Roy Bourque

Aerospace Education Officer for Cadets, Civil Air Patrol

This conversation is closed.

Biblical Genesis; is it fact or myth?

Jesus always spoke in parables (Matthew 13:10,11,34,35). He also claimed he only does as the father does (John 5:19). None of the stories told by Jesus were literally true. Yet they convey lessons that Jesus felt were important. Could the same be true for Genesis?

According to Genesis, God created the heavens and the earth. Yet there isn’t a single fact on HOW God created anything, nor is there a single fact about who or what God is. What I do find is a warning about the power of deception, and many parallels between Genesis and Eastern philosophy.

Eastern philosophy deals with the power of mind over matter. The quality and result of our actions is totally dependent on the quality of our thoughts. If our thoughts are not in harmony with the power that drives creation, our actions will be confounded. So the key is to understand what drives creation.

The power that drives creation is what the ancients referred to as God. To understand what GOD means, we have to understand WHAT DID create the heavens and the earth.

The church gave us its interpretation of God, but it is all based on a personification. A personification does not define nor describe God. If you can’t see beyond the personification, you aren’t seeing anything but fantasy. That is a serious problem.

Everything that we have created requires that we understand the creative process. The creative process involves the structure of matter, which can be traced all the way back to quantum fields, and the creative forces of nature, which can also be traced all the way back to quantum fields. The power that created the heavens and the earth includes both the structure of matter, and the forces that manipulate that structure. That is where we have to start if we want to understand what God is. Presently, science is closer to the truth than the church. But science doesn’t deal with spirituality. There has to be a balance between the two.

Closing Statement from Roy Bourque

There are three different viewpoints;
1. Genesis is myth, and therefore nonsense.
2. Genesis is fact, and therefore supports the idea of a young earth.
3. Genesis is myth, but contains many deep lessons if you care to search them out. I am of this group.

Joseph Campbell made many connections between myths of various cultures and showed their relevance in understanding the mysteries of life. Although they weren't literally true, they had value as food for thought. Jesus said man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. To me, this is a direct association referring to food for thought. The fundamentalist says "the bible says that God has a mouth". The freethinker says the universe speaks through those who were able to understand.

Ancient cultures had two levels of thought; The exoteric was meant for the general masses (just accepting the literal word). Esoteric was the deep wisdom, reserved for the elite. The Jews have an esoteric teaching called the Kabalah. This goes far beyond the literal word.

Moses was raised in the house of Egypt and married the daughter of a Midian priest (part of Mesopotamia). These facts come from the bible. I was led to look into Egyptian and Mesopotamian myths and found many similarities to the Judeo-Christian tradition, yet these myths predate the bible. Genesis itself was written in the age of myth.

I see myth as a mystery that makes you think. The fundamentalist is persuaded by word alone. But word alone has many conflicts. The order of events in Genesis chapter one is different than Genesis chapter two. Genesis 22:1 says God did tempt Abraham. Yet James 1:13 contradicts this. There are many more. These discrepancies cannot be ignored if one is to take the word of God seriously. Why is there a discrepancy? What is it trying to tell you? You have to think about it, you can't just take it for face value. Myth demands that you use your brain to think and not just memorize.

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    Sep 11 2012: I do believe that the creation story is not to be taken literally. It has wisdom to tell us but not to the mind who cannot extract it.
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      Sep 17 2012: If one day we discover that we don't really exist, but we are just brains in jars being fed stimulation signals from some super computer, I'm gonna be mad I did all that math.
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    Josh S

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    Sep 7 2012: Il be honest, this topic can get very biased. I'm coming at it from a Christian perspective and you are most likely coming at it from an atleast agnostic perspective. If you assume Jesus spoke in riddles and believe that everything in the bible is just another way to God or to gods just like any other religion then i can't really make an argument. I can let you know what i believe but this topic isnt really something that can be debated, since there aren't facts to debate on. Yes i believe Jesus represented God, but i dont believe he spoke in riddles. If he meant to give a demonstration, he would specifically say, 'take this as an example (parable)'. At the same time, the book of Genesis doesnt say, 'something like this may have happened', it just says what happened.

    It seems that you arleady believe that Genesis was a myth, an assembly of riddles meant to be unravaled. But that's where the argument lies, i dont believe that and atleast up to now, there isnt anything to prove for or against it. But that's what Christianity and all religions come to, faith. Faith in something that may not be able to be seen or touched.

    And on personification, maybe you are using the wrong word but i understand what you mean. I dont think that the bible is giving us personifications of God, or analogies or metahpors, i simply believe it for what it says. If it said' God is green" i would believe he was physically green, i wouldnt take it as a metapor like, 'maybe he is environmentally friendly' or 'maybe hes a good gardener' i was just take it for what it is.

    But please, again, i dont mean to argue because on this sort of topic there really cant be a debate, just different points of views that unfortunately can't be argued with 100% certainty in the facts. Trust me, i respect your position and understand i most likely wont change your opinion on this subject and you wont change mine so there is no need to argue it. But thank you for letting people throw out there views =)
    • Sep 7 2012: Josh, you say that you simply believe it for what it says. This is rather vague statement. Do you mean that you take passages from the Bible to be literal interpretations without metaphors? I am a Christian as well, but there are certainly times where Jesus was talking in metaphors without saying "this is a metaphor." Take for example Luke 6 where Jesus says "I am the bread of life" in verse 48, or "very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" in verse 53. These were meant to be metaphors. Jesus did not mean that he was physically bread as a literal interpretation would lead. Another example would be Ezekiel 28: 11-19 where the king of Tyre would literally of been in the garden of eden, walked on the holy mountain of God, and been thrown to earth. It is stated literally but is a metaphor describing what many believe to be the fall of Satan.

      I too am a Christian. I think the Bible is true. Faith is essential to my faith, but stating that a direct literal interpretation of the Bible is the only (or true) way to look at it is rather dumb. We should be very careful not to twist the Bible, but it is ridiculous to take not acknowledge the metaphors in the Bible. Whether you think that the creation passage is a metaphor, that is up to you, but a direct literal interpretation of the Bible leaves Christians as people who never physcially get hungry, cut off their hands if they cause them to sin, rip out their eyes if they cause them to lust, and forgive people 490 times.(that is the obligation, if they sin against you more than that, you dont have to forgive them.)
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      Sep 8 2012: Josh, thank you for your comments.

      I am not an agnostic. I have had spiritual experiences that have taken me beyond mere belief. It was because of those experiences that I began to realize that there is a lot more to Genesis than just a literal story. Although I take it as a myth, I don't regard it as nonsense. The riddles have deep meanings and deep implications.

      Jesus said "he that believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also: and greater works than these shall he do" (John 14:12). I see many Christians that can't seem to get out of their own way, never mind performing miracles. What Jesus do they believe in, and what do they still not know about Jesus?

      Genesis as fact doesn't offer me very much. Genesis as myth offers me a great deal more.
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        Sep 9 2012: I think a key question is intent. Was it intended to be a literal account.

        I've heard scholars argue both ways. Firstly that is was meant to be a literal account. Others point out that Gen 1 and 2 are somewhat contradictory and that they may be more metaphorical. The latter struggle somewhat when it is pointed out Jesus as described in the bible seemed believe Genesis was a literal interpretation. Jesus is not perfect if he believed in Genesis, he was wrong as we know genesis is a mythical creation story that is completely at odds with our 21st century scientific understanding.

        I tend to think the ancients took genesis literally. Adam and Eve, floods etc.

        Given it is not correct, believers either need to see the bible as inspirational rather than inerrant, or deny reality and assume it is literal and discount anything that indicates otherwise.
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          Sep 10 2012: Hi Obey,
          Intent is a good place to start. We know that ancient cultures had two levels of understanding; exoteric and esoteric. Esoteric goes beyond words. The order of events in Genesis one and two are different. The fact that they are different says that the literal account is contradictory. Why they are different says a lot about what they mean.

          Jesus referred to Genesis (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). There is nothing to say that these characters didn't actually exist. But Genesis is not your typical history lesson. It raises more questions than it answers. Why did the devil take the form of a serpent? What was meant by the cherub and the flaming sword? Whatever happened to the tree of life? Does the Garden of Eden still exist?

          Just because Genesis is at odds with our 21st century scientific understanding doesn't make Genesis all wrong. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is just as real today as it was then once you know what it is. The problem is that we don't know what it is because the metaphor is no longer understood, even by the church. I know of many people who are eating from this tree today with the same results as in the story. It is all built on associations. There is no physical tree, the tree is a representation of all the things that entice you, but leave you destitute once you partake of them. They all belong to the same tree because they all have the same overall effect; they suck the life right out of you.

          Many recent movies speak of walking zombies. It's all part of the same story. We live in a land where people have no idea who they are or what they are capable of. They become involved with addictions, and whatever latent talents they may have had, they will never know. Genesis is all built on associations. There is nothing logical about it. You have to understand the meaning of the metaphors to see what it is trying to tell you. And once you see them, it is telling you a great deal more than most people know.
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        Sep 10 2012: Hi Roy, there was also a talking donkey in the old testament. Why not take the from of a serpent? There is no evidence for a personified devil anyway. But given I think the stories are invented they could have chosen any form they wanted.

        The angel may have just chased them out of eden with a flaming sword, or you can try and ek out some symbolic meaning. You may even have references that help you dicpher these sorts of texts if meant esoterically. It doesn't mean any of the supernatural claims are real or insights are divine in nature.

        I guess we have no compelling evidence Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ever existed or what actually happened if they did.

        Perhaps there is the same type of metaphorical "truths" in the Vedas or Koran, if not taken literally.

        I would not be surprised if there was a purposeful rich underlay to various old religious texts. Just not top of my list for gathering insights into the human condition and reality.

        Thanks Roy
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          Sep 10 2012: Hi Obey,
          Using your logic, you give me an engineering formula, and I get to choose what the symbols mean in the formula. It's a lesson in futility. The scientist that developed the formula had a reason for choosing those symbols and knew what those symbols meant. You have to know that in order to make sense of the formula

          Myth uses symbols of a different nature, but they are still symbols, and the writer knew what those symbols meant. In order to understand why a serpent, you have to understand what the serpent meant to ancient cultures. If you don't care to know that, then the myth becomes meaningless.

          Sacred text were not meant to reveal the truth, they were the "bread of life", otherwise known as food for thought. You can't just accept them for face value. Not all people can think scientifically. That is why there is a division between science and religion. Science is not at the top of the list for gathering insights into the human condition and reality by those who see meaning in sacred text. The only problem in this is that the meaning of religious symbols are no longer understood by most modern people. They are asking others to accept the exoteric version of text and not giving them the esoteric explanation.

