Happiness doesn't come by acquiring more. That is what the world believes. Happiness comes by comprehending what you already have. One need not seek far and wide to get what is precious above all. It's already here. It's always been so and always will be. That's why the sages say that man is mad. Man acts mad when he searches far and wide for what he already has, but doesn't comprehend. Man is mad when he can't see what is so close to him that he misses it because he is seeking further out. -- PoTai
by Eleazar, March 2009
The story of the Creation of man and the world in which he lives lies at the root of many of the world's religions, but few understand what it really means. This narrative is purposed to look at the Creation Parable in new ways. In LDS (Mormon) cosmology, the Creation Parable comprises an important part of the Temple endowment experience.
Although the LDS temple endowment is popularly believed to be a bestowal of sacred knowledge, it really isn't. What it's really meant to do is to give man what he seeks, knowledge, so that he might eventually become frustrated enough with it to seek what is really meant by it. When the Temple patron goes beyond knowledge, a discovery happens. This discovery leads to something unexpected.
To discover the unexpected, it may help to look at the Creation Parable with new eyes. This unexpected discovery cannot be contained in this narrative because it can't be. It's not that there is a great secret that mustn't be spoken or written because it is sacred, but because symbols cannot suffice for the real thing. Words are symbols. Words, at best, can only point to something else that they represent. To discover what is meant, one must go beyond words and symbols. The discovery comes as a personal experience.
As is often the case, carnal man acts like a madman who mistakenly views madness in the world about him to be anything but his own madness. He fails to connect the dots that lie so plainly before him. He fails to see the perfection in the world about him. He fails to see that all of it is a reflection of something else and that the truth he seeks has always been symbolized by what is right in front of him.
Thus, it's important to realize that this narrative cannot substitute for what is unrecognized by carnal man who is symbolized by Adam in the Creation and Garden parables. The secret awaiting discovery is not hidden. It's more that Adam is walking in darkness at noonday. Adam can't see the secret because his eyes have been with covered with a veil. Appropriately, Adam thinks that the veil has been placed over his eyes by someone else. Adam fails to realize that he is the one who places the veil over his own eyes. Adam fails to see that the reason for his blindness is that he will not see. Adam's blindness has always been his own doing. And it always remains his choice.
Some might see this narrative as constructive, but that too is a mistake. The suffering and frustration experienced by carnal man does not derive from lacking something, but the opposite. Carnal man needs to lose something. As a first step, he needs to lose his grip on his precious notions that, in turn, bind him from seeing what is already (t)here.
Thus, this narrative is not intended to offer knowledge to those who seek it. To the contrary, an illusion of having knowledge is the problem. In the relevant parables, it's this illusion of having knowledge which is a core component of the message being conveyed. Moreover, the illusion of having knowledge cannot be overcome by getting additional knowledge. That's not the way. Discovery happens by removing what covers what is already present. That is what discovery means.
Thus, this narrative might offer a new view of these parables, but it should be understood that this view is not meant to replace an old view. The best that can be accomplished is to help to see older notions in newer ways. When older notions are understood as inadequate, then the way for a newer discovery is opened.
The Problem of View
In order for us to comprehend what is going on about us, there needs to be new perspective about what is. There are at least two popular views which mislead us into notions that trap us. One of these erroneous notions is that what is represented in the symbols of the world is about someone else other than us. So, when we hear the Creation and Garden Parables, we tend to mistakenly view them as historical events that occurred in another time and to another person. Another mistaken view is in regard to what we expect as a reward for our worldly experience. That is, our notions of reward, and what that means, are mistaken. We believe that we gain reward as a result of our effort and obedience. However, a greater truth is that we already have our reward, but don't know it.
The mistake of viewing the scriptural parables as history has already been covered in other narratives by this author, so it might not be productive to cover it again here. Briefly, this idea is that scriptural parables are about the present rather than the past. In terms of the Creation Parable, we are mislead in our belief that it is a literal story (a history) of a past event, past place, and past people. However, it is much more profound when these scriptural stories are seen as a symbolic devices which describe what is going on now rather than what went on in another place and time.
In expecting an outer reward for good works, carnal man becomes a gainsayer. He might even proclaim that what he expects as reward is eternal, but there is remains a tendency to view the reward in terms of what's material. This mistaken view is despite carnal man's own belief that everything that has a beginning, also has an end. If something is eternal, at least in the popular sense of the term, then it must exist now, otherwise it isn't eternal.
Thus, carnal man has the tendency to expect a reward which he feels he has earned. Moreover, this reward is viewed in terms of outer things and outer experiences. He hopes for a time when he will have more possessions, more free time, more power over others, more notoriety, more children, more knowledge, more authority, and that he will be the envy of his peers. Although these things can be gained by effort, struggle, and work (as well as by subterfuge), they are all counterfeits of something that they are meant to symbolize. These things are not lasting and carnal man will eventually find frustration in trying to hang on to them. He might be able to enjoy worldly possessions for a time, but physical death will always part him from this gain. Such a loss, and it's accompanying frustration, will eventually bring carnal man to the realization that is needed for him to seek for something else.
