When Duality was Good

Duality“God saw everything he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1

In his book, “A Spiritual Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe: Travel Tips for the Spiritually Perplexed” Paul Rademacher reflects on messages you may have missed in the Bible.  For example, when God created heaven and earth, separated day from night, and darkness from light, it was all good!  In fact, God thought it was very good.  The water, plants and even mankind were all good.  Even when he drew lines by creating variety, separation and duality, nothing bad existed in the world.

Then came the tree

Paul points out that good and evil are merely a concept that didn’t exist until Adam and Eve munched on the fruit of the tree in the garden of paradise.  What’s important here is the type of tree.  It’s the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not the reality of good and evil.

What is knowledge? It’s data!  It’s a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.  Your perception of anything is based upon the information available at the time.  Add in the influence of your individual beliefs ingrained during childhood, your culture, traditions, and your present day society’s beliefs, your awareness of what seems factual won’t guarantee that your perception is a reality.  However, thoughts are things.  If you focus on duality and perceive things as evil, this will most likely become your reality, and the reality of everyone who believes in your reality.  After all, nothing’s real until we believe it’s real.

Then came satan

Paul discusses the concept of Satan.  It turns out that the word ‘satan’ (the name wasn’t capitalized, because there were no capital letters in Hebrew) appeared only four times in the Old Testament and actually meant “adversary”.  It was only much later, depending upon who re-wrote the New Testament, that satan appeared more as a devil.  Regardless, “Satan” as the demonic ruler of a place called “Hell” worked its way into religious beliefs.

Paul goes on to describe how Jesus himself mentioned Satan only twelve times.

“Three incidents are replicated in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, leaving only three other unique usages. In each of these cases, it appears that Jesus was using the Old Testament conception of Satan as the prosecuting attorney. Satan is clearly subject to Jesus’ bidding. Jesus used the word that we translate as “hell” on eight separate occasions. In some of these, he was using the Old Testament word sheol. In other occasions, he was using the word Gehenna, which means the “Valley of Hinnom.” This was a place on the outskirts of Jerusalem where people burned their garbage. It’s only later in the Christian tradition that these terms were developed into a full theology of hell as a place of eternal punishment. Contrast this with the fact that Jesus made reference to the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven, more than one hundred times in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It’s apparent that Jesus was far more concerned with illuminating this idea of the kingdom than he was in nurturing fears of damnation. Why is this point crucial? Because it flies in the face of the vast majority of preaching, which is based on fear. The picture that appears upon close examination is not anything like the religion that is held in popular conceptions.”

It seems to me that the delayed appearance of Satan in scripture was simply a reflection of what was happening in the world at the time various writers updated the Bible.  Writing, like art, imitates life.  In the days when greedy churches waged war and religious conquests to gain wealth and power, fear and scare tactics in the form of eternal damnation came in handy.  The invention of Satan as a devil and Hell as a place for unsubmissive non-believers were powerful tools to conquer the minds, and gather the possessions, of the masses.  These convincing mechanisms still hold influence today.

It’s time to be courageous!

Paul suggests that your spiritual beliefs are best developed through your own personal experiences and I agree whole heartedly.  Your own experiences will always be the most rewarding and the most enlightening.  It can take courage to go deep inside yourself and connect with your own spirit.  However, divinity is always looking for a way to reach and teach you.  It’s easiest for the divine to connect with you when you’re ‘open’ which is usually when you’re at that point between asleep and awake, in a meditative state.  Effective techniques to get you there, and keep you there longer, include meditation, a sound technique called hemi-sync which is taught at The Monroe Institute in Virginia, and hypnosis, which is what I teach and practice in Toronto.

Happy soul searching!

ref: Paul Rademacher, former Exectutive Director of The Monroe Institute, Author of A Spiritual Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe