The Gospel of John begins with these words: “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God”.
I wrote in my previous article about the Word (Logos in Greek, Ra in Egyptian).
In this article I would like to analyze the prologue of John’s Gospel, to see if it has more to tell us than what we usually believe. Let’s find out together.
First of all “in the beginning”.
The original Greek terms used are “En arkè”.
Arkè for the Greeks was more than a temporal concept. It meant origin, but in an ontological sense. Arkè is not something that is before, it is something that is at the core.
In fact, for Thales “arkè” of everything is water, for Heraklitus it is fire and movement.
Later philosophers imagined a less substantial matter: for Anassimandro it is “apeiron”, the unlimited.
For John, the arkè is the Word.
This ontological implication, is still visible in the latin (and italian) version, because the term used, “principio”, has also the meaning of foundation, principle, core.
Why this subtle difference is important? We have to analyze the verb to better understand it.
The verb used in the original version is the imperfect tense.
Imperfect means unfinished and it was used to indicate actions that began in the past but are not finished, are still in the process of happening. We no longer have ways to express it, so translators used the past tense.
But when we read it now, it looks that the Word was only in the beginning, that in the beginning it was God, and it no longer is.
That was not the original meaning.
The Word is still now, because it is not in the beginning, but at the core of everything. That is the meaning of “arkè”.
The original meaning of the sentence could be translated as follows: the Word, Christ (Atman) is at the core of everything. At the core, Christ (Atman) is in God (Brahaman) and even more so, Christ (Atman) is God (Brahman).
At the core of everything that exists is the “I amness” . The existence itself started in the I amness, as Nisargadatta also stated.
In fact the Gospel of John continues saying exactly that (please read it in the present tense): “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (John 1, 3-4)
Why was the principle, the origin of existence called the Word (Logos by Greeks, Ra by Egyptians)?
I will explore it in my next article.