The United States of the World​​
35 arguments for a United States of the World are printed in numerical order at World Unity. 19 letters of Saint-Cyran, one of the leaders of the Jansenist movement of 17th century French catholics, are listed at Saint-Cyran Letters.


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  GENESIS

             The Christian Trinity At Work In the First Book Of the Bible
                                                          Daniel F. McNeill




                                                  

                                                                                      1.                                      


   Christian experience up to the present time has focused on individuality, both the individuality of God and that of the believer. There are two problems with this. First, the human individuality of the believer must be humiliated to open a path to divine love by setting aside the human will in submission to the will of God. But In the experience of conversion and union with God another individuality arises, a mysterious more rich personhood, a sense of finding a new self. The believer reaches a state that feels like both a close union with God and a new free sense of the self that does not limit or enslave the self by union with God. Here we can speak of one person being created from two yet in their union neither being limits the other. Two beings joining and becoming united by divine love is the essence of Christian experience yet it is not a retention of individuality but a transcendence of it. The second problem with focusing on individuality is that the Christian God is not as in other religions one individual. He is triune. He is the first person of the holy trinity and he is also the second and third person. He is both one person and three persons.
   The phenomenon of the trinity was given in Christianity and Judaism from the start in the story of Adam and Eve, in the story of the miraculous birth of Isaac as well as in Lot’s miraculous escape from the destruction of Sodom. The trinity was central in the oral tradition of the early Christian church and was then preserved in writings but it was never understood and has remained for hundreds of years a mystery. The inability to understand the trinity is bound up with the mystery of grace. Grace can be described using precise language in a dictionary but its descriptions yield nothing of what is at its heart because there it is a question of divine experience reaching into individual human experience and transforming it by an experience of divine love. It is impossible to convince someone that grace exists who has not experienced it. In fact, the experience of it gives no rational or scientific proof of its real existence because it  brings no rational sense of where it comes from and when the blessed experience ends, it is totally gone and leaves behind no rational formula to force it to reappear. As far as grace is concerned, when existential philosophers and scientists claim that only observable existence is real, grace would have to yield and not enter the picture at all. Theologians say grace is love freely given by God to whomever he chooses. They are right. But they are certainly not talking about some experience that can be met with and examined scientifically.
   Grace is never an individual experience. It is always an experience a believer has with someone or something else that goes beyond individuality. It is a relationship that happens in a human world where there are no real relationships because to be alive as an individual means to be separated from others. The human body or any body of any type lives removed from all bodies. Relationships between bodies are not real because no real union is possible. Friendship and love relationships that include sex give us strong suggestions that a real lasting eternal relationship is beyond our reach and that we must settle for contrived and passing relationships that are limited by our mortality, by circumstances beyond our control and by time. Saint Paul and other New Testament writers all speak of grace as the most fundamental experience of Christianity. All the sacraments of the church have an experience of grace as their end. Solitude, silence, penitence, prayer and constant attention to God seem to keep us on a path to grace but there is usually no automatic and quick payout of love from God streaming into our souls. Even if we feel the presence of God in our soul, our mind keeps us aware that we can again in the future  feel alone and unrelated to him. Only a relationship with another that is eternal can be a real relationship but we are not eternal and neither are our relationships eternal with other living bodies.
   But are we ever really the individuals that we pretend to be? Every individual who really acts individually seems to us out of control and even crazy. When we condemn  excessive individuality in others we appeal to a quality that should be in them and in us which we can name personhood. Whenever we think of ourselves or others as persons, we believe there is something in us worthy and capable of some real relationship. I can not love another who appears to me merely as an individual. When I look at a face that i want to love, a spark I feel in my soul demands that some spark lives behind the face before me that comes from something that is not individual but personal. I believe I can relate to another person even though I know at the same time that I can never unite with the person person to person. So I love. I love tragically. I love the only way I can love another body. A spark in me forces me to believe the other is something more than a body, more than an individual. A spark grows into more sparks and then a stream of love. A kind of love that brings with it desire and pain makes me imagine I am more than a body and the body I love is more too. We both reach the solid and eternal truth that we are persons and in that there is something divine. But the pain or desire or whatever comes mixed with human love comes also to the surface together with our love. Sooner or later the two of us get down to the regular business of human love. We love and also try to rid ourselves of all pain and desire by uniting our flesh using members designed for unification. Our pleasure has nothing to do with our personhood. We are in one another’s arms together and also alone.
   But this love is a form of grace if it can be made to serve God. Divine grace is not a passion but it is a sentiment and the two are interrelated. Passion binds bodies together and grace liberates the body by liberating its spirit with a love that seems not to come from anything within itself. But even this love, this liberating love that seems to come from nowhere, does have something about it that both ascends towards God and also descends towards passion. It is  mostly ascension and very little descension and in fact we should speak not of descension itself but rather of a sense that the person liberated so thoroughly from passion and human love still, because liberated, is still free to descend. The love of God through grace is so liberating that it  includes only as a mental and rational possibility descension towards the kind of love that has for its inevitable end a passion compelling one body to grip the naked flesh of another body. Can human love ever unite with divine love and serve God while at the same time still including passion? In the main it seems impossible but the holy trinity as revealed in the story of Adam and Eve is a triune relationship of love between God, Adam and Eve that might have included sexual passion without destroying the divine love that made the triune union possible. Of course postmodern sexual liberation in the 21st century has no divine element. In the postmodern world people are willing to define themselves by any kind of gender as long as it leads to regular sexual satisfaction. Such behavior should be seen as an escape from God, a willingness to live separated from God by focusing only on human individuality. But at least such behavior seeks  some regular entrance into individual life of an element that is not merely rational. It seeks in sexual desire a union with another that frees two persons from the monotony and unfeeling behavior of rational life. This kind of passion like grace  can take place only in a relationship of two persons, of two beings. Neither Christianity based on grace nor postmodern sexual liberation based on passion can be exclusively individualistic.
   Jesus Christ was a person who made men he came in contact with persons because something within him made them love him with a love that liberated them from normal human love. He was united in love with men like his apostles and with women like Martha and Mary Magdalene. His union with them produced an action of God’s grace in them. None of the humans who loved him were  any longer merely individuals. “Apostles” from the Greek means “the sent forth”. Through Christ, God sent forth normal men transformed to divine persons to save the world. The grace they received was not at all some power granted to them that they could use for themselves alone. It was by its mysterious power something capable of making two men or a man and a woman one person. If God liberates us by granting us his grace, we must also use it to save the world and not use it merely as a means of saving ourselves. If grace is given to us, it is given to us in union with another being and this union should inspire us to seek further unions with other men and women because we know by a divine experience that we are no longer alone isolated in human individuality but resurrected beings like Saint Paul who have been liberated by meeting in divine love another being. The dual nature of grace means its purpose is to make all beings separated in individuality one body in Christ. It also teaches us, since Christ is one person in the holy trinity united with two other persons, that the three can be united only by grace and this in turn means that understanding grace is key to understanding the trinity.
   Grace is an experience in the heart of a love so unusual and perfect that we immediately believe it must be of divine origin. It immediately tells us it does not come from us. That is enough to make it a great mystery but there is another aspect to it that makes it even more mysterious. The strange love that does not come from us makes us not only feel love but also love whatever is the source of the love whom we do not doubt is God. How can I love God with a love that does not originate in me and yet is love I have coming from myself for God? It means that God is able not only to love us but also to create love for himself in us. This means his love for me is not only love for me but also in some mysterious way a creation of me. His love makes me feel not only that I am a person but a divine person and if scientific and rational logic teach anything true, it is certain that they teach me that I am not divine. Grace reveals that God’s love is by its very essence creative. He both loves and creates the being he loves who in turn is unable to do anything with the love born in him except love his creator. And here we find a new third mystery. The love for God the newly created being feels does not give the new being a sense that his love enslaves him to his creator. It is a love freely given and freely returned to the giver that freely binds two beings together who are both free to break the bonds of their union. This total freedom in the experience means that it is a power in God that both loves and creates and frees a being able in itself neither to love, to create or to be free.
   If God only forced us to love him it would not be love and we would not feel it as love but merely as some alien force. He must not only force a being to love. He must also create a being with a being capable of experiencing his love and he must also simultaneously create a loving being capable of loving him and also to stop loving him. A real relationship with any other must create both the love and an other being in the other and it can only be accomplished together with the will to totally free the other not to love its creator in return. Something like this does happen between two humans who love. It is not the divine love of grace but it is a love that like grace creates love in the beloved. I am before the other and I love. The other somehow at some time also feels a love originating in me taking birth in her. If my love is strong and true, it overwhelms me and confuses me because it is a mystery how it could have arisen in me. But it is there and it is there for certain because I feel no longer alone and I seem already joined in love to another. All individualism is suddenly gone. It is now about two persons and these two somehow share the same love which makes them one person or at least perhaps will make them one. Where does the love come from that I see appear in the eyes of the beloved that was not there before? I feel I am a different being because of love and my love rising in the heart of the other creates a new being in her. It is in this sense that we should understand the statement in Scripture that God created man in his image. I am a human image of a divine God because I can create love for myself in an other being where originally there was no love. But the love that arises from God’s grace brings with it no sense that there is anything to do. It is a joining. It comes complete. It feels eternal. It is God and I and that is all. It is precise and limitless. I need to do nothing. Human love has a person for its object that it must unite with because the relationship that develops is not eternal and true but only personal and mortal. Human love inevitably becomes desire. It crucifies itself by driving one of the members of one body like a nail into a body powerless to do anything but receive it passively.
   God’s love is so full and so true and so eternal that the being his love creates must also love with a love that does not come from him and yet is also as full and as true and as eternal as God’s love. Saint Francis de Sales wrote that the love between God the father and God the son is reciprocal. This cannot be true. It would mean the son existed before the father’s love created him and it would mean he not only existed apart from God but also that he was capable also of a divine love originating in himself. The only possible explanation of the trinity is that God’s love itself in and of itself creates an other being loved with a love whose very nature returns the same love experienced as now belonging to the son to the father freely in one eternal upsurge that joins the two eternally as one person although two. And since the first person creating the second person are now one, a new third person has been created, the Holy Spirit.


