Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mabul Bit II

Addendas to my previous Mabul post, to be worked I"H into a more lengthy piece later; I recently read and hopefully will incorporate a recent essay by R. .B. Raphael Shuchat on the Sabbatical Years and the 974 generations ("Attitudes Towards Cosmogony and Evolution Among Rabbinic Thinkers in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries: The Resurgence of the Doctrine of the Sabbatical Years", Torah u-Madda Journal V.13, 2005).

-There are positions 974 Generations before Adam as being prehistoric realities; perhaps not necessarily calculable in accord with a precise geological timescale we work from now ["challenge of Creation" gives difficulties for even applying any concept of "previous cycles", but I think some of the criticisms might not be fatal, Hirhurim noted some of these issues here]. I mean that "previous generations" could be possed in a "weak" sense (using philosophy-speak), not a "strong" sense. From Adam to Avraham, distinctions between dimensions are treated as more 'subtle'; as things settled like metaphysical sediments into discrete depositions (uh...what?), in accord with the general notion that with proximity to The Kodesh, reality is more fuzzy and less defined (Yetziat Mitzraim not occuring in a conventional rate of time, Eretz Israel, the temple mount, the Kadosh haKadoshim, etc). [8/08 R. Joshua Maroof actually suggests this in terms of 'gaps'; thus 'relativity' in the way I say might be just a metaphor - seeming relativity are actually gaps!] Perhaps this applies to a condition other worlds experienced; those other worlds could be metaphorically grasped as recycled material, and churned into what constitutes us and our world as they/we are, now (including "natural" man reconsituted into "Humankind with Tzelem Elokim", T.E. being uploaded/reformated or being updated; see below) . There are also positions that these generations were destroyed (perhaps meaning destroyed for all practical purposes, but not desolved to nothingness as such; Tiferes Yisroel states the geological record evidences worlds before Adam - if they were totally destroyed...there would be no evidence), for having not produced a collective "Israel" - a group of humans capable of receiving Revelation, the yoke of world-transforming...hopefully there will be sources to come, see dovid brown's "mysteries of creation" if you're impatient (also consider that these worlds may not have had humans who collectively societally evolved to a necessary level).
So perhaps these previous worlds were civilized enough to have the requisite human potential to produce and Israel (something evidenced in the archeological record - as we keep backdating agriculture, architecture, domestication, etc) - but having not achieved it, were destroyed - but perhaps not genetically destroyed; either downgraded to non-collective levels or traumatized into a 'nonhuman' status, into raw genetic material such that the "fullness of soul" was then latent, dormant - laying fallow in the cycle of Sabatical Years - to be "souled" into Adam as we have him. And to keep mangling my metaphors, perhaps something like hibernation or plantlife over winter months transpired, more Man-as-Microcosm-of-Creation stuff - or like a harddrive being purged, leaving only a structure that will recognize an Operating System. Rav Hirsch makes an interesting allusion to spiritual dimensions of man being preserved in other dimensions or something, end of Parsha Bereshit.

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