Then Who or What is Eve?
Eve, spelled חוה, chavah, in all Hebrew versions of the story is actually a verb form which means ‘to experience, to show forth, to manifest.’ In the Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature it is also spelled Havvah and defined there simply as ‘Adam’s wife.’
However, in the Greek Septuagint (began in the 3rd Century, BC) Adam’s wife is spelled two ways. In Genesis 3:20 Adam names his wife Ζωή, Zoh, or ‘Zoe.’ That word means ‘life, living being, spirit.’ Then in Genesis 4:1 she is spelled out as Ευαν, Euav, ‘Eve.’ No explanation for the two different names. Ευάν, as Eve holds letter value of 456. This is significant and sheds light on the first spelling, Ζωή, Zoe. Also equal to 456 is פרצוף, par’tzuf, meaning ‘face.’ However, the implication of this Hebrew word implies a 'face' or 'spirit' that is invisible, like the Greek Zoe. What both imply is the sub-conscious, the invisible face of each of us; that other, hidden half of us. The Jewish writers of the Greek Septuagint where well aware of this. Had they the vocabulary of the social sciences we have today, they might have written ‘sub-conscious,’ but they and the other authors of esoterica through those periods hadn’t, so they could only allude to that half of us by words they did have.
Now, in Genesis 3:20 of the Latin Vulgate (written in 16th Century) Adam names his wife Hava. By Latin Cabala Simplex Hava sums to 29, the number equal to each, via, ‘way,’ and magia, ‘magic.’ Magia itself is rooted and related to the Sanskrit word Maya, ‘illusion.’ These ideas suggest that sub-consciousness is the ‘route within’ toward the super-conscious as she is also the progenitor of all that is without.1
Qabalistically, moreover, the name, the spelling and the numbers associated with חוה, chavah, tell a deliberate but surprisingly different story from the ‘authorized’ versions involving some very profound gematria. We begin with chavah totaling to 19 by its Hebrew letters. A noun summing to 19 is אויב, oyev, and it means ‘adversary, opponent.’ This word, in turn, is from the root אוה, ivah, meaning ‘to desire, to want.’
Number 19 is also especially interesting in this case. Another tool Literal Qabalists use to investigate some words with scant leads is Theosophical Extension. This is done by taking the base number of the word, in this case 19, and adding up all the integer values from 1 to the object number, as 1+2+3+4...etc. The summation of numbers from 1 to 19 comes to 190. Number 190 represents the full manifestation of the power of ideation behind the name chavah.
This is where it gets interesting, to a Literal Qabalist at least, because 190 is also the number of צלע, tzela, ‘rib,’ from Genesis 2:22. That’s right, Adam’s rib. The word comes from the root צל, tzel, ‘shadow, shade,’ similar to the Greek Zoe for ‘spirit.’
Eve – well, chavah – is Adam’s sub-conscious half, that is, generic humanity's sub-conscious half. Therefore, she also represents yours and my sub-conscious half, the ‘shadow’ side of us, collectively and individually. She is also our ‘adversary, opponent’ in that, left unchecked, she mesmerizes and seduces self-consciousness (Adam) away from attention and concentration by ‘desiring, wanting’ more sensation which can never be appeased. The genuine spiritual Alchemists of the Middle Ages were well aware of this, our dual nature. They labeled this two-sided condition in the natural human, Rebis, the ‘two-thing’ that must be reunited and act as One. Nevertheless, she is also amenable to suggestions from the self-conscious level. Sub-consciousness can be ‘reigned in’ by discipline and loving suggestions from self-consciousness.
The Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud and Midrashic Literature says this about צלע, tzela, the rib: “As long as he was Adam, he was one (harmonious in himself), but when the rib was taken from him, he was to know (the conflict between) ‘good and evil.’” What is most regrettable for the women around our world is that the men of so many cultures, by believing in the literal story of creation, the Garden, Adam’s and Eve’s Fall et al, punish the fair sex unrelentingly out of shear ignorance, stupidity and meanness. God only knows how long this will continue. It is a fair assessment to say that men who inflict any abuse whatsoever against the feminine half are actually punishing themselves, their own sub-conscious half, personified incarnate.
In addition, with regard to Eve is the temurah of חוה, chavah. By exchanging these letters what comes up are ס פ צ. The number behind these new letters totals 230, the number within נציב מלח, n’tziyv melach, ‘pillar of salt,’ from Genesis 19:26. And this harks back to some very intricate Qabalah and Alchemy.
