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 the narrative of enlightened principles for mankind. This article references the Garden of Eden from the viewpoint of lost enlightenment, lost power, and entering the world of hard consequence.
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 are not outside oneself, it is birthed from the inside out. 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 by figures of speech. This view coincides with Pauline interpretation, then further developed under Augustine and others. For centuries this became the Christian view. Most scholars, including Jewish scholars and rabbis, accept the garden story as an allegory, usually observed as a slightly altered version from the Babylonian creation myth. However a person may view the garden narrative, one concept within the story remains clear—through rebellion and then by 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 scripture states that man is made from dust (asleep), but as the spirit is blown into him he becomes sentient, he awakens. 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, discernment, else soul individuality will remain 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. 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 result to make Eve wise, powerful. Eve becomes exalted into a new status, essentially to make Eve a divine being.
In the garden, the Tree of Life also represents the spirit, eternality. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the world of circumstance or consequences. Although choices between good and evil lead to a certain kind of knowledge, it also leads to trial after trial. Thus the Tree of Life may not be eaten (Gn. 3.24) after the good and the bad has been eaten, for an extended life within this mixed condition would become intolerable. The person, of both the flesh and the spirit, could not withstand such continued consequences. Knowing they would attempt to eat from the Tree of Life to regain the lost enlightenment, God must finally remove Adam and Eve from the garden, even for their protection.
*Nachmonides interprets the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad as the Tree of Desire (ritz hada’at).
The history of the Jewish people and all of mankind will contest and then suffer over standards of good and bad. Satan’s temptation introduces a basic confusion into the mind: that enlightenment can be assumed from outside of oneself (satisfying desires, possessing things, grasping for power) as opposed to emerging from the kingdom within, or manifestation of the true enlightened condition.
Note also that the same fruit contains both good and bad, mixed, not that one piece of fruit may be good but another bad. This leads us to the thought that no actions we take can be considered completely or perfectly good, nor wholly bad. Some good consequences may come out of bad actions, such as never touching the hot stove again, leading to the soul development attribute of caution; many bad results have occurred out of the best intentions and actions.
In the teaching of the Way, the later awakened resolution to the issue of parsing the good and the bad will become the introduction of the Holy Spirit, presented as the Comforter. John 14.17, “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. In different words, a sudden jolting experience may awaken you from your sleep, perhaps even an anointing, but the enlightenment always flows from the kingdom within.
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 he will attempt to corrupt it.
Adam has already initiated power, the power of naming, thus Satan perceives Eve as more vulnerable to his enticements. Even though Eve is perceived as once removed—from the tenderest part, symbolized as being created from Adam’s rib—she also becomes better protected and is perceived as innocent. Thus, Satan engages the private discussion with Eve.
Eve, for her part, must have been sitting in the tree and admiring the fruit. Perhaps she wondered about the prohibition to eat. Satan did not lead Eve to the tree, she was already there.
The temptation is complex, so the conversation slyly begins with a question, but one 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.”
The ‘death’ God speaks of fundamentally refers to spiritual death. Expressed as one complete thought, even though within two different verses, these verses remain contiguous. Satan has told a half-truth, thus opening the door for the attribute of justification for wrongdoing.
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. The Spirit always speaks Truth, but the intellect is full of explanations, sometimes excuses and the nature of explaining things away. 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. They move within currents of lack of knowledge, justification, capricious and wayward go the mind without responsibility. When responsibility is removed, the door opens to whatever may descend upon them.
That is not to say that many productive efforts cannot emerge from the intellect. How gears intermesh gives us the water-wheel, a good thing. Even though the spirit may quicken such an idea and also establishes a reality in the mind, the intellect becomes the depository and composes the wheel itself. One might call it know-how, others may call it stored memory.
However, carefully employ the intellect concerning elements of character. Not always well suited in determining the good from the bad, the intellect justifies our lusts, overriding conscience, and conviction. Satan’s intellectual faculty has entered into rebellion, he has ‘thought himself’ there and he persists in justifying himself. His intellect appears as appealing and seductive, much as a crop ready for harvest, but his intellect has already ‘gone to seed’, dried up and only barely hanging from the stalk.
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 it 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 be close to the fruit is to engage it. An opportunity has fallen into Satan’s hands. He notices how the fruit intrigues her. Best now to wheedle in.
Verse five concerning knowledge of good and evil, and “ye shall be as gods”: Eve perceives the fruit as “to make one wise,” which indicates unfettered purely intellectual pursuits and an embroilment within mentalities not yet understood by Eve. We will later observe Cain as he mimics and follows after. For, this intellect comes forth not under God’s order but under Satan’s. It will now contain the duplicity of Satan mindedness, much like the mixed fruit. In other words, a person may develop greater powers of reasoning, his insight will greatly increase, yet the intellect may justify, blame (which both Eve and Adam will later do), and will quickly defend what we call the now created ego-self, no matter what the circumstances.
Gen. 3.5-6 “…ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” forms the subtle plot that will incorporate Eve and her progeny into an unending rebellion. Satan intimates that God has withheld knowledge. Eve’s desire grows, and by Eve the fruit is finally pronounced “good,” to wit, she partakes. She seeks equality with God even as her newly formed reasoning power guides her to do. She will possess. Not merely enlightened into God and His nature, Eve’s desire becomes the promise that she will be as God Is, not merely a child of God. She now becomes her own self-fulfilling prophecy. 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.
