Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Genesis Chapter 1 (V.1 to 31)

Let's dive right in.

Quote: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

So the first line has god creating two things. But in the next line, it is stated that the earth (that god just created) is formless. So god SORT of created. . . something. But it's formless. And empty. Oh, yeah, and dark. Reeeeally DARK. But not empty. Cause god was there. Check.

Then he makes light. And boy is it good. He likes it. But he has to separate it from the darkness. Because the darkness and the light are always passing notes.

Quote: "And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day."

I have a problem with this sentence (and the others that are patterned after it). Because days, for humans, start with the MORNING and not the EVENING. Or maybe god was on the 24 hour clock, and the 'evening' refers to hour zero, which would TECHNICALLY be morning. . . And maybe not, maybe our whole calendar is wrong. It would have to be if we celebrate the sabbath on sunday, which is supposed to be the 7th day--but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Then god creates water. But he has to separate the water above from below. Thereby making heaven. . . which. . . he already made in the first line. He wanted to make damn sure it was there, I suppose, because that's where people would always look when invoking his name.

Then god put all the water in one place. And said "STAY!" And when that happened, there was dry ground. And he names the water 'seas' and the dry ground 'land.'

No offense, but this first part of Genesis always seemed rather ridiculous to me. But it gives you real insight into the way ancient peoples thought. Writing and reading and literature was a sacred thing, and words. . . words were paramount. So not only is Genesis establishing that this particular god made everything, the authors are also seeking to establish that the words they use for things were first uttered by this divine being. That's powerful stuff.

Then god invented angiosperms. Sorry, my science background is rearing its ugly head. God said that the 'land' he'd just made up should have these living organisms on it that derive nutrients from the soil through varying degrees of something called capillary action, and that they should bear fruit with seeds (instead of having coitus with each other, which would be pretty creepy). And boy, was THAT thing he just did GOOD. He liked it.

And on the fourth day, god decided to put the sun in the sky because the vegetation he'd created was dying pitifully. Aaaaaah, photosynthesis. But, even though he sets up the sun and the moon, he doesn't name them. And I think that's another clue from our authors, and a very clever one at that. Because there were many who worshipped one or both of these two things AS gods, and the author wanted to portray them as just light sources, lamps, not divine beings. Kind of like "Oh yeah, well my god MADE UP your SUN!! Ppppttthhhhht!" Boy was that ever a good day for god. He really liked what he did there.

The fifth day god made ocean dwellers and sky dwellers. So, fish and birds. And I suppose that includes penguins and flying fish quite neatly. And he BLESSED these creatures. So plants can go to HELL cause critters, they're BLESSED. He told them to be fruitful (but not BEAR fruit, cause that's for the vegetation) so not only were they blessed, they got to have sex. Or maybe THAT was the blessing. . .

And on the sixth day god made things that live on the land and walk about, including livestock and wild animals. This phrase again and again: "each according to its kind." Oh, good. I'd hate for you to get your blueprints mixed up. But he did it right, so he sat back and said, aye-oop, good job, god! But then he wants to go and fuck it all up.

Because this is the day he makes man. And the blueprint for man is himself. But earlier he is described as a 'spirit' upon the deep. So I guess that's what man should be. And he said, Hey, you need to get up and rule these stupid animals I made, they're making a mess.

Quote: "Male and female he created them."

Just like the rest of the animals. No beautiful and meaningful preamble just : people. Then, in my favourite part of this chapter, god GIVES all this earth, the animals and the plants, to man, for man to take care of. This is not only poignant now, I believe it served another purpose then. I think that a lot of the 'pagan' religions of those days believed that people were at the mercy of nature. This book, in the first chapter, says that THIS god elected to have MAN have control over nature. I think it may have stemmed from what could have been a very primeval story about how man settled down and instead of going out to find what nature had decided to grow here and there and picking it, and instead of going out in hunting parties to see what kind of animals nature had around where they were living, they started to grow food on purpose, and keep their animals penned so they could eat them at their leisure. Just a thought I had.

The poignancy I can see this holding now is in a globally ecological way--the environment. If some divine being hands you a planet it made, dammit you'd better take care of it. Do all you can to keep it clean and to keep care of all those plants and animals.

I have to mention that, while the author talks about livestock, god tells man he can eat plants, and that the animals can eat the plants, but makes no mention of the animals eating any other animals, including man. So if you take this literally, so far, I think you should become a vegetarian.

Man was that ever a great sixth day! Give yourself a cookie, god!

3 comments:

Ishie said...

Yer goin' ta Hell!!!!!!

This looks like it's going to be a fantastic blog. God said: "Let there be Millicent!" and it was good, baby.

Millicent said...

Thanks!

Checked out your blog, and think you tell a good story.

I especially liked the Valentine's Day story about arsenic.

Ishie said...

Awww, thank you; that's sweet! I thought about making a heart out of arsenic.

So what kind of cookies does God like? If he's giving himself cookies, does he have to create them? Can God create a cookie so big he can't eat it?