Focus on the Author: Stan Tenen
A couple weeks back, I posted a review of a fascinating theory about the evolution of the Bible. I very much enjoyed the book, but could not get behind the theory, as the research seemed as yet unsubstantiated.
Stan prepared a thoughtful rejoinder, and posted it as a comment on the thread, but I think it’s worth further highlighting. This, then, from Stan Tenen, author of The Alphabet that Changed the World.
First, let me express my thanks and appreciation to Lee Harmon for his thoughtful review of The Alphabet That Changed the World. In no particular order, there are a few points I’d like to add.
One way to evaluate new ideas is to ask one’s self what it would mean—what would the implications be—if the proposal were true. Objective science is often a matter of suspending disbelief long enough to check out ideas which may not fit easily into current understanding.
—If what I’m proposing is correct, and the letters come from hand gestures, then one purpose of these gestures could be to standardize and record mental and physical exercises, dances in the mind and dances in the world. (Possibly including Levite dances from Solomon’s temple, and possibly including some Sufi dances—in particular, Rumi’s description of the Mevlevi Sufi Round Dance. See Appendix M of The Alphabet That Changed the World.)
—Again, if I’m right, there could be a parallel between the function of a Bose-Einstein condensate in physics and a loving, caring, coordinated minyan, congregation, or communion. I’m proposing the possibility of an analogy between the near-absolute-zero temperature of a Bose-Einstein condensate, and the near-egoless participation in a loving minyan.
—I’m not asking anyone to take these (at best) informed speculations as true. I’m proposing that these ideas be tested. (We can discuss how they might be tested separately.)
As to how and when these ideas were lost, I think it’s likely it was due to 2000 years of erratic and often persistent persecution of Jews, Christians, and Muslims who knew of these deep teachings. (The Gnostics, for example, are no longer with us.)
For a highly readable history of what may have happened, I recommend James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword.
What I’m proposing does not actually conflict with most established scholarship. I’m proposing that the “Bible stories” are essentially true. Their purpose is to preserve the tradition, and to preserve the deeper levels of meaning. The idea that the stories may or may not have been gathered from disparate sources is not addressed by what I’m proposing. Instead, I’m proposing that the stories—whatever their origin—are interwoven with the patterns in the letter-text (as I try to illustrate on pages 119-121 of TATCTW).
I’m trying to find a way to understand traditional Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives, as well as perspectives of modern scholarship and what comes from the application of the scientific method—all at the same time.
For example: I’m proposing that the Indo-European language hypothesis is likely correct, but I’m also proposing that it applies more to spoken language than to written language. If I’m right, there is good reason for words like LeVaNah in Hebrew (meaning “white”) and aLBiNo in Latin (also meaning “white”). There is also an operational correspondence (though not a phonetic correspondence) between YH-VH in Hebrew (meaning “Lord”) and JEFE in Spanish (meaning “chief”). And so on, generally across the board—including all the Latin- and Greek-root languages. (This needs to be further tested and confirmed, so I’m currently working on a dictionary.)
The upshot of all of this is:
1) All of science and all of spirit are based on the Golden Rules, and in fact, God is not just love in the simple sense, but rather, the Lord-God is the process of loving-kindness raining down on us and filling our sails at all times.
2) Messiah/Moshiach is the emergent consciousness of a loving coordinated minyan/assembly/communion/umma—and this could be verified objectively (by experiments that still need to be performed).
Conscious Being / Moshiach
Spirit / Shekhinah
Vessel / Merkabah
the Pool of the Mikveh
a Loving Minyan
Coordinated by the Alphabet.
If what I’m proposing is valid, then the three Abrahamic covenants are like three separate vital organs in the same body politic, each performing a different function and with different needs, but all coordinated for the common good. This is a win-win-win model, not a zero-sum game.
There is much more. Please don’t take what I’m proposing on authority; please ask questions until you understand for yourself. This is a place where reason and faith can converge.
PS You can find much additional discussion in Meru Foundation’s eTORUS Archive at http://www.meru.org/Newsletter/journalindex.html.
Arthur M. Young, The Reflexive Universe
Aryeh Kaplan, Meditation and the Bible, ch. 2, “Floating Distraction”.
(All works by Aryeh Kaplan are recommended).
For basic knowledge on the Hebrew letters, see Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Rabbi Michael Munk, and its Appendix by Rabbi Nosson Scherman.
And for historical context, as mentioned above, James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword.