Logos and The Patterns of Creation

“Sunset” – Baja California. As the Earth rotates away from the core of the Sun, light refracts through the water vapours of the Earth’s atmosphere and reflects off the surface of the San Ignacio Lagoon on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Logos, the essence of every living thing, cannot be defined through language it can only be felt as the Presence out of which all forms arise and into which they dissolve. Logos points to who you really are as conscious Being. This is your essence, your centre, where you are One with all life.

For thousands of years humans have sought to depict the creative patterns of life emerging out of unity, using geometry and mathematics.
Tile from the Roman Temple on the site of the Great Mosque in Cordoba, Spain, illustrating the flower of life: diversity continually emerges out of unity.

The flower of Life is a depiction of the Patterns of Creation that exist throughout the Cosmos. All life emerging out of nothing that we can say is anything, and diversifying through the continual play of forms.

The world and all forms of life, visible and invisible emerge out of Logos, are sustained by Logos, and dissolve back into Logos.

The mind is always looking for something external, and language always makes a separation between subject and object, but Logos has no object. To realise Logos is to go beyond subject – object relationship. As you consciously observe life within form, you are  becoming aware of the formless essence out of which all form continually emerges: this is Logos. Logos is who you really are at the deepest level of Being.  Awareness, consciousness or whatever words we choose, cannot become an object – there is nothing external to look or search for. Logos, is inclusive not exclusive. It is not a separate being in the world: it is the essence of all life and its realisation through the diversity of all life.

The Tree of Life – consciousness realises consciousness within the patterns of creation.

Any spiritual experience you may have has a beginning and end. It comes into the mind and leaves again. But to realise Logos is to go beyond any experience held in the mind.

The continual creation of life out of formless Presence is here, now. When you awaken spiritually, and your attention is fully in the present moment, you live in Logos. When you return to the mind dominated by the ego, you lose consciousness of Logos, and it appears as if it recedes from you.

There is nowhere for Logos to go: Presence is always here, always now. It is the ego dominated mind caught up in compulsive thinking, that loses awareness of the unity of life, the still space from which creative power continually foams forth.

The Earth rotating away from the Sun’s core is observed across the Atlantic Ocean, Belle Isle, Brittany, France. We live within the Aura of the Sun, which sustains all life on Earth, and all the planets within the the Solar system. The Sun is a star in a Galaxy, one of millions of Galaxies that make up the life of the visible Cosmos.

In Logos there is no “me” who is going to be “enlightened,”  “perfect,” or “saved” in some future point in time. Logos is the I Am Presence that is the essence of every human form, and all that exists in the Cosmos: every living thing, all times and all places are realised as One: there is no mind made separation. 

A Mystical interpretation of Noah’s Ark

The story of Noah’s Ark is taught to us as children. For a child it has a magical quality: a simple fairytale of a good man who is told by God to build a boat in which to save himself and his family, taking two of every kind of creature within this vessel so that life may by saved from a great flood that will sweep away all the corruption that is taking place within humanity.

Noah's Ark, oil on canvas painting by Edward Hicks, 1846 Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Hebrew in which the story is written is difficult to translate word for word into any other language. The early translators could not understand the Hebrew text and so many of the Hebrew words were mis-interpreted and reduced in meaning to fit this fairytale version.

The story of Noah and the Ark is really a profound meditation which depicts what happens when a human consciously chooses to spiritually awaken. This means that you become aware of your connection with life in all its forms, and aware of the spaciousness of living as Human-Being.

To feel this as a reality begin by taking a conscious breath:
continue to breathe consciously as you read.

Noah represents your awakening to the essence of your humanity as Being: Presence. 

In Genesis 6:14 Noah is able to commune with God because she or he lives in an awakened state of consciousness. 

The text does not depict God talking to a man in a subject-object relationship. What takes place through the building of the Ark is your inner realisation of Presence. This is placed in the context of the lack of Presence in the unconscious mind.

The Hebrew words for God alternate between Jahweh – To Be-Being, and Elohim – Absolute life. And the name Noah (Noach in Hebrew) means “to rest” and “resting place,” that is, to be still, lucid, and attentive.

In the text the teaching of this inner realisation is put into a story form. So, Noach, your inner stillness, Presence beyond the mind, beyond subject – object relationship, realises this:

“Make for yourself an Ark ( a sacred space – a vessel) from a Tree of flowing rhythmic patterns.

