The enlightenment teaching of the Essene was known as THE WAY. This teaching became the final interpretation of the Law and the Prophets, as revealed by Yeshua Messiah. The Way became the enlightened transitional teaching of the early church.
The Bible story of Adam and Eve begins for mankind the narrative of enlightened principles. This article references the Garden of Eden from the viewpoint of lost enlightenment, lost power, and entering a world of hard consequences.
The teaching of the Way would describe the garden allegory as a picture of wholeness and oneness with God, the reality of enlightenment shared with Him and in Him, intimate and personal, and that would apply to both Adam and Eve. Although the garden is physically outside of oneself, the enlightenment and relationship with God seem existent as already birthed or awakened from within. The kingdom of God is awakened in Adam and Eve, and thus they share unity with God.
Biblical literalists contend the garden account is historical but then related to scripture by figures of speech. This view coincides with Pauline interpretation, then further developed under Augustine and others. For centuries this interpretation became the Christian view. Most scholars, including Jewish scholars and rabbis, accept the garden story as an allegory. Others have observed it as a slightly altered version of the Babylonian creation myth. However a person may view the garden narrative, one concept within the story remains clear—through rebellion and then disobedient acts, mankind falls from the enlightened condition and his consciousness becomes tainted.
GOOD and BAD
“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat,” Gen. 2.16. The fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad may not be eaten or “thou shalt surely die.”
Earlier biblical scripture states that man is made from dust. ‘Dust’ is noted as dead, or dead soil by the roadside. The reference to dust is later used by Jesus, which refers to being asleep or dead to the spirit. Within Judaism death, the grave, and dust are references to an unawakened spiritual condition. Wakefulness is directed toward a more fully enlightened condition, or what we understand as the spirit awakened in man.
God allows choice, and discernment, else soul individuality remains stagnate or sublimated. Choice allows for the development of free will, and symbolically, the right choice is now presented as critical to maintaining spiritual life. Jesus teaches about choice as he confronts the scribal authority and the Pharisees. Matt. 24.14 illustrates the power of good choice when he states that many are called, but few are chosen. In John, Jesus speaks with power and authority when he says, “…but I have chosen you out of the world,” (15.10).
The power of choice is testified to throughout scripture.
Sow for wisdom and good choice.
As the seduction proceeds the serpent offers the fruit from the Tree of Desire*. This fruit of which Eve is to partake shares both the good and the bad, with the promised result to make Eve wise, and powerful. Eve would become exalted into a new power and greater status, essentially making Eve a divine being. The essential contrast is, do we live by desire, express our soul work through desires, or are higher standards at play? If you want the blessings God offers is obedience the fair price?
*Nachmonides interprets the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad as the Tree of Desire (ritz hada’at).
Within the serpent’s argument to freely* eat lies a much deeper issue. Satan offers a way to access power, though not under the authority of God. This thought is directed to the words spoken by Eve, “to make one wise,” insinuated by Satan. But wise how? Adam and Eve are already like God**, made in God’s image, with the spirit within to give light to the soul.
The Satan-Serpent proposes an extension of beingness into power. But what kind of power? This power is intended to push your image (soul-mind, nature) into preeminence, much like Satan has done himself. It might be described as a soul-nature intellect as opposed to a spirit-natured intellect. Nor is whatever wisdom to be assumed necessarily at God’s timing. A decision made by the mind but executed by the will— reaching and grasping out of season—what will now become the Will personally fueled by desire. This type of will has problems forming a spiritual pathway, the discipline required for the attainment of higher knowledge, as well as administering a pathway; it is not spirit-willed.
*God did not say you may freely eat, but that you may eat.
**Lv. 19.2; Mt. 5.48, “…be perfect [complete], just as your Father in heaven is perfect [complete in all ways].”
The contrast of power ‘to be like God’ comes as an entreaty. Instead of beingness, or place, with God, the entreaty usurps both—now beingness is acted out through Satan’s conduit. This pursuit represents the lust of Satan, for power unrestricted, except for his own reasonings, in short, “ye shall be like gods.” Satan did not say Eve and Adam (man) would be gods, only that they would be like gods. Once eating the fruit from the Tree of Good and Evil, thus the Will becomes tainted, not by wisdom but by desire. The Mind becomes tainted, for the proposal is a deceit the mind has accepted and then acted upon. The standards and requirements have now been altered. The knowledge and power to be assumed will mimic Satan’s character, much as will later manifest within Cain.
The Tree of Life represents the Spirit, as an authority, wholeness or healing, and eternality.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Bad) represents the world of circumstance or consequences.
The Jewish people and all of mankind will contest and then suffer over the standards of good and bad. This contention is unavoidable since the Fruit of Good and Bad is itself mixed, that is, it is not that one piece of fruit may be good but another bad, it is that the same fruit contains both good and bad, mixed. Thus, Satan’s temptation introduces a basic confusion into the mind, for merely tasting the fruit draws you into the worldly condition—to taste the world as it were.
