It is interesting that this final verse of the Bahir concludes with a discussion of the Other as described in the previous commentary. This is of course a study that cannot have any end. Our meditations continue and yet here we find out what is most important of all. Let’s see what develops.
Bahir Verse 200. His disciples asked: Tell us how this took place. He replied: The wicked Samael made a bond with all the host on high against his Master. This was because the Blessed Holy One said [regarding man] (Genesis 1:26), "And let him rule over the fish of the sea and the flying things of heaven." [Samael] said, "How can we cause him to sin and be exiled from before God?" He descended with all his host, and sought a suitable companion on earth. He finally found the serpent, which looked like a camel, and he rode on it. He then went to the woman and said to her (Genesis 3:1), "Did God also say, from all the trees of the garden [you shall not eat]?" [He said, "I know that He did not forbid all the trees,] but I will seek more - I will add in order that she should subtract." She replied, "He did not stop us from anything besides" (Genesis 3:2) "the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden. God said, 'Do not eat from it and do not touch it, lest you die.'" She added two things. She said, "from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden," while [God] had only said (Genesis 2:17), "from the Tree of Knowledge." She also said, "do not touch it lest you die," [while God had only spoken of eating it]. What did Samael do? He went and touched the tree. The tree cried out and said, "Wicked one, do not touch me!" It is thus written (Psalm 36:12), "Let not a foot of pride overtake me, and let not the hand of the wicked move me. There have the workers of iniquity fallen - they are thrust down, they cannot rise." He then said to the woman, "See, I touched the tree and I did not die. You can also touch it and not die." The woman went and touched the tree. She saw the Angel of Death approaching her and said, "Woe is to me. Now I will die and the Blessed Holy One will make another woman and give her to Adam. I will therefore cause him to eat with me. If we die, we will both die, and if we live, we will both live." She took the fruit of the tree and ate it, and she also gave some to her husband. Their eyes opened and their teeth were set on edge. He said, "What is this that you have given me to eat? Just as my teeth were set on edge, so will the teeth of all [future] generations be set on edge." [God then] sat down in true judgement, as it is written (Psalm 9:5), "[You have upheld my cause, You have sat on the throne as a] righteous Judge." He called to Adam and said "Why do you flee from Me?" [Adam] replied (Genesis 3:10), " 'I heard Your voice in the garden' - and my bones trembled. 'I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid.' I was naked of works, I was naked of commandments, and I was naked of deeds." It is therefore written "because I was naked, and I hid." What was Adam's garment? It was a skin of fingernail. As soon as he ate from the fruit of the tree, this skin of fingernail was removed from him, and he saw himself naked. It is thus written (Genesis 3:11), "Who told you that you were naked? [Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from it?]" Adam said to the Blessed Holy One, "Master of all worlds: When I was alone, did I ever sin before You? But the woman that You placed with me enticed me from your word." It is thus written (Gensis 3:12), "The woman that you placed with me [gave it to me, and I ate]." The Blessed Holy One said to her, "Is it not enough that you sinned? But you also caused Adam to sin." She replied to Him, "Master of all worlds: The serpent enticed me to sin before You." [God] took the three of them, and decreed upon them a sentence of nine curses and death. He then cast the wicked Samael and his group from their holy place in heaven. He cut of the feet of the serpent and cursed it more than all the other animals and beasts of the field. He also decreed that it must shed its skin every seven years. Samael was punished and made the guardian angel over the wicked Esau. In the Future, when God uproots the Kingdom of Edom, he will lower him first. It is thus written (Isaiah 24:21), "God will punish the host of heights of high." This statement, death and punishment all came because she added to the commandment of the Blessed Holy One. Regarding this it is said, "Whoever increases diminishes."
