Six Days — Paradise Lost
CHAP. I. – 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.
2. Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the
Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
4. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
5. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and
there was morning-the first day.
6. And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water."
7. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above
it. And it was so.
8. God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning-the second
9. And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground
appear." And it was so.
10. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw
that it was good.
11. Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land
that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.
12. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees
bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13. And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.
14. And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the
night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years,
15. And let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth." And it was so.
16. God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to
govern the night. He also made the stars.
17. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth,
18. To govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it
19. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.
20. And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the Earth
across the expanse of the sky."
21. So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with
which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.
And God saw that it was good.
22. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the
seas, and let the birds increase on the Earth."
23. And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.
24. And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock,
creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was
25. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds,
and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it
26. Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the
fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the
creatures that move along the ground."
27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and
female he created them.
28. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Earth and
subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature
that moves on the ground."
29. Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and
every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30. And to all the beasts of the Earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move
on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And
it was so.
31. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there
was morning-the sixth day.
CHAP. II. — 1. Thus the heavens and the Earth were completed in all their vast array.
2. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he
rested from all his work.
3. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the
work of creating that he had done.
4. This is the account of the heavens and the Earth when they were created. When the LORD
God made the Earth and the heavens -
5. And no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the Earth and no plant of the field had yet
sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the Earth and there was no man to work the
6. But streams came up from the Earth and watered the whole surface of the ground,
7. The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils
the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
2. After the developments explained in the preceding chapters concerning the origin and
constitution of the universe, according to knowledge furnished by science concerning the
material part, and according to Spiritism for the spiritual, it is useful to place beside it the text of the Mosaic Genesis, in order that a comparison may be established, and one may judge by
knowledge. Some supplementary explanation will suffice to make the parts which need special
explanation to be understood.
3. Upon some points there is certainly a remarkable agreement between science and
Moses; but it would be an error to imagine it sufficient to substitute for six days of twenty-four
hours each, six periods of time (duration unknown) in order to find a complete analogy. It
would be no less error to conclude that, save the allegorical sense of a few words, Genesis and
science do not follow each other step by step, and are only a paraphrase of one another.
4. Let us remark at first, in addition to what has been said already (see chap. VII, n° 14),
that the number of the geological periods is not arbitrarily six, since they include more than
twenty-five very characteristic formations. This number marks only the great general phases. It
has been adopted principally to approach to the letter of the biblical text as nearly as possible, at
an epoch when it was believed to be a duty to control science by the Bible. That is why the
authors of the great majority of theories of cosmogony, with a view to making their productions
more easily accepted, have been forced to place themselves in accord with the sacred text.
When science leans upon the experimental method, it feels stronger, and becomes emancipated.
Today it is the Bible which is controlled by science.
On the other hand, exact geology, taking its point of departure only from the formation
of granite rocks, does not include in the number of its periods the primitive state of the Earth. It
does not occupy itself with sun, moon, and stars, nor with that portion of Genesis which belongs
to astronomy. In order to deal fairly with Genesis, it agrees to add a primary period embracing
this order of phenomena, which might be called the astronomical period.
Besides, the deluge period is not considered by all geologists as a distinct period, but as
a transitory fact which has not notably changed the climate state of the globe, neither marked a
new phase in the vegetable or animal species, since, with few exceptions, nearly the same
species have been found to exist before and after the deluge. One can thus make an abstract
without detracting from truth.
5. The following table of comparison, in which is a summary of the phenomena
characterizing each one of the six periods, permits of embracing the whole, and enables one to
decide between the statements of science and the Biblical Genesis:
|1. Astronomical Period. |
Agglomeration of universal cosmic matter upon a point of space
in a nebula which has received birth by the condensation of matter from
diverse points, from the sun, stars, moon, Earth, and all planets. Primitive
fluid and incandescent state of Earth. Dense atmosphere charged with
vapor and volatile matter.
|First Day. |
The heavens and the
|2. Primary Period. |
Hardening of Earth’s surface by cooling process; formation of
granite beds. Atmosphere thick and burning, impenetrable to sun’s rays.
Gradual precipitation of water and solid volatile substances in the air.