                                                                                     2.

   

     Because grace is a reality that we and many Christians and Jews have experienced throughout Christian and Judaic experience, it is clearly possible and necessary to imagine that the holy trinity is also a reality because the reality of grace is enough to explain it. We should now read Scripture and look not just for examples of grace but for the unfolding of grace as a triune reality in biblical stories and writings. We will start with the story of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace. We will leave to scientists and rational thinkers the task of bringing to exact knowledge the extremely complicated and unexplained origins of human life and of all living bodies on our planet. Science nicely explains that there could never have been merely 5000 or 6000 years ago somewhere in the Near East a Garden of Eden where God created a man and a woman good and placed them in a blessed garden to live without knowing death. We are willing to throw the historical and objective story out the window as do scientists but whoever wrote about Adam and Eve’s creation fit it into a form that parallels the trinity and repeats the trinity’s unfolding not in a divine context but now in a divine-human context. For us the creation of Adam and Eve is real because grace and the trinity are real.
     If God can eternally create love in a son that does not come from his son but nonetheless returns eternally and freely back to him creating one person, there is every reason to believe that God can perform the same miracle in a human man and that some writer divinely inspired can record it and relate it in writings adapted to his time and to his habit of language using an unscientific knowledge of the universe. We do not have to accept at all his science but we must accept his divine knowledge because we ourselves through God’s grace have been given the same knowledge. Adam or some man somewhere at some time was full of grace that came from God. It was the one and only divine grace from God that also created God’s son as a loving being because God’s love always creates a being that freely loves him without the being being the source of the love. So a man, a human man, was full of grace. The whole inner life of his being was grace. Divine love and grace and life were all the same thing in his being. God created a human man with a totally new being just as he still today gives us the clear sense when he grants us grace that he creates us anew. His newly created man had feelings that were triune and one for they were simultaneously grace,love and freedom. There was only one problem. He did not know anything. He did not possess what we postmodern humans possess. He did not know anything. He did not know the love he felt was love. He did not know he loved only by the grace of God. He did not even know he was alive. He had no need to know anything and he did not know that he even had the possibility of knowing anything.
   We all know what knowledge is. Every scientist knows what it is. God of course also knew and he knew that the new being he created in a man with a body could also possibly know because he was alive in a universe of millions of bodies separated and unrelated to one another. Knowledge is based on separation. The separation of all bodies creates in the mind the ability to see and make distinctions. Distinctions allow us to say this is good and this is not good. Knowledge is a process, a dead process, of distinguishing between separate bodies of any size and quality in any location and creating in the mind mental relationships between them when in reality they have no relationship since they are separated. Separation between bodies also creates violence and evil and new separations and in turn also requires the use of knowledge to try to create some kind of order out of chaos. God understood the risk. He created divine being in a body and that being would remain divine and good and eternal as long as it did not know anything. But it was a body among countless other bodies. God gave his new being only the knowledge that once he began using his eyes to make distinctions between himself and other bodies he would know scientifically his condition as a body in his mind and this would cause a sudden shift from his divine feelings of love and grace and freedom to something in himself that has nothing to do with his three attributes joined together. He would discover the truth that his three attributes that made him himself were in reality not caused by himself and that he was merely a body like other bodies subject to death.
   God gave divine being to only one human being. However this new kind of being in turn had the capacity because it was divine-human to love and create another being by creating in the other a power to love that it did not previously possess. One being, a man made divine by the power of God, loved and created another being from a power in his being that did not originate in himself and just as the union of the Father and the Son created simultaneously the Holy Spirit, the second person of the new manifestation of the trinity created  divine being in a human woman making her by a transference of God’s grace through the first divine-human man a holy spirit. Of course Scripture says Eve was created through Adam’s rib and we are all, all of us, creatures of knowledge and therefore  free to enjoy a sophisticated laugh coming from our minds, minds which we have made supreme and crammed with information that has nothing to do with our souls. A rib! God created a woman from Adams rib! Please stop laughing for a minute and ask yourself if you have ever loved a woman, really loved her. You create her. Yes, you do. You fill her old being with a new being newly alive. She loves because the look in your eyes full of love gleams into her soul a passion that sets her soul on fire. Laugh at Adam if you wish, but the man who wrote about him created him full of God’s love and grace that both loves and creates. A rib is at least close to a man’s heart, closer at least than a man’s mind that creates nothing divinely good and eternal.
   The Adam and Eve story is the trinity in action among men. A man had a love in himself so divine that it created another man, called now a woman. He gave the grace from God that was in him to another human being and created that being anew just as God’s grace had already created him, the second person of the divine-human trinity, anew. The bible says very clearly that men existed before Adam. But they were not true men capable of eternal relationships with both God and other men. God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” This new man could not relate to other men except by loving them because he had nothing in his soul but love. He could not relate to them except by creating this same love in a new person’s soul that came from himself and also from God to whom he was now eternally related. No one of us living in the postmodern world can deny that that was and is a possibility! But our low and fallen inability to love so divinely and so powerfully as the first man God created loved now only serves, if we dare, to reveal to us our debased nature. Our debased nature knows! We see clearly that we are separated from everyone and everything. It is our one glory, a debased glory (the oxymoron is intentional), that we are always not loving everyone and everything but always making rational distinctions between everyone and everything. The new being Adam’s love created had the possibility of this debased glory too. God warned his two new divine-human beings that they should not open their eyes. They should simply live and love freely full of grace and not begin making distinctions between one another. Once they opened their eyes knowledge would reveal to them that they were not truly united in love but in reality separate bodies capable like all bodies that rely only on their natural power of no eternal relationship. “Eritis scientes” the serpent said, “bonum et malum sicut dei”. “You will be beings knowing good and evil like Gods.” The serpent was right. He knew. He already had his eyes open. He could make rational distinctions. But let us at least state the good news in the Adam and Eve story before we come to the bad. The creation of Eve was the third movement of the trinity. She was created anew not by God directly but by the power of love that God had created living through his grace in Adam. God destined this his second and indirect creation of a divine-human to continue. Eve had the power as did Adam to create more and more divine-human persons endlessly and eternally, capable all of them of being united to God’s divine spirit eternally. eternally related to both God and to one another in love. But neither Adam nor Eve knew this. They did not know their life was also love or that this love that they did not know as love came freely from God’s divine grace. Eve opened her eyes and knew. Ever since knowledge has been a weight loaded on our human souls as though a prison warden devoted to keeping love and grace and freedom in a dungeon. The three attributes are not gone from us forever but they feel gone. And the worst thing about the first two real divine-humans opening their eyes and knowing is that we are now condemned to use a knowledge of knowledge and of its deceits if we are ever to win again for ourselves a place in God’s world which has eyes open only to love.
   So Adam was Christ. He was the son of God made flesh. Like Christ he was not a real man like those who already existed and had nothing divine in their nature. He was an imitation of a man for the living soul that God breathed into him was divine because God’s divine love of a man makes him a new divine being.  The historical Christ knew he was divine because born from God’s grace and sustained eternally by his father’s love but Adam-Christ new nothing. When they, both Adam and Christ, came in contact with other men they would immediately transform them and create them with a new divine being based on divine love. They would change men and make them no longer natural men but new divine-human men now become imitations of men like themselves. How could Christ’s apostles have gone forth and made men give up everything within them that made them what they were if the apostles did not have a divine being implanted in them by Christ? God’s grace not only makes a man a new man but also makes the new man make other men new. Eve was converted by Adam just as men and women were converted by the apostles. She loved Adam with a love that he had implanted in her. Her name was changed by the man who wrote of her divine birth from a man to a wo man because her true being came from a man. But she could not have been born knowing she was divine-human and knowing that the love she possessed was love for the simple reason that knowledge did not exist. It had no reason to exist. God knew it would be created at any moment when his two creations used the freedom that always exists joined to divine love and grace to free themselves from the divine life within them rather than to use their freedom only to implant divinity and freedom in others. Eve had the power to give divinity to the serpent but instead she used her freedom to relate to him only with her mind. They talked to one another rather than loving one another. They separated mentally one thing from another thing. Making distinctions between things proved to them that they themselves could become distinct from everyone and everything and not related to anything. Eve was divine and full of love and immortal only when she did not know it. She was already sicut dea, like a goddess, not because she was sciens, knowing, but because she was not sciens. Instead of going off like Christ’s apostles to implant divinity in men she talked to a serpent which means she used her God-given freedom to talk to something in an exterior body and in her own body that was not soul but only a body, a thing. She opened her eyes and knew and became only a human thing. We were all of us once destined to become living bodies receiving God’s love in a divine-human chain reaction going all  the way back to Adam. But knowledge broke the chain.

                                                                    
                                                                                  3.

