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State of mind. The most important aspect of human wellbeing. There’s no convergence of opinion on the meaning of mind or how to treat anomalies.
State of mind is the focus of cognitive science, psychology, and alternative healing. The mental, emotional, and awareness components of the mind are under the scientific microscope. The investment and efforts to break through this problem are tremendous. We’ve come to see the human mind’s central role. But, we’re at a loss to know what, or even where the mind is. What is the origin of the psychological confusion of humankind?
(Agony of Humankind, chapter 2.3)
The Genesis narrative and Biblical Hebrew give us insights into cracking this mystery. Frankly, as I write this sentence, I feel the smirks on readers’ faces. How can you believe that a thousand-year-old archaic book could ever shed light on such a modern dilemma? But it does.
Neshama is the crux of the matter. Genesis 2:7 states God breathed neshama into the nostrils of the man. The Explanation spent over 20 chapters illustrating the meaning of this gesture. You need to go back and revise what neshama consists of how humans alone possess neshama, how neshama confers on humans the singularities that set them apart and way above animals. Read this chapter, The Explanation shows, from the Bible, not only that neshama is the mind of humans but that neshama is the MOST PRECIOUS and IMPORTANT aspect of humankind.
Genesis 2:25 ends the creation of man chapter (Genesis 2) with a beautiful description of the state of the man’s and the woman’s neshama, humankind’s state of mind, at that moment in history. We need to revise this capital understanding to grasp the profoundness of what takes place after eating the forbidden fruit.
State of the man’s and woman’s neshama – UNconfused Mind and Wisdom
The Biblical Hebrew word ARAM (H6191) is the basis of the two English words nakedness (Gen. 2:25), which is the case of Adam and Eve, and the word subtle (Gen. 3:1) in the case of the Serpent.
We’ve seen that this word, the Biblical Hebrew word ARAM, is translated with both wisdom, positive wisdom on one side, once again referring to the prudence, the understanding, and the good sense of Adam and Eve which is what characterized them at this juncture in the Genesis story (Gen. 2:25).
On the other hand, the total opposite is the subtlety of the Serpent, which is a negative subtlety which we could describe as fraud, deception, double-dealing, and treachery.
Focus on the man and the woman in Genesis 2:25, And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (H954). The result of their nakedness is they are not ashamed.
Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of ashamed: Adam and Eve possessed positive wisdom, and it was this quality that rendered them not ashamed. View this short video to understand the more profound and comprehensive meaning of ashamed.
The man’s and the woman’s positive wisdom leads to UNconfused minds. Frankly, this is what you’d expect from God’s Creation precisely. As I pointed out, Genesis 1:1 starts with tohu va bohu, chaos, and confusion, and following the total makeover of planet Earth and its environs, along with the Creation of humankind, it ends up in harmony with NO confusion.
Please take the time to revise the first five minutes of the movie. It’s this introduction that sets the stage for the rest of the story. To be very direct with you, get this introduction wrong, and you will not understand the rest of the story.
Ashamed is simply a King James translation that parallels confusion. The Bible uses the word confusion on several occasions. You can do a study of that word using the tools at UnlockBibleMeaning.com. Throughout this blog post and in the future, The Explanation will be referring to this confusion often. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of it around, and we want to understand both why it’s present and how to combat it.
בּוּשׁ bûwsh boosh; a primitive root; properly, to pale, i.e. by implication to be ashamed; also (by implication) to be disappointed or delayed:
KJV – (be, make, bring to, cause, put to, with, a-) shamed(-d), be (put to) confounded(-fusion), become dry, delay, be long.
King David, who wrote the Psalms, was a man of God. One of his prayers revolved around the absence of confusion. May it be one of our desires and prayers as well.
In you, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion (H954).
David, at all costs, wanted to be void of confusion. He wanted his mind, his body, and his ways to be in harmony. In harmony with God’s wisdom. Just as was the case with the first man and woman in Genesis 2:25.
Genesis chapters 1 and 2 relate fundamental and essential knowledge. Some of the highlights include:
- God is Creator of the Universe and responsible for the makeover of Earth.
- God created humankind in His image.
