a taste of enlightenment....
If i'd done this correctly in terms of the story in Eden, then i guess there should already be a bite outa that sucker, eh? ;^)
So, what exactly happened in the garden?
While doing some research for a book I am in the process of writing, I came across an interesting take on the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. But not as interesting as William Henry's (see BLUE APPLES link above).
It comes in the form of the Manichaen interpretation of the story, In which Mani attempts to explain that it is Yahweh that is the liar and that the Serpent is actually telling the truth when Eve takes the Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
I find this shortsighted but on the right track, and will explain my understanding after a little bit of background, which i have borrowed and seriously revised in terms of proper language (attempting to remove persuasive and coercive terminology and phrasing) from this page: www.hiddenmeanings.com/paralleluniverse.htm
From approximately 210AD to 276 AD, It is believed that Mani lived in the area of asia currently referred to as Iran.
Manichaeism, a highly influential religion, was founded around him.
Manichaeism is extreme in its insistence on duality.
The Cosmos is seen as a battleground for the war between the material and the spiritual, represented as the "bad" and "good" gods respectively.
Christians of the period (and some currently) recognized the evil god as represented by Satan, but would not accept the idea that Satan could have as much power as Yahweh.
In accordance with the story of Lucifer, they hold that Satan (mistakenly considered to be a specific entity, namely Lucifer, rather than being an "office" or position of power or metaphorical description of an archetypal way of being and expression), unlike Yahweh, is a created being.
A Fallen Angel cast down from service to Yahweh due to his insistence on being separate but equal.(this is the birth of what we refer to as EGO - hence, egotism is Luciferianism - it is also the mechanism through which cancer cells flourish living at the expense of all cells around them and denying the symbiotic relationship to the whole - but that is another topic altogether that gets into holography and all kinds of stuff like that.)
This becomes a very important point in the story of the Garden, especially since there is the possibility that the Serpent is a third entity altogether, as the Serpent is not referred to by name as either Satan or Lucifer.
The Manichees were a syncretic religion, attempting to include the religious traditions within their experiential scope within their dogma and symbolism. As a result, they preserved many apocryphal Christian works, such as the Acts Of Thomas, that otherwise would have been lost. While eager to describe himself as a "disciple of Jesus Christ", Mani found the orthodox church rejecting him as a heretic.
It is quite possible that it was Mani's interpretation of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden which led to his eventual demise at the hands of the "Christian" establishment.
According to Mani's understanding, When Eve takes the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, It is not the Serpent who is the liar, the "evil" god, but rather Yahweh who is deceitful and evil.
This is where I personally feel that Mani shows himself to be an unenlightened being.
His insistence on a dualistic nature keeps him blind from the possibility of BOTH beings telling the TRUTH.
the following in quotes is directly from the previously mentioned website:
(text in parentheses are my additional notes)
"Mani said that the Serpent told Eve the truth. That if she took of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she would become as God and not die as the Evil God (Yahweh) told her.
Mani in identifying the serpent as the Good Spiritual God made it clear that the God we identified as Good (Yahweh) was the evil physical God because he lied when he told Adam and Eve that if they ate the fruit they would die.
The serpent who Mani said was the Good Spiritual God told Eve that if they ate the fruit they would not die but would become as God which was true.
That statement about identifying which voice was the Good God, the invisible one or the serpent is borne out in this scripture."
ok....so, I see this as an oversimplification in the extreme.
First of all, there is no clear definition of what is meant by the term "die" within this passage. This could very easily be a mystical language, especially considering the context!
the death of the self? the death of a way of knowing and being up until this point (the point of tasting of the fruit), when we are reborn into something new? is it possible to die and not die at the same time?
I say an emphatic YES!
what is being discussed here is none other than that which the eastern philosophies and religions term Enlightenment, It is also represented in the Death and Resurrection of the many SUNs of GODfrom Christ to Krishna, from Osirus to Mithras and on and on)
It may refer to the dissolution of the self in order to be born into a higher state on consciousness, of being.
first step is the fall from innocence, the split which creates the situation in which one can know the "self" .
The foundation is built.
only then can one KNOWINGLY rather than ignorantly return to the state of ONENESS from which we supposedly rose or fell, depending on your interpretation.