          Let's just agree to disagree. I know why I believe. I can understand why you don't.
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        Sep 11 2012: I get it Roy.

        However, you need to know exactly what the author intended using the metaphor of the serpent (assuming it was meant symbolically). You might guess right by referring to what the symbolism commonly meant in that culture/region/time.

        I'm not sure if the Greeks and Roman believed all their myths, but they appear to have believed in the gods and portents and built temples etc.

        I also think it is a big call to claim to know the purpose of ancient texts. They are partly in the eye of the reader and partly in the intent of the authors. So some literalists Genesis explains who the universe came into being and the early days of humankind.

        I agree in part that one difference between religion and science is subjectivity.

        I believe that science provides the best foundation for understanding the human condition, what we are, how we function, think, feel, why we behave certain ways etc. Philosophy also has a role. Personally I think metaphysics is just an expression of our ignorance, but reflects deep human needs and behaviours and cognitive processes.

        The bible is a huge collection of books. You can find something to take or twist or interpret nearly anything anyway you want. I agree there is probably an original intent by each of the authors. Not sure how well you can tease that out today, but your approach to understand the context makes sense.

        I also think the old books show how much we are the same and how much we have moved on.

        We still see agency without evidence, we still seek meaning, but we have a better understanding of the universe and ourselves. We no longer endorse slavery or killing homosexuals (in the West).

        I guess I recognise the base needs and processes, I just doubt the subjective interpretations even if you are correctly interpreting the bible, these findings may not accurately reflect reality. Maybe good guesses for the time, but wrong in places and still unanswered.

        Religion and spirituality seems to be one place we value guesswork
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          Sep 14 2012: We must remember that we don't think the same way that ancient writers thought. Their wisdom was all expressed as associations. The elite had their understanding much like the modern day Masons.

          I think that there is more to metaphysics than our present generation knows. We know far more about science than they did, but we have lost touch with metaphysics. In that way, we have moved on.

          Spirituality for me wasn't guesswork, it was a cognitive process in which I had to find the common ground between what I had experienced in spirituality, and the reality that science was uncovering. Once I found the common ground, it all started to make sense. It was then that I began to take a second look at ancient writings. And spirituality continued to guide me to where I could find the answers. It is a journey, not a belief.
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      Sep 17 2012: So as a Christian do you think that Jesus was the Messiah?
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    Sep 23 2012: Myth, like the rest of the bible.

    Haven't read any comments but I likely agree with most saying that it is myth.
  • Sep 23 2012: Yes now is the time to be careful as a human race. Because like you said someone having a bad day could wipe out a whole city... or worse.

    If you do believe that the book of Genesis has any truth to it, then it tells you a few things about who God is. First off he was the creator of this earth. He has absolute power over man, but allows us to choose our own path. I would say it gives some clues to his character.
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    Sep 17 2012: For me Roy, It's hard to understand. I guess I see things from the Left Brain point of view all the time.

    Quantum Mechanics is hard for most people to grasp. The Math is a monster and String theory is the only object currently used to conjecture images in our dense brains. Sometimes, I think some scientists are just making money off their submissions and only adding more clutter in the already bloated Quantum Theory Answers for Dummies.

    Yet, when I review the world of Dmitri Mendeleev and see the periodic table developed with little knowledge of what an atom looks like or how it's component parts come together as presented by the Rutherford Model, I am completely flabbergasted. I studied Mendeleev's descriptions of how he noticed patterns proceeding through those elements that had been discovered, between 1860 to 1869.

    I concluded that the minds ability to extract information from the world around them has more to do with pattern recognition than the theoretical math which is used by so many physicists today. Even Einstein used his right brain to envision a ride through the universe on the head of a light beam and falling in a gravity field in a closed elevator.

    I can suppose that there is some connection between the right brains ability recognize patterns and the left brains compulsion to logically connect these patters together in some meaningful form. But, to merge this idea with the supposition that God is somehow a part of the mix or behind it all, is just over my head.

    I would like to read your book but will have to wait for the Uncopywrited version to appear on kindle :)

    Maybe next month I will purchase it.

    You are doing a great service with the Civil Air Patrol Sir. I hope some of your cadets become fierce fighter pilots in service to our country, We may need it in the near future.
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      Sep 18 2012: You are seeing what the eye alone can't see. That is the beginning to what is known as "born again". It has nothing to do with belief and everything to do with seeing beyond the visible world. That is what is known as spiritual understanding. It takes time, but is worth the trouble.

      The book is available in E-book form. You can find it on Amazon.com.
  • Sep 15 2012: "Biblical Genesis; is it fact or myth?"

    I don't want to be rude but isn't this website meant to have intellectual discussions? What's next, a "discussion" on whether or not Santa Claus is real?
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      Sep 15 2012: You are absolutely correct Mr. Smith. However, in the US this is an unfortunate debate and hotly contested.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/bill-nye-the-science-guy-creationism-is-not-a-science-responds-to-creation-museum-video_n_1862393.html
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      Sep 16 2012: An intellectual discussion presupposes you know who you are talking to and their qualification to contribute to the conversation. I notice your profile is a bit stark Mr. Smith. Your's too Linda. :)

      It's very easy to talk to Mr. Roy Bourque, because he makes no bones about who he is or how he stands on any issue. I understand his rhetoric and most of the time he is very clear on his proposals.

      I find his conversations valid, titillating, and sometime refreshing. He gives enough information about himself to assist me to make the correct approach to answer his questions.
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        Sep 16 2012: Interesting. You have hit on one of the big reasons why my profile is stark. I prefer if people respond authentically rather than correctly.
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          Sep 16 2012: It's you. I understand. You reveal yourself in what you say. I have a personality image in my mind of what and who Linda Taylor is.

          I think I've said this before.... I not really a chimp. ;)
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          Sep 17 2012: What's the difference? I'm sorry I have to ask you in this public domain but you don't respond to emails :)
      • Sep 17 2012: Doest it matter whether I'm a 35 year old white male plumber from New Jersey or a 739 year old silicon based androgynous lifeform from a small moon in the Andromeda galaxy? Who I am doesn't change the fact that it's silly to have "discussion" on the validity of genesis, the existence of Santa Claus or the outcome of 1+1, especially on TED.
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        Sep 17 2012: Emails? What emails?

        I did run into this before and for some reason I cannot get emails from this site. I do not know if it my spam filter or what. Sorry about the technical glitch.
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          Sep 17 2012: Goto your account - communications managment and see if you can make heads or tails of it.

          I can't.
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        Sep 17 2012: Been there done that and it never works. Just checked again. I can't make it more available than the boxes I checked. Sorry.
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      Sep 17 2012: What could possibly be more intellectual that an open, civil discussion of the origin, purpose, and fate of the Universe?
      • Sep 17 2012: One that actually discusses ideas that do not fly against the face of every ounce of science and are backed up by a little more than the drug-induced hallucinations of bronze age sheepherders.
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          Sep 17 2012: Are you conflating science with intellectual? To disagree with science is not always unintelligent (Phlogiston; Alchemy; Galen's Anatomy; Geocentric Solar System; Heavier objects fall faster; Disease not caused by germs; DNA less influential than proteins; Piltdown Man; Archaeoraptor Liaoningensis; Atom is smallest possible particle; etc, etc.).To what drugs are you referring?The author of Genesis was raised as a nobleman in the household of the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth, he (Moses) was not a hallucinating sheepherder. Check it out, use the scientific method. Thank you!
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    Sep 13 2012: Creation stories have been around since the dawn of humans. Because no one was around when the world was created, we can reasonably be sure no one really knows how it all started. Because no one really knows how it all started, humans developed creation stories. Over time creation stories became a way to explain to outsiders what the values, morals and beliefs were of the people that created the stories. When two groups of people came together in the past, the exchange of creation stories was part of the diplomatic exchange as different peoples got to know one another.

    That being said, closer inspection of the Biblical creation story really illustrates this story comes from a people subjugated in slavery and really they just wanted a day off.

    It is very worth your while to investigate creation stories across cultures and times and look for those values, beliefs and assumptions. If you look closely, you will find an interesting description of the environment from where the people come from. Values and morals. For instance that whole big bang creation story. Tells you a lot about the people that believe that.

    But it is only a recent development that people have been actually believing creation stories as literal or true. Nobody did that before the general population was literate.
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      Sep 14 2012: Linda,
      Your last statement is an eye opener. It is very possible that prior to literacy, no one took the stories as literal.

      I have read several of Joseph Campbell's books, several books on world religions, gleaned some information from mythology, read several books in Eastern philosophy and mysticism, and read several works on the history of religion. It is in the cross referencing of these works that I find deeper meaning in the works. The bible only gives us a pre-selected group of books to work from. There is little explanation within these books alone.

      Thank you for your insightful comment.
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        Sep 14 2012: I know right? As if because it is written down someplace automatically establishes truth and validity. It says more about the human experience than the origins of the universe. The writings in the bible use this technique also. "It is written" is the preface for "the following statement is true."

        And to this day, because it is written down someplace people believe it is true. How else would Tabloid rags do business?
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          Sep 14 2012: It also mentions eye witnesses.
        • Sep 16 2012: "It also mentions eye witnesses."

          Who happen to be all dead...
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        Sep 14 2012: I'm sorry Obey, I do not understand your comment. Could you please elaborate? Are you saying the point of believing what is written is that it is the writing of an eye witness?
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      Sep 17 2012: Are you referring to the modern day Big Bang Theory Linda?
  • Sep 9 2012: Roy have you ever heard of the term "proof texting" as regards Scriptural interpretation?

    You are all over the place.

    We understand God by understanding the structure of matter and quantum fields? Really???


    God is defined as that of which there can be no greater. If something can be more...then it cant be called God, whatever God is. That;s the definition of a God (with a capital G) How does matter, which is in potency, somehow connect to knowing what God is?

    If personification is not a path to God, matter is? I mean, just on the surface, a person ís much greater than a purely material process. For one thing, a person can move on his own volition and, most importantly, can think. But, we know God by knowing matter?
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      Sep 10 2012: J Ale,
      I had an experience at the age of nine while meditating on God. What I saw could easily be explained by quantum physics. They weren't teaching quantum physics in the third grade. It would be eleven years before I would learn about quantum physics. It was only then that I was able to relate to what I had seen.

      Quantum fields are the source from which all things come and back to which they go. They are everywhere. They are invisible. They are what is doing the creating. There is nothing that we know to exist that can't be explained in terms of quantum fields. They have all the qualities attributed to God. Is there a connection? In order to answer that question, you have to know what quantum fields are and what they are capable of. We are just starting to understand.
      • Sep 12 2012: If we are just starting to understand as you say then we should not be saying that quantum fields explain everything.

