Free solo Jobcast, with Jasun responding to Carlo Suarès’ The Cipher of Genesis.
Song: “Song for Obol,” by Arborea.
The full PDF of the book can be found here.
Below are the quoted passages, not counting the long apprendix on circumcision, which you can find in the PDF at the very end of the book.
At certain particularly important conjunctions of this double process, the Hebrew myth becomes apparent and thrusts itself upon the objective world where it acts as a typhoon whose whirling motion draws waters from the ocean and carries them along with its own movement. The mass of waters thus captured belongs more to the cyclone than to the ocean. Such events as those which are named Abraham, Mosheh or Jesus are thus taken over by the myth and belong to it more than they do to objective reality. Their immense importance is due to the fact that they are a conjunction of two realities. Finally, they modify the course of history in so far as they become religious phenomena (p. 27).
For Israel in its true sense, the name Canaan is not that of a country. It has no frontiers. And YHWH יהוה in its true meaning is not a deity to be worshipped, least of all in a temple (p. 40).
It is true that some of those rabbis knew the Qabala in its exoteric sense, based on the laws of Moses better than they knew the original Revelation as it existed in a past more remote than the times of Moses. They believed that the symbolic narrative of Genesis was a description of actual facts, and they read those facts upside down according to their spoken languages; they believed in Adam’s sin and the fall of Man, they worshipped a deity which cannot but be anthropomorphized when it is prayed to. The secret code of the Qabala was a closed book for most, except Akibah, and perhaps a few others. But it was necessary that it should be so, that in all their charity, in their intense activity, they might play their part in this drama. It was because of those meek doctors of the Law that the Gospels were defeated in their attempts to free themselves from the Hebrew myth (p. 42-43).
The Qabala knows that YHWH יהוה is not a deity but an immanence which can become alive and active when the two vitalities in us, the container and the contained, fecundate each other (p. 43).
The great initiator of the Qabala in the second century was Simeon-Bar-Yohai. Against the powerful movements called the Talmud and the Qabala, the Christians were helpless (p. 43).
Many Jews, however, said that when the version of the Seventy came out it was a time of great sorrow and mourning for the rabbis who knew that the text cannot be translated. They put ashes on their heads, they tore their garments, they wept and cried out that such a sacrilege had never before been committed, not even when the Golden Calf had been set up, that it would have been better not to have been born than to have witnessed the day that the Torah was translated (p. 45).
Of course, the statement that a deity created the Universe by means of the Hebrew alphabet is literally absurd. It can be expressed differently in stating that every letter is, in fact, an ideogram which symbolizes one aspect of the cosmic energy. Thus we know where to look for meaning and purpose of the biblical text: it describes the interplay of those energies in the Universe and in Man. Thus we free our minds from all mystical imaginings. In following the text we then are subjected to an amazing mental exercise which can modify our way of thinking to the extent of uniting us with those very energies which are being described. That and that only, is the Revelation (p. 46).
In ancient times’ symbols, parables, metaphors, images, legends may have conveyed a meaning for the understanding. We, today, need a psychological and rational approach. Therefore it is useless—and, we venture to say, harmful—for us to dally with interpretations of interpretations of what people have supposed to be revelations put forward by Abraham, Moses or Jesus (p. 47).
That Revelation is timeless and is therefore of all time. One cannot contact it if it is imagined to have happened in the past. It is of now when we accept it to be of now. Unless we are fully of our time we are seeking it in its tracks on the sands of time (p. 47).
Seen in its true light, the first verse of the Bible has an entirely different significance from that conveyed by the inadequate translation familiar to us from childhood: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. This translation does not make sense at all, because it is unthinkable. A “beginning” of time and space is as unthinkable as is their non-beginning. Therefore, a text which proclaims the hopelessly inconceivable leads at the very start into the fictitious domains of wrong thinking. Even the word “God” is inconceivable, obviously so. The hypothesis of the existence of an unthinkable God previous to an unthinkable beginning forces the mind to confront the absurdity of a something before anything creating everything out of nothing (p. 54).
