Reading the posts in a chronological order is recommended.

jueves, 30 de abril de 2015


Genesis tells us that on a certain occasion Abraham was about to sacrifice his son because God had asked him to do so. Many theologians believe that this story shows how much Abraham loved God. They completely ignore that the demand for such a sacrifice and the willingness to obey it are completely immoral.
Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
the next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61”
To understand this story we need to know a bit more about its historical context. Abraham was born in Canaan where in ancient times, and particularly at the time in question, religion demanded the sacrifice of the firstborn. Isaac was not Abraham’s firstborn – previously he had Ishmael from Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant –, but he was nevertheless Sarah’s firstborn. This ritual apparantly demanded the sacrifice of the first birth of every womb.
Whereas Jews and Christians are familiar with the story of God asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Muslims are familiar with the story of God asking Abraham to kill Ishmael. In both cases Abraham was ready to kill his son, but God told him not to do so, but offer a ram in place of his son. Whereas Muslims tell the story of Ishmael, because the Arabs are descendants of the son of Hagar, Jews tell the story of Isaac, because they are descendants of Sarah.
Taking into account this religious tradition of sacrificing the firstborn leads to a new interpretation of this story. Instead of regarding Abraham as a brainless immoral being, we can now regard him as the person who put an end to these terrible sacrifices.
Abraham demonstrates here that he is a true genius. As he is a foreigner in Canaan – he was born in Ur (Sumeria) – and these sacrifices are a tradition imposed by religion, he knows that he cannot openly condemn them. Doing so would mean confronting the whole of society and thereby making lots of enemies. By announcing that he was going to sacrifice his firstborn, and that God told him at the last moment not to harm his son, but to sacrifice a ram instead, he encouraged people to put an end to those sacrifices.
By referring to God’s authority, all those people who had sacrificed their firstborn in the past did not have to feel guilty about having obeyed the dictates of the priests, and for priests it was now very easy to rectify without losing face. Moreover, by changing the sacrifices of the firstborn to sacrifices of animals, these people did not lose their jobs.
Some cynics claim that the idea that in ancient times the religion of Canaan demanded these sacrifices of the firstborn is nothing but an attempt to justify Abraham. They simply cannot imagine a tribe that would not rebel against such a kind of religion. But there exist written testimonies of sacrifices of children. Roman historians, for instance, write about the Carthaginians, who were descendants of the Phoenicians – Phoenicia (Sidon) belonged to Canaan – immolating large numbers of children in order to gain the support of their God in their struggle against Rome.

The study of history requires a great deal of flexibility. What is unimaginable today was not necessarily so in the past, nor will be in the future. For instance, let us take the vast number of people who were sacrificed in Aztec temples to ensure that after the sun finished its cycle it would start a new one. We do not understand how they came to believe such a thing and therefore find it difficult to imagine that people would be capable of sacrificing so many lives. However, since the Spanish ‘conquistadores’ wrote about those sacrifices we know that they indeed took place. Therefore, the fact that we do not understand how our ancestors could have been capable of sacrificing their firstborn does not mean that these sacrifices did not happen.

