Can't speak for the others, but, maybe since I was brought up "secular" or at most only loosely indoctrinated, I never presumed anything other than something like the documentary hypothesis on all such matters. Come to think of it, I did as a child overhear a few conversations between my Christian father and Jewish-side relatives acknowledge multiple contradictions or apparent contradictions in the Bible, but, anyway, I never believed in or conceived of any other kind of authorship or process of authorship.

Paul W Kahn, whose book Out of Eden I've mentioned somewhat frequently at this blog (and which I think you'd enjoy), does something similar to what Soloveitchik does with the two stories of Genesis. I was cribbing from him somewhat in the prior comment. Cohen's "creation" of the human ideally or philosophically operates similarly to Buber's, and may have inspired Buber directly, though presumably they were as we are now all just reading the text that is, each re-creating creation on the only terms available.

Maybe the problem is that it aims at the "making" of all sense, but the making of all sense is impossible to distinguish from the making of no sense except from a secondary or partial perspective: The problem of problems whose solution must be presumed already solved actually to be solved: fundamental to language or thought and to being, at the point where thought and being are inseparable and identical - thought-being, subject-object - absorbing and nullifying-realizing all attempts at description precisely to the extent that they are successfully descriptive - that they successfully communicate in regard to the never-to-be-communicated. We want to describe everything in a momentless moment that from every other vantage point is the nothing from which all originates in a temporal-physical-astronomical scheme, or over which all that may be extends in an ontological scheme, or which establishes the set in a symbolic-logical scheme, or constitutes the constituting power in a political scheme, or situates us as free agents in a moral scheme, and so on.

Please do. When you first introduced me to the idea of "emptiness," it was completely alien to me. Now, I'm feeling comfortable enough with it to imagine understanding it.

I was reversing what I read to be the implications of your original statements, which I read as implying relationships, though the first was an "is" statement. Even "is" statements are potentially complex, however, and also imply a movement that contradicts simple equivalence. We know that perception is not exactly and entirely the same as knowledge. If I say, "I am a blogger," I do not mean I am only a blogger and not possibly a fireman or junior birdman, too. I wouldn't say "perception is knowledge" because it could be taken as an assertion that they are two words for the same thing. If I say, "knowledge is knowledge," even that statement isn't quite an identity statement, though it may be meant to imply one. In English "knowledge" in the primary position as a subject different from "knowledge" in the secondary position, as becomes more clear if we accentuate the verb. Knowledge is knowledge, as in, "knowledge may be perception or have to be perceived, but we still treat it as different from perception in general," as at least one of the two terms not being completely absorbed and exhausted by the other. In Russian the the third person to be is deprecated, but can be deployed in cases of possible confusion. In other languages like English, there is a voice - I'd have to look up the grammar - where, in order to express the indissolubility of the two terms, you can drop the "is." So you'd say, "Knowledge perception!" to express the impossibility of having one without the other. Even then, one gets to go first.

The easiest response is the simple reversal: Contingency (emptiness) presumes existence; perception presumes knowledge. No need to deny, even if it were reasonable to deny, since denial requires a predicate. Denying all entails a first order self-denial, denial also/at least of denial, that by definition never is except as not, that never matters in itself (since it would be ((impossibly)) self-non-existent), but only in the effect of its seeming to matter, not a trivial matter, since it is the originless origin and groundless ground of all origins and grounds.

There seem to be two or so questions that we struggle to understand as one question.

It's interesting that collapsing or dissociating the "I" seems to occur in tandem with the collapse of "God," reinforcing the suspicion that they are not merely linked but the same process, and that these two fictive-mythic foundational and seemingly necessary concepts are co-dependent or mirroring concepts, or aspects of a single concept. Without "the human" - and we don't have to limit ourselves to homo sapiens or to terrestrial beings - creation is a performance without an audience, the proverbial tree in the forest, except the forest is on a planet without beings aware of forests in a universe without beings, "mere being" in the language of ontology. In this sense, the possibility of the I is the constant creator of the universe. Without this creator-I or creator-I-possibility, simultaneously a singular and plural I-possibility, constantly re-experiencing universe, universe is merely mere-being, indistinguishable from nothing because there is no "one" distinguishing: there is no distinguishing. According to our reading of "having no Aham-Buddhi," this I-possibility exceeds any particular circumstantial context: CK's body, bob's body, Amandanayi Ma's body when it was given to marriage or sent to speak somewhere.

If we haven't yet arrived at the numerous characterizations and anthropomorphizations in sacred literature and common parlance, we are at least part of the way to abstract, mystical or esoteric, or philosophically higher level statements that also mark the same texts, and sometimes contradictorily - God as this impossible to grasp pre-essence; God as super-powerful, arbitrary, and violent individual; God as love and mercy, and so on. What typifies the fundamentalist is the refusal to accept that the sacred text should be divided - treated as a "merely" human product or, perhaps even worse, as consisting of passages intended for different audiences at different levels of interest and sophistication, though most fundamentalists will accept that to our limited understanding there clearly appear to be contradictions. What the fundamentalist clearly seems to have right is that many "silly Bible stories" on closer examination may tell us very much about human possibility, about all possible constructions of the human. Though we find it difficult to imagine that the events narrated in the story of Adam and Eve "really took place," and though we acknowledge seeming contradictions between the two Genesis stories, it may turn out these events that never "really" took place have taken place over and over again, that they infinitely or unboundedly recur; that a genesis in fiction is the only genesis of the human; that the differences between Genesis I and Genesis II correspond to a kind of irresolvable indeterminacy in concepts of good and evil or love and evil that in turn corresponds to irresolvable antinomies in concepts of the will and of being - and so Adam and Eve turns out, after all, to be in multiple mutually reinforcing ways the really real story of the genesis of the human in the universe. Even its fairy tale quality generates "realism" or the sense of the possible or real: We can imagine the first tellers and listeners immediately understanding that there are no talking snakes around and about, and we imagine the children among them - or those with a childlike consciousness - keeping their eyes open for talking snakes. A lie whose assertion as true is necessary to the possibility of truth and lies might be another definition of the human, the I-concept, the God-concept (and liberalism, and democracy, and other more modern true lies), and as such turns really into genesis itself.