In the original meaning, there is no reference to a personal God; woman does not issue from a rib of Adam; she is not called Eve in the Garden of Eden; she does not disobey; there is no question of sin; the woman is not expelled from Eden; Cain does not kill Abel; he is not cursed by a divinity, but on the contrary protected; and if we jump a few hundred centuries to enter the allegory of Yhshwh, better known as Jesus, we find that the only Apostle who aided him in the fulfilment of his enterprise was called Judas. Such statements are no doubt surprising, but it is not generally realized to what extent the notions that Eve disobeyed, that Cain killed Abel and that Judas was a traitor have poisoned the mind. In a fundamental respect, these distortions are still contributing to the emotional illness and psychological disorders of the present day world (p. 70).
We shall be careful never to use a word unless its full meaning is clearly grasped (p. 71).
There is no delusion in it because the Revelation is not a fantastic message from a supernatural world. Surely the fantastic thing is to be alive and yet not to know what life is. The whole mystery of life is within us, and yet we search for revelations concerning it in books. Does thinking or speaking about God give us any knowledge of what God is? Are we surprised to discover that the human mind is in a state of total contradiction? (p. 73)
It is necessary that we understand the extraordinary dissimilarity between the language of the letter-numbers and our own language, into which the so called translations of the Bible were made. This difference becomes strikingly evident with regard to the word Bereshyt בראשית, the very first sequence of letter-numbers in the Bible: 18.104.22.1680.10.400. It is absurd that this should have been translated, “In the beginning (God created the heaven and the earth)”. That unconceivable “beginning” abruptly thrusts the mind into the deadlock of a creed. The believer is he who dreams an unthinkable thought (p. 73-4).
Our instrument of perception being ourselves, if we do not perceive directly so as to be Revelation itself, why do we not “check” our instrument and detect the flaws in our functioning, instead of searching for truth with inadequate means? To discover where and what is the error: that is what truth is (p. 74).
Moreover, if we believe that the Revelation can be transmitted to us by somebody else—Abraham, Moses, Jesus or Mohammed—we are labouring under a delusion because no matter what we are told or what we have read, we shall be holding ideas about what we think someone else has experienced; these are mere projections and have nothing to do with reality. In short, if we find what we are “looking for”; it is always ourselves that we find. We must then stop searching and bring about a salutary reversal of our efforts. As a beginning, we will avoid thinking about anything that we cannot conceive of (p. 76).
Thus the so called Spirit of God acts like a steam roller every time Yod does not play the game properly. And that action is one of the facts of life that we know best: wars, destructions, disasters of all sorts, both in the outer world and in our own inner life; our frustrations and failures; the annihilation of our achievements; and the terrible refusal of life in response to our hopes and our projects. But from these ruins, these misfortunes rise the triumphs of ever fertile life. In order that the new may spring forth without ceasing, must not the old, also without ceasing, be destroyed? This destructive aspect of life is essentially the activity of Aleph א: the action of non-temporal life against the continuity of existence, with its resulting violence and despair (p. 82).
In order that Aleph א should be born into human society, the passive female side of Adam אדם, obviously, must transform itself and rise above the female “containing element” (the body). Until this has happened, the activity of the male will only be chaotic agitation. The theme of the necessary transformation of the feminine is very important in the Bible. We shall meet it again in the feminine types of Esha, Hhevah, Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel, etc., ... up to Mary, mother of Jesus. All these are symbolical personifications of what women must learn to become. It is unfortunate that inadequate translations have prevented women from grasping the truth concerning themselves as it is set forth in the Book of Genesis. Thus women allow themselves to be misled into allowing the male—in such fatuous roles as a high priest of racism waving the Bible, or some head of state invoking divine vengeance in a “holy war”— to exert every possible pressure to persuade all humankind that “God” is a “He”, with “his” code of morals, “his” wars, etc., etc. (p. 98).
Because it is prescribed in the Jewish religion never to pronounce YHWH יהוה, this schema is sometimes reduced to Yod-Yod יי and always uttered Adonai (The Lord). Thus, in order to avoid desecrating whatever the formula YHWH יהוה stands for, it is interpreted as designating an anthropomorphous deity: in English, the Lord God (p. 103).