viernes, 24 de abril de 2015


Wisdom requires a questioning mind. Genesis is a book of wisdom because it encourages readers to ask important questions whose answers lead to new questions, and this dynamic leads to the discovery of its secrets and those enable us to get a better understanding of reality. Those who do not have a questioning mind often misinterpret that book because on several occasions it seems to say one thing when in reality it says something quite different. 
A good example is that second dietary law that I referred to in my previous article. People assume it says that God allowed Noah to eat other creatures, but readers with a questioning mind find it says that God no longer considered Noah and his family as human beings, but as animals, and that He allowed them to eat other creatures – “everything that lives and moves” - to recover their human soul.
Most people do not discover what Genesis really tells us, because when they read that second dietary law, and realize it refers to the first dietary law, they do not check what God exactly said on that occasion. This means that they do not process information right. They do not disover what Genesis really says because they often read what they want it to say or what they think it should say. Most people who read the Bible are omnivores. They are so pleased that God allowed Noah to eat other creatures, that they do not ask why He first prescribed a vegetarian diet and later changed His mind.
The fact that they ignore these questions, says a lot about these people. It tells us that they don’t have a questioning mind. People who accept that God can change His rules for no apparent reason understand very little of the main protagonist of the Bible. Their idea of God is still very much the idea that their pagan ancestors had of God. Pagan gods were often capricious – like whatever worldly ruler or like a father – and demanded to be obeyed without questioning.
A good example of a story that invites us to ask questions and reflect upon certain issues is that of God warning Adam and Eve that when they eat the forbidden fruit they will die, and later they eat but they do not die. This story is even more intriguing because the snake convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit – Eve later convinces Adam to do so as well – by claiming that she will not die, but that her eyes will be opened and she will be like God, knowing good and evil. Later, we learn that Adam and Eve’s eyes were indeed opened – they suddenly realized that they were naked – and that Adam only died when he was 930 years old. So what is Genesis trying to tell us by contradicting itself?
For me it is clear that Genesis encourages us to think of a way that Adam and Eve may indeed have died after eating the forbidden fruit, even though they did not die physically. After a lot of research – Albert Einstein said, If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?– and taking into consideration a lot of different ideas, I have come to the conclusion that the author suggests that before eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve were aware of their reincarnations. That would somehow have made them inmortal. If eating the forbidden fruit – a change in their diet – made that they were no longer aware of their past lives, they could no longer be sure of what would happen after their present life. Therefore, after eating the forbidden fruit, they must have begun to fear death and we can consider that they became mortal.
Reincarnation and karma are ideas that are closely related. The principle of karma is that whatever harm we cause to others, will be caused to us in our next lives. Reincarnation, karma and vegetarianism, are not ideas that we tend to associate with the three monoteist religions that are based on Genesis, but instead with Hinduism and Buddhism. People have ignored that several stories make sense when we consider ideas from other religions, because they do not question ideas from their own religion, but do question or even ridicule ideas from other religions.
It is not because the Bible recognizes the principles of reincarnation and karma that people indeed reincarnate. The Bible is just another book and what it says does not have to be true. But people who have a questioning mind will find that the more they reflect upon these principles, the more sense they make. Hillel, a famous Jewish religious leader of the first century BC, said that the Bible teaches us not do to others what is hateful to us. This should not surprise us. By suggesting that our ancestors lived in harmony, the Bible encourages us to restore harmony, and that really means not to do to others what is hateful to us.
The basic idea of the Ten Commandments is ‘Do not to others what is hateful to us’. It is not because God forbids to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, to give false testimony against a neighbor or to long for things that belong to a neighbor, that we should not do so, but because we hate it when others do that to us.
The ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ law has often been misinterpreted. If the Bible encourages us to restore harmony, it makes no sense to assume that it demands us to seek revenge. Violence then creates a vicious circle. The ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ law refers to how our karma works – is it significant that the first mention of this law is in reference to a pregnant woman – and tells us that whatever harm we do to others will be done to us in our next lives. This should not be seen as a punishment, but as the opportunity to learn something from an experience by seeing it from the position of the people that we have caused harm.
Karma does not care about what is legally forbidden – there is a lot of legal theft and a lot of legal killing – but about the bad vibrations that people feel when someone harms them. Those who think that they can get away with bad behavior will learn from ‘suffering’ the consequences. People who realize that the ‘eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ law refers to how our karma works no longer look for revenge, because they know what happen afterwards.
Religious authorities often claim that the ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’ law was a big improvement of the sevenfold vengeance. God indeed said, “Whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeange.” But these ‘authorities’ completely overlook that although Cain killed Abel, God did not kill Cain. He only cursed him by banning him from the ground that had received his brother’s blood. The sevenfold vengeange thus clearly refers to something different.
When we search in Genesis for references to the number seven, we find that there were seven couples of pure animals to repopulate the earth. When in our previous article we reflected  upon how these seven couples repopulated the earth, we came to the conclusion that the most practical way to avoid inbreeding or incest would have been for each of the seven male lineages (or female) to 'cross' in each new generation with each of the seven female (or male) lineages. This would mean that seven generations later each male (or female) lineage crosses again with the same female (or male) lineage.
Now that we have associated the Bible with the principles of reincarnation and karma, we can wonder whether each time when a particular male lineage crosses itself with a particular female lineage it attracts the same spirit. The fact that there are seven generations between Adam – the son of God (of that generation that still lived in harmony and therefore identified itself with God) – and Enoch makes that God and Enoch have something in common and may explain why Genesis says, "Enoch walked with God, and disappeared because God took him."
The story of Judah and Tamar tells us that Er, Judah’s firstborn, married Tamar. When Er died, Judah asked Onaan, his next son, to marry Tamar, and do his duty as her brother-in-law, to maintain his brother’s lineage. Cain was the firstborn of Adam. After killing his brother Abel, Cain asked God, “Am I perhaps my brother’s keeper?” These two stories suggest that Cain had to restore his brother’s lineage.
How did Cain killing his brother Abel alter the original plan of those male and female lineages crossing each other? Now that Abel’s male lineage no longer existed, what would happen to the seven female lineages that it was supposed to cross? Is that perhaps what that sevenfold vengeance refers to?
Let us go back to the story about Adam and Eve who lived on after eating the forbidden fruit. Not only is is it surprising that they did not die, but also that Adam lived 930 years. In the story about the sons of God who had children with the daughters of men, God indeed said, “My spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal, his days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Not only Adam, but all the Patriarchs from Adam to Abraham die when they are older than 120 years. It is only during the life of Abraham, who receives a covenant from God, that something happens that puts an end to these old ages. We can clearly notice this when we put those ages in a spreadsheet and make a graph.
Whereas in the previous article I encouraged people to try to discover what is so special about the ages of the first 20 Patriarchs – the paragraphs above hold several clues –, now I invite people to reflect upon reincarnation. Instead of simply consulting what certain religions say about this subject, I encourage readers to ask all the questions we should ask when we consider this principle. Let me help you a bit. People who believe in reincarnation often assume that when someone dies his soul can freely choose what body it will reincarnate in. But what happens if a soul follows a certain pattern to make it from one incarnation to the following? Is it possible that Genesis recognizes this pattern and therefore gives so much importance to the genealogies?