To understand what is going on and why it is the way it is, carnal man will need to find a new perspective. He will need to give up his infatuation with what is outside of him as well as an unrealistic expectation that gain of worldly riches will bring happiness. He will need to stop worshiping the image, the symbol, and the appearance of what is before him. There will be a need to see these as a reflection of something else that is already present and, more importantly, in him.
The Language of Symbol
In order to comprehend meaning behind parables, it is helpful, at least at first, to begin speaking a new language. This new language is that of symbolic metaphor. It might be rightly said that the Adamic tongue is a language of symbol. Symbolic metaphor is the language out of which the meaning of Creation Parable emerges.
Every night an important event happens. Man retires to his bed to rest. It is out of these rest periods that something meaningful happens, dreaming. These dreams might often appear to be bizarre imaginations having little consequence or meaning in the so-called real world, but they might be far from that. To understand the purpose and meaning of dreams, it is first necessary to look into the language of symbol. Unfortunately, carnal man has lost the ability to speak that language.
It gets worse when carnal man begins to view his so-called waking existence as the only one that has meaning for him. God often speaks to man in his dreams, but it appears that no one is listening. That's because there is a lack of ability to understand symbol. The odd thing is that man has lost this ability to understand meaning as a result of becoming lost in the outer material world. Thus, meaning has become lost because what is meaningful is lost in what appears to be meaningful. However, it is not that the meaning is lost at all. Rather, it's that carnal man has become lost. As a result of being lost, the meaning is become lost to him.
In looking at the Creation Parable, it might be important to start looking at what the symbols mean in regard their re-presentation. These parables and their symbols are often taken superficially. But, there needs to be a step taken beyond the superficial. Ironically, that is an integral and redundant message of the Creation and Garden Parables.
What follows is a list of symbols having to do with the Creation Parable with some possible meanings that might help in coming to understand the meaning of the parable. As this is done, there is something that should be remembered. This remembering has to do the LDS concept of what is the Adamic tongue. Devout LDS sometimes wonder about what is the Adamic language and what it means. That's good, but please try to remember this: Adamic is a language. Try to go beyond that. Language is not what's most important. Meaning is what is found that resides beyond language. Although it might rightly be said that Adamic language is that of symbol, there is also a higher form of it too. And even that higher form is, at best, still a language.
In order to see the Creation Parable in a new way, there might first be a need to look at symbols and possible meanings with new eyes. What follows is a list of some of the symbols in the Creation Parable and possible meanings. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and the meanings do not claim to be the correct ones. The list is generally arranged in alphabetical order.
Many of the symbols in the following list appear in the Garden Parable rather than the Creation Parable. They are included here because these parables carry a great redundancy in their message and symbols that appear in the Garden Parable help to understand the meaning of the Creation Parable. Moreover, many of the symbols of the Garden Parable are also found in the Creation Parable, but are not noticed because they are hidden under different names.
Adam. As another name for Michael, Adam symbolizes the Spirit or that which was before the outer creation. Adam is also a name for the First Man, therefore the first creation. In the Creation Parable, man is created on the sixth day as opposed to the first day, but these separations are artificial and should not be confused in regard to their order of appearance. In reality, there is only one day of creation. On the first day, it is written that God created the Heaven and the earth and divided the light from the darkness. On the sixth day, man appeared. It might be proper to say that the the first day embodies the rest of the creation, all of it, including the creation of man and woman. That is, the first manifestation occurred on the first day. Heaven and earth were created on the first day. It was all done or, rather, being done on the first day. Moreover, Adam was present on the first day, appearing under a different name, Michael. Thus, the symbol of Michael/Adam conveys important ideas about both the creator and the created. Adam is the first and the last, which is the proper order of appearance or, rather, the proper form. It might be important to notice that carnal man mistakenly gets this out of order in placing the last first and, eventually, comes to obsess himself with what should be placed last, the creation. He might give lip service to the creator, but it's the creation that Fallen Adam comes to worship as first. The Bible correctly states that “as in Adam, all die.” The great reverence of Adam in LDS cosmology is meaningful. It manifests itself as a reverence of carnal man himself. (see Eve; Creation)
Agency. Agency is one of the three important concepts that emerge in the Creation Parable. Agency is an integral part of the statement that man is made in the image of God. One might say that man is first, as a son of God, a triune being made up of awareness, perception, and agency. In the parable of the Fall of man, Adam uses his agency to pervert his perception and cover over his awareness. That is what brings forth a bitter experience of suffering and frustration. It's important that agency always remain with Adam, so it is Adam who must choose to be redeemed from the Fall. The way is not hard, but Adam doesn't understand because he is blinded by an illusion of knowledge, his choice. As a result of the Falll, Adam labors under a delusion that obedience is what brings about a redemption from the Fall, but it never does because it can't. Adam worships the wrong God, again his choice. And obedience to an outer Law cannot restore what is lost. It's that way because that's the way it is. An experience of bitterness cannot bring joy, notwithstanding a choice to experience bitterness will make joy appear to be a nice change. (see The Fall; Creation; Image)
Carnality. Having to do with the mind and the senses which believe that the material world is foremost in importance in bringing what is lacking or wanted (desired). Carnality is a belief system where joy and fulfillment are mistakenly sought in the outer world of the senses. The material world with it's counterfeit belief systems are what is symbolized by the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and what Eve, in the Garden Parable, describes as “delicious to the taste and very desirable.” (see Creation, Tree of Knowledge; Adam; Eve; The Fall)
