The Bible is full of symbolism. To view the words in the Bible and to take them literally is unwise, considering that the text has been translated many times over, on top of being written thousands of years ago. I spent my entire childhood growing up in a Christian church, even against my will at times. I never understood the biblical stories in the way that they were interpreted by my parents, pastors, and peers. Some of the stories made God look like an absolute asshole, including the first book in the Bible, Genesis. Why would God tell Adam and Eve that they would Die if they ate from the tree of knowledge when that wasn’t exactly true, and why was the Snake punished for getting possessed by Satan?
Our ancestors were smart. They wanted to leave us wisdom, but they knew that in order to do so, that they would have to leave it written in a way that describes things very simply so that even a child could understand. They would have to use symbols in nature that would not change, or that tie to the stars. There is always a spiritual meaning to a literal story. Another way to interpret Biblical wisdom is to pretend that the books were written by children. Let’s see how simple symbolism aligned with advanced anatomical knowledge can help explain what exactly happened in the Garden of Eden.
All words have a root and literally definition. The word “Garden” comes from the Latin word for “Enclosure”, and the word Eden signifies “delight” and “pleasure”. So now one can see how the Garden of Eden is another name for an Enclosure of Delight and Pleasure – already a much fresher and open way of interpretation. Man was placed inside this garden to tend to it and maintain it. What if The Garden of Eden refers to the Human Body, with the Tree of Life, and Trees of Knowledge of Good and Evil sitting right in the Center.
There is an entire ecosystem inside of you. You come with your very own Tree of Knowledge (your brain) and guess what else? Your very own snake, hanging off the “tree” in the form of the Brain Stem, or Reptilian Brain. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for our “fight or flight” sympathetic nerve system responses. It is responsible for fear, anger, anxiety. It is inherently the lowest area of thinking in the human mind. To operate in fear and to focus on this part of the brain isn’t physical death, but it is a death in a way.
Knowledge without wisdom is one of the most dangerous ideas to face human kind, and with the rise of the internet, information is as easy to obtain as typing a broken sentence into your favorite browser. However, without the wisdom of understanding how these search engines work, and knowing what kinds of filters are in place for the information which you will receive, using a search engine can actually be identified as pretty dangerous. Adam, the root of which means “Man-kind” ate from the tree of knowledge, and the joy of exploration and discovery was gone, and he was cast out of the Garden to die.
If you think of our lower brains as the snake, then the age-old question of why the snake was punished by god for getting possessed by satan is answered. The part about crawling on our belly, bruising, and enmity between man and women could describe how newborn infants are absolutely helpless creatures and how the human birthing process is the experience that it is today.
The snake deceived us, and deception is the one thing God (and/or our higher minds) would not forgive so mankind gets kicked out of paradise, cast out of the Garden of Delight and Pleasure. By feeding into that lower brain, we are constantly deceiving ourselves into seeking desires that do not serve us, and we will be cast out of the Garden too. Indulging the Snake even one time is enough to be cast out of Paradise to die, but oddly enough we have to seek the knowledge as humans whether we like it or not. Someday, someone will come along and tell you that your magic powers aren’t real, and that you’ve been naked all along, and to get your clothes on and get a real job. Real life experiences will expose everyone to good and evil and are the only way to develop a strong character which is the path to mastery of the mind and the Tree of Life.
You can never forget something that you don’t want to know, no matter how much you want to, that experience is a part of you from now on. You have to learn to master your experiences – good and bad.
The natural progression of the story (or our story) was for Eve (sometimes referred to as the subconsciousness) to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. At some point in our lives, each of us will hit a spiritual rock bottom and have to climb our way back up to a place where our conscience will be at peace. This is why the Bible refers to humanity as “born sinners.” Each of us has the gift of the Garden of Eden and its two Trees. Each of us will partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life and despite parental guidance will take some fruit from the Tree of Knowledge thanks to our lower brain. So life is about learning about how to get back to that higher brain or neocortical thinking. It’s about recreating your own enclosure of delight after your world is destroyed by the so-called reality that is shoved down your throat.
*So the tree of knowledge can easily lead to negative thoughts, and negativity in general (see social media, YouTube). The Snake that hangs off the tree is actually our brain stems, or our reptilian, reactive brain. The negativity will literally kill you by increasing your blood cortisol levels. Having high cortisol levels will eventually burn out your adrenal glands and without your adrenal glands you will absolutely die. Just like God says.
The Story described in Genesis is the story of us as individuals and us as a species on this planet. Understanding our role on this planet, and the value of knowledge, and wisdom is the only way to discover the Paradise that has been within us and all around us all along.
Jacob Isreal on Garden is Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4UwMUZT0HQ
Root words: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/2-8.htm