A Second Genesis
So, that’s one way to look at it. But there is not just one way of looking at anything, especially not the origins of the cosmos, of life, of God. Reality is too complex for there to only be one way to see, to live, to experience.
Looking is frustratingly complex and limited. Human eyes only have so many ways to look. They are fixed in a particular place at a particular time. Most of the vast spectrum of light is invisible to them. The brains that act as filters and interpreters are flawed, being originally invented by Genes for survival and self-preservation. Even adding in ears, nose, tongue, and other senses is hardly enough.
Right now, you aren’t looking at the creation of the universe. You are looking at words which get transformed into meaning and ideas by your brain and years of practice.
Even if these words could be divinely inspired, even if God is guiding the hand and mind to capture Her into human language for us to understand and share, God is bigger still than these words. God is the space between the words, the space between your understanding and the understanding of someone on the other side of Earth. God is in the sounds around you as you read, the feeling in your hands, feet, and rest of your body as you read or are read to.
God is bigger than any book, and every book, no matter how revered or reviled, every book is a part of God. Not just the words, but the binding, the glue, the electronics, the machines and the people that put them together.
Every word is a sign post. Words are not the destination. They are symbols that point to things we experience in reality. They are signs, and they outlast the life in our bodies.
Words are not God, but they are closer than we are.
And in an imperfect world, entire chapters will be written by someone with an agenda smaller than God. Perhaps to convince people that one human gender was designed to serve another. Perhaps to record the laws of a people, the stories, and the things they think they need to know to survive. The best ideas we had at the time, but by no means the best ideas for other times.
Even in the earliest records of the Bible the story of Genesis, of Creation, of the beginning of Everything we think we know and understand – even this singular story is told twice. Check Your Torah, Your King James’, Your Greek or Latin Vulgar, Your King James Revised, Your Gideon’s, or any of Your 21st century popular bible. They don’t always say the same thing, but they all tell how God created the world, twice, with different ordering and emphasis.
Those Words, just as these Words, just as every Word that ever has been, is, and will be written dies as soon as it is laid down. Letters are tombs. Books catacombs. The internet is a memealogy, our family tree of ideas.
Words are only alive in our minds. Every word is an illusion, a brilliant invention of the human brain that allows us to transmit vast amounts of information in simple symbols. Billions of humans have agreed out of the infinite possibilities that a few symbols, shapes set in particular combinations, are capable of producing all meaning.
And yet, we regularly find them lacking, find them wanting, we find them unclear. We aren’t even sure how much of the fault lies in the words and how much lies in ourselves. Often because it’s both and our catalogues of words trick us into believing that there are concrete definitions for these things.
Until we find ourselves, with a clear picture of a memory, an idea, an impression of God, and despite a vision of crystal clarity, we find ourselves unable to put it into words.
And then we remember that reality is much larger than our small words.
Things Begin Again
In the beginning, there were no words. There was nothing.
Then, there was dark and light. One gave nothing, the other gave us energy. And we called it good.
Then there was hunger and it taught us to seek energy when we needed it, and rest when we did not.
Then there was pain, which taught us how to escape harm and survive in a deadly universe.
Then there was fear and desire, that taught us the patterns of pain and hunger, and we learned to flee and struggle. Emotions taught us how to respond and react so we could try to survive better than the rest. We developed survival strategies and a variety methods of living and dying, of reproducing and killing. We made sounds to find food, to find mates, to find family, to warn of danger that we slowly realized was all around us.
One day, an animal we can call the first person, if not the first human, made a sound to describe something no one else could see. Perhaps it was Love, perhaps it was Want; it was the day we connected with God.
“Maa!” she cried out, and the gift of naming was born on Earth. Words had been invented by an infant.
The Word and the Human
Generation after generation invented new words, naming everything in their world, regardless of whether it was in front of them or in a memory. The human brain grew around the Words, developing them into language, creating a means of survival that only lived while we did.
With the use of words came organization and connections. When did the night become day? When did the fruit become separate from the tree? What did it mean to see and hear, and why did those we love died, never to wake again?
We were gaining the power that had been the domain of the Gene: instructions that could be passed down through generations.
Was death something that happened to who we were, or just to the body that we inhabit for a brief time? We began to imagine questions and seek answers that we did not perceive with our organic senses, but were dreamed of in our minds.
We began to surpass the Gene’s capabilities, which were limited to trial and error of across a lifetime. We could try ideas and ask new questions every day.
The children of the first human began their quest for knowledge. We need to understand even when its something we can’t see, something we never saw, something that connects life, the universe, and everything we experience in a small corner of an endless work of Creation.
The humans wanted to find the word that started it all.