Saturday, May 30, 2009

Serpent Most Subtle

Now the snake was the most subtle of all the wild animals that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, 'Did God really say...?' (Gen. 3:1 NJB)

Alice C. Linsley

None should ever doubt that God has an enemy. That enemy is portrayed from very ancient times as a serpent who self-presents as one who offers advice. This reflects the experience of shamans who consume certain plants and plant combinations that cause them to see and even speak to snakes. Such shamanic religion was forbidden to Abraham and his people and is forbidden to "people of the Book" even today.

In his book The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge (1999), Jeremy Narby tells of his fieldwork with the Ashaninca and Quirishari of the Peruvian Amazon. Through use of the hallucinogen ayahuasca, derived from a serpent shaped vine (shown on left), Narby encountered the metaphysical reality presented in Genesis 3: the beguiling cosmic serpent who "was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say...?"

Ayahuasca vine
Narby explains, “I began my investigation with the enigma of ‘plant communication.’ I went on to accept the idea that hallucinations could be the source of verifiable information. And I ended up with a hypothesis suggesting that a human mind can communicate in defocalized consciousness with the global network of DNA-based life. All this contradicts principles of Western knowledge."

Plants with similar chemical properties have been found in Africa and Asia. The Genesis story is critical of seeking knowledge and wisdom from the wrong source. The story of Eve, the serpent, and the tree is likely an ancient criticism of using plant material from certain trees to alter consciousness so as to gain knowledge by occult means.

In his book Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis notes the Devils' many tactics. He stirs pride, hatred, animosity, cruelty and greed. He discourages, distracts and promotes doubt. He presents as one who is wise to those who are seeking knowledge. He casts doubt in our minds about God's Word and the true order of creation.

He suggests that God isn't good. Yet all of creation testifies that what God has made is good and reflects God's goodness. Were the angels to remain silent, these very stones would cry out "Hosannah!"

The cosmic Serpent tempts us to look only on the outer appearance and believe that the material is all there is. He urges men to set aside their only hope and to believe that there is no God, no eternity, no soul. Satan is the ultimate materialist.

He seeks to invert God's order of creation by bringing the woman, the crown of creation, under the authority of a creature who slithers on the ground. She is Ha-Va, the birther. The V is a very old glyph indicating the life-giver. Many words contain this glyph. Two are especially significant: vagina and the verb volcar, to overturn. The serpent understood the true nature of things. He needed only to go after the crown of creation to corrupt the whole. By consenting to the serpent's designs, Ha-Va (Eve) inverted the hierarchy of creation from this  to this ▼. Each of us continues to do this daily when we consent to anything that is not of God.

The serpent is called the "dragon" in Revelation, and his end is described there. John's vision comes between the proclamation about the eternal Kingdom of Christ and the vision of the blasphemous Beast who makes war on the Saints. This recapitulates Genesis 3:15, the first promise of Scripture concerning the Woman and her Seed, the Holy One who crushes the Serpent’s head. This was accomplished at Christ’s birth, death, resurrection and ascension (“The Christ Event”) and the vision describes the victory in these words: “The woman was delivered of a boy, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron rod, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne.” (Rev. 12:5) Revelation identifies the dragon as "that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray." (Rev. 12:9, 20:2)

Related reading: The Serpent of Eden; Serpent Symbolism; The Cosmic Serpent Exposed; The Biblical Meaning of Eve


jdwoods76 said...

Thank you for being brave enough to frankly address the reality of evil, Satan, the non-material, etc. Narby's book also sounds fascinating. Your blog is a tremendously important resource!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Jerry. Narby did important field research in South America, but I believe he came to the wrong conclusions. In other words, he was beguiled into thinking that the serpents were giving the shamans true wisdom.