Creation. At one level of understanding, creation rises out of something which already exists, which is why it is said that creation had to come from something. This is despite nothing being before creation, but that is a longer conversation. True creation emerges out of nothing, otherwise it emerges short as an organization or reorganization which masquarades as a creation when it's really nothing but a copy. In this particular case, nothing is something. That is, what is before creation is called nothing because it isn't a "thing". Nothing came before things. Creation is often viewed in terms of material objects, but it is not limited to that. Many creations are immaterial, such as a symphony, a sonnet, humor, joy, and fulfillment. Creation is intimately tied to the concept of agency and the purpose of life. The Creation Parable is best understood when it is seen as being symbolic of a process which is going on now and continually going on in the present moment of our experience. Carnal man tends to get that mixed up by living in the past or the future. But creation can only occur now. One might say that the created (or that which has already been created) emerges from the past, but all things created can be re-created in the present. The future is an imaginary construct, a possibility, a potentiality, that doesn't exist in reality, but at best, might exist n the present moment or past when they merge into one. In that same scenario the past and the present are as false as refections seen in two mirrors facing each other, giving rise to a false view of Eternity. Eternity is what is (now). It can be rightly stated that eternity is the only thing that exists, but at the same time, eternity is not a thing. Carnal man expresses his disbelief in God when he lives in the future or the past. Carnal man plans for his future because he believes it's a good idea. He doesn't believe God has already done that for him. In trying to understand the meaning of the Creation Parable, it's important to remember that the creation is temporal. The creation is first imagined in the mind which itself is always changing. Unbeknownst to carnal man, it's the carnal mind, a creation, that gives rise to false beliefs in the creation as something which it is not. What can be humorous is that LDS view themselves as great creators (eg.of new earths) in the future, which idea might be more revealing than is popularly realized. One thing such notions propose is a lack of being able to create in the present moment of now. Most of the time, carnal man acts out as a copier rather than a creator. His infatuation with the creation is what binds him down and covers over the creator that is yet to be revealed. What carnal man is artful at creating is illusion. That illusion is what he believes in and, in turn, what keeps him bound up by the Fall. One might correctly state that carnal man creates a box in which he suffers under an delusion of freedom. It might be important to look at what is said in the Creation parable about all of it being "good". The real creation is just that, good. It is not that the creation had later become perverted so much as it is that Adam has become perverted in how he understands it. The creation is and always been perfect. In that sense of it, creation is not a proper term because it is about the past rather than the present. The present version of the word, creating, is better because it speaks of change. Coming to a real experience of the real (and only) creation (an act of creating) brings joy. Joy is what is intended to emerge from the experience. In one perspective, there is no real creation, but re-creation (re-creating). This strange act we do is truly magical. It's like forgetting what the punch line in a joke means so that we might tell ourselves the joke, then laugh heartily when we get it and thereby enjoy the experience. This is what Eternal Life is about and why there is creating. What creating does is bring joy. That is despite the suffering of Adam when he becomes infatuated with the creation and loses his way. (see Agency, Carnality; The Fall; Adam)
Darkness. In the Creation Parable, the earth is described as being without form and void with darkness on the face of the deep. This statement describes the present state of being rather than a past event. That is, was is on the face (superficial, apparent) is darkness (an absence, void) or misleading. Carnal man is prone to see things on their face and thereby lives in darkness. Darkness, in it's conventional definition, is defined by an absence of visible light. Thus, Darkness is not something in itself, but an absence of something. Science claims that in the known universe, there is no such thing as darkness since there is no known place without some form of light (beyond the visible). However, science has also discovered what is called “dark matter” and “dark energy”. These are referred to as dark because scientists still lack the tools necessary to describe them. Thus, in terms of dark matter and dark energy, the word is used to describe an unknown and these are really meant to describe something that is rather than what isn't. Inasmuch as the entire known universe is described in terms of what we can “see”, the concept of the existence of dark matter and dark energy is mind boggling in terms of how we view our universe. Scientists will claim that the existence of dark matter and dark energy reveals something that exists beyond our field of knowing and much bigger than what we see with our eyes or tools that are available to us. Scientists claim that we traditionally describe as matter and energy is only 4% of what exists. Thus, one might rightly claim that we live mostly in the dark. Darkness, in it's poetic definition, is synonymous with ignorance, lack of understanding, lack of seeing, and unrevealing. However, it also might be important in looking at the Creation Parable to remember that science stipulates that darkness isn't real, that is, there is always light in apparent darkness. (see Carnality; Creation; Light)
Days of Creation. In the Creation Parable, there are seven days of creation. It might be important to notice that the first six days of creation are described as having an evening (ending) and morning (beginning), but there is no mention of night. It may also be important to notice that the evening (an end) appears first in the scriptural accounts, that is, it is phrased as evening and morning rather than the other way around. It might be said that Adam, as a Fallen Man, walks in darkness at noon day, since mid-day is a time between morning and evening. A key to understanding the Days of Creation is in seeing that these creative periods are highly redundant and repetitive. They are not meant to tell us what went on to someone else during another time and place, but to tell us what is going on now to each of us or, rather, by us. In a metaphorical sense, each of us is Adam who is also known as Michael. Each of us is both the creator and the created. As the Fallen man, Adam, we have forgotten who we are (Michael) and suffering under a delusion, one that we ourselves have created, come to believe, and thereafter proclaimed to be delicious to the taste and very desirable. Better said, it's not what has been created, a past tense of the word, but what is being created now. Adam has yet to fathom what has happened to him, who really did it, and why. The reason itself is the great mystery of life that Adam has yet to uncover because he is lost in the creation. The Creation Parable itself reveals the answer as to the purpose, but Adam is so distracted by the creation, that he can't see it. The answer is right in front of him or, more accurately, in him. What Adam lacks is not something which he gains by the creation, but something which he already has or, rather, is. There is great irony at play and newer meaning that emerges as a creation. So, what Adam eventually finds in the Creation is meaning. This is the 'strange act' of which Adam, as Fallen man, is oblivious to. He doesn't know the reason or the means, but when he finally comes to that, he will understand that his true home is in the Seventh Day of Creation rather than the first six of them. (see Seventh Day of Creation; Six Days of Creation).
