be a reflection of Him/Her/Them/It in This. That This was all His/Their Creation and that I would carry His/Their Name(s) in some way I as yet did not comprehend at all. But along with all that, all my confusion, was His assurance that all was well, and He/They would take care of everything.

He brought me east into a Garden of His formation, and gave me new words.

“Nurture” was one of them. It sang richly and deeply… to care for, to nurse, to cultivate, to grow these wondrous living things so unlike myself. Unlike me, but like me as well, they were… they were alive! They were vibrant and living, and it seemed I could feel the very life within them. It seems strange to say now, but everything was alive in a way. You could feel it, the very vibrancy of the place itself. But still, these plants, green, leafy, moving in the breeze… these were quite different from the soil, the air, the stones, quite different indeed.

He taught me another word. “Protect” was the word. Again, He seemed to make this word glow within my heart. I found myself wanting to wrap my arms around these… these plant-living-beings… to keep them from harm or discomfort.

Now, that idea confused me a bit, as I knew nothing of harm or of anything that could cause them harm here. But, nonetheless, I found myself feeling a concern for them that nothing happen to them, even of harm I could not imagine or foresee.

My gaze, thus, was drawn from Him/Her/They alone, or from the general surroundings, to these wondrous plant-living-beings which I was set here to protect. As I dwelt there, came to know them, nurtured and protected them, I came to care for them very much. I came to understand new things. I developed new words in my mind and heart. I would speak them, one by one as they came to me, and He/She/They would hear, and in response I would “feel” more than “hear” as He said, “Good”.

“Sky”, “Waters”, “Mist”, “Light”, “Sun”, “Moon”, “Stars”… all these words, gradually I learned. All these truths, along with “Day”, “Night”, I would sense that they were “Good”.

So, I sought to use these words on these new lives I had discovered. I wanted to sense them saying, “Good” to me. But… but… they did not. I spoke to them, tried to speak with them, in this new space I had discovered… caring for them as I did. But, they did not respond. I felt a new word, a new thing. I felt… “sad”… I felt… “apart from them” in some way. I could not share with them as with Him/Her/Them. My charges did not, could not, speak to me or respond that way.

I uttered this new word, this “Alone”… this “Sad”… word. And, for the first time, He/She/They responded differently… “Not Good”. And He/She/They changed my days.

New life now surrounded me. Moving life, responding life, life with eyes and voices. I knew that I was to “speak” to them. I was to “give them words”. How amazing! Up to now I had had the sense that the words I was coming to know were already “there” and I was simply discovering them in my experiences. But this… this was different. He/She/They urged me to “create” for the first time. I was to “create words” from my own self, my own being, and weave my words with His/Her/Their creations of these moving lives around me.

This was exciting! This was heady! This was amazing and incredible and exhilarating, all at the same time. As I gazed into the eyes of each creature, I could truly SEE them in a way impossible to explain — the magnificence of the Lion, the freedom of velocity of the gazelle, the warmth and softness of the chinchilla, the adventure of the mountain goat. I saw not only them, but how they fitted in this Creation around us.

I carried with me, into and into them, my words of “protect” and “serve”. I understood those to be a part of me, not simply something I was to do to as I did with plants. I yet did not know what fear or danger truly meant, but I wanted these creatures, these “animals” to be well, healthy, safe, and free. I poured these words onto them, and they responded… their lives, their consciousnesses, acknowledged me… responded to me… were pleasing to me. All these new words, these new experiences, He/She/They were there with me in this, and responded, indeed… “Good”.

And yet, speak as I might, try as I might, these new lives could not speak to me the same way I could speak to them. They could reflect my care in many ways. But they could only “follow” – I learned that new word. They could “repeat”. I learned to value the interaction between us, that I could lead and they follow. But they could not craft, create, or engage me as I could them. As I discovered this limitation my joy waned. I was no longer utterly “alone”, these were present lives who could and did accompany me. But still I was “sad”. As I reached this conclusion, He/She/They responded, “Not Good,” in echo of that first such utterance.

[To be continued…]

 

Before the Beginning — Pt 2 — “Awakened”

Awakened…

I awoke, as if from a dream. I say “as if” because it was not a dream, there was no dream, nor could I have dreamed. I had not been asleep, I simply had not been. I had not been at all. I was not. And then, quite suddenly it seemed, I was. There I was, and I awoke. But I said that already.

My eyes opened. There He was before me. I beheld… Him. Him/Her/They/It. Such words as “sex” or “gender” had no meaning for me. In fact, no words at all as yet had meaning for me. I awoke as blank as a newborn. In fact, more blank than that, since there had been no nine month history to my formation.

Everything worked fine, you understand. My body functioned perfectly. I could stand, sit, walk, jump, run, swallow, all of that. And my brain worked as well. I could think, wonder, seek, compute. But there was simply no data, no framework, no referents to anything. I had no memories at all, for I had not been, I was not, and then suddenly I was.

I was not even afraid of Him/Her/Them/It.

I did not yet fear. Fear comes from having suffered some loss or pain in some prior experience. No… none of that… no fear.

So I just looked upon Him, in wonder.

[To be continued…]

 

Before the Beginning…

For Julia, et al…

cosmic veinsOnce upon a time, longer ago than time ever was, and further away before space existed, a great Glowing Orb of Radiance reached forth to the uttermost edges of the Possible. Well, it is not so much that He “reached”, for He had no hands, no parts distinct from other parts. But rather, He (for He was conscious and sentient) extended His thought, His essence, His very Being forth… and in that extension, Being itself became Real.

This extension, this giving forth of Himself, His essence, His Being… this Radiating that brings about Being… ultimately conceived an Object… a focus, a locus, for all this extension of Being, Consciousness, Radiance, Giving Forth of Self…

This Giving-Sent-Forth of Self, we call “Loving”. The Giver, we call “The Lover”. This Object conceived, the locus and focus, we call “The Beloved”.

This Beloved received all sent forth from The Lover, and in that receiving is, was, became, is ever Himself a Self, conscious and sentient. His response, the Beloved, is, was, and ever is to reflect all that is sent forth. The focus of the Beloved is ever on the Lover as He Himself returns all radiance to the Lover, hence radiating Himself as if He were a source, though all is sourced only and wholly in the Lover. The Beloved is thus utterly Reflective, losing or wasting nothing sent forth. Rather, All is captured, reflected, returned to the Lover, Who Himself continues infinitely and eternally Giving Forth of Himself. This reflection is so complete, so perfect, that it truthfully may be said that to behold, fully to know, the Beloved is to see the Lover entire.

Were there space between Them – though of course, “space” is simply not a meaningful thought for Them – that space would be filled, Infinitely and Eternally filled… with All that Giving-Sent-Forth from and by the Lover, and infinitely and eternally reflected by the Beloved. The Density of that Essence, that sheer Consciousness and Sentience, having a locus and focus of His own, distinct from Lover or Beloved, becomes, became, is ever a Self of His Own.

Composed wholly of the Radiance sent forth by The Lover and reflected by The Beloved, we call this Radiance “Love”, and His distinctness is that He is the Bridge, the Relationship, the material of connection between the Lover, the Beloved, and All that Results in that relationship.

This All-that-Results, we call “time”, “space”, “creation”, the “Cosmos”.

We know these Three by other names. But for now, we will not speak of that here.

[To be continued…]

 
 
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