And you shall make within it nesting places, and atone, (reconcile), within this your dwelling place, and in your outward words and actions.” (My translation)

The Hebrew word Kaphar, translated as atone and reconcile, also means that we forgive, and pardon, and through forgiveness, cleanse ourselves of all conflict, all unconscious thought forms that cause violence and unrest in the mind.

The word for Ark is Tebah, in Hebrew. This is the very same word that is used for the basket in which Moses was placed on the river in Egypt. It denotes an awakening from identification with the waters of psychological forms. This means – to awaken beyond the unconscious mind, where you are identified with your thoughts and emotions. Symbolically, the Soul is saved from drowning in the unconscious mind. 

As you breathe with all your attention in the present moment
feel the aliveness of the energy-field within the body;
feel the spaciousness within you.
You are rooted in the eternal present as I Am - Being: out of which everything is created, formed and made into the life of the Cosmos.

You are rooted in the eternal present as I Am – Being: out of which everything is created, formed and made into the life of the Cosmos.

In the text, the Ark is a vessel made from a Tree of Gopher.

The word for Tree in Hebrew (Etz), is also used to mean building blocks – structured energy – and the spinal cord – the axis of the human frame, centre of the six directions of Space.

Gopher is not a Hebrew word in the conventional sense. It has no known meaning and it can only be understood through taking its three letters as individual ciphers.

These ciphers give us: a conduit of flowing energy; patterns and rhythms arranged in order; and cosmic container – the consciously awakened dwelling place of all life.

Ch10.5

The Tree of Gopher – the consciously realised dwelling place of all life – begins as a seed within you.

Within this Ark, are nesting places: these are literally “places of comfort,” where you can “nurture” and “commune” with life – life in all its forms.

Triple circles tree 1

Noach – your own Lucid Presence – consciously brings the Ark to life. Etz Gopher; a living Tree,  a flowing sea of patterns and rhythms as the consciously realised dwelling place of all life. 

Within you is the Ark which Noach consciously builds up. This comes from the essence of who you are.

The dimensions of the Ark are given as 300, by 50, by 30 cubits. In Hebrew each letter is also a number.

Shin – 300 is the primal fire – light of creative life; the power of the breath – spirit of Absolute Life.

Nun – 50 is the generating power of new life through offspring in expansive movement.

Lamed – 30 is that which unfolds and extends and elevates life to its fullest expression.

Breathing consciously increases your awareness of the creative spaciousness that exists within you, here, now.
The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life: I Am that I Am: the continual creation of life from out of the Eternal Presence of God: When we breathe with awareness we access the universal creative pattern of life.

The Seed of Life becomes the Flower of Life, the blossom on the Tree.

Within the nesting places of this Tree of Life are all the creatures that we co-habit existence with.

We realise that we exist within a community of souls, that all forms of life are sacred.

Baja California: St Ignacio Lagoon

Nothing is separate: that which we do to life, we do to ourselves.

Our current unconscious state is run by the ego: we see ourselves as a separate entitity in the universe and on Earth and everything before us as a mere commodity, which we can take for ourselves, or wantonly destroy. In the story of Noach, the great flood is the new consciousness which sweeps all this unconscious behaviour away.

We can consciously choose to co-create with life in all its forms.

IMG_2175To enter the Ark with all creation is to awken spiritually and know our fellow creatures as aspects of the One Consciousness. Then all that we do as we emerge from the Ark is in harmony with the creative abundance of life.

We are now confronted with a stark choice. We can remain as we are, and continue our life-negating, destructive behaviour, which is a form of suicide. Or we can consciously choose to enter the Ark and Be at one with the flow of creative life. Then we emerge onto a new Earth, which is at-one with the spiritual Universe – as in the story.

The Light of Consciousness.

The Light of Consciousness.

As Noach, who builds and enters the Ark, you are choosing to spiritually awaken – building a receptive vessel that consciously nurtures life.

This requires your conscious presence. When you are consciously present, your life and your work are in harmony with the rest of life.

By taking moments to breathe consciously throughout your day, you are freeing yourself from the egocentric, unconscious, time-bound mind. This is the work of building the Ark. 

In the work of building the Ark you are making space for all the creatures of the Earth within your own field of consciousness.

This allows universal creativity to flow through you. You are one with the landscape, and all it contains, and at-one with the formless creative space in which the landscape continually unfolds.

