Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eden's Orchards

I was raised to believe that Adam and Eve were forbidden from eating the apples which were "The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" (thenceforth renamed "fuji apples", I think; because both are just about a mouthful).

I was taught that God knew that they surely MUST eat of this fruit if his plan were to succeed. but he gave them instructions, and gave them agency to choose. And in the end, they chose not to listen to God.

Now, if we try and fathom this as human beings, it seems pretty messed up. Does it not? What kind of a father (or mother) would you be if you put your kids in a room with various types of fruits and vegetables (I hope you would at least do that) and told them "if you eat this, you shall surely die" or maybe even just "if you eat this, I will be extremely disappointed in you", and then left them to do as they please, knowing the it must eventually end when their curiosity, or confusion, led them to try the plumbs, or the apples that you forbid them from eating?

Perhaps you would set up the audio/video baby monitor so you could watch them. And maybe 10 or 15 minutes after the deed is done (which was your hope all along, although you gave them the choice) you come sauntering into the room and say something like "waaaaait a minute! You wanna tell me just what the heck is going on here!?" and watch em squirm.

Then you could make them go outside and weed the flower beds or something.

You disgust me. No... no, sorry, maybe you aren't that sort of parent. It's okay.

Nobody's perfect.

Back to the story. So, Eve was a curious little thing (how could she not be? She had no knowledge of good and evil), so she succumbed to the temptation of the asp (do NOT incorporate snakes into your twisted little psychological experiments with your children), and she ate the apple. I hear it was pretty darn tasty.

Adam comes along, and he's pretty in tune with her, and he can tell she's bein' kinda sketchy, so he says something like "waaaaitaminute! What's that in your hand?" See? He was pretty curious himself.

So anyway, she knows she's caught.
She's caught good.
She confesses. But then she says "Oh eM Gee, Adam. You, like, HAVE to try this apple."

Time froze for a second at this point. Eve was holding the apple up to his face, so he kinda had to call a time out, in order to think about this thoroughly enough for the consequences of his next choices to be fully understood.

So everything is frozen. He steps back, looks around— wait, wait... I think he mighta actually kissed Eve a moment or two before the apple topic came up.

Yeah, no wait, now I remember.

So basically she tried to feed him the apple (this was actually the first flirtatious food fight in history, see the 
Apocrypha) and he was, you know, playing along.

 'Cause even minus a rib, he could have completely shut her down and ended it with a full-Nelson, but it was kinda cutesy and stuff so he's laughing and being like "oh stop! Lol! I.. Ha you're tempting and/or hurting me! Cut it out!"

You know, that whole thing.

If you're from a Mormon background, or are otherwise sexually repressed, you understand how enjoyable it can be to work out your pent up sexual frustrations over fruit, or lifesavers and toothpicks.

Anyway, somewhere in the scuffle, he accidentally lets the apple graze his lip.

Okay, where were we? Oh yeah, time frozen. What actually happened was not that he froze time, he actually just kinda licked his lip, and without knowing it, he was sent into this world of knowledge, and this rush of understanding made it feel like time had stopped.

 think of the (cleanflix version of) The matrix— it all just made sense all of the sudden.

Even the part about the apple juice on his lip. See, with an understanding of the world around him, and with this newly-downloaded understanding of what God calls Right and Wrong, he realized the role of the Fruit of the Tree Of Knowledge Of Good and Evil, and he knew that he had accidentally partaken, and that it was too late anyway.

Anyway, it was as a result of this knowledge newfound
 that his reasoning was sound as he looked around
 at all the apple cores on the ground
and noted that Eve had not eaten just a bite, but a pound.
He knew in that instant there was no going back. He understood that they must now surely die, and with this knowledge, Adam started to cry, cause let's face it, he was a pretty emotional guy.

He knew, that he must also eat of the Fruit of the Tr— the "Fuji apples". Now, many people wonder (far many more do not) how he might have known this. Clearly, it was because of the little taste of the fruit that he accidentally and unknowingly experienced on his lip. Now you know.

So, two or three days later (He wanted to watch them writhe for a bit first), God decided to kick it in the Garden. And He "just so happened" to come across Adam and Eve. And saw that they had covered themselves (See: "shame") and He was wroth.

Of course He was actually thrilled, and this is the first example of dramatic irony in literature. :-)

And soo, thrilled to be let down by His perfectly flawed creations, He banished them and removed Himself from their presence. He told Adam that he would till the ground for the rest of his life, and this is how he would live. From his labors, and from the ground. In short, he was grounded. It is worth noting that this is only documented case of anyone being grounded for the rest of their life.

From there, things get pretty boring. Adam and Eve discovered the process of procreation, developed the science of cultivation, parenting techniques were established, sibling rivalry was established, Adam and Eve became the second parents to fail their children (coincidentally, they raised the first Sociopath, and murder).... Pretty much nothing has really changed since then.

Now here's what is interesting to me:

with this Knowledge of Good and Evil, the bond between husband and wife was so strong, that Adam gave up immortality, the presence of God, the favor of God... And he even got a job as a farmer! Just to be with her 'til death do us part'.

That's some heavy-duty commitment.
And it was completely human.

I like to think of this as the first apostasy. And it is a hopeful message that I draw from it. In the end, Adam got angel status. Hells yes he did.

So what do we have to fear if we succumb to our humanity and leave the presence of
God in the name of love? God is clearly in the business of making demands which He may or may not want us to meet. The bible is full of His contradictions. I think religion is another of His really cruel tests. Like asking Abraham to kill and burn his favorite son, just to see if he'd do it. I suppose it's more fair to say that it *seems* cruel to us, but what do we know of God? We are averse to the idea of sacrificing our sons, but clearly that is a moral act in God's eyes, he actually FOLLOWED THROUGH with that crap on his only begotten son at the end in the second act of the New Testament!

Anyway, God has a good record of making demands and expecting them to be broken. I think "endure to the end" is one such demand. Perhaps He is just waiting for us to go "wait a minute, this just doesn't jive with logic, and I'm going to go with logic on this one"? Probably that'll bring about the next stage of the plan, when we realize it's a test, and pass with flying colors by recognizing our innate sense of reason, and we fly from the nest of organized religion. I think that must be what God really means when he says he has restored the One Church on the Face of the Earth Today With A Fullness of Truth, and that it has a membership of exactly one fifth of one percent (That's 0.2%) of the inhabitants of the earth in its congregation...

It's a joke, see? We just don't get God's sense of humor yet.

Also, as moody and fickle as God is....

I'm certain He is a She.