   
   Abraham like Adam also received grace from God because otherwise he could never have done God’s will with such divine virtue if he did not feel the power of God’s presence within him. But Adam did not know that the divine love in the form of grace within him came from God because in his time and condition a human body had no knowledge. Adam did not feel separated from God until he knew he was not God. While joined to God he knew nothing, not even that a God existed because he had no idea at all of what it meant, humanly speaking, to exist. Abraham is already existing humanly when he hears the voice of God and he knows instantly and tragically that he is separated from God and can never be united with him and be his equal. But Abraham feels reborn by God’s power which feels like a love that he has never experienced and this love is so divine that it gives him the virtue to obey the voice of God wherever it leads him even though he is surrounded by men in outward appearance just like himself who continually create nothing but violence and evil. So we already have well before the birth and death of Jesus Christ knowledge of God and belief and trust in God. We also have grace from God in a man to give him the strength and virtue that comes from God to do good rather than evil. We have the idea of a new kind of individuality, a divine personhood in a single man relating him to God. We have also of course knowledge which gives us the power to not only know what we believe but also to criticize what we believe and create, if we will, arguments against God and belief in his existence. Abraham is a new hope for humanity but it is a tragic hope because men must now know when God reveals himself to them how base they are and the love that comes from God elevating them to a good form of life will never be for humans as constant and as full as it was with Adam and Eve. What kind of grace can we therefore imagine that Abraham alone surrounded by evil men received? He knows as do all other men and because of that his grace could never have been as full as was Adam’s before he knew and fell from grace. We should perhaps think of the problem in terms of what we know in Christian times about grace and the reception of grace. There are not one but two conversions. The first conversion is common and well known. A man or woman believe in Christ and accept him inwardly as their savior. They are reborn and they live their lives as transformed humans trying to do good. Grace of this kind is a revelation to individuals of true personhood. They are reborn. They become a new person. It is this degree of grace we should ascribe to Abraham and to all the other Jews who received a new personhood through God’s grace. This is a saving grace. It is called in the Old Testament an “ever loving kindness”. But there is a second degree of grace that the first kind naturally leads to because we know certain holy men have experienced a second conversion and in this case they experience a flooding of their soul with a divine stream of God’s grace. Blaise Pascal, a great French scientist and theologian of the 17th century, experienced this second conversion. Saint Augustine in the 4th century receives and writes about his first conversion and certainly from the evidence of his vast writings he also received the second. Blaise Pascal wrote about and described his second conversion. We can be certain that Abraham had the first conversion when he heard God’s voice and left his home and his former life to go where God told him to go. The first type of conversion does not limit God’s grace. It opens the soul to God and we should certainly believe that for us in our time or for Abraham in his time if we follow where God leads us the degree of grace we receive can be as strong as what we know some persons have received in a second conversion. So Abraham and some Jews and men of other races received the kind of conversion to grace, the first conversion, that later was instituted universally in human life by Christ’s sacrifice.
  It is natural and good for anyone reading about Abraham to think only of their own individual salvation. We are still surrounded as was Abraham by men and women who care nothing for salvation and use the freedom in their souls that comes from God basely. Everyone around Abraham acted evilly. Men in the city of Sodom practiced on one another every type of abominable behavior that was possible to give themselves bodily pleasure. Abraham was so tragically isolated among evil men that when we think that Jesus Christ years and centuries later could actually in recorded history win for all of us by his sacrifice the kind of inner aid, the love and grace from God, that was granted to Abraham, it is nothing short of something absolutely amazing and miraculous. But Abraham's story and Jewish and Christian history is so remarkable by the lonely spiritual struggles of prophets and saints in a long religious history that it has blinded us to the side of God’s revelation of himself to man that seems designed to help man raise himself up towards a heavenly state using knowledge. God did not want us to know but now that we do know, we should use knowledge cautiously against regular knowledge for religious purposes. We must dominate knowledge and struggle towards a new liberating way of life by not being  dominated by knowledge and by consciously allowing new channels of God’s grace to enter our souls by discovering new religious practices. The only thing truly real is the divine trinity because it is based entirely on divine love and has nothing at all to do with what we call human knowledge. But that did not prevent God from taking advantage of the knowledge possessed by man after the fall of Adam and Eve to aid man to escape his sinful and evil condition.
   God tried to create divine not only Adam and Eve but also the beings born from them to new life, both the men and women they could have related to and created anew by implanting God’s grace in them and the children they could have created before the fall. God was trying to create not one divine man but a divine family. There is no reason to believe that he ever gave up this goal. His first new creation among men after Adam and Eve is a vision of a new path to a divine family in the story of Noah. God teaches Noah how to save his family and the animal families by a technical invention, the ark. By a logical creation of a ship, he teaches Noah to use his knowledge and his mind to preserve his family from the flood that destroys a world of men and women devoted only to concupiscence. God’s first message to fallen man is that men should use their newly found knowledge to create some technique to save not just themselves from the evils of the world but animal families along with  their human families.
    God gave Noah technical assistance to save his family by instructing him how to build the ark. This was a highly selective and limited use of the knowledge that men possessed. But generally men were using knowledge creating things by new techniques that were not pleasing to God. They invented bricks and created cities and the tower of Babel. They were trying to make themselves superior beings relying on techniques born from knowledge rather than relying on grace born from God. God went among them and was shocked that “nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.” God scattered them about and confounded their languages which had been one language as they built the tower of Babel .  God saw that in the case of man “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”. After the building of the tower of Babel, Abraham and his wife Sarah and Lot were separated from men by God’s grace to escape evil. But before in the times of Noah he had also used the power of his grace to save Noah and his family.