        That aside, given the quantum world is material, by logical necessity it cannot explain God who is beyond potency (potential) but is pure Act. If God were not pure Act we could not refer to God as God, for their would be someone greater than that one who we were saying is God. And that one would then be God and would be pure Act with no potency.

        There is potency in the quantum realm. for what can be possibly can possibly not be at a particular time. This cannot be said of "God".
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          Sep 14 2012: J Ale,
          You make a good point. I can only go as far as quantum fields in my understanding. They have all the same qualities that are attributed to God, thus I saw them as one and the same. This was in response to a childhood spiritual experience I had while meditating on God.

          The quantum world is material, but quantum fields are not. The electron is a point source of negative electrical energy. When you put it together with a proton, it creates a sphere. In the absence of a proton, there is no structure. And then again, the sphere itself is not physical. It is only when enough of them are gathered together that a physical structure becomes apparent. It is only in the combined output of many fields interacting that the physical world becomes manifest.
      • Sep 17 2012: Thank you for your repsonse.

        I wonder if you understand what I mean by material? Material would be that which has mass. A negative charge has mass. An empty space has no mass but may potentially be filled with mass. Thus it is in the same order of existence, i.e. a material existence, and follows phsycial laws. the lack of a structure does not negate a physical order, it is just a matter of lack at that point.

        As an aside, even quantal components themselves may be reduced to subatomic particles, which evidences the material nature of particles. An electron may be reduced to smaller particles.

        There is a book you would might enjoy which deals with all of this as well as Metaphysics. It is called "The Modeling of Nature"by William Wallace.

        As to the spiritual experience you had, it does not violence to the idea of God to say that He is known by his effects. However, the effect can never be greater than the cause.

        To stretch this further, God as that which nothing greater can be said must of logical necessity be One and Simple (meaning simple as opposed to an admixture or complexity), Infininte, Good (by logical definition as all that exists comes from God and from nowhere else and is thus "good") and Being itself. (i.e. God cannot have existence but must actually be existence in himself) Thus God's Act is the same as His existence. This is all in line with the idea that God cannot have potency in any way. Not even the potential for potency. He must be pure Act. Also, he is the Unmoved Mover.


        If your approach were to be maintained, then, necessarily speaking, there would be no God.
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          Sep 18 2012: Hi J Ale,
          Religion created an image of God that is apart from reality. That is why we try to find God apart from reality. And by the same token, anything that can be explained is no longer attributed to God because it now has an explanation within reality itself. By this reasoning, if we can explain everything, then there is no need of God.

          Ancient cultures saw things very differently than we do. To them, everything that happened was a result of God, God being the deeper recesses of reality that they could not understand. They personified God, but they (the elite) knew that such personification was an imaginary character developed to represent the deeper recesses of reality. If you wanted to know God, you had to see beyond the personification into the laws of nature itself.

          It was the Catholic church that separated God from reality so that science would not infringe upon its doctrine. Since then, religion has fallen apart because it is now based on false ideas. And it is because of these false ideas that people take Genesis as literal, seeing God as a character, rather than the forces of nature personified. The forces of nature and the structure of matter alone is all we need to understand how the universe works. But that is what the ancients referred to when they used the term God. They saw things very differently that we do. You have to see things as they did in order to understand what they tried to tell us.
    • Sep 12 2012: Just to say - your fundamentals are clear - there is no way that non-material 'causes' can be understood by material causes that science deals with. The problem in the current world is that almost all people have started believing in matter as the cause of everything - this belief is actually the real cause of all the confusion and obfuscation - there is no clarity in the horizon as of now.
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      Sep 17 2012: Your forgetting your body and mind are just a collection chemical elements made from matter. We are just talking rocks. We could end it there I suppose but I like to think I'm something more that a pile of dirt.
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    Sep 8 2012: "Presently, science is closer to the truth than the church. But science doesn’t deal with spirituality. There has to be a balance between the two."

    What do you mean by: " truth", "spirituality" and "balance"? The truth valid for our planet? The spirituality of humans - and even here we could probably differentiate?

    Do you really believe that there is always a neat balance?
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      Sep 9 2012: I suggest science has started to explain why humans are subject to so called religious and spiritual beliefs and activities.

      Humans have evolved to be tribal, agency assuming, meaning creating primates subject to different mental states intuitive inaccurate guesswork, delusions, cognitive bias, credulous while young etc.

      Religion and spiritual experience, rituals, beliefs etc is probably just a misfiring or leveraging mind processes that evolved that enhanced our survival.

      Obviously religion and spirituality are not pathways to truth being based on subjective personal experiences, dogma and authority. That is why there is no consensus. They all conflict.

      However, I agree it is important to recognise the role and psychology and importance associated with the search for meaning and religious activities and beliefs.
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      Sep 17 2012: Nature always seeks the easiest point and or path to a state of equilibrium so yes, balance is important.
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    Sep 8 2012: Moses did his best. I commend his effort and many after him. What name can be put to the transcendent manifester of the cosmic yin-yang?
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      Sep 8 2012: I like your comment. It speaks of mystery rather than fact.
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        Sep 8 2012: If I may go further, I would say the importance of the story of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lies in the state of mind alluded to before Eve was tempted.
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      Sep 9 2012: Moses seems to be a genocidal, sexist, homophobic, authoritarian murderer according to the bible, assuming there actually was a person called Moses that the stories were actually based on.

      We actually have no extra biblical evidence of the existence of Moses, or the exodus, or Abraham, or Adam etc.
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        Sep 9 2012: Try to put yourself in Moses' shoes, an intellectual overachiever of his time, there were probably reasons and knowledge he had that enabled the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Knowing his Hebrew lineage despite being adopted by Egyptian royalty and educated as such, he had sympathy for the Egyptian slaves, his people, the Hebrews. After they got in the desert and started suffering they probably began questioning Moses saying things like "they should have just stayed slaves in Egypt than be lost in the desert". Moses said,"NO! we're special, we're historians, we're mathematicians, we can be different and if we hate the Egyptians way, there's nothing stopping us." Long story short, Moses was compelled by his People to provide them with a code of law, a code of diet (what can we eat that won't kill us?),a "believable" history that coincided with their history, and answers of existential questions they had of their own lives in 1300 BC. A man possibly among the first scientists if you think about it, with no vocabulary to explain nature things I believe naturally pass into the realm of "God" and "Faith" A dream to a bronze age person could have given rise to all sorts of questions of consciousness seemingly independent of our waking state. Calling Moses a genocidal, sexist, homophobic, authoritarian murderer and not taking into consideration the whole situation of what an intelligent, good-hearted man might have done way back then (it was a wilder world) does no justice for you.
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          Sep 9 2012: Hi Justin, when I read the bible Moses seems a product of his time.
          Maybe it is not all Moses because Yahweh was supposedly behind a lot of the evil.
          If you put it iin historical context, maybe not so bad, but this is supposed to be a prophet or the creator of the universe. If you believe the Christian rhetoric this Yahweh actually loves humans. Not so much in the Old Testament.

          Genesis 38:10 God murders Onan for refusing to commit incest with his sister in law.'

          God endorses slavery. Exodus 21:2-6

          Exodus 32:27 God ordered to be killed, 3,000 Israelites for worshipping a golden calf.

          Numbers 16:35 God killed 250 Levite princes who disagreed with Moses’ leadership. He was so bloodthirsty that he wanted to slay more until he was talked out of it. Later he put a plague upon 14,700 Jews who thought there was something wrong in killing 250 princes.

          Numbers 31:17-18 God commands Moses to kill all the Medianite people including children and women. To top it off he commands that the virgins be saved for later raping by Moses’ soldiers.

          Deuteronomy 3:3-7 God ordered Moses’ army to “utterly destroy” 60 cities, killing all the women and children within.

          Have you read Leviticus, kill for adultery, working on the Sabbath, and homosexuality and many more. If a new wife is not a virgin you can kill them in front of their Father. You don't think the Old Testament is sexist and homophophic and genocidal? We must be reading different bibles.

          So maybe it was more Yahweh than Moses, but in today's context Moses and many other prophets would probably be convicted for crimes against humanity. Saying God told me to do it is no excuse.

          Given there is probably no God it was probably Moses making up all the stuff attributed to God.

          Seems odd that the morality of the supposed creator of the universe and his prophets depends on the times, and reflect bronze or iron age morality.

          Maybe Moses would have been a nice guy in more peaceful times. But if you have to make excuses....
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      Sep 17 2012: Perhaps he/she/it would prefer to offer their name?
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    Sep 7 2012: God must be wondering what He has to do to get through to some of us. Just how would He write to get us to take Him seriously ?
    Most Jews I have heard take Genesis literally. This is the Jewish year 5772 after all. Jesus always takes the OT as literal, & His two genealogies from Adam would make little sense unless Genesis was literal.
    There are two problems with taking things non-literally :-
    1) You need a guru to explain things to you.
    2). How do you pick your guru ?
    For centuries the RC church controlled the people by 'interpreting' the bible for them. This gave; & still does; tremendous control over folks & is very lucrative. Personally, I will trust that God is perfectly able to say what He means & mean what He says. And of course deal with those who try to mislead His people.

    John 14:25-26 (NIV)
    [25] “All this I have spoken while still with you. [26] But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    :-)
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      Sep 8 2012: There are two levels of teaching in the ancient world; one is called the exoteric teaching (taking things as matter of fact) and the other is called the esoteric teaching (seeing beyond what mere words cannot convey). The fact that there is an esoteric teaching says that the literal word is only a watered down version of a much deeper mystery.

      Why do the gospels tell us that Jesus spoke in parables; to you (the disciples) it is given to know the mysteries, but to them (the ones he refers to as a generation of vipers) it is not given. If the word of God is so plain, why did the Jewish leaders not know who Jesus was?

      You mentioned the RC church. I was raised in the RC church. I had a transcendent experience while trying to find answers that the church wasn't able to provide. Since then, I have been following an inner light.

