Bishop John Shelby Spong ~ June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021
Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed! Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ and at St. Paul’s, Richmond, VA. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available

Adam and Eve – A New Vision: Part 3


The Generations of Adam and Eve

The idea of Adam and Eve as representing consciousness and unconsciousness, as discussed in the Adam and Eve essays Part 1 and 2, was not neglected in later writings of the Bible. It was repeated again and again. For example, in the “begetting” chapters of Genesis we see an interesting pattern. It’s written that many sons and daughters were begotten but only certain ones are mentioned by name.(Gen. 4:17-5:32) This has metaphorical meaning and relates to the three states of being, the three types of consciousness, and reincarnation. The names and the numbers in these “begetting” chapters are a treasure house of Cabalistic information but is beyond the scope of this essay and my capabilities.

First of all we have to address the issue of whether Adam and Eve were the only ones in existence at that time. Eve had three sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth. Abel was murdered by Cain and Seth was born after that. Cain and Seth had wives even though no other people were mentioned in the story. I don’t think they married their sisters, but even sisters were not mentioned. How do literalists deal with this issue? They ignore it, or, they look solemn and say, “It’s not for us to know”.  Does the set of some movie scene encapsulate the entire state of the world? There’s a lot more going on, as we shall see.

As most people know, inbreeding results in deleterious health consequences in the offspring. The human race would not have gotten very far if it was one big incestuous family. This situation is consistent with the idea that Adam and Eve are allegorical and point to a higher truth, a higher reality.

The  conscious is the realm of the normal waking state, the ego, and the body awareness. This is the fourth dimensional realm of matter and time and is slower than the speed of light. It comprises one to five percent of brain activity according to McGilchrist. This small percentage of mind is what Cain represents, in my interpretation.

In contrast, the realm of the collective unconscious expounded upon by Carl Jung is the realm equal to the speed of light. This is represented by Abel, Eve’s second son who represents our soul and the unconscious. This realm exists at the speed of light because it is light as electromagnetic waves generated by the physical body.

The superconcious is the connection we have with the Holoverse and is the realm of the spirit and correlates with the higher dimensional timeless realms beyond our four dimensional space time continuum. Seth refers to this realm metaphorically, in my opinion. Throughout the Old Testament other stories depict these same relationships in various versions such as Esau and Jacob, Samson, and others.

As metaphorically expressed in the story of Cain and Abel, the unconsciousness is easily repressed. The ego is much stronger in some aspects than the unconsciousness and the unconsciousness can be slain while “in the field”.  It is interesting that the field mentioned in Genesis and the Cain and Abel story was an agricultural one but corresponds by name with the electromagnetic field as discussed concerning the snake in the previous essays.

We imagine the Garden of Eden as some lush place which, apparently, had a lot of snakes. How big was it, the garden, that is? Apparently not very big because Cain and Able seemed to have spent a lot of their time in a “field” although we can’t say for sure. There’s not enough information to extrapolate although the “field” was large enough to grow vegetables and raise sheep. Of course, we don’t know if it was sheep or not. The story says Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof. (Gen 4:4) There are flocks of birds and flocks of sheep but when one wants to move sheep, one “herds” them. Why aren’t multiple sheep called “herds” like everything else with four feet? This may seem like splitting hooves, but every good story has its hints and clues and one has to search for them. It is good for the health of our brain to figure it out and is better than cross-word puzzles.

Even though the unconsciousness is easily repressed, “Its blood cries vengeance from the ground”.  (Gen 4:10) This is another example of repressed unconsciousness coming back and biting us. This is the result of the enmity between the woman and the snake as discussed in Gen 3:15 and is all socially induced. The snake energy is what keeps us all alive (e.g kundalini) but repression of the unconscious always stirs up the anger of snake.