Communion

The light of the Sun seen piercing through clouds in the beautiful Connemara national park, Eire. The light shimmers off the surface

According to the Judeo-Christian Mystical tradition God cannot be contained by existence, and is nothing that we can say is anything. God is referred to as the limitless light that manifests all that exists. God – No-thing, expresses life through every created thing, yet cannot be contained by any created thing nor by the entirety of creation. Light symbolises the Divine presence, and consciousness of the spiritual universe which is without form.

Communion with God comes through our conscious connection with life  which is beyond any ceremony or religious symbolism we might use. Communion takes place whenever and wherever we are receptive to life with all our attention: life is the presence of God manifest through the diversity of all that exists: what we experience through our senses as the external world. Ultimately communion takes us beyond all form.

Communion is the overflowing cup of abundant life which exists in all things. Whenever you awaken spiritually you are a vessel for the Divine, a focal point of consciousness in which the universe perceives itself, in which God beholds God.

This is the miracle of the eucharist which is beyond its symbols of bread and wine.

Communion becomes a permanent shift in consciousness when you accept the eternal presence of universal life into the vessel of the Soul. This means accepting the present moment:  It is timeless and connects you not only with your fellow humans, but with every creature that makes up the vast and diverse web of life.

Learn to be with nature and expand your sense of self: the spirit of life speaks through its many voices to One who is receptive: consciously present.

It was said by one of the great teachers of the second Temple period in Jerusalem that spiritual teaching can only be passed on to someone who already knows (is already awakening spiritually.) This says two things: that the art of consciously receiving can only be passed on to someone who is already experiencing the sense of  peace and unconditional love that comes from the stillness of conscious presence.  And that no teacher can give you anything that you do not already possess: all that any spiritual teacher can do is help bring to your awareness what you already possess.

Creative Life

The Creation story in the book of Genesis (called Bereshith in Hebrew) contains many levels and it cannot be translated word for word into other languages. All I can do in this blog post is give a glimpse into the deeper meanings of the Hebrew words.

Biblical Hebrew is regarded as sacred. For thousands of years it has differed from its use in everyday speech. Each letter-number is in fact a symbol containing an idea. These symbols are combined in patterns of relationship that carry a depth of meaning beyond the physical.

infant stars

So the first thing to understand is that the opening chapter of Genesis is not describing the physical universe at all: creation begins as formless principles of life that are here with us, now: Bereshith. These principles take on fluid form – the primal waters of creation, called Maim in Hebrew. Here Maim expresses the idea of water, and the womb-like quality of gestating and making life.

The loss of this knowledge has brought about many mistranslations and misunderstandings.

I am going to focus on verses 26 to 28 of Chapter One, which speak of the creation of Adam and humanities relationship with our fellow creatures. One of the biggest problems – or illusions – that come out of the mistranslations of these verses, is that God is supposed to declare that Adam is to rule, and have dominion over, the fish of the seas and the birds of the heavens, and over all the earth and all that moves on the earth. The rendering of the Hebrew word Radah as to rule or have dominion, is totally misleading. It comes from, and reinforces, the erroneous belief that we have the right to use and abuse our fellow creatures and the Earth itself as if they were nothing more than commodities put there by God for us to exploit.

Such translations are misguided. They contradict verse 22, where every living thing is said to have the creative capacity to bear fruit – to diversify from formless Idea into complex forms. This means that all the creatures that we share life with are creating life in each moment. If you stop for a moment and contemplate this it reveals Presence – the timeless eternal, out of which all life is continually emerging. When we are present we experience this directly. This is communion.

Radah like many Hebrew words has depths of meaning: to walk at the side of, to assist, and to have responsibility. We need to understand it within the context of the universal creativity of life. In this sense, it tells us that humanity has the potential to contain, and express universal, abundant life, with the power to animate it through the whole of existence, from spiritual idea, through diversity of form, into the physical universe. To be truly creative is to engage with an Idea and help to give it form. You are working with life and bringing it into manifestation: the degree of your attention gives the work its quality.

We have a choice – to involve ourselves fully in the creative matrix of life, or cut ourselves off from it. The human illusion is that we are a separate, special creature and from that perspective we seek to control, destroy and manipulate life as we will.