   The waters that lifted up Noah and his wife and his three sons and their wives in the ark along with couples from all other living beings were waters of God’s grace. Waters pouring down from the heavens lifted up Noah and all the beings on the ark towards the heavens on waters that can be understood as a symbol of God’s grace. Noah’s family along with the earth’s creatures did not just survive. They were all purified and raised up to a new status of being by the waters.  Naturally readers of the story all see that those on the ark were saved by grace in the sense that the word “grace” can be understood narrowly as “help”. We mean it in that sense but also in the divine sense of purification in the soul by streams of God’s love pouring into the soul from some source that seems heavenly. The divine nature of the adventure on the ark is indicated by the fact that men and women and couples from all living creatures are in the vessel for nearly two years and yet, in a chronicle where marriages and births are written about almost endlessly, not one birth is recorded. The couples on the ark remained pure while floating up high higher than all  mountains during a temporary home in the heavens before returning to find homes on earth. However grace is expressed here after the fall of Adam and Eve in a diminished form because of the existence of knowledge. It is a full experience of purification but it is limited by time which is a reality adjunct to the reality of knowledge. Grace raises humans and all living things up towards the heavens on the waters of a baptism that after a time must decrease and dry up. The waters must descend and disappear just as as grace now in our time and condition can be granted and then disappear. Also, along with others of our debased time, we men and women, glorified falsely by our objective knowledge,  can throw out the story of the flood as false and untrue scientifically. Waters could never have covered the whole earth and so forth and so forth. But some writer at some time wrote a myth of how waters from heaven saved couples from all the creatures on earth. Someone sometime long ago understood the reality of God’s saving grace and used it as a main divine element in a story of a flood. What he wrote about is completely real even if his story cannot be completely true scientifically. The trinity is also symbolized in the story of the flood because Noah has three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth who will be the sources together with their wifes of a new purified human race. The ark itself has three levels, another symbol of the trinity.
   After the story of Noah, God says to Abraham early in his revelation to him, And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. He is thus, as in the Noah story, continuing towards his goal not to create just blessed individual men but also blessed families of men all of them divinely interrelated by divine grace. And as always, grace is a union of beings in imitation of the union of beings in the divine trinity because any union by grace can create a third being with grace. But God does more in his revelation to Abraham than just send him grace. He sends the three persons of the trinity in the form of three divine visitors to Abraham who announce to him that they themselves will be the source that creates his son Isaac in the womb of his wife Sarah. Isaac will be in turn the second person of the trinity Abraham- Isaac-Jacob that creates the chosen families of the Jews that eventually give birth to Christ.
   The birth of Isaac is a direct result of the divine trinity. Three men, not one, appear before Abraham’s tent and he addresses the three devoutly as one God. The father,the son and the holy spirit are standing before his tent and the three together are one. This divine, mysterious revelation of God in the form of the trinity is the first religious revelation to man after the tragic fall of Adam and Eve. Noah’s story is, so to speak, a practical divine revelation. The revelation to Abraham of three men as one before his tent is the full and definitive new form of the new divine revelation after the fall, the beginning of a new covenant, of a new model for human salvation. But we should go back first, before examining the triune revelation to Abraham and Sarah, to the triune form in relation to Adam and Eve.
   It is clear we have God, Adam united by grace to God, and the third person, Eve united by grace from Adam that comes to her through Adam from God. We have the creation on earth in a human form of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit because God’s love, grace and freedom creates the three for a time as one being. But the man Adam whom Eve unites with is composed of one being from three beings. We have Adam who before God breathes life into his soul is simply a human man. Then we have also a new Adam, an Adam-Christ, made divine and the second person of a trinity by God’s love implanted in him. And thirdly, since this is equivalent to union with God, we have present God himself as the third person of the trinity which relates to Eve as one man. The love for Eve that exudes from Adam’s being comes from three beings. Eve does not know there are three beings and she does not need to know. She knows only that she should not try to know anything, that she should not gaze at the manifold separation of bodies around her and start using her eyes to turn away from Adam and begin making distinctions. She is not sciens. She does not know good and evil. She turns her eyes from Adam, begins making distinctions, and falls. Adam follows her and also falls. The knowledge that his opened eyes provide him tells him that he is humanly but one natural man with no connection or union anymore with the new being now lost,his being as Adam-Christ, and since his being as Adam-Christ has its source only in union with God, the third being, God, is also gone. Adam is no longer a triune Adam. He is merely a man like other men. Eve is now merely a woman like other women. They know what they are.There is nothing triune in Adam’s being. Eve is no longer made a holy spirit by union with an Adam-Christ who is united with God. The two are now separate and individual beings with no eternal relationship either with one another or with God. They are individual and alone in a godless universe among millions of separated bodies with no real relationship with one another and with no real relationship with their real personhood since God is absent from their being.
   Abraham and Sarah are visited not by an individual God but by a triune God. This divine being no longer implants himself as love in Abraham’s being as he did with Adam. He has created him anew by grace and has a divine relationship with him but he plans to pass on to Abraham’s family an heir, a son Isaac, by his own divine power. Eve in the form of Sarah is now an old woman. She laughs when the triune being announces to her husband, also old, that she will conceive a child. Three beings in a triune form will create a divine being in the womb of Sarah  and this new being will continue the divine family Abraham-Sarah-Isaac in a human form throughout history. God no longer relies on two fully divine persons, Adam and Eve, fully divine and fully free because of his divine love, to transfer the divine love implanted in them to create a chain of divine love extending to all bodies in the universe. That is no longer possible for humans because they have made the choice through Adam and Eve to know and be rather than to just be. The triune being tells Abraham and Sarah that he will return and implant the seed itself in Sarah’s womb. He does. A triune being reconnects by a new religious medium with humans and unites his divine being to a human soul  making it both human and divine by implanting his divine being as seed in an old woman’s womb.
   It is a revelation we can almost describe as technical. God transfers his love and grace indirectly through Adam to Eve spiritually. A triune being through a man Abraham transfers a seed into Sarah, a new Eve in the form of an old woman, that will create a chosen divine-human race of men by the birth of Isaac, who will be the second person of the human trinity, Abraham- Isaac- Jacob. Amazingly, these two manifestations of the trinity at work deploying themselves among men take place alongside the story of Lot and his wife. Lot enters a triune relationship with two angels, divine beings imitating men. It is not just Lot an individual man who tries to save his wife from evil by her escaping from the destruction of Sodom. Like Eve Lot’s wife, endowed with knowledge and with her eyes wide open, can distinguish between good, the husband and the salvation before her and evil,  the evil of Sodom behind her. She is tempted to look back. She is lost. Lot is saved but only because he united his being with two divine men and the three united men escaped evil because they were joined three as one.


