Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Allegory of "Eden"


Most scholars believe that the entire story of Eden, related in the first book of the official Bible, Genesis, is an allegory. The only group that accepts it as literal are-- you guessed it!-- extreme rightwing fundamentalists!

Jehovah represents, in the story, legalistic religion, the type common in ancient Judaism. Adam and Eve represent the yang (active, male, intellectual) and yin (passive, receptive, intuitive, female) sides of the lower (human) nature.

The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" represents the illusion that anything in the cosmos is "absolutely bad," or free of, separate from, the perfect Mind (of God), without which nothing, or no thing, could ever exist.

The "sin" (error) that took the human mind from the state of uninterrupted bliss ("Eden" means "pleasure") was disagreement with God, who, after creation, declared His work "very good," and several times.

The human nature replied, "Yes, God is right-- sometimes. For some things are absolutely good. But others are absolutely evil. And this absolute evil is as real (a part of "truth" or reality) as is the good."

This kind of dualistic thinking removes us from the awareness of the omnipresence of God as Love. So, the Buddha tells us that one of our goals is the "all-embracing Mind" that, without any judgment, embraces the God (Love-nature) in all things.

If you dream of a little boy, little girl, red wagon, and blue ball, you are "in" the girl, "in" the boy, and "in" or "within" the wagon and ball. For they are all within you, or your dream. In this way,as the Dreamer or Creator of the cosmos, God-- the true God of Love-- is "in" everything.

Genesis is careful to distinguish the Creator from Yahweh. That is why there are really two creation-accounts, one in chapter one, and another in chapter two. For chapter one is about the spiritual creation of minds (Souls or spirits) emanated from the one Mind of God, and chapter two is about the dreaming of the illusion-world.

The writers used the Hebrew word elohim, which literally means, not "God," but "gods." So, Genesis 1:1 should not be translated, "God created the heavens and the earth," but, "the gods created the heavens and the earth."

At any rate, elohim is different, and separate from, Yahweh or Jehovah.

Jehovah, as legalistic religion, was the cause of all the problems introduced in Eden. He is the real deceiver in the Genesis allegory.

How do we know? Because Jehovah himself confirms as accurate the statements made by the "serpent." (Gen. 3:1-5) Early gnostics recognized that this "serpent" was not evil, but a teacher. Jehovah, they said, was the villain of the drama.

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