Thanks, I've bookmarked your link and will look into John Matthew's views.
>>Thanks for your very interesting post. I will try to reply on the various elements as good as I can but I do admit that I feel you to know your classics a bit better then I do, hehehe.<<
Lol - here's another classic:
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Ps 133:1-3)
I haven't got a clue what it means -- the sentiment is nice though, eh?
>>How "further development" leads to a "spiritual devolution" to me is simply a matter of focus. Basically when "asking why a bit to much" instead of accepting things to be as they are, one slowly but steadily sinks into the material world. This can not happen while at the same time having a conscious life among the stars so to speak.<<
I agree that spiritual maturity (and incomparable peace), in the final analysis, is achieved by accepting the natural order of things. I wonder how attached you are, however, to the idea that this order is upset consequent to "asking why a bit too much?"
Job is a classic tale of "evil" things happening to "good" people. Here's a fellow who God Himself testifies to being a standup guy:
"And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" (Job 1:8)
Lol - how Satan happens to be visiting with God in this account would, of course, be an excellent question in its own right; however, suffice to say, Satan wagers he can get Job to curse God, whereupon God takes the bet and Satan blasts Job with every calamity feared by man -- he takes his health, his wealth, his family, AND his reputation, and the rest of the story is given over to his being hounded by tribal elders convinced of his obvious guilt (sort of an early Calvinist attitude). Job sticks to his guns, lamenting the utter vulnerability of man to catastrophe, which made his accusers damned uncomfortable (because they themselves were men prominent in wealth and reputation, and they themselves knew intimately Job's righteousness). Anyway, God Himself appears in the form of a whirlwind and, in so many words, suggests that Job had better be very sure himself before calling Him to account. To which Job replies:
"I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:1-6).
The way I read this is that we are perfectly free to question God (and will be answered), provided we approach Him with the loving perplexity of an innocent child, as opposed to the self-righteous indignation of, say, Adam. Of course, I already knew this, it's just nice to see it reflected in someone else's writings. ;)
>>Not that I am really into Christian mysticism, but sometimes I just can’t help myself (lol). Some stories in the bible have a quality, to me that is, I simply do not see told by the general public. For instance, the paradise lost story. Adam and Eve, freshly created by God, made one “mistake”, so both out of the paradise. Usually the female curiosity/sexuality is blamed and males are allowed for aeons to rub that in. I feel very uncomfortable with that explanation. If, however, I leave this explanation behind, and try to link this story with higher grounds some marvellous statements can be made. This needs redefining of the symbols used.<<
Or maybe the resurrection of ones long out-of-fashion.
>>Firstly both Adam and Eve can be seen as one soul, two sides of the same coin, so let’s refer to them as being one entity, one symbol of soul named AdamEve. AdamEve is placed in the material world. This is a significant point although I still find it difficult to fully understand what deeper meaning can be found in its descent into the material world. It holds the ultimate answer why we are here. Maybe it is because down here we can do things even God can't do.<<
Yes. We're able to directly interface with matter, for a space, whereas God will not be so defiled. Or, to put it another way, His sanctity, His separateness, His holiness, is directly tied up with the order of things on this material plane. We're meant to be helping in that regard.
Lol - by way of analogy, I find the best thing about having had kids is that I haven't had to bend over for anything since the eldest learned how to walk.
>>Secondly, the paradise itself. Some see this as a sort of super camping site where everything is OK. I would like to propose that the paradise is a symbol of an enlightened, all transcended spiritual awareness belonging to the place were AdamEve originally came from.<<
Maybe. The suggestion in the NT is that, for the spiritually inclined, the garden exists within. This being the case, it follows then that these so illuminated (or afflicted, as the case may be) connect and communicate with each other on a spiritual level, utilizing the symbolism of words. Tongues of fire? Perhaps. Or maybe I just THINK I hear my native tongue being spoken on this board. :)
>>Thirdly the snake. Most people say the snake represents the devil who seduces Eve. I would like to suggest that the snake, rubbing its belly in the soil of the Earth, symbolises the material world. So what the paradise lost story tells us is the descent of human souls into the material world. This material world has some attributes that are explained in the story.<<
I agree and would add that the serpent symbolism speaks to me of the movement of a ship across the natural barrier represented by the seas (subtlety will get you anywhere), and that it is this very same idea of a ship traversing the seas that suggests the origin of humanity's preoccupation with stars. Really, if you'd never seen a ship before and watched one tack or traverse up to your coastline, how would you describe it? Serpentine? What if it had sails? A feathered serpent?
