Re: How to encourage a former creationist to persevere in faith

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri Aug 19 2005 - 19:39:24 EDT

Rich wrote:
 
>Genesis is mostly if not entirely allegory and it might be
counterproductive to call allegory a condescending category.
 
Of course, allegory requires interpretation by someone who purports to
know the imbedded meanings that the great unwashed cannot possibly know.
Naturally, you are one of those gifted interpreters. But just so we can
be sure that one has the "gift," what credentials should we look for?
By what yardstick can we test allegorical interpretations?
 
Here is a brief excerpt by renowned interpreter, Charles Fillmore, who
wrote Mysteries of Genesis:
 
The Garden of Eden represents a region of being in which are
provided all primal ideas for the production of the beautiful. As
described in Genesis it represents allegorically the elemental
life and intelligence placed at the disposal of man, through which
he is to evolve a soul and body.
 
The Garden of Eden also represents allegorically the elemental
forces named by scientists as composing the invisible, etheric
universe that Jesus referred to as the 'kingdom of the heavens'
and 'Paradise.' It also comprehends the activity of those forces
in man's soul and body that, when quickened and regenerated,
make him a master of all creation. 'The kingdom of God is within
you.' 'East' represents the within as 'west' represents the without.
 
Does that clarify the narrative? We might have thought the Garden of
Eden was a place, and that east and west were compass points. The wise
men who proceeded westward to find the newborn babe in Bethlehem were
journeying "without" - without direction, perhaps.
 
The ground out of which Adam was formed "represents formed substance:
ideas of Truth of which man is conscious," according to Fillmore. What
about the trees of the Garden of Eden?
 
The 'tree' is the substance that connects mind and body, earth
and heaven, represented physically by the nerves. The 'tree that
is pleasant to the sight' represents the pleasure derived from
ascending and descending currents of life over the nerves.
 
The substance of spiritual thought is the 'food' that is good. The
'tree of life also in the midst of the garden' represents the
absolute-life principle established in man's consciousness by
Divine Mind, the very center of his being. The roots of the
'tree of life' are centered in the solar-plexus region, and they
are symbolized in the physical organism by the nerves of that
plexus.
 
The 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' represents
the sympathetic nervous system whose fruit is sensation.
When man controls his feelings and emotions his sensations
are harmonized and all his functions are supplied with nerve
energy. But when man gives way to the pleasure sensation
he consumes or 'eats' of that energy and robs his body of its
essential nerve food. Thus excessive sense pleasure and the
pain that follows are designated as 'good and evil.'
 
"Solar-plexus"? "Nerve food"? Perhaps we need not belabor what is
painfully obvious, but here is the point. Relegating Scripture to the
whims of allegorical interpretation is to give carte blanche to anyone
who claims to be the interpreter. What are the ground rules for this
free-wheeling spiritualizing? Who has the right interpretation? Whose
explanation would be suspect?
 
Essentially, allegorical interpretations are completely untestable.
Remember, we have real scientists reading this stuff.
 
~Dick Fischer~ Genesis Proclaimed Association
Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History
www.genesisproclaimed.org
 
Received on Fri Aug 19 19:41:25 2005

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