Cain’s Rage Leads to His Heart’s fulfillment

So, Cain slays his brother Abel because his offering was rejected by God and Abel’s offering was accepted. This is the story we’ve all heard our entire life and assumed it was true. Yet, upon reflection, it is a very perplexing conundrum and paradox. One can see why Cain was filled with rage. Wonder why? Look at the context. For one thing, Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden with the express purpose of tilling the ground and growing food outside the Garden where there were thistles and thorns. Cain was the first child of the excommunicated Adam and and Eve and he followed his father’s footsteps and became a farmer; a tiller of the ground. (Gen 4:2) No doubt he heard his father’s stories about the importance of growing food in order to fulfill their destiny.

Naturally, Cain was happy to present his vegetables as a sign that he was fulfilling his father’s fate to grow vegetables according to God’s demands and punishment. Why else would he do that? He was not an idiot or evil, at least, I give him that much credit. He was expecting complete approval and exoneration from God. Yet, he was rejected. What is one to do when everything one does becomes condemned as evil by the same powers that demanded it in the first place? He went into a rage as anyone in his situation would do. Cain felt betrayed by God and by his definition, he was. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, we all go into a rage when we think we have been betrayed by God because of our misunderstanding of God!

Abel, Adam’s second son, had become a “keeper of flocks” even though such an agricultural pursuit was not even mentioned in the Adam and Eve story. Where did this come from?  Even weirder, Abel had the morbid idea of killing an innocent animal. There was never any discussion of animal sacrifice previously in Genesis. They were vegetarians and only allowed to eat plants. It was not until after the flood that they were even allowed to eat meat. (Gen 9:3) Where did Abel even get the idea of animal sacrifice? Were there discussions and whispering around the camp fires as they roasted their vegetables such as: “You know what I really want to eat?” Noah also killed animals and burnt them. Where did all this come from since it is not recorded anywhere in the first few chapters of Genesis? By Abraham’s time God requested burnt offerings. (Gen 16:9)

To understand this story one has to extrapolate but still be in the context of the story. Well, I confess that I love the smell of burning flesh; hamburgers, ribs, steaks, all that stuff. Undoubtedly, there were many people in the world at that time who had discovered the wonders of barbecue. Is the whole burnt offering thing a way to religionize barbecue? In modern terms this seems very silly but in ancient times when food was scarce and cooked food even scarcer, it makes perfect sense. Cooked meat was, indeed, a divine meal, the “Flesh of God”. Reading the entire Old Testament, I’m thinking of burger stands but that’s just me. This may sound stupid but the fact is learning to use fire to cook meat was one of the most important things in human evolution, and it is very well understood that the best way to bring people together and unite them is to put on a good “feed”.

A good example of this is when Abraham rescued his brother Lot who had, along with his entire family and tribe, been kidnapped by some rogue kings. (Gen:14) To celebrate, someone named Melchezidec brought forth bread and wine. (Gen 14:18) That’s right, bread and wine used to celebrate success has a long history. What better way to celebrate ones mortal state than to share in the abundance of the vine and the fruit of the Earth which made the mortal body possible in the first place.

One concept that might be considered along these lines is the issue of life and death. Abel understood more about life and death than Cain did. No one can raise any kind of animal and not be confronted with death. Animals are killed by predators of all kinds. Babies die in birth and sometimes their own mothers kill them and frequently male animals are out to kill babies too. It’s complicated. Yet, when dealing with all these issues one can become aware of the cycles of life.

There is one “moral of the story” that makes sense here. God is not interested in “production” as Cain thought (i.e. making lots of vegetables). God is interested in “learning, understanding, and compassion” as in Abel’s  case. Abel understood the aspect of life for life and this involves death and darkness. Abel understood that one thing lives only because something else has to die. This concept forms the entire basis of “atonement theology”, at least, as it should be taught. Something has to die in order for something else to be able to live. It’s that simple. This is a fundamental principle that is usually ignored.

One doesn’t think much about ripping the brain out of a head of lettuce. It’s another thing to look an animal in the eye and then cut off its head while it’s still looking back at you. Then one has to rip off the skin and disarticulate the body parts and explore the inner organs and see what they’re good for. This may sound strange but this is real evolution. Of all the things human do that is really unique is dissect bodies of all kinds of things and then study them trying to figure out how they work. This approach of science can be reductionist but, that’s okay in my opinion because reductionism is, ultimately, nonreductionist.