Earth. The earth is a symbol for the outer creation and is synonymous in what it conveys with other symbols such as body, temple, woman, garment, apron, veil, object, and man. (see Adam, Eve, Creation)
Eve. Eve might be the most complex of all of the symbols of creation in terms of multiple levels of meaning. Before the Fall, Eve can be seen as equal to Adam (pre-Fallen man), Michael, or the Spirit, which symbolism is redundant with the same. Thus, one layer of meaning is that Woman is all there is. At one level of understanding, God is woman, the creator. In the world, women are the ones who bear the children and this is not accidental. But, one might also say that woman as the creator is followed by woman as the created. Thus, in this latter sense, Eve is also a universal symbol for the woman, the world, the enticer, Lucifer, the carnal senses, the body, the apron, the veil, the tree of knowledge, and darkness. Eve, as the first woman, symbolizes the first creation. The woman also symbolizes the enticements of the senses in which, of themselves, have no life, and which entices Adam. Woman has no beginning and no life without man (per the Creation Parable), yet the opposite is not true. This is despite Adam's choice to yield to the enticements of Eve in partaking of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. That is, Eve's allegation that Adam would be a lone man in the garden if he did not eat the fruit, was a lie. Eve, in this allegation, states that Adam could not multiply and fill the earth without her, that is, he would not be able to create. However, it might help to remember that Adam, as Michael, already created his own body without Eve. Thus, the symbol of Eve, conveys a lot of redundancy with the symbol of Adam or Michael (creator), but also that Eve is also a founding symbol for the creation itself. This means that Eve, like Adam, is redundant as a symbol of being both the creator and the created. These ideas might be important to understanding how we, as individuals, act out as both enticer and the enticed, the knower and the known, the seer and the seen. (see Adam, Woman, Seed of the Woman)
The Fall. The Fall is what happens after Adam partakes of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Adam is enticed to do this by Eve. There are many symbols at work here, great redundancy by repetition, and many layers of meaning that should not be missed. The Fall is what brings about blindness, a state of being lost, imprisonment, separation, division, belief in illusion, suffering, and death. At one level of meaning, the Fall occurs only after Adam partakes. Here, Eve acts as the enticer. However, this is a repetition of what already happened earlier in the parable. Eve, a symbol of Adam, partook of the same on enticements from Lucifer. In one way, Eve is a redundant symbol of Adam. In another, Eve is redundant as a symbol of Lucifer. One might say that the actors names have been changed, but not the act. This is meant to be meaningful because the act is still going on in the present time with most of us acting out as both Adam and Eve. It's also important to notice that Adam partakes willingly, but it is also the same for Eve. Eve partook of the fruit willingly. Both Adam and Eve believe a lie when they partake. It might even be said that the Fall occurred before Adam, because Eve partook first, but there is more to that too. The Fall really happens before partaking of the fruit, not during it or because of it. Rather, the eating of the fruit is a outer symbol of what happened inwardly. What happened inwardly, before eating the fruit, was belief in a lie. Thus, the act of eating the fruit was merely an outer expression of belief. That is, eating the fruit was merely a codification of the Fall, an appearance of a symbol of what had already occurred (the Fall). It may be important to notice that the outer manifestation always comes after the inner creation. One of the questions that arises in LDS cosmology is whether or not the Fall is essential as a part of finding eternal life. LDS cosmology asserts a belief in the reality of opposition and that Eve did humankind a great service in bringing about the Fall. It might be noticed that this idea is exactly what Eve orates in the LDS endowment ritual in claiming “It is better for us that we pass through sorrow that we might know the good from the evil.” However, it should be noticed that Eve makes this statement after she has eaten the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and, thereby, laboring under an illusion of having knowledge. Therefore, Eve's statement, at least in how she means it, might be mistaken. For one thing, belief in a reality of opposition is belief in a lie. Was the Fall destined to occur? Maybe not. It happened because Adam/Eve was given agency. In the LDS endowment ceremony, Eve asks Lucifer if 'there is no other way' before choosing to partake of the bitter fruit. Lucifer replies that "There is no other way", a lie which was believed by Eve and today promoted as a part of LDS doctrine that the Fall was essential to man's happiness. But the Fall has not brought happiness to Adam. The concept of agency is what's important, not the act of falling under illusion. The creation is enjoyed without going through the Fall, that is, the Fall fails to yield up what is promised, notwithstanding there is a rightful expectation of happiness as a future. Happiness is ready for Adam/Eve when (s)he chooses the right way. Thus, it might be good to consider that the Fall is not the "only way." To find the way, one must first acknowledge what the Fall has brought to Adam/Eve: Carnal knowledge, bitter experience, suffering, blindness, and unfulfullment. (see Opposition; Agency; Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam, Eve)
