The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will come to pass.” Jesus said, “Have you found the Beginning so that you now seek the end? For the end will be where the beginning is. Blessed is the person who stands at rest in the beginning. And that person will be acquainted with the end and will not taste death.”-Gospel of Thomas 18
Time is one of those enigmas of the human experience. While it’s a great tool for ordering a sequence of events we can’t exactly say it’s real beyond our observation. By chronicling our lives from birth to our inevitable death we use the construct of time to either remember a memory or share our relatable experiences with one another. As a result, we’ve spent our entire lives believing the flow of time from point A to B is something that exists independently of ourselves. It’s like we never stopped to consider how much of this apparent passing of time is tied to our memories and the concept of self.
Of course, our linear experience doesn’t account for how elements like water would experience time. For water, time takes on a circular experience where it passes through the stages of solid, liquid, and vapor over and over again. This sort of passing time takes on a circular nature in much of the material world. Everyone recognizes how it works and yet time always correlates to whatever it is that experiences its flow.
Remember, it’s our awareness, our observation that gives meaning to the person, places, or things we encounter. That awareness extends to the way we measure our passing from one space to the next. Perception is the only thing we seem to take with us. When we consider awareness, there seems to be an underlying current in Yeshua’s teachings that urge us to look through the True Eye of Spirit and observe from beyond our understanding. Lighting the Lamp is paramount because it’s our silent observer that ‘stands at rest in the beginning.’ The mysteries are paradox otherwise.
HOW ARE WE BORN FROM THE BEGINNING?
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”-Genesis 1:1-2
B’reishit Bara Elohim (בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים). ‘In the beginning when God’ being the traditional English translation. However, the grammatical structure of the Hebrew in Genesis 1 is a play on words that gets lost in translation. As a result, we’re working from an incorrect translation where there seems to be two running concepts of creation we can choose from- a creation out of nothing or an activity of the Godhead that begins with water and earth that were already in existence.
The first word—bere’shit—is made up of two elements: the preposition be- “in, with, by, through, when” and the noun re’shit- “first, former, or best thing.’ This can’t be seen as “in the beginning,” because the noun re’shit is hardly ever used as a free-standing noun; it’s normally used with another noun to refer to “the beginning of” something. Also, the preposition is vocalized be- and not ba- (a contraction of be- and the definite article ha). If it began with ba- it would mean “in the beginning,” but because it begins with be- it means “in the beginning of (something that follows).” Taking these two points together, bere’shit should be understood as “in a beginning of (something).”
In my mind this clears up the Godhead working with material already in existence because we don’t know, and can’t know, what was happening beforehand. All we know is there is a… something beginning from ____.
Then Moshe uses the verb bara(ברא), or created, as in “He created.” Utilizing the verb as is gives us the opening statement “in a beginning of he-created.” We could also try using the finite verb bara’ he created as an infinitive “to create” or “creating”. But since finite verbs don’t substitute for infinitives in Biblical Hebrew (be- not ba- last time), we would need to change the vowels in the form bara’ to bero’ “creating of”. The noun governing it would be EloHim- typically a plural name for God but it is used as a singular here because it behaves like one.(think of it like Eloah “I”) Moshe is stating that God is beyond understanding. Either way, this would give us a sort of corrected grammar similar to the Greek translation. ‘In the beginning of God’s creating the heavens and the earth,’ but it doesn’t really work.
Finally we could try using the one way that seems to make sense of the syntax without altering the vocalization of the verb bara’ “he created”. One can understand the opening word “in the beginning of” to be governed by the rest of the sentence, making it the dependent clause of “a beginning when God.” In other words “God created the heavens and the earth” isn’t treated like a verb and its object but as a single complex noun: “In the beginning of God-created-the-heavens-and-the earth….” making EloHim the first creation.
Personally, I love seeing the first three words of the Torah being treated as a singular complex noun because it places creation in a state similar to quantum entanglement- paired physical properties of a system cannot both be observed to any arbitrary precision- clocking it’s motion and placement- and locked down specifically. Put simply, the more precisely one property is known, the less accurately the other can be measured. What’s most important here is that this imprecision does not depend on the skills of the observer or the accuracy of the measuring instrument; it is an inherent attribute of Nature itself. The end would exist “in a beginning when ____ created (Elohim).”
This interpretation also falls in line with Moshes desire to leave the name for Godhead unspoken because it’s beyond our ability to grasp. It would also state God separated His Ultimate Unity and stepped from the formless void in order to create the plurality that would give creatures the ability to know good and evil. Otherwise, every created being that exists inside the continuum would be intertwined with a knowing because knowing implies existence in a whole. We don’t usually experience that depth.
All the opening lines of the Torah really seem to say is ‘answer the riddle and unlock my mystery.’ In a beginning of what? “(He) created, God (did)” Does this imply that we are to take the opening from a grammar standpoint? We could say this first sentence shouldn’t be read as a complete sentence where “a beginning of God creating (something)” is an independent clause and derive that it’s dependent on a later clause but which one? I mean, we don’t see a truly independent clause used until verse 2 or 3, depending on which scholar you ask, so what are we supposed to make of the opening three words?
What doesn’t make any sense in the temporal world makes perfect sense spiritually. Our world may have a beginning, but its a beginning that’s never stopped beginning. What appears to be a grammatical error is actually implying that creation doesn’t exist in a way we can conceive of. God is beyond our understanding and attempting to describe God would have been unspeakable to Moshe. So he gave us a puzzle that points to the mystery.
Creation exists outside of our concept of time while existing in all time simultaneously. It’s a paradox that reflects Yeshua’s sentiments when He said “blessed is the one who stands at rest in the beginning.” On the 7th day He rested, and all polarity/paradoxes were reconciled back into the Infinite Union of the One- the Dweller in Eternity.
For laughs, ask a member of the scientific community to explain how the past, present, and future relate to matter in motion. You’ll receive an answer eerily similar to the opening line of Genesis.
In a Beginning when ___ Created (EloHim) HE ???
Put the mathematical model over the mystical one and tell me what you see?
Is it a face hovering over the waters?
Put Spirit in motion and monitor its matter then.
This is how we rock as a species. We strive to understand Wisdom.