      Do you belong to a church, and if so, which one?
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        Sep 8 2012: Hi Roy,
        I understand what you mean by deeper meanings. New information is always coming to the surface as we examine the word. However, as yet, nothing has cropped up that would conflict with the literal, straightforward text. Jesus told his disciples when he was using parables. We still do it today to convey ideas & lessons. " A man had two apples in his basket; he picked three more & put them in the basket. How many apples does he have now ?" Never was a man with a basket, but teachers use it all the time. We then go to history class & learn about Napoleon; do we then assume there was no such person ?
        The RC church has a lot to answer for. Many are confused.
        The very purpose of the written word is to allow us to evaluate experiences. If you have an experience that conflicts with the written word then discard it.
        I belong to a small, independent, fellowship. Our Pastor was raised in the "Bretheren Church" & follows the teaching "style" of the Calvary Chapel church. They go through each book verse by verse. We discuss thing & he is very open to being corrected. It is god who teaches us.
        Check ou my reply to Adriaan re the Jews.

        :-)
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          Sep 10 2012: Hi Peter,
          Nothing has cropped up where? Geology has cropped up. The fossil record has cropped up. Core samples of arctic ice and the ocean floor have cropped up. They tell the story of a very old earth. And they do it very consistently. Why would God create an earth full of evidence that says you can't trust his word?

          The word of God that you have faith in was put together by the RC church. They determined what went into the bible and what didn't. If you can't trust their interpretations, how can you trust that their selection is the only right one.

          I have had experiences. They didn't go against the word of God, but they certainly went against some of the interpretations. That is where I came to the conclusion that Genesis is a lot more than what it appears to be. The literal interpretation is the watered down version. You need spiritual vision to see that there is a lot more to Genesis than a mere documentary. When I call it a myth, I don't mean to say that it is mere fantasy. Myth speaks to the spirit rather than to the material world.

          As far as faith, I don't believe that anyone can come to know God without it. But I also don't believe that the word of God tells all. It gives us a place to start. There is so much not answered in the word of God. I don't believe that the evidence found in the earth was put there to confuse us. It was put there to help us find the answers.
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        Sep 10 2012: Hi Roy.
        You seem to accept that the bible is the Truth, so I guess there is no point in us debating that particular point.
        The literal reading of the text would give a young earth. Many have done the calculations & come within the 5k - 15k range. The Jews seem to think 5772 years; I can live with that. The fossil record etc only points to an old earth if you start with that assumption. So I see no contradiction between a literal bible & a young earth.
        In order for a fossil to form at all it must be buried very rapidly at, or soon after, death. So, by definition, all strata containing fossils must have been deposited rapidly. That's just common sense. As there are fossils at every level, it is reasonable to assume they all formed rapidly . So we are looking at millions of years between layers. But there is neither soil, nor erosion between the layers. Most joints between layers are smooth & clearly defined. I fail to see how this can be interpreted as a slow & steady deposition over millions of years.
        Both positions are well defined; you pays your money...etc. You've got your own twist, which I guess seems right to you; we all have to follow our hearts.

        :-)
    • Sep 8 2012: Hi Peter, just a question (which, obviously you do not have to answer)
      "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

      What is your opinion or expectation regarding this "Advocate"?
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        Sep 8 2012: Hi Adriaan.
        I believe that when we sincerely give our hearts to Jesus He opens our eyes to things previously hidden. Roy, above, makes a valid point about the Jews. Why didn't the scholars recognise Jesus?
        Well there are apparently upwards of 300 literal prophecies pertaining to Jesus in the OT, which were literally fulfilled in the NT. They are there in black & white & ,one would think, obvious to all. However, it would seem they aren't. Lot's of folk don't see it, but when a Jew does see it, it is a sight to behold.
        We had a Jew come & do the traditional Passover ceremony at our church, & it was all about Jesus. The Jews don't realise this, but this feast is all about Jesus. They just don't see it, they are supernaturally blind.
        Romans 11:7-8 (NIV)
        What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, [8] as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”

        :-)
        • Sep 8 2012: Thanks Peter, but you did not answer my question. :)

          "Why didn't the scholars recognise Jesus?"
          For the same reason the Christian scholars, or organizations, will not recognize the Advocate or spirit of truth. There is a certain interpretation of Revelation which is adhered to, down to the minutest detail. That shapes the world they live in and supports it. Give that up and you'll lose everything you have, like position, income, respect, comfort, etc.

          That's why Jews will be waiting till eternity for their Messiah and Christians for the Second Coming. If a new Revelation does not fit the expectations, it is disregarded and fought by the old crowd. And maybe that's the way it is supposed to be, start fresh. 'Do not put new wine into old skins.'

          This does not just apply to Jews, it also applies to e.g. scientists. Everything science does is based on proof and evidence and repeatability, etc. To apply this same approach to the spiritual world is totally wrong. How much 'proof' does one need, to see that we cannot measure or proof love?
          I see many as still being slaves in Egypt. How many plagues does one need to get out and become human?
          Your story about Jews that discover the spirit is right on. We have one like that too. If you were to Google "Swedenborg Ray Silverman" that would show our story :)

          Thanks Peter and have a great weekend
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          Sep 8 2012: Pete,what's going to happen to Israel because of their blindness?It's not a trap Q i just want to see what you and your church think if and when they decide to rebuild the temple?
        • Sep 8 2012: Hi Ken, I doubt anyone but God would know. I can only say, good Israelites go to heaven, bad Israelites go to hell.
          It also very much depends on why they want to rebuild the temple.

          I don't think God cares about temples any more than thousands of rivers of oil.
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          Sep 9 2012: You know Peter, this type of opening your heart to god to reveal the truth is part of what leads to the mess of different beliefs. Totally unreliable.

          Do you think that a Muslim who opens there heart is going to get a Christian message
          ? It is all so circumstantial. The experience reflects your experiences, background, situation.

          Your journey has lead to your particular brand of belief, others have ended up down different rabbit holes.

          I have found believers in many different faiths with the same array of nominal to earnest belief in conflicting belief systems.

          And don't you think the early Christian cultists would have written their books to show Jesus fulfilled the prophecies? Perhaps the bulk of the Jews were right and Jesus was just an inspirational rabble rouser.
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        Sep 8 2012: Hi Adriaan.
        I tried to answer. The Jews as a nation have been blinded to the truth because of their hardness of heart. Individuals can repent of this & have their eyes opened.
        It would make no difference to my material world what I believed per se'. I live in a materialistic / humanistic society. Becoming a non-believer may well improve my social status.
        Yourself & Roy would both advocate that I should change my understanding of the bible by accepting a further revelation. Make that a hat-trick, as a young Muslim gent suggested as much a week ago. That's 3 in a fortnight. I regularly come across many others. Their main gripe is that I shouldn't take the bible literally, but I should believe their interpretation. Even our scientist friends try to get me to add evolution onto my bible. With the best will in the world, I can't please you all.
        What I deduce from all this is that there is a spiritual force that hates me learning from my bible. So I continue to await the second coming with eager anticipation regardless.

        Best wishes.

        :-)
        • Sep 8 2012: And that was what my question is about. When you say:

          "So I continue to await the second coming with eager anticipation regardless."

          What would have to happen for you to say: THIS IS IT!!

          As Jesus said "I have yet many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now.."
          So I do not believe that a loving God is going to have the sun come down to earth and destroy humanity, and THEN at some point tell us what we could not bear 2000 years ago.

          I do want to emphasize very strongly that you (or anyone else for that matter) should only believe what YOU think is truth. We can only believe truth if we know and understand it, or it is blind faith. As a last point, we should believe truth for the sake of truth, not to be more liked or get a better job etc.

          Please have a look at what our definition of faith is, who knows, maybe you like it. http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/DocFaith.pdf

          However, if you like where you are.. as the Jews like where they are, don't read it.

          Have a great day
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        Sep 8 2012: Hi Ken.
        End times is a difficult one. I see it something like this.
        The Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Preparations are already under way.
        A world leader will make a 7 year peace treaty in the Middle East. He will allow the Jews to reinstate the blood sacrifice.
        3.5 years in, he will change his mind & demand that he himself is worshipped.
        After another 3.5 years Christ will return at the height of the battle of Armageddon.
        At some stage near the end, the Jews will realise that Jesus is indeed their Messiah, & turn to Him.
        This is my personal interpretation; many Christians think the same sort of thing, but no-one can be sure of the detail. The final state is well agreed though; we live forever with Christ.

        :-)
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          Sep 17 2012: We Jews believe in a different ending...... a more modern one where the whole world comes to understand the truth When the Messiah comes and sets the record straight. At that point we will all learn to live together in peace on this earth. There will be no second coming because the Messiah is a man, not a god or part of god. The earth will simply learn to live in peace
          and we all become wise and we accumulate knowledge and spread throughout the Universe. Jews are mainly Scientists and people of the book(s).
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        Sep 8 2012: Hi Adrian,
        Be reasonable. 18 close-knit pages to explain one word that my dictionary takes care of in as many words ? Life's too short.

        :-)
        • Sep 9 2012: When you are asked to explain your faith, you refer them to a dictionary??

          There is a whole world of meaning inside a short definition of the word "faith". Your faith and mine are different in details, come on, be reasonable :)
    • Sep 8 2012: Hi Peter, you said
      "Jesus always takes the OT as literal"
      What makes you think so??

      Jesus did make the Old Testament flesh but on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24: 13-16, 27), the Lord shared deeper secrets with several disciples concerning how stories of Moses and the Prophets referred exclusively to Himself.
      27 "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself."

      I don't think that is taking things literally.
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        Sep 9 2012: Hi Adriaan.
        I don't see the problem. It would have taken a while, but there is no reason why he couldn't have explained about his presence in the OT. He is not in every scripture, but he could certainly have gone through the one's where he is mentioned.
        Here he takes 5 minutes to show where he is mentioned in Isaiah 61 1,2.
        Luke 4:16-21 (NIV)
        He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, [17] and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: [18] “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, [19] to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” [20] Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. [21] He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

        If passages like these are not meant to be literal, then they are at best confusing. The same applies to Genesis; it reads literal, if it's not literal then it is not God's Word. It is whatever the imagination of man can dream up, which to date has been many & various. This only devalues the whole book; which encourages unbelief, & spreads confusion.

        :-)
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      Sep 9 2012: Interventionist creator type gods are supposed to be pretty smart.

      That is not obviously not the case when it comes to getting the message across.

      Just on the Bible god interpretations, obviously a collection of books from different authors at different times that present different views of god was not a smart way. From a Christian perspective, if Jesus was sent to be the Jewish messiah, that was a failure. So was the resurrection, virgin births and other miracles because we have no convincing evidence any off it happened. And even if it did it does not prove Jesus is god or that everything written in the bible is historically correct. It did not even get written down by believers until decades after. No historical independent evident or reports. Another divine failure. What a joke.

      Seriously scripture and revelation are obviously not very reliable indications of truth in regards to life and the universe.

      If you think the bible is literally inerrant, well I feel sorry for you.