Yet both Mani and the author of the website can't get over the Aristotelian hump, even though further down the webpage the topic is quantum physics which blows dualistic either/or logic out of the water in favor of a both/and inter-relationship.
more from the webpage:
" 'John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.'
So you see Mani is saying that the serpent is the Good God because he told the truth when he said that by eating the fruit, Adam and Eve would become as God, whereas God told them they would die.
' Genesis 2:16. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat:
17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'
OK That's God's side, now let's hear from the Serpent
'Genesis 3:4. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not die:
5. For God knows that in the day you eat that, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.'
Now we have two entities here.
One says if you eat you shall die. The other says that..s a lie you will not die but if you eat you shall be as gods.
So who is the liar and remember the Bible says Satan the Devil is the father of lies.
(this has got to be one of the most oversimplified and non-explanatory sentences in the whole website - we need actual passages that equate the devil, the serpent, and satan here, otherwise, this point is null and void)
'Genesis 3:22. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden'
So there is the answer.
The Bible says that it is Satan that is a liar and the father of lies. In this story it is the Serpent that said you will not die you will be as Gods.
It was God that said you will die.
According to the Bible they did not die but became as Gods. You can see for yourself, ..man is become as one of us.
Therefore it was the Serpent who was telling the truth and God who was lying.
Thus who is Satan?
So Mani is correct."
-end of passage from website
ok...so I think this is idiocy.
for a person who is attempting to play off some sort of righteous esoteric knowledge, this is an extremely weak argument.
It is attempting to use rational logic to understand a form of expression that is not based in logic and reason, but rather in mysticism.
I see it thusly:
By eating of the fruit, we lose our innocence and are split into duality. good/bad and all of that.
ask yourself, do you believe that the activities or possible actions that occurred both before and after eating of the fruit were different?
was there even an issue whether or not adam had sex with eve out of wedlock before eating of the fruit?
or how about if they liked backdoor antics, so to speak?
seriously...it is a possibility isn't it?
a visceral one...
or was that made a sin only after eating of the fruit?
or is it only the perception of whether or not that action is good or evil which was born upon the tasting of that fruit?
to taste the Fruit is to Die to Innocence.
the "good god" Yahweh does not lie about this.
but the Serpent does not lie either.
The messages of the two are COMPLIMENTARY.
In order to understand the world in dualistic terms, in terms of good and evil, one must sacrifice their innocence. To know of good and evil is to be as gods, or so says genesis.
The Serpent says that you will know as the gods know (as the higher beings know).
You will be started upon the path to a deeper understanding and relationship to the divine.
through opposites, definitions and refinement of understanding are possible.
Being able to compare, contrast. there are two sides.
but both sides are still a part of one coin, so to speak.
If the serpent truly says that Yahweh is lying, then the serpent is lying, not Yahweh.
In this way the serpent may be attempting to convince Eve that she does NOT have to give up her innocence to know good and evil. It is a very subtle point, but very important.
This is how people become enslaved.
Humans are misled about the repercussions of their decisions while those who wish to control have complete knowledge of them;
then, when the truth is revealed and the humans realize the price, those who knew what was up from the beginning conveniently provides a solution or sustenance that creates the situation which they so desired from the onset.
This is a kind of metaphysical dangling of the carrot.
Just follow the carrot...do not worry...there are no holes in the road...oh, sorry..there was one right there...let me give you this splint for your broken leg...now don't ever take it off. I've given it to you so you can walk. now that you have been damaged, you cannot walk without it, so never take it off, you must now walk as i tell you to walk, for your own good, for your SAFETY.
So, be aware, and do not think that anything comes for free.
something must always be sacrificed.
But the dualistic path is the long path.
yet in a very real way, it is the Crucible through which we must go in order to reach "Heaven"
It is most impressively expressed in the tradition of Alchemy, the marriage of opposites.
There lies a rich language of symbols and language which stretched thru all traditions.
The answers are never in the dogma. it is dogma which separates.
it is the mystical which connects all things and transcends differences.
it is the DIRECT EXPERIENCE which is the truth, not the shadows of tradition.
an d the most visceral question of all:
"How worthy is a God of being believed in if he cannot even manage to forgive the one who was once his most highly respected servant? If even god is not capable of that kind of compassion, yet I am , what does that mean?"