- God establishes human social relations by inaugurating the marriage of the first man and woman
- God gives them their roadmap for life. It includes growing and developing their family and mastering the planet’s resources (multiply and subdue, Gen. 1:28).
- God imbued humankind with His own NESHAMA, which is His mind. Obviously, on a much lower level, but it’s the neshama and the ruach that confer on humankind their unique singularities, which are similar to God’s skills.
- At the end of Creation Week, the neshama of both the man and the woman was withOUT confusion.
All the above revelation and knowledge from Genesis 1 and 2 represent the ABSENCE of CONFUSION that flies in the face of human reasoning. Human observation, philosophy, science, and religion. The first five minutes of the story is neither understood nor accepted. That’s the result of Genesis 3 that leads to a state of mind of psychological confusion.
Confused Mind and Confused Wisdom
God gave neshama to human beings for a purpose. The counterpart, in Genesis 3, is that the Serpent will do EVERYTHING in its power to UPSET the neshama. Everything to create havoc with the state of mind of humans.
The Serpent has already fed the man and woman lies. It has twisted Eve’s state of mind in getting her to observe the tree and draw the conclusion that it was desirable to make her sakal-wise, a twisted type of wisdom. We are going to see the details of what happened after she made up her MIND, with a free-will decision, to pluck the forbidden fruit off the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat (H398), and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat (H398).
In these Bible passages, keep in mind the third key to master Biblical Hebrew. Words can have both literal and figurative meanings. Eating is not just ingestion, chewing, and swallowing of aliments. To eat has a deeper meaning.
אָכַל ʼâkal aw-kal’; a primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively):
KJV – ⨯ at all, burn up, consume, devour(-er, up), dine, eat(-er, up), feed (with), food, ⨯ freely, ⨯ in…wise(-deed, plenty), (lay) meat, ⨯ quite.
Here are a couple of verses expounding the figurative, as well as other literal meanings of eat.
2 Kings 1:14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up (H398) the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in your sight.
We need to eat good food in the proper portions. Unfortunately, today, bad eating habits, like bulimia, anorexia, fast food, and even dieting, are devouring and burning us up. By eating the forbidden food, the man and woman are going to be eaten alive, devoured.
These few verses in Genesis are just a short episode but with ever so looooong and profound consequences. Let’s see what happened here. Following the Serpent’s presentation of twisted knowledge, the couple ate of the forbidden fruit with immediate and devastating results.
And the eyes of them both were opened (H6491), and they knew (H3045) that they were naked (H5903); and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (H2290).
In a nutshell, eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil opened their eyes. Strong points out that this also has a figurative meaning. It refers to observation, the first-way humans reason. You easily understand that the man and woman had 20/20 vision from the instant of their creation and throughout this episode. Here, when the context states the eyes were opened, it does NOT mean physically, it means figuratively.
פָּקַח pâqach paw-kakh’; a primitive root; to open (the senses, especially the eyes); figuratively, to be observant:
KJV – open.
Christ refers to having OPEN EYES but NOT SEEING FIGURATIVELY. “Therefore speak I (Jesus) to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: (Matthew 13:13-14). PHYSICALLY the man and the woman were perfectly capable of SEEING, but their minds, their neshama, was OPENED UP to a DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING, the Serpent’s understanding. In Biblical terms, this opening of their eyes is the equivalent of them becoming spiritually BLIND (Matthew 23:24).
Here’s when the instant of CONFUSION set in. The man and woman switched tracks. They were CLOSED to God’s wisdom and OPEN to the Serpent’s wisdom. It was the end of one journey, the one with God, and the beginning of a new adventure, the one with the Serpent. This turning-point in the history of humankind cannot be under-emphasized. Yet, it is; this is the beginning of the state of mind of the psychological confusion of humanity.
Here’s the result of the NEW confused state of mind.
Immediately the man and woman KNEW they were naked. Think, they knew they were physically naked from the moment of their creation; this wasn’t new information to them. It was THEIR OUTLOOK on their nakedness that changed. Look at the meaning of the word know. They knew they were naked.
