Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Favorite View of the Garden of Eden Narrative

I love the idea that the garden narrative is an allegorical telling of the pre-existent war in heaven between Jehovah and Lucifer. I know that is a very Mormon reading of it that probably is not consistent with the original purpose of its recording, but I don't mind, since I like the concept of likening all things unto ourselves.

The very short summary:

God's children had to choose between remaining in a state of never-ending stagnation, luxury, and ease (Eden) or leaving God's presence (as couples, not individually) by following Satan into a world of turmoil, strife, hard work, sin . . . and eternal progression.

In this view, the competing commandments were nothing more than the only options: commandments simply because they had to choose one or the other. They weren't commanded to to both; they were commanded to choose one or the other.

I also think it is fascinating and instructive that, in the garden narrative, they had to be tricked into choosing the right one (and that Adam only agreed in the end because he knew that staying with his wife was more important than staying alone with God) - that their "nature" (and prior experiences) leaned toward ease and unchallenging bliss. There is a deep lesson in that part of the narrative.

I love the Garden of Eden story - but only if I take it completely as an allegory / grand creation myth from which I can draw conceptual meaning. I don't believe at all that it is historically accurate.

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