THE REAL STORY OF MOSES
AND THE TEN SUGGESTIONS
As Recorded by Adam Kadmon
Salton Sea Scroll
Edited by Robert E. Podolsky
It has been several years since the author of this piece approached me with news of the discovery of the Salton Sea Scroll. For reasons that may become clear in the context of the scroll’s content, he wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from various members of religious officialdom. Yet there is much that can be said of him of which the reader should be aware. For convenience I will refer to him by the pseudonym of, “Dr. Smith”.
Educated as a biblical-archeologist at a prestigious university in Utah, Dr. Smith is the son of a Mormon elder. A brilliant gentleman of mature years he has professed a lifelong curiosity about the origins of his birth-religion; and indeed has evinced a noteworthy skepticism about the Old and New Testament explications of Judeo-Christian dogma and tradition. Accordingly he became a scholar of this tradition, studying in depth the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Torah, the Talmud, and the Koran. Since the release of the content of the Dead Sea Scrolls he has studied them intensely as well. An exceptional linguist, Dr. Smith speaks ten modern languages and has become a fluent translator of ancient languages, including the earliest forms of Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Ugaritic, and their antecedents.
As a result of his studies, Dr. Smith Became convinced in 1969 that the considerations that led to the creation and preservation of the Dead Sea Scrolls must surely have also resulted in the creation and preservation of related material somewhere on the North American continent. His resulting search took him first to the Salt Lake valley in Utah; then to Death Valley on the California-Nevada border. How he found the Salton Sea Scroll in the Imperial Valley region of southeastern California will be the subject of another story altogether. Needless to say it was a long and difficult task and in the end he was lucky.
Not being a biblical archeology scholar myself, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of Dr. Smith’s translation of the Salton Sea Scroll; however the content is so provocative that I have chosen to publish it without making extended efforts to verify either its accuracy or its origin. To those who read it I would suggest you evaluate its message on its own merit without recourse to attributions of authority or lack of it.
Robert E. Podolsky
The Real Story of Moses and the Ten Suggestions
As Related by Adam Kadmon
As I record these words our leader, Moses, just returned from the Mountain of Wonder, is telling our people the story of his sojourn with God during which Moses was given the stone tablets which reveal God’s will concerning his people. For three days and nights I have sat with him in his tent with the flaps closed while the people awaited the news of his journey. To me he said, “Adam Kadmon, it is to you that I will tell my story first; for I know you and trust you to report it accurately. In the years to come many will tell it the way they wish I had said it, rather than as it really was. So heed my words and record them truly.” Thus it is to me that the great honor has befallen of recording truly for all future generations the tale of Moses’ conversation with the Great One; so here it is, in his own words even as he spoke them to me.
Long have we wandered in the wilderness hoping the Great One would lead us to a fertile and hospitable land that we could call our own. But we seem to be as far from that dream today as the day we left the kingdom of Pharaoh. So it is that I decided to climb to the heights of the nearby Mountain of Wonder, there to fast, to consider our plight, and to ask God’s help in drawing this long and perilous journey to a successful conclusion.
On my trek up the mountainside I bethought myself as to the nature of our plight and came to the realization that we have thus far proven unworthy of God’s more generous blessings. We despoil the land through which we travel. We treat one another harshly and with indifference to the caring that we seemed to share while we were in bondage. Sometimes violence breaks out amidst our disputes, which seem to be more common than in years past. Many of us seem inclined to return to a more primitive faith; in our minds populating the world with all manner of gods and demons and making sacrifice to images and statues in hopes of placating the wrath of unknown spirits. Our husbandry of our meager resources fails to improve and our arts and our crafts languish. Little wonder God is not pleased with us! My path lies plain before me. I must ask God how we can change to become more worthy in his eyes.
I was still thinking along these lines when I arrived at the upland plateau that lies just below the peak of the great mountain. There, looking out over the land below, I noted the sun was almost setting; yet there seemed no reason to delay. So I knelt beneath the sky and lifted my voice to the heavens.