יָדַע yâdaʻ yaw-dah’; a primitive root; to know (properly, to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively, instruction, designation, punishment, etc.):
KJV – acknowledge, acquaintance(-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, (un-) awares, can(-not), certainly, comprehend, consider, ⨯ could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be (ig-) norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have (knowledge), (be, make, make to be, make self) known, + be learned, + lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, ⨯ prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have (understanding), ⨯ will be, wist, wit, wot.
Know is quite a common word, so there are a lot of variant translations. Notice, comprehend, discern, perceive, understand. The man’s and woman’s OWN observations caused them to perceive their nudity differently. Whereas before they had God’s wisdom and comprehended their nakedness POSITIVELY, after eating, their perception was NEGATIVE. All of a sudden, they were ashamed of their nakedness. They had a mind revelation, not to say, revolution; their outward appearance had not changed, but their perception of their nudity did a 180-degree flip-flop.
Comprehend, discern, perceive, understand are all attributes of the human mind, the neshama. Their minds no longer saw their nudity God’s way, but the Serpent’s way; this is THE MAJOR breakaway of humanity from God. From this point forward, everything changed in the God-human relationship.
It is the reason I’ve entitled this chapter CONFUSED HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY. Adam and Eve didn’t understand what happened to them, just as humans don’t know what their state of mind is. Eating the forbidden fruit has made humankind wise, sakal-wise with false wisdom. Their eyes were opened to sakal wisdom and, at the same time, closed to chakam wisdom. A literal mind turnaround took place; their eyes were opened to Godless, worldly wisdom, discernment, reasoning, understanding, subtlety, knowledge. From this point on, the man, woman, and their descendants are blind to Godly wisdom, discernment, reasoning, understanding, subtlety, knowledge.
I have referred to talks by Jordan Peterson before. I have to say that I have the highest respect for his desire to research the truth and reasons behind human psychology. In my opinion, he is honestly trying to get to the source of why humans act the way they do, and I salute that effort. However, He is looking at it through human eyes. I understand his point of view, look at this video and see how he looks at this episode in Genesis POSITIVELY, when, in fact, as we’re seeing, it plunges humankind into confusion. The video starts just before his explanation of this passage in Genesis 3, regarding the opening of the man’s and woman’s eyes.
Peterson says, “we can conclude they were blind before.” He knows that this is talking metaphorically. The error is that it’s the Serpent that says their eyes would be opened. The Serpent implies that the man and woman are blind, NOT God; in reality, they were NOT blind. When they devour the fruit, their eyes are OPENED to Serpent wisdom and CLOSED to Godly wisdom; this is the crossroads of humankind. From being NOT ashamed, NOT confused about Godly chacham wisdom their minds distort to become bewildered by adopting the Serpent sakal-wisdom.
Confusion sets in, they sewed fig leaves together
Before eating, the Bible says the man and woman are not ashamed; afterward, they are ashamed. Hence the cover-up. Before, they accepted God’s point of view regarding their nudity. After, they decided on their own point of view, which is actually the Serpent’s point of view.
Now their sakal wisdom kicked into gear, and they conceive, design, and contrive a solution for their nakedness. They sewed fig leaves together, making themselves a belt, an all-around covering as the Biblical Hebrew implies. One fig leaf, even one of the biggest like the Ficus-Lyrata with dimensions of 30 x 45 cm, can’t go around, hence the need to sew them together. They could ‘be had other species at the time, but the leaves were still not big enough.
It means Adam and Eve had to invent a way to do this, which must’ve involved some sort of thread and maybe a needle, the basics for sewing. We won’t go into how they searched for or sharpened a twig, managed to attach some sort of thin vine to it, and stitched the leaves into skirts. The first manual revolution. The first ingenious human devised solution to the first human-caused problem.
This is the first free will decision process to solve a free will humanmade dilemma. The first application of human sakal wisdom. Wonderful, innovative, you might be thinking. Was it? From a human perspective, yes, but, what about from a Godly perspective?
Consider this. The fundamental problem was not their nakedness. It was the eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve dealt with a secondary issue, not the main problem. They dealt with the visible arom problem, their nakedness predicament not the real but invisible arom problem, their subtlety, their wisdom, which had changed camps: from God to the Serpent, from chacham to sakal. And it only gets worse from here.
