The Alphabet in Genesis is more an extended journal of essays, graphics, references, and insights than an organized book. There is no story, yet the story of this research is written between the lines on every page. You will get a sense of the development of these ideas by noting the first publication date on each essay. This is the first bound edition of Meru essays that we have made available.
In the old Newtonian mechanical paradigm, good scholarship and good science absolutely and positively demand objectivity and emotional neutrality and independence on the part of the experimenter.
The majority of scholars and scientists alive today, including those who are aware of the implications of the reality of quantum mechanics, still tend to shy away from – or completely object to – any experiment where the experimenter is in any way involved in, or has a stake in, the outcome.
In particular, academic scholars excuse themselves from the need to take rabbinic scholarship or Talmudic scholarship as seriously as their own scholarship, explicitly because the rabbis are deeply involved in, and care deeply about, the subject.
In the new paradigm, the situation is reversed. In the quantum mechanical universe that we actually live in, the choices we make entangle us with the experiences that we have. If we don't become involved – entangled – at a deep personal and emotional level in what we're doing, then the results of what we're doing will be completely different than if we are deeply personally and emotionally involved.
After ten years of work with no results (from 1968 to 1978), and almost twenty years of work breaking new ground while looking for past precedent to confirm my findings, finally, in 2006 Jewish scholars that I’ve been working with have found discussions in traditional literature that match, confirm, and extend my findings. We now know that people in the 12th century knew that the letters came from hand-gestures, based on the same model that it took me thirty years to recover from first principles and only the letter-text of the Hebrew Bible.
The existence of these traditional references changes everything. While what I was working on and proposing was not known to be connected to any prior work, I was on my own. What I was proposing was just one of many proposals by scholars and independent researchers. My opinion wasn’t worth more than anyone else’s opinion.
What I’m proposing takes on real authority, because now we know that the geometry in Genesis, the idea of geometric metaphor, and the generation of the Hebrew (and likely Greek and Arabic) alphabet from handgestures, is not my original idea (only my designs and words are original). It is an essential part of the Western traditions that has been lost over the centuries. It is now our responsibility to present these findings for the benefit of as wide a range of scientists, students, scholars, peoples, and traditions as possible.
I will be reporting on and writing about these references in future essays.
Because we reached this new plateau, and because now we know that these ideas are a recovery and rediscovery, I want people to know about it, and I want to work with honest, caring people who want to help to develop its potential. Thus, the volume you’re holding.
I would like to set the record straight. Even though it’s true that people who steal and destroy ideas do real damage, the fact is that they wouldn’t steal and cause injury if they weren’t themselves injured and in need of our compassion. For the past twenty years, I refused to publicly refute the angry charges and lunatic theories that have come our way from a number of well-known but nevertheless ill-intended and ill people. I’ve been accused of all sorts of things. Misleading, and sometimes hateful papers have been written and distributed, and my name has been put on them. None of this matters with regard to me personally. But what does matter is that caring people may be viewing deliberately distorted presentations of what would otherwise be useful, helpful, and healing ideas. These ideas are being wasted, people who could benefit are not benefiting, and scholars and scientists whose interest and criticism are essential are put off by the nonsense, and don’t get to see the important ideas.
It is unfortunate that this needs to be said. But it is also an opportunity to point out that whether of science or spirit, what counts is our integrity and responsibility. It is simply not possible to understand a body of work that stands on integrity, unless a person acts with integrity and associates with people and ideas that also act with integrity. The integrity of serious ideas can only be maintained when they are kept at a safe distance from nonsense.
What’s important is that people have the opportunity to see for themselves that these ideas are real, they’re simple, they’re understandable, they’re not limited to one group or another, and they are accessible by people of all talents who learn to act with integrity, care for others, and humbly and patiently wait for the good they’ve sown to bear fruit. (Integrity, caring, and humility/patience are the three phases of the manifesting principle, which I write about in The Three Abrahamic Covenants and the Car-Passing Trick, available on Meru Foundation’s website, www.meru.org, and in other volumes in this series.)
The ideas I’ve recovered in the Western traditions are beautiful. I can take credit for sticking to the job, putting up with the abuse and embarrassment, and seeing it through. But these ideas, to the extent that I’ve uncovered them accurately, are not mine. They are to the credit of all of the heroes and all of the leaders of all of our great traditions over at least the past several thousand years.
And of course, it does not go without saying that this work could not have happened without the active help and support of a very large number of people, over the past thirty years. Some of their names will appear here in future editions. In the meantime, you all know who you are, and Levanah and I are very privileged and very grateful for your help and friendship.
The good news is that what we’ve found tells us that life is not a zero-sum game, and that in fact it is possible for you to win, for me to win, and for everyone else to win – all at the same time, without compromise and without rivalry. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not rivals. They are separate essential organs in the Abrahamic body politic, which is part of the planetary body politic. I identify Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with conception, gestation, and birth. I call these The Three Pillars of Love, because together they form the manifesting principle. (See the Tree of Abraham poster and my essay, The Three Pillars of Love at www.meru.org, and in other volumes of this series.)
The physics of quantum mechanics teaches us that the mechanistic view that there is not enough to go around and that competition is best, isn’t the most realistic. In fact, our lives are entangled, and the best choice for living our life is to live by the golden rule. I will be writing about this increasingly in the future. The golden rule is central to what our scholars call a “theory of mind”, and in the teachings of all of the great faiths.
If readers have questions or comments, please send email and I’d be delighted to respond. If there is one idea I’d like to end with, it’s the point of all of this. The difference between Pharaoh and Moses, between arrogance and humility, is responsibility. Those who believe in idols, or who, like Pharaoh, believe themselves to be a god, would have us beg them to protect us from ourselves and the forces of nature, which only their magic can appease. In a world of idols, we have to pay experts and priests to intervene with wood and metal and stone effigies on our behalf – even though these effigies have no consciousness, no will, and are utterly impotent. Pharaoh’s way doesn’t work.
By removing the images of the idols of Egypt that made up the Egyptian hieroglyphic language, and replacing them with hand gestures, Moses turned the empty arrogance of idolatry into the personal responsibility of people who act and speak with their own hands – and who learn about themselves and the forces of nature, so they can be free and live by their own choices.
This is the triumph of the gesture-alphabet of personal responsibility over the impotent idols of ego. This is the idea that changed the world: I speak for myself by what I do.
Stan Tenen, 26 October 2006