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The lesson behind the Adam and Eve story

Bill FoxWe all recall the story Adam and Eve.  Biblical scholars will tell you that it is an allegory (a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one).  So in other words, it was a story to help early civilizations to explain their roots.  If you believe it was actually a real occurrence, then that is fine.

The point is, what was the lesson or meaning behind the story? So Adam gave into the temptation to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree.  Some versions mention the tree as being ‘the tree of knowledge’.  Interesting that when God came to confront Adam, he blamed Eve for telling him to take the fruit.  Thus started the world’s oldest game of blame!

Adam and Eve had it so good in the Garden of Eden, but then they wanted to be God-like and thought that eating the fruit would make them like God.

So today is humankind still trying to eat from the forbidden tree?  In other words are we still trying to be like God?  On an international level, we have nuclear bombs that can destroy millions of innocent lives.  At the other end of the spectrum, now through cloning, we have been able to create life (albeit animal lives).  Why do we want to create and destroy lives?

Even in what some might say is the most civilized nation in the world, most homes in the USA, out of fear, have guns that can destroy lives in an instant.  In the first 310 days this year, there were 307 mass killings in the USA.  This was not all out of fear!  As I get older, I realize that all life is precious, animal, and human.  Have we forgotten the lessons of the Adam and Eve story?  I recall Saint Mother Teresa as saying that she sees Jesus in all those sick, dying and destitute people her nuns were helping.  Recently, while attending Mass in Niagara Falls, I heard the priest say how wonderful it would be if we could see God in all our fellow humans.  He wondered about what happened to the enthusiasm, trust, and other child-like qualities we once had?

He went on to say that God is Love, and God (Love) is part of us, regardless of our religious traditions.  I can hardly imagine a world where people would believe this about their fellow man.  There would be no wars because we would sit down and talk about our differences.  There would be no hunger because we would look after our fellow man.  We would love our planet and would not harm the environment that God (or Love) made for us.  There would be no violence, no prejudice and no oppression.  There would be no power hungry political leaders, and I dare say that we would all belong to one country, Earth, made from Love.

I believe this would have been possible if there was more love in the world, and less fear.  Our civilization seems predicated from fear.  We fear our neighbours as we walk down the street.  I know in my neighbourhood, I like to look at people in the eye and say hello, yet so many people I meet in the streets divert their eyes away from contact.

I guess this distrust or fear, might even start from our belief in Santa Claus.  He will reward only the good it seems.  “You better not cry, you better not pout”.  If we accept that God is Love, he loves unconditionally what we call the good and the bad.  Just as parents love their young babies and nurture them, we don’t have favourites.  We may be disappointed in some of our children’s life choices but do we disown them or love them less?  Hopefully not!  Even Jesus mentioned his intentions, when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners”.

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