The Real Hero and Heroine of the Garden of Eden Story

shankara

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The generally accepted interpretation of the story of the Garden of Eden, and the Tree of Knowledge, is that the Serpent was evil, Eve (and Adam to a lesser extent) sinners. Many believe that for their act of disobedience to Yahweh, they brought a curse on the whole of humanity, causing many people to go to hell for having supposedly inherited their sin. For those people, the story is one of failure to obey true authority, human weakness, falling into temptation and becoming wicked. This interpretation is in fact the cornerstone of the whole Christian religion. But is this the true significance of the tale?

We must first ask, who is the God of the Garden of Eden? The true and ultimate deity? Or a tyrant god, a demiurge? The Garden of Eden is generally considered to be a desirable state. Abrahamic mysticism contains many ideas about Adam’s gradual return to the Garden. It is certainly a state of innocence – but what kind of innocence? There is an innocence in knowing nothing, in not existing, in being unborn and never experiencing life. This is the partial and inauthentic happiness of “ignorance is bliss”, and this is what the Garden of Eden represents.

The Tree which they ate from, it was called “The Tree of Knowledge”. Well, knowledge is a double edged sword. Knowledge is power, and power can be abused. Nonetheless, we really must say that Knowledge is a good thing. It is certainly better than ignorance. So the deity of the Garden of Eden doesn’t want them to eat from the tree, what does that mean? He does not want them to have Knowledge. Could we say that the ultimate and true God would not want people to have knowledge? No, the only deity who would desire ignorance for humanity would be a demiurge, a deity with some interest in keeping people ignorant, a deity with some egoistic purposes.

Did the Serpent then lie, in saying “you will become as gods, knowing good and evil”? Was his intention in leading Eve to eat from the tree a bad one? What does it mean, knowing Good and Evil? To know Good and Evil is to know embodiment, existence in the human form. This is a necessary step, a thing which must be experienced if we are ever to become “gods”. Without experiencing the human situation, there would be no possibility of evolution. We might be happy, but happy like plants or animals are happy. The Serpent understood this.

Of course, embodiment means suffering. The labour pains with which the deity of the Garden cursed Eve, the serpent cursed to “crawl on its belly”. Actually, the curse of pain in labour makes it quite clear that the deity’s “curse” is embodiment, human form rather than a non-corporeal situation - can we really imagine childbirth without pain?. Embodiment is to know the body, illness, old age, death. The development of knowledge is to leave behind the dumb bliss of ignorance, to know separation, responsibility. Sufferings, but essential sufferings.

The Garden of Eden had to be left behind, in order that souls could experience the human situation, and thus have the possibility to develop into something more than a disembodied soul. To triumph over the cage of flesh, making it the city of paradise rather than a dungeon. The Serpent therefore represents the Liberator, the one who destroys a peaceful yet empty status quo for the possibility of something truly meaningful. Who leads us to “fall” – a necessary fall which begins the journey through embodiment towards self-realization. Eve was the courageous one who dared to ignore the tyrannical interdictions of a selfish deity, and to take on the burden of embodiment, the necessary basis for eventually becoming “gods”.

There was no “original sin”, really. There was a state of dumb elemental bliss, ignorant peace, workless rest, absorbed in the supersoul. Then we desired something more, to take on the trial of existing in this world, for the ultimate purpose of someday embodying divinity, and also in order to experience desires. There is no “guilt” transmitted to us by our ancestors, no “separation from God” caused by the Tree of Knowledge. The Demiurge may have wanted to keep us in dumb bliss, but the True Deity is a deity of knowledge, not ignorance.

The Garden of Eden story is about people breaking free from a paradise prison, fearlessly accepting the curse of a cruel false god. The Serpent and Eve are the hero and heroine, the original rebels against unjustified authority, willing to accept curses, suffering, and the hate of those who love ignorance, in order to eventually arrive at true freedom. If they are the cause of suffering, this suffering is necessary that it can be overcome and true joy found, so we can say that they are also the cause of true joy.
 






Alanantic

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Now, I did say that without considering if it helps or hurts this thread. Sorry, if it's a little bit unbridled enthusiasm...
 






TokiEl

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The Tree which they ate from, it was called “The Tree of Knowledge”. Well, knowledge is a double edged sword. Knowledge is power, and power can be abused. Nonetheless, we really must say that Knowledge is a good thing. It is certainly better than ignorance. So the deity of the Garden of Eden doesn’t want them to eat from the tree, what does that mean? He does not want them to have Knowledge. Could we say that the ultimate and true God would not want people to have knowledge? No, the only deity who would desire ignorance for humanity would be a demiurge, a deity with some interest in keeping people ignorant, a deity with some egoistic purposes.
L0L the devil didn't deceive them to eat from the tree of knowledge... no he deceived them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Big difference.