In other words, these two symbolic beings, man and woman, are supposed to be free of their animal past, accumulated in the course of previous evolution. They are supposed to be free from instinctual, repetitive automatisms. This past is no longer active within them. . . . Compared to every other species where the newborn animal is automatically set into motion by an accumulated knowledge, the human being is born to learn; and his not knowing (i.e. freedom from the animal instinct and influence of the accumulation of the past) is in proportion to his evolutionary development and tends to create the greatest possible intensity of life (p. 113).
Misinterpreted for centuries, the Bible has been a fatal cancer in the mind. Its vitalizing beauty still awaits discovery (p. 128).
In the process of time (after the passing of an era) Qaheen establishes a relationship between YHWH יהוה and himself. Hevel then imitates him and produces offerings to YHWH יהוה. There is nothing wrong with Hevel; since he cannot help being a specimen of ordinary, petty, toiling humanity. YHWH יהוה accepts his offerings. But Qaheen, being YHWH יהוה itself, incarnate but in a state of amnesia, worships an image of himself, which he projects, thereby creating a distance between himself and himself. Since this form of worship reflects a lack of self-knowledge, it is rejected. This drama is at the core of human experience. We are told that Christ is within, or that there is an Atman, immortal soul or essence within us. Instead of plunging into that living life, what do we do? We worship a picture of what we suppose it is which cannot be but a projection of its shell or container (p. 137).
It implies many deaths but also many stubborn resurrections, many disastrous errors but a tenacious survival. This biological law is always apparent in the so called curses of the Bible. It is important to recognize this because once we have freed our mind from the fear of a cursing deity, life stands a chance of being understood. . . . We cannot reject the Scriptures, which represent a valid part of this heritage. We must, rather, turn upon them the searchlight of impartial investigation, thereby recovering the vital meanings lost in the debacle of mistranslation. As one philosopher puts it, man is “condemned to meaning”. We cannot escape the real truths of the Bible, although we have ignored them for so many centuries. To rediscover them now we must, in a way, “walk backwards”. We cannot escape because these truths and our own nature are inseparably one. . . . This shattering of Babel is a direct reference to the necessary hindering of mankind’s premature birth, a principle which has been set forth in our preceding chapters. We can therefore assume that Babel is Bible. The original meaning of it had to be confounded and distorted because mankind was not yet sufficiently evolved—not yet ready for the rebirth, or mutation, which the Bible describes as our potential (p. 150-51).
Esau’s selling his birthright for a mess of pottage is famous in proportion to its absurdity (p. 177).
So Yaaqov’s utterance means: “recognize as today, from beginning to end את (Et) (or: in its total significance) what is meant by your being the firstborn (or your being the early fruit)”. And Yissav said: “Behold I am dying. What is it to me to be the (Being) firstborn?” . . . And we remember the conditioned “son of woman” Abel, being annihilated by the mere rising of Cain-YHWH in front of him. . . . Thus Jacob bestows to his earthly brother the nourishment best fitted to his nature, and this ends one of the most beautiful and most misinterpreted episodes of Genesis (p. 178).
Jacob יעקב is neither a saint nor a hero. He is no Siegfried, no shining St George fighting dragons. He is Tam, simple, hardworking and ingenious enough to gather riches in spite of being exploited and cheated by Laban. And when at last he has his freedom, he is old and exhausted (p. 179-80).
Let us see this clearly: Yaaqov יעקב is attacked by Iysh: איש Aleph-Yod-Sheen, that is: by the full might of cosmic energy: Aleph א and Yod י as the two contradictory aspects of that one energy and Sheen ש as their joint action, Iysh איש is a tremendous concentration of vital energy, and its impact upon Yaaqov is a supreme test: the climax in Jacob’s life. If he resists he truly is the carrier of the human seed (p. 180-81).