The contrast with obedience is straightforward. Nothing had been denied to Adam and Eve, thus, the issue of soul development points to timing. God’s timing is measured and in an ‘Order of Events’, whereas the seduction is opportunistic, not necessarily measured nor prepared for, but a sudden intrusion forcing a consequential decision.
That enlightenment can be maintained while pursuing desires, possessing and possessiveness, and grasping for power is the fundamental error Satan introduces. While entranced with glitter the person does not always consider what may be left behind. This first effort in the garden is later mimicked when Satan tempts Jesus. Desire, possessing, and grasping lead to greed, and acquisition, with no necessary counterbalance toward love or spiritual beauty.
In Jesus’ time, a clear-cut example emerges. Since the time of the prophets (spokesman) had passed, the Jewish people had been extending law upon law, with over two thousand purity laws from what began as the Ten Commandments. They not only had laws but had prayers to go with them. The enlightenment Jesus speaks of is not dependent upon such things. The wrongheadedness of thinking that the ‘acquisition’ of more lawyered behavior would somehow make a person more holy became the Satanic deceit Judaism had fallen into. Adam and Eve face such a conundrum, just as they did not know the consequences of stepping out of God’s order of constructive events, which were still ongoing, they chose another pathway.
The later resolution to the issue of parsing the good and the bad will become the introduction of the Holy Spirit, presented as the Comforter. The Holy Spirit awakens the kingdom of God within. John 14.17 provides a clear description of the worldly as opposed to the awakened: “For even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” This scripture directs us toward the kingdom within, with the Spirit of Truth (revealment) as to good and bad, essentially the original pathway intended for Adam and Eve.
As to Satan, he still possesses wisdom, but it now manifests within the intellectual attribute of craftiness. He is angelic in his creation, he still possesses light. However, through rebellion he becomes darkened in his person and loses sanctity, he no longer pursues God’s course but pursues his own. No longer within God’s will, he naturally disdains God’s creation and will attempt to corrupt it.
Sow seed for the Spirit of Truth to manifest and reveal your pathway.
The temptation is complex, so the conversation slyly begins with a question, but one which is technically misstated. Gen. 3.1, “Yea, hath God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” But Gen. 2.16-17 quotes God as saying, “Of every tree in the garden thou mayst freely eat. (17) But of the Tree of Good and Evil thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Adam has already initiated the power God has given him. He demonstrates power over his dominion by naming the garden. He names the animals. He tends the garden. He designates. Through his actions, Adam now has the impetus for soul development and individuality.
As to Eve, she is understood as once removed, as from the tenderest part, symbolized as being created from Adam’s rib. She is designated to be better protected, and thus perceived as innocent. Without a doubt, Satan also perceives Eve as more vulnerable to his enticements and will engage in private discussions with her. Eve, for her part, may have been admiring the fruit and wondering. We know she was nearby, as was Adam.
The “surely die” God speaks of fundamentally refers to spiritual death, even though Eve does not understand the real meaning.* Eve thinks God refers to physical death, but the satanic voice tells her she will not die (3.3), which infers physical death. Satan has told a half-truth, or perhaps the truth turned backward. Physical life continues, but it is the spirit that wanes in influence. This fact of the waning spirit, or becoming asleep in the physical, later opens the door for justifying wrongdoing and sealing it within the heart, much like Satan has done.
*Most scholars (and religious scholars) have come to the thought that Adam would have told Eve about the Tree of Good and Evil.
It is here we discover the nature of Satan’s fallen intellect. Satan seems to indicate that God withholds bounty, that He is selfish, possessive, and unreasonable to deny such fruit. Satan may believe the same has been done to him. The shell of intellect Satan has built around himself is full of explanations, and now the same explanations are proffered to Eve. We will discover this fallen mind when Eve and then Adam explain why they ate. Each will tell a half-truth, but neither takes responsibility, as both attempt to cover their wrong-thinking and wrong-doing.
Taking responsibility for one’s life is another key principle of the Way. If a person does not take responsibility they remain powerless to exert themselves in any meaningful manner, they have no power over their life. Self-pity robs power; responsibility forms a pathway. Capricious, and wayward goes the mind without responsibility—Satan engenders Adam and Eve to leave behind the knowledge they have, and thus the responsibility they have toward that knowledge. When individuals absolve themselves of responsibility consequences descend upon them, as Adam and Eve will soon learn.