                                                                               4.

   
   All of these revelations are about male and female couples. Adam and Eve become united as a couple through God’s grace and then fall from grace through knowledge of good and evil. Noah and his wife are a couple and so is every other being on the ark. Noah’s three sons survive on the ark together with their wives, Every living animal being is coupled male and female on the ark. Abraham is already coupled with his wife Sarah when he hears the voice of God and follows it. The three divine visitors announce both to Abraham and Sarah as a couple that she will give birth with God’s help to their son Isaac. The two angels who visit Lot in the form of men try to save both Lot and his wife, a couple, from the destruction of Sodom. Eve fails Adam by turning her opened eyes away from him in order to know. Lot’s wife turns her eyes away from her husband back towards Sodom and ends their existence as a couple. Sarah does succeed as a holy spirit of the trinity God/Abraham/Sarah but Abraham does not  implant in her a full degree of God’s grace as did Adam in Eve and instead  implants a divine seed in her womb by the grace of God who appeared to him as the three divine persons of the trinity. But if God is represented in the new trinity Abraham/Isaac/Jacob and Christ is represented as Isaac, the second person of the new divine-human trinity, we can expect that the woman who appears to form the couple of Isaac and his wife will face the same predicament as did Eve and the wife of Lot. Will God be finally able to find on earth a woman with the grace to look at nothing and no one but her future husband and love only the God in him and become a true representation of the holy spirit? Somehow when we read that Abraham starts a search for a wife for Isaac, something tells us in our heart that she must be a holy young woman. And in this case, Rebecca, Isaac’s future wife, proves our heart correct.
   Rebecca is not holy by her own natural power. She becomes holy because she finds somehow the grace from God within her to love her unseen future husband Isaac not for what is in him naturally but because something moves in her soul that tells her that a divinity is in Isaac that she must love. This is the real purpose of God’s appearance to Abraham in the form of three divine men promising the miracle of birth coming from the womb of an old woman. Rebecca is a new Eve who is not as fully divine as Eve was before her fall because Rebecca is a person now equipped with knowledge. But the new Eve is equipped with grace as well as knowledge. God is now creating a human capable of recognizing divinity and grace in an other. He creates a woman who knows that divinity exists in a man and her knowledge of this is no longer powerful enough to weaken the grace she feels in her soul. Rebecca is a new superior version of Eve, an Eve equipped with knowledge and with the virtue to use her knowledge not for the usual and practical selfish ends of knowledge but to make a divine marriage with Isaac because grace combined with her knowledge tells her that what she both feels in her soul and knows is that God wants her to form with Isaac the divine couple, Isaac/Rebecca. God did not condemn Eve in advance to fall. But in a world of millions of separated objects and living bodies it was inevitable. Knowledge was born with Adam and Eve’s fall. But again, as in the story of Noah, God sanctions knowledge if used as in Rebecca’s case guided by divine grace. Rebecca should not know like Eve that the love she feels in her soul is divine grace from God but the new reality, the new creation of God, is that she does know and she does not allow her knowledge to destroy her. She acts following God’s grace leading her to abandon her home like Abraham abandoned his to gIve herself in love to Isaac not because her human desires lead her to him but because God’s grace leads her, a grace now fortified by knowledge.
   The whole purpose of the Abrahamic revelation is achieved in Rebecca’s reaction to the news sent to her by Abraham through his servant. God calls upon her to abandon her home and journey to another distant land to marry Isaac and she obeys because she understands that the divine grace in her soul is the basis of her marriage and not  the usual pleasures of marriage combined with a woman’s need to prove her worth by giving birth. She answers God’s call to leave her home to travel to another land as Abraham was called but now the purpose of her virtuous answer to the call is to make a marriage proposed to her that awakens divine grace in her soul and makes her willing to believe that her husband, even though unseen, can love her because of divine grace in his soul. The purpose of God’s revelation in the beginning was to create a fully divine-human couple, Adam and Eve. The revelation continued after their fall as it continues today because God will never rest, even after the creation of knowledge among humans, until his divine grace causes, creates and sustains human couples in divine marriages that develop to the birth of new humans born from his spirit that forms divine families. The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca is God’s revelation of the first most fundamental basis of such marriages, God’s grace in the soul of each member of the new God-created family. It is no wonder that Jews for centuries and still today base some of the ceremonies in their marriages on the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca.