viernes, 17 de abril de 2015


When I read a book, I don’t want to know what is going to happen or how I am supposed to interpret it. What interests me is first what I understand of it and only later what other people claim it says. Reading a book following guidelines is like filling in crosswords and immediately looking up the answers. You still get a better vocabulary by memorizing those words (learning different descriptions for words), but you are not thinking for yourself; you are not processing the information yourself.

When I read the Bible, I did not follow any guidelines (I only consulted how certain passages are interpreted after I read the book) and I ignored the typical prejudices of the believer (it is a sacred book; it is the word of God; everything it says is the truth) and of the cynics or skeptics (it is just another book; it is the work of mysoginists, it helps the rich to oppress the poor; it keeps people stupid).

I should perhaps say that I ‘tried’ to read the Bible that way, because from an early age we become familiar with a particular interpretation for certain stories and that makes it later almost impossible to consider other interpretations. One example is the assumption that Adam and Eve were the first people on earth; another is the assumption that the forbidden fruit refers to an apple. Where do you find in Genesis that Adam and Eve had no father and mother or that the forbidden fruit refers to an apple? Then why are  those interpretations generally accepted? Do you have any idea how much they affect our understanding, not only of Genesis, but of the whole Bible?

Religious authorities used to claim – some still do so – that only they could interpret these books correctly. They were right in pointing out that it is easy to misinterpret certain stories, but the two examples I mention above demonstrate that they have done so as well. Religious authorities also ignore that it is because of their misinterpretations that cynics (skeptics) ridicule the Bible. Cynics claim that science has demonstrated that the Bible makes no sense. They do not realize that science may only have demonstrated that certain interpretations of this book make no sense.

