God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” –Genesis 1:22
Dear members and friends,
On the fifth day of creation, there are two significant expressions that we do not see in the previous days: living and blessing. It seems to be emphasized in Genesis that the creatures from waters are “living” creatures. The Hebrew word for “living” is chay, meaning “alive or that which has life.” As people of 21st century, we all know that plants and trees are alive as well as animals. The big difference is that plants and trees cannot move, while insects and animals can. In a way, this very capacity to move at one’s will is the inner quality that is described as “to have life” in Genesis, according to Swedenborg. Thus, to have life means to be willing and able to live by one’s own will; ideally one which is aligned with the truth received from God. Here, what is crucially important is that the source of the truth cannot be human intelligence, but the Lord God, Creator.
The fifth day is the first time that we read the phrase, “God blessed them.” Here, what is meant by “them” are “the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind.” In general, creatures in water symbolize the practical recognition and acceptance of certain knowledge gained from truth, meaning we would be both willing and capable of applying such knowledge when the opportunity occurs. Birds in the air symbolize higher understanding or intelligence of such knowledge, and thus truth. Together, birds in air and creatures in water symbolize spiritual practices in which we are capable of both truly understanding and implementing knowledge of truth thus leading toward the union of heart and mind. That is why for the first time, God said “Be fruitful and multiply …” to those creatures. The more we understand the knowledge of truth, the more we are capable of gaining affirmations of usefulness of such knowledge in our life. Thus, the fifth day stands for the moment when we are just beginning to unify what is in our head into what is in our heart, meaning knowing and believing is now beginning to become living and being.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee