The Real Hero and Heroine of the Garden of Eden Story

Drifter

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Not many do

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As for a “C.S. Lewis apologist”, that’s the first time I have been called that! Where would the art of conversation be if I said to @shankara - “a gnostic - better not to talk with you” ;-)
I disagree with his views on several things. Views similar to his are what pushed me away from religion. I wasnt being contentious about not wanting to speak with you for nothing. You seem pleasant enough, different to what I'm used to and what I've seen so far on this forum of religious people (Christian's and Muslims). I just genuinely think it would be a monumental waste both of our time.
 






A Freeman

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Approximately 6000 years ago, Lucifer/Satan/Iblis conned one-third of the angels (spiritual-Beings) of heaven into fighting with him against God and Prince Michael, known here on Earth as The Messiah/Christ.

Prince Michael, Commander of the heavenly host, along with the other two-thirds of the angels of heaven defeated Lucifer/Satan/Ibis and those who fought with Lucifer in the failed coup attempt.

Rather than execute the traitors immediately for their treason, Lucifer and his followers were banished to the Earth, which serves as a prison-planet reform school for the criminally insane. Everyone except Lucifer/Satan/Iblis agreed to be rehabiliated inside these human animal bodies, which serve as our individual prison cells in this prison reform school. God granted Satan respite until the Last Day (Judgment Day) to use him to test the rest of us, to see whether any of us will genuinely repent of the crimes (sins) that we have committed, both before we were sent here, and over the last 6000 years throughout numerous human lifetimes.

The simple story of Adam and Eve seems to have never been understood, as evidenced by the OP, even though it is very straightforward.

When Adam was walking WITH God, he was learning directly from God how to be good. When Eve, on the very bad advice of the universe's biggest lunatic (Lucifer/Satan/Iblis), ate from the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil, and then used her sex appeal to con Adam into doing the same, they both became confused, not knowing the difference anymore between good and evil.

That confusion has continued throughout every generation since, and is worse today than it has ever been, because people are still listening to Satan. Almost all of mankind is still controlled by Satan, through their egos (the "self"), which is how Satan/Iblis is so successful at getting us to do our own selfish will (serving the creature we live inside of -- which is really Satan's will), instead of doing God's Will, which is to love one another as much or more than ourselves.

Only Satan could con so many into creating all of these corporate fictional financial institutions, governments, organized religions, courts, etc. all of which are designed to maximize the amount of evil and destruction we do to one another and our natural surroundings.

As long as people continue to serve their "self" instead of crucifying it daily to do God's Will ONLY, the world will continue to grow even darker, exactly as it currently is doing by the day, if not by the hour.

The above historical record has been given to us in the Bible and the Koran (Quran). And its core message about destroying the ego ("self") is also contained in the Old Covenant, New Covenant and Koran (Quran), as well as in Eastern texts, e.g. the Bhagavad Gita.

So we've been given all of the tools necessary to exercise our own free-will to choose between good and evil, along with hundreds of warnings about what will happen to all unrepentant criminals on Judgment Day. How merciful, just, gracious and long-suffering our Creator truly is and how ungrateful, obstinate/rebellious, selfish and evil we really are.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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I disagree with his views on several things. Views similar to his are what pushed me away from religion. I wasnt being contentious about not wanting to speak with you for nothing. You seem pleasant enough, different to what I'm used to and what I've seen so far on this forum of religious people (Christian's and Muslims). I just genuinely think it would be a monumental waste both of our time.
If I confined discussion to reason without rhetoric, would you be happy do regard “reason” as a neutral territory?
 






Drifter

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If I confined discussion to reason without rhetoric, would you be happy do regard “reason” as a neutral territory?
I dont think that's possible. I've heard all the apologetics spieel before. All the reason boils down to the depot of moral crisis and, at least for me, human dignity. Which perhaps I am not entitled to given the features of fundamental Christianity. And that is where rhetoric will be compelled to make its appearance because the dearth of answers provided by the bible is insufficient to answer even basic questions. Then you have to turn to interpreters and that's where, pardon my French, the shit hits the fan. Thousands of ideas, thousands of answers, thousands of ways to screw people up. Getting "saved" is predicated on the ability to look passed any repulsion induced by the god represented by the bible and his modern day acolytes and to humble yourself to the point of apology for being born. And the answer is simply that I cannot do that. So I'll save your time and politely decline the offer. But thanks anyway.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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I dont think that's possible. I've heard all the apologetics spieel before. All the reason boils down to the depot of moral crisis and, at least for me, human dignity. Which perhaps I am not entitled to given the features of fundamental Christianity. And that is where rhetoric will be compelled to make its appearance because the dearth of answers provided by the bible is insufficient to answer even basic questions. Then you have to turn to interpreters and that's where, pardon my French, the shit hits the fan. Thousands of ideas, thousands of answers, thousands of ways to screw people up. Getting "saved" is predicated on the ability to look passed any repulsion induced by the god represented by the bible and his modern day acolytes and to humble yourself to the point of apology for being born. And the answer is simply that I cannot do that. So I'll save your time and politely decline the offer. But thanks anyway.
I get the above. In a way, even well meaning people can tie themselves in knots with philosophy and logic. Zeno’s paradoxes prove it.

