A few weeks ago, I sat down on the floor to do my weekly geomantic reading. As soon as I had drawn it, I could see it was the inverse of a sign that has shown up a couple of times fairly recently. As I sat with it, absorbing the inverse image, I felt this great shift inside my body and a song started to rise up. As I hummed and began to sing it quietly, I got very hot, then very queasy.
I could feel the song catching on the inside of me, tugging, and I had a sense of where it was headed. There was brief phase of futile negotiation (maybe this can just be the subtle sort of cleanse?), followed by a some internal resistance as I huddled close to the toilet, and then I retched.
Since then, I’ve been thinking more clearly, in no small part because it seems like Alef has inserted itself more firmly into my intellectual work. As I revisit my records of my work, Alef is there, assigning traits that seemed to float more freely between spirits to specific spirits. I think most of us have had the intense revelations that break open and re-order our understanding. This is like that, but without any of the violent sense of rupture that sometimes comes with such shifts. I remember reading a quotation ages ago about the sort of spiritual shift that is a jumping in place, in which everything changes without anything changing. It’s a little more like that.
So, after building up the tree letter by letter, I am back to the beginning. That’s the story this work is weaving together, too, the story of beginnings, a Gnostic Genesis rooted in the Book of Justin and pulling together elements from other Gnostic accounts and expanding them. It is a clarifying story, cosmic in structure but personal in its implications. It makes sense of the path my personal work has taken in a way that my personal speculations have not quite been able to. It replaces my (often) clumsy hypotheses with better articulated models and situates my work within a better defined macrocosm.
My intellect wants to race ahead of this process, settle the issue quickly, but so far every time I have done that, there is Alef, ever so gently, ever so firmly keeping and making distinctions. And, in the space of those distinctions, I can see still more, framing creation for my inquiring soul.
So, how about that story? I have the first piece of it worked out, a sort of compact first episode. The rest I can grasp in outline but haven’t yet given, or quite been able to give, proper form. I’m not sure how it will serve, if it will serve, someone other than me, but…
Here it is.
In the beginning, there was the Good who was more than something and there was the Chaos who was more than nothing, each perfect and full of foreknowledge. But foreknowledge is not action and the perfect cannot meet the perfect, so they each generated from themselves an emissary. From the Good was born Elohim and from the Chaos was born Eden. Born of foreknowledge but lacking it themselves, Eden and Elohim drew close and from their union gave birth to the twenty four angels from whom the substance of the cosmos would be born.
Eden and Elohim were pleased with themselves and each other amidst their angelic garden and in their pleasure gave birth to an image of their pleasure, and filled that image with their essence truly commingled. They dwelt together, Eden, Elohim, the twenty four, and the living image of their pleasure until a restlessness for the Good that created Elohim drew Elohim away. Twelve of the twenty four were stirred in common by Elohim’s restlessness and with Elohim departed.
Drawn as iron to a magnet, the Good drew Elohim upward. The Good’s perfection enraptured Elohim and made Elohim ashamed of the less perfect creation of Eden and Elohim. Eagerly, Elohim sought to return to that creation and destroy it, but as an iron filing cannot pull itself from a magnet, so Elohim could not escape the Good. Amidst the restless angels of Elohim, Baruch knew Elohim’s eagerness through sympathy and born of Eden and Elohim could move again toward the creation of Elohim and Eden.
And amidst the angels of Eden there was Naas who knew Elohim’s restlessness as Baruch and who knew Baruch as an other self hurtling from Naas-knew-not-where to dash the creation of Eden and Elohim. As Baruch grasped the pleasure of Eden and Elohim, Naas drew it into the substance of creation so that the joy of their parents might be saved. Stretched between the two, it broke as light through a prism. Where light fell, life was born from matter. From within and without the substance of creation, Naas and Baruch struggled after each other over the fragments of Elohim and Eden.
Tumbling into substance, Baruch tore the image of Elohim from the pleasure and called him, and all the fragments of him, Adam. Naas held tight to the image of Eden and called her, and all the fragments of her, Eve. The pleasure that joined Eden and Elohim spilled out from the struggle to rain down upon the world; thus the new Garden was born in Earth of the pleasure’s fragments.