Garden of Eden

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Lunitik, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Everyone knows Eve ate an Apple from a tree forbidden to her, it has caused her and Adam to be kicked out of "Paradise".

    The tree is the Tree of Knowledge, knowledge of what? Good and evil, the base separation many religious people still insist on. From there, we have created many other distinctions and differences in the world around us and our social behavior. We have even created laws to define what is bad and set out punishments for it... fine.

    Could it be possible, though, that re-entry to Paradise is as simple as transcending good and evil again? Why or why not? I posit that this is exactly what religions teach, but I am interested in why so many miss this.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    You do mean an allegorical Eve ate a metaphorical forbidden fruit from the mythological tree of good and evil, yes?

    But yes I do believe the elimnation of duality, letting your eye become single, seek ye first...that is the teaching.
     
  3. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Yes, the story is mythical, it presents something for consideration...

    What is often missed is that Genesis is written by Moses, it is headlined "The First Book of Moses" in many Bibles - obviously Moses was not there at the time ;)

    Otherwise, we are in agreement, I am interested to see others who see something else in the story explain it.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    You don't buy the YEPD? You believe Moses wrote the books of Moses?

    I'm not saying mythical stories have no value.... I believe they have extraordinary value.
     
  5. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I mean, it says Genesis is the First Book of Moses, there is nothing to believe...

    The Torah is as much Moses and the Quran is Muhammad, there are many correlations in fact which any Muslim will point to, for instance age and days spent in retreat... they will even point to God's promise to the bastard son of Abraham of a land of his own progeny to show Muhammad was foretold.

    Christianity rejects all of this, and Jews simply see no reason to accept it, it is the cause of much violence in the world even today. The laws of Muhammad are basically a repeat of the laws in Deuteronomy and yet Christians will try to show Islam is poisonous. Muhammad has become a ruler of a nation, but Christ is the King of Kings despite no land to rule. These disputes are quite stupid in my opinion.

    That said, calling Muhammad the Seal of the Prophets is equally stupid. He has concluded many concepts, for instance firmly stating "nothing exists save God", what Yehweh points to. I do not call a God which has been inactive for 1450 years loving though, and to hear a Muslim talk you just hear such anger - they need reminding of their peaceful teachings.

    I am rambling, point being that human interpretation has caused many unfortunate things to come about. We think that Moses has simply added onto what perhaps Abraham or Noah has written, it is not the case. We cannot make room for a religion around either of these men because we think it is all a contiguous line of a Judeo faith - there have been many splinters, there is still a religion which calls John the Messiah for instance, so even about Christ there is a split in the faith. For these people, Jesus is merely a devotee of John.

    This cluster of confusion is simplified through modern understandings, what should actually happen is that the distinction are simply dropped. What has John taught that has caused these people to cling to it? What can Muhammad add that neither Jesus nor Moses have told us? What can be gained from Buddha and Krishna? Allow it to be a cluster and gain from the totality, don't pick and choose and say your decisions are superior to others, all of these men are pointing to the same moon!
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    And we continue to look at the finger....

    The Quran was developed at a time when the Bible and Torah were well known eh? And is supposed to be a correction of same, so that isn't very surprising is it? The difference between Mohammed and Moses as I see it is that we have more evidence Mohammed existed.
     
  7. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    From what I can tell, YEPD is a Jewish council?

    This is the problem with many faiths - especially the Abrahamic - that normal men have decided from ignorance what all should accept. They have their own selfish reasons for it, they want to preserve their own power.

    In some traditions, such as Hinduism, it almost makes sense that there is a ruling class which is closer to God - at least it is supportable in the scriptures. In Abrahamic faiths, though, all are created equally - there is a single set of parents for all people. Why, then, do we need a few people deciding how others should read the texts? What makes them superior at deciphering the intent of the words? Nothing at all...

    Certainly, when Muhammad died, there was a council... we all know the council of Nicea as well. What have these men been entrusted with everything? In Buddhism, all of the texts have come from a single disciples memory of 45 years with the master, why do we accept everything without question? Always, we seem to allow men to dictate and direct our own pursuit of God, utterly we cling to a given belief system and say these men are correct.

    Truth of the matter is that none of these councils have ever consisted of enlightened men, not one. No enlightened person is going to sit around discussing which words of someone else best point to their experience of the ultimate. They will accept whatsoever you want to choose because whether it is right or wrong is meaningless to them.
     
  8. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Do we?

    Muhammad means "praiseworthy", many Sufi's will say the Quran is Muhammad, Ahmad is perhaps just "praised". There are many fabrications about his life, but the Quran is basically just whatsoever has been dictated over a passage of a few days.

    But yes, we continue to look at a single finger too... if we are not finding the moon by that finger, we should venture and see whether another is more clearly identifying it for us. The pursuit should be of the moon, not of finding the most beautiful finger. Fingers are mostly the same, maybe just decorated differently or more manicured, surface differences. No matter where you look from, the moon is always the same.

    This is the usefulness of a living Guru, if we have great difficulty following the finger to the moon, the Guru can physically point our head at it - it is more aggressive, more direct. Still the moon is the same...