Satan removes 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, by which Satan demonstrates his nature by telling a half-truth. Eve enters into this world of deceit, deceived as it were by what has now become her own thinking. Once entering into the deceit she accepts the false promise. She believes this fruit promises godly wisdom. She no longer listens to the root of the instruction which comes from God, sourced from what we today understand as the kingdom within. 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.
Further into herself, Eve embraces an overwhelming desire for power and status, much as many people do today. She enters into tantalizing desire, temptation. Spiritual power and what she believes will be a new identity or status await her. The newly recreated Eve, her nature begins to move by lust. She does not depend upon God to nurture her soul, nor to make her like God after God’s own plan. Much like the modern Humanist, she believes she will be like God by undertaking the task by her own efforts.
The enlightenment of the garden is no longer the predominating force of consciousness. Unwittingly, Eve separates herself from God and initiates the attribute of Willfulness. Not the proper use of the will which is within godly parameters, but what is now a crude usurpation and intellectual mimicking of God’s will. She sees her own efforts, her own decisions instead of God’s direction or God’s wisdom. Temptation, through the conduit of disobedience, and fueled by lust for power and status, Eve finds the fruit desirable and becomes overwhelmed.
REBELLION and AUTHORITY
Rebellion breaks down proper authority. The breakdown in authority overthrows standards of discipline. Once discipline becomes corrupted the order of events wrecks upon the rocks of mortality, with the only order which remains becoming the chaos of loss. This sin is grievous, and the effect is just as replete, stunning the mind of man.
Eve’s disobedience affects all people—the lust for power before the proper authority has been issued—Eve runs ahead of herself; she runs ahead of God. Eve runs out of season, and when this happens reality becomes wrenched from proportion into a wrongheaded willfulness. The pathway of growth God intends becomes now reconfigured, wrought and then redetermined by man. God’s plan for man’s progression now ends. Man has made himself the center of all things, and in doing so separates himself from God and seals his fate into the world, and subjected to worldly standards.
How each man understands, structures, and then manipulates the world will also begin to separate him from all other men. Some may argue that this act of disobedience has allowed for a complete individuality of the soul and that the task now becomes to learn how to come together with all men. However, the method chosen is still not godly nor god-planned, rather it is an intellectual concoction of a fallen man or woman. Many attempts to reunify man have been made, usually with only a dictator taking the place of godly authority. These plans never work. The folly of man, who forever pursues himself, but cannot see that the answer lies hidden just beyond the mist.
Satan’s rebel 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. For 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 spiritual death.
What brought you into the difficult situation you are now in? As Jesus teaches in the Way his lessons center around such common issues. The Prodigal Son is a young man thirsting for adventure, however, he has no wisdom. Seed sprouts in good soil, not rocky grounds, so where do you cast your seed? Even John the Baptist cautioned the publicans (tax collectors) against greed, to take no more than they should. From the source of rebellion, disobedience erupts. From the act of disobedience, all other negative attributes begin to rise up.
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 light makes them hide, which is the usual rabbinical interpretation, that is, they can no longer stand before God, for they are now tainted, thus afraid. The fall is swift, as many people have experienced. Satan, the Deceit, has accomplished the act—the intellect assumes prominence over the spirit.
In this matter, Adam now becomes a fellow traveler. His obligation to protect Eve, who is from the most tender part of himself, his rib, means, in essence, he no longer protects himself, nor does he protect the virtue beheld within the garden. He does not cherish Eve in the proper manner, nor does he cherish what God has given him, nor does he cherish the garden, nor the enlightened condition he has inherited from God.
More might be insinuated relative to Adam: he has abrogated dominion, he accepts discontent with current conditions, he entertains Eve’s fascinations when he should be overseeing conditions. He disserts direct knowing in the spirit for the psychobabble of Satan. Adam believes his intellect will be enhanced instead of realizing it may also be dampened, clouded, and in the end, both are equally culpable.
Satan’s instruction to Eve, followed by listening to Eve, Adam essentially replaces his godly understanding with Satan’s. 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 fruit of desire will come first, with wisdom only accumulated after trial and error. ‘the fall’ becomes a reduction into a tainted self-conscious state instead of remaining in an enlightened God-conscious state, with mankind left to pursue 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 is most important to the Way. For if a person decides through laziness or disregard to live in the ditch by what seems random consequence, rather than chose to return to the road of godly wisdom, he or she should harbor no complaint against life or his fellow man. For, the order of events now moves through the opposite of a godly hierarchy. All godly standards become rent, and must now be rebuilt. Lust may have opened the door, but the obvious sin is walking through. The sin is one of rebellion. Just as it entered Eve, Satan’s rebellion enters the human condition.
Rebellion affects all attributes of character, for all attributes are now tainted. Adam and Eve reject their dependence upon God, they accept different standards and thus tarnish their relationship with God. Faithfulness diminished, they become ‘naked’, that is, weak and vulnerable, and 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 his 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’ always seduces by lust and desire. This seduction will always boil down to the desire for some form of unrighteous power. Godly power given to each man and woman is a different matter, but Satan has usurped and taken mankind into unrighteous power, fashioned after Satan’s nature. The allegorical story of the garden produces very different outcomes than originally intended for mankind. With the perfection of the garden dissembled, the rebellion of Satan spreads into 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, for later you will have to deal with the repercussions. 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 some 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 the world of consequences.
In terms of the Way, God has drawn the lines. Will you stay in the enlightenment with God, remain godly regardless of faults, secure and in communication with Him? Or, like Cain will end up doing, will you venture into the world and lose yourself? 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.