I was thinking of something more nuts and bolts. Science, archaeology, historical records etc....

I believe there are some empirical questions that our ordinary human faculties can address which can confirm (or cast doubt) on Christianity.

The most obvious is “The Case for Christ”, his life, death and resurrection. Did it happen?


Another study is that of fulfilled and unfulfilled Bible prophecy. We’re the books written in which God has inspired prophetic words which can be shown to be later fulfilled. If so, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as yet unfulfilled prophecies will come about in the course of time.


Yet another line of investigation is that of origins. This has been my personal line of study for more than 30 years, and I have come to the view that it takes a far greater leap of faith to embrace an evolutionary account than to acknowledge a creator.


As I like to keep an eye on developments in this area, I created a thread based on an essay I wrote to my course tutor before training in (and then moving away from) science teaching.

 






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John K

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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.

How do you know if your story is real or not? Have you been there with Eve and Adam ? I guess NO.
 






Drifter

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I get the above. In a way, even well meaning people can tie themselves in knots with philosophy and logic. Zeno’s paradoxes prove it.

I was thinking of something more nuts and bolts. Science, archaeology, historical records etc....

I believe there are some empirical questions that our ordinary human faculties can address which can confirm (or cast doubt) on Christianity.

The most obvious is “The Case for Christ”, his life, death and resurrection. Did it happen?


Another study is that of fulfilled and unfulfilled Bible prophecy. We’re the books written in which God has inspired prophetic words which can be shown to be later fulfilled. If so, it is not unreasonable to conclude that as yet unfulfilled prophecies will come about in the course of time.


Yet another line of investigation is that of origins. This has been my personal line of study for more than 30 years, and I have come to the view that it takes a far greater leap of faith to embrace an evolutionary account than to acknowledge a creator.


As I like to keep an eye on developments in this area, I created a thread based on an essay I wrote to my course tutor before training in (and then moving away from) science teaching.

I think you misunderstand me friend. It's not the logical reasoning of a god's existance that I reject. It's his nature. Even from a non-scientist's viewpoint, I think one must be intellectually bankrupt to write off the start point of our existance as anything other than a divine creation of some sort. By the same token I think one must be morally bankrupt to follow the abrahamic god with no questions or, at the very least, an initial hint of disgust. I'll add that I spent my entire childhood crippled by the Fear of God. I acknowledge he is real, I just have no desire to follow him and I am finally at a place where I can say that. I used to fear he was deaf to me until I blasphemed and then suddenly he would take everything I cared for away. Not so anymore. He has been inactive up until this point so I suppose there is no reason to believe I'd be punished for saying this unless he was feeling particularly cruel.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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I think you misunderstand me friend. It's not the logical reasoning of a god's existance that I reject. It's his nature. Even from a non-scientist's viewpoint, I think one must intellectually bankrupt to write off the start point of our existance as anything other than a divine creation of some sort. By the same token I think one must be morally bankrupt to follow the abrahamic god with no questions or, at the very least, an initial hint of disgust.
I congratulate you on your honesty.

How dare God judge sin? How is it that he gets to create us, give us free will and then tell us that half the things we could (and might want) to do are wrong?!

If @shankara and @Alanantic asked me what your favourite colour was, I could tell them “orange” but I could just as soon be wrong. God introduces Himself as “I AM” and to me, we either accept or reject Him on the terms he offers.

Like it or not, we will have an appointment with Him sooner or later!
 






Drifter

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I congratulate you on your honesty.

How dare God judge sin? How is it that he gets to create us, give us free will and then tell us that half the things we could (and might want) to do are wrong?!

If @shankara and @Alanantic asked me what your favourite colour was, I could tell them “orange” but I could just as soon be wrong. God introduces Himself as “I AM” and to me, we either accept or reject Him on the terms he offers.
It's not so much about the naughty things we're not allowed to have or do, it's more about the evil things only in existance because he either directly or indirectly brought them into existence. People are expected to lay aside immediate pain and suffering for a shoddy, contested, volatile exegesis of what eternity is supposed to look like when you'd think a loving creator would be a little more active in the here and now concerning the self-destruction of his own creation. Try and snwer the question of evil in the world with just reason and not rhetoric and you'll see how impossible it is. The only logical conclusion is that the abrahamic god is a tyrant. And for a simple statement of "I AM" . . . he seems to have many dialects, even among just Christian's.