Fruit. Fruit grows on trees or bushes and symbolizes what arises out of them. Moreover, inside of fruit are found seeds for the next generation. Thus, fruit symbolizes the product of the tree as well as the means (seed) for perpetuating it. It is said that there is good fruit and bad fruit, but this can be misleading. It is the tree that bears the fruit that's important. In one sense of it, the tree itself is a symbol of creation or, rather, an outgrowth of the seed from the fruit that preceded it. At another level of meaning, the tree represents the creator of the fruit it bears. That is, the tree is first. Thus, this scenario is reminiscent of the chicken and the egg conundrum of which came first. One might say that the chicken had to come first because the egg is also a chicken, although ungrown. In the same way, fruit is what comes after trees rather than before a tree. This view is an important one in coming to understand the meaning of the Creation Parable. It might be said that the first appearance of bitter fruit occurs in the Garden Parable where it is used as a symbol of the cause of the Fall of Adam. Astute observers will notice that fruit appears in the Creation Parable, more clearly in the LDS endowment version, where trees bearing fruit are placed upon the earth (cf Genesis 1:11). At a high level of understanding, tree and the fruit that it bears are the same thing. We might say that Adam, the first man, is both tree and fruit. Adam begins his created existence as the fruit of the Tree of Life, yet at the same time, Adam becomes corrupted by the Fall and thereby lives out his life as the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, bearing his own fruit, consuming it, and suffering in the experience. (see Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; Light)
Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is a central symbol in the Garden Parable which, in many ways, is a redundant story of the Creation Parable. At one sense of meaning, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolizes a belief system. This includes a belief in the reality of opposition. That is, a belief in a reality of opposites and the experience that rises from this belief, is much of what is symbolized by the Tree of Knowledge and it's fruit. Moreover, consuming (eating) the fruit is an outward symbol (form) of a belief (in a lie) that occurs prior to eating the fruit. This leads to a cycle where corrupt fruit bears more corrupt trees and more corrupt fruit. The fruit is a bitter one and brings bitter experience. The fruit is consumed by the body and becomes a part of it. It might even be said that the body is the fruit or, at least, gives rise to the germination of seed that perpetuates the vicious cycle that carries away Adam into captivity. Adam becomes lost, or Fallen, as a result of a belief system that he has consumed and which, in turn, has consumed him. Belief in a lie begats bitter experience which begats more lies. From this mistaken belief system, the cycle goes on and on until it is broken by frustration in the seemingly endless suffering that rises out of it. A new perspective is needed. A newer perspective will break the cycle or, rather, lead to it. When that happens, the fruit will no longer taste bitter. It will be transformed into something significant and surprising: A context for finding meaning. (see Fruit; Light; Adam; Opposition)
Image. An image isn't real, but something that looks like what it symbolizes. In mirrors, there appear images which, in this case, are also called reflections. These reflections are not real. They are images. These might appear to be real, but they aren't real. Man is said to be created in the image of God. This is popularly taken in a literal manner to mean that God must look like a man, having a physical body of head, arms, legs, penis, and so forth. Thus, it might be stated that, according to carnal man, God is made in the image of man. In infatuating himself with the outer creation, carnal man becomes an image-worshipper. The statement that man is in the image of God is profound when it is understood in other ways. One might rightly state that man is a reflection of God and, in the same way, all of creation is in the image of God. In LDS cosmology, it is said that Man is God, an accurate statement, since God is in man. However, LDS append another statement to that, saying God is (a) man, a misleading statement because it implies that God is merely a man rahter that more than a man. God was before man. The statement that "man is a God in embryo" or that "as man is, God once was", are misleading statements because they elevate the image to be the first rather than the last. When a man says "I am God", he may be stating a great truth because God is within him, but such statements are often consummed upon the lusts to say "I am someone of great importance", a lie. Believing in one's own greatness is worshipping the image rather than what is beneath the image. The great sin of Lucifer is said to be pride. This idea of elevating Man to the position of God is exactly that, a manifestation of pride. Such a mistaken view as this always results in frustration, suffering, and an experience of what is bitter. Images appear under many forms such as names, signs, and tokens. Images are symbols. Symbols, by definition, are not real, but they re-present something else that is real. (see Man; Adam; Eve; Lucifer; Woman; Darkness).
