The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18)
The word “alone” is being translated from the Hebrew word בַּד. This can mean “alone” in some sense but its appropriate meaning, drawn from the lexicon, is ‘by itself.’ This indicates a single as opposed to a group. The use of the word “alone” here indicates loneliness, and this is not the case.
The assumption the translators have made is that what is being described is a place on earth (Garden of Eden) and Adam has been created and just left alone there. This is not accurate.
What is actually being discussed is God’s creation of spirit-persons within the spiritual world. This is being taught within allegorical and symbolic prose. “Eden” is the spiritual realm. It is not a physical place somewhere on the earth. The word “man” here is being translated from אָדָם (adam) which can mean ‘man’ or ‘mankind,’ but also ‘human beings.’
The first chapter of Genesis already described the creation of the physical world and all the plants and creatures, including man. What is being allegorically described now is God’s creation of the individual spirit-persons, and (in the next verses) why some have fallen to the physical world.
God did not create us and just leave us alone. Are the translators trying to insinuate that God abandoned Adam? Rather, God created spirit-persons to exchange loving relationships with Him. Each living being has a unique and functional relationship with the Supreme Being, and the Supreme Being enjoys each of those loving relationships. No one is alone.
We were thus all created for the purpose of love. This is why we are each love-crazy. We are constantly searching for love and someone to lovingly serve. Unfortunately, we are willing to put that tendency upon practically anyone. This is why people do so many stupid things to impress others. We want to be accepted by others. We want to be liked by others. We want to please others so they will (hopefully) love us.
Unfortunately, we remain empty and unfulfilled as long as we strive to impress others and please others. This is illustrated by the so many movie and television stars who impress millions of fans with every performance, yet remain unfulfilled, to the point of drug abuse, alcoholism and even suicide. Why are they unhappy if happiness lies in impressing and pleasing others?
Because we were created by God to please Him. This is our natural position. Serving and pleasing God within a loving relationship with Him is completely fulfilling to each of us. He is the Perfect Person, someone we can completely trust and rely upon. And this is why each of us constantly looks for a soul mate and perfect person. We are actually needing to resume our loving relationship with God.
Just how could God have created a single spirit-person and then abandoned him? Could that even be possible? Could any one of us live for any stretch with no one?
No. God is there with each and every living being. He does not abandon anyone. None of us are alone, even if our physical bodies are sitting alone in a vacant room. God is always spiritually present for each of us, and He always has been. How is this? It might be compared with broadcasting. Today we can broadcast a voice, movie or television program across thousands of miles. In the same way, God is always by our side, as He uses the ultimate spiritually-based broadcasting network.
What is actually being discussed in this verse is that while each of us relates with God individually, and He enjoys this exchange, God also enjoys relating with multiple spirit-persons, who cooperate together to please Him. This creates what we refer to as “community.”
In other words, this verse is communicating the creation of spiritual community. We can see all around us that there are innumerable individual spirit-persons. Within each physical body is a unique spirit-person who has fallen from the spiritual dimension into the physical world. Yet we tend to huddle up in groups, because we are by nature, part of the same spiritual community.
It’s funny how people have imagined the spiritual world. In previous centuries, many imagined it as this place up on the clouds, where people sit alone on cloud tips playing harps, and God kind of zips around with a long flowing beard and white hair. In recent times, popular movies have depicted the spiritual world as this darkened, foggy and barren place where people limp around in their old bodies. Worse are speculations of the spiritual realm as being the earth after the great apocalypse, with the “chosen” sitting around all day on lawn chairs sipping lemonade.
These are all speculative renditions of the spiritual realm coming from the physical mind – a physical recording device that has only experienced the physical world.
The real spiritual realm is a beautiful place; full of life, community, events and so many relationships. It is not unlike the physical world in its variegation. But the physical world is a temporary and perverted reflection of the spiritual world. The spiritual realm is full of real loving relationships, community and events that are full of joy and bliss. The physical realm also has relationships, community and events, but the relationships are based upon self-centeredness – and the events of this world are usually driven by self-centered purpose, often leading to the exploitation of others.
The physical world is temporary and fleeting. The spiritual realm is eternal and permanent. All of the forms of the physical world are in transition. They are fleeting. A physical body might look youthful and beautiful for a few years, but eventually it becomes old, wrinkled, and dies. Then it decomposes. Similarly, everything in the physical world degrades and erodes eventually. Nothing here is permanent.
The spiritual realm is complete with permanent beauty and bliss. And the Supreme Being is not an old man. He is ever-youthful and beautiful.
The physical world is like seeing a tree across a lake by looking at its reflection on the lake’s surface. The tree in the reflection is not the tree, but it looks like it from the reflection. In the same way, the physical world reflects the real community of the spiritual world, but it is not that community.
In other words, the physical world is a perverted reflection of the spiritual realm. The spiritual world is full of love and care, and this love is centered around everyone’s loving relationship with the Supreme Being. Each person is focused upon how to please the Supreme Being, and this gives each of us fulfillment. And because God has loving relationships with each person, real love also exists between every person in the community of the spiritual realm. Therefore, every person is constantly loving and caring for each other, as they humbly love and care for the lovers of the Supreme Being.
There are many types of loving relationships between the living beings and the Supreme Person. This is symbolized in Genesis with the description of the various trees, each of which are described as “good for food.” Each type of relationship with God is fulfilling, and happiness is derived from the service related to that loving relationship.
At the same time, the loving cooperation within the community of the spiritual world renders a type of bliss that people here can only dream of. We’ve heard so many people dream of a place where there are no wars, no violence, no hatred, no bigotry and so on. But we never seem to find that place in the physical world. Many have even tried to develop special societies or communes in hopes of creating this sort of community among humankind. But these have always failed to bring about their intended purpose.
Why? Because the physical world is that place where those of us go who decided we did not want to participate in the community of loving God. Those of us who began to care more about ourselves than God and God’s community fell from this community – and took on physical bodies.
Here, within these physical bodies in this temporary physical dimension, each of us can act out our self-centered desires. Here we can carve out a position for ourselves (temporarily of course) in order to try to enjoy others respecting us and serving us. Instead of loving and serving God and others, we decided we want to be loved and served. In other words, we want what God has. We became envious – as Genesis describes as eating the “forbidden fruit” – and now we have been given the freedom to act out that envy.
The event of our fall from the spiritual realm (each of us, individually) is being described allegorically in these verses of Genesis. Yes, Genesis is rich in symbolism and allegory. The idea of having a “helper” in this verse is not that God left us alone and felt we needed playmates so we wouldn’t be lonely. Rather, this verse is symbolically describing the reality that God did not just create one living being to exchange a loving relationship with. Rather, He created a community of loving, living beings, who lovingly cooperate with each other – and help each other – in activities that please our common Best Friend, the Supreme Being.