                                                                   
                                                                                  5.


   But the creation of the couple Isaac/Rebecca takes place within the bounds of a new order of God’s revelation and creation of divinity in man. God will no longer reveal himself openly in the new condition of the human world which is now ruled by knowledge. God will not allow himself to be an object of man’s knowledge. Instead he will continue his revelation by hiding himself in man and thus force man to discover God’s presence within himself without using his knowledge. From now on in a world dominated more and more by objective knowledge, man is free to either create for himself whatever his human desires tell him is necessary and objectively possible or else he is free to make a leap of faith and escape from the slavery of the objective known world to the freedom of God’s world where knowledge no longer exists and is mysteriously replaced by divine love. The world now demands that men know and trust only the world revealed before them to their eyes and their minds. It offers them an objective path to the fulfillment of every human desire that can be imagined, desires that have nothing to do with God’s world where he now exists hidden. Men have discovered through their first parents how to make distinctions. They know what is good and bad and God now allows them to choose what they wish to be, either servants of the world and its objective possibilities or servants of the hidden world of God which now lies open to them only through faith in God. The sacrifice of Isaac that God demands of Abraham and the heroic faith he discovers within himself to trust God and perform the terrible act, this reveals the new basis of God’s relationship with man. It is significant that God himself does not appear and prevent Abraham from performing the sacrifice. Instead God himself is hidden and the voice of an angel stops Abraham. God reveals that what counts religiously now is not just sacrifices to God on altars but the sacrifice within a man that is completely interior and is not guided by the clear and rational eyes of objective knowledge but is instead like an irrational and mysterious dive of a man into his own soul with nothing guiding him but a blind faith that somehow everything he knows counts for nothing. God reveals to Abraham a faith that somehow rises up mysteriously within him and that Abraham is willing to accept because he knows faith is a divine knowledge superior to human knowledge. His faith saves his son Isaac from death because it gives him the spiritual strength to obey God completely and reveals that logic and knowledge that lead to everything in the human world are worth nothing. But God reveals more to Abraham. He reveals an even greater mystery than the mystery of faith. God has a right to demand the sacrifice of Isaac because Isaac is God’s son. He is more God’s son than Abraham’s son because Abraham is merely his human father. God has also created Isaac but he has created him with a divine power hidden within him that makes him truly a new birth as a new human person of infinite value. God’s new revelation means that God will be forever joined with the new family of Jews of whom Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the patriarchs but he will be hidden within them and will reveal himself only when they live by faith in him rather than guided exclusively by making distinctions between the things and the bodies before them and around them. His new family is free to do whatever it wishes including destroying itself fulfilling human desires or raising their lives up towards the divine by the faith that saved Isaac from death and is now divinely implanted in all members of the chosen family.
   The grace that leads to the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca that was more perfect than normal marriages does not continue in their twin sons, Esau and Jacob. Division and hatred develop between them instead of love and grace. Jacob uses knowledge to steal the birthright blessing from Esau at a moment when he is free to choose whether or not to feed his hungry brother. Esau’s hunger strips him for a time from the grip on him of reason and knowledge and he yields to Jacob because he values more the satisfaction of desire than receiving the blessing due him. This reveals in turn that God will now use not grace but hatred and division to advance towards his goal, his only goal, to create not just a divine marriage but together with such a marriage a divine family of sons and daughters born only to love one another and to refuse to make distinctions between one another leading to hatred. Jacob and Esau are reconciled and love one another only after being taught by divisive  and evil experiences that only the love between members of a family that reaches all the way to God counts. Divisive experiences and poverty force Jacob to enslave himself to Laban and to marry not one but two of his daughters, both Leah and Rachel. This is God’s new tactic of using evil to create a good goal which in this case is the birth to Jacob of the 12 sons who will form the 12 tribes of the chosen people of Israel, Israel being the new name assigned by God to Jacob.
   10 of Israel's sons believe they are true men and they hate their brother who is another type of man. Joseph is the first of a long line of Jewish prophets who will scorn the behavior and thoughts of so-called true men around them who look for truth only in what they see and what they can feel objectively caused by experience that comes to them exclusively by a direct relationship with the external world. Joseph is the first man in a world where God is now hidden in man who has the courage and the spirit to seek what is real and true within himself. Men of his time have no inner life. Joseph decides that instead of busying himself like others making distinctions between things to guide them to the satisfaction of their desires that he will look first and foremost within himself. He interprets dreams. In other words, he delights in escaping regular knowledge by escaping to a hidden world where what happens cannot be clearly and objectively understood. Joseph wants to know as do others but for him knowledge is not true if it is only perfectly clear to everyone. He reveals to his brothers that a dream has revealed to him that he will “be superior to them”. This makes his brothers hate him more because their objective knowledge tells them that this can not possibly be true. They decided to kill him. One brother prevents the other 9 from killing him but they announce to their father that an animal killed him and he is taken alive to Egypt by a group of Ishmaelites and sold as a slave. Joseph in Egypt continues interpreting dreams. He interprets the pharaoh's dream and as a result provides the pharaoh with a secret knowledge known only to him. He saves Egypt by his knowledge that comes from within him from famine and rises up in Egyptian society to a position of power just below the pharaoh. Joseph uses two kinds of knowledge to save Egypt from famine. He interprets dreams and discovers a knowledge from God. He uses rational knowledge only for a divine purpose. Using them both he saves the Egyptians from famine and later saves his brothers and his father from famine.
  This is the first appearance among the chosen people of living not according to regular ordinary knowledge but according to the guidance of divinely inspired men who teach them a wisdom and practices for living that come from God. All the people of all the 12 tribes must learn to live without guidance by knowledge alone which leads them only to things that are objectively possible. They also need  guidance to live for ends that regular experience offers them that comes not from knowledge but from the hidden design of God to create divine families of men on earth. The whole meaning of the story of Joseph and his brothers is that knowledge alone of the kind that 10 of the brothers have at the beginning of the story leads only to hatred and cruelty and division within their family. Joseph teaches by his divine influence on them how to live as brothers loving one another. Again God’s goal is perfectly clear. He wishes to create a divine family living regulated by a heavenly wisdom among men living in families created naturally. Joseph remains faithful to his identity as a descendant of his great-grandfather Abraham even while living in Egypt among people practicing a foreign religion. He succeeds in forgiving his brothers for their hostile actions against him by explaining it was the will of God to act as they did. He knows much more than what they know and he teaches it to his brothers when 10 of them come to Egypt to escape famine in Canaan. At the end of the story God’s goal to create a divine family among men is achieved. All 12 brothers, each a patriarch of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, live in harmony and prosperity along with their father Jacob in Goshen a section of Egypt.