Light. Light is popularly seen by religionists as pre-existing as well as being in opposition to darkness, but these ideas are not born out by science or the parables in scripture. In science, light is energy that emanates from objects (eg. The sun, chemical reactions, atomic phenomena). This has a profound meaning and points to what is within man as well as everything in creation. But, there is also light that is reflected by objects that we see with our eyes. Vision is, in one sense, one of the carnal senses. At another level of meaning, vision is an understanding, a comprehension of what is not seen with the eyes. Lucifer, as light-bearer, is a symbol of light which is artificial and what can be misleading because it is on the outside. Poets often speak of an inner light which is a light of understanding. It might be important to notice that, in the Creation Parable, light is created on the first day when God said “Let there be light.” A higher meaning of this might appear when this statement is rendered as “Let there be understanding”. That is a profound statement to start out a narration of the Creation Parable. In a different sense of the meaning, it might be important to see light as a symbol for knowledge. Adam/Eve are tempted by Lucifer, the so called “light bearer”. Moreover, in acting out the the LDS temple endowment, Adam approaches the veil seeking 'further light and knowledge' (a redundancy). Light, as the first creation, symbolizes the sun. But, at different levels of meaning, it symbolizes the stars, the moon, and the earth. All of these are synonymous with Lucifer, the light-bringer or light-bearer. It is no mistake that these symbols decorate the walls of many LDS temples and are used by occult societies. The meaning of these symbols are popularly taken in a positive way to point to God, but it should be remembered that light is the first creation. The god that these symbols (sun, moon, stars) point to is the creation itself rather than the one (or nothing) that is before the creation. Thus, the symbols of light are revealing. However, what they reveal is very unflattering to those that use them. Rather than symbolize true understanding, they reveal darkness (a lack of understanding). In our carnal world, objects are viewed by artificial light and natural light, which is also meaningful in regard to it's symbolism of the same. (see Darkness, Lucifer)
Lucifer. In the Garden Parable, Lucifer entices Eve to partake of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge which brings about the Fall. It might be important to notice that Lucifer first appears in the Garden Parable, but Lucifer also appears in the Creation Parable, though under different names. In the Garden Parable, Adam and Eve also are told that they can eat from every tree in the Garden, except the Tree of Knowledge and if they did so, they would die. Eve then eats from the Tree after believing the lie (from Lucifer) that she will not die. At this level of understanding, Lucifer symbolizes the creation itself and it's enticements to the carnal senses. In one way, Lucifer is named in the Creation Parable during the First Day when God said “Let there be light”. It's important to notice the name 'Lucifer' and what that means (light-bearer) as well as the fact that light is a creation. In another respect, Lucifer, as a symbol, is synonymous with that of Woman, a universal symbol for the creation and that which entices the Spirit or, rather the creation of the Spirit, into believing in a reality of separation and opposition. There are multiple (legion of) symbols of Lucifer, such as the sun, stars, the planets, the moon, the earth, the woman, aprons, veils, the senses, priests, popes, presidents, and prophets. (see Darkness, Light, Eve, Woman, Seed of the Woman; Satan).
Man. It's significant that man, as a word, is shorter version of a longer one, man-ifestation. Man is a symbol for form, image, and that which is visible using the eyes which are body organs used for seeing. Woman is also a man or, rather, a symbol of the same. This is why woman is said to be made from the man and why it's spelled as wo-man. In one way, woman being created from the side of a man carries synonymous meaning with the phrase: Seed of the woman (see below). Adam is said to be the first man and it is also said that “As in Adam, all die.” That is a true statement of what is, since all manifestations pass away. In other terms, it might correctly be said that there is nothing that is Eternal. But, this should not be taken to mean that Eternal doesn't exist. It's rather that what is eternal cannot be defined by a “thing”. Eternal is beyond things. Eternal is beyond manifestations. That is not to say that Eternal is not in things, but to say that it is beyond them. The analogy of a mirror with it's reflected image might be important here. The image is not real and it is not a capturing of what is real. The image in a mirror is artificial. Yet at the same time, the image reveals something that is before the mirror. Man is the same, that is, outer man is the image. It might properly be said that man is not God, but a reflection of God. That too, can be misleading. God is in man, but is covered over by a veil that goes unnoticed by the one who has done the covering, Adam/Eve. Man is indeed God, but God is not only a man. As in Adam, a man, all die. What is beyond the image is what preceded it (before it) and, better said, present in the now. What is beyond the eyes of man is what created him and what gives him the life itself. Fallen man is always getting that mixed up with the creation. Fallen man has succumbed to an infatuation with the image which he worships as real. That is one of the keys to understanding the meaning of the Creation Parable. (see Adam, Seed of the Woman)
