When Time and Eternity Kiss: A Bold New vision of Human Destiny, God, and the Bible

When Time and Eternity Kiss: A Bold New vision of Human Destiny, God, and the Bible

by Sean Maddox

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504361880
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 09/27/2016
Pages: 740
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.63(d)

About the Author

Author Sean Maddox enjoyed a spiritually abundant but financially impoverished childhood on an Oklahoma farm. At age fourteen his family moved to Colorado. After majoring in theatre at the University of Colorado, he joined the U.S. Air Force. Following discharge, Maddox married and relocated to Toronto with his Canadian wife. In less than two years he became the managing director of Toronto's highly acclaimed International Caravan Festival, produced multicultural presentations for Queen Elizabeth II and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Maddox later served as executive director of Theatre Ontario, publishing a monthly theatre magazine, producing theatre festivals, and managing professional theatre training programs. A decade later he returned to Colorado with his wife and son.

Unable to find work in his field, Maddox transitioned successfully to business, working twenty years for two major American corporations. As he approached the apex of his career, he suffered a near-fatal fall from a ladder and a midlife crisis, which launched his spiritual journey and extensive studies in mythology, depth psychology, Kabbalism, and world religions. He was ultimately inspired to write When Time and Eternity Kiss, which is the first in a unique trilogy of books on the Bible that proves the Bible is the spiritual journey guide book par excellence. Sean lives with his wife, Susanne, in the San Francisco Bay area.

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When Time and Eternity Kiss

A Bold New Vision of Human Destiny, God, and the Bible


By Sean Maddox

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2016 Sean Maddox
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-6188-0



CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION


Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

— C. G. Jung


The Bible opens with two great but conflicting creation stories. In the first, Genesis One, a dispassionate God creates the Earth, the cosmos, and for His crowning achievement, human beings in His own image and likeness. By reserving the ultimate place in the order of creation for humanity, Genesis One relates a profound message: that we humans are nothing less than "miniature gods" endowed with divinity's vast, unlimited creative potential and intellectual gifts. In Genesis Two God forms the first human being at the very outset of the story. Only after that accomplishment does God continue to create the world and a paradisiacal home for the first human.

Whether readers regard these stories literally as history or as mythological tales about the origins of humanity, the creation chronicles raise immense questions about God's various levels of consciousness and His reasons for leaving the timelessness of eternity to create a bountiful but tumultuous temporal world that is all too frequently overshadowed by endless human strife, unbridled greed, suffering, and death. In this book we probe humanity's role in creation and seek the divine reasons for sharing god-like potential with us as co-creators. After much deliberation, one vital question continues to loom. If we are indeed encoded with divine potential, why do the masses of humanity struggle simply to subsist day-by-day, while those inspired with genius-Shakespeare, Mozart, Einstein-reflect a magical but miniscule number of people throughout history, including its golden ages and various renaissances? Finally, is divine destiny scripted and sealed at birth or have we a measure of free will in determining our life destiny and thereby the course of human history? Discussing these issues shatters many "standard" interpretations of the Bible that no longer make sense in the space age and blazes new trails of insight into the West's most famous stories.

Genesis Two states clearly that Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree symbolizes the dualities or opposites in the world of time and space-male and female, day and night, good and evil, life and death. The dualities are essential for the tension between the opposites. Without this tension, all is static and nothing could transpire in the world of time and space.

In Genesis Two God's summary expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden is an act of unmitigated cruelty. He punishes the guileless couple by casting them out brutally from the only world they have ever known. Except for the knowledge that they are of different genders, Adam and Eve are totally unprepared for the world outside the garden's gate. We are given no true idea as to their level of consciousness of good and evil. God's expulsion of the childlike, inexperienced couple from the garden where all their needs have been met into a world where they must make their own way, grow their food, and survive the elements of temporal life is as cold-blooded as it would be for human parents to force young adolescent children from their family home to fend for themselves in an alien and hostile world without preparation, education, and survival skills. Unlike Genesis One, the second garden story does not address the issue of whether or not the young couple carry within themselves all of God's potential. Neither does it suggest whether or not God has encoded the first couple with destiny. If God has provided Adam and Eve with the ability to survive outside the garden and endowed them with a destiny to fulfill, are we to assume that each one of us is also encoded with a personal destiny? And even if we are born with a destiny, we are still left questioning whether or not we have free will, and if so, to what extent. We are very much in a quagmire over the issue of destiny and free will in Genesis. Indeed, Genesis and many biblical texts are treasure troves of metaphysical ideas and spiritual secrets that much of the Judeo-Christian world has chosen to ignore, but this book does not.

