Saturday, April 02, 2005

The "Eden" Parable


As was true of the account of the Flood in Genesis, so the story of "Adam and Eve" was also an allegory. Genesis was never meant to be a "scientific" or "historical" document. It was, and is, a spiritual work. So, it tells a parable that has a lesson.

The characters involved-- Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, etc., represent different parts of your own mind. This makes Genesis useful and practical, for it was written about you. Its story is also about me, and about everyone else.

So, if taken literally, it does produce some insoluble puzzles, such as, "Where did Cain and Abel get their wives?" Literalists assume that they married their sisters-- an imperfect solution, as the text nowhere mentions these others. So, it is a foundationless assumption embraced out of desperation-- not from contextual data. It is all sheer speculation, and that, in the spiritual life, can be worthless.

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