So since they tasted that... they knew and we know what is good and what is evil. That's all.


Good go to God and evil go to the devil.

Now God is willing to forgive whatever evils we have done... if we repent and start to do good. After all Jesus Christ paid the price for the evils that we did.
 






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shankara

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L0L the devil didn't deceive them to eat from the tree of knowledge... no he deceived them to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Big difference.

So since they tasted that... they knew and we know what is good and what is evil. That's all.


Good go to God and evil go to the devil.

Now God is willing to forgive whatever evils we have done... if we repent and start to do good. After all Jesus Christ paid the price for the evils that we did.
Well it is often referred to simply as the Tree of Knowledge. Yes, the full way of saying it is "the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil", which expresses the idea of experiencing good and evil, light and darkness, and through this eventually developing spiritual wisdom - thus "returning to Eden" not as innocent elemental spirits but as realized souls. In fact this is exactly what I am referrring to when I say that eating from the tree (a symbolic rather than literal fact) was what created the opportunity for us all to eventually "become as gods, knowing good and evil".

Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that the message isn't really about "original sin" or a curse on humanity requiring a blood sacrifice to break, but about the soul choosing to make the journey through embodiment in order to arrive at a higher state. I don't know about your individual interpretation of Christianity, but the "original sin" thing seems to be at the centre of most people's.

There is also the thing that the common interpretation of the story is basically a) reactionary, in that the serpent who sets them free from the blissful yet empty status quo is considered "evil", rather than a liberator, and b) misogynistic, as it makes out that Eve was the first "sinner", rather than the one who bravely defied a tyrannical "creator" wishing to keep them in ignorance.
 






shankara

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And what do we call a grown up that entices young ones?
Are you trying to make some kind of analogy between the serpent in the Eden story and paedophiles? That seems pretty twisted. As I've written on here in the past, the serpent is a symbol of wisdom in a lot of cultures. Obviously if you're some kind of Christian chauvinist that wouldn't mean much to you.

Yes the serpent is a tempter, can be anyway, that's part of the whole archetype. Seduction, I suppose, is a part of the whole dialectic of things. But temptation is necessary in order for there to be some possibility of overcoming it. Would you rather a world in which there was no duality, no choice, no possibility of falling? I believe there is some old mystical story in fact, about God having made a world without evil first, but then deciding to allow evil that there be the possibility of choice.

Which is quite related with the point I'm trying to make in what I wrote. Really I don't think your analogy holds, you can't compare the cosmic principle represented by the serpent with very fallen and dark human beings who are headed for a terrible karmic retribution. Samsara is necessary, but becoming utterly enslaved by the darkest Samsaric desires is obviously going to lead to great suffering.
 






Maldarker

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nope that's your take about it putting male female on it...you said in the first post innocence be what it be....well what do you call some one that tempts innocence ones? What ever you think that be. Because in your whole statement its a falseness of it now i should see the belief you hold as truth above christian religious view or muslim etc. tell me why? Why is your enlightenment view correct? Just asking not trying to be mean. Honest questions.
 






shankara

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nope that's your take about it putting male female on it...you said in the first post innocence be what it be....well what do you call some one that tempts innocence ones? What ever you think that be. Because in your whole statement its a falseness of it now i should see the belief you hold as truth above christian religious view or muslim etc. tell me why? Why is your enlightenment view correct? Just asking not trying to be mean. Honest questions.
Well in Islam, so far as I understand, there isn't so much of a notion about "original sin", or some impurity which needs to be cleansed by blood. Anyway, clearly the story is just a story, an allegory expressing some deeper truth. I'd say the type of "innocence" being referred to is a little different, it's the "innocence" of not existing, of not transmigrating through this great Samsara. Plants and animals are innocent, but they have no possibility of self-realization, hence losing that kind of innocence is actually necessary to make real progress. You get what I mean?

I think that the key thing is in the promise made by the Serpent - "ye shall become as gods, knowing good and evil". If this were a lie, it would be an evil thing. In fact it is not a lie, though it could perhaps include the word "eventually" (but then, that would be besides the point). The Serpent is innocent in his own way, because he wasn't making a false promise, unlike a human trying to decieve and seduce.
 






shankara

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Please explain more "Samsara"
Samsara is the transmigration through different forms of life, experiencing the Karma which we create. Learning lessons, developing spiritually, and experiencing satisfaction of desires, and the dissatisfaction present in material existence.

