The book was the kind to beckon me to buy it, but then leave on my bookshelf. It wasn’t collecting dust or there as a testament to my reading appetites, but simply because it was more topic then I could handle at the time. So for five years, this little paperback waited patiently to reveal the mystery of its message to me.
It wouldn’t have made sense to me any earlier. Turns out the concept behind “The God Code” by Gregg Braden (who also wrote “The Isaiah Effect”), requires rudimentary understanding of Hebrew, gematria and the periodic table of elements to really take your breath away. The latter I knew from high school, but the acquisition of basic Hebrew was new.
It took Braden, a former aerospace engineer and rare blend of scientist and visionary, 13 years to discover the connection between the ancient, living language of Hebrew and the human genetic code. To quote from the book’s jacket, “Beyond any reasonable doubt, we each share the ancient name of God in our bodies in the most intimate way imaginable.” Such a statement deserves serious contemplation.
I think Braden’s message is timely, because it’s about our uncertain future. The world we live in now is the most dangerous in recorded human history. The last 100 years have been most deadly, the environment is arguably the most vulnerable, the disparity of wealth the most obvious and the ability to execute widespread annihilation the most frightening.
As a species, we do a fine job of manifesting what Jungian philosophy describes as our shadow selves. How we’ve managed to explode our populations despite the inherent dangers, invent technologies to take us to the moon and back, accumulate vast scientific data, compose, draw, paint and imagine exquisite art, and make love amidst the chaos is evidence of our capacity for tremendous good, too.
The point is that we could use some inspiring news, fodder for hope and a reminder of our common humanity.
So, what exactly does Braden discuss that has inspired this lengthy introduction? Basically, there is a very clear connection between the Hebrew alphabet, the periodic table of elements and the blueprint of life as we know it. Hebrew sages described this kesher in the language of their times, in various books of the Kaballah, for example. And now, modern science is finding bridges between ancient intuitions and current discoveries. The past is being reinterpreted and rediscovered through the work of spiritual scientists like Braden.
To understand this connection requires that we first consider the Hebrew letters and gemetria, the practice of assigning numerical value to the letters. Aleph is 1, bet is 2, gimmel is 3, and so on until you get to yod, which is 10. After that, the values jump in multiples of 10, so kaf is 20, lamed is 30 and mem is 40, etc. This goes on until kuf (100). Then resh is 200, shin is 300 and tav is 400. There’s nothing magical about the formula; the Hebrew calendar is based on this numerical/symbolic system.
Of critical importance is the ancient name of God in the Hebrew Bible: Yod Hey Vav Hey. We are taught that this name is so sacred that no one is to pronounce it aloud, in part, because we also don’t really know how.
Following along with The Code from a gemetria perspective, Yod is 10 (which can be further reduced to 1+0=1), Hey is 5 and Vav is 6.
Keeping this is mind, now its time to take into account atomic mass, a term used to describe one of the many properties associated with each of the 118 elements. For example, hydrogen’s atomic mass is 1.007. Nitrogen’s is 14.00 and oxygen’s is 15.99. For the sake of simplicity, and to understand the connection with Hebrew, Braden’s exploration requires that we reduce the values of the whole numbers to their lowest single digit. Specifically, hydrogen equals 1, nitrogen’s value is 1+4 =5 and oxygen’s is 1+5=6.
(This reductionism is consistent with how gemetria works as well. Since I’m hardly a scholar of Torah or mysticism, I refer cynics to biblical authorities if they want to know more on that topic.)
So far, we’ve simply described a not-so-hidden code that links numbers, the ancient letters of our alphabet and a few key elements. Why hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen? For starters, along with carbon, these are the building blocks of life. Every cell of every body is encrypted with DNA that is based on combinations of these elements.
Mathematically minded and left-brained readers will probably see where this is all going. Hydrogen=1=Yod; nitrogen=5=Hay; oxygen=6=Vav.
This is the God Cod, according to Braden. Every strand of DNA is made of repeating strands of four bases (thymine, cytosine, adenine and guanine), which are, in turn, made of a combination of basic elements (hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen), which are, in turn, directly translated to the ancient name of God. In other words, repeated over and over again in our DNA are the letters that represent something divine. Hydrogen, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen. Yod Hey Vav Hey. And this linguistic/numerical/genetic relationship holds true for Arabic as well.
What about the relationship between carbon (fundamental to life as we know it and the fourth building block of DNA), gemetria and the Hebrew alphabet? Braden relies on the mysterious language of the Sepher Yetzirah, a sacred text of Kabbalah, to answer that in a way far more eloquent than I can replicate. Suffice it to say that when you add the values of Hydrogen (1), Nitrogen (5) and Oxygen (6), you find a clue. Carbon’s atomic mass is 12 — 1+5+6.
But the God Code is much more than the simple exercises above. It meanders through ancient texts, scientific discoveries and visions of hope for a harmonious future. At a time when boundaries are being cruelly forged in the sands and many are uncertain about how to overcome them, it is my belief that the answers to our most pressing worries lie in the juxtaposition of spirit and science. But only in recent history could someone like Braden have cracked this particular code.
That is why this isn’t a book review per se, and rather an attempt to inspire thoughtful dialogue. With a deeper awareness of our common bonds, and mysterious hints to our origins and the essence of life, we might actually find the ways to survive our technological adolescence in a message as old as our existence, passed on from generation to generation and across all man-made boundaries, if we only take time to look.
And I hope as you contemplate the God Code that even skeptics find new appreciation for the legacy that is our Hebrew language.
To learn more about Braden’s theory, visit www.greggbraden.com.