Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vignettes of Thought

The Book of Genesis: I am confused by the story of Adam and Eve. Seems to me that the opening of the eyes to their nakedness (Gen 3:6-7), the knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor for the dawning of consciousness. How does this become cause for being tossed by God from the Garden of Eden? Banishment from Eden is representative of our separation from God. Somehow our consciousness is the vehicle by which we lose touch with God. That the story has been framed in such a way that presents God as the heavy is interesting, it is however a story written by a human being. I keep that in mind.

There is a strong element of punishment and yet I read and re-read this story and wonder why? There’s that Tree of Life right smack-dab in the middle of the garden and Adam and Eve are told not to touch it. Why? So they will know good and evil and “become like one of us”? Seems to me that this is a little like putting candy in the middle of a young child’s playpen and telling them not to touch it. And when they do – and let’s face it the parent knows full well the child won’t be able to deny himself and his natural desires – the poor kid is punished for it.

And so Adam and Eve are thrown out of paradise because they are being punished by God for doing what comes natural and yet God spends the rest of the span of scripture trying to get them back. Well, why the hell did he throw them out in the first place?

Have we taken a story that represents an explanation of the progression of natural human development of consciousness in order that we can have an awareness of the experience of life and turned it into some kind of punishment by God? Are we that rigid and limited in our ability to live freely, to take responsibility for our own actions, to deny our own culpability in a life not lived that we have to blame God for these restrictions that we have, in reality placed on ourselves?


Trusting God: What exactly am I trusting God for… or with? Am I trusting that he will never allow me to be hurt? I’d say that ship has sailed for each and every one of us. The world is a place of pain and clearly part of our experience cannot help but be one of pain.

Really a question could be “is trust part of the equation at all”? And that might be key, rather not “the” question but “a” question, implying that life is an ever-changing, constantly moving flow where the questions keep coming and a lot of answers keep coming but answers oftentimes stop the questions don’t they? And one experience is not the last experience or the best experience or the worst experience. It is just one experience in a string of millions upon millions of experiences. They keep coming one right after the other, a never-ending flow of changing experience.

There is no “one answer”, there is no “one reason” why I am here, why any of us is here. There is no “one thing” for me to learn while I’m here. Life is an open-ended process, an open source of things to learn, stuff to experience. Every choice we make or don’t make resolves in yet another experience. Even doing nothing resolves to something. And the coolest thing of all – we so often forget this – the coolest thing of all is that in every respect we get to make some decision, we get to make some choice, we are empowered with some measure of control in the experience.

The only thing I can come up with is that “trusting God” means let life unfold. Live your life, exercise your personal choice, take your personal responsibility, accept that it is both joy and pain – nobody is immune to either – and trust that ultimately God stands with us, in us as part of us – a guide so subtle, too easy to miss.

Or maybe it means something else...


My book on Mindfulness: I read something funny in the book this morning. The discussion is of chronic back pain and the widely held belief that it is caused by degeneration in the discs of the spine:

… Our capacity for symbolic, anticipatory thought, while extraordinarily adaptive in allowing us to construct complex civilizations, is ill suited to coexist with our mammalian fight-or-flight system. Rather than our transition to walking upright, it appears that this evolutionary accident is responsible for the epidemic of chronic back pain.

Why do I think this is funny? Well, it’s the term “evolutionary accident” that gets me. Seems to me that if evolution, and I speak of the term evolution to mean the spontaneous accident that happened somewhere, at sometime, in some place that nobody can ever define, were actually THE explanation for why everything is here than everything that is here should be defined as an ‘evolutionary accident’ because the very concept of evolution - at least as far as I can tell generally and scientifically speaking refers to ‘without God’. Therefore if there is no thought and no intent behind the existence of everything that is then the entire thing is an evolutionary accident.

And I’m wondering why the PhD who wrote this book can’t see the joke in his statement.