Commentary: First of all ‘Samael made a bond with all the host on high against his Master.’ Samael represents the idea that there may be anything separate from the unity of Creation. In essence it is the thought of separation where no separation may possibly exist. Call it the dream then of separation. The hosts are all of those reasons why we think that we are separate from the unity of Creation. The reason given here is because ‘man was given rulership over the fish of the sea and the flying things in heaven.’ What we are saying here is that man gets to choose his thoughts symbolized by the fish in the sea and man also gets to align and choose his thoughts from the highest of all aspirations; those thoughts which emanate from the fount of holiness itself which ties in with the flying things of heaven.
Next the serpent descends with his host and finds a suitable host. Do not read a specific woman in Eve but rather think about the creative principle that accepts the seed of the Creator. This Creative principle is well established in Eve as first mother or representative of the earth through which all that is may come to be. The error seems to occur because of a lack of discrimination; the same error that occurs when we take negative thoughts to heart and make them our own resulting in experiences that are negative in nature. What is claimed here is that Eve accepted or became a part of was the possibility of chaos or death through the adherence to negativity that the Serpent as representative of negative thinking presents to her or as in the previous verse’s example has intercourse with her. As a result of this Eve embodies the ideas of negativity by tasting of the fruit of karma. Eve now sees the results of her actions but because she has not attached herself first to the Tree of Life her ability to recover from such actions is limited. Therefore Eve engages Adam in this drama in order to provide ironically a way out of the dilemma of negative karma. Disregard the midrash about the Tree crying out above it is a blind leading you away from the central issue.
When Eve offers Adam the fruit it is because she experiences the wonders of wisdom and wants to share it with Adam. This is the natural dynamic of how Creator and Creation work together in a spiral of inspiration, understanding and fulfillment. What we see above that comes next is the antithesis of Creation and Creator. It gives us the thought forms that have resulted in countless misinterpretations of these particular verses. Here we are moving along with a smooth flow of give and take and let there be and there was when this serpent comes along. The serpent is an obvious invention of the lesser mind of man exhibiting the lesser qualities of men such as guilt, projection, punishment and sin. This is a far cry from the omnipotent Creator who has called the entire play of being into manifest existence. No we have definitely taken a left turn here into the wilderness of doubt where guilt and manipulation are the watchwords of the inhabitants here. Forget about the free will of Eve and Adam. Nowhere in the text does it mention that Elohim or YHVH Elohim created, formed or made man with free will. Man was made into the image of a soul that was breathed into life and then planted there in the garden. The entire incident that occurs after G-d questions Adam and Eve is a classic example of projection. Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent and then all three are punished. Where is the lesson here for all of us? There must be thread that can indeed redeem this tale from its lowly desserts.
The lesson here is this. Both Creator and Creation are within each of us. When we reach upwards in mind initiating our connection with the Creator we are beginning a process exactly like that described in the opening lines of Bereshis. When we reach up it is Elohim choosing out of the darkness of the deep the light of Creation. We choose what we want to experience. As we choose our experiences they grow in their reflection to what we have chosen. Eventually or immediately they become in the image of their maker, which is the Elohim or Creator-Creation paradigm living inside of us. Out of this image then flow the events of our lives. What is the glitch here then with this serpent? It is the interruption of the divine connection in order to pursue a side track. Man is meant to penetrate the depths of knowledge. His very nature calls out for this from the moment he is born. What this serpent incident illustrates is man’s own doubt about the Creator-Creation that reside within him Because of this doubt man is led into all kinds of dead ends that may all have been avoided if he followed the instructions of the initial voice that speaks to him in the Garden. This voice of YHVH Elohim however sets up the entire program of events including the final act of punishments that are issued. It isn’t man or woman who has strayed from the Garden per se it is our conception of holiness that becomes compromised via the agency of the Serpent which is simply the side trip taken away from our heart’s desire and towards something that most definitely does not resonate inside of us. The truth comes through here somewhat unexpectedly. Man is not guilty at all. It is the accuser known as the serpent that introduces the idea of separation but this accuser cannot be viewed apart from YHVH Elohim because it turns out to