Volume 15 Number 64
                       Produced: Sun Oct  9 11:22:39 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Creation and Evolution
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 1994 18:32:44 -0700
Subject: Creation and Evolution

In M-J Vol. 15 #52 David Neustadter asks a few questions about my 
previous posting.  (I don't have the file on my computer, so I will 
paraphrase his questions before I try to answer them.)

Where am I coming from?

I have a rusty B.S. (Physics) 1963 from what was then Brooklyn Polytech.  
I have no Yeshiva training and I cannot read or use the Hebrew language 
(or any language other than English) with any fluidity.  I am not 
familiar with Talmudic and Rabbinic language either.

In 1967 while visiting Jerusalem for the first time, I had an unusual 
experience at the Western Wall - which drew my attention, for the first 
time since my bar mitzvah, to Judaism.  In 1968 I was drawn to examine 
the beginning verses of B'Reshit.  Since I could not read the words, my 
eyes fell on the letters.  (I did manage to learn to read the Hebrew 
LETTERS during several years of attending the evening Hebrew school at 
Pri Etz Chaim on Ocean Avenue near Avenue U in Brooklyn prior to my bar 
mitzvah, but I had had no connection with Judaism in the intervening 

When I did this, I was dumbstruck.  The reason I studied physics was 
because I have always had an acute visual pattern recognition ability, 
and I have always been good at visualizing (and working with) geometric 
forms - thus also, my interest in mathematics.  When I looked at the 
beginning verses of B'Reshit, my intuition screamed that there was a 
pattern to the sequence of letters. 

 From 1968 until we moved to the San Francisco area in 1978 I read just 
about every book I could find on B'Reshit, the alphabet, "mysticism", 
and "cosmology."  I read scholarly materials, both academic and 
"kosher", occult, Rosecrucian, Masonic, eastern, western, Christian, 
Moslem, Mithraic, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist, etc., flying saucer 
theories (Sitchen, et. al.), "channeled" material - even Joseph Campbell 
<grin>, etc. etc. - about 3000 volumes in all (ranging from pamphlets to 
scholarly tomes).  I also drew up a list of criteria by which I could 
recognize real patterns from fantasy.  I understood from the start that 
the potential implications of this required that I stick to a strict 
scientific method, or no matter what I found, no intelligent person 
would look at it or believe it was so.

Slowly (very slowly) and with many false starts I began to be able to 
sort sense from nonsense.  - And, subsequently, of course, I began to 
drift towards the quality materials and away from the junk.  (There is a 
lot more junk than quality out there.)

In 1983, with the help of friends with similar interests, we formed Meru 
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to, hopefully, fund an ongoing 
investigation of B'Reshit and the alphabet. (We have been all too 
"successful" at the "NON-profit" aspect. <grin>)

In 1986 we began to become observant.  Also, about that time, the 
project accelerated enormously due to several breakthroughs.  It was 
becoming increasing obvious, both for scientific and for emotional 
reasons, that the only proper home for this work was within Jewish 
tradition.  It became increasing obvious that only within the serious 
Jewish world was there sufficient interest and integrity to "ground" (as 
the new agers say) this work.

We moved rapidly from a "Conservo-dox" perspective - which at least 
allowed us to be in (a Conservative) Shul for Shabbos - to an observant 
(if not fully frum) Orthodox perspective.  (Which means, living here, 
that we have not been to Shul for Shabbos since then.)  We are shomer 
Shabbos, keep kosher, etc., and I say the daily prayers with Tefillin, 
etc.  We are not able to be as observant as we would like to be now 
because we are not members of any Jewish community, we have no access to 
serious learning (the persons I had studied some Talmud with both moved 
away because they could not fully function here either), and we are very 
limited in our personal resources.  

There were several reasons for this, and there were several problems.  
Simply put, the Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist and egalitarian 
communities were both unable to evaluate this research and, in many 
cases, were (and are) literally terrified by its implications:  Namely, 
that Torah cannot be a mere collection of stories, and the alphabet 
really is the alphabet of creation.  They also did not satisfy our 
spiritual needs.  (Mostly, my old physicist's nature really cannot 
tolerate "watered-down" anything.)  Scholars in the academic "Judaic 
Studies" Departments associated with Stanford and the UC Berkeley 
Theological Seminary, absolutely refuse to look at my work.  I don't 
mean to pick a fight here. I am appreciative of their "translations", 
such as they are, because without them, I could not have done this 
research.  But, in my opinion, it is not only intellectually dishonest, 
but it is crippling, to start from the premise that Torah is only 
stories, as is apparently, at least in effect, required in academia.  
Not only that, but it is politically impossible to show a scholar that 
(s)he needs to study geometry and topology in order to do their job.  No 
established scholar, and certainly no student, could dare to do that and 
survive the ostracism of their colleagues.  And, I am a feeling person.  
It hurts to keep trying and to be treated like a fool, a lunatic, or an 
interloper.  It hurts when scholars won't even return phone calls or 
respond to messages.