      Seriously if there is a god and it wanted us to convey some messages to us he would do better than religious experiences, revelations, old writings in Vedas, or Koran, or Bible etc.

      Best we can tell, Genesis is just another religious myth.
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      Sep 16 2012: Peter, a very astute Christian once told me that the second coming has already occurred and the hell the nonbelievers were promised is being lived out today in this reality. We just don't recognize it because one aspect of hell is the idea of hope and salvation.

      He said that these two elements help to increase the pain and suffering that are suppose to embody the idea of hell by giving people (the evil doers) a sense of false hope. He pointed out that no one can ever obtain the level of goodness required to make it to heaven and this is demonstrated in the life of every individual on our planet today.

      So....... here we are, in hell, with the false hope that salvation lies just around the corner, but all we do is die and start all over again in this eternity of hell.

      We are forced with each end of one life to live the life of someone we committed sin against in a previous life so we will understand the extent of evil and know the fullness of it's impact on those innocents we destroyed or tormented.

      It's a belief and it makes sense from a religious perspective.
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      Sep 17 2012: Peter, Judaism is broken down into sects just like many other religions. The sect I belong to is the Reform sect.

      I'm a reform Jew. Others are conservative and orthodox. While Christian denominations differ chiefly in matters of doctrine, Jewish denominations differ from one another primarily with regard to practice.

      The reform Jew accepts Gays as individuals and we don't necessarily practice the dietary laws as outlined in the Talmud, more specifically, in the Torah; most do draw the line at pork.

      .
  • Sep 6 2012: Myth. Obviously.
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      Sep 6 2012: I agree that it is myth. Is that all it is to you?
      • Sep 7 2012: Not just to me, but as a matter of fact. Myth and nothing else.
  • Sep 23 2012: Why should it be 'either or' ? Maybe it is 'neither nor' or both fact and myth .
    I don't like the word ' fact ' thought, are there any facts in this domain ? Is Big Bang a fact or a scientific myth ?
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      Sep 23 2012: You could be right, or...

      Fundamentalists call it fact and are advocating the teaching of creationism in schools.
      Atheists call it myth and reject it altogether.
      I look for middle ground.

      If it has any fact, it is not in its literalness. There are truths being presented. Deception is a dangerous foe. Some power greater than humans brought this universe into existence and we are subject to its laws, like it or not. Adam and Eve may represent an entire culture and not just two people. There is a lot that can be gleaned from the story, but it certainly can't stand alone. Those who claim that the bible said it, I believe it, so that settles it, are caught in a dogmatic quandary that has no growth, and are probably accepting many things that the bible warns them against.

      I have had experiences that tell me that there is value in what religion represents, but the religious organizations that exist today are not bringing it out of people. I find that the atheist claims that religion is very suppressive are true. I want to get that behind us and still find the path that leads to spiritual blessings.
      • Sep 25 2012: Hi, Roy !
        Now I see where is the problem and share your concerns. To teach the bible in the creationism interpretation is very damaging for children and for the bible. What i meant by ' both ...' is that there is a depth in biblical stories behind the story level , which neither science nor devoted believers care to discuss.
        "Adam and Eve may represent an entire culture and not just two people "
        I think, it's deeper: Adam and Eve represent ying/yang of human psyche.It's adam/eve, the being. It's already duality without which there is no existence, but they are in harmony and reside in Paradise, which is not a place but state. Then comes the myth of the fall . What happened there , who was the serpent ? How the harmony was broken ? Any thoughts ?
        And biblical story of creation is not the only story, it is similar to other creation stories , which evolved so far apart in cultures which had no contact with each other, but they use the same symbolism - darkness, water. Why ? Because these are the two most familiar images of nothing, of no-thing-ness. Darkness is the void in which nothing can be seen and water ,in which nothing can be fixed. So the myth makers intuitively used them to describe the moment before the creation. The void is what science calls the vacuum. Vacuum contains infinite amount of energy , which is all potential and nothing actual ( not yet ) ' spirit of God moves upon the face of waters. So in creation story it is not the beginning , God is eternal. What is God ? maybe a conscious intent of all forces all energies, we don't have a name for it and we'd better not to name it. It's a mystery.

        It's the way i understand it now and maybe i am open to think about it because i was not taught the bible at school :)
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          Sep 25 2012: Natasha,
          My thoughts on the fall are this; the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor. It represents all the things that entice us, but would leave us destitute if we partake of them. To eat of this tree is to engage with actions that bring us down. Many people act impulsively, only to find themselves at odds with the law and with life itself.

          Today I find people caught up in addictions (gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.) that are sucking the life right out of them. Once the act is committed, they can never take it back. So they try to hide it or cover it up (just as with Adam and Eve). But sooner or later the truth comes out and the consequences are sure to follow. Often the consequences are self evident in the behavior itself.

          Ezekiel 28:11-15 is a prophesy against the King of Tyrus. It says the king was in Eden, the garden of God - till iniquity was found in him. Also in Ezekiel 36:33-35 it says that the desolate places will again become like the Garden of Eden once iniquity has been cleansed from the people. What this tells me is that the Garden of Eden is not a place, but a condition where all is in harmony with the forces of creation. To eat of the forbidden fruit is to pollute that harmony. To restore the Garden of Eden, one must correct sinful behavior that is fowling everything up.
          The forbidden tree is as real today as it was then, but it isn't the kind of tree you would find in an orchard. The trunk is the primary warning, and its branches are all the variations that lead to self degradation and corruption.

          Your thoughts on God are correct. We try to name it because in naming something, we think we understand it. But the mystics all warned against trying to name God. It is a mystery worth seeking out. If you think you know, then you don't know. If you know that you don't know, then you are beginning to understand.
      • Sep 26 2012: The high 'plotedness ' of biblical stories is really amazing ! Everybody sees different things there and i don't see anything wrong with it, maybe it's meant to be this way. I am not an expert in theology, but i think that the bible is more symbolic than metaphoric narrative. We must know the meaning of symbols to get the idea what the story is about.
        In all interpretation of the fall that I've met so far ( the official one aside, no question about it ), still we are tented by sin, we have done something wrong. Maybe it is not quite true ? But i am not ready to discuss it, not yet : )

        Thanks for responding !
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    Sep 23 2012: My universe/energy is your god.
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      Sep 23 2012: I agree, but how does that relate to Genesis? Do you believe that Genesis is fact or myth? If you believe it is fact, why? If you believe it is myth, does it have any value to you?
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        Sep 23 2012: If my energy and your god are the same. I would suggest that the story of genesis was created to make it easier on the mind to explain what happen. Your belief in genesis is what makes it real. The brain has coping mechanisms for understanding reality for which it can not perceive. Hence some one who has never seen a laptop before may say it is magical. It does not make me right and them wrong because they can not understand something is not "magical" (if you stop to think about it it sure is amazing). All that does is try to put superiority over someone. If they want to think the laptop is magical let them think that. But still teach them how to use it. So teach people how to use god/energy to bring fulfillment and understanding to there life. Show them that we are interconnected beings whether that is through the mind of god or the universal consciousness. But don't try to say they are wrong and you are right or something is right or wrong. Life is all about personal choice, in fact it is the only thing you have any control over. If a person's personal choice ended poorly for someone that was their choice show them how they can learn from that not scold them for it. And if they can't learn from that lesson that is their choice as well. Not your not anyone's. The worst problem about any religion is that the people who believe thinks its their job to convince the other person that what they are thinking is wrong. However I know that my thought are mine and your thoughts are yours and if you want to think the world is flat, think that if it betters your life. The only time someone personal choice should be taken away is when it would cause harm to others or themselves.
  • Sep 22 2012: True. Maybe God has no need for time. Is it possible God exists in some other dimention without what we call time? One issue with cyclic universes is thermodynamics (pretty much ending the idea of perpetual motion). Also with each big bang a lot of gas is turned into basically useless radiation. Gases that are used to make stars... I dont know, this is one of those things we cant really say for sure but its fun to guess!
  • Sep 21 2012: If space and time are related, is it possible to assume that before the big bang (before space/matter) there was no time? Its hard to think about there being no time but without space i would assume its possible right?
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      Sep 22 2012: You are making an assumption that there was no space/matter before the big-bang.

      A black hole essentially occupies almost no space, but has extreme matter. What would time mean in a black hole? It is outside the dimension in which we live, and therefore, not within our ability to quantify it.

      Before the big-bang, we can know nothing about what happened. It may have been the end of a previous universe, but that is only speculation. If we accept that God always was, then time is infinite. But that is outside of our ability to comprehend. It may be that the universe goes through endless cycles. That is a common teaching in Hindu beliefs.

      How does this relate to my topic?
      • Sep 22 2012: Sorry to stray from your topic. What im trying to get at is that since they had no science back then or any way of understanding the working of the cosmos it was written in a very simple form. God made light oceans animals and so on... It would of been impossible for those people to write about a topic they had no way of comprehending. I think it comes down to people having a very very basic way of how the earth was created and the rest is faith. Now that we have a better understanding of the universe and exciting theories, people like you and I are left wondering how this all came about and if those stories have any substance.
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          Sep 23 2012: Eric,
          You are right that ancient cultures had no understanding of the workings of the cosmos as far as science is concerned. The creation story in Genesis tells us nothing of how any of it happened, nor does it tell us anything about who or what God is.

          The part that catches my interest is what the fall in the Garden of Eden actually represents. We know that people can alter their lives forever with just one impulsive or careless act. Lives have been destroyed because someone did something without giving it a second thought. As soon as they do, they try to cover it up, or blame it on someone else just as it was with Adam. But once the evidence is exposed, the consequences are sure to follow.

          Now we are living in a time when a careless or impulsive act could mean the demise of whole cities. Whether the story is actually true or not, the lesson it is trying to teach has grave consequences if we fail to learn it.
  • Sep 17 2012: How do we know the Universe had a beginning (Creation by God - Big Bang)?
    Could it possibly be that the it was the end of another infinite cycle of existence?
    What came first: the chicken or the egg?

    As to the subject "Biblical Genesis: is it fact or myth?", I would say none - for they presuppose there was a beginning.
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      Sep 18 2012: Jan,
      The universe goes through infinite Brahma cycles. It is the Hindu concept of creation. It is easier to believe that the universe has no beginning and no end then to believe that at some time (whatever that means) that the universe began.

      To everything, there is a beginning. Genesis is a beginning to something. My task was to figure out what that beginning refers to.

      The date that Genesis refers to is the beginning of the first civilizations that would evolve into nations. Mankind was going through some drastic changes. Recorded history dates back to about this time. What happened before was very different. There was a need to establish laws so that humans could work together collectively in city states.