To analyze a situation is useful, but the real issue becomes the standards you use to do so. However, not always well suited to determining the good from the bad, the intellect also justifies our lusts, then overrides conscience and conviction. Satan’s intellectual faculty has entered into rebellion. In fact, this misguided intellect-creation has become the rebellion itself. Satan has ‘thought himself’ there and he persists in justifying himself. His intellect appears as reasoning, appealing and seductive, much as a crop ready for harvest. However, his intellect has already ‘gone to seed’, dried up, and corrupted.
What is referred to as the ‘false self’, the deluded self, is exchanged for the ‘true self’, the spiritual self.
In verse 3.3 Eve makes a peculiar statement. She says, “…neither shall ye touch it, lest you die.”
That you should not even touch the fruit levels a severe warning. Even so, something peculiar lurks within the fruit, seductive, and most attractive to the eye (Gn. 3.6), else why does Eve sit next to it? To sit close to the fruit is to engage it. An opportunity has fallen into Satan’s hands.
Verse five concerns knowledge of good and evil, and “ye shall be as gods”: Eve perceives the fruit as “to make one wise,” which presumes to Eve that she is not wise, nor can obtain wisdom in no other manner, but then eat of this fruit. Perhaps it is by ease she wishes to acquire this wisdom, as if by a kind of magic transference. Trust in God, or God’s plan, is abandoned, and perhaps this is where this altered self became created and self-deception entered. Essentially, the mind has created a new self, and the spirit within must now labor through that new self to affect conditions or deliver solutions.
After eating the fruit the new creation is now mixed, a shining light (eyes opened) that will soon turn toward tragedy. For, this particular intellect will come forth not under God’s order but under Satan’s. It will now contain the duplicity of Satan-mindedness, much like the mixed fruit. Spiritual insight has become lost. The intellect justifies and blames, which both Eve and Adam will later do. A new self has suddenly been created and moves along a different thread.
Gen. 3.5-6 “…ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” This scripture forms the subtle plot that will incorporate Eve and her progeny into an unending uprising within the self. Satan intimates that God has withheld knowledge, that Adam and Eve are ‘not knowing’. Eve’s desire grows, and by Eve the fruit is finally pronounced “good,” to wit, she partakes. She does not wait, nor barely hesitates, nor does she seek counsel from either Adam or God. She seeks equality with God even as her newly formed reasoning power (after Satan) guides her to do—what she will possess, out of season though it may be.
Satan seeks to cloud the kingdom, the source of divine intelligence, to replace it with the tainted intellect. The wisdom Satan offers is one of craftiness, deceit, and the lies that come with deceit. Satan demonstrates his nature by telling the half-truth that God has denied her, when in fact God’s plan is developing quite nicely. Once entering into the aura of deceit she accepts the false promise. Eve enters into this world of deceit, deceived as it were by what has now become her own thinking. She believes this fruit promises godly wisdom. She no longer listens to the root of the instruction which comes from God. This leads us to the thought that great desire can replace the word and the will of God. Eve, even now, is beginning to lose her illumination.
Eve enters into tantalizing desire and temptation, an overwhelming desire for power and status. Spiritual power and what she believes will be a new identity or status await her. In the newly recreated Eve, her nature begins to move by lust, not obedience, perhaps more closely her new self, not wisdom. This is illustrated when she names Cain. Perhaps, much like the modern Humanist, she believes she will be like God by undertaking the task through her own efforts. ‘You no longer need God, you need only eat of this fruit,’ Satan intimates. Seeking the reins of power and control, and wresting control out of God’s hands—the Hebrew Bible will relate the many facets of this initial rebellious act.
The enlightenment of the garden is no longer the predominating force of consciousness. Temptation, through the conduit of disobedience, and fueled by lust for power and status, Eve finds the fruit desirable and becomes overwhelmed.
Sow seed for spirit-thinking rather than self-thinking?
REBELLION and AUTHORITY
Rebellion breaks down proper authority. Discipline becomes corrupted, and the order of events wrecks upon the rocks of mortality. Chaos stuns the mind of man.
The lust for power before the issuance of proper authority has been a plague throughout the history of mankind.
Eve runs ahead of God. Eve runs out of season. The pathway of growth God intends now becomes reconfigured, rewrought, and then redetermined by man. God’s plan for man’s progression now ends. Man has now made himself the center of all things (self-centered), and seals his fate into the world. He is now subjected to worldly standards. He may not be completely cut off from God, but he has separated himself, and now operates through his new mental creation.
Satan’s rebellious spirit emerges when he tempts Eve. Satan already knows that misleading is often more effective than lying. To engender doubt or suspicion leaves the door open as to motive, and thus allows for what appears an innocent inquiry. The listener, once mislead the person begins to fill in the blanks as to what is right and wrong. He begins to mislead himself, and finally, he fools himself. Eve and then Adam chose a kind of spiritual death.
From the act of rebellion, all other negative attributes begin to rise up. The folly of man, who forever pursues himself, yet cannot see—the answer remains hidden just beyond the mist. Satan has completed the insurrection.