Opposition. The Fall of Adam/Eve is accompanied by a belief in the reality of opposition. This belief is erroneous and might be rightly identified as the cause of the Fall. There is only an apparent opposition. That is not to say that there is no evil. Evil is live spelled backwards. Death is as real as our belief in it. However, such statements as these can be misleading. The statement that death is a belief system is not meant to say that altering one's belief system will cause death to disappear. This is because the belief system in itself is what's erroneous. One cannot dispel a false belief with a correct belief because there is no such thing as correct belief. That is, it's belief or, knowledge by another name, that is the problem in the first place. What carnal man lacks in his belief system is comprehending what is. That is, carnal man will have to consecrate his belief in order to find what is, which is one thing, truth. However, truth already is. Truth already exists now. It's not something that is attained, acquired, possessed, or altered by belief, but rather something that's found. Thus, there is no opposition between truth and illusion. That is because there is no reality of opposition. Illusion does not exist by definition. This is notwithstanding there can be a belief in illusion or, rather, a belief in a reality of illusion. One might correctly say that opposition is as real as a belief in it. Reality came before belief and remains as the only thing. Creation, including the illusion of opposition, came after as a reflection of something else which is real. The reflection (image) is not real, notwithstanding the tendency of Fallen Adam to think so. (see Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; Darkness)
Satan. Satan is synonymous with Lucifer, the light-bearer. These are also synonymous with a variety of other symbols including, woman, Eve, and the creation itself. There is a lot of redundancy and repetition in these parables, but at the same time, each of the symbols reveals more about the others. Thus, this redundancy serves a great purpose which is above and beyond mere redundancy by repetition. (see Lucifer; Woman; Eve; Opposition)
Seed. Firstly, seed is a symbol of something which has the potential to be, but which is not yet come to be. Secondly, seed symbolizes the creation itself in addition to that (what has not yet come to be). Seed is closely tied in meaning to symbols such as tree and fruit. Man has the seed (creative ability) embodied in him. But, it is also out of man which more seed (creation) rises. Thus, there are multiple levels of meaning. At one level, man is a tree giving rise to the fruit. At another level man is the fruit which contains the seed of the next generation (of creation). Seed, as a symbol, is also redundant with Eve and woman who is the one out of which the body emerges. Man as a creator is part of the great meaning behind the Creation Parable, so these concepts should not be missed in trying to understand the meaning. Thus, seed is both a symbol of the created and the creative. In a positive and uplifting way seed is meant as a creation which has not yet risen. When viewed in this way, the seed in man is something that takes on profound meaning. In this way, seed symbolizes a resurrection and a new creation. As the creation itself, seed carries a very demeaning connotation in regard to carnal man and what he has created or, better said, creates. (see Creation; Seed of the Woman; Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge)
Seed of the Woman. The seed of the woman symbolizes the creation in a redundant manner, since seed and Woman can serve as redundant symbols of the same thing. This phrase is used in the Garden Parable when Adam/Eve/Lucifer is told by one of the Elohim that “I will place enmity between thee and the seed of the woman.” The seed of the woman is popularly interpreted to be Christ which would be in opposition to Lucifer, but the symbolism itself says it is not Christ. It should be remembered that Adam/Eve have already partaken of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and, thereby, have become lost in the material world. The seed of the woman refers to the material world which acts in enmity to Adam/Eve or, rather, what (s)he (Adam/Eve) seeks (happiness, fulfillment) in the carnal world. It might be better said that the seed of the woman is Lucifer. Adam will find suffering in the belief system that he has consumed and which, in turn, has consumed him. Adam, as a result of the Fall, experiences his life in the world as the seed of the woman, the Tree of Knowlege, the carnal creation, suffering, and bitterness. (see Woman, Seed, Eve, The Fall)
Seventh Day of Creation. The seventh day of creation is the one on which the Lord 'rested', but the symbol might be easier to understand if the present tense is used: The seventh day is the one in which the Lord 'rests'. Unlike the six days of creation, the seventh day is the only one that does not have an evening. That is, there is no statement about an evening and morning of the seventh day. This is unlike the six days of creation which have evenings (endings) and mornings (beginnings). One might rightly say that the seventh day is the only eternal day. Although it is placed last, the seventh day is really the first day because it's the only one. The six days are those of work while the seventh is a day of rest. It might be said that one goes out to work and comes in to rest, which is symbolized by the daily comings and goings of men during earth life. When Adam tires of living in the six days of creation, he is ready for the seventh day, that is, he (Adam) is ready to 'enter into the Lord's rest'. In living in the Seventh day, Adam will rest from his labors. He will no longer need to go out, so to speak, to perform work for the dead which is, in turn, Adam's own work. There is a grand event that comes as a result of all of this experience. When Adam enters into the seventh day of creation, he will comprehend what went on and why it went on. Adam will then laugh heartily at what he's done and proclaim all of it perfect and good, just as it is. (see Days of Creation)
Six Days of Creation. The six days of creation are divisions of the creative period into days. The number six is significant, it being the familiar number associated with the beast. It's important to notice that each of the six days has an evening and a morning, but there is no statement in these scriptural passages of a night occurring on any of these days (notwithstanding darkness is mentioned on the first day as being called night). In a sense, we are living only in the day or, to use a more familiar phrase, walking in darkness at noonday. It's during the six days of creation that labor (work) occurs, since the seventh day is one of rest. (see Days of Creation; Seventh Day of Creation).
