Bruno Lernout (born in 1957 in Duffel, Belgium) has been living in Spain since 1978 (Marbella, Santa Ponsa, Puerto de la Cruz, Ojén, Barcelona, Madrid, Arzúa). In recent years he has worked as a walking guide, accompanying groups of North Americans on different trails in Spain and Spaniards on 'Silk Road' expeditions in Central Asia. During the off-season he devotes much of his time to the study of Genesis and other books of the Bible. He considers himself neither a believer nor a sceptic. He is self-taught and questions “authorities”.
1) What is a Genesist?
A Genesist is someone who:
a) recognizes the fact that a society that doesn’t live in harmony is eventually bound to destroy itself, and considers this the most important lesson that mankind has to learn.
b) accepts Genesis as a book of wisdom for recognizing this reality: 10 generations after putting an end to harmony, mankind almost completely destroyed itself during the Great Flood.
c) is aware that to avoid our imminent self-destruction we must ask why we have conflicts with each other and with our environment, and realizes this is the same as asking what the forbidden fruit refers to.
2) Why do Genesists think Genesism is important?
Firstly, because many people are unaware of mankind’s imminent self-destruction. They think this won’t happen, because it has not happened in the past. But that is like thinking that cigarettes will not kill us because they have not yet killed us in the past. And who says mankind has not destroyed itself in the past? The fact that mankind is able to destroy itself today means it may already have done so in the past.
Secondly, because many people who are aware of mankind’s imminent self-destruction think this is perhaps what is supposed to happen. They ignore that we can avoid our self-destruction if we discover why we have conflicts with other people and with our environment. They do so because they believe certain people behave evilly for no apparent reason and, therefore, there is no way to avoid evil behaviour in the future. But that is a belief. It has not been proved that people behave evilly for no apparent reason.
3) Do Genesists question current views about world history?
Genesists certainly question the current linear view of mankind’s evolution. Assuming that everything started with a Big Bang is similar as assuming that God created the universe. Asking what caused the Big Bang is the same as asking who created God. The idea of a Big Bang should make us think of a catastrophe, and the idea of God should remind us of the principle of eternity. Both ideas help us question our current views about world history. Since our material evolution depends on the discovery of certain natural laws, everything that exists today may already have existed many times in the past. The world may have known many ‘civilizations’ that later destroyed themselves. Therefore, the question is whether this time we will manage to avoid a similar fate.
4) Is Genesism a religion?
No, it is not. It is a movement of seekers who have come to the conclusion that a society that doesn’t live in harmony is eventually bound to destroy itself and that to avoid our imminent self-destruction we must ask why we have conflicts with each other and with our environment.
5) Does one have to be a Jew, Christian or Muslim to become a Genesist?
As pointed out above, Genesism is not a religion. It is open to all people, whether they have a religion or not. The fact that Genesis is at the root of the three monotheistic religions simply makes it easier for Jews, Christians and Muslims to accept what that book says about mankind’s evolution.
6) Given that Genesists regard Genesis as a sacred book, how can they not consider it a religion?
Genesists are seekers, not believers. They seek a better understanding of themselves and the world they live in and their ultimate aim is to attain enlightenment. Believers accept certain ideas in Genesis because they assume that book tells the truth. Skeptics and seekers do not accept ideas that are contradicted by science. But while skeptics reject such ideas and come to the conclusion that Genesis makes no sense, seekers investigate the origin of such ideas, and thus discover that what that book really says is not necessarily what we have been led to believe it says. One can of course claim that Genesism is a religion, since that word originally referred to re-reading a sacred book in order to discover its secrets, and that is what Genesists do, but Genesism has nothing to do with what the word ‘religion’ means today. Genesists acknowledge that Genesis holds secrets –it recognizes the most important lesson mankind has to learn–, and that it was written by someone enlightened. When Genesists question certain scientific ideas, because of Genesis, they often discover that scientists have ignored certain information and have not processed all the information in an optimal way.
7) How do Genesists expect to attain enlightenment?