Like it or not, we will have an appointment with Him sooner or later!
As the last part of my edited comment explains, I was raised on fear mongering. If that's my fate and I'm the shortfall of a failed creation, so be it.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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It's not so much about the naughty things we're not allowed to have or do, it's more about the evil things only in existance because he either directly or indirectly brought them into existence. People are expected to lay aside immediate pain and suffering for a shoddy, contested, volatile exegesis of what eternity is supposed to look like when you'd think a loving creator would be a little more active in the here and now concerning the self-destruction of his own creation. Try and snwer the question of evil in the world with just reason and not rhetoric and you'll see how impossible it is. The only logical conclusion is that the abrahamic god is a tyrant. And for a simple statement of "I AM" . . . he seems to have many dialects, even among just Christian's.


As the last part of my edited comment explains, I was raised on fear mongering. If that's my fate and I'm the shortfall of a failed creation, so be it.
I get the fear-mongering part - I grew up in a Christian home and rebelled completely against the “controlling, apocalyptic God” of my imagination that I didn’t want to meet. It took an experience outside the scope of this thread to realise I had got God wrong. You can know about someone, yet not know them at all.

I live in the UK, and last year, I would have rather been shot than vote for Jeremy Corbyn, so I know that none of us are blank sheets when it comes to God. Some Christians are awful people. Some “doctrines” that become popular in Christian circles are idiotic. Some denominations are meetings of Pharisees. Things done in the name of God don’t really convey any truth about God Himself.

I know how I felt when I had done with God and Christians. It would have taken a miracle for me to change my mind. In a way, it did.
 






Drifter

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I get the fear-mongering part - I grew up in a Christian home and rebelled completely against the “controlling, apocalyptic God” of my imagination that I didn’t want to meet. It took an experience outside the scope of this thread to realise I had got God wrong. You can know about someone, yet not know them at all.

I live in the UK, and last year, I would have rather been shot than vote for Jeremy Corbyn, so I know that none of us are blank sheets when it comes to God. Some Christians are awful people. Some “doctrines” that become popular in Christian circles are idiotic. Some denominations are meetings of Pharisees. Things done in the name of God don’t really convey any truth about God Himself.

I know how I felt when I had done with God and Christians. It would have taken a miracle for me to change my mind. In a way, it did.
Well then I'm glad you were able to find your truth. And I mean that sincerely. I would've quite liked to meet him myself. I wouldve liked nothing more than a simple conversation. I've bided my time on the edge enough for me to be certain miraculous meetings arent in my future.
 






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Red Sky at Morning

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Well then I'm glad you were able to find your truth. And I mean that sincerely. I would've quite liked to meet him myself. I wouldve liked nothing more than a simple conversation. I've bided my time on the edge enough for me to be certain miraculous meetings arent in my future.
You never know (but I would say that, wouldn’t I ;-)
 






Drifter

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You never know (but I would say that, wouldn’t I ;-)
I appreciate the sentiment but I'm not exactly sure what the requirements are to qualify for these select encounters. So it's a bit like failing a test for a course you're not even taking.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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I appreciate the sentiment but I'm not exactly sure what the requirements are to qualify for these select encounters. So it's a bit like failing a test for a course you're not even taking.
Would you be open to finding out if God were different to the persona you believe Him to be? Would you be willing to ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can understand? If so, I suggest simply asking and being honest about where you are at right now. It’s not my business what you choose to do, that’s up to you.
 






Drifter

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Would you be open to finding out if God were different to the persona you believe Him to be? Would you be willing to ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that you can understand? If so, I suggest simply asking and being honest about where you are at right now. It’s not my business what you choose to do, that’s up to you.
I've been open, I dont know how much more open he would need me to be. I feel like I'd be wasting my life waiting for an answer that never seems to come. Hell, I'd even take the worst of my assumptions if it meant certainty. But it doesnt so there doesnt seem to be a point.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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I've been open, I dont know how much more open he would need me to be. I feel like I'd be wasting my life waiting for an answer that never seems to come. Hell, I'd even take the worst of my assumptions if it meant certainty. But it doesnt so there doesnt seem to be a point.
I think this verse speaks to the issue...

1 Samuel 16:7
New King James Version


7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I sense the frustration in what you are saying. From my experience, I once had to seek the Lord like my life depended on it (I think perhaps it did). I didn’t find answers right away, but I did in the end. The morning I finally saw things differently, I remember waking up and praying and then looking out of the window at a majestic red sky (hence my strange, Native American style forum pseudonym!)
 






Red Sky at Morning

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For an alternate perspective on this thread, what if the presentation of the God of the Bible by the writers of the old and new testaments were true?

Anyone who has studied literature knows the power of the imagination. Writers create sympathetic and unsympathetic characters, put views on the lips of their creations and use the art of storytelling to mould our sympathies.