Absence of all organic life.
|Second Day. |
Separation of waters
from those above it.
|3. Transition Period. |
The waters cover all the surface of the globe. First deposits of
sediment formed by waters. Humid heat. Sun commences to pierce the
foggy atmosphere. First organized beings of most rudimentary
constitution, — Lichens, mosses, ferns, lycopodes, herbaceous plants.
Colossal vegetation. First marine animals, — zoophyte, polyps,
crustaceans. - Coal deposits.
|Third Day. |
The waters under the
Dry land appears.
The Earth and sea.
|4. Secondary Period. |
Surface of Earth little uneven, waters not very deep, and forming
marshes on Earth. Temperature less burning, purer atmosphere;
considerable calcareous deposits, vegetation less colossal; new species,
woody plants; first trees. Fishes, jelly and shell; turtles, great aquatic and
|Fourth Day. |
|5. Tertiary Period. |
Great uprising of solid crust, formation of continents; retreat of
waters into lower places, formation of seas. Purified atmosphere; present
temperature by solar heat. Gigantic terrestrial animals; vegetables and
animals as at present; birds.
|Fifth Day. |
6. Post-Deluge Period
Alluvial beds. Present vegetables and animals. Man.
|Sixth Day. |
Animals - Man
6. The first fact which is brought to light by the above comparative table is that the
work performed during the six comparative “days” does not correspond in an exact way, as
many believe, to each of the six geological periods. The most remarkable agreement is in the
order of succession of organic beings, which is nearly identical, and in the appearance of man at
the last. Now that is an important concordance.
There is also a coincidence, not in the numerical order of periods, but in the passage
where it is said that on the third day the waters under the firmament were gathered into one
heap, and dry land appeared. It is the acknowledgment of what actually took place in the tertiary
period, when, by the uprising of the solid crust, oceans and continents were formed. It was then
that terrestrial animal first appeared, both according to Moses and geology.
7. When Moses declares that creation was perfected in six days, did he mean days
twenty-four hours long? Or has he used the word in its sense of indeterminate time? The
Hebrew word standing for “day” has this double acceptation: the first hypothesis is the more
probable. The specification of day and night, which is attached to each of these six periods,
gives reason for the supposition that he meant ordinary days. One cannot doubt this, when he
says (verse 5), “God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was
evening, and there was morning - the first day.” The latter can evidently apply only to a day of
twenty-four hours divided by light and darkness. The sense is still more evident (verses 17 to
19), where, in speaking of sun, moon, and stars, “God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the Earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And
God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the fourth day.”
Besides, it is certainly stated that creation was effected in a miraculous manner; and,
since the ancients believed in miracles, they could readily believe that the Earth was formed in a
hundred and forty-four hours, particularly at a time when men were totally ignorant of natural
laws. This belief has been shared by all civilized people, until geology has furnished
documentary evidence in proof of its impossibility.
8. One of the most contested points in Genesis is that of the creation of the sun after light
had appeared. They have sought to explain by means of geologic discoveries, by stating that, at
the time of its first formation, the terrestrial atmosphere, being charged with dense and opaque
vapors, did not allow of the sun’s being visible, though the sun previously existed. This reason
would perhaps be admissible had there been inhabitants to judge of the presence or absence of
the sun. Now, according to Moses, at this epoch there were only plants upon the Earth which
could not grow and multiply without the action of solar heat.
There is evidently an anachronism in the order that Moses assigns to the creation of the
sun; but involuntarily, or otherwise, he has stated facts correctly when declaring that light
preceded the sun.
The sun is not the source of universal light, but a concentration of the luminous element
at one point, otherwise called fluid, which in certain circumstances acquires luminous
properties. This fluid, which is the cause, must necessarily exist prior to the sun, which is its
effect. The sun is a cause for the light which it expands, but is an effect of that which it has
In an obscure chamber a lighted candle is a little sun. What has one accomplished by
lighting the candle? He has developed the illuminating property of the luminous fluid, and has
concentrated this fluid upon one point. The candle is the cause of the light expanded in the
chamber; but, if the luminous principle had not existed before the candle, the latter could not
have been lighted.