Before we look at a deeper translation of verses 26 to 28, we need to understand that in Hebrew, Adam means Universal humanity, containing both male and female. Universal humanity finds its reflection – that is, comes to know itself  – in the entire circle of life. To “awaken,” to be spiritually conscious, is to enter into living relationship with the whole of life, where we no longer exploit each other or turn our fellow creatures and the Earth into mere commodities.

My translation of Chapter 1:26 of Genesis reads: “And Elohim emanated the making of Universal humanity [Adam] in the likeness, with the ability to become like, Elohim; that they [Humanity] may walk at the side of, to assist with responsibility, all that multiplies in the primal waters, and the winged – soaring creatures of the Heavens, and the walking creatures and all the Eretz [Earth], and all the creepers moving upon the Eretz [Earth].

The verse tells us that the ability to be truly creative is inherent within us; like the Elohim. The next verse emphasizes this point again.

1:27  And the Elohim created Adam – Universal Humanity in the image of the One; In the image of the Elohim Humanity were created; male and female the One created them.

The created – spiritual – Adam, is androgynous: both genders in one being. Adam is your spiritual body containing both male and female. In Hebrew Eve means “the circle of life,” “a circle of tents” or “a sacred circle,” and “the Mother of all things.” Eve is the sacred circle of life in which we come to know ourselves when the feminine is in equal balance with the masculine.

The text 1:28 continues: And the Elohim blessed them and emanated; bear fruit and multiply – in diverse patterns – fill the Eretz [Earth] to shape an inspired dwelling place, and to walk at the side of, to assist with responsibility, all that multiplies in the primal waters, the soaring creatures of the Heavens and all the life moving upon the Eretz [Earth]. Kabash – to shape an inspired dwelling place – is usually translated as “to subdue” which indicates a total lack of understanding of the depths of the Hebrew.

Right now, we are impoverishing the circle of life through our unconscious behaviour and our wilful ignorance. We are doing this because we ourselves have become so impoverished. Cut off spiritually, psychologically, and physically from the abundance of life within us and around us, we have become a destructive force. The unconscious human mind generates psychological pollution, a madness which we are acting out in destructive ways on the earth – to such an extent that we threaten to destroy much of the web of life.

This is entirely contrary to the mystical teachings given within the creation story Bereshith – that we should fully realize our own potential and know ourselves within the circle of abundant life. As we raise our level of conscious awareness, and enter fully into life, we co-operate; we join with the whole of life in all its forms. We become co-creators with our fellow creatures and with ElohimDivine Being.

In the beginning the Logos was.

In the beginning the Logos was, and the Logos was with God and the Logos was Divine.

Even before I knew the deeper meanings of Logos, I felt the beauty of the opening lines in John’s Gospel. They spoke to my heart, bypassing the thinking mind, which is what all truly inspired poetry does.

The opening lines of John’s Gospel are asking us to stand at the point of the beginning of creation. This means to come fully into the present, because the beginning of creation is always here, now: it is never in the past. This is very explicit in the original Greek.

The diagram of the point within the circle, left, is a symbol of  Logos: A dimensionless point, eternal – nothing that we can say is anything – becomes the circle of existence through the principle dynamic movement: “in the beginning.” This is the immanence of the Divine in sacred space, the creative unity of  every thing that exists, every possible possibility.  

Just as Jesus says: “The Kingdom of Heaven is here, now,” so too, the beginning of creation is here, now. This means becoming aware of your spiritual body, the core of which is at one with the source of all life.

Logos denotes the stillness out of which creation continually emerges.

Logos denotes the pre-existent Divine universe, the eternal, which is now: all time-space continually emerges from it.

Logos is the stillness out of which all movement emerges; the silence behind every sound; the sacred space in which creation takes place. All of creation is sacred and the birth of the universe and its emerging diverse complexity is the continuation of this, the one great miracle.

The Gospel says that the Logos is with God, and the Logos is Divine, which means that God cannot be contained by existence, is limitless, beyond all our concepts of existence. It is through Logos – the Divine immanence of God – that God creates life. Divine immanence is total consciousness – true Love.

Logos was used as the name – the Divine immanence – of God, the source of creation, by Hellenized (Greek cultural) Jewish mystics and philosophers of the diaspora, living in places such as Alexandria in Egypt and Ephesus in Asia Minor.

Why is Logos translated as Word?