Personally, I have had a very difficult time with Jewish observance.  I 
am not a rule-follower, and except in matters of personal integrity and 
my research, I pretty much disdain discipline systems, authorities, and 
the "establishment" in every way possible.  (As I said, it hurts to be 
treated poorly.)  I am also NOT what most people would call a "true 
believer".  I don't know anything about G-d, and I certainly do not 
believe in Hashem because other people (even those whom I deeply 
respect) tell me to.

So how, without being a hypocrite, could I keep Shabbos, for example?  
What difference does it make if I drive to Shul on Shabbos?  - Well, it 
does make a difference for me, but, perhaps, not in the usual way(s).

My research has forced me to confront the kabbalistic model of 
wholeness:  "Unity exists when the flame is wedded to the coal."  We 
live in a "wave-particle", female-male, process-structure, inside-
outside, continuous-bigbang universe, which we usually perceive in/as 
complementary "opposites."  I will go so far as to suggest that this 
view was one of the most important discoveries (in principle) that we 
attribute to Abraham, and that is immortalized in the Sh'ma:  Hashem and 
Elokim are ECHOD.  I understand this, at least in part, to indicate that 
the personal subjective, emotional, feeling process-universe nucleated 
around the Ultimate Singularity of our internal conscious experience can 
be identified with Hashem, while the panoply of ALL-THERE-IS in the 
seemingly objective, structural/mechanical, physical, consensus world 
outside can be identified with Elokim.  So, in this model, Inside and 
Outside - everything everywhere whether personal or consensus - must be 
exactly, always, Hashem-Elokim, Echod.  (Later, in another posting if 
you ask, I will try to show how this can be represented topologically 
and why that is so important.)

This means that for me, I keep Shabbos because, like the villager who 
draws water from the town well, I am obligated to maintain the vessel 
that I drink from (the village well - Torah Judaism).  I see the essence 
of Torah, as internally experienced by those who bind themselves to it, 
as the "flame" aspect.  For it to survive, it MUST be protected in a 
"vessel".  I see Halacha and Mitzvot, etc., as the ONLY proper vessel to 
hold (and shine) the light (or flame) of Torah.  I see Jewish observance 
as a necessary vessel for Jewish experience.  If I will not or if I 
cannot take on the yoke of Torah, then I will never be able to fully 
appreciate for myself even the work I have done - and neither will 
anyone else, because no one else who is capable of making proper use of 
these findings, would listen to them.  Would you or any other serious 
Torah Jew take time from your family, your work, and your Talmud studies 
to study something proposed by an untutored person from deep golus who 
cannot even read Hebrew, if they were not at least carrying part of the 
yoke of Torah?  Would it be of any value if I were keeping Kosher and 
Shabbos, etc., as a hypocrite - just because others want it, but without 
my believing in what I was doing?

So, this has not been an easy transition. But I have come to believe 
that anyone who studies "kabbalah" must be prepared to be changed by it.  
Those who think they can "head-trip" this learning without also doing - 
observing Halacha and Mitzvot, etc. - can easily become like the 
academic "Bible scholars":  "accountants" of the tradition who know were 
all the wisdom is but who are unable to experience or really know it for 
themselves.  (There is a quotation about academic "kabbalists" by Rabbi 
Joseph Telushkin that I am paraphrasing here.)  I believe that this sort 
of non-doing, purely analytic "kabbalah" is exactly what Mishneh Ain 
Dorshin (BT Hagiga) was warning against with its strong statement about 
"mystakel" (speculation.)

Now, for your other (numbered) questions:
1. What is the source for the meanings that I quote for the letters 
Alef, Dalet, Mem(final)?  Do these letters have the same meanings in 
"dam" (Dalet-Memfinal) and in "Im" (Alef-Memfinal) and what is the 
significance of these words?

The source of the meanings I quote from includes traditional meanings 
for the letter names (as given by Rabbis Munk, Kaplan, Ginsburgh, etc.), 
and as they have been abstracted on the logical meaning matrix we have 
derived.  Our matrix assigns meanings to each letter based on their 
positions in an topologically minimal "life-cycle" or cycle of self-
organization that we have found maps onto (corresponds one to one with) 
the traditional meanings.