It is so with the sun. The error has arisen in the false idea that has long been conceived,
that the entire universe began with the Earth, and it has not been understood how the sun could
be created after light. It is known now, however, that, before our sun and Earth were created,
millions of suns and Earths existed which enjoyed light. The assertion of Moses is, then, exact
in principle; it is only false when it declares that the Earth was created before the sun. The Earth
being subject to the sun in its movement of translation must have been formed after it. That is
something of which Moses was ignorant, since he was ignorant of the law of gravitation.
The same thought is met with in the Genesis of the ancient Persians. In the first chapter of
the Vendedas, Ormuzd, recounting the origin of the world, says, “I created light, which gave
light to the sun, the moon, and the stars” (“Dictionary of Universal Mythology”). The form is
here clearer and more scientific than that in the Pentateuch, and need no commentary.
9. Moses partook evidently of the most primitive beliefs concerning cosmogony. Like
many of his time, he believed in the solidity of the celestial vault, and of superior reservoirs for
water. This thought has been expressed without allegory or ambiguity in this passage (verses 6
and 7): And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from
water. So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water
above it.” And it was so. (See chap. V, “Systems of Ancient and Modern Worlds,” n° 3 to 5).
An ancient belief made the water an element, the generative primitive element. Moses
does not speak of the creation of waters, which seems to have existed previously to the first
creation, according to his theory. “The darkness covered the deep;” i.e.; the depths of space that
the imagination vaguely depicted as dark watery wastes, before the creation of light. That is why the Spirit of God, according to Moses, moved upon the waters. The Earth’s being formed
in the midst of water necessitated its isolation. It was supposed that God made the firmament a
solid vault, separating the waters above from those under the Earth.
In order to comprehend certain parts of Genesis, it is necessary to place ourselves at that
point of view from which we can watch the reflection of the ideas entertained on cosmogony at
10. Since the advancement of the physical sciences and astronomy, such a doctrine
cannot be supported. * Moses, however, attributes these words to God himself; but in doing so
he is guilty of either one of two serious mistakes. Either he was deceived by God in the record
he gave of his work, or this recital is not a divine revelation. The first supposition is
inadmissible. We must therefore conclude that Moses simply gave utterance to his own ideas.
(See chap. I, n° 3)
* Much which is palpably erroneous must be the result of such a belief; but still, in our days, children’s
doubts are lulled to rest as they are told by their instructors that it is all a sacred verity. It is only with fear
and trembling that their teacher will venture to give to these writings a timid interpretation. How can we
wonder that incredulity has at last taken them by storm?
11. Moses is more nearly right when he says that God formed man out of the dust of the
Earth. * Science proves to us, in fact (see chap. X) that the human body is composed of the
elements gathered up in inorganic forms of matter, otherwise called the dust or mud of the
The formation of a woman from one of Adam’s ribs is an allegory, apparently puerile if
we consider only its letter, but profound in its significance. It undertakes to demonstrate that
woman is of the same nature as man, consequently his equal before God, and not a creature
designed to be his slave and treated with disrespect. Being taken out of his side, the image of
equality is very much more startling than though she had been formed separately from the same
dust. This is to say to man that she is his peer and not his servant, and that he must love and
revere her as part of himself.
* The Hebrew word haadam, “man”, which gives us Adam, and the Hebrew word haadama, “earth”, are
from the same root.
12. For uncultured minds, without any apprehension of universal laws, incapable of
embracing the whole and of conceiving of the infinite, this miraculous and instantaneous
creation was essentially calculated to take hold of the imagination. The picture of the universe
created out of nothingness, in a few days, by a single act of creative will, was to them the most
magnificent portrayal of the power of God. What painting, in fact, could be more sublime and
more poetic than these words, illustrative of the divine power, God said: “Let there be light, and
there was light!” Had they been told that God accomplished the creation of the universe by the
gradual and slow working of universal laws, he would have appeared to them far less glorious
and powerful. It was necessary to them that these things should appear marvelous, instead of
being brought about in ordinary ways: otherwise they would have said that God was no more
skillful than men. A scientific and rational theory would have been received by them with
coldness and indifference.