What we are made to believe certain Bible stories say is often not what they really say. This is not only because the religious authorities have misinterpreted these stories, but also because often we need a critical mind to understand them. Without that critical mind we can easily ignore certain information and then we cannot fully understand those stories.

Does it make sense to stress the fact that God expelled Adam and Eve from paradise for eating a forbidden fruit, but ignore that in the days of paradise Adam and Eve were vegetarians? If Bible believers long for a society of people that live in harmony – paradise / heaven – they should recognize the fact that this book associates such a society with vegetarianism and with staying away from a certain type of food.

I propose a complete new study of the Bible; a new reading of that book. When we ‘reread’ that book we must set aside prejudices such as, for instance, that what this book says is true. It is not because the Bible says that what it says is true that we must believe this. When I see a sign that says ‘Crazy is he who reads this’ I see no reason for thinking that I am crazy. I question all authority. It is not because religious authorities claim that what the Bible says is the truth – and that it is the word of God (What is God?) – that I believe this.

However, whenever I read or hear something, I wonder whether it might be true. Let me explain myself because you make still be thinking of the ‘Crazy is he who reads this’ sign. When I read in Genesis that mankind once lived in harmony I do not assume this is true – historians claim it is not –, but I will keep that possibility in mind, because history teaches us that historians make mistakes.

Cynics – skeptics – consider that the Bible is just another book. I agree, but its authors then have the same literary freedom as all other authors. It is inconsistent to claim, like cynics do, that it is just another book, but then treat it with contempt because its stories are not true. Stories do not have to be realistic, but can still hold important messages. Fairy tales are a good example. It is not because animals don’t speak (they do not communicate the way we do) that stories about animals that do so cannot teach us important values. Stories that are not based on reality may still help us understand reality better by encouraging us to reflect upon certain matters or helping us to question certain ideas.

When we read in Genesis that the Patriarchs reached old ages, I see no reason for assuming that our ancestors once lived so long. But whereas cynics react to these old ages by exclaiming, “What this book says is ridiculous because people seldom reach a hundred years”, I react to them by asking, “What is the author trying to tell me with these old ages? What does this information apport to the story? What am I ignoring about these old ages?”

When we put the ages of the Patriarchs on a spreadsheet or draw a graph, we see that a lot of generations coincided in time. Noah, for instance, may have known the 18 generations between Enosh and Abraham. This is relevant for those stories because, for instance, we can now wonder whether perhaps the three people that visited Abraham, after God confirmed his Covenant, were the three sons of Noah. We can now also wonder whether Noah told Abraham about the Great Flood and about the days of paradise. We now see that Noah may have learned about paradise by talking to Enosh, Adam’s grandson.

When people have questions regarding biblical stories, they often immediately turn to certain ‘authorities’ for advice, but often these stories themselves answer their questions. A good example is God asking Noah to take some of the animals with him on the Ark so that they as well will survive the flood. A lot of Christians know so little about Genesis that they think that of each species Noah took one couple with him. They are mistaken. God made a difference between pure and impure animals. Noah took seven couples of each species of pure animals and one couple of each species of impure animals with him on the ark. Therefore, the question is what pure and what impure animals are?

According to the religious authorities pure animals are those that Jews are allowed to eat and impure animals those that they are forbidden to eat. Christians eat impure animals, but they also eat their blood, which God forbade when He allowed Noah to eat animals. One can of course ignore in the Bible – and in life in general – whatever one wants to ignore.

Both believers and cynics accept this explanation regarding pure and impure, but the information regarding the animals that Jews can or cannot eat does not come from the book Genesis – the dietary law given to Noah actually says, “Everything that moves and lives will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green herbs, I now give you everything.” – but from the book Leviticus and refers to the days of Moses. Whereas the former comes from God, the latter comes from Moses.

The second part of that dietary law given to Noah actually refers to the dietary law given earlier on to Adam and Eve which says, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground I give all the green herbs.” Therefore, when God gave Noah and his family permission to eat other creatures, He no longer recognized them as humans, made in His image, but as beasts: the green herbs were not given to man, but to the animals. God allowed Noah and his family to eat other creatures in order to claim back their human soul. We can assume that when people recovered their human soul, they would question eating other creatures.