“Oh, Great God of heaven and earth,” I cried, “I would speak with you concerning the fate of my people, your children suffering the exile of the desert. Will you hear my plea?” Then the sky shook and the ground trembled and a great stern voice spoke to me.
“Moses, my young friend, how good it is to see you again! Do you suppose you could find time to visit me more often; or would that be asking too much?”
Stunned by the implied rebuke I cried, “Dear God, how is it that your words sound so much like the greetings I so often received from my mother?”
Softening somewhat the voice responded, “I thought a familiar greeting might set you at ease somewhat under these rather daunting circumstances. I see I was mistaken. Forgive me.”
“Of course, Great One. If you truly want to ease my anxiety it would help if I could see you; as I am unaccustomed to holding conversations with a disembodied voice.”
“Well,” God answered, “I might be able to help you out. How would you wish me to appear? I have some flexibility in this matter.”
“Any image will do,” I said, “to focus my attention; though perhaps it would be best if it were one that combined something ordinary with something unmistakably out of the ordinary.” As I said this I was thinking that it could be risky if God appeared too ordinary. I might behave too familiarly toward him and offend him in some unforeseen way.
“Okay,” said God, “I’ll speak to you as a burning bush as I did at our last meeting. Will that suit you?”
“Yes, of course,” I said. And as I did the bush a few feet to my left appeared to burst into flame; strange purple flame with a pale blue shimmer in the air surrounding it. And rather than being consumed by the flame I noticed the bush was seeming to enjoy the presence of the flame. Still more unusual was the fact that I could sense the obvious pleasure the bush was experiencing.
“Will this do?,” asked the bush in God’s voice.
“Perfectly!” I replied. “Uh…uh…hmmm. God, would it be all right with you if before we get to the serious discussion that brought me here, could I ask you a few lesser questions that have been on my mind for some time?”
“Not at all, Moses. Take your time. In fact, if it’s all right with you I’ll just shift us outside of time while we have our chat, so we can take as long as you like and it won’t be deducted from your time in life.”
“Great,” I said; though I didn’t really understand the offer. But I’m not one to turn down a possible benefit deriving from God, himself. “My first question is, ‘Are you really male or female?’”
Now the voice seemed to smile. “Neither. I’m too big to be either one alone. And I reproduce asexually.” As I was deciding whether or not to inquire further concerning his reproductive modality he offered, “In case you were wondering, I reproduce by selecting hospitable planets, like yours, here and there in the Universe and by creating people-species like you who have the potential to transform themselves into beings like me.”
Feeling a little overwhelmed by what I took to be some of the possible implications of what I had just heard, I ventured to ask, “Wait a minute now. What exactly do you mean when you use the word, ‘Universe’?”
“Well”, he said, “the Universe is everything that exists within the reach of the light from your oil lamp. It includes every thing living or inanimate on your world, everything you can see in the heavens including the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets; and it includes a vast region encompassing numbers of additional suns, moons, and planets so great that the human mind cannot conceive them.”
“All right; I can understand that,” I said. “So, what do you mean by ‘people-species’?”
“‘People or persons,’ as I use the term, are members of a very special kind of species; one that has awareness of its own awareness. As a person you know that you are separate from your surroundings. There is ‘you’ and there is ‘not-you’. As you interact with your environment you know that you are having feelings, thoughts and perceptions in response to the not-you that is around you. Is that clear?”
“Very,” I replied. “So are you saying that you reproduce by scattering person-hood around the Universe and that each person can somehow become a god like You?”
“Not exactly,” he responded. “Human beings are currently too short-lived for such a personal achievement. But I have in fact endowed you with the ability to aspire to such growth. And if enough of you entertain such aspirations, eventually your species could transform itself into a being like me. Thus will I be reproduced, if my creation of you was good and if you choose to continue your evolution.”
