"There are a thousand hacking at the
The Human ConditionSite Section links
The Fall of Man
When Eve upon
the first of men
Every educated person in today's society should realize that the Genesis story of Adam and Eve represents the mythology of the ancient Hebrew culture. The disciplines of geology, paleontology, cosmology, archaeology, and anthropology all have significant information that is incompatible with the story being literal. Also, the story as I learned it, pitted the newest and least sophisticated created being against the oldest and most intelligent, powerful and experienced. How fair is that?
No, to think about the fall of man we must remove ourselves from the mythological allegory of the garden of Eden and build with what we know about the nature of the human psyche and experience, ALL of the scientific disciplines, and a VALID reconstruction of ancient times and world changing events. Various pieces of ancient mythology would now fit and suggest some plausible facets.
One of the ongoing enigmas in Christendom is the introduction of evil into an otherwise perfect creation, and sometimes this is referred to as the "mystery of iniquity". Even in the Adam and Eve account is is usually assumed to be the fallen angel Lucifer whose fall obviously preceded the Edenic account. No Bible author nor Jesus explains how and why this actually happened. However, understanding the ultimate issues along with J persons remark can give us a general insight as to how it came about.
Original Sin as Failure: In the paradigm being promulgated on this site, the proliferation of humans in the universe started with the Original, and then two, then four, etc. Part of the overall plan was to have large families of humans. So we can speculate that the fall of our family was not initiated by any act of disobedience or conscious violation of God's spoken will, but by NOT doing something.
Since you cannot inject equality into another being without them remaining unequal, equality can only be offered or extended, not imposed. An equal individual must be involved with his own creation as an equal by choosing at some point to be equal in rights and value amidst an otherwise ocean of inequalities. Not only is the arrival of each of us sequential but no two human beings are equal in any specific dimension or aspect. We can only see ourselves and treat each other as equals because of our infinite value and potential. The proposal is that the Originator and the existing families extended equality to our family but some one of our original ancestors must have FAILED to choose to be equal, and thereby begin to cling to the idea of inferiority.
This failure and this clinging to the feeling of inferiority evidently was allowed to fester in the heart of this being designed to be equal, not inferior. Again evidently, this concept must have infected other members of the family. This would have naturally led to the downward spiral of separation and degeneration. At some point this unhappy family chose to go their own way. The usual human reaction when feeling inferior is to try to be superior, and so they began attempting to be superior by creating an alternate system, one of predatory competition that crossed the lines of the eternal values. The French would put these values this way: Verité, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Charité.
The other and more important side of this psychological development represents a failure to appreciate, a failure to choose to believe how unflawed and wonderful the character of the creator really is. Of course, in order for the creator to be magnificent his character would have to be one of complete and perfect sharing, which perforce would include an extension of an offer to have equality and a relationship characterized by peership. Anything less than this for a perfect being would fall short of the ideal and would be demeaning. Any decent parent extends equality to their children at some point, and if they don't, the relationship is debased and there is much unhappiness.
So, this is the definition of sin, i.e., a holding of a sentiment or concept that falls short of the actual level of goodness in another person. In this case, thinking and holding a negative comcept that the creator is offering to his fellow human beings less than complete unity in equality of value, rights, privilege and potential.
Societies, relationships, transactions, and social interaction−virtually every facet of our lives−are all built on and take place within some level of trust. Once this level of trust becomes adulterated relations and interactions deteriorate and become strained and troublesome.Although it may be difficult, imagine a perfect society with an unadulterated level of trust. In such a case, no one has ever dissembled, no trust has ever been betrayed, no rupture in the perfect fabric of good will has ever appeared, and there is no motivation to diminish, hurt or harm anyone else. Within such a society, feeling inferior would generate resentment, which would lead to ever greater misunderstandings and eventually conflict.
How does this system survive eternally?
With the possibility of this perfect dynamic being breached, how is the ideal system maintained indefinitely? Through fear of punishment, automatic or intentional? Or through commitment engendered by inspiration, love and complete fulfillment?
Presently, in this world, we can hardly relate to the latter. Most of our societal motivational systems are based on law and fear of punishment. When was the last time you heard someone say that we are a nation of inspiration for good behavior instead of a nation of law against the bad? How much time do you imagine the United States legislators in the Senate and the Congress spend on thinking about how to inspire and motivate the citizens and expand trust and freedom against the time they spend on rules and regulation—law—to curtail, control and prevent problems? Not even a balance, is there?
Once the perfection of the complete trust is broken, can it ever be restored? Can it be restored in a way and to a degree that will preclude it ever being fractured again? If I am a mature, reasonable, loving man of good will with unimpeachable integrity, I certainly cannot trust you completely if you do not see me this way, if you project upon me some level of malfeasance or nefariousness; nor even if you resent me, don't like and don't love me.
Once we have sunk so low that we cannot even imagine or conceive of such a perfect system or a flawless originator, the restoration of harmony and unity in the universe with the creator and his designed system of love and cooperation cannot be accomplished, on the one hand, without a demonstration by the creator that removes all doubt of his character, purpose, plan and values, and on the other hand, by a willingness to see and understand the full implications by the created beings of that demonstration. What would such a demonstration look like? Would it look like the life, message, and crucifixion of the J-person?
Another paramount question is: Even if we accept this demonstration, are we framing it properly? What is God saying to us through such an extreme measure?