I find it interesting that stars and allegories suggested as representing the zodiac don't really get going in the Bible until the writers of the books attributed to the Prophets -- until after the children of Israel really get settled in with their neighbors in Canaan. Those neighbors, as Segestan and Perseus remind us, were Phoenicians. If you look, it's remarkable how little the stars are mentioned in the Torah. As a landed, "garden" oriented people, their symbolism seems to have had to do more with critters and growing things.
>>The fourth symbol is the tree of knowledge over good and bad. This is a form of knowledge that is related to the material world and the spiritual planes closely related to the material world. Remember, Adam and Eve came from a place where this difference does not exist. Using the symbol of the snake (material world) AdamEve is “told” that there is a difference between good and bad. This is like some sort of de - enlightenment one has to suffer for stepping in to the material world.<<
Yes. The man and woman created on the sixth day and given the charge, to "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it," were not proscribed from eating the fruit. In fact, God tells them: "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and EVERY tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Only Adam and Eve, created on or around the third day, before those growing things were brought forth, were proscribed -- and then only one particular "tree." Seems to me the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (whatever that might be) is not so much deadly to the material of which we are made as it is to the spirit with which we are infused . . .
So then why, symbolically speaking, were Adam and Eve proscribed from the fruit while the others were not? What made them different from those others -- different from the ones "made in God's image?" If I were to guess, I'd say it was their spiritual orientation or other-worldly preoccupations (as symbolized by their having received the "breath" of God).
>>After this “knowledge” turned in to reality (power of thought?), the paradise state of being can’t exist anymore, so AdamEve is forced out of the paradise state. The becoming aware of nudity holds the symbol of the Ego being created.<<
The knowledge of good and evil strikes me as being a subtler form of instinct. Benign in those given the charge to go forth and multiply; but deadly to the whole of creation in those given the very breath of God. This offers some explaination for the Nephilim, I think.
>>Some may also remember that when AdamEve was expelled from the paradise, cherubs with flaming swords were placed in front of the doors to eternal life. This is the second set back of being in the material world we have to endure, namely the lack of understanding our eternal existence. So, my idea is that the paradise lost story is one of immense wisdom for those who see through the lines and through centuries of non spiritual explanation of this story.<<
I agree, this is the way it seems to me as well.
>>To finish my reply to you, could you please expand a bit on your mixed bag remark?<<
Well, we ARE a mixed bag. But, generally, there are two types, IMHO, that have percolated down through the ages. Those that are primarily instinct driven and those that are primarly spirit driven. The primarily instinct driven are those who respond to the charge -- the instinct -- to go forth, be fruitful, multiply, have dominion. God bless them, they are the ENGINE, the POWER, the very IMAGE of God working in the midst of creation. For these worthies, the knowledge of good and evil is a no-brainer, and not a source of angst. Anything that injures or hinders the process of fructification -- the process of multiplication -- the process of dominion on the part of individuals and/or the collective is EVIL. Anything that feels good or facilitates the taking on of additional mass, additional power is GOOD.
On the other hand, the primarily spirit driven are motivated in the opposite direction. I'll let that lay for now, but the operant process for these worthies is subtraction and division -- as much as God divided the light from the darkness, divided the waters above from the waters above, etc. Within some of us, certainly, flows the very breath of God, yet, coursing throughout this same vessel is a poison that if yielded to (as many have) creates those devilish monstrosities of both ancient and contemporary lore.
So, in getting back to your question: As much as Jesus was crucified between two thieves, I suspect there are some "secret societies" less deserving of censure than others. ;)