One may wonder why God isn’t all “tea and kittens?” This is exactly what the fundamentalists teach. Then they say, as they chomp on their steak, all the other stuff like guts and blood and war is the result of the fall of Adam and the heretics that try to present a different story.  This “different story”, that many call heresy, all goes to show that there was a whole lot more going on than mere literalist words can convey and is the reason that metaphor is so important.

God said to Cain to console him, “if you do well, won’t you also be accepted?”. (Gen 4:7) This must have heaped coals upon coals to Cain’s anger because he thought he was doing well. That weirdo brother of his messing with those creepy animals and killing them must have disgusted Cain who was a faithful vegetarian as had been required by God, or so he told himself. For crying out loud, what does it mean to “do well”? How many billions of people think they’re doing well, as directed by the church, and end up being inquisitioners, crusaders, or whatever?

This does bring up an interesting point, that point being, “psychological repression”. This is a major subject of concern. Cain’s anger wasn’t just a minor tantrum, it was a murderous rage. Such things happen only when an immense amount of emotion are invested in something. Such things frequently occur in love triangles and other emotionally and highly charged things. But, a murderous rage over vegetables?

Whenever someone goes into a blustery, self-righteous rage over relatively minor things, it is a sign of repressed anger and self-imposed guilt or guilt in general. Corrupt, delusional, crooked politicians do it all the time. They huff and puff and deny all wrong doing. Adam and Eve did it as discussed in previous essays. Cain thought he was doing “well” but God did not seem to think so. This was not the voice of a whip-snapping, task-master God. It was more like, “Come on man, you know what I’m talking about.”

If we could put Cain on the couch, what would he admit to be repressing? Cain really wanted to go to the city and hang out with hippies and artists. Even though he forced himself to grow those vegetables to prove his righteousness, he actually hated those damn things. He hated all aspects of agriculture. This is why, when God blew his cover, he ran off in a rage and did exactly that. He ran off  East of Eden to the land of Nod (no apparent translation) which was populated by artists and musicians (Gen 4:16-22). Cain ended up fulfilling his own personal dreams and fantasies. God had set him free! God does this to everyone. We all get what we really want. Forget the religious clap-trap.

Unfortunately, he murdered his own brother in the process.This is what happens with repression. We force ourself to do something we don’t really want to to do, but do it out of a sense of religious duty and then expect God to come around and reward us with angel dust or something because we feel we deserve it. This is the basis of religious fanaticism regardless of sect, denomination, or religion.

In my opinion, this is exactly what the parable of the householder in Mt 20: 1-16 is about. In the story, a vineyard owner agreed to pay workers a certain price at the beginning of the day which they accepted. Throughout the day the owner payed the same amount to workers hired later in the day. Even workers hired at almost the end of the day were payed the same as the ones hired at the beginning of the day. When they all got payed, the early hires got angry because they expected more. But the owner of the vineyard said (somewhat paraphrased), “What’s the problem? I gave you what you agreed to. Don’t tell me how to run my business.” We all have our own secret expectations from the “great” things we do for God.

Our limited definition, or concept, of God betrays us all the time. Of all the things the Bible teaches more than anything else is the hazard of trusting God. Surprised? There is a saying: “If you see the Buddha, kill him!”. This is not a saying from Texas (or in the Bible). It’s a Buddhist saying. Things always change. Have no expectations. Everything flip-flops. God is not a politician. God is reality and reality is that every expression in physical domain is a dipole and flip-flops so existence can exist. If one thinks they see the Buddha (or God) as a consistent thing, then one has been deluded. Buddha figured this out a long time ago. Real faith consist of trusting a God we know we can’t understand. Faith in a God we think we have figured out and fits our agenda is a delusion. This is the delusion Richard Dawkins refers to.

The equivalent of this Buddhist concept is taught in Exodus 33:18-23. Moses wanted to see the Lord’s glory but the Lord told Moses that no one can see his face and live. The only thing a person can see is his “back parts”. No one can know what God is thinking. All we can see is what has actually happened. This has amazing correlations to quantum mechanics but that will have to wait.

