Genesis is a childish, allegorical, depiction of subjective, not objective, beginnings. Humanity has come a long way since these ancient scriptures were written and presented in childish form to a childish humanity. We are, for the most part, no longer a childish race. Many have reached their John 16:25 stage and are capable to grasp the meaning behind the symbol and allegory. It is this, not a Satan, which is creating a revolt against old doctrine, old interpretations. Religion adamantly refuses to grow along with the growing quality of intellect as so is disappearing. The more modern, mainstream Christian religions are changing, therefore surviving.
The culmination of billions of years of the evolution of matter's response to spirit, this response evolving to finally becoming mind, is very simply and childishly expressed in Genesis by God's creating man (mind) from dirt (matter).
Adam and Eve's time in Paradise is a presentation of that eons long period during which animal-man coexisted with all other animals in an instinctual, Paradise-like, state in which no responsibility was incurred for his actions.. There was no mind, just instinct.
The response of matter to spirit (this response is called 'Fire by Friction' in some Philosophies. Fire is a symbol for mind. According to Hebrews and Trans-Himalayan Philosophy, "Our God is a Consuming Fire"... A Consuming MIND) that originated billion of years earlier as dim response to the activity of Spirit-Matter. This response evolved through its sentiency, instinct, states finally "flashing forth" as mind.
Rudimentary, illusory mind tinctured by instinct, but mind nonetheless. As was a common practice when these scriptures were being written (by human beings, not a God), dragons and serpents were used to symbolise mind, wisdom, intelligence. In Matthew Jesus says to his disciples, " I send you out as sheep among wolves. Be ye as harmless as doves and WISE AS SERPRNTS. So, even Jesus used the serpent symbol to depict wisdom.
As a youngster, and an orthodox Christian, I was taught that God forced Adam-Eve out of Paradise for having been disobedient. I was about thirty years old when I came to see that it wasn't an angry God who evicted Adam and Eve (nothing more than symbols for positive-negative instinct), but the appearence of mind in the primate, man.
Genesis says Adam knew himself to be different, clothing himself in fig leaves. How that must have smarted, right guys??? Whew!!! Adam hid from God, etc,. etc., all symbols for that momentous event (called Individualisation in the Orient) at which Animal-man was never again to be part of the herd.
How could this Paradise have been so divine when "the man" (the mind), as Genesis 3:22 says) could, now that the man was free from instinctual Paradise, begin his mental march towards becoming a God? Genesis 3:22 says nothing about the woman. Wasn't necessary. Now, mind, higher positive male, and negative, receptive female aspects are a unit called mind ...the 'man.'
How could each of us " let that mind which is in Christ be also in us" if we remained imprisoned in our animal instinct state of existence.
So, as it turns out, what I was taught by orthodox Christianity was wrong.
We are also told in the Bible that the time comes when we are to put childish things away and think as spiritual adults.
At what age do we consider ourselves adults?
As long as we hold on to the literal interpretation of Genesis, for that matter the entire Bible, we remain spiritual children. Our choice.
The Bible, before it was changed to suit ecclesiastical purpose, was a very informative book...for those interpreting it through an adult mind, that is. Dam shame what Churchanity has done to it.
Anything in a book written by aboriginal crackpots is impossible. Really adults reading the friggin bible. Maybe mentally derranged adults read it. There is nothing decent mature people can garnish from the warped idiocy put together in that so-called book. It's not even good fiction.
When I was a boy, I loved Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan books. Having the mind of a child, all I saw in his books were the heroic acts of Tarzan...the surface, the obvious. I was with Burrough's books what the orthodox Christian is to the Bible, and for the same reason.
When I became an adult I would occasionally think back on those days. I realised Burrough's intended message behind those heroic acts of Tarzan had gone completely over my childish head. The message behind the acts and events, behind the characters in the Bible drama has gone completely over the collctive head of orthodox Christianity which evidently cannot (as yet) "put childish things away." Some fantasies are so very hard to let go of. Remember Santa? But disappointment is one of the prices for growing-up.
Having become an adult, I could see that the heroic exploits of Tarzan as opposed to those of his sinister enemies was, not unlike the Bible, a facade behind which was depicted the highest and lowest, the most noble and the most ignoble, characteristics of human nature.
When the Orthodox reach "Spiritual" adulthood, they will see, as have those who have fought their way to higher elevations on the Mt of Transfiguration than have the Orthodox, the meaning behind the facade consisting of symbols and allegories.
They will see that the Bible deals with the evolution of mind from its lowest to its highest; that the wars, rapes, slavery, mass murders, incest...all the surface atrocities never really happened but are symbolic ways to depict the replacing of animal instinct by God mind.
The real message hidden behind the symbols-allegories of which the Bible is composed, is, to the orthodox Christian reference the Bible what Burrough's message was to me when I was a child. And for the same reason...a childish mind.
"Every time that you find in our books a tale, the reality of which seems impossible, a story which is repugnant to both reason and common sense, then be sure that the tale contains a profound allegory veiling a deeply mysterious truth.; and the greater the absurdity of the letter, the deeper the wisdom of the spirit."
Moses Maimonedes, Jewish
Taken literally, there is nothing to understand...much to forget. Orthodox Christianity should decide on one Bible , put it in the Smithsonian with the rest of the relics, and give the modern world a try. Who knows, they might like it. What possible relevance the lives of those having lived thousands of years ago have on today's world escapes me.
That I can agree upon. We have a system called laws. It does well in some circumstances and far worse in others. Certainly Mr. Striver: you have a strong handle on that concept. The Bible has also been historically used for educational purposes. That's not worked out well either.
People complain of too much government, but no one wants to be responsible. Our population has tripled in my and your lifetime. Does it require the same government? And those proclaiming to be christians want to make the rules and have everyone else forced in supporting them. Abortion has been a huge issue in that regard as has civil rights and presently same sex iniatives. These are basic HUMAN RIGHTS and not some fanatical 2000 year old dogma.
Spirituality is a fundamental right of all creatures. Yet we as humans and predomanantly religious jerks will deny the right to life to other species. In fact Christianity will deny our heratige with other primates. Even though a scientific fact.
The very thing that seperates us from other species is symbolism. Humans created it, developed it - and now use it for sick selfish useless intent. If symbolism was a God given ability would be speculation. And if so perhaps a true curse.
I have never thought any creature should be denied spiritually being a part of earth, or thier idea of where they came from.
But I do find useing fantasey to rule life just more than absurd.