      Was there a before? Of course there was. But since the time of Genesis, there was no going back, nor should we expect it. As life evolves, it becomes more complex. I can't imagine a world without laws. But there was a time when there were none. Genesis marks the time when law became a necessity.
      • Sep 20 2012: I did not talk about Brahma cycles, nor the Hindu conception of creation. That is the problem with tags, they get used and twisted until objectivity becomes impossible. And no, it is easier to believe there to be a beginning, than to conceive the idea of a never-ending Universe with all its infinite possibilities. Not to everything has there to be a beginning and certainly when we think we know, we stop to imagine:

        "Imagination: the passage to new beginnings.

        How can we advance, if we think in terms of what we know? When does something new arise? We certainly do not evolve by means of the rigid, dull and repetitive mind. Did evolution occur with the static mind, or the dynamic one? The unicellular organism imagined, so in time, it followed to become a multicellular one with the spark of the new. The imaginative, the contemplative, the evolutionary mind that longs to move forward; never subservient to rules, never pretending, but always attending to the possible new.

        There is an end to all beginnings, as there is a beginning to all ends. The tango of beginning and end, do not follow the rythm of any entity, but follows the integration of imagination. Where there is a seed, there shall be a tree; and where there is a tree, there is a seed longing to be once again, a fresh new tree." ~Sapiens ad Aequilibrium~

        As to the creation of laws, laws were created to manage people in a scarce environment. They were perhaps relevant at the moment of their creation, but it usually favors most the individual on the top (or individuals). Today it has become a necessity to outgrow laws through education, intelligent use of technology and the betterment of humankind. Perhaps the following link will answer some questions:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loxTK7spGvA&feature=relmfu
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          Sep 20 2012: Jan,
          Your U-tube link had good points. I would like to mention a few flaws in it;
          Abundance and education without self restraint isn't a solution to people's problems.
          Obesity is the result of abundant food that is readily available. it's a growing concern.
          They tried to pass a law that says contracts need to be written that could be understood by the common layman. The lawyers shot it down because it would lessen their need in society. It was about creating conflict to pad their wallets. These are educated people.
          Create cars that would obey speed limits, and people will find ways of overriding those features. I have seen it happen too many times where control features are jury-rigged or removed by those who think that rules were made to be broken.
          I was in an educated group of nuclear trained navy enlisted men. I was appalled at the power struggles that they engaged in to belittle the remaining enlisted men to the detriment of the crew at large. I battled that mentality for some time to the point where we eventually won an efficiency award. I took a lot of heat for it in the process but was pleased with the results. It takes more than education to do what is right.

          Genesis warns of the power of deception. It may not have happened as it is written, but it certainly has happened throughout history in various ways. Understand what it is telling you and it offers lessons in integrity and moral character development. I have seen it ignored by too many people, and I don't like what I see.
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    Sep 17 2012: Is there a name for a person who tells you who your are and what you believe in even though they've never reviewed your work, read any of your papers, never shook your hand or developed an association of any kind with you?

    You're speaking t a scientist. By no stretch of the imagination is your wordy Zenistic, balance seeking analogy, an adequate critique of the scientific way. It's pithy and a tad off the fly.
    Socrates was a wine bibber who lived off the earnings of his wife who cleaned the floors of the friends Socrates sought to impress. I wrote a paper on Socrates in college, long ago.

    There's nothing unelgant about protons racing around the LHC accelerator ring 11 245 times a second, traveling at 99.9999991% the speed of light before slamming two protons together It's quite elegant actually.

    Philosophy and science split a long time ago. I take it you simply read my posts with the intent of demeaning them in some fashion without giving one moment of critical thought. I know this because you didn't argue on a single fact I made,.You just slung a slew of words in your list of philosophical jargon yo keep readily at hand.

    Your spending too much time in religious blogs arguing your point, which you lost long ago. If your looking for God, go to church or temple sometime. If your looking for science read a book, do the math, write a paper.

    Don't pretend to know what your talking about.
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    Sep 17 2012: John................Hope that does not happen. LOL
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    Sep 17 2012: Steven Hawking offered to the Theoretical physics community that things falling into black holes were not torn asunder but that the information of which they are composed is, in fact, preserved, especially along the event horizon. To a person standing outside the event horizon it would appear that someone falling into a black hole were torn asunder, their atoms torn apart, the particles that made up the neutrons and protons and electrons were slit into their minutest of parts and those parts sucked inside the black hole traveling for all eternity into a gravity hole that has no end; they would be dead.

    Hawkins offered this may not be true because to the person falling in the black hole, everything would appear to be just hunky-dory.

    This suggestion brought upon him the greatest scorn of the entire theoretical society. They were appalled at his suggestion, not because they thought he had lost his mind, but because he may be correct. It was called the Information Paradox.

    Leonard Susskind offered, after ten years of study, that the information is in fact preserved and smeared out along the event horizon, transformed from a three dimensional object to a two dimensional one, but very much in touch with their self. to paraphrase his words, it would be as if they were both dead and alive at the same time. Eventually Stevens admitted he was incorrect and offed instead, that there were an infinite amount of universes which preserved all information.... In short, we never die and I'll leave the math to the readers to dispute.

    Now, here are the greatest minds in science, talking about being both dead and alive, at the same time. How far fetched are Roy's ideas that God is both outside and part of the quantum field of which we are all part of?

    Think before you giggle. :)
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    Sep 17 2012: I'm sorry to have to add some more to the conversation I was having with Edward Long, but most of the comments I'm reading in here sound more like a bunch of bored students sitting in the back of the room, snickering and cracking jokes among themselves. They should give writing a book a good go because it's not as easy as you think. I wrote 5 books with my ex wife before we had one published.

    I may have been guilty of such behavior myself but my reason and logic have once again overcome my Meds and I'm ready to refocus and attend to the theme of this TED site which is a place to share and understand the ideas of others, and offer some of our own. This should be done in a respectable fashion.

    Did you here me back there David?
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    Sep 17 2012: Roy, it is interesting to note your profile and see you are surrounded by fields, Nuclear, Electrical, etc.

    How has your career contributed to your ideas about using science to explain your theories about God?
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      Sep 18 2012: When I think of God, I do not imagine a character. I think of matter and energy, the laws of nature, and the processes that manipulate matter and energy as a collective whole. That is what I saw at the age of nine while meditating on God. I was in an altered state of mind at the time. In returning to my current state of mind (as myself), I could only take a glimpse of what I saw with me. This is a common experience in Eastern philosophy. You want to hold on to it, but you can't. It leaves you with a sense of anguish that you can't hold on to it and it beckons that you return.

      When I started studying nuclear physics, it all started coming back to me. Everything that I have learned in science has brought back what I saw in that experience fifty years ago. There is no being in the sky. But the collective whole is real and it operates with such efficiency that it boggles the mind.

      We are part of the collective whole, and the more we know about it, the more we can do while working in harmony with it. That is what Jesus said, that we would become one with the creator. It is all happening, but not as religions would tell us.

      It was with that knowledge that I took a second look at Genesis. That is why I see it as a myth that has untold meaning when you can see past the words. It's like looking at a three-D poster. Once you get your focus right, it reveals things that just the words alone couldn't reveal.
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    Sep 14 2012: Roy, your last two sentences could be changed to "But science doesn't deal with the God force. There has to be a balance (or relationship) between the event of creation and the force that created it."

    So we have to start at the point where the God force thumped the singularity, which was in a state of equilibrium, destabilizing it, causing it to explode and release it's contents. In other words, we are creating a another place of existence which is the Domain of God, where some form of reality exists. Is that correct?

    If we want to create a massive explosion, we take a small amount of uranium. process it in some way and cause it to release its contents in the form of energy. The amount of energy in a small contents of uranium, is vast indeed and we actually only releases a small portion of it but Oh what a bang it makes.

    If God is a intelligent being that knows how to cause the release of a singularities energy, perhaps the transition to a Universe, as we understand it, is simply one of physics. Which is to say that God exists in another dimension of time and space, where God's rules allow for the tinkering with objects or very small particles that hold a universal amount of energy. Further If God could traverse between the Universe God inhabits and this newly created universe, and had the knowledge to interact with a tremendous level of knowledge, then God could exist as an entity with tremendous power, if compared to our lower energy universe.

    Am I catching on?
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      Sep 15 2012: John,
      to your second paragraph; no one knows what caused the big-bang, but something certainly did. If all that we see is only 4% of the known universe, can we even begin to understand what that was? A few of the ancient ones had a glimpse into a world that others don't see. They tried to tell us of God, but they also tried to tell us that you can't put that into words. They saw something that was not of this world (the known physical world), but had influence over it. Did something thump the singularity, or is the singularity in constant flux (a perpetual expansion and contraction) of the universe? We don't know. What we do know is that the singularity evolves, and that evolution is (partly) directed by the laws that govern it. What created the laws? We don't know. Why are there laws? We don't know. Why are the laws consistent? We don't know. How do quantum fields create structure? We don't know. We know that there is a structure, and that the known physical universe is a result of that structure evolving.

      I had a spiritual glimpse into the oneness of nature while meditating on God at the age of nine. I still do not have any understanding of how that experience was possible. What I do know, is that eleven years later while studying nuclear physics, my former experience was all confirmed through scientific facts. It was only then that I began to delve deeper into what the experience was trying to tell me. It was from that research that I came to the conclusion that what we read in Genesis is only the tip of the iceberg.

      As far as God as an intelligent being; being implies existence. It doesn't imply personage. We see God as a being not unlike humans because of personifications. That is pure child's play in regards to what God is. According to string theory, how many other dimensions are there? A lot more than we are aware of. We still do not know what God is. And what religion tells us, isn't much help. We're getting closer to solving this mystery.
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        Sep 15 2012: Actually Roy, I wasn't really asking a question . I was wondering if my interpretation of the question you posed was or was not correct.

        Perhaps I didn't word it correctly.
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    Sep 10 2012: Hello Roy, I assume your question is directed to believers and hence expects an answer within that framework, is that correct? Just thought i should ask before trying to provide a non religious point of view.

    cheers
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      Sep 11 2012: Andres,
      That is primarily correct. A believer that sees Genesis as fact, believes in a very young earth. That is a major concern among non-believers. The believer that sees Genesis as myth, realizes that there is much more to the story than meets the eye.