The Buddhist "Wheel of Samsara" is an illustration of this, with a few uniquely Buddhist elements.

We could say that Samsara is "bondage", as opposed to Moksha, meaning "liberation".
 






Maldarker

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Samsara is the transmigration through different forms of life, experiencing the Karma which we create. Learning lessons, developing spiritually, and experiencing satisfaction of desires, and the dissatisfaction present in material existence.

The Buddhist "Wheel of Samsara" is an illustration of this, with a few uniquely Buddhist elements.

We could say that Samsara is "bondage", as opposed to Moksha, meaning "liberation".
Thank you will look more into this.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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And what do we call a grown up that entices young ones?
A deceiver, offering to introduce an innocent to pleasures they have not experienced, and pitching a narrative to them where the evil adult becomes the conduit to the real world.

The only difference with a no*ce is that they simply steal innocence. Satan set out to steal both the innocence of our ancestors and their eternal inheritance, putting them under the same judgement* as he will face.

*That’s why God sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for our sin btw.

When you approve the actions of the Father of Lies, you are truly lost.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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John 3:19-21
King James Version


19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
 






Tidal

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My version-

SATAN - "Hmm, that apple looks yummy.."
EVE - "I'm not supposed to touch it"
SATAN - "Don't be daft, if you don't have it Adam will, and then laugh at you for being a dumb little girly, you know how men are"
EVE - "I'm forbidden to have it"
SATAN - "Hmm...Your skin looks a bit dry, fresh fruit would work wonders for your complexion"
EVE - "Leave me alone!"
SATAN - "It'll just rot if left on the tree, what a waste.."
EVE - "Shut up"
SATAN - "Apples are good for teeth, you don't want yours to turn black do you?"
EVE - "Oh be quiet!"
SATAN - "You'll get scurvy without vitamin C and your gums will puff up like a boxers gumshield"..
EVE - "Clam up!"
SATAN - "Okay okay, scuse me for breathing, none of my business if you want to end up looking like a cross between Mike Tyson and Ugly Betty"..
EVE - "Hmm okay, I'd better eat it, but don't tell anyone"
SATAN - "Sure, sure, you can trust me"..
 






shankara

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A deceiver, offering to introduce an innocent to pleasures they have not experienced, and pitching a narrative to them where the evil adult becomes the conduit to the real world.

The only difference with a no*ce is that they simply steal innocence. Satan set out to steal both the innocence of our ancestors and their eternal inheritance, putting them under the same judgement* as he will face.

*That’s why God sent Jesus, the perfect sacrifice for our sin btw.

When you approve the actions of the Father of Lies, you are truly lost.
Your worldview is completely dualistic. You seem to believe that there is actually some entity which is an "anti-God" attempting to steal humanity's soul. There may be humans like this, people who are very lost and want to drag others into their chaos. But the Serpent must be understood as a divine potency, the creator of the dialectic of temptation which allows those who wish to the possibility to triumph over it. Or not. We are also quite free to wander in Samsara, if we are attracted to Samsaric pleasures.

If there were no so-called "fall from grace", none of this would be. Everything would be a kind of unmanifest elemental innocence, our souls would have consciousness like that of a plant, innocence without experience. Only innocence with experience is true innocence, and that's why we have to go through all of this.

It seems rather purposeless that Deity would permit some being to try to steal the souls of all humanity, condemning them to "eternal damnation" for no purpose other to save those who chauvinistically recite some particular creed.
 






TokiEl

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I believe there is some old mystical story in fact, about God having made a world without evil first, but then deciding to allow evil that there be the possibility of choice.
Yes... but why commend the serpent ? If God did not allow it then the serpent would not succeed... so commend God.
 






TokiEl

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Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that the message isn't really about "original sin" or a curse on humanity requiring a blood sacrifice to break, but about the soul choosing to make the journey through embodiment in order to arrive at a higher state. I don't know about your individual interpretation of Christianity, but the "original sin" thing seems to be at the centre of most people's.
No Jesus Christ was not a blood sacrifice to break a curse on humanity... but the One who paid the price for our sins... so we can be forgiven if we repent.

If not for Jesus... our repentance would not be accepted.
 






Aero

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It's an interesting take. But I think the serpent in the story is replaceable. Take the serpent and replace it with a goat or even an inanimate symbol, and the effect is the same. In other words, Eve is the true hero.
 






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