Made themselves aprons
An apron is their clothing in place of, or to cover up their nakedness that represents the wisdom of God. Such apparel, also called a girdle represents the state of the person who wears it. Armor for war, sackcloth for mourning or the girdle of Priesthood.
חֲגוֹר chăgôwr khag-ore’; or חֲגֹר; and (feminine) חֲגוֹרָה; or חֲגֹרָה; from H2296 (חָגַר); a belt (for the waist):
KJV – apron, armour, gird(-le).
חָגַר châgar khaw-gar’; a primitive root; to gird on (as a belt, armor, etc.):
KJV – be able to put on, be afraid, appointed, gird, restrain, ⨯ on every side.
In this devastating example (read Isaiah 3) below, the girdle fundamentally describes the state of tohu va bohu the nation of God finds itself in because of its population’s behavior. Their clothing is in shambles. They are ashamed, in great confusion. For those of you who have a deeper understanding, this situation is the Day of the Lord, which puts an end to old corruption and paves the way for a new era; this is analogous to the Creation in Genesis 1 where God cleaned up the tohu and bohu to usher in the new era for humankind.
And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle (H2290) a rent; and instead of well-set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding (H4428 from H2296) of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Notice the meaning of girding (with sackcloth). It comes from the root H2296, which has the connotation, among other meanings, to be AFRAID. Another phenomenon that characterizes society worldwide is anxiety. In verse ten, Adam says to God, I was afraid (It’s not the same Hebrew word). Being afraid is a state of mind, specifically a confused mind.
Humanity today is continually dealing with secondary issues; this is patching up’, tinkering, patches on patches. Until humans deal with the MAIN issues, humankind cannot find real Peace and Prosperity. Herein lies the concept that man’s solutions end up causing more problems.
An example is using chemical fertilizer for more abundant crops and in the process polluting the earth, killing earthworms, contaminating aquifers, and even the phreatic zone. Consider other solutions and the side effects, sometimes, in the long run, worse than the original problem. We could give many other examples: nuclear power plants, introducing predators of insects, making the pill available to teenage girls, etc., etc.
Humans make their own clothing, their own solutions
The man and woman clothing themselves is the equivalent of finding their own solutions to secondary problems they’ve caused themselves. That is the description of our society. Our changed state of mind has got God’s real answers backward. So backward, that we’ve removed God from the equation, or we do Him lip service. Clothing is a subject that covers (pun intended) the entirety of the Bible. It starts here in Genesis and ends in Revelation (7:14). It is a fascinating study to which we will return in Genesis 3:21.
Here’s just one example of the fig leaves humanity continues to clothe itself with. The following video starts with the problem: to build a city for a million people each WEEK for the next 40 years! It even says we have the technology, but asks the question, do we have the will? In other words, a changed state of mind. I’m not saying that improvements can’t be made they can. But the solution is to help people live their lives WHERE they are ALREADY ESTABLISHED. NOT to MOVE them and create problems elsewhere. It’s the identical principle with the considerable immigration situation we’re facing. People should be able to stay in THEIR OWN COUNTRY where they’re AT HOME.
The real problem is with the government, environment, and conditions in THEIR OWN COUNTRY. All we’re doing is transferring the issue to a different location. We’re not solving anything. The height of human foolishness is at the end of the video, indicating that more slums are growing each day around Medellin, and one of them is named New Jerusalem.
After following the recommendations of the Serpent, the man and woman ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. They had the decisional ability and free will to do so. They made a free choice decision and the result is human behavior. This entire process can only take place because humans have a mind. The God-given neshama. Their mindset changed and set them on a course of human reasoning and engineering of human contrived solutions.
Today, all of humanity continues in precisely the same vein. We use observation, philosophy, science, and religion to reason. We then engineer answers and solutions and enact behavior. All of this, apart from God. Herein lies the fundamental cause of our human psychological confusion and anxiety. There is an upside to this story despite the havoc the Serpent produced and produces. It is forthcoming. We have to understand the sickness before we can apply the remedy.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 2.3 of the book Agony of Humankind.
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