    When we have found the moon ourselves, now we are ourselves a finger for others, another person moving peoples heads to see. The difficulty is that people will fight, they will stiffen their heads towards the finger and insist they know enough of the moon already. This is a very frustrating experience, you know it is right there but they will not look. They are too much into their fantasies to see the reality.
     
  9. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    and "everybody" is wrong. the Torah doesn't say so. in fact, far more likely that it was a fig.

    not just "many". all - plus virtually all non-religious people. from G!D's Perspective, evil (and good) have no ultimate Reality, if that's what you're getting at. but outside of an edenic environment, morality is a sine qua non. the issue here is *choice*. if one chooses - and what humans are, fundamentally, is the "choosing being", one must choose on some basis other than whim, hence good and evil. you may also understand that without good and evil, there is no real humanity, because there is no responsibility. similarly, there can be no concept of "sin" without choice, but it choice is what happens if you have free will. our choice in eden was whether to exercise free will and thus activate the mechanism of choice - and we chose, activating it. without it, we would have remained creatures of impulse and lacking moral agency or free will. if you think that's better, well... i suppose, bully for you, but you're kind of stuck with it.

    er... we would say that those laws are ultimately Revealed, but i'll let it go. once choice, good, evil, responsibility and free will are part of the human condition, it's quite a business to turn it all off again.

    hmm. i think religions teach much more subtle messages than this. judaism suggest that free will costs - and that cost is responsibility, but the reward is also responsibility. i also respectfully submit that what you say here is all very clever in theory, but it fails the test of practicality. show me just one person who has "transcended good and evil" as you say!

    er... who says that genesis was written at the time of genesis? it was Revealed at sinai, where moses undoubtedly was.

    perhaps, but there is still much to discuss.

    G!D Is inactive? i didn't notice any of the laws of nature getting turned off. we have a tradition (or myth if you prefer) that G!D's time has since Creation been spent on matchmaking, as it's a complicated business. besides, we consider that "miracles" are with us every day - of course, they're not always *nice* miracles, but nonetheless i give thanks every morning for the ones that are - like living for another day with the redoutable mrs bb, the mini-bananas and bananapussle. inactive, my fat sephardi arse.

    and many amazing and wonderful things. i certainly wouldn't turn it off.

    er.... i have no idea what you're on about here. for us, the only contiguous line is the one we still maintain.

    well known *about*, perhaps, but hardly well *known*.

    er... judaism doesn't decide this. judaism does not consider that "all should accept" it; merely those who promised they would.

    you obviously don't know that much about the discipline of Torah study, then. we spend our lives learning how to do this. the only people that are a problem are the people that think they have actually got the answer.

    if i understand what you're saying here, you can't legislate and interpret mystical experience - and here, judaism agrees. but you do need legislation and interpretation to understand where you can eat lunch and, generally speaking, there is more lunch in life than there are mystical experiences unless, of course, it's one of mrs bb's lunches, which *are* a mystical experience.

    well, that is exactly what the legislation and interpretation, at their best, allow you do to more easily!

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Not hardly. According to one theory we have four groups of authors of the books of Moses. The Yahwists, Elohists, Priests, and Deuteronomists.

    Possibly fodder for future thread as to whether any of the reveealed will ever be known or rather Known.
     
  11. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    You might be interested in this perspective that I found today from Abdul-Baha:

    The Lord of all mankind hath fashioned this human realm to be a Garden of Eden, an earthly paradise. If, as it must, it findeth the way to harmony and peace, to love and mutual trust, it will become a true abode of bliss, a place of manifold blessings and unending delights. Therein shall be revealed the excellence of humankind, therein shall the rays of the Sun of Truth shine forth on every hand.

    Remember how Adam and the others once dwelt together in Eden. No sooner, however, did a quarrel break out between Adam and Satan than they were, one and all, banished from the Garden, and this was meant as a warning to the human race, a means of telling humankind that dissension -- even with the Devil -- is the way to bitter loss. This is why, in our illumined age, God teacheth that conflicts and disputes are not allowable, not even with Satan himself.


    ~ Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 275
     
  12. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    and according to others, any number of combinations and microclimates of those and others, none of which have ever been seen by anyone who writes about them and all of which fail to address the question of why, if lord macaulay wrote the "lays" and the penal code of the british raj in india in entirely different styles, there was still only one of him, or why my mum is, also despite being only one person, referred to by me as "mum" and my kids as "granny" and customer services stuff all over the uk as "aaaaaargh, it's her". go figure. not that i wish to get into a fight with big bad bob_x again over this!

    not my point. my point was rather about whether the bits of Torah that are reported in the Qur'an were reported by people who actually understood them.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  13. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Well, me for one...

    Sorry, but I am not trying to open a dialog on Judaism here, my point is very limited in focus.

    It is essentially Buddha's whole teaching, that every set of opposites must be transcended - this is the nature of the Middle Way. In Buddha's way, you drop the opposites, and by and by, when you arrive at nothingness you are filled with the whole - Yehweh.