Let us not reject the biblical Genesis; on the contrary, let us study it as an instructive
history of infancy of people. It is an epic rich in allegories, in which we may find hidden
wisdom; it must be commented upon with the aid of such light as reason and science can
supply. Let us prize all its poetic beauties and the spiritual instructions veiled under its allegoric
forms. It must be shown boldly wherein its errors lie in the interest of religion itself. We can
respect it far more when its errors are no longer imposed upon our belief as truths; and God will
but appear grander and more powerful when his name shall be no longer attached to misleading
13. — CHAPTER II. 8. Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;
and there he put the man he had formed. 9. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow
out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the
garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10. A river watering
the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11. The name of
the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12. (The
gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13. The name of the second
river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14. The name of the third river is
the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15. The
LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16.
And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17.
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you
will surely die.”
14. — CHAPTER III. — 1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild
animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not
eat from any tree in the garden?’ 2. The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the
trees in the garden,’ 3. But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the
middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ 4. ‘You will not surely die,’
the serpent said to the woman. 5. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be
opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 6. When the woman saw that the
fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining
wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he
ate it. 7. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they
sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8. Then the man and his wife
heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and
they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9. But the LORD God called to the
man, “Where are you?” 10. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I
was naked; so I hid.” 11. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten
from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12. The man said, “The woman you put
here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13. Then the LORD God said
to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I
ate.” 14. So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you
above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat
dust all the days of your life. 15. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16. To
the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give
birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17. To Adam
he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded
you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you
will eat of it all the days of your life. 18. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will
eat the plants of the field. 19. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return
to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” 20.
Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living. 21. The
LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD
God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be
allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23.
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he
had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden
cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
15. Under a puerile and sometimes ridiculous image, if one regards its form only,
allegory often conceals the greatest truths. Is this a more absurd fable than that of Saturn, who is
represented as a god devouring stones whom he takes for his children? But at the same time
what can be more profoundly philosophically true than this figure if we seek its moral? Saturn is
the personification of time. All things being the work of time, he is the father of all that exists.
Moreover, all is destroyed by time. Saturn devouring stones is the emblem of destruction by
time of even the most enduring forms, which are his children since they are formed by time.
And what escapes this destruction according to this same allegory? Jupiter, the emblem of
superior intelligence, of the indestructible spiritual principle. This image is so natural, that in
modern language, without allusion to the ancient fable, it is said of a thing defaced by time that
it has been devoured, corroded, or ravaged by it.
All pagan mythology is in reality only a vast allegorical picture of the good and bad sides
of humanity. He who seeks the spirit of it ever finds it a complete course in the highest
philosophy, which is also true of our modern fables. The absurdity is to mistake the form for the
moral of it.
16. It is so with Genesis, where it is necessary to see great moral truths under material
figures, which, taken literally, are as absurd as any of our fables taken literally; the scenes and
dialogues attributed to animals, for instance.
Adam personifies humanity. His individual fault is but a figure of the general feebleness
of mankind, in whom the material instincts predominate, which man knows not how to resist. *
The tree of life is the emblem of spiritual life. As the tree of knowledge represents the
conscious knowledge of good and evil, which man acquires by the growth of intelligence and
use of free will, by virtue of which he chooses between the two; it marks the point at which the
soul, ceasing to be guided by instinct alone, takes possession of liberty, and incurs responsibility
The fruit of the tree emblematizes the object of the material desires of man. It is an
allegory of temptation, and employs under the same figure the influences which lure toward
evil. By eating, is meant his succumbing to the temptation. It grows in the midst of a delightful
garden, in order to show that seduction accompanies pleasure, and to recall to mind at the same
time, that, if man allows material joys to preponderate, he attaches himself to Earth, removing
himself far off from his spiritual destiny. **
The death with which he is menaced if he infringes the divine law is the warning of the
inevitable physical and moral consequences which the violation of divine law entails upon him
— the violation of those laws which God has engraved upon his conscience. It is very evident
that corporeal death is not signified, since, after his fall, Adam lived on Earth many years; but
spiritual death is unquestionably referred to the loss of acquisitions that result from moral
advancement. The image employed is the loss he experiences by his expulsion from this
* Today, it is a well known fact that the Hebrew word “haadam” is not a proper noun, and that it means:
“man in general, humanity;” that in itself destroys all the structure created around Adam’s personality.