      There are some non-believers who see value in Genesis as a myth. I am open to such discussion.
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    Josh S

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    Sep 6 2012: Just as a general answer to your overall question, i personally dont think genesis could be a parable simply because in all the parables of the new testament, jesus first says that he will tell them a parable and actually uses the word parable. in genesis it doesnt do this, it just says what God did. I also believe that in some ways the bible does describe what God is, so it is not just religous organizations personifying him. This topic is clearly a hot debate though =p.
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      Sep 7 2012: I compared parable to myth as a simile. Jesus said he only does what the father does. If Jesus spoke in riddles, and he represented God, that to me implies that God speaks in riddles.

      The book of Genesis was written in the age of mythology. There is more to myth than most people know. Many have hidden meanings pertaining to a mystery. The trick is to solve the myth to unravel the mystery. It forces you to think.

      The history of God is full of personifications; many gods to one God, many names for God or gods, each culture having their own take on God or gods. A personification takes something that can't be explained and presents it in human form so that humans can identify with it. None of the personifications are real. But there is something real that the personification is meant to portray. Spiritual experience leads you on a journey to understand what that is. And once you experience it, the personification fades away leaving you with a glimpse into the ineffable mystery.
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      Sep 16 2012: One main theme that appears to be lacking here is the fact the Moses wrote Genesis. All throughout the book of Genesis, and the other books, there is the implication that other books were being used as reference.
      You read passages that say things like: "...and it was written in such and such book and ..... so it is to this day, etc"
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    Sep 6 2012: Some christian commentators believe Genesis chapter one to be a form of ancient poetry which was written in seven parts - three initial part, three counterparts, and a closing part. In the case of Genesis, God creates places in the first three parts, the residents of those places in the second three parts (light and dark - sun and moon; sky - birds; land and sea - fish and land animals. And then God was complete on the seventh day. That Genesis lists creation in this way and is so incomplete in it's list of items tells us that Genesis is meant to explain the Who and Why, and cares not about the How and When.
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      Sep 7 2012: As for the who, it doesn't tell you anything about the who other than that the "who" is in charge. As to the why, it starts with creation followed by a command that ends badly. I take it that you see it as both fact and myth?
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      Sep 16 2012: Christian's stole their beliefs from the Hebrew cultural. The only book they have is the New Testimony. Apparently God's promises in the First Testament weren't good enough for then so they invented their own Testament and stole their evidence from the religion of the Jews.

      So, I say it is correct in saying the the entire Christian testimony is a myth and one lacking in verifiable belief.
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    Sep 6 2012: It is fact.
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      Sep 6 2012: How do you know?
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        Sep 7 2012: A good, and I assume sincere, question, Mr. Bourque. The Holy Bible is foolishness to anyone without faith. Faith is a free gift God gives by his grace when he causes a person to be born again. By that faith I know that all scripture is from God, who cannot lie. From the first phrase-- "In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth." -- to the last -- "The grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen."-- every word is true.
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          Sep 7 2012: It was a sincere question, and your answer appears as a sincere answer. I do not deny that the word of God is true, but I make a distinction to what is literally true, and what is written for another purpose. There have been many faithful followers who have done terrible things in the name of God because they only regarded the word of God as literally true even when it presented itself in a fashion that made it quite obvious that it wasn't.

          Facts can be presented in various ways, particularly those things which are not easily understood. And God is one of those things.
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        Sep 8 2012: Unless you are saying there is untruth in the Holy Bible we need not contend with one another about Truth versus Literal Truth since I do not understand, or agree with, the distinction. Again, it is only by Faith that a person can embrace the Holy Bible as eternal, unchanging Truth. Without Faith the Holy Bible is literally foolishness and is subject to the endless imaginative whims and interpretations of attackers and defenders alike. The natural man does not receive Spiritual things, they are foolishness to him, he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned. Genesis is true, and so are the other 65 books of the BIble! Thank you Mr. Borque.
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      Sep 16 2012: It is a belief.
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        Sep 17 2012: Sorry John, you are not allowed to introduce a third possibility to Mr. Bourque's post which asks: "Is Genesis fact or myth?" Genesis cannot be proven to be myth so, in the immediate context, it can only be fact.
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          Sep 17 2012: I know your being facetious but he did say:

          "The creative process involves the structure of matter, which can be traced all the way back to quantum fields, and the creative forces of nature, which can also be traced all the way back to quantum fields. The power that created the heavens and the earth includes both the structure of matter, and the forces that manipulate that structure"

          In his profile he states: "The left brain hemisphere sees the creative forces of nature as mathematical models because it sees things in logical expressions. The right brain hemisphere sees them as a creator because it sees things in associations..."

          My recent comment was attempting to reveal the relationship to how Mendeleev use both parts of the brain to discover a basic concept in Chemistry without all the quantum hubbub.

          Mendeleev, like Tesla, was considered to be a bit off the beaten path, if you know what I mean. I intend to purchase Roy's book and read it. I don't think he can do justice to his ideas in this gladiatorial arena we call TED.

          The idea of the Luminous ether that confounded the minds of Michelson and Morley when they were doing their experiments to discover how much the speed of light was effected by this substance which they, and other scientists of the time, thought filled in the area between such objects like the sun and the earth, the substance that could carry the waves of energy, a substance that permeated the universe. Most scientists were confounded when they didn't see the expected result.

          Roy may be on to something that can't be explained to the common crowd because their understanding of the Universe doesn't travel too far from the end of their nose.

          His credentials don't reflect a mind that is given to fantasy Otherwise the Civil air patrol wouldn't allow students to fly with him. If they trust him perhaps we should give him some room to explain, or, at least read the book before criticism.
        • Sep 17 2012: "Genesis cannot be proven to be myth so, in the immediate context, it can only be fact."

          Actually it can be and has been, but even so, here's how your "logic" plays out:

          Bob: I think there are two invisible unicorns standing behind me
          Alice: I think there are three invisible unicorns standing behind you
          Bob: you can't prove that there aren't two, so it's a fact that there are two
          Alice: you can't prove that there aren't three, so it's a fact that there are three

          See where this is going...
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          Sep 17 2012: Ok.
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    Sep 6 2012: I guess Jesus believed the stories in Genesis.

    I personally see these stories as mythology.
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      Sep 6 2012: Does mythology mean more to you than just fiction? Joseph Campbell spoke of the power of myth in his book by that name. I believe that myth presents ideas that words alone cannot convey. The initiate is expected to unravel the mystery of the myth.
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        Sep 9 2012: I honestly don't know if Genesis was written to be a literal account of creation and the early days or as something more metaphorical.

        My best guess is it is written as a literal account. The language is very different from parables and more figurative psalms etc. This account is of cause incorrect like every other creation myth I'm aware of.

        Regardless, even if you choose to take it metaphorically or symbolically you can pull out what you want, God made everything, humans disobeyed and were separated etc. Some people even look for codes and secrets within the text.

        I don't think the bible is the source of any divine wisdom. There is some good stuff. There is some bad stuff. It is all man made. It reflects it time in terms of morality and cosmology and general ignorance. In fact I have no reason to think the Judeo Christian belief systems has anymore veracity or claim to truth than many other religions. None of the core supernatural claims are proven, and you take bits of it as dogma at your peril.
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          Sep 17 2012: There are some passages in the Bible that impicate some natural catastrophy that can be applied in modern geology":

          Without taking time into consideration Genesis 10:25 states, "To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. "

          Is this the beginning of plate tectonics, perhaps inflicted by an asteroid hit in the perfect spot so as not to cause planet wide chaos?
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      Sep 16 2012: Personally, most religious folk know you feel this way. :)
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    Sep 6 2012: Well thank goodness the "power of mind over matter" is also a metaphor, and we're not expected to believe that quantum physics has anything to do with creativity or consciousness.
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      Sep 6 2012: If you think that quantum fields are deaf, dumb, and blind, that is your choice. They created a universe and a spectrum of life within that universe. We are only dust in the wind. Our life is but a moment in the ocean of time.

      Whatever ideas we come up with have to conform to what quantum fields will allow or they will come to nothing. That is why we want to know more about them.

      In regards to mind over matter, Walt Disney conjured up an idea that had no reality. He made it a reality by putting his thoughts into action. The same it true for any invention or device ever conceived. It had to begin within the thought process before it could go any further. That is why Eastern philosophy focuses on thought rather than matter. It is my conviction that Genesis is a part of that process.
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        Sep 7 2012: The Walt Disney example is the kind of metaphor I was thinking about. So are inventions and what we recognize as creativity. When the mind is right, the action is right, all that zen wisdom.

        Thought is an emergeant phenomenum. So are economics, politics, ... They all are emergeant from other phenomena which are emergeant from phenomena which obey the laws of quantum mechanics. But this is all there is to it. And your argument isn't anymore convincing that if you'd said there was a special bond between chemistry and politics. Chemistry may be responsible for politics. But chemistry cannot explain politics.
        "Whatever ideas we come up with have to conform to what quantum fields will allow"
        Good God, yes. And whomever wins the elections has to win according to the laws of chemistry.

        It really sounds like you've just come up with another name for God, when you say "Quantum Fields created a spectrum of life within that universe."
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      Sep 16 2012: I think your trying to say something very profound but you condensed it a bit too much. Could you elaborate please?
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        Sep 16 2012: Not really, you might be disapointed.
        I was just saying that Roy misses the point in Eastern philosophies if he takes them litterally, and that the criticism he uses on believers in a personal God can also be used on his belief in quantum mysticism.
        The "power of the mind over matter" should be understood as an absolute acceptance that, indeed, the mind has no power over matter, that everything we experience is illusory and meaningless. I see quantum mysticism as yet another atempt to set the human experience of reality right at the center of reality. Very Abrahamic indeed and definitely not zen-like.
        The one and only power of the mind is resistance to this urge to put meaning everywhere. Quantum mystics fait to explain anything, so they take a leap of faith that is supposed to cover for the gap that Jesus left.
        Roy believes science can be used to understand what God is. This is completely in accord with the millenia-old tradition of Christian Cosmology.

        Regards
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          Sep 17 2012: Being completely Science centered, I find your arguments on par with his.
          Regardless. :)
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        Sep 17 2012: That's only because you consider science to be yet another belief system.

        My arguments are probably lame, but I just don't think there should be anything wrong with being "science-centered", provided one knows what science means... or is supposed to mean. There is a popular misconception that science is about getting phenomena to fit mathematical models, and that life, love and conscience cannot be reduced this way. In this view, science is a frame, a systematic unelegant aproximation of reality.
        But that, of course, is not science. Science is open-mindedness. True open-mindedness. "Take no one's word for it" is part of the scientific constitution. It's about criticism and pushing a reset button every now and then, it's a Socratic philosophy that hunts down its own falsehoods constantly.
        There is very very little reason to just go ahead and believe in, say, quantum mysticism. If you do so anyway, if you chose to ignore the fact that quantum mysticism doesn't explain anything, then you're deliberately narrowing your own mind. You're getting off the boat in quest of understanding, seduced by easy and comforting answers. The physical nature of creativity is still a quest, some people can't stand this.
        Science is open-mindedness. There is nothing wrong with being science-centered.