Woman. A universal symbol of the creation. This has little to do with gender. In a higher meaning, females are considered on equal basis with males. Thus, the symbolism in man and woman is equally applicable to males and females. The words Man and Wo-Man are similar and, in many ways, redundant in what they symbolize. Woman is a symbol for the outer (carnal) senses which is what entices Adam wherein (s)he becomes bound by them. The carnal senses are what misdirects Adam to lose his way which is done by Adam's choice. Adam becomes so enamored and obsessed with the senses that he becomes unable to see what always is. As a result of the enticement of the senses, Adam becomes infatuated with the Telestial World and, thereby, becomes lost in it. As a result of his blindness, Adam is unable to see beyond the carnal senses. One might rightly say that Adam, as Fallen man, acts out as woman, a reflection. (see Adam; Eve; Seed of the Woman)
It is not an intention here to undertake an extensive examination of the Creation Parable and all of it's symbols. It's useful, in fact, that the list of symbols above is incomplete. Any attempt at thoroughness would not be successful, even if it was undertaken at great effort. Too many of us continue to seek for more knowledge even after hearing a clear message that this is what has gotten us lost in the first place. As carnal and Fallen beings, we tend to cling to our belief in knowledge. The illusion of knowledge has such a powerful hold upon us that we believe that we can overcome the illusion of knowledge by gaining more knowledge. One might rightly say that we are truly the children of Adam.
In Chinese history and religion, there is an interesting book called the I Ching which is also referred to as the Book of Changes. There is a profound message in that concept that should not be overlooked. One might wonder how a book can be a book of changes, since what is written is written and, because of that, unchangable. However, when one understands how the I Ching is used, then it is understood how it can rightly be called a book of changes. How it is used is not important to this narrative as much as the concept itself, that is, the potentiality of what is written to symbolize something that is changing.
In a profound way, the Creation Parable is the same. That is, we might better look at the Creation Parable as something that changes. The meaning of the Parable can be understood at so many levels that one can find a newer level every time it is looked at with new eyes of understanding. In this, it is not the book that has changed, but the meaning that emerges from it. This is a parable by itself. In one respect, we are what changes.
One of the interesting things about the Creation Parable is how parables are stacked upon others and appear within other parables. It might be rightly said that it's like the familiar icon of Russian dolls where the outer doll is opened to find another doll inside that one, then the second is opened to find another doll inside that one, and so forth. We might rightly say that the message of Creation Parable is repeated in the Garden Parable and, in a larger sense, the Book of Genesis, the Old Testament, the Bible, the entire scriptural cannon, and in all of what we know as the creation. At a higher level of meaning, the Bible is a book of changes about Adam who is, in turn, each of us.
Going the other direction, it might rightly be said that the entire message of the Bible is embodied within the first Book, Genesis, which presents the Creation Parable. Yet at the same time, the same message of Genesis, Chapter 1, is embodied in it's first verse and, going further, in it's first word. It might also be worthwhile to notice the last word in the Bible. It might be profoundly stated that the entire message of the Bible is embodied in the first and last words and everything in between them is superfluous, repetitive, and redundant. As long as we don't understand what these mean, then gaining more and more words might be appropriate for us. However, when one comes to understand the meaning of these two words, the first and the last ones, then even they fall away into the past, having fulfilled their purpose. All of it is no longer necessary, that is, it no longer serves us in the same way it once did. This is truly a book of changes.
In coming to comprehend what all of this means, we might come to see ourselves as both the seer and the seen or, better said, the knower and the known. So, a discovery of meaning starts with looking at the outer doll, the known, and then moving inward to the next one, then again moving from that doll into another one found inside of that one, and so on, until the one and only last one is uncovered. When that happens, then all of the outer dolls are comprehended in regard to why they are there and what is the meaning of it all. And from there, a magical thing happens. The inner doll emerges from it's hiding place or, better said, from where we have hidden ourselves. It is only after that happens that we finally understand what it's all about or, rather, what all of it means. The knower is now revealed, the Christ is come. It's not meant to be something that happens in the future, but it is meant to happen now.
There is one important matter that needs our attention after this narrative has worked it's purpose. Again, that purpose is not to create a new belief system, but merely help us to yield up our preconceived notions. In time, the ideas presented in this narrative must also fall by the way so that new understandings can emerge. So, a time comes to forget everything in this narrative. Don't let it bind you with newer cords that serve to do little except to replace old ones. Eventually, the meaning that we struggled to find in vain, will find us. Our problem was not that the meaning wasn't always present, but that we vainly stood in the way. Eventually, Adam finds that all he really had to do is accept the gift that is already given. Adam's great reward is something he already has, but doesn't perceive.
Some who read writings such as this are tempted to seek out the person who wrote these words. One might say that this notion is mistaken, but yet at the same time, this is exactly what is to be done. Who authored these words? You did. These words don't come from me, the writer of them, but from you, the author of them. That might be something yet unrealized, but in time, it will be discovered. And that's the good news of it. When you need them, you will author new words to yourself. There is the scribe and there is the translator. We should not seek out the former, but the latter. What so few realize is that this has been going on for a long time. The creation speaks to Adam in a language he doesn't understand because Adam isn't listening.
This last note is personal to my wife, Laura. There is a message for you written a long time ago, but yet is more important now than then. Matthew 2:18. Take heart in it. The message is a positive one.