** In no text is the fruit specially mentioned as an apple. This word apple is only found in infantile
versions of it. The Hebrew word is peri, which means the same as in French (“fruit”), but without
specification of species, and can be taken in the material, moral, or figurative sense. With the Israelites
there is no obligatory interpretation. When a word has many acceptations, each one understands it in his
own way, provided the interpretation is not contrary to the rules of grammar. The word peri has been
translated into the Latin malum, which signifies “apples” and all other fruits. It is derived from the Greek
mélon, participle of verb mé’o, “to interest,” “to take care,” “to attract.”
17. The serpent today passed for something quite other than deceit. It is in connection
with its form, rather than with its character, that it is associated with wicked suggestions which
glide into the mind with the noiseless subtlety of the serpent, and by which we are so often
easily led into temptation. Besides, if the serpent on account of having deceived the woman has
been doomed to crawl upon the Earth, it must formerly have had limbs when it could not have
been a serpent. Why then impose upon the artless faith of childhood as truths allegories which
are so evidently such, and which, in misleading judgment, cause children to regard the Bible
later in life as a tissue of absurd fables?
We should remark that the Hebrew word nahasch, translated as the word serpent,
originates from the root nahasch, which means: to make enchantment; to practice divination; or
the art of revealing occult things; it also means: enchanter, guesser. This is the meaning found
in Genesis, chapter XLIV: 5 and 15, regarding the instance when Joseph had someone hide a
cup in Benjamin’s sack: “Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination?
(nahasch) *– “Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”
(nahasch)?” From the Book of Numbers, chapter XXIII: 23 - “There is no sorcery (nahasch)
against Jacob, no divination against Israel.” Consequently, the word nahasch began to take the
meaning of serpent - the reptile used by the enchanters in their rituals.
It was not until the Septuagint’s version that the word nahasch was translated as
serpent. That version, according to Hutcheson, presents the Hebrew text corrupted in several
passages. It was written in Greek, during the second century before the Christian era.
Undeniably, that version’s inaccuracies resulted from modifications the Hebrew language
endured during the elapsed time. Note, still, that the Hebrew language of Moses’ time was
already a dead dialect, which differed from ordinary Hebrew, just like ancient Greek and
literary Arabic differ from the Greek and the Arabic of modern times. **
It is possible that Moses may have deemed the indiscreet desire to know occult things,
provoked by the spirit of divination, to be a seducement of women. This meaning is in
agreement with the original meaning of the word nahasch - to guess - and with the words of this
parable: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like
God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food
and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom (leaskil), she took some and ate
it.” We should not forget that Moses wanted to ban from amongst the Hebrews the art of
divination, which was then practiced by the Egyptians; this fact is evident by his prohibition to
question the dead and the spirit of Python. (“Heaven and Hell,” chapter XII)
* Would this fact show that the Egyptians practiced mediumship through the use of a glass of water?
(“Revue Spirite, » June of 1868,” page 161.)
** The word “Nahasch” existed in the Egyptian language, with the meaning of Black, probably because
black people had the gift of enchantment and of divination. This is perhaps the reason the sphinx, of
Syrian origin were represented by an image of a black person.
18. The passage that reads: “The Lord wandered through paradise after mid-day, when a
light wind was blowing,” is a naive and childish imagery, which critics did not fail to point out.
This, however, has nothing that should cause surprise, if we consider the conception the
Hebrews of primitive times had of the Divinity; for these frustrated intelligences, incapable of
conceiving abstractions, God should embody a concrete form. For lack of any other point of
reference, they attributed human characteristics to God. Moses spoke to them as one would
speak to children, through the use of tender images. In this instance, sovereign potency is
personified, as the pagans personified it with the use of allegoric figures, with virtues, vices, and
abstract ideas. Later on, man was able to disassociate the idea from the form, like a child who
on becoming adult, looks for the moral meaning of the tales he heard throughout his infancy.