So what is pure and impure according to the story itself? In case one couple of impure animals was enough to repopulate the Earth, impure clearly refers to incest and endogamy. Having earlier on discovered that God regarded Noah and his family as beasts, we can now look up whether He considered them pure or impure animals. There were four couples on the ark – Noah, his wife, and his three sons with their spouses. Four is right in the middle of one and seven and therefore of pure and impure.

These  incestuous relations among Noah and his family will of course not surprise those who assume that Adam and Eve were the first couple on earth, but do have their importance to those who realize that Genesis suggests there were people before Adam and Eve: God created man in his own image, in his own likeness, male and female (and it makes sense to assume that God was pure); the daughters of man had children with the sons of God; after having killed his brother Abel, Cain was afraid that whoever encountered him would kill him.

Now we must still reflect upon how pure animals repopulated the world. Since there were seven couples of them, the most practical way to avoid inbreeding or incest would have been for each of the seven male lineages (or female) to 'cross' in each new generation with each of the seven female (or male) lineages. This would mean that seven generations later each male (or female) lineage crosses again with the same female (or male) lineage.

Since God created (begat) Adam in His likeness, he and Enoch (there are 8 generations from God to Enoch: God, Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch) had something in common. That would explain why Enoch is special. Not only did he die at the age of 365 years, the number of days in a year, but Genesis also says of him: "Enoch walked with God, and disappeared because God took him."

Not only Genesis, the first book of the OT, but also Matthew, the first book of the NT, gives a lot of importance to the genealogies. The latter says there are 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and 14 generations from the deportation to Babylon to Jesus. Matthew suggests that every 14 generations this special male lineage leads to a special person: also Josías, who marks the deportation to Babylon was special. Therefore, we should find out who is separated from Abraham 14 generations going back in time. This is Enoch and we have just seen that he as well is special.

Now that we have discovered the importance of certain numbers in Genesis and in Matthew, we can reflect again upon those old ages of the Patriarchs. When we read that passage carefully we get the impression that the author did not choose those figures randomly, but may apport something to the story.

Genesis offers for the first 10 Patriarchs of this particular lineage – from Adam to Noah (the Great Flood) – the age they had when they begot their son, the years they lived afterwards, and the total amount of years they had when they died. For the next 10 Patriarchs – from Shem to Abraham Genesis still offers the age they had when they died and when they begot their son, but no longer the years they lived afterwards. There is one exception. In regards to Shem, Genesis says, “Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he begot Arpachshad. After the birth of Arpachshad, Shem lived five hundred years.”

That exception and the fact that offering the years that the first 10 Patriarchs lived after they had their son is abundant (we can figure that out for ourselves) refer to an enigma. If Noah was 500 years when he had Shem, and 600 years when the flood started, when Shem had Arpachshad he was 102 years and not 100 years in case that happened two years after the flood.

Although I have given this enigma a lot of thought I have not yet found the solution. If you know of someone who has a good explanation for this enigma, please let me know. Something that I did discover is that the figures for the ages of the first 20 Patriarchs have not been chosen randomly.  I am not immediately going to tell you what it is, because I want to encourage you to do your own research and do your own maths. You only have to do make a list with those ages and read the first 10 chapters of Genesis to discover what is special about those ages. However, I must tell you that I did a lot of research. Albert Einstein said, "If we knew what it was we are doing, it would not be called research, would it?"


