An addition to the BHT, of the early Judeo-Christian creation myth in Genesis 1, which was not only a creation but an Incarnation of God’s own essential Self, as modern Christian contemplatives like Richard Rohr have likewise emphasized.
I have not tried to perfectly match this creation myth translation to our modern scientific understanding of the development of the universe, but I have updated some ideas to reflect modern cosmology. It is still a myth, a story, a metaphorical narrative, pointing to a deeper unfolding of reality than merely the physical material cosmos. For example, the chronology is clearly out-of-order in terms of present cosmology, but rearranging this would change the verse numbering, so I have left the order as it is in the original book of Genesis (from the Proto-Indo-European root gene- “to give birth, beget.” Here, God first gave birth to its Self).
Thank you David Bolton for suggesting this translation!
1 Once upon a time, in the very beginning of spacetime itself, the Ultimate One Divine Reality seemed to split itself into dualistic being: that which is the non-material transcendent heavens, and that which is the incarnate material nature of the cosmos.
2 And the cosmos was originally and essentially formlessness, emptiness, non-existence, nothingness, an unmanifest void, and all was a deep and absolute dark abyss. The Spirit of Ultimate Reality relaxed, as it were, over an infinite sea of glass.
3 But the Ultimate Reality moved itself, as if to say, “May there be Light.” And so there was a bang of Light, and thus mass-energy, and photons, and motion, and interaction, and spacetime emerged.
4 And the Ultimate Reality sensed the Light, that it was Good, but to exist it had to be separated as a dialectic opposite from darkness.
5 And so Ultimate Reality inspired us that the Light be called “day,” and that its polarity, darkness, be called “night.” And so the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned, and this was said to be the beginning of what we call a procession in time.
6 And Ultimate Reality moved itself, as if to say, “May the infinite sea of glass be separated, gravitating into a dialectic of objects and space, so that there is differentiation in the sea of glass.”
7 And Ultimate Reality incarnated itself as this division, these contraries, so there were waters beneath our feet, and a sky above our heads. And so it was in actuality.
8 And Ultimate Reality inspired us to call the space above us “sky,” or that which transcends us “heaven.” And the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned again, and this we called the “second time.”
9 And then Ultimate Reality moved itself again into incarnation, as if to say, “May the waters beneath come together into a single place, so as to differentiate and separate them further from land.” And so it was in actuality.
10 The Ultimate Reality inspired us to call the land “Earth,” and the body of water “oceans.” And Reality sensed that itself was ultimately Good.
11 Then Ultimate Reality incarnated itself into lifeforms, as if to say, “May the land produce vegetation, including plants that bear seeds, and trees that bear fruit with seeds in them, each one thus propagates itself on the Earth.” And so it was in actuality.
12 And so the land produced vegetation, including seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees that had seed in their fruit, so they could reproduce themselves and evolve. And Ultimate Reality sensed that it was all Good and very pleasant.
13 And the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned again, and this we called the “third time.”
14 And Ultimate Reality moved again, as if to say, “May the Lights in the sky and heavens be divided, making a distinction between day and night, and this separation will be a further sign of the procession of time, to mark the seasons, days, and years.”
15 “And may they be Lights in the sky and heavens, to shine upon all the Earth.” And so it was in actuality.
16 The Ultimate Reality incarnated itself as a duality again, two Lights, a brighter Light of the Sun to shine in the daytime, and a dimmer Light of the Moon to shine in the nighttime. And thus it also moved into star formation.
17 The Ultimate Reality placed these Lights in the sky relative to us, these Perfections in heaven transcendent to us, to give Light and energy to the Earth,
18 to be the dominant Light in the day and in the night, to be complementary polarities between Light and darkness. And Ultimate Reality sensed that it was Good indeed.
19 And the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned again, and we called this the “fourth time.”
20 And Ultimate Reality moved itself into living incarnation again, as if to say, “May the oceans waters beneath be filled with living creatures, and may birds fly in the sky above the Earth.”
21 And so Ultimate Reality incarnated itself into whales and all kinds of living things that filled the oceans, evolving according to their various kinds, and all the flying birds in the sky, in their many kinds. Ultimate Reality sensed that it was all Good and beautiful.
22 Ultimate Reality adored and blessed them, all the things in which it had incarnated itself, as if to say, “Have abundant Life! Bear fruit! Multiply! May they fill the waters of the oceans, and may the birds fill the skies above Earth. Be plentiful, be full, be Life.”
23 And the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned again, and we called this the “fifth time.”
24 And Ultimate Reality moved within itself, as if to say, “May the Earth produce living creatures, evolving in their multiplicity and diversity of ways, the ungulates and other mammals, and small things that creep and slither along the ground, and the wild beasts, each and every one as it fits in its environment.” And so it was in actuality.
25 The Ultimate Reality incarnated itself into the wild animals of the Earth, in their multiplicity of forms, including ungulates, in their many kinds, and all the little things which run around on the ground, in their wondrous diversity of shapes and ways. And it sensed that it was all very Good and pleasing.
26 And Ultimate Reality moved again in itself, quite excited in the unified field of the One Spirit, as if to say, “May we incarnate our Self once again as humans, modulating our Self into their shadow forms, manifesting our Self through their particular embodied figures or shapes. And this incarnation will be powerful and thus responsible for how they deal with all other lifeforms, the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air, and the ungulates, and wild animals, and all the small animals, insects, and other living things on the face of the whole Earth.”
27 And so Ultimate Reality did, in actuality, incarnate its Self into humans too, expressing its essential Self in and through their temporal forms, evolving and emerging its Self as each and every particular human shape and diverse condition in humanity. It unfolded its Self in the duality of both female and male polar forms, yin and yang, and a whole spectrum in-between them and beyond them.
28 Ultimate Reality loved its incarnation, and adored them, as if blessing them thus: “Have abundant Life! Bear good fruit! Have sex and kids! Enjoy! May we help fill the Earth and cosmos with plenty and fullness, and learn its many ways, taking responsibility for our interactions with all the lifeforms that surround us, including our brothers the fish in the sea, and our sisters the birds in the air, and every other living thing that moves just like us on the Earth!”
29 Then it was as if Ultimate Reality said to its human incarnation, “Look, I’ve given my Self as every seed-bearing plant on the whole Earth, as well as all the fruit trees and their fruited seeds, to be your food. It is sufficient for your sustenance.”
30 “I’ve also given the same to many wild animals, and the birds that fly in the sky, and the small creatures that run along the ground—many beings which have the same animalian breath of Life as you do—I have given to all of these the vegetation, seeds, and fruit for food too. To some of these I have given other animals for food, as an even greater Self-sacrifice.” And thus it was in actuality.
31 Ultimate Reality sensed that everything that it had incarnated from its Self was indeed very Good. And the night came and went, and the morning Light dawned again, and we called this the “sixth time.”
One thought on “Genesis 1 BHT: God’s Incarnation in Creation”
Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), yet it seems more Christians believe in that creation myth than most Jews.