This message is already much too long, so I will leave the full matrix 
and a comparison chart with traditional letter names for a later 
posting.  (If anyone interested sends me your usmail address, we will 
send you printed materials that include this information.)

"DaM" is the common word for "blood."   Letter by letter, AT THE 
TOPOLOGICAL LEVEL, Dalet means to divide or dispense (as at a DeLTa) and 
Mem (final) refers to "the great expanse".  Final Mem terminates the 
masculine plural suffix for this same reason.  It makes (actually, it 
"hands" - Yod) the masculine singular word into an expanse.  (This is 
also why it is incorrect to translate Elokim as if it were plural.  
Elokim is Elok - expressed in the expanse of the world, it is in no way 
plural.)  So DaM refers to a dispensing expanse, or a dispensation into 
an expanse.  We know that our blood (along with lymph, etc.) is a kind 
of sea that we internalized as we became multicelled creatures. 

Similarly, Alef-Mem(final) refers to an archetype or generalization 
(Alef) of an expanse (Mem final).  This could refer to a mother or to a 
mother's womb.  Another meaning for Mem is "source" - that FROM which 
something comes - and that, as a final, can refer to the womb.

So, yes, the same letters have the same TOPOLOGICAL meanings in nearly 
all words (no theory involving human understanding can ever be perfect 
and exact).  This is even true for all non-Hebrew words if they can be 
accurately transliterated into Hebrew spelling.  (This cannot always be 
done without ambiguity.)

But, no, the same letters do not have the same meanings in particular 
vernacular embodiments.  The embodiments are the result of our free 
will, the letter meaning matrix can only provide the theoretical, 
operational meanings.  We get to choose how they are embodied.  
Different cultures use different embodiments, but all language, at the 
topological level, may have to be based on the Hebrew alphabet system.  
This can help to explain how there could really have been a truly 
universal language lost at the "Tower of Babel."

2. What is the source of the terms 'letter'. 'story', 'hint' and 
'discussion' for sod, pshat, remez and drash?

I usually list them in PaRDeS order because that gives the proper sense 
of their relationship.  In my Ben Yehuda, Pshat is "simple" or "plain" 
meaning, the story or narrative meaning; Remez means 'hint' ; Drash 
refers to questioning and interpretation (also in the dictionary); Sod, 
related to YeSod, foundation, refers to the deepest levels of the Torah 
which includes the letters sequences.  I am somewhat surprised that you 
asked for the meaning of these words.  I have been led to believe that 
the meanings I quoted were common knowledge.  Is this not so?

3. Does my saying that "when we look at all levels of the creation 
story, we find the simplest literal meaning can be misleading" come from 
my personal experience, or is it theory?

The answer MUST be both or I would not have the chutzpah to propose or 
present these ideas.  If I have had no personal experience, then this 
work is truly "mystakel", speculation, in the pejorative and prohibited 
sense given in Ain Dorshin.  Yes, these ideas must be experience based.  
That is why it is natural and fitting that the letters correspond to 
hand gestures.  Hand gestures are a primary experiential medium for 
humans.  And they have nearly universal meaning.

But, if this were based only on personal experience, the letters might 
change with each teacher.  Experience is process. Experience can teach 
us Wisdom, Chochma (in our minds).  It is the "flame" aspect of Unity.  
For it to maintain its integrity it must exist in a protective (logical) 
structure.  The logical structure is the theoretical aspect.  It is 
Reason, Binah (in the world).  After all, we are taught (see Kaplan, for 
example) that the letters are the ONLY connection between Chochma and 

Without the logical matrix structure that analytically defines a 
complete, topologically minimal developmental (life-) cycle, how would 
we know WHICH meanings, which gestures, and consequently, which letters 
are required?

In this system, at EVERY level, the model is exactly the same 
(topologically). It is always minimal and exhaustive and it always 
includes and requires both process (experience, feeling, emotion, etc.) 
and structure (logic, reasoning, analysis, etc.)  Unless both are 
present, the model is incomplete and thus misleading and subject to 

I do not know what you have in mind when you ask: "Do you by any chance 
know of answers to the questions that I asked based on deeper meanings 
of the creation story?"  There are hundreds of kosher translations for 
the first verse of B'Reshit alone.  What do you mean by deeper levels?  
What is deeper than the experiential level of the letters?  After all, 
there were no vowels, word divisions, or cantillation marks originally.  
What else can be examined?  I am not trying to interpret Torah 
consistent with kabbalistic teachings, mainly because I am mostly 
ignorant of kabbalistic teachings beyond what I can read in English 
translation.  That would be apologia and not science anyway.  If you 
know more, I am all eyes and ears.