Jesus—or Yhshwh as his name was, according to Qabala— insisted on the essential theme that runs as a visible-invisible thread throughout the Bible: the constant psychological death and resurrection which is the real cosmic call to the human being. Only through that intermittent psychic pulsation of Aleph א can the creative life manifest itself. That life is always new. It has therefore neither past nor future. It is not dependent on time or space. It is not “conscious” in the sense we give to that word, because consciousness implies memory. Therefore it is not we who resurrect, but life impersonal. And because our thought is always a process of continuity in duration, that resurrection is nothing that we can “think”. The process of life eludes our comprehension but we must not allow our intelligence to elude the process of life. A creed is a system meant to represent that which cannot be represented. It is therefore always a portrayal of images. These images are either, externally, those of beings or objects, or, in the mind, thoughts, intuitions, feelings, sensations. We can hardly imagine Rabbi Jesus resorting to such crude deceptions. It is reasonable to suppose that he was in direct contact with the creative cosmic energies or, in other words that the Revelation was with him. In that case he could not possibly have conceived a mythology to explain away the mystery that he personified. And it is most improbable that he came to save that which must be destroyed by life, those foci of static, fossilized energy which so often think themselves to be human (p. 185-6).
We do not know to what extent it is possible to unearth a truth buried under centuries of intentional misinterpretations. Apparently it cannot be done by means of exegesis. But the truth included in both Testaments can certainly be discovered when one identifies oneself with the word Israel, whose full meaning is: a continuous and winning battle against Elohim אלהים. Israel is timeless. Elohim אלהים is temporal (p. 189-90).
Satan is a Hebrew word שטן (Seen-Tayt-Noun: 300.9.700). In colloquial Hebrew it means the adversary, the accuser, and also Satan, as we know it in English. According to code, we see that the elemental female ט (9) is held as between pincers by the cosmic breath 300(ש) and the indetermination at stake, 700(ן). It resists both impacts, as it is in its nature to do. Its essence is continuity; its function is proliferation of elementary units. When Tayt ט prevails it is as a queen-bee or a church, the adversary of the Aleph א, of infinite cosmic life-death. In other words Satan שטן is a continuity in existence which resists its own necessary destruction. Psychologically, it is a confinement in structures that hinders the flow of life-death in the mind (p. 191).
Strangely enough, in their attempt, throughout the centuries, to simplify this difficult language for the understanding of all, the authorities have rendered it incomprehensible. The simpler the text, the less (in this case) its meaning. In the beginning of this book, it was stated that the composite Elohim אלהים expresses the life and action of Aleph א. It was also pointed out that no letter-number—whether Aleph א, Bayt ב, or any other—has its full meaning except in its relationship to others. This is because each letter-number is a symbol for one aspect of life’s totality. Likewise, every colour in the rainbow is of and in the light (p. 193).
Only when the psyche becomes cognizant of its structured elements can it die to the perception of itself as continuity. It can then free itself from that which appeared as being “contained” in its sphere of consciousness, but was in fact its “container”. It can open itself to the unutterable reality of Aleph א. Then, the marvellous pulsation of life-death can permeate it and the individual is called upon to partake of the universal life (p. 194).
These powers, as well as his teachings, have profoundly influenced the human psyche. People find themselves in the impossible situation of “believing” what he taught and at the same time being unable to put these teachings into effect. Who among his believers ceases to worry about tomorrow, either in this world or in the next? Who amongst them relinquishes his possessions, either here or in the hereafter? Or accepts still more blows from an enemy who has already struck him once? Or loves his enemy, etc., etc.? Nothing of all this teaching influences our stubborn desire for self-perpetuation. Thus, while a great many seek, few find. And from the inner conflict arise our hypocritical morals and all the self-justifications invented by a guilt complex which has been festering for two thousand years. The Rabbi saw that, in his time, the direct comprehension of his teaching was impossible. Thus he was compelled to revert to a symbol (p. 195).