To attain enlightenment one has to:
1) respect reality (there is only one reality, but different people focus on different aspects)
2) learn from experience (history repeats itself because we do not learn everything there is to learn from mistakes made in the past)
3) base one’s viewpoints on reason (assuming ideas are right is not enough; we must prove they are right)
4) acknowledge all information (we do not learn everything there is to learn because we often prefer to ignore information we dislike)
5) evaluate ideas right (ideas make sense because they do, not because an authority says so)
6) process information right (when we obtain new information we must see how it affect all previously obtained information)
7) be humble (if we acknowledge there are ideas that we do not yet fully comprehend, we may learn to understand them later, thanks to new information or insigh, while when we immediately reject such ideas, because they do not immediately make sense, this is impossible).
8) question masters (when we do not question information we get indoctrinated).
9) become conscious of our subconscious (by filing information our subconscious looks for similarities and thereby reaches interesting conclusions)
10) distrust both consciousness and subconsciousness (traumas make us block out certain episodes from our conscious mind and also damage our subconscious).
8) Why do Genesists criticize science?
Genesists do not criticize science itself, but the way a lot of people evaluate science. They think that while religious ideas are assumptions, scientific ideas have been proved to be right. This is not true. The fact that continuously new theories contradict previous theories, demonstrates scientific theories are not necessarily an exact reflection of reality. Science only offers us the best vision of the world that our scientists are capable of today.
People who put their faith in science often consider themselves more realistic than people who put their faith in religion, but they also accept ideas, not because they can always prove they are true, but because they trust the authorities that defend them.
Whereas religions are based on dogmas, science is based on axioms, ideas that are supposed to be right but have never been proved to be right. There are not many of them, but they can be considered the ‘cornerstones’ on which science has built its understanding of the universe.
Genesists also don’t understand how people can see science as mankind’s salvation, when science is used to enable an ever smaller percentage of the world’s population to get hold of an increasingly larger percentage of the world’s resources. Furthermore, it is because of science that we nowadays have weapons capable of causing our self-destruction. This means that without the right philosophy, science can constitute a threat to our society.
9) If Genesists are seekers, why do they criticize scientists, who also strive for better understanding?
Genesists only criticize scientists who deliberately ignore information. Just as religious authorities prefer not to question certain ideas out of fear of getting excommunicated, scientists prefer not to investigate certain matters because they are afraid of becoming the laughing stock of the scientific community. Scientists have ignored certain matters such as life before and after our present life or why certain things happen during our lives. They have focused on our material evolution while ignoring our spiritual evolution. As a result, people have become selfish and materialistic.
10) How can Genesists criticize Bible believers and Bible sceptics at the same time?
Genesists recognize both the positive and the negative side of believers and sceptics. They disagree with how Bible believers interpret the Bible, but realize it is thanks to them that this book was passed on from one generation to the next and thus managed to survive. And they disagree with what sceptics think of the Bible, but recognize it is thanks to them that they learned to question that book.
11) What do Genesists think of those religions that are not based on the Bible?
Whereas many people are more critical of other people’s beliefs than of their own –this attitude should remind us of Jesus’ parable of the Mote and the Beam–, Genesists try to do the opposite. Genesists think all religions and philosophies have safeguarded ideas that help us gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world we live in. Furthermore, some of these ideas are important in order to understand the Bible.
12) Do Genesists believe in God?
Genesists are seekers, not believers. As seekers, they want to know what God stands for. They have come to the conclusion that the God in Genesis refers to ‘the way things go’ and is closely related to the principle of cause and effect. Those who respect the laws that govern the universe live an easy life, whereas those who don’t, sooner or later suffer the consequences. That is so for individuals and for society as a whole.
13) What is the meaning of life for Genesists?
The meaning of life is to have a good time. This sounds frivolous, but it’s not. To protect ourselves against unpleasant experiences we have to learn everything there is to learn about ourselves, other people and our environment, because if we don’t treat ourselves, the others or our environment properly, sooner or later we will suffer the consequences. Therefore, the meaning of life –to have a good time– is closely related to trying to learn the nature of the forces that govern the universe. These forces try to convince us how important it is to live in harmony.