Around 600BCE the philosopher – mystic Heraclitus used Logos to denote the formless unity of the Divine. Logos has a range of meanings to do with pattern, proportion, ratio, balance, harmony, mediation, and also means to lay out or arrange in order. So the term Logos contains the play or pattern in sound – which is language; not just spoken words, but  music, the wind in the trees, the waves of the sea, the movement of a flock of birds, the rippling of light reflected in a million, million places. You can know Logos through witnessing the unfolding of creation in the natural world, and in the stars in the night sky.

The diagram right, from the book “Patterns of Creation,” illustrates the six directions of space emerging out of a central circle. The central circle symbolises the formless unity of  life, out of which creation continually emerges.

Logos is the formless essence of every woman and man, it is your Being, your goodness, beauty and true heart or centre. The teachings given through Jesus tell us that every woman and man is an expression of the Divine immanence of God.

It is only when we become unconscious and believe ourselves to be small and separate that we lose the sense of life’s abundance flowing through us, which John’s Gospel calls grace upon grace.

Since Logos is the essence of all life you can never be separated from it – separation is a mental illusion, which causes us to suffer and inflict suffering on other people and fellow creatures. Healing is remembering that you are One with all life.

To realise Logos, your connection with all life, spend moments throughout each day in stillness and silence – even while walking and speaking it is possible to remain aware of stillness and silence – this is to be conscious of Logos – the beauty of all life, here now.

The eternal light of Logos emerges from deep within; it is here within you now, and within every living thing, giving life to every star and planet, every animal and plant, every rock and speck of dust. Through your conscious presence the universe is becoming aware of itself. This the gospel of John calls Logos.

The Tree of Life

This post explores the origin of the Tree of Life in the creation story in Genesis and its link with the Logos in the Gospel of John. Logos is usually translated as “Word” but this is completely inadequate.

John’s Gospel opens with the words “in the beginning the Logos was.” These words tell us that there is a timeless, formless, pre-existent reality to time-space. This eternal presence is depicted in the creation story in Genesis, where it is called the Tree of Life. To open the Gospel of John with the first words of the creation story in Genesis makes the link between these two texts very plain. The Jewish mystic is trying to convey Hebrew ideas to a Greek audience. Genesis is the older Hebrew text – the Gospel of John the newer Greek text, written for the Jewish diaspora in the Greek-speaking world.

The depictions of the Tree of Life as the Menorah: the seven branched candle stand made from a solid piece of gold. 

 

The Tree of Life (Etz Ha Chaim) appears in the Hebrew text of Genesis in Ch2:9. The two Hebrew words Etz Chaim have multiple meanings:

Etz – Tree: also staff, bones, spinal cord – implying the axis of connection between heaven and earth, hence tree. Rooted in the earth, growing upwards, branching, and dividing as it spreads out into the heavens, it forms a circle or sphere in space embracing both sky and earth.

Chaim – Life: also breathing, growth, abundance, the burgeoning of life; greenness, the abundant flow of life from its source.

In Genesis 2:9 the translation reads: “And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the Tree of Life, also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.”

A deeper translation of the second half of this verse, which tries to bring out the abstract spiritual ideas the Hebrew contains:  The Tree of Life stands eternally at the point of dividing in an enclosed space (This is the idea of space, which has no fixed form or dimension.) It is from this point of dividing that the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil continually emerges.

cordoba-synag.jpg

Geometric pattern of the Tree of Life – Synagogue, Cordoba, Spain.

The Tree of Life stands – eternally – at the point of division in any given space. It never ceases To Be. It is the timeless essence of life, uniting everything that appears to be dividing, because nothing is truly separate. Life only takes on the appearance of separation through its movement through idea into form. These ideas and forms can be understood as the universal laws that govern the codes of diversifying life, and for this reason the Torah is often referred to as the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is the eternal presence underlying the up-building and down-breaking of idea and form, which Genesis calls Etz Ha Da’at – the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. This so-called Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is the continual creation that emerges out of eternal unity, which continually dissolves back into this same source.

In John’s Gospel Etz Ha Chaim and Etz Ha Da’at equate with the Logos, which, in the Greek world, expressed the continual emergence of the patterns of creation, from out of the eternal (timeless) essence of life. Logos was expressed through the symbolic languages of geometry and mathematics. I will explore the meaning of Logos in the next post.

This image of the Tree of life is one of the diagrams from my book, Patterns of Creation. This geometric form of the Tree of Life emerged out of spiritual and philosophical knowledge in the classical world, influencing the arts, literature, architecture and mathematics.