The Bible begins in the book of Genesis with two very distinct creation stories. In the first story, creation is finished in six days, followed by a seventh day on which God rests. In this creation story (Gen. 1:1-31 and Gen. 2:1,2) all is described as "good and very good."
The second story is the more popular one; the story of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden: the snake, the apple, punishment and banishment.
Why have philosophy, religion and psychology focused their attention upon this Adam and Eve story, rather than on the "first" story of creation, which scholarship now shows to be the "second" chronologically, written some 300 years later?
This rhetorical question can only be answered by saying that the consequences of focusing on the "all good" story are so far reaching that civilization as we know it would not have evolved.
Consider the implications of Genesis 1:26 and 27 found virtually identical in the five Bible Versions investigated. For example, in the King James Version:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." KJV
Throughout two little words remain sacrosanct — "us" and "our." Even if the initial phrase "Let us" were dismissed as somehow invoking the royal "we," still the next phrase "our image" is conclusive evidence of a god-being rarely approached by the Judeo/Christian tradition.
These simple pronouns demonstrate a God that is, in fact, both male and female; a god/goddess, that is either a multiple being, (though not the triune person of a later time), or an androgen possessing and encompassing all characteristics of the human condition, in His/Her/Its nature.
It is noteworthy that a Hindu ashram dedicated to the divine Mother exquisitely describes this duality or androgynous nature of God: "Above all the gods who come and go in the consciousness of man, through the rise and fall of civilizations, beyond the principles of time and space, there resides the Great Mother of all creation, one with the Supreme Spirit."
Here is the "we" of Genesis perfectly described; the oneness of male and female in spirit in a literature perhaps as old as the Bible yet it too does not seem to see the vast implications.
The great psychoanalyst Carl Jung identified the truth that each person carries within himself/herself the image/archetype of the other — the feminine or anima in a male, the masculine or animus within the female. In metaphysical terms this proves the Bible statement, "male and female he created them." Not some individuals male and some individuals female, but all persons created both male and female.
Each expresses in bodily form a particular physical persona, but retains all the characteristics of the other suppressed form within the soul or consciousness, even as the Godhead itself includes and expresses both.
Within the traditions of most religions and the many sacraments of the various movements, one in particular is universal. The sacrament of marriage has been supposed to unite two incomplete beings in a necessary union of 'opposites.' Imagine how society would change if marriage were to become rather a spiritual journey of awakening to individual wholeness, as we are called to marry ourselves — to blend heart and head in one grand Unity of Selfhood.
Then any succeeding union on the physical plane would become the marriage of two whole spiritual selves dedicated to the perfection of Wholly Spirit. Civilization would no longer be a conflict of opposites, but a coming together of total unity. Heaven on earth would have arrived.
Anne Ainsworth, a retired Unity Minister, lives in Ashland. She enjoys writing poetry and memoir, attending Olli classes, and serving her church as an occasional guest speaker.
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