be YHVH Elohim, LORD G-d that prosecutes man, woman and the serpent and then carries out the sentence as well. With every question that YHVH Elohim asks the man or the woman He instills even more doubt until filled with doubt they are subject to every punishment the LORD G-d would send upon them. There can be only one way out of this doom and that is to reestablish the connection between Creator and Creation within the mind of man. In this way the accuser never get to rise up and become LORD G-d issuing punishments and yes taking away man’s free will. Man’s free will is to be made in the image of Elohim in perfection seeing the thoughts of his making in the forms of his experience. There isn’t any concept or doubt that has the power to dominate the mind of man unless he allows it to occur. G-d accuses the woman because she initiates the act at the serpents urging. Woman or Eve represents Creation. Creation takes on the forms of the Creator. LORD G-d might very well punish the bread for rising or the grass for growing. No we have to understand that LORD G-d or YHVH Elohim represents a level of divinity that rules only when man opts out of the picture. You see what happened was this. Man is made in the image of Elohim which imbues him with all that is Elohim meaning Creation and Creator all rolled into one. Doubt comes along for whatever reasons and man loses that innate connection with holiness. Instead of ascribing all of his (man’s) actions to his own thinking he projects his mistakes on a living G-d taking his own power of redemption and passing it along to G-d in order that he may now blame
G-d so to speak for his problems as in thy will be done. Lifetimes are spent where individuals appear from time to time to let us know about our personal responsibility in building the Garden and then these personalities fade away leaving only the barest traces of their wisdom behind to decipher beyond the reaches of time.
Okay what is the end game in this time of beginning when things appear to go wrong. We do admittedly have a complex problem simply because of the various levels of divinity we are shown. First there is Elohim and then YHVH Elohim. Elohim is the unity of Creator and Creation rolled into one. YHVH Elohim turns out to be something else because as soon as man is on the scene this combination of YHVH Elohim appears. This gives us a clue to both the problem and the solution. What man may conceive he will encounter. The problem is in the conception. The voice of YHVH Elohim is outside of man who tries to hide from this voice. This is the concept that there could ever possibly be anything outside or other to our experience. This concept is separation. It is the separation of G-d and man as distinct units with man then becoming subservient to
G-d. It is a misreading of the truth of what is really happening in the universe. The cure for this misconception is to realize that there is nothing outside of us. Creator and Creation reside within. Everything that we conceive of across the board is exactly the way we are going to experience the world. If we believe there are outside forces operating either in our behalf or against us then that is how our experiences will be reflected to us. As long as we believe in the separation of Creator and Creation then we will never be able to unify within ourselves these ancient concepts of being. If we on the other hand take responsibility for our thoughts and actions within and realize that there is nothing outside of ourselves then by changing our minds we can not only make a difference in our own lives but we will see that difference reflected in the lives of those around us. Of course this is assuming that we intend to work positively on our growth along the lines of unifying both Creator and Creation within.
This verse really then is about what to do about negative thinking as it is interfering with your own experience of those thoughts you hold highest such as what you would like to your life to be about. The negative thoughts can be cut off as easily as YHVH Elohim cuts off the feet of the serpent. The punishments then that are meted to Adam and Eve may be seen as making it increasingly more difficult for these negative thoughts to arise in our consciousness casting them below us in order to rise above their influences. This is the key to every connection that we make on high. The primary focus is our highest good and that good is represented then by the Unity of Creator and Creation which cannot be a cause for separation in our thoughts or in the way we expect our lives to be experienced.
The Bahir represents another way of reaching through Torah to discover what our minds are inventing. It goes past the midrashim that either precede or follow its verses. It is a tool for connection with our highest awareness. When we may use of this tool every line of Torah becomes illuminated in a new fashion. The truth is that if I were to start over from verse one of these selections I would most likely come up with more insights. This is because it is the very nature of consciousness to continuously discover itself in the light of its current reflections. I am not going to do this because there are other areas of discovery awaiting my adventurer within just as for you there are other ways of finding out who you are and what your relationship to Torah and life is all about. Until we meet again then. Many blessings.