When I was writing one of my previous articles on the relation between the serpent and the two olive trees, my attention was drawn to the fact that there is not only a hidden meaning in the words that make up the Bible stories, but also in what is NOT mentioned there.
Let us zoom in on the nachasj (the serpent) again.
Both Man (first Adam/Eve and later Adam and Eve) and the serpent were called arum, 70-200-6-40, which was translated as naked for Man and subtil for the serpent. In spite of the different translations the same principle was true for both of them: both were ‘er,’ 70-200, which means awake, and both were linked by the character wav (hook) of the six to the water of ego and emotions, majim, of the character mem, 40.
The important fact in this respect is that Man was naked and not ashamed, meaning he was not aware of what it was all about; although he had been created with the potential for ego and emotions, he was not able to do anything with them, as he was not aware of their existence. Hence, the process which was intended by God could not start.
The serpent, on the other hand, had insight in this process. We know this not by what was said in the Bible text, but by what was omitted. In the serpent’s case it is not mentioned that he did not know or was not ashamed that he was arum, so he did know both its purpose and its workings. Hence he became the downward force that could help men enter the world of ego, emotions, and finally matter.
God started this process, strangely enough, by forbidding Adam/Eve to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, warning Him/Her that that they would surely die when they did so (Genesis 2:17).
To die is met, 40-400. It means that God warned them that they would become a prey to their emotions and be ruled by their ego and finally would experience the utmost bitterness of slavery and the cross (which are both symbolized by 400) if they ate of the tree. However, descending into the world of duality and contrast, of time and space, of emotions and ego had been the idea behind creation in the first place, in order to experience and become aware by contrast of what oneness and unity and Love really mean. Because how can you know what light is, if you have never experienced darkness? How can you appreciate health, if you have never been ill? How can you enjoy abundance, if you have taken everything for granted?
So why did God create this Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the first place and then forbid Adam/Eve to eat from it? It doesn’t really make any sense. A Rabbi once said:
“If you want a child to do something, you have to forbid him to do it!”
I like his sense of humour, and his interpretation helps us to get on with our research. However, if that was God’s intention, then it did not work. Adam/Eve (before Eve was taken from Adam) obeyed the commandment not to eat from the tree and remained unaware of this ego and the potential for emotions that was part of their being.
So God said: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (verse 18). In Hebrew however it does not say: the man, but, Man (who is still One at that point).
Note the word good, tov, 17, which was also mentioned in my last article. Man is still One and unaware of the process he is supposed to start, however bitter it might become towards the end of it. God sees he is not starting the process. So God creates animals, including the fish of the emotions and the serpent, who knows all about the process, in order to help Man but it still is not enough. Man does not eat.
Then God takes the next step in verses 21-22: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs and … the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”
What is translated as Lord in the English text is the Hebrew Name JHWH, the Name God is called by in the fourth world of duality and matter, which however is never pronounced by the Jews.
The deep sleep is called tardema, 400-200-4-40-5. It is also called illusion and the Buddhists call it maya. This world is not real but more a dream world. It is good for us to realize that as often we seem to think it is the only real world and we get caught up in all its drama.
Tardema contains the extremes of slavery/addiction (400) and the pinnacle of separation, the point farthest away from the world of Oneness and Love (200), but also the world of matter (4) and ego and emotions (40) when they are not totally in control yet or anymore. The last character, he (5), is the female ending of a word and because of that symbolizes the longing of the woman to be reunited with the man. And so also the longing of the material world to be reconnected with the spiritual world of higher awareness.
Besides all that this dream world or tardema also contains the verb ‘rd’ (which I already mentioned in my article about The Significance of the Biblical Shepherd) and that is the centre point around which it evolves. It is another symbol for the whole process, as in the beginning it symbolizes the involution – descending into the world of ego and getting to know your emotions – and after the phase of enslavement and the cross followed by the turning point, it symbolizes the ascending phase of evolution and mastering ego and emotions.
The rib that was taken to turn into a woman is the Hebrew word tsela, which also means side. It means that the masculine side and the feminine side of Man, who until then was still One, are now separated from each other. From then on these two sides become independent and can act independently. Only in this way will Man, then Adam and Eve, be able to make use of the help that God had provided them with.
And so we return to the nachasj, who had been helplessly waiting for a chance to explain the workings of ego and emotions to Man.
And herewith we also return to the theme of this article. Because here again there is something that we always assume that is written in the Bible, while it is not. From the time I was a small child until today, whenever I saw a picture of the serpent in Paradise, it was always lying on a branch of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But there is not a word about it in the Bible that says so and I never even noticed that, although I may have read that story more than a hundred times.
However, this image of the serpent, lying on the branches of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, does have an important meaning.
First of all, if it had not been lying high up, how could it ever come to symbolize a downward force? It could not. And there is also something else, hidden in the word nachasj that helps us understand the process.
Nachasj can be read as ‘nach’-300. Both these symbols have already been explained in my previous article…. Three hundred is the divine process of:
- Involution and descent
- stay in the world of duality and matter
- evolution and ascension
and ‘nach’ is the verb to rest.
You can however also reverse the word order in which case you get 300-‘nach’. If you put both terms after each other, you get the sentence: ‘ha nachasj sje nach,’ the serpent that lies resting. This of course was the case. The serpent had been lying there all that time in order for Man to wake up to the possibilities of his ego.
When you see these two terms next to each other, you see however by the reversed word order also a reverse of the process in the second word. In other words, in that sentence you see the involution and the evolution sides of the process. And all that in an image that is not even mentioned in the Bible but which we somehow all are familiar with.
Of course then the process starts moving. Eve, the female and creative side of Man, does notice the serpent and listens to him, after she had concluded that the fruit of the tree was ‘good’ to eat. She recognized the seventeen but agreed to even the bitter last phase of the process because she had seen that it would lead to enlightenment (haskala in Hebrew and in this case the verb lehaskil) Genesis 3:4.