4/03/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
Here's the story: Once upon a time two humans, plus lions, tigers, spiders, flies, elephants, mosquitos, walruses, seals, horses, lambs, zebras, polar bears, and millions of beetles - in fact, all life forms, lived in harmony, in a place called The Garden of Eden. Every kind of fruit, vegetable, vegetation, including poisonous mushrooms, included.
Now - only two individuals were listed at that original prehistoric ZIP Code. They were, from the story, either teens or pre-teens, since neither one had sexual coupling yet. They were what my mother called "innocents." The story says, there was one single tree in that entire place on which there were fruits the couple were told by the Boss who made the garden, "Don't eat its fruit", so they went ahead and did it anyhow. They were warned beforehand that doing so would only bring problems. But, humans by nature are curious, and let's face it, these kids had NO knowledgeable reference points of just what "evil" and "death" meant. They were in effect, gullible and trusting. The Boss decided the consequences of this action.
So - the fruit tree was a frame-up, a.k.a., entrapment, with an agent in place to facilitate the entrapment, while the Boss watched from behind the bushes. If two kids like that wouldn't fall for it, nobody would. A slam dunk.
The story goes on that as a result of this disobedience, everybody had to get the hell out of Eden, never to go back in, and animals started eating each other, frequently making each other suffer and die, ever since. This is because the Boss decided, in his wisdom, this was the fairest punishment. Billions of humans have bought this story, so it CAN'T be silly, right?
Once out of Eden, now what? Survival, which depends on . . . curiosity, giving in to temptations, not being too trusting, being absolutely aware of dangers. And, the necessity to imitate Nature by lying and taking the risks of making the wrong choices. So, one of the consequences of expulsion from Eden is growing up and taking responsibility for one's actions, good or bad. Outside Eden there is freedom in all its awe and scariness. Outside of Eden is challenge, a sense of having the power of accomplishment. This is a "curse?" Is the Earth as experienced by the whole of mankind really a "vale of tears" after all?
Is an "Edenesque" place desirable, attainable, since many have endeavored to create one? Would it be a place fair to all? (Thomas Moore proposed Utopia; fair to only Christians. He burned heretics.) We ought to consider these questions with minds wide open; MILLIONS of lives have been destroyed in pursuit of an idealized Eden-paradise.
Let us propose something: That the faith, Hope, and Impetus driving "salvation" is really a desire to return to a state of Eden BEFORE the Fall; that to achieve this end, individuals are commanded to be "born AGAIN,” and become as little children, trusting and gullible. Uncurious. And, to never, never, disobey anything, anything the Boss says. The consequences are the rewards of getting back ALL the goodies of Eden/Heaven/Paradise/ a “New Earth” for persevering in this hamster tumbling wheel. But most of all, they'll enjoy the Presence of The Boss-Entrapper who tossed them out in the first place. They STILL TRUST him, with his repeated tricks and traps set on humans? Go figure.) This being born again and becoming as a little child is promoted to promise an Eden-relationship with the Boss even in the here and now, of peace and serenity as exemplified by holy men and women to be attainable. Even Mother Teresa's doubts are written off as transient.
Humans can no more return to Eden than a woman who has had intercourse can return to being a virgin - and most would never want to. We are told that as a consequence of disobedience, death was our fate rather than a previous eternal life in Eden. But, by following the aforementioned commandments, we will be rewarded with . . . Eternal Life!" For Christians, JESUS is the "way" back, the U-Turn who demands we become little children again.
Coming full round: The whole Eden story is so much nonsense. There never was a time or place free of pains, sufferings, of an utter perfection of Nature. Even "living Edens" aren't that way. By pointing this out, science becomes the enemy of salvation - beliefs. Evolution alone spoils the system by eliminating "Eden, Adam, Eve," in dealing with life as it always has been. You know, science in being Curious, giving in to temptation when one is told not to go there. By continually questioning claims without evidence to back them up.
Humans can no more return to Eden than a woman who has had intercourse can return to being a virgin - and most would never want to. Worshippers ought not to waste their lives trying to please such a fickle Boss- Entrapper and be so sure about that Eden thing. They can't be guaranteed that their Eden/Heaven/Paradise will not just be another place where they'll slip up just ONCE (and they will), and here we go again!!! So, they shouldn't be too anxious for this world we DO have to end, in order to get there. `
There are choices in living which are, frankly, gambles. What makes life itself a tragedy is when it's wagered on superstitions.