So, Who or What is Adam?
Revised: February 2020
The first time we come across the word אדם, adm, ‘man,’ is in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’...etc.”
Adam (אדם, ADM) is not anyone’s name. It is the Hebrew term denoting “generic humanity, mankind, anthropo.” In the Hebrew Biblical narrative, and in classic Qabalistic literature, the term is indicative of the entire physical creative process up to the appearance of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, and the Seed of what we are to become beyond ‘man’. The word for “singular person, adult, husband, spouse” is איש, aish. In this first instance, this first ‘man’ is the Archetypal, Primordial Man, אדם קדמון, Adam Qadmon. He (They, It, Us) is the Over-soul of all creation, all galaxies innumerable. As the Son of the Father he is not merely in a physical world, but rather the entire physical creation. He is NOT a 'big person' in the spiritual world. ‘He’ was made, created, in Elohim’s דמות, damoth, ‘divine image,’and צלם, tzlem, ‘likeness.’ That is to say, in the Divine, creative imagination, and in their likeness, being that Adam Qadmon would possess all the power and glory of the Elohim, partaking in the nature of the celestials. Qabalah teaches that he is a likeness not in form, but of quality. “...male and female He created them,” verse 27 reports. Adam Qadmon, One with the Father in this state, is a consciousness within the Three Veils of the Absolute. In the Third Veil (The Limitless Light) Adam Qadmon composes the Four Worlds. We, each of us, and all creation are minuscule pieces comprising Adam Qadmon. The ‘dwelling place’ of Adam Qadman is in the World of Briah, the Creative World.
The four Worlds of Qabalah are Atziluth (Ideation), Briah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), and Assiah (Materialization). These first three worlds describe the creation in a spiritual plane, an archetype of our physical world, the fourth world, Assiah.
Another ‘man’(also not an individual) is described in Genesis 2:7. The verse does not name any person. The Hebrew word in the verse is ha-adam, האדם, ‘the man’, formed from the dust of the adamah, אדמה, ‘ground’. Each of these words, spelled with the same letters, sums to 50. This suggests that, in essence, ‘the man’ and ‘ground’ are identical. Look up adamah in a Hebrew dictionary and it is defined as ‘red’. This is the ‘red earth’ or terra adamica we find in alchemical literature. This ‘man’ is also an archetype, symbolic of collective mankind evolved from the ‘dust of the Earth’. This ‘man’ [inclusive with woman, as stated in verse 27] is the archetype of our Anima Mundi, us, the Soul of World, our physical planet. All of us together comprise our World Soul. He [they together] were complete in themselves until ‘the man’s’ rib episode [detailed under Eve]. Prior to the Fall we were all one together within an archetypal World of Yetzirah, the Formative World, of Eden.
This second אדם, adm, ‘man,’ (as in ‘mankind’) is the prototype of mankind in the Garden State described above. For the sake of receiving pleasure by desiring sensation in a physical world this ‘man with woman’ (a collective) had to “fall’ (the most common description) from the Formative World and evolve into our current ‘sentient primate’ bodies through all the stages of life on this Earth as discovered by the anthropological sciences. The evolution into sentient primates occurred more or less simultaneously and independently of each other in various locales of our world. WE, all humans collectively, do not come from a single pair. Otherwise, simply, would we not all have the exact same DNA?
There are schools of Qabalah that consider this second ‘Adam’ in the Old Testament Adam ha-Rishon, the ‘First Man’, meaning that this ‘individual’ was the first human to become ‘enlightened’ and achieve reunion with the Christ Consciousness (Tiphareth). I do not understand how they have concluded this. The word ‘Rishon’ does not appear anywhere in Genesis that I could find. I do not understand how this conclusion was derived. If there is anyone out there who could explain this to me in detail, I would very much appreciate elucidation.
In the Genesis narrative this second ‘man’ broke into millions of pieces, which is The Fall. Some Qabalists call this The Shattering. These pieces are you and I, all of us collectively, unfolding through our global history. The name in Hebrew, אדם, sums to 45 by its gematria. By rearranging the letters the word אמד, ahmed, means ‘estimator, appraiser’ as a noun; and as a verb ‘to estimate, appraise, assess.’ Every new thing we humans came across through millennia, we instantly ‘named’ it something and categorized it with something similar. In Genesis 2:19 it is written that the Creator “...brought creatures to the man to see what he would call them...” Moreover, the word מאד, mod, meaning ‘force, strength, will,’ suggests the essence of humans to endure. Each of the words also sum to 45, being another rearrangement of the same letters.
The temurah of אדם, calls up letters ת ק י, which sum to 510. One word that sums to 510, תיק, tiyk, has the colloquial meaning of ‘task, burden, onus.’ It is suggestive of our collective burden to carry on with our tasks toward completion, wholeness, and return to the Edenic state.
There will be more concerning Adam in the article Adam Through Seth – Genealogy II.
Note: This portion above concerning Adam Qadmon, Adam ha Rishon, the breaking of the World Soul, the Fall, the Upper Worlds and all descending into this physical plane is very complicated, advanced Qabalah. The above should not be considered the complete, or even an adequate treatment of the topic. Nor could it be in such a short overview. Entire books are written about these very subjects. One point can be certain from a Qabalistic view, however, is that Adam, ‘man’, was not an actual single person, and together with ‘Eve’ were not the first, individual ‘parents’ of the entire human species.