4. That B'Reshit can be understood as a "kernel of consciousness" that 
grows into "Adam's reality" is just one, somewhat poetic way, to attempt 
to describe what my research seems to show.  The idea is the initial Bet 
of B'Reshit, as the "mark of distinction between inside and outside" 
(which is operationally, at the topological level, what a "house", 
Bayit/Bet, does) has been shown to be the basis for ALL of formal logic.  
I am saying that there is reason to believe that the sequence of letters 
in B'Reshit specifies a minimal "virus of consciousness" that can 
"infect" human minds with a taste of the "Consciousness of Hashem" when 
it is internalized and lived.

This, in my opinion, is what happened 5755 years ago at the dawn of our 
capability to have a true consciousness of G-d.  If there is a temporal 
meaning to the creation story in B'Reshit (an historical "vessel" to 
correspond to the "continuous" "flame"), this is one way to understand 
it that is consistent with both our teachings and with science. It does 
not force us to deny or discount the multi-million year fossil record or 
to apologetically fudge "6-days" into billions of years.  (Again, I am 
trying to notice patterns where both emotion (Inside) and reason 
(Outside) are true complements.)

For a perspective on a "topologically minimal universal description of 
ALL possible self-organizing systems" I would like to quote from the 
source from which I learned about this concept.

In "The Laws of Form," mathematician G. Spencer-Brown proposes the "mark 
of distinction"  archetypally distinguishing INSIDE from OUTSIDE as a 
definition of maximal contrast.  Mathematicians have shown that all of 
formal logic can be derived from G. Spencer-Brown's "mark of 
distinction."  - From "The Laws of Form," p. xxix: 

       "The theme of this book is that a universe comes into being 
   when a space is severed or taken apart.  The skin of a living 
   organism cuts off an outside from an inside.  So does the 
   circumference of a circle in a plane.  By tracing the way we 
   represent such a severance, we can begin to reconstruct, with an 
   accuracy and coverage that appear almost uncanny, the basic forms 
   underlying linguistic, mathematical, physical, and biological 
   science, and can begin to see how the familiar laws of our own 
   experience follow inexorably from the original act of severance.  

       "Although all forms, and thus all universes, are possible, 
   and any particular form is mutable, it becomes evident that the 
   laws relating such forms are the same in any universe.  It is this 
   sameness, the idea that we can find a reality which is independent 
   of how the universe actually appears, that lends such fascination 
   to the study of mathematics."

Judaism's insistence on "no graven images" demands that, at least at 
some level, Torah not be dependent on images.  That is what Spencer-
Brown is saying when he points out: "It is this sameness, the idea that 
we can find a reality which is INDEPENDENT OF HOW THE UNIVERSE ACTUALLY 
APPEARS..." (emphasis added)

And, Spencer-Brown points out, that just like Torah, these "laws" follow 
INEXORABLY from the act of severance.  My findings indicate that it is 
useful to consider this "act of severance" as related to the initial Bet 
of B'Reshit and to the "breaking of vessels" and the "zimzum" described 
in kabbalistic sources.

>From this perspective, Spencer-Brown's "Laws of FORM" refer to "FORM" in 
the same sense as Sefer Yetzira, the book of FORMation.  And it is not 
the sounds of the letters, but the FORM, in this sense, of the letters 
that is being discussed.  (BTW, lest there be any misunderstanding, I am 
not saying that this work or the alphabet is dependent on FORM in the 
sense of "graven images".  In fact, the hand gestures that make the 
letter shapes are a unique means of eliminating all "graven images" 
because it is not the gesture itself - that only makes the letter's 
shape - but the feeling behind the gesture that is the true meaning of 
each letter.  Any other understanding could lead to idolatry of the form 
of the hand.  - There actually was a "hybrid" of Judaism and Roman 
paganism, called the Sabazios, that worshipped an idol in the shape of a 
hand!)   Our research enables sufficient unambiguous understanding of 
Sefer Yetzira for what it is saying to be clear and logical.  We really 
find the forms and meanings of the Hebrew letters in Sefer Yetzira.  I 
know of no other understanding that can demonstrate this.

Thanks to all of those who are reading this for their patience with this 
lengthy posting.  The best way to begin to understand our research is to 
first look over our printed materials and then ask questions.  Some 
things can be understood in many fewer words once you have seen the 

Stan Tenen
Meru Foundation                      POB 1738
<meru1@...>                  San Anselmo, CA 94979
415 459-0487


End of Volume 15 Issue 64