Genesis One and Two raise other exciting questions that are woven into the body of this book. Do we have an immortal soul? Is a personal God intimately involved with the script of our lives or are we alone and alienated during our brief journey through time and space? What happens at the moment of death? Do we enter a state of eternal peace in a dimension some call heaven? Are we participants in a process many call reincarnation? In harmony with the theories of quantum mechanics, should we anticipate survival of some form of consciousness and the continuation of our existence through the indestructible "God Force" of the Universe itself, recognized today by a growing number of scientists as unlimited consciousness and creative energy? Or does nothing but oblivion await us?

What is the measure of a life well-lived? Could it be the endless pursuit of pleasure and acquisitions or its opposite – the cultivation of compassionate altruism? Perhaps there is a middle path between these extremes that reveals itself only when we stop searching for it, as the Buddha has observed.

Until my early forties, I had been preoccupied pursuing an education, career, and ultimately, financial security to truly ponder these profound existential questions. As with many life travelers, middle-age became the crucible of my life. From crisis came enlightenment, spiritual transformation, and purposive existence moved by an emerging sense of destiny and a vision of scattered seeds that would take root and grow into spiritual insights into humanity's role in the divine plan, the complexity of God's nature, and the perplexing meaning of the Bible itself. I soon realized I held the blueprint for this book in my mind, and that my destiny was to write a trilogy of books centered on the Bible to fulfill my destiny as an author.

Entering the world with a passport to a singular destiny and the promised participation of Providence in our lives is an immense prospect. Once my spiritual journey commenced, I slowly began to recognize, with reflection, that I had been following destiny's path my entire lifetime. Through reflection on my life and its landmark events the road I had been travelling became clear. Sometimes the way had been smooth and peaceful; sometimes it had been joyous or filled with awe; sometimes it had been burdened with travails and tests; and sometimes, the path seemed to have vanished before my eyes like shifting sand. But always I seemed to know that I was following the road I needed to walk – had to walk – if I was to apprehend and fulfill my destiny, elevate my consciousness, and evolve spiritually into the divine creature I am, that all of us are. Everyone has a unique path to follow, whether or not they are conscious of it or not.

I was raised by a fundamentalist Protestant father and a Roman Catholic mother and enjoyed a vital religious life in my youth and young adulthood. Until age fourteen I lived in rural Oklahoma, where my family's strict Protestant church was the very center of my life. We were very poor. Our three-room farmhouse lacked electricity and plumbing. Oil lamps lit our nights. Our bathroom was an outhouse near a pasture housing a terrifying bull. My brothers and I bathed in a galvanized tub on the kitchen floor. Our entertainment was a battery-powered radio that broadcast the great programs of the era. Television was still many years away for my family.

Riding to church Sunday mornings on the back of a wagon pulled by Grandpa's John Deere tractor was the highlight of my week. On the way, Grandma carried "Jesus" on her lap, the unleavened communion bread she had baked in her wood-burning oven in the dark hours. The unsalted flat bread was the centerpiece of the worship service.

After church we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. I eagerly watched Grandma corral two or three chickens in her apron, outstretched like a net. She rang their necks, dunked them in an outdoor cauldron of boiling water, plucked their feathers, and fried them in piping-hot grease. After dinner there might be a revival meeting or a baptism.

I loved the baptisms. The ritual was magical for me and became my first experience of theatre, which I grew up to love. As the congregation waited, the curtain at the front of the church suddenly opened, revealing the preacher standing in a tank of water with his hand under the penitent's head. I knew the sinner had privately confessed his evil ways to the minister and was now about to take another step closer to Heaven. Three times a week we gathered at church, where I learned to love Bible stories and hymn singing.