Qabalistically, the Three Principles of the Divine Essence (Ain Suph Aur) are Kether, Chokmah and Binah, composing the Triune One-God. The three in Hinduism are Satttvaguna, Rajasguna and Tamasguna, while the Alchemists labeled them Mercury, Sulfur and Salt. All these, stepped down to the level of human consciousness, the modern psychological sciences name super-consciousness (Kether, Sattvaguna, Mercury), self-consciousness (Chokmah, Rajasguna, Sulfur) and sub-consciousness (Binah, Tamasguna, Salt). Salt, our sub-conscious mental activity, is considered ‘arresting, cohesive’ in that the sub-conscious, when left to its own proclivities, will always revert back to what is habit-forming, familiar and comfortable. She must be gently guided from such tendencies if we are to progress with anything in our lives. Her natural tendency within us is to prevent us from moving forward out of fear or of anything unfamiliar and threatening.
In the Genesis 19:26 story of Lot’s wife, she turned into a ‘pillar of salt,’ because she (personified sub-consciousness) gazed back at the conflagration in Sodom and Gomorrah. The Qabalistic message was that there is no turning back to the past where spiritual development is concerned. If self-consciousness, in this case Lot himself, gave into the habit-forming practices of the sub-conscious, personified as Lot’s wife, it would arrest, maybe even kill, the evolutionary path to wholeness and self-completion. Instead of returning to the Father and Home within, Lot (self-consciousness) would revert to the old, familiar habit patterns dictated by a desirous, sensation-seeking ego.
In the story with Eve (chavah, sub-consciousness) as the opposing adversary to Adam (self-consciousness), the two, rebis separated within one, ‘fell’ from the spiritual state, were given ‘garments of skin’ and evolved into the physical plane in conformance with the Creator’s desirous Intent by way of the natural laws we have come to understand through the physical and anthropological sciences. None of this was ever intended as an ‘evil’ toward women to be punished or ostracized in any manner by male dominated cultures. This is a creation story designed to explain how the physical world and all therein came into being. The Full Spelling, the full expression of חוה, chavah, is חית-וו-הה, summing to 440 and equates with the word תם, tam, meaning ‘perfect, unblemished, completion, end.’ Seasoned students of Qabalah will recognize the relevance of the two-lettered תם, tam, as being the Central Point within the Cube of Space so important a symbol in Qabalah and Hermetic Alchemy. The creation process ‘ends perfectly’ with the appearance of woman. Furthermore, the Road of Return and the Alchemical Great Work all takes place and unfolds in the principal arena of the sub-conscious (Woman's Work) for this is also the arena of 'end' and 'completion'.
In conclusion, regarding Adam and Eve as self-consciousness and sub-consciousness personified, a Qabalist might ponder the two names together as one, אדם-חוה, Adam-Chavah. The names would sum to 64 by Hebrew gematria. A Hebrew noun, אנחה, anchah, meaning ‘sigh, groan, deep breathing, exhalation,’ sums to 64 and adequately describes that involuntary action of deep breath caused by stress, disappointment or an utterance caused by exhaling audibly. Have we all not done this occasionally when the burden of life became exasperating? The Adam-Eve within us pining for return to some Eden? Yet the strife of finding our way back continues to motivate us in all the directions we see around us. Seeking to find that Eden out there somewhere is now described by the Qabalah sage in the continuing narrative.
1 Critics skeptical of Qabalah and all its tenets might argue here by pointing out that Latin, as a spoken and written language, evolved long after those Mid-Eastern dialects when the Pentateuch and similar ancient texts were ascribed. So how can one compare any gematria from early Hebrew with the relatively newer Greek Qabalah and the Latin Cabala Simplex? The answer to this is that the later sages who wrote in Greek, then Latin, were well aware of the coded messages within the earlier writings. When explaining ancient messages in modern tongues those same philosophers chose words and expressions with a numerical value to match the earlier alphabets. It was not as if the Hebrew scribes anticipated other, future languages, but just the opposite. The later scribes conformed their writings to carry over the earlier, hidden messages. That is what evolved the Greek Qabalah and the Latin Cabala Simplex. This was done to pass on arcane teachings to those schooled in the discipline. It is perfectly legitimate to compare the hidden alliances by using all that is available to us today, thanks to all those philosophers through the ages.