Whenever we think we have God figured out–watch out, we’re about to get burned. This is not because of the jealousy and fury of God as anthropomorphized in the Old Testament. Nature is shifty and can turn on a dime and smack you. This does not mean that Nature and God are evil. Just the opposite. Nature, God, and Mom are trying to teach us to survive as the crucified Christ reiterates. He was not treated so well in the world of  human culture and society which is focused on materialism and maya.

For punishment, Cain faces further separation from his source which is the ground where he grew his vegetables. This must have been heart wrenching (or heart releasing) for Cain. I personally appreciate and understand people that are “Earthy” and work in the plant and vegetable world. Cain was also cut off from the face of God whose countenance he still enjoyed at some level as he ran off somewhere east of Eden to find his real desire.

When we engage in violence and greed we repress the unconsciousness and lose track of the connections that exists in reality. We dig ourself into a deeper and darker hole. Eventually the end result is absolute neurosis, psychoses, dissociation, cognitive dissonance which is the “outer darkness” of the Bible. Punishment is really what we do to ourself. God keeps saying, “don’t do that!” and we keep doing that and we suffer the consequences.

Time and time again the world has been subjected to the curse of world dominators and kleptocrats.. These are people who can’t be happy even if they have luxuriant riches. They just have to make other people’s lives miserable and wreak absolute destruction. These are the “Cains” of the world. They think what God respects is the work of their own hands but when reality sets in, they go berserk. They think they have God all figured out and their dogma fits in a nice little box. When they get called on their delusion they yell, “Crucify him!”

All psychotic tyrants and psychopathic presidents commit mass national murder and suicide and use religion in the process. Yet, there is a spiritual path accessible by us if we can break through all our evolutionary past. Our evolutionary past as a reptile with a cortex certainly seems to be headed toward extinction as most other species have suffered.

Cain was not looking for his evolutionary path. In the story, Cain runs off and builds a civilization based on violence, his hearts real desire. This is what happens when our idea of God betrays us no matter how sound the belief may have been. Even though the unconsciousness is repressed because of the mental pain, an individual can survive. Even though they live almost exclusively in the waking state consciousness and their unconsciousness has been slain in the field (repressed) they can do fine for a while. Good drugs help. Lots of distractions like wreaking havoc on other people are also very helpful. This explains why psychopaths just can’t be happy unless they are making more and more people miserable. Misery loves company. This is the same concept of the rebellious Lucifer dragging down a third of the angels into the abyss of damnation. Misery loves company so they say and they are correct!

The same civilization that Cain built is the one that God finds necessary to destroy with a flood. The several generations of Cain are mentioned in the “begetting” chapters. It culminates in the arrogance of Lamech who boasts about killing two men and that his punishment from God would even be greater than that of Cain’s. This is typical of narcissistic, bombastic, boasting based on a psychosis. Sometimes these people become presidents resulting in the destruction of entire civilizations. Cain’s genealogy ended with the flood. That says something.

A complicating factor is that the name “Lamech” is used both as the bombastic associate of Cain as well as the father of Noah but they are different people. That would be another thirty pages if only I knew what it meant.

Allegorically, Cain’s repressed unconsciousness broke forth as a flood. In dream and alchemy symbology, water represents the unconsciousness mind. The flood story is metaphorical of a nervous breakdown, as well as social breakdown and the resulting destruction heaped on a society by psychopathic leaders. Such nervous breakdowns may lead to a catharsis and a new insight of truth. The creativity of nature requires extinction events, at least, that’s the way it has worked on this planet. This is where we are now, another extinction event. Hope some of us survive it!

Seth is the third son mentioned by name even though Adam and Eve later had lots of kids according to the begetting chapters. The interesting thing about Seth’s genealogy is that it is the only one that survives the flood. This is a reference, allegorically, to the perpetuity of the timeless state of multidimensional reality. For lack of a better term this is the realm of spirit. It is also significant that when Seth starting begetting children it is said that “and then men began to call on the name of the Lord”. (Gen 4:26) This represents awareness of multiple levels of consciousness, in my opinion.

