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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Garden of Harmony and the Tree of Duality

          In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  He created man and woman in His image, a harmonious whole, and it was good.  From Adam’s rib, He created Eve and told her she would be “lifesaver.”  God placed Adam and Eve into Paradise and told them they could eat of anything in it but the fruit of the Tree of Duality.

Eve encountered a test.  Would she eat the fruit of the Tree of Duality?  She did and she also gave it to Adam.  At the moment they ate, the garden lost its color.  In place of beautiful, harmonious color, the garden appeared in black-and-white.  Adam and Eve’s eyes had been cast with a veil of duality.  Good and evil appeared to be separate entities.  Adam and Eve also appeared to one another as separate.  No longer did the man and woman see one another as a single harmonious unit.

In the death of duality, God had mercy on Adam and Eve.  He sent them out of the Paradise so that they would not live forever.  Adam and Eve were now mortal. And swords guarded the entrance back into Paradise.

Knowing duality and mortality would prompt further consequences, God pronounced them.  Eve would have trouble bearing children, would desire the man as she was designed to desire her Creator, and be ruled over by the man.  Adam would toil at work through the futile frustration of thorns. 

All the rest of history is God trying to rescue Adam and Eve and their descendants from these very consequences.  Bit by bit, God’s history is a history of peeling away the consequences of thorns at work, of desire for man over God, of oppressive patriarchy, of the veil of duality, and even of mortality itself.

But the descendents of Adam and Eve often maintain their veil and are unable to see God’s hand in rescuing them from the consequences of their tests.  The veil gets thicker and guides them into deeper thorns.   Often they exacerbate their toil instead.  Anger and jealousy led Adam’s first son to stagger and wonder like a drunken man.  Tilling the soil and pulling the thorns became a much harder work for a man staggering about.  Much later, a time arose when the toil of Adam’s descendents was so great that they found themselves in slavery. 

Eventually, their cry reached the heavens and God came to their rescue through a prophet, Moses, whose name means “to draw out.”  He was sent to draw out God’s people from the worst of Adam’s toil.  Through this prophet, God performed miraculous wonders and even split a great sea in half, one wall of water to the right, one wall to the left, and dry land in between.  No longer were God’s people destined to toil the ground with the most painful thorns of slavery, but they were to walk into a land flowing with milk and honey.  All their needs – milk – and all their wants – honey – were to be flowing.  No toiling.

Stay tuned for part 2 . . .

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