    This is diametrical to Judaism as I understanding it, in Judaism you go on filling yourself more and more with love for God, then ultimately you become nothing - because you give yourself utterly to God. Essentially these are the polar opposites of religion - either enter through the front door or the back door. It is quite easy to tell which is which, the front door develops love for God, the back door doesn't need God to get you there... both are the same destination: God's living room, if you will.
     
  14. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Ahh, well I learned something!
     
  15. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Carl Jung: Analytical Psychology The reason behind the Fall is often described as being hubris, yet rather than arrogance and pride I see it as Man's search for Knowledge and the Truth and necessary in order that we might fulfill the destiny of our specifically human nature.
    As can be seen all throughout religious history, when one religious system comes into power, it set about to demonize the prior systems. The Christian cult was no different in that the Universal Feminine Aspect, Pagan Goddess worship if you will, had to be eradicated. The Fall in the Garden of Eden enabled this to happen and Womankind became the scapegoat for the Sins of all Mankind.
    I believe the Serpent in this fable is none other than the archetype of Lucifer and is representative of the divine force of Creation, Intellectual Inquiry and Freedom of Will.
     
  16. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    Somewhat limited in the ramifications of oneness, but then we have discussed my issues with the Baha'i Faith before - that Baha'u'llah has exalted himself above humans, that he has declared himself superior. What Baha'u'llah has attained - the unattainable - has been attained by thousands of Sufi's and perhaps millions of Hindus. He is merely an enlightened ego, he thinks this cannot happen to all humans, but we all hail from the one consciousness. Since it cannot happen to all, it must be that he is a messenger of God, God must have chosen him... it is all ego.

    This disagreement is exactly why I have left the Baha'i Faith. The ramifications of understanding the poles are simply levels of the same thing are very important. Good and evil is one pole, and your scriptures show many others - the lights and shadows discussed. I cannot agree with the Baha'i understanding here either, though. When you are filled with light, when you transcend, you need not practice morality - darkness cannot fight with light, a shadow cannot be in conflict with the object. The very practice creates a repetition though, you are reacting from habit and this drains all semblance of authenticity. If you do not transcend duality, you will fight a constant civil war within yourself, evil and good will be in a struggle within you, but it is absurd - they are just different levels of good, it is as if you are trying to pull your right and left arms apart, it is you who will be split. You cannot fight against evil and expect to win, you can only increase good because evil simply doesn't exist - it is exactly like darkness, you cannot bring it into a lighted room, you have to take the light away to make it dark again. It is simply stupid to me to try and fight the darkness, as almost every faith goes on attempting to do... it is also important to inquire what meaning good can have without evil? The contrast is necessary, we would not be able to function without knowing the absence and presence of a thing, if all is constantly present we will simply take it for granted. Joy is meaningful only when we experience sadness, if joy is just the constant it cannot be enjoyed, and through that sadness joy goes much deeper.
     
  17. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I cannot agree, we have desired things for the future out of the fall. Past and Future are another duality, only now ever actually exists. It is not difficult to know why Jung has not realized this, though, he is very much stuck in the mind - he has not transcended it. It is interesting to note though how many psychologists and modern philosophers have committed suicide or gone insane - it is the natural culmination of inquiring into mind from mind. Logic cannot arrive at anything other than the utter pointlessness of life, you need something else to find the beauty of life - that something we call religion.

    Serpent comes from a root meaning "self", it is that Eve simply became curious and it is bound to be so. When you tell a small child not to do something that it hasn't even considered yet, now you have created a curiosity. I want to give more credit to God than to engage in such a stupidity, surely he knows the nature of man and knew sooner or later the fruit was bound to be eaten from this tree. He has made it something very important, out of all the trees in the garden he has pointed out the Trees of Life and Knowledge - they likely never would have found them if he hadn't done this.

    Perhaps you are right that he wanted the humans to fall, perhaps behind the anger he displays he is actually proud because they have become mature - all children go through a stage where they rebel against the parents, it is very necessary to gain independence and individuality. Here, we seem in agreement, but how we arrive at the same point is quite different... :)
     
  18. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Diametrically opposed? How can anything be diametrically oppose the nondualist? But I digress, seems that this quote from chabad.org in my email on this day quite apropo...
     
  19. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    The Serpent and the Tree (Caduceus) are forever entwined, they represent the LOGOS in its purely Dualistic sense. The Tree being the growing, mutable, individualized Self while the reptile being the symbol of the immutable, unchanging Collective Unconsciousness.

    I don't see much of a point in the idea of the Fall in something as simple and all too human as the idea of dangling candy in front of a child just to see what happens, but I do agree with you that this Fall is metaphoric for Individuality, Individuism, and I say Freedom of Will (something the Abrahamic god was not ready to let Mankind have just yet).
     
  20. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I have not said opposed, there is no conflict at all...

    Diametric simply means the other side of the coin, dictionary says contrary, but I will say "seemingly contrary". It is a useful word because it signifies a diameter, when we cross all diameters, a clear center comes into focus - this is the goal of religion for me, finding and functioning from there.

    We actually agree when your projection is removed ;)
     

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