viernes, 10 de abril de 2015


My work is the result of a lot of research and it is so frustrating to discover that few people read me. This is even more so, because I pretend to awaken our society. Therefore, I am very grateful to those who do read me.
They say that people have no time to read, so I published some series of short messages that are not longer than a tweet. But people continued to ignore my search for a better comprehension. While the pictures I post on facebook get a lot of likes, the last messages I posted got 0 likes. This made me feel so miserable that I considered posting: ‘WISDOM 0 – IGNORANCE: 1’. I didn’t, because I thought of those who have encouraged me to continue posting new articles on my blog and those who have told me that my articles are life-changing.
Blessed are those who read me. Do I believe in blessings? Do I believe in curses? I don’t know. Let me tell you a true story. Once, when I was working as a guide, we arrived at Kashgar, in the Muslim part of China. The banks were closed, but we needed local currency to pay for our meals. With the hotel offering such a bad exchange rate, I decided to go to the black market. One of my local contacts knew someone who offered a good rate and this man came to our hotel.
In my hotelroom we exchanged euros for yuan. We both counted the money and then shook hands. Five minutes later, when I went down to meet my group and take them out for dinner, I see this man talking very lively to my local contact. He claims 10 euros are missing. Not wanting to make a scene in front of my group, I take this person aside. I am almost sure that I gave him the correct amount, but I want to give him the advantage of doubt. Therefore, I grab his hand, put it on his heart, and pronounce three times the name of the prophet. I don’t speak Chinese or Uighur, but I made him understand that he is swearing on Allah not to have received those 10 euros. Then I gave him 10 euros and we shook hands again.
That night, back to the hotel, I counted all my money and that convinced me that I had given him the right amount. I felt terrible, because I consider that things occur not just randomly, but follow a certain pattern. Let me be frank. I have not always been an honest person. As an adolescent I came to consider that shoplifting was ‘cool’. But later, when I got picpocket, I learned to see the other side of misbehaviour. This made me realize that I should not do to others what I do not want them to do to me. The idea of karma became to make sense.
In this case I did not think I deserved what happened to me. For a while I wondered whether he had cheated me because he felt that he did not earn enough. Sometimes when you bargain too much, the seller feels cheated and also that causes bad karma. Karma is of course not about what is illegal – there is a lot of legal theft and legal murder – but about what creates bad vibrations. But I had not bargained with him at all. I had accepted his rates, because I had tried other contacts, and knew they were the best I could get.
That night I woke up several times. On each occasion the first thing I was reminded of was the black market man. Being unable to accept that things happen without a reason, I wondered what I had to learn from this experience. Not finding what this could be, I started fretting. Since the idea of having been conned is so unpleasant, I started to hate this man more and more. Although I assumed that, being a bad person, this man did not care about how I felt, I still wanted him to know how upset I was. I thought to contact him in the morning to tell him that he was not in debt with me, but with Allah. But then I assumed also this would not bother him. Therefore, it came to mind that I should add 'till the third generation' because I assumed that this could make a difference; that this could worry him.
The next morning I learned my contact had erased this man’s telephone number. My contact was so ashamed that this man was a compatriot, and that he had put me in touch with him, that he no longer wanted to have any dealings with him. This was a disappointment for me, because I really wanted this man to know that he had not a debt with me, but with Allah and this to the third generation. I'm pretty spiteful and found it difficult to forget about him. Later, it turned out that also he did not forget about me.

That afternoon my contact received a call from this man. He had counted the money again in the morning and found he had an extra 10 euros. He offered a thousand apologies and explained what had happened. When he saw us the previous night he had been very tired, because it was Ramadan and as a good Muslim he had fasted all day. Being tired and in a hurry to get home, because it was just after sunset, and he could finally eat, he had made a mistake when counting the money. When exchanging money he was happy with a small margin, and this was why he had reacted so agressively when he thought 10 euros were missing.
So everything was due to a mistake. This made me very happy, but what would have happened if I had not given him those 10 extra euros? Would he, in that case, still have apologized when finding that money the following day? In the end both of us learned something very important: that we can trust each other. That is always good to know in regards to the future. That night he passed by the hotel to reimburse the 10 euros. He was so embarrassed. I wonder whether it was because of that he had asked his grandson to accompany him. It was only later, after they left, that this reminded me of my ‘third generation’ curse.

Blessed are those who read me. They give me the strenght to continue writing, to continue investigating, to continue questionning old ideas and old beliefs. I am so grateful to my readers that I send them good vibrations.