What if the narrative of the “Demiurge” which has been created, going back well before Sophia and the Archons was actually a sophisticated and malicious web of beautifully and intricately told lies?

The “apotheosis” story appeals to our human pride on so many levels. James Joyce coined the term “Monomyth” to reflect the way this story of personal ascension is woven in the tales of many cultures. Campbell’s “Hero with a thousand faces” takes up the message and Vogel’s “Writers Journey” picks up on that structure in training screenwriters.

What we have now is a culture saturated in narrative and messaging, like black clouds covering the sun. But what if, behind it all, the real light still shines?

What if all the anti-God stories we wade through were ultimately concocted by a malevolent entity with time on his hands, envy in his heart, and nothing to look forward to but the stripping of his power and the coming judgement?
 






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shankara

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And now Mr @A Freeman is back, to inject a dose of nice unhealthy paranoia and fanaticism into the conversation... Of course he will be very averse to this version of the story as he is convinced that all of this is some kind of terrible cosmic accident created by some being who deity purposelessly empowered to drag humanity into (eternal) hell.

In reality there is no accident about this, we have these bodies in order to have the possibility of transcending to the next stage, not as some form of punishment. All of this is necessary and providential, and the "rebellion of the angels" (and story of Genesis I told) refers to a necessary falling into material existence. The Serpent is the allegorical personification of the divine potency repsonsible for this, and Eve represents the love which accepts the painful situation of embodiment as a step on a spiritual journey towards a higher form.

But of course, as in all of the Abrahamic religions, the things are not meant to be understood, because the Abrahamic thing is not the definitive exposition.

I congratulate you on your honesty.

How dare God judge sin? How is it that he gets to create us, give us free will and then tell us that half the things we could (and might want) to do are wrong?!

If @shankara and @Alanantic asked me what your favourite colour was, I could tell them “orange” but I could just as soon be wrong. God introduces Himself as “I AM” and to me, we either accept or reject Him on the terms he offers.

Like it or not, we will have an appointment with Him sooner or later!
I guess this is a part of the point I was trying to make in sharing this story. "Sin" is a strange kind of concept, and of course it is said that Eve is the "first sinner". But what is "sin" really? I would say it is getting lost in identification with illusion and bewilderment. But this illusion and bewilderment is part of the human condition. We have to go through it, in order to get beyond it.

This whole thing about "original sin" kind of has a paranoiac edge to it, like there was some mistake or error. Of course, if you think the majority of humanity is going to hell, you have to find some way to justify that belief. That reading of the story of Genesis is actually very one-sided though. When you look at it from the way I recounted (not invented) it, there is the clarity that the whole "Tree of Knowledge" business was actually an essential step for us, from dumb innocence to intelligently fallen, which will eventually lead to intelligent innocence.

Anyway, it's quite difficult to grasp that meaning if you have an aversion to the idea of reincarnation.
 






Red Sky at Morning

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And now Mr @A Freeman is back, to inject a dose of nice unhealthy paranoia and fanaticism into the conversation... Of course he will be very averse to this version of the story as he is convinced that all of this is some kind of terrible cosmic accident created by some being who deity purposelessly empowered to drag humanity into (eternal) hell.

In reality there is no accident about this, we have these bodies in order to have the possibility of transcending to the next stage, not as some form of punishment. All of this is necessary and providential, and the "rebellion of the angels" (and story of Genesis I told) refers to a necessary falling into material existence. The Serpent is the allegorical personification of the divine potency repsonsible for this, and Eve represents the love which accepts the painful situation of embodiment as a step on a spiritual journey towards a higher form.

But of course, as in all of the Abrahamic religions, the things are not meant to be understood, because the Abrahamic thing is not the definitive exposition.



I guess this is a part of the point I was trying to make in sharing this story. "Sin" is a strange kind of concept, and of course it is said that Eve is the "first sinner". But what is "sin" really? I would say it is getting lost in identification with illusion and bewilderment. But this illusion and bewilderment is part of the human condition. We have to go through it, in order to get beyond it.

This whole thing about "original sin" kind of has a paranoiac edge to it, like there was some mistake or error. Of course, if you think the majority of humanity is going to hell, you have to find some way to justify that belief. That reading of the story of Genesis is actually very one-sided though. When you look at it from the way I recounted (not invented) it, there is the clarity that the whole "Tree of Knowledge" business was actually an essential step for us, from dumb innocence to intelligently fallen, which will eventually lead to intelligent innocence.

Anyway, it's quite difficult to grasp that meaning if you have an aversion to the idea of reincarnation.
I understand the narrative you describe @shankara - There are definitely two interpretations of the account of origins, I just think you have picked the wrong one. We will doubtless agree to differ (for now).
 






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