By: Ranilo Abando (Manila, November 25, 2020) ****
Adam, Eve, and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:16-17: The fruit of any of the trees in the garden was “good for food” and Adam was told that he could “freely eat” of it. However, there was one restriction — that is, he was not to eat of “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” for that would cause him to die.
Despite God’s clear warning, Eve and Adam both rebelled against God’s word and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and thus “sin entered into the world” (Romans 5:12). As a result, death also came into the world when God — true to His word — told them that “unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19). Then God cast Adam (with Eve) out of His beautiful garden, “lest he … take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” (Genesis 3:22).
The story of Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and the Tree is a compound metaphor, as it contains two different meanings. This duality in the metaphor is indicated by the apparent mention of two trees in the Garden of Eden – the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. These two trees actually symbolize only one tree — the tree of life which represents the human mind column. The following are the two different meanings of the metaphor:
1. The first meaning of the metaphor of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the Tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden (the tree representing the human mind column), is similar to the meaning of the Parable of Two Birds in a Tree from the Rig Veda which I have discussed in a previous post. It is also similar to the metaphor of Snow White’s poisoned apple. That fruit represents the worldly pleasures and rewards dangled by this virtual physical world, and therefore by the lower mind, which when indulged with excessively will result in pain and suffering down the road because of hidden penalty provisions attached to those pleasures. Adam and Eve represent the human spirit. The serpent that tempted them to eat the fruit represents the dark passions and desires inside human nature. This serpent, metaphorically, is an agent of the Chaos composition of the physical world, which is personified as Satan by early Christian writers.
2. In the second meaning of the metaphor, Adam and Eve represent the savage humans who lived in an Eden-like natural world before the rise of human civilization. The fruit from the Tree of knowledge of good and evil which they ate, represents the knowledge of civilization, including arts, laws of morality, laws of justice, livelihood crafts, mining of metals, pottery, agriculture and pastoralism. The serpent which brought them this “fruit” is a metaphor for the ancient teachers of humanity (“Serpents of Wisdom”) who were the intellectually-advanced beings from the realities high up the mind column, born on earth, and introduced the revolutionizing ideas of civilization to humanity. They were the “fallen angels” of ancient legends. The adverse side effect of their introduction of knowledge on earth is that the awakened thinking minds of humans were often used by their dark passions and desires to scheme, murder, steal, and indulge – leading to adverse karmic reactions that led to human suffering and pain. Those wise ancient teachers of humanity, often used the symbolism of a serpent to represent them because serpents can see in the dark, the same way that they can see higher spiritual knowledge despite the darkness and ignorance of this physical world. Quetzalcoatl, the personification of the introducers of ancient civilization in Central America, used the feathered serpent to represent them. The feathers represent the lofty or higher mind side of their nature.
The Fallen Angels in Paradise Lost
Because of the difficulty of dissecting this compound metaphor of Adam, Eve, the Serpent, and the Tree, and also because of an apparent influence of religion on him, John Milton mixed up the Legend of the Fallen Angels with the Legend of the Fall of Man, which are supposed to be two totally different concepts, in his epic poem Paradise Lost. This mix-up of Milton resulted in his unfortunate mistake of calling the Fallen Angel as Satan. The concept of Satan should only be applied to the personification of the Chaos composition of this physical world, as well as its agents such as the dark passions in human nature. As this physical world is merely a virtual construct of the lower mind, the chaos composition is ultimately contained within the lower segment of the mind. The mix-up by Milton resulted in many literary experts expressing surprise about the treatment in the poem of the Serpent as an apparent hero. In some lines of the poem, the Serpent expresses strong words of hope and spiritual will, as when he said these words to a suffering and complaining cherub:
Fallen Cherub, to be weak is miserable…
Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
The metaphor of the “Fall” simply means the fall of the spirit from high up the mind column to the realities in the depths of the lower mind. In the case of the Fall of Man, it is the human spirit which fell from the union with his higher self above his mind column to a separate existence down the depths of the lower mind and into this relatively unpleasant virtual physical world in order to learn and grow intellectually. In the case of the Fallen Angels, the metaphor means that those highly-evolved spirits voluntarily fell down from their lofty home realities built by their higher minds down into the depths of the lower mind, particularly this relatively unpleasant virtual physical world in order to teach humanity in the ways of civilized life.
Prometheus, the Rebel Titan
The metaphor of the ancient Greek story of Prometheus exemplifies the legend of the Fallen Angels who were the teachers of humanity. The following is an extract from messagenetcommresearch.com:
Zeus had many plans for the reshaping of creation. After the fall of Kronos and his confinement in Tartaros, Zeus took no interest in the mortal race of men on the bountiful earth, he intended for them to live as primitives until they died off. Zeus said that knowledge and divine gifts would only bring misery to the mortals and he insisted that Prometheus not interfere with his plans.
Despite Zeus’ warning, Prometheus took pity on the primitive mortals and again, he deceived Zeus. Prometheus gave the mortals all sorts of gifts: brickwork, woodworking, telling the seasons by the stars, numbers, the alphabet (for remembering things), yoked oxen, carriages, saddles, ships and sails. He also gave other gifts: healing drugs, seercraft, signs in the sky, the mining of precious metals, animal sacrifice and all arts.
To compound his crime, Prometheus had stolen fire from Zeus and given it to the mortals in their dark caves. The gift of divine fire unleashed a flood of inventiveness, productivity and, most of all, respect for the immortal gods in the rapidly developing mortals. Within no time (by Immortal standards), culture, art, and literacy permeated the land around Mount Olympos (Olympus). When Zeus realized the deception that Prometheus had fostered, he was furious. He had Hephaistos (Hephaestus) shackle Prometheus to the side of a crag, high in the Caucasus mountains. There Prometheus would hang until the fury of Zeus subsided.
Each day, Prometheus would be tormented by Zeus’ eagle as it tore at his immortal flesh and tried to devour his liver. Each night, as the frost bit its way into his sleep, the torn flesh would mend so the eagle could begin anew at the first touch of Eos (the Dawn).
A curious feature we find common among Earth’s oldest civilizations is that none of them claimed they invented agriculture, laws, morality or the other prime tools of civilization. The Sumerians indeed, claimed they owed everything to the “gods” that had descended from the heavens to Earth to teach mankind the arts of civilized life. The ancient Egyptians referred to the Nefertu who ruled over them during the Zep Tepi (First Time) for thousands of years until they handed over the reigns to the pharaohs.
When those mentally advanced teachers of humanity lived on earth in human bodies, they also experienced pain and suffering as a consequence of their possession also of passions, desires, and romantic emotions, which when gratified are nonetheless subject to the Law of Cause and Effect (Law of Karma). This law excuses no one, as it is based in the existential Law of Balance which makes sure that no information is lost and everything is accounted for and ultimately balanced.
Therefore, it is time we correct the historical wrongs and stop demonizing the ancient teachers of humanity who had sacrificed a lot in order to give us hope and power to emancipate our human spirits from the ignorance and deprivation associated with a lack of guiding light from above.
(Thanks to pixabay.com for the photos above)