14) Why do Genesists think mankind has so many conflicts?
Because of a bad perception of reality we ignore some of the circumstances that lead to those situations we would like to avoid, and are also unaware of all the consequences of our own behaviour. Because of a bad perception of reality we also ignore that life teaches us that what matters is not what we obtain, but how we obtain it. When we do not obtain things in the right way –by respecting ‘the way things go’– we eventually suffer the consequences.
15) Do Genesists believe in reincarnation?
One more time: Genesists are not believers. It is when we reflect upon life before and after our present life and upon why things happen the way they do that the principles of reincarnation and karma start making sense. Furthermore, the OT and the NT recognize these principles. Indeed, we cannot comprehend these books if we are not familiar with these principles. Reincarnation explains why God says Adam and Eve will die when they eat the forbidden fruit; later they eat it, but Adam still lives at least another 800 years. We assume immortality refers to never dying, but it may also refer to the ability to remember previous lives. By remembering past reincarnations we know that we reincarnate in the future and, therefore, that life continues. When Adam and Eve lost this ability, they no longer knew what was going to happen after death and that made them mortal. Reincarnation also explains how the followers of Christ regarded him as the Messiah even though he didn’t restore harmony, which is what they expected of the Messiah. Jesus’ followers assumed Jesus’ Second Coming would fulfil the work started by Jesus.
16) Do Genesists think the forbidden fruit refers to drugs?
Genesists indeed think the forbidden fruit refers to drugs, but are not interested in forbidding drugs. Genesists see drugs as a medicine. Instead of taking medicine, it makes more sense to ask why we get sick. Genesists realize that whereas taking drugs immediately put an end to harmony, ceasing to take them, is not immediately going to restore harmony. What makes sense in a harmonious society –to forbid drugs– does not necessarily make sense in a society that does not live in harmony, because there are reasons why people turn to drugs.
17) Do Genesists consider that Mohamed discovered what the forbidden fruit refers to?
Mohamed is a prophet of monotheism –Genesists assume he received his revelations thanks to a better connection with his subconscious– and it makes sense to assume he recognized alcohol as the forbidden fruit. Mohamed’s prohibition of alcohol was more successful than that in the USA, many generations later, because he changed society in such a way that people had fewer reasons to turn to drugs.
18) How important is vegetarianism for Genesists?
It is not easy for people to change their diet. Therefore, instead of suddenly giving up the omnivore diet, Genesists propose adopting vegetarian habits little by little.
19) Are Genesists communists?
Genesists consider that people should not ask what their society can do for them, but what they can do for their society. That is not a communist statement, but comes from John F. Kennedy, the former president of a capitalist country. Genesists are unhappy about the fact that an ever smaller proportion of society is getting hold of an ever larger part of all the available resources, but are neither ‘obligers’ nor ‘enforcers’. A better society requires a better understanding. With a better understanding the rich will help the poor, either because they feel empathy or because they realize this is to their own benefit, while the poor will stop harming their own interests by following an inadequate birth policy or letting their money flow towards the rich.
20) Why do Genesists criticize ‘masters’?
Genesists dislike idolatry. Many seekers only look for a master and accept everything he says without questioning. But just because someone has some bright ideas doesn’t mean all their ideas are right. Masters have often used their better understanding not to serve society, but to serve themselves. Genesis informs us that Melchizedek, the first priest, demanded the sacrifice of the first-born, not to protect society against evil, but to prolong his life. His name –Genesis was originally written in old Hebrew, a consonant language to which vowels were not added until centuries later– should remind us of Moloch, the God people offered their first-born to. This God was also known as Baal, a name that should remind us of Abel (old Hebrew does not distinguish between those names), the person who started the sacrifice of the first-born…
1) The Bible and its Main Secret
2) The Bible and Language
3) The Bible and Vegetarianism
4) The Bible and Jesus’ Virgin Birth
5) The Bible and Reincarnation (to be published in 2015)
6) The Bible and the Genealogies (to be published in 2015)
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