Just after I turned fourteen we moved to Colorado, where my father found work. I began to develop an interest in Catholicism and, at age eighteen, I converted to my Mother's religion. I found my new faith filled with mystery and excitement. My later religious experiences brought great joy to my life, and I briefly considered the priesthood.

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.

They are in each other all along. — Yurak Indian saying


The most momentous experience of destiny occurred the day I met my future wife, Susanne. After discovering the woman of my dreams in a romantic adventure and pursuing her on two continents and in three countries, I had found my life partner. She would forever change the very fiber of my being. We both believed at the outset that our implausible chance meeting at a ferry boat landing in Italy had been orchestrated by destiny. This book is assuredly the most visible result of our fateful meeting.

Susanne was a Canadian university student touring Europe alone, midway through an honors program in English literature. I was an American who had majored in theatre arts at UC, Boulder, and was now an airman at an American NATO base in Brindisi, Italy. It was 1968 and the Viet Nam War was raging halfway round the world from my base. I was spending the June weekend camping with three pals on the Ionian Sea, an hour's drive from our base. On our afternoon at the beach I was suddenly overcome by an irresistible desire to leave camp, rush back to town and meet the car ferry arriving from Greece.

We occasionally greeted the ship, which arrived daily. It was the only chance we servicemen had to mingle with English-speaking girls. The young women routinely had a three-hour layover before they caught the night train to Rome. During that window, we had an opportunity to meet them after they cleared customs, give them a tour of the ancient town that marked the end of the Roman Appian Way, and share ice cream or pizza and local wine before they left Brindisi.

My buddies were intrigued by my sense of urgency and decided to join me. We arrived at the port very late. The ferry should have docked an hour earlier. But the beautiful white ship, the Appia Venezia, was magically arriving just as we drove up. When I spotted a group of three attractive young women, I offered them baggage service and a ride to the train station in my Fiat 500. They could check their bags and visit the town with us.

Susanne stepped off that ship and into my life. We were attracted to each other at first sight. After falling into deep conversation at a pizzeria, and exchanging mail addresses, Susanne and I were in a world of our own. Afterwards we strolled arm-in-arm around the port, losing the others. She laughed that destiny had played an impressive role in our meeting. The ferry had been late departing from Piraeus, Greece the previous night. During the crossing she had ended a week-long touring partnership with an Aussie fellow, deciding to be on her own again. She had chosen to share a cab with two American women just moments before disembarking.

Finally, national student strikes in France persisted, and the border between Italy and France had been closed for almost a month. Susanne could catch the night train to Rome, but would be stranded in Rome or the Italian border town of Ventimiglia, as she was heading to France. She had toured Italy extensively in May, and time was running out on her trip. She intended to be on the first train into France, eager to see as much of Paris as possible before taking the boat-train to London for her flight home to Toronto June 27th.

I suggested she and her two companions reconsider their travel plans and spend the night in a hotel. We could go dancing at an open-air night club across the harbor. The three women agreed to stay. At the club Susanne and I drifted to an isolated table next to the railing and the Adriatic Sea. Continuing our life histories, we toasted one another and danced, gazing all the while at the Appia Venezia as she sailed out of port between two flashing signal lights on her return voyage to Greece. The ship's lights were blazing from every deck and a full pink Moon was rising overhead. It was the perfect backdrop for two people who seemed fated to fall in love. And we did. The other two women were anxious to head home to North Dakota and left the next day.

Susanne spent the next nine spellbinding days stranded with me at the Ionian camp site, which we had to ourselves. Sitting on the beach under the stars, we began to think of a life together. Despite a world of differences between us, from political views to cultures and even religions, we had dissimilar expectations of the near future. I had two years left on my tour of duty; she was dashing off to Harvard to take a summer course, and then would finish her last two years at the University of Toronto. As destiny would have it, my extended tour of duty in Italy was cut short and I was assigned to a base in the United States. Susanne and I were married six months later in Toronto, where we settled for the first decade of our long marriage.

