Good and Evil
We have a lot to say about this topic, and it’s difficult to explain, seeing you are dull of hearing. Although you should have been teachers by now, you need someone to teach you again an introduction to the basics about God’s message. You have come to the place where you need milk instead of solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is not used to the word of righteousness, because they are babies. But solid food is for the mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between good and evil.
In the passage from Hebrews 5, it seems like being able to distinguish between good and evil is something we should want. This is not how it appears in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. One would almost immediately conclude that for us the achieve self-consciousness was not something that God wanted; even though he planted the tree of knowledge of good and evil… even though he created the snake. Doesn’t that seem odd? Why would God give us a commandment to not eat from the tree that he purposefully made? Why did he make Adam in such a way that he would be tempted to eat? Why would he make the snake that would convince Eve to eat? It almost seems like he wanted it to happen.
In Hindu philosophy, there is this idea that the world is the dramatic play of God; that everyone and everything is just God in disguise. And for God to be able to play all these roles of everyone and everything, the first and foremost thing was for him to forget himself; just like an actor on the stage forgets that he is John Doe and becomes convinced that he is Hamlet. The purpose of this play, one may say, is for God to experience the joy of the rediscovery of his true identity. Be he must not make it easy for himself to discover it, for the easily-earned thing is not as valuable as the thing for which one has sweated blood.
Therefore, God must make it difficult for himself to rediscover who he is. So, he must put some barriers in his own way: “thou shalt not eat”! Not only that but, “in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” If the commandment was so serious, wouldn’t it have been more convenient to make it an impossible affair? Like, not creating the damn tree… It was a well known and recognised fact even in the early days of Christianity that law invites disobedience. So, to make it harder to disobey, fear was introduced: “thou shalt surely die”.
But disobedience happened and Adam and Eve were thrown out of Eden, which was the name of their primordial ignorance. Eden cannot coexist with the knowledge of good and evil or, — shall I say — favourable and unfavourable. It was more like, Eden vanished into thin air, along with the tree that can grant eternal life.
God said, “Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil.” Surely what happened couldn’t have come as much of a surprise to God considering that He “created man in His own image”
What was the next hurdle for man? “And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever”, we are told that He “placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Eden symbolises man’s initial innocence, which he lost due to the ability to differentiate. Eden, along with the tree of life was lost to man. Until… someone dared to go through the flaming sword and found a way:
“I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s kingdom.”
“I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
One must disregard the old and go forth into the new just as Adam ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and Jesus ate of the tree of life.