The corollary is that the story of Noah is also about reincarnation. Noah descended from the line of Seth. This is an allegorical allusion to the timeless state of spirit. The flood came and wiped out the civilization of Cain. If Cain is symbolic of self-consciousness and the physical body, then the killing flood is allegorical of physical death but the line of Seth lives on allegorically portraying the life of the spirit after death.

The Three Sons of Noah

After the flood, Noah needed to “tap out” and relax so he drank wine and passed out naked in his tent. Can you imagine being stuck on a small boat with all the animals in the world and trying to feed them and clean up after them without getting eaten yourself? Give the poor guy a break even if it was an allegory.

His son, Ham, however, came by and saw this and mocked his father for being naked in his tent. His other two sons, Shem and Japheth came by and covered their father with a blanket even walking backward so they would not see their father naked as a sign of respect. (Gen 9:18-37) When Noah woke up and learned what had happened he pronounced a curse upon Ham for his disrespect. This story is what the white, God fearing religionists of North America used to justify the enslavement of African people and destroy the native inhabitants of North America as well as others to this day!

The whole idea is based on the meaning of the name of Ham which means “hot”. Noah, said, “cursed be Ham, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.” (Gen 10:25) There you have it! This is how white people used the Bible to justify slavery of people of a different skin color even though the verse says “brethren”. I grant you that this could be a prophetic statement of the abuse of people of color by Europeans but the Europeans took it as permission and authorization to enslave African people, and others. This is similar to the idea that we have a right to destroy nature because the Bible says so, when it does not say any such thing.

Ham mocking his father’s nakedness and drunkenness could itself be interpreted as a prophecy. You think black people don’t see the naked and drunken, self-righteous hypocrisy of racist white people? I can assure you they do and they have been punished for it for eons.

Shem went on to represent the Semitic people and Japheth went on to represent the rest of the Caucasians in Europe according to most Bible scholars. The begetting chapter of Noah is chapter 10 of Genesis. By this we have to realize that the Bible is a very “Western” egocentric document. The other half of the world consisting of Asians was not acknowledged, as far as I am aware.

The main point I would like to make is that this story is consistent with the “Out of Africa” theory of human evolution. Hominids evolved in Africa, became more developed and spread throughout the planet. The ones that wondered north got stuck in an ice age and lost their skin pigment so they could more easily manufacture vitamin D in their skin due to less sunlight at high latitudes. They have been angry ever since. They got really hungry, though, and started killing their own kind for food (disclosure: this is speculation until refuted or not). The net result has been that Europeans have been slaughtering each other for tens of thousand of years. In the last two thousand years alone, Europeans have murdered each other over religion, kings and power more than the world combined. This murderous mindset has spread through out the world and here we are now in the midst of the sixth extinction.

The fact is humans of all “races” are more closely genetically related to each other than any other animal species. This is the result of the fact that humans were almost completely wiped out about 10,000 years ago in the Younger Dryas and there were not very many survivors (Cochran, Hancock). Scientifically, there is no genetic basis of “race”.

It’s also interesting to note that the racists who have used Ham as justification for superiority of white people have not done the back calculation. That calculation being that black people and white people and red people and yellow people came from the same ancestor, that being Noah. Noah, allegorically speaking, was the common ancestor of all the different “races” of humans. We are  all brothers and sisters. We all have the same source!

In Revelation 7:9 it is written,  “After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.” There is no supreme race and their is no supreme religion. We all reap what we sow. It is a great big garden after all!


Cochran, Gregory; The 10,000 Year Explosion–How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution; Basic Books; 2000.

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. New York. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

Hancock, Graham, Magicians of the Gods; Thomas Dunne Books; 2015.

Jung, C.G.; Modern man in Search of a Soul; Broadway House, 1934.

McGilchrist, Iain; The Master and His Emissary; The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World; Yale Books; 2009.

Review & Commentary