Just for the record, and I’m sure it must be clear by my use of dripping sarcasm in that last statement that I do not for one minute believe that everything that is here is the result of ‘evolution’. Again, I refer you to my definition above. That the best and brightest of our scientists could think that something could come from nothing – well forgive me and I know I don’t have PhD’s up the wazoo but any fool in the street or on the hill knows you cannot get something from nothing. How is it that our best and brightest PhD’s somehow manage to look right past this little inconvenience to their theories? It reminds me of a passage in the Bible, Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise they became fools…

Some day I’m going to go up to one of those best and brightest, I’m going to hand him an empty hat, nothing in my hand, nothing up my sleeve, and I’m going to tell him to pull me a rabbit out of that empty hat. Or a lizard, or a rock or a newspaper or any old damn thing he wants.

Do I believe that the idea of evolution is possible? Most certainly. In a world where God exists I absolutely believe that man could evolve. Evolution is absolutely possible. We all evolve mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually throughout the course of our lives. Evolution is a fact of life. It is the ‘scientific’ definition of evolution that is lacking… or should I say laughable.


  1. I don't know why you don't have hundreds of "followers" on this blog. You have such interesting topics and insightful perspectives.

    I'm stoked that you brought up the Adam and Eve story. I love to analyze it over and over. More on that soon... the baby is awake.

  2. Hi LM - thank you for that comment. That's a really nice thing to say. I suppose it has much to do with the fact that my topics of choice aren't exactly mainstream. I also don't post regularly and I suspect that any blog with hundreds of followers does so. I find that most any post I manage to publish starts as a spark of an idea in the far recesses of my mind and then can take many weeks or even months to come to fruition. Irregularity of posting does not lend itself well to heavy readership. I suppose if I was blogging politics my readership might be expanded.

    I have occasionally wondered if I'd even want hundreds of readers and I don't think so. First of all thats a lot of time spent commenting and I think it can become overwhelming. I also think with a lot of readers I would feel compelled to post more and I wouldn't want to feel pressure to blog. I think I'd end up posting about things that I don't really care about or haven't given much thought to simply to get something out there.

    A nice thing I have found with a very small group of followers is a bit of a kinship. There is no doubt that those that read and comment here, we are all looking for something - we know not necessarily what. It's kind of cool to have a small, like-minded crew of people hanging around my blog all trying to figure out God knows what about life. I'm good with it.

  3. By the way I look forward to your comments about the Adam and Eve story.

  4. Well said! Quality, not quantity! (That goes for posts and readers!)

    I've found that typically, the more people are interested in something, the less I tend to be. And vice-versa. I used to be uncomfortable outside the box but now I feel more uncomfortable inside it.

    Every time I read Genesis I get something different from it. Today, I think when Adam and Eve were created they were fully God-conscious, spiritual beings. Their nakedness symbolizes they have nothing to hide from God. When they start to have more of an interest in the earthly world, and become self-seeking, wanting to be "like God", they started to feel shame and hide these parts of themselves from their creator. They wanted to be more Self-centered and less God-centered. Their free-will is no longer in accordance with the will of God which is obvious when they partake in the forbidden fruit.

    Perhaps the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is what man experiences when he first decides to walk away from God's will. How can he know evil if he has always chosen (through his own free-will) to do the will of God? Man and God walked together as one. God warns man that to walk away from His will means he is separating himself from the source of life and he will now experience evil and physical death.

    The tree (deviation from God's will) is a necessary part of the free-will experience but not necessarily experienced unless man's will becomes different from God's will.

    I hope I'm making sense. I love this topic and could talk (write) for hours but I'm off on a little mini-break with the family for a few days!

  5. Hi LM - I'd say that's pretty insightful, well thought out and yes, you make perfect sense.

    One of the things that I struggle with when reading this story and listening to the generally 'accepted' interpretations of it is the concept that's floated about how Adam & Eve became self-seeking and that resulted in their fall from grace. Something about our interpretation, or rather I should say that interpretation just sticks in my craw. There is something that bothers me about that idea and I think I'll have to give it thought and maybe turn it into a post. It doesn't work for me and I cannot yet put my finger on why.

    Hope you had a nice mini-break.

  6. I hope you do write that post one of these days! I'd love to hear you elaborate on that thought.