Adam’s Lack of Responsibility
Interestingly, Adam does not correct her, nor does he disavow what she has done, but instead follows after. Once closest to Adam, God is now distanced; Eve, once removed, is now brought close. Then, Adam turns on Eve when confronted by God, and asked, “Hast thou eaten of the tree (3.11)?”
“The woman whom though gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree.”
The loss of spiritual light (the fall) makes them hide (Gn. 3.7), which is the usual rabbinical interpretation of this verse. They can no longer stand before God, for they are now tainted, and thus afraid. The fall is swift, as Satan, the Deceit, has accomplished the act. Adam and Eve are now self-deceived.
In this matter, Adam now becomes a fellow traveler. More might be insinuated relative to Adam: he has abrogated dominion, as he should be overseeing conditions relative to the garden. Adam, after all, had the God-given power to name, thus assert authority, and thus accept or cast out. With this oversight authority, just what was Adam doing?
The question alone draws the contrast, and many comments have been made concerning Adam’s behavior. This power to make cogent soul decisions must remain spirit-driven, as this will tend to order authority issues. Satan’s instruction to Eve, followed by Adam then listening to Eve, Adam essentially replaces his godly authority with the replica, of Satan’s. In the end, Adam and Eve are equally culpable. Both enjoin the rebellion and both disobey.
The above paragraphs may seem a slight treatment of Adam. The fact is that authority affects almost all other issues, and many different attributes of character. Within authority, discipline may be involved, clear thinking, leadership, responsibility, and a settling of wisdom. Understood from this viewpoint, Adam’s behavior shatters throughout the soul. He has abrogated his authority, he has abrogated his personal power.
All events now move in the opposite direction God intended. The conveyance from Satan to Eve to Adam replaces God’s established order of events. In the new order, the fruits of desire will come first, with wisdom only accumulated after trial and error and much pain. The corrupted intellect now leads the way. ‘The fall’ becomes a reduction into a tainted self-conscious state instead of remaining in an enlightened God-conscious state. Mankind has attempted to reclaim God-consciousness ever since.
Mankind no longer lives in the Garden of Blessing but becomes removed into the backyard of consequences. This principle of where you abide, in the garden or in the backyard, is most important to the Way. For the person who lives in the backyard the order of events now moves through the opposite of a godly hierarchy. Various vagabonds tramp down the ally and through the soul, all are needy, and all are weak. The spirit is no longer foremost, the circumstances of each individual’s backyard become foremost. The backyard relative to the garden—all godly standards have become torn, and must now be rebuilt. Lust may have opened the door, but the obvious sin is walking through. Just as it entered Adam and Eve and changed their nature, Satan’s rebellion enters the human condition.
Much like authority, the rebellion also affects all attributes of character. Faithfulness diminished, Adam and Eve experience a loss of spiritual light and insight. They have lost their vision and will now have to determine good and bad for themselves, much of which will occur through experimentation. Since they have accepted temptation and acted upon it, the temptation will follow man throughout the length of their life, unalterably handed down through his flesh.
In the teaching of the Way, the lesson of the Garden of Eden shows us that the ‘Satan-Serpent’, seduction and temptation itself, will always boil down to desiring some form of unrighteous power, or covetousness. The allegorical story of the garden chronicles a very different outcome than originally intended for mankind. With the perfection of the garden dissembled, the rebellion of Satan spreads to diminish the enlightenment and oneness with God!
That human beings deal with power on a daily basis is seldom mentioned, but certainly true. The lesson for Adam and Eve would caution to watch who and what you desire, and be aware of the powers you may initiate. Just as with Adam and Eve, when the repercussions arrive all excuses ring hollow.
Within this context of unrighteous desires spring the many conniving human attitudes and motives (Hebrew arum: crafty, Gn. 3.1). Once indulging in the fruit of the Tree of (Unrighteous) Desire, for Adam and Eve the fracture and consuming dissolution within the soul becomes complete. Such lust splinters throughout to produce varied consequences, some known, and those unknown only to be revealed later.
The Tree of (long) Life can no longer be a part of Adam and Eve’s world, for the length of years would conclude too great a suffering. It is to each following generation that the years of life shorten. Hard experience and hard lessons now format the return to God.
The separation, or the ‘fall from wholeness’—Adam and Eve are diminished, their soul-light is diminished, their power to name is diminished (Naming: Back to the Garden)—they are diminished in every way, and they stand before God revealed, or naked. Where once their light shined bright, but by their own choices concerning disobedience, lust, and desire, they can no longer enjoy the garden of blessing. Instead, they enter into a world of consequences.
In terms of the Way, God has drawn the lines. Choosing between the good and the good allows some form of good to follow. Choosing good from bad without judgment leads to the world we live in today, with careening cause and effect superseding the greater wisdom.