        Unless you can explain otherwise, in a way that doesn't violate dialectics.
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    Gail .

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    Sep 6 2012: Some years ago, I was hit out of the blue with an astounding "awareness". The first chapter of Genesis was written in the language of geometry and could not be understood in any other language. I suddenly "realized" that there was no word for "dimension" 6,0000 years ago, and that the word "day" was the best word possible at the time to explain the concept. I also realized that the firmament meant "tangent point".

    I went to the store to buy a compass, and when home, I began to draw what I was reading from the bible. It was an amazing process. If you use a compass and straight edge, and do what the story says to do, you will begin creating images that duplicate what the story says.

    On the 3rd day, I was drawing grasses (lines without intersections) and herbs (lines with intersections). I also drew a tree. On the 4th day, I had a field of stars, but in the center, I had a large circle with a star in it and another large circle without a star in it (the greater light and the lesser light). I could not draw the large circles until I understood how to draw a perfect pentagram (5th dimension). In this way, I came to see that time was relative, and that it went both forward and backwards. On the 6th day, the story said that I was to take dominion over the earth. I wondered about that, but then I saw what could best be described as "fold here" lines, so I cut out the rendering and folded. I was astounded by what I saw.

    What I was holding in my hands was a pyramid, that simple math assured me was a scale model of the great pyramid of giza. When I used software to layer the inside chambers under my drawing, I realized that the Egyptologists have it all wrong in their explanation.

    Genesis is about the power of thought, the Big Bang, fermions and bosuns (the 2 types of particles), relativity, matter & anti-matter, evolution, quantum mechanics, and the power of the human - who has godly powers, and more.

    It is a story w/ many layers (dimensions). Amazing!
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      Sep 6 2012: Thank you kindly for that insight. You have seen beyond the words. It would be interesting if you could recreate that process so that others could see it as you did.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 7 2012: If I knew what to do with that information and those geometric renderings, I would do so.
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        Sep 17 2012: I see you're still here. Am I on your ignore list?
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      Sep 16 2012: That's a good point TED Lover. I might add that the relevancy to the number one thousand was interpreted to mean a very large number as opposed to the exact figure 1000.
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      Sep 17 2012: Can you redraw it and present it to us? You can't back out of this. You have our complete attentions. :)

      I once decided that a wheel with spokes represented how God was omnipresent at all times.

      If god is in the center and the spoke represent his attachment to the time line, which is the wheel that surrounds to spokes God can reach out to all chronological time at the same time. He could be affecting life in one time zone while doing the same in another. It also represents the idea of God having power each time location. If he changes anything in one location, telling Moses to do this, there is a ripple effect throughout the rest of the time line affecting all other things. If God didn't like the results, he could go back the the moment before he gave the instruction and offer or affect a different plan. But, at all times God could see the results of all human and physical universal activities with this device or within Gods mind.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 17 2012: i have drawn it using Google Sketch and it is on my computer.
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          Sep 17 2012: cool. Can you email it to me? What did you think of my circle and spoke idea?
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    Sep 6 2012: I would prefer to say it as "Abrahmic Genesis" instead of "Bilical Genesis" as it is almost similar in Judaism and Islam.....

    To followers of Anrahamic religions it's neither a "fact" nor a "myth" it's a BELIEF.....
    To people who follow the scientific thought process ,it's a myth......

    In strict sense SPIRITUALITY have specific meaning.....I feel a spiritual mind is one which is open and curious one that is neither ready to accept "blind belief" of religion nor stuck by evidence / proof based approach of science..... well it's my own feeling only.
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      Sep 6 2012: I appreciate your feeling. You are in tune with my own feelings. I believe that spirituality is a goal that is worthy of its benefits.
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      Sep 16 2012: Very precisely and eloquently explained Mr. Solaiman. You have perfectly separated religion and science into their pertinent categories. You have also explained the mindset for viewing these two contrasting points of view. Hats off to you sir.
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        Sep 17 2012: Your kind words , made me honored and obliged Sir.
        Have a great day....
  • Sep 6 2012: So, Roy what was the situation of the Jews when Genesis was written? What was their concept of the physical, material world? Was there any mystery? Were they accurate when they wrote? True, Genesis does not reveal how the Creation, but only why, i.e. relationship with the Mysterious One.
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      Sep 6 2012: The Jews saw something that transcended the physical, material world. They wanted others to become aware of it.

      Absolutely there was a mystery. There is still a mystery. It is embedded in the myth, but you have to read between the lines to find it.

      Accuracy is about meaning, not did it really happen that way.

      The relationship is the whole key. We need to seek to develop our own relationship with the divine. Until you experience it for yourself, it isn't real.
      • Sep 6 2012: Of course not. Those old tribes did not see anything transcending anything else. They had their traditional fantasies about how it all started, among many other little stories. They did not care one bit about "making others aware of it." The books are all self-serving mythologies, mixed with other traditions, their laws, their way of thought, their lifestyles, and such. It is no wonder that they would be the "chosen people," just as any other tribes have been the chosen people within their own mythologies. No reason to try one set of mythologies with any more respect, or lack thereof, than others.
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        Sep 7 2012: I'm not sure they cared about non chosen people or wanted others to know about something transcendent.

        The people back then were probably fairly ignorant seeing agency in plagues and floods. Go back far enough and they probably believed in many gods, Yaweh just being one of many. Archaeologist have found fertility god statues in old hebrew sites. Even the OT mentions the chosen people kept straying from Yahweh.

        My theory is Yahweh started as one of the Canaanite gods created by El, but also absorbed Babylonian mythology (Madak, Floods etc) and over time developed from competing with other gods, being a tribal war god, to a monotheistic super god, perhaps influenced by Zoroastrianism.
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          Sep 8 2012: There were many ignorant people back then. But not all were ignorant. The Hebrew tabernacle was constructed according to a set plan. There is no explanation of why that plan was chosen in Genesis. Eastern philosophy will tell you why, and it deals directly with transcendence.

          The Hebrews kept backsliding, which not only archeology would show, but the word of God itself makes it clear. We have people today which are still ignorant. And there are those who were trusted with the word of God who show little self control. It was a problem back then, and it is still a problem. I want to find the value in ancient texts and bring it to light to expose the backsliding that is still going on.
        • Sep 8 2012: Roy, I could not agree with you more than I do now.
          --"We have people today which are still ignorant."--
          The only reason they are is because of their own choice to be so. Flowers have no choice but to face the sun. It is good for them because that makes them stronger, more beautiful and productive.
          Humans have been given a choice. We can either face God or turn our backs to Him. We can have positive doubt or negative doubt. The first is the same as the flowers do and that positive attitude will make us more in-line with reality (part of which is spiritual).
          The negative attitude is killing us spiritually, restricting us to the level of the animals or worse.
          Roy you are asking about Genesis. Why do we even have a Bible?? Is God giving us history lessons? Is God just trying to start as many arguments as possible to separate us?

          Based on my Swedenborgian understanding, the whole and complete Bible has nothing to do with this literal, physical world, neither with its start, its history or its future.

          The only reason we have a Bible is so each individual that did read it the last thousands of years, can become a better person based on a literal, but positive interpretation. And that everyone that will read it the next thousands of years can become a better person because of its spiritual interpretation, which now has been revealed.

          Every single individual can go through six stages of creation, which is all the way from Egypt to Canaan. There is no elevator or train that will get us there while we do nothing. The Israelites were chosen in order to show us how stupid we can be and that backsliding is certainly a part of that spiritual journey.

          If you are looking for "the value in this ancient text" of Genesis, it can be found in 8 volumes that deal with every word. This is volume one
          http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/writings/Arcana%20Coelestia%2001.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1
          And the volumes 9 to 12 deal with Exodus. Let me know if you want them all.
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        Sep 9 2012: Adriaan, if there is a god, say a creator god, then to the best of my earnest seeking truth I have no idea if it exists and what it might be telling us.

        If this god is relying on revelation and personal religious experience it must be having a laugh because this is so subjective we have ended up with millions of conflicting interpretations that often seem to reflect the cultural environment at the time. In fact they all look man made. Not one has any convincing evidence or knowledge that would indicate some non human intelligence.

        It seems you have to pick one of these bogus beliefs or you are born into one, and once you through skepticism out the window they all push the same psychological buttons.

        You might be surprised that by seeing religions for what they are, man made constructs with imaginary gods you actually free yourself up to figure out a morality and meaning seeking that is less subjective and more consistent with reality.
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      Sep 6 2012: I'm not getting snarky but there were no jews back then,there was just the tribes of israel and judah was just one of them.
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        Sep 7 2012: Thanks for that correction. I should've picked up on it.
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        Sep 7 2012: When did Jews first exist?
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          Sep 7 2012: Was'nt it after the tribes split?Israel in the north Judah to the south? without going back to the bible and checking up on it.
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        Sep 7 2012: The word "Jew" appears prior to the diaspora. Originally the word "Jew" indicated any member of one particular tribe of the 12 tribes, that tribe was Judah. Later, after 10 of the tribes were carried away, the word "Jew" evolved to indicate any and all people descended from Jacob, aka Israel, thus the name Israelites. So the word "Jew" is synonymous with the tribes of Israel. A genetic (as distinct from strictly religious) Jew today can be traced back to Jacob, Isaac and Abraham through one of the 12 tribes.
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          Sep 7 2012: Thanks Ed,i didn't know that,the bible i got only says the Israelites and Hebrew,so was it a derogatory term or a general indication for a group like that of "Yanks"?
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        Sep 7 2012: The Holy Bible uses the Hebrew word (which is transliterated to English as YA- WHO'-DEE) to identify those of the lineage of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham. Nothing derogatory or laudatory is included in the Hebrew meaning. Be well Ken.--Edward
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      Sep 7 2012: The book of Genesis does not demand the existence of Jews at the time of the recorded events. From Adam to Terah there were no Jews. When Moses wrote the book of Genesis he had the information from each prior (non-Jewish) generation. No problem.
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      Sep 16 2012: Correct me if I'm wrong Mr. Kurtz, but weren't the captives of the Babylonian Empire at the time they rewrote their book(s)? I understand that they found a book in the ruins of the old city and used that as a reference to substantiate the validity of the books they wrote in secret while captives.