photo by B Tal
We’ve all had the experience of being our own worst critic. One part of our mind is encouraging, the other is doubtful. One side of our mind says “follow your dreams!” and the other side says “you’ll never make it.”
Is it possible that the story of Adam and Eve can explain this conflict, this battle for our mind?
Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, they lived in communion with God, they were one with Him.
But when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, they experienced separation from God. For the first time they started searching for what they already had within them.
Adam and Eve; A Different Point of View
In The Voice of Knowledge, Don Miguel Ruiz offers the familiar story of Adam and Eve from a different light. Here is the summary:
“The story of Adam and Eve is one of the greatest teachings ever, but one that I believe is greatly misunderstood. Now I will tell you this story from a different point of view, perhaps the same point of view of the one who created it.
The story of Adam and Eve is about you and me, man and woman. We are the original humans, because we are all one.
The story begins when we were innocent, before we fell from heaven and closed our spiritual eyes. We used to live in the Garden of Eden, which is heaven on earth. That is before we closed our spiritual eyes. Heaven only exists when our spiritual eyes are open. It is a place of joy, freedom and eternal love. When we lived in Heaven, everything was effortless. We saw everything through the eyes of Truth.
Well, the legend said in the middle of Paradise stood two trees. One was the Tree of Life, which gave life to everything in existence and the other was the Tree of Death, better known as the Tree of Knowledge. God told us “Don’t go near the Tree of Knowledge. If you eat the fruit, you may die.”
The Prince of Lies.
But by nature we love to explore and naturally we went to pay a visit to the tree. And guess who lived in that tree? A big snake, also known as the Prince of Lies. According to the story, the Prince of Lies was living in that tree and the fruit of all that tree, which was knowledge, was contaminated with lies. Upon visiting the tree we had a conversation with the Prince. Because we were innocent and we trusted everyone, we also trusted the liar. The liar told us we could become powerful if we ate the fruit of the tree and because we were innocent, we believed him.
When we bit into the apple, we ate the lies that came with knowledge. The mind is a fertile ground for concepts and ideas, concepts and opinions. If we believe a lie, it takes root in our mind. We put our faith in it. The more faith we have in it, the more the seed grows and can become a big strong tree. One little lie can be very contagious, spreading the seeds from person to person when we share it with others. Because we ate the fruit from that tree, now the liar, or the voice of knowledge lives inside our mind.
The Beginning of Knowledge
The legend says that whoever eats the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge will have the knowledge of good and evil, they will know the difference between right and wrong, and what is beautiful and what is ugly. They will gather that knowledge and begin to judge.
Each of us has our own personal Tree of Knowledge that contains every opinion, idea and concept we have. It is the foundation of our belief system. Every concept, every opinion we have, forms a little branch on that tree that makes up our whole Tree of Knowledge. As soon as that tree is alive in our mind, we hear the fallen angel talking very loudly. The same fallen angel that lived in the Tree of Knowledge, now lives inside our mind. Now the parasite is living our life and it survives inside our head because we feed it with our faith.
The story of Adam and Eve explains how we fell from heaven and into the dream of hell. The moment we ate the fruit from that tree, our spiritual eyes closed. We no longer saw from the eyes of truth and love, we saw from the eyes of knowledge. We begin to judge ourselves and others. With judgment comes separation and polarity. And that voice never stops judging. It judges everything we do and everything we don’t do, whatever we feel and whatever we don’t feel and whatever everybody else does. And what comes out of that voice? Mostly lies.
Clouds in our mind.
The lies consume our attention so greatly that all we can see are lies. That’s why we don’t see the reality that heaven exists in this same place,
in the same time. Heaven belongs to use because we are the children of heaven. But the voice doesn’t belong to us. When we are born, we are authentic and we don’t have the Voice of Knowledge. The voice in our head comes through learning- first language, then different points of view, then all the judgments and lies.
In the moment we are separated from God, we begin to search for God. For the first time, we are searching for something that already exists within us. We started to search for the love we believed we didn’t have.
It is true what God told us: if you eat from the Tree of Knowledge, you may die. Well we ate it and we are dead. We are dead because we are no longer authentic. The Voice of Knowledge now runs our life. You can call it thinking, I call it the voice of knowledge.”
Moral of the Story
Because we are viewing life through the lens of knowledge, we no longer see through the eyes of truth. Some people say the path to truth is through knowledge, but I believe this isn’t so. Truth is the truth regardless of whether we believe in it or not. That’s the beauty of truth. Truth is self evident.
The Tree of Knowledge is a powerful symbol. It explains our “fall from heaven” into the dream of hell through the awakening of knowledge. The reason knowledge puts us in hell is because with knowledge, comes judgment. But in reality there is no judgment, there just is. Right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, only exist within our mind. When we suspend judgment, everything becomes beautiful.
Knowledge: A Double Edged Sword
With knowledge we can use our word to sculpt our reality. We can change our internal dialogue; through knowledge we have response-ability. We can take a given situation and choose the best possible response. Or if we have a negative mindset, we can choose a self-defeating response.
The power of knowledge is the power of judgment. Its power is also its weakness.
With judgment we create a false image of perfection. We judge our actions and our thoughts, some we label as good, others as bad. We obviously want to be on the good side though, so we punish ourselves when we do something that doesn’t live up to our expectations. What we fail to realize is that good and bad, are two parts of them same whole.
I think that’s what they meant by Original Sin. If you look up the root of sin, it means to go against. Original Sin, was the first time we went against ourself.
The Jeckyl and Hyde Within Our Minds
It’s not a far cry from Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. Like the famed story by Robert Louis Stevenson, we too have a Jeckyl and Hyde within us. One side of our mind says yes, the other says no. One side plays the judge, the other the victim. How many times have you punished or judged yourself for making a mistake? The same voice that is ridiculing and punishing us, is the same voice that caused us to make that choice in the first place!
So the question is…
How do we tame the beast of knowledge?
The answer will be in my next article in the Truth series called “The Lie of Our Imperfection.”
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