Susanne became my muse, mentor and librarian. She taught me to love opera, foreign films, and fine art. She even trained my photographer's eye. She was a perfect traveler who found incredible hideaways off the tourist map. Highly spiritual, a fervent humanitarian and tireless champion of the underdog and civil rights, Susanne helped me overcome the last vestiges of racism carried over from my childhood and early adolescent years in once-segregated Oklahoma.

Early in our marriage Susanne suffered with misdiagnosed bipolar depression. Her mood disorder placed tremendous stress and strain on our marriage. Finally, I thought a new start was in order. After a decade of life as a rising star in the performing arts in Toronto, I decided we would move to Colorado, where my family still lived. Denver was not a thriving cosmopolitan arts center like Toronto. Unable to repeat my performing arts success in Denver, Susanne and I opened a plant and floral business. It was the best thing that could have happened for us. We worked together every day. It became our salvation. Our marriage healed. A few years later we sold the business and I found work in a major corporation, which transferred us to the West Coast with our eight-year-old son, David.

Life began to unravel just months after we resettled in California. I was forty-one when our marriage began to come apart again, and this time, there was no fix for it. After moving to affluent Marin County north of San Francisco, buying our dream house and losing my job the week we moved in, it should have come as no surprise when I found myself alone and adrift on a vast sea of materialism. The religious foundation that had supported me was nearing total collapse after two decades of neglect. Without a spiritual compass to guide me, I lost my bearings and bravura and sunk into depression.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work; and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.

— Wendell Berry


My Mid-Life Fall: The Beginning of My Search for Meaning in My Life

I lost my job without notice or severance pay. In the weeks that followed, our marriage of almost eighteen years suddenly came to an end, after a year of conflict and bitterness with Susanne had escalated sharply into a virulent civil war. Our eleven-year-old son seemed as baffled and shocked as we were when my wife discussed a two or three-year separation and a move to San Francisco. She had lived in the house she adored for just four tumultuous months, having visualized it for almost twenty years.

Overall, our long partnership had been vibrant, centered on love and mutual respect, divergent politics and her passion for intellectualism and culture. One night Susanne told me and our son she had to leave so that we could heal our lives. Susanne found a low-rent dark old studio apartment near a cable car line in a gritty part of San Francisco.

Of all my losses, it was my loss of Susanne, the woman I was destined to marry and with whom I had intended to spend a lifetime, that caused me the greatest shock. I had no interest in replacing her. Clearly she was one of a kind. I was devastated and utterly bewildered as to why these catastrophic events had happened to me in rapid succession.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from When Time and Eternity Kiss by Sean Maddox. Copyright © 2016 Sean Maddox. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgements, xi,
1 Introduction, 1,
2 The Journey Begins, 57,
3 Language and the Bible, 64,
4 Biblical Hebrew, 83,
5 The Names of God: The Genesis of Concealment, 99,
6 Does God Have a Wife?, 112,
7 Mythology, 118,
8 The Secret Language of the Bible, 141,
9 Archetypes in the Bible, 149,
10 The Archetypal Serpent and the Chakras, 158,
11 The Inner Serpent, 179,
12 Kabbalah's Tree of Life, 195,
13 The Bible's Principal Code Words, Archetypes, and Symbols, 199,
14 The Tower of Babel and the World Mountain, 261,
15 Archetypes of the Family, 304,
16 Archetypal Numbers and Colors, 345,
17 Hero's Journey, 359,
18 The Philistines, 382,
19 Samson and Delilah, 389,
20 Sodom and Gomorrah, 434,
21 Science, Quantum Physics, and God, 503,
22 Celestial Dreaming, 524,
23 The Mind: Projection and Reflection, 528,
24 The Dreaming Mind, 552,
25 Genesis One: God Speaks, 568,
26 The Bible's Big Bang — Bereshith, 590,
27 Bereshith: Part 2, 658,
28 Before Sunrise My Vision, 703,
Bibliography, 707,
Endnotes, 717,
About the Author, 725,

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