As to Peter’s church, it rests upon an intricate system of self-preservation originally established in opposition to Jesus’ essence: Israel. That was the beginning of theological anti-Semitism. Judas the “traitor” became identified with the “deicide (killer of a god)”, the Jews. Peter’s successors declared themselves to be what they actually were, princes of this world; and the Devil was invented in order to allow the real Satan to operate undisturbed (p. 196)
That was Elohim’s penetration in the body, an event pertaining to evolution in time. Another vital penetration had to occur in the psyche, in the inner life lying in darkness, and that had to transcend time: it had to be YHWH’s. But that which is timeless is not in existence in time. It is not in existence: this means that it must die in it. Life must die when plunged into existence (p. 199).
We felt that this narrative was a turning point in the evolution of the human psyche and that the projection into the narrative of the idea of betrayal was an artifice, in extremis, of the psyche, to save itself from any shadow of cooperation in the drama (p. 200).
However, the fulfilment of the myth and of man must necessarily be an integration in one single individual of the two aspects of vital energy first symbolized by Cain and Abel, then by Jacob and Esau, and now by Jesus and Judas. . . . John 13:20-27. Notwithstanding the clarity of these statements Jesus insists: “Verily, verily I say unto you: He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” He will send Judas and Judas will be his alter ego (p. 202).
In spite of two thousand years of theology, the only one with whom Jesus communes is Judas, and however bewildering for the minds that can only function one way, the direct effect of that communion is that Jesus introduces Satan into Judas. And now, having materialized Satan, Jesus speaks to him as a master to his dependent: “That thou doest, do quickly!” (p. 202-3).
We can no longer be deterred by the real meaning expressed in such a symbolic and archaic way: the fact has been stated already: he that receives the one that Jesus sends receives Jesus and receives the one that sent Jesus. It is clear that Jesus sends Satan. So he who receives Satan receives Jesus, hence he receives God. In terms of traditional religion this statement, in spite of it being so clearly written in John’s Gospel is monstrous and frightening. In terms of gnosis it is the statement of a simple fact: there is only One energy, only One life, only One movement. All is one and one is in all. The One is the one game of life and existence, of energy as energy and of energy as its own physical support, which is its own resistance to itself, without which nothing would be (p. 204).
Far more than a mere series of letters, they represent an anatomy of the cosmic interplay of energies and resistances of which each of us is but a transient condensation. Now the Door is opened, or rather we have a key to it. For the time being, let us go no further. Anyone who so desires can move into the vitalizing study and dig—not too long in the Book itself, but in his own mind, going on indefinitely making his own discoveries. . . . We can be a point of consciousness to which the Revelation comes. But this we cannot be if we cling to traditional belief, ritual and authority founded upon the misunderstanding and negation of the essential truths of these teachings. All such philosophies, theologies, creeds or worship—whether spiritualistic or materialistic, individual or social—are but static projections of the psyche: of a shell (p. 205).
The protection afforded by its dwelling, the Bayt ב, is necessary during growth; but carried into maturity, it suffocates the Aleph א within (p. 206).
Throughout this essay, from Adam to Jesus, we have introduced vibrations that should, up to a point, help certain psyches to overcome a passive stage of development that fixes them as chrysalides in a condition in which they are in danger of dying whilst dreaming their myths. For fear of facing the uncertainties of real space, these psyches wither in imaginary celestial regions, all the more deceptive in that they are linked to historical events (p. 208).
We have often said that the primary purpose of all established religions is to prevent, to remove from the mind, the perception of the immediate all-pervading mystery: the fact that the mere existence of anything at all cannot and never will be explained (p. 209).
It may well be that the greatest error of the Christian dogma is the assertion that the Holy Ghost engendered an infant only once, and at a certain date. It is irrational to think that the timeless, unthinkable, infinite immanence is not in all times and in all places in intimate copulation (symbolically speaking) with the world since it constantly bears fresh and unexpected fruits (p. 214-15).
The crucifixion then, assumes its proper meaning: far from being a torture and a death it appears to be a relaxation, a rest: it is both the separation and the union of the invisible Aleph א and of the material Yod י. It is a life so intense as to appear motionless, its vibration being too swift to be perceived (p. 215).
For so long as thou callest not thyself mine, I am not what I am. But if thou harkenest unto me, hearing, thou too shalt be as I am, and I shall be what I am when thou art with thyself, as I am with myself; for from this, thou art (p. 219).