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❚ christian ❚ shadow ❚ seriousman ✱ Robert A. Johnson

in the beginning was the act

When Faust changes his translation of the beginning line of the Gospel (John 1:1) from “In the beginning was the Word” to “In the beginning was the Act” the poodle turns into Mephistopheles (the devil). It is difficult to comprehend at first glance what a change in attitude, what an expansion of consciousness the alteration of this one word can make. The lifelong scholar who has lived by words now embraces the world of action and finds a whole new dimension of life.

His lordship, Mephistopheles, announces himself as “part of the part which was once the whole.” This hints at the work that is to be the task for the rest of the story. Humanity’s original wholeness must be restored and reinstated. This cannot be accomplished by going back to an earlier stage of consciousness; to “go back” or romanticize the “good ol’ days”, a common political theme in American culture, usually marks the desire to avoid difficult times ahead, and of course it is always a lie, psychological disaster. You must go forward from the Garden of Eden, through the painful time of transformation, to the heavenly Jerusalem, which is a symbol for the wholeness of man restored.

linked mentions for "in the beginning was the act":
  1. in the beginning there was living

    To live is to express one’s self. Expression — the outcome of our enlarged excitation — impels us toward more self-forming .. experiencing more