July 22, 2008

Genesis 1.1-2

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.


At 10:02 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

"In the beginning God": 1st and foremost; our primary value (though it might be the bottle, needle, or golf).

Fritz Kunkel's Creation Continues make us aware that it is an ongoing process, Jesus was the primary (human) creator. but we all, or should be, cocreators.

At 6:14 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

I find some difficulty with Heaven and Earth being created either by bottles, needles, or golf. So maybe it was not created by "our primary value." Perhaps by some'thing' that should be our primary value, if only we knew it well enough to value it?

Now the original Hebrew meaning was supposed to read "In the beginning the gods created..." Which could be metaphorical shorthand for "God," seen as the unity underlying the various gods. Metapsycholically speaking... "The universe was structured in accord with the human mental categories that people of Biblical times recognized and personified as 'spirits'..."

And if I had written this, it would read something like: "In the beginning, the Spirit dreamed..."

Some science fiction book that I read a very long time ago posited a world structured only by human belief--so that, for example, the Earth literally was flat until some bright person figured out why it couldn't be, whereupon it 'always had been' spherical (so far as anyone in present time could know.) [Richard Mckenna's "Fiddler's Green" took this model of the universe to its natural consequences, which were pretty scarey, to my mind!] Is this the sort of 'ongoing process' you had in mind? Or do you mean simply that our awareness of how things are continues to expand, come into sharper focus, rearrange itself into more adequate gestalts?

& I'm not so sure of how Jesus fits into this--except as a human working model of Yahweh's personality--the absolutely compassionate and implacably objective unity of truth and love.

"I can of my own self do nothing." And so it is with 'creativity,' no matter how much we may need to rethink and rewrite in the course of it.

At 11:36 p.m., Blogger Chris M. said...

Your version, "the Spirit dreamed..." is a lot like Brian McLaren's in "The Secret Message of Jesus." He was offering as an alternative to praying, "Thy kingdom come," we pray, "May Thy dreams be realized"?

At 12:58 p.m., Blogger Rob Fensom said...

Yes! I'm on time got here for the start. As a rancher I have always liked the creation story, once accepted everything else falls into place.

At 5:20 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

I too have always like this story.

But (while I'm glad to have you around!) I'm not sure what you mean by "accepting" it.

I mean, the story implies that 1) This place didn't "just happen" via physical causation, that 2) The making of the world was done in an experimental, creative way, and that 3) It was done by a living, conscious spirit (described in more detail elsewhere.) I entirely agree with that!

But there are odd details here, and we've already found one of them: If the Earth is "without form" at the time, where are these 'waters'? The way I read it, the writer is basing this on an ancient model of the universe: water all around in all directions, above & below, with the Earth (as it's finally constructed) being a flat surface floating under a vast protective bubble of sky. So here God has separated the waters above from the waters below to form a workspace--and is moving over the waters below, prior to assembling the Earth upon them.

At 4:57 p.m., Blogger Rob Fensom said...

Dear forrest As you point out the story dosnt unfold in the way our logical, science like minds of the 20th and 21st centuary easily comprehend. As it was written by ancients who found that that was the only way they could describe it. I too can not understand or explain many things in the bible but through faith I accept them and so understanding the rest becomes easier.

At 3:25 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

I generally have faith that God can help me understand anything that seriously matters... rather than the sort of 'faith' that consists of 'accepting' something that really makes no sense to me.

Now sometimes the answer to me not 'understanding' something here may be that it really doesn't add up--And other times, I just need to grow a little older, to become someone else, for something I couldn't have seen earlier to click into place.

Those 'ancients' were sometimes way sharper about some things--and sometimes even more clueless. We can't assume they were always wrong, us right--or the contrary. We are in a position to see from two vantages--as long as we don't just imagine we can follow them as if they'd come from our civilization, or as if they'd meant what our various Christian predecessors read into them. They didn't.


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