                                                                   
                                                                                    6.

  
    We should follow the story of Joseph closely. It reveals how God takes the 12 sons of Jacob and makes each of 11 of them through the drama of their relationship with Joseph apostles of the Abrahamic religion and each founders of one of the 12 tribes of Israel, each tribe a grand family of men and women and offsprings born from a divine source.
   Joseph’s brothers hate him because their father Jacob loves him more than his other sons. Joseph tells his brothers of a dream he has had that he interprets as indicating he will be superior to his brothers. His brothers ask him if it means he will rule them like a king or their master. They hate him even more because of his interpretation of the dream. For them a leader can only be someone who dominates others by human power. They are straight-forward strong men who see no possibility of finding some religious power within themselves and accept as real only powers that they observe in the objective world around them. They are objective beings. Joseph is both an objective being and a subjective being. They hate him because of a quality in his character that they believe does not exist in them and therefore can only be something alien and hateful to them. Joseph has another dream in which it appears to him that the sun, the moon and 11 stars prostrate themselves before him. His father hears of the dream and scolds him. He asks Joseph does it mean that he and his wife and 11 other sons will prostrate themselves before him. His brothers add jealousy to their hatred but Jacob does keep the image of Joseph’s dream in his memory. None of Joseph’s family members can believe that Joseph will become like a divine sun shedding light on them and transform them from a regular natural family to a divinely inspired familly. They see only the sun and the moon and the stars of the objective universe and this knowledge prevents them from discovering the universe of God within themselves. Joseph sees a universe within himself. They do not understand Joseph. He will have to disrupt and change the way they understand or else live isolated from them alone in a world known only to himself.
   Joseph is taken by merchants to Egypt and sold into slavery. As a slave in the house of a captain of the pharaoh's guards, he discovers how to use the strange spirit within himself that he has previously used only to dream and interpret dreams. He is alone and no more than a slave, but when he acts honestly on a personal level with those in his household, the spirit within him seems to those he relates to holy. Others cannot resist the personhood that radiates from Joseph when he relates to them person to person. He is the son of Rachel the woman that his father Jacob loved more than his other wife Leah. Through Rachel and Jacob, Joseph has been born with a holy spirit that has its origin in the holy seed God implanted in Joseph’s great-grandmother Sarah, a seed promised her by the three divine visitors to Abraham appearing as one being in a triunity of three beings. How else could Joseph rise so high in a foreign society in Egypt from the lowly state of a slave to the second in power to the pharaoh if he did not have within him a holy spirit? Adam was a holy spirit and Eve received a holy spirit through her relationship to Adam. The two were destined to create new holy spirits by direct transference of their holiness to other humans by loving relationships with them. With Joseph, his holy spirit is not so powerful as was Adam’s because it is reduced by human knowledge but it has enough holiness to have an immediate positive effect on those he relates to humanly and personally. When he is raised to the head of the household of the pharaohs captain, he resists sexual seduction by the captain’s wife. We should not limit our understanding of his successful resistance by explaining it by his moral superiority or his strength of character. No. He resisted because he felt the force of God’s grace within him aiding him to resist just as the great and powerful writings of Saint Augustine have taught us. For Saint Augustine human morality alone is useless for salvation. Only the direct aid of grace coming from God can ever give humans enslaved by sinfulness the power to do good. Joseph refused to go to bed with the wife of the pharaoh's captain because he knew it would have killed the world of God that existed within him and was the only good in the world that was worth anything. For the second time a garment taken from him gave objective knowledge to others about his behavior that was false. His famous many-colored garment was taken by his brothers and sprinkled with the blood of an animal to falsely reveal to Joseph’s father Jacob that he was dead. The garment he leaves behind with the wife of the pharaoh’s captain falsely proved that he had committed adultery with her. Joseph was destined to suffer because of men who acted from objective evidence rather than from the inspiration of God’s grace. But grace never failed Joseph. He went to prison because of the incident with the captain’s wife. But even a prison could not transform his holy spirit. It raised him from a prisoner in jail to the governorship of all of Egypt second in power only to the pharaoh.
   If Jacob was the father of a new trinity and Rachel was the second person, it is reasonable to believe the third person, their son Joseph, was a holy spirit. He was a human embodiment of the holy spirit and he was equipped like all humans after the fall of Adam and Eve with knowledge. He was a new kind of human being. He was a holy spirit with a mind capable of knowing and using knowledge for good ends. Only a holy spirit present in Joseph makes his extraordinary adventure and magnificent success believable. If he were but an honest  and wise man, he would have achieved his success using only reason and knowledge and it would have been unbelievable to rise as a lowly Hebrew slave to the second most powerful man in Egypt. Pharaoh's captain was touched spiritually by personal contact with Joseph’s holy spirit in a way similar on a purely human level to how Eve was touched at a higher divine level by the holy spirit in Adam. Joseph’s only power is a power within him that does not come from himself. It comes from God. This same power touched his grandmother Rebecca and she followed it guided by knowledge to a divine marriage with Isaac. Joseph will follow it until it transforms his 11 brothers into spiritually-awakened good men who recognize their sinful actions against their brother as wrong and go on along with their father Jacob and all his household and their families to a life of bliss in a holy part of Egypt, Goshen. Joseph’s adventure is the adventure of a holy spirit from God raising up a chosen people and settling them together in a foreign divine place to live together in holy peace as a divine-human family. The whole genesis story from beginning to end is about the birth and development of the divine triune spirit of God among men creating and forming men spiritually to live together in a divine family far from Canaan in Goshen. Canaan is the destined human home of the chosen people. But before they settle in it they are all purified in Goshen, a heavenly place far from their human home. When Moses leads the Jews from Egypt to their promised land in Canaan, he digs up the bones of Joseph and takes them with him.
   When 10 of Joseph’s 11 brothers appear before him to purchase food from him because of famine in Canaan, he does not try to transform them immediately as he has other men by relating to them personally and influencing them with his holy spirit. He is aware from their hostile treatment of him in the past that they are men limited by knowledge and capable only of repressing the divine-human spirit that lives in them by acting naturally as if natural actions alone were worthwhile. He recognizes them but does not reveal who he is. They do not recognize him. The way he treats them shows us concretely and objectively that Joseph is not a slave to knowledge and natural, logical actions but instead dominates and uses knowledge for good ends. In interviewing them, he lowers himself to their level and argues with them harshly like an official interested like them only in what is natural and practical even though inwardly he is joyful that God has somehow put them in his company. His meeting with them is a very dramatic moment because it reveals a side of Joseph’s personality that can be practical, knowledgeable and businesslike. It proves that there is some divine quality in him because when he acts harshly and falsely with his 10 brothers we understand immediately that it is not his true self. He knows it too. He is merely using knowledge for a good end. He accuses his 10 brothers of being spies sent to Egypt from a foreign land to do harm. They deny it but he accuses them again and is relentlessly harsh and hostile. They reveal they are all of one family of 12 brothers with one father. Joseph learns that their youngest brother, Benjamin, is back at home with their father. Joseph devises a plan. He compels them to leave one of their brothers with him whom he will give back to them if they return to their home and then revisit him accompanied by their youngest brother Benjamin. Joseph knows that his father Jacob after his loss of himself, Joseph, whom he assumes has been killed by wild animals, will consent to send away his second most dear son Benjamin only after undergoing some severe pressure. In other words, Joseph treats his family harshly and objectively to subject them to a psychological and spiritual trial. He treats them harshly in order to force them to try to discover by an extreme trial who they really are. But he also reveals to his brothers the side of him that is spiritual and divine. He allows them to purchase food to escape famine and sends them away to return home with pouches of the money they have paid for the grain in each of their ten sacks. He treats them objectively and harshly and at the same time shows them that money itself means nothing to him and indirectly that it should mean nothing to them. What a divine trick it is for a holy man to act harshly and businesslike with harsh men and then tell them directly by giving them back the money they paid him in the deal that he is not in reality a businessman and probably something else! The brothers of Joseph by plotting to kill him and causing him to be sent as a slave to Egypt have acted directly against the goal of God to create a divine family from the sons of Jacob. Joseph puts their money payed to him in their sacks of grain. It is a sign to them, if they can see it, that there is something going on in their family that is more important than money and the things of the material world.
   Joseph knows that Jacob’s sorrow for the loss of his favorite son, that is, himself, is also sorrow at the loss of God's divine plan for his family. He is told when his sons return to Canaan that they have been forced to leave behind one of their brothers as security with Joseph. This brother will not be released unless the 9 brothers return to Egypt with their youngest brother, Benjamin. Benjamin is also like Joseph the son of Rachel rather than of Leah and other women. Jacob, remembering the loss of Joseph, will not allow Benjamin to make a trip back to Egypt with his brothers. The loss of Benjamin would be for him unbearable both personally as a father but also religiously as the final calamitous loss of God’s goal to create a divine family. But Jacob, like Abraham, because he and his people in Canaan are threatened with death from famine, has faith enough to send Benjamin to Egypt with his brothers. He has the courage like Abraham to take a jump into the unknown and rely only on God. In Egypt Joseph still does not reveal himself to his brothers. He sends them back to Canaan with a holy cup hidden in the sack of Benjamin. Egyptians sent after the brothers discover the cup in Benjamin’s sack. They all return to Egypt and the brothers beg Joseph not to hold Benjamin in Egypt because if they return without him it will kill their father. The brothers have been tested and their beings have been shaken to their foundations by Joseph’s wise designs. They feel now in their souls what their father must have felt when they reported to him falsely the death of Joseph. Now Joseph reveals who he is. Human sorrow turns to spiritual joy. The family of 12 brothers is wholly and magically destroyed and then reborn. Jacob and all his household and peoples from Canaan move permanently to Egypt and live apart from Egyptians in the holy precincts of Goshen.