One should therefore consider this passage as an allegory of the Divinity personally supervising
the object of its creation. The great rabbi Wogue translated it as follows: “They heard the voice
of the Eternal God echoing through the garden, from the direction where the day arises.”
19. If the fault of Adam is literally that of having eaten fruit, the almost puerile nature of
the sin cannot be justly condemned with the severity it has received. We cannot rationally admit
what is generally considered to be the fact; otherwise God, considering this fault irredeemable,
must have condemned his own work, since he had created man for the propagation of man. If
Adam had understood in this sense that he was forbidden to touch the fruit of the tree, and if he
had scrupulously obeyed the command, where would humanity be? And would not the designs
of the Creator be frustrated?
God had not created Adam and Eve to remain alone upon the Earth. The proof of it is
found in the words addressed to them immediately on their formation, when they were unfallen
in the terrestrial paradise.
“God blesses them, and says to them, Increase and replenish the Earth, subduing it”
(chap. I, v. 28). Since the multiplication of man was a law of the terrestrial paradise, his
expulsion cannot be due to the supposed cause.
That which has given credit to this supposition is the feeling of shame with which Adam
and Eve were seized at the sight of God, and which caused them to cover themselves. But this
shame is a figure of comparison: it symbolizes the confusion that all culprits experience in the
presence of him whom they have offended.
20. What then is the definition of this fault which has been able to strike forever with
reprobation the descendants of him who committed it? Cain, the fratricide, was not treated so
severely. No theologian has been able logically to define it, because all have followed the same
circle of faulty ideas about it, departing not from the letter of the tale.
Today we know that this fault is not an isolated action, personal to an individual, but that
it comprehends under one unique allegorical fact all the departures from the right which can
render culpable all humanity, yet imperfect on Earth, who make an infraction of the law of God.
That is why the fault of the first man, symbolizing humanity, is symbolized by an act of
21. By saying to Adam that he will draw his nourishment from the Earth by the sweat of
his brow, God symbolized the obligation of work; but why does he make work a punishment?
What would the intelligence of man be if it were not developed by labor? What would the Earth
be if it were not made fruitful, transformed, and rendered healthy by the intelligent work of
It is written (in chap. II, v. 5 and 7): “the LORD God had not sent rain on the Earth and
there was no man to work the ground, the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the
ground.” This quotation, taken in connection with another, which is: “Replenish the Earth,”
proves that man was from the beginning destined to occupy all the Earth, and to cultivate it;
moreover, that paradise was not a circumscribed place upon one corner of the globe. If the
culture of the Earth was in consequence of Adam’s fall, if Adam had not sinned, the Earth
would not have been cultivated, and the views of God would not have been accomplished.
Why did he say to the woman, that, because she had committed this sin, she should bear
children in sorrow? How can the pain of child-bearing be a chastisement, since it is a
consequence of the organism, and has been physiologically proved to be necessary? How can
anything which is according to the laws of nature be a punishment? This is what theologians
have not yet explained, and that which they will not be able to do while they look at things from
their present point of view. However, theses Bible quotations, which seem so contradictory, can
22. Lets us remark at first, that, if at the moment of the creation of Adam and Eve their
soul had just been taken from nothing, as is taught us, they must have been novices in all things:
they could have known nothing of death. Since they were alone upon the Earth, whilst they
lived in their terrestrial paradise, they had never seen anyone die. How, then, could they
comprehend the menace of death which God made to them? How could Eve comprehend that
the pain of child-bearing would be a punishment when she had never borne children, and was,
besides, the only woman in the world?
The words of God could have had to Adam and Eve no meaning. Just taken from nothing,
they could neither have known why they were created, or whence they came. They could
neither comprehend the Creator or his object in forbidding them to eat the fruit. With no
experience of the conditions of life, they must have sinned like children who act without
discernment, which renders more incomprehensible still the terrible responsibility which God
has imposed upon them and the whole of humanity.
