Because who doesn’t love reinterpreting Genesis?

Nathan Otto
6 min readDec 1, 2017


I’m writing a book, Surviving Evolution: The Field Manual. I’m excited about it, so I’m sharing that with you. It’s a book about our real human origin story that we’ve kept secret from ourselves, robbing us of our superpowers.

I got excited when I saw that Genesis complements my ideas in the book, if you grant me permission to assume it’s expressed in a kind of code.


“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

ruach elohim, the original Hebrew translated “Spirit of God”, means “wind, or breath”. The most elegant translation is prana, the life-force. Or if you geek out on this stuff, shakti — the universal feminine principle of energy, of diverse expression.

Evolution, in today’s secular parlance. Evolution seems to be the word we use for “mysterious organizing force”. We have badly misunderstood how evolution applies to humanity. That’s what the book is for, to understand it better. Prana is not a bad way to think about evolution.

The “waters” means the True Water of Consciousness. Self-abiding Consciousness Itself. Timeless, eternal, without beginning or end.

“Then” [we’ve got that timeless time issue here, hence the quotes] Consciousness self-vibrates.

And God said, “let there be light”: the self-reflective, self-creative nature of consciousness generated experience — time, space and light as one thing, identical to consciousness, not separate from it.

“Said” is the vibration, the creative vibrational proto-pattern, the original “om”.

Consciousness self-vibrated into expression to Itself.

As an eternal expression, this om is vibrating identically at this moment. There is no past moment of Creation, this is the same moment of creation. Can God run out of breath? Exciting stuff!

In your aesthetic, can the creation of time happen only at the beginning? It seems inelegant to propose a one-time launch, some different, exceptional past Creative Moment, reserved only for that Special Time, and then after…what? Clockwork?

Too complicated, bah. In Genesis, even God kept going with the Words, yo. I’m going with ongoing “om”. This moment is as creative as any.

That’s pretty much it for the mystical reflection on Genesis, but I have more to say.

Genesis can also withstand an additional interpretation of the awakening of humankind to recursive evolution. Self-reflective self-creation. Funnily enough, that seems to have happened about 6,000 years ago, the same period creationists give to the creation of the world.

So, if a world did get created then, what world was it?

If we let the Word be language, then Creation could be that the mind finally broke itself off into a wholly symbolic, yet consequential, internal model of reality, consensually validated.

The moment where memory reorganized itself from an always-now pattern-match conditioned response repertoire (animal basis), to a narrative organized in an interior world (human basis).

The birth of the ego.

Now, voila! the energy of creationists has a place to go: the world really was created about 6,000 years ago, by the awakening of the Word, the godlike creative-adaptive powers of men and women. The interior world moved from being primarily sensory-referenced to being primarily group referenced.

We all went crazy, in a way that helps us win the evolutionary game, for a while.

This was IT, folks, the moment where the self-idea, capacity for self-examination, impulse control, parts conflict (do you have an internal “mean” critical voice?) discipline, rules, ideals, self-reference, sacrifice and whole host of error-prone, exploitable mechanisms clicked into place, a slow, weird, clunky system overall adaptive to more survival and more reproduction, but very dangerous to any given individual.

Especially today, with scientifically researched maladaptive exploitative manipulative memes running amok! Pant. Wild eyes. Deep breath. That was a rant.

Perception got a lot more efficient, also. No more wasted time presenting irrelevant and contradictory observations to attention — all that can be handled in the subconscious “deny/suppress” department, using the old reliable heuristic “if I’ve never seen it, it’s not real”.

There is ONE reality, we agree on it, riiiiight? so it must be true and real. Defend your certainties, people! They NEED you!

Kill disbelievers — they actually do present quite a threat to this delicate insubstantial internal/group world, dependent as it is on a set of beliefs eroded by the natural human tendency to rapid re-adaptation, threatened by our dangerously fluid identity; subject to dissolution by the application of reason! Such a delicate foundation must be strongly enforced, if power depends on it. Note: don’t kill anyone. Jeez.

Not until science rediscovered consequential observation did perception begin to free itself, and even then, not so well.

What works about our consensual “crazy” is two things: first, constant reinforcement from the group. This is the part where our menagerie of un-verifiable, un-testable beliefs generates belonging, because my fellow cult-members have the same weird beliefs I do, so my peeps got my back, yo, and I’m gonna live. So…really, don’t contradict, because that threatens my belonging, therefore my safety, therefore you are a threat if you contradict me. So just don’t.

Tribalism in all its many forms has its foundation in this, right? Pretty dark stuff.

Second, we maintain the referential integrity of our interior fake reality with some degree of testing against apparent exterior reality as reported by our senses and sense-extensions, aka computers and labs. In fact, once we recovered from this brutal shock of our attention being conditioned to a false reality (let’s give it to the creationists again), 6,000 years ago, we soon (5,500 years or so later) super-powered our adaptive creative genius with technology, aka the scientific method.

There is a huge cost to our “snap-to-grid” emotional-cognitive biases and to our weird tribal belonging beliefs. Yet, despite the overall costs of our mixed-up, expensive internal “reality”, this clunky alternate-reality symbolic system confers evolutionary advantage to humankind overall, even though you might feel personally screwed. Sorry.

Until recently. Today, we are in the midst of an evolutionary crisis, where our recursive adaptive powers, applied to mere survival and reproduction, have achieved violent victory over all other forms of evolution. We have over-adapted. We won!

Our pace of change, caused by us adapting to ourselves, now exceeds the individual ability to adapt. Our own technology may well run us over whether through ecosystem change, surveillance state, war, or some genie that gets out of the bottle.

See, the scientific method is so powerful, we made a new god out of it: scientific materialism. It’s all the rage.

Subtle forces not measurable by hadron colliders be damned! Verifiable but non-repeatable phenomena, out the window! Happiness sourced in external material expressions, hello! Consciousness subordinated to the brain, bring it, and dub it the Consciousness Problem!

Science is our drive for certainty, expressed formally, conferring techno-material benefits. But babies crowd out the bathwater — meaning the human price of scientific materialism is as high as any ideological price we have paid. Scientific materialism, as a dominant philosophy, excommunicates directly experienced truth, internal moral compass, and common mystical experience. Makes us sub-human.

Come on, people, all science is, is just a method for investigating phenomena. Phenomena that will always remain mysterious, because they happen in consciousness. Sure, science has a certain utility, but let it take its place in appropriate aesthetical proportion to a life well lived.

Why pick on scientific materialism? Only because it’s the current dominant unverifiable belonging paradigm. So, if you look at it closer, you might dissolve something of your beliefs and be happier, more expressed, more powerful? That’s my hope.

The punchline is this: by reclaiming our humanity from tribal ideologies, and practicing secure belonging to humanity and the earth as a whole, in our own way, and by learning to design our very identities to accelerate positive change, we can survive evolution.

That’s the point of Surviving Evolution: The Field Manual.

OK, back to Genesis. I was just excited to see how an updated theory of evolution, a rigorous but human retooling of our origins, mapped back to Genesis — at least for me.

More about the upcoming evolutionary update in the upcoming book, Surviving Evolution. This blog here is all I have to say about Genesis. There isn’t any more about it in the book. Sorry to leave you hanging like that.

You might not like my loose interpretation of ancient sacred texts. That’s OK, so long as you only grumble and don’t pick up the pitchfork.

You might not like my whittle of Science to a method, and not a philosophy.

That’s OK with me — your reality is up to you.

But please, make it a good one, since I have to live in it.



Nathan Otto

Awaken the incredible value and power of mastering your attention to create a life you love and a world that works for everyone.