“I notice that you use the words, ‘creation’ and ‘evolution’ in the same breath. Which is it? Are humans created or evolved? Some of my people get into violent disputes about this; so I really need to know.”
“Well,” said God, “have you ever seen a beautiful leather saddle; one with elaborate patterns and designs carved or tooled into the leather?”
“Surely,” said I.
“Would you say that saddle was ‘created’ by the saddle-maker, or was it ‘tooled’?”
“Well, both of course.”
“And do you think less of the saddle-maker because he uses tools?”
“Of course not!”
“Exactly,” said God. “And so it is with my creation of the Universe, including humanity. I used evolution as the primary tool to accomplish the task.”
I thought about this information for several minutes and realized that some among my people might ask me the question that was forming in my mind; so it seemed important to ask it. “So what exactly is ‘evolution’ anyway.”
“To answer that question let’s start with the notion of the polarity between order and chaos. Take the structure of wood, for example. If you look at it closely enough you see it has a very organized internal structure. You might say it’s very orderly. But when you burn it you destroy most of that orderliness and replace it with smoke and ash which are much less orderly; much more chaotic. Is that making sense to you?”
“I guess so; but I’m not sure what you are getting at.”
“That’s all right. Bear with me a little longer and it should all come clear. I built the Universe in such a way that if one isolates a region of space that contains matter the orderliness of that matter can only diminish; and the chaos of it can only increase. Someday humankind will likely discover that because of this it is possible for them to make wonderful machines. They will probably call this fact the ‘second law of thermodynamics’.”
“Amazing,” I said, “will I live to see the day?”
“I doubt it,” said God, “but it is good that you know about it anyway. Now we come finally to the answer to your question about evolution. The most amazing thing about the Universe is the fact that there are sizable areas where almost nothing is isolated. For instance, here on your world almost everything gets bathed in sunlight every day. So the sea and the atmosphere are not constrained to always become more chaotic and less orderly. Under these conditions there are areas where chaos diminishes and order increases. And that is the fundamental nature of evolution.”
“Is that it,” I asked? “The whole ‘magilla’? Why would anyone be upset or argue about that?”
“That simple fact has consequences,” he said lowering his voice to an almost conspiratorial tone. “To create life I just created energy and matter and gave them the necessary properties; and let them go. Those properties were the ‘commands’ that made everything else in the Universe unfold like a flower. First the things you see in the sky evolved from the raw materials that I provided. Then matter evolved into what we call ‘life’. It was characterized mainly by a much higher level of awareness than was exhibited by all the preceding forms of energy and matter. And of course it was much more highly organized and ordered and much less chaotic.
The next stage of evolution was the appearance of consciousness. Consciousness, which we sometimes call ‘sentience’, is nothing but awareness of one’s own awareness. We mentioned that before when we talked about what makes people different from other life-forms. Very soon now, in just five thousand years or so, humankind will probably be ready for the next stage of evolution, in which awareness becomes so great that it becomes possible for humans to take charge of their own evolution; to steer it so to speak. In a sense it will be the beginning of the evolution of evolution. When that happens, many wonderful and terrible possibilities will become available to your species. Becoming like me is one of them.”
“How woooonderful!” I practically sang. “What a grand future to work toward!” I opined, practically jumping up and down. “Can anyone really object to such a blessed world-view?”
“Moses,” said God, “haven’t you noticed that there are many people who take pleasure in asserting their dominance over others?”
“Egypt’s Pharaoh is a pretty good example.”
“Some people like to believe that I ‘micro-manage’ their lives twenty-four hours a day; and the reality is that I don’t; that I wouldn’t want to under any circumstances. The way I created the Universe is a good example of how I operate. I just put all the ingredients in place, commanded the laws that govern it all, and went away and let life happen.”
“That seems to be turning out to have been a viable plan,” I ventured.
“Viable, indeed!” said God. “The fact is you don’t need me to be looking over your shoulder all the time. Nor do you need the service of priests to intercede for you with me; you can address me directly by seeking answers from within yourselves and within my works.”