23. To that which theology fails to explain, Spiritism gives without difficulty a clear
explanation in a rational manner by the anteriority of soul, and the plurality of existences,
without which all is mystery and anomaly in the life of men. The admission that Adam and Eve
had lived before, makes all things plain. God does not speak to them as children, but as to
beings in a condition to comprehend, and who do comprehend him — an evident proof that this
knowledge has been acquired in an anterior life. Let us admit also that they have lived in a more
advanced world, which was less material than ours, where the work of the spirit took the place
of manual labor; that by their rebellion against the law of God, figured by disobedience, they
have been exiled as a punishment to this Earth, where man, in consequence of the nature of the
globe, is compelled to labor, God was right in saying to them, “By the sweat of your brow you
will eat your food;” and to the woman, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with
pain you will give birth to children.” (Chap. XI, from item n° 31 on).
The terrestrial paradise for which they have so vainly sought the traces was then a
description of the happy world, where Adam had once lived, or rather the race of spirits of
whom he is the personification. The expulsion from paradise marks the moment when these
spirits have come to incarnate themselves among the inhabitants of this world, and the change
of situation which has succeeded to it. The angel armed with a flaming sword, who defends the
gate of paradise, symbolizes the impossibility for spirits of lower worlds to penetrate into
superiors ones, before having merited them by purification. (See chap. XIV, from item n° 8 on).
24. Cain, after the murder of Abel, said to the LORD, “My punishment is more than I can
bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will
be a restless wanderer on the Earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” But the LORD said to
him, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the LORD
put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the
LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” Cain lay with his wife, and she
became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after
his son Enoch. (Chap. IV, v. 13 to 17).
25. If one clings to the literal meaning of Genesis, behold to what consequences one
arrives. From it we learn that Adam and Eve were alone in the world after their expulsion from
the terrestrial paradise. It is subsequent to that that Cain and Abel were born. Now, Cain having
killed his brother, and having been exiled of another country, saw his father and mother no
more; and they were again alone. It is only a long time after, at the age of a hundred and thirty
years, that Adam had a third son called Seth. After the birth of Seth, he still lived, according to
biblical genealogy, eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
When Cain established himself eastward of Eden, according to Genesis, there were only
three persons upon the Earth — Adam, Eve, and Cain. However, he had a wife and child. Who
could this woman have been? And where could he have found her? The Hebrew text says: He
was building a city, and not he built, which indicates a present action and not an anterior one;
but many inhabitants are necessary to make a city: for it is not possible or presumable that he
made it for himself, wife, and son, or that he was able to construct it by himself alone.
It is necessary to infer, from this recital, that the country was peopled. Now this could not
have been by the descendants of Adam, who then had no other children than Cain.
The presence of other inhabitants is also proved by this saying of Cain: “I will be a
restless wanderer on the Earth, and whoever finds me will kill me,” and from the reply God
made to it. By whom could he have been killed? And for what good could the sign which god
placed on his forehead have been needed if he was not to encounter anyone? If, then, there were
upon Earth other men outside of the family of Adam, they must have been there before him,
whence this sequence, drawn from even the text of Genesis, that Adam is neither the first not
the only father of human beings (chap. XI, n° 34). *
* This idea is not new. La Peyrère, the wise theologian of the seventh century in his book
“Préadamites,” written in Latin and published in 1655, extracted from the original biblical text, this
being subsequently adulterated by the translations, the clear evidence that the Earth was inhabited before
Adam; today this is the opinion of many enlightened ecclesiastics.
26. There has come a necessity for the knowledge that Spiritism brings touching the
connections between the spiritual and material principles and the nature of the soul; its creation
in a state of simplicity and ignorance; its union with the body; its progressive, indefinite march
through successive existences, and through worlds which are so many rungs of the ladder on the
way to perfection; its gradual release from the influence of matter by the use of its free will; the
cause of its leanings toward good or evil and of its aptitudes; the phenomena of birth and death;
the state of the spirit in the erraticity, and at length its future reward for efforts made in the
improvement of its condition as incentive to its perseverance in well-doing, which throw light
upon every part of the spiritual Genesis.
Thanks to this light, man knows henceforth whence he comes; where he goes, why he is
upon Earth, and why he suffers. He knows that his future is in his own hands, and that the
duration of his captivity here below depends upon himself. Genesis, which previously appeared
as a mean and shallow allegory, now appears grand and majestic, worthy of the goodness and
justice of the Creator. Considered from this point of view, Genesis will both confound and