                                                                                  7.

   
   Genesis, the first book of the 5 books of the Jewish torah, is about, from beginning to end, the attempt by God to create a divine family of both men and women and of all creatures. Strangely, is is also about the creation and use by men, independently of God, of knowledge. God alone is life and everything that is alive belongs to him. All life on earth comes from him in a good form and remains good until a power foreign to God seduces men to govern the form of life given to them freely by God by a power in themselves that allows them to know everything rather than just be themselves as God’s good creation knowing nothing.
   The creation story in Genesis, which our postmodern science rejects as impossible, which we are free to also reject, is true as a symbolic expression at the very least of the power and goodness of God. Since the Sabbath is so holy and so fundamental in Jewish religion, it may be that the author cared nothing about whether or not knowledge agreed with his description of God's creation as long as he made it clear to his readers that God rested from his creation on the seventh day.
   The relationship between Adam and God cannot be known by our knowledge. It can only be known by our personal experience of grace from God, which, thanks to God’s wisdom, cannot be proved scientifically. But we, who experience grace, have been forced without our consent to know, to possess knowledge, by our birth among men and women and among the other infinite bodies of our universe. This knowledge born from the fall of Adam and Eve must have seemed to them like a new aid coming from some source other than God. It allowed them to calculate how to make their way and survive in a hostile world surrounded by hostile living bodies. In Noah’s time men were using knowledge to aid the satisfaction of all their desires and they had gained with its help the technical skills to build the tower of babel. In Abraham’s time, men simply did whatever they wished and they had knowledge of everything necessary to get what they wished. The world of God that Adam and Eve experienced briefly and the action of his grace that saved Noah and other living beings seemed altogether gone from the world when Abraham alone of men followed not the path where knowledge was leading others but God’s path. A call came to Abraham from God that had nothing to do with objective knowledge. He answered the call with a faith that also had nothing to do with knowledge. His God appeared to him before his tent as three persons whom he recognized immediately as being divine. Knowledge was born on earth and then religious faith and then the holy trinity appeared before Abraham’s tent in the form of three divine men. The result of their appearance was the birth from the divine seed in Sarah of Isaac who by union with Rebecca created a divine chosen family of men and woman. We have with the birth of Jacob and then Joseph the final development to a divine family in the 12 tribes of Israel that begins with the appearance before Abraham’s tent of three divine men, the holy trinity on earth.


       









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