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Do Not Eat Of The Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil

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posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:18 PM
I have often wondered if this "law," if you will, is for our own good or for control of the masses.

On one side, I see it as a control tactic in preventing people from educating themselves, questioning their faith, and perhaps abandoning their faith in pursuit of truth outside of the bible. I am reminded of slave days when slaves were prevented from reading and educating themselves, because ignorance provides better subservience.
I can see how maintaining unquestionable servitude would provide dedication and faith as well as assurance that followers remain unable to compare and question the teachings.

On the other hand, sometimes I feel that a/the devil is in the details, and knowing so much about the way things work can potentially steer one into madness. I, as well as many ats members, can relate to this notion. So many connected dots can leave one entangled and entrapped in a newfound awareness that can take years to process and years to obtain balance in one's life again. So could the early founders of religion have known this and created it as a philosophical deterrent for our own good?
I am curious if/how other religions address this.

The conspiracy element here is whether this law is for control over the masses, and the question is whether you think it is more of a malevolent or benevolent gesture?
What of human intuition and critical thinking?
Truth or illusion?
Is obedience to god good and disobedience evil?

Here is a good article on the subject:

What if we read this passage without the words "good" and "evil" bearing moral judgments? Let us assume they mean simple duality, opposites. In fact, "good" is used in the same passage to indicate the nature of the fruit of the garden's trees, and it is paired with words that connote "pleasant" and "delightful." "Bad" is a word that has not appeared in the text till now. To know good is to know pleasure, and bad is presented as simply its opposite, like sour or rotten fruit.

In this reading, Eve already had a knowledge of what was good, for she had been eating of the delightful fruits of the Garden of Eden. She had no knowledge of its opposite. She didn't know what could happen in a world of time, where fruit could be unripe or could decay into ugliness. No wonder G-d said, "On the day you eat of it, you will surely die." As Nachmanides and many others observe, this did not mean that they would actually die on that day, but eventually. We could also read it to mean, "you will enter upon the process of death," because time as we know it would begin.

The Tree, then, represents a world. The world of the Garden was a non-dual world, beyond our concept of time. The world of the Tree of Knowledge which was so tempting to ingest was a world of duality and temporality.

Why did Eve choose this world? The serpent enticed her, saying, "Your eyes will be opened and you will be like G-d, knowing good-and-bad (duality)."

But humans can achieve a higher level of knowledge which does not depend on their animal nature. Eve intuitively was seeking this greater level--intuitively, because seeking a higher level is part of human programming. Intuitively also, humans seek that greater and deeper knowledge through moving into all realms of experience, from deep-sea diving to exploration of outer space. She knew that G-d had given a command, but what she did not understand--and could not have understood until she followed the command--is the purpose of observing such an external command. Neither she nor Adam knew that discipline of the natural human urges--in this case, to inquire into all realms of experience--would eventually lead to the higher knowledge she sought.

Thus the Midrash tells us that if only Adam and Eve had waited until the Sabbath, they would have been permitted to eat of the Trees of Knowledge and Life, and the purpose of creation would have been complete. This is an astounding concept: lf humans could follow G-d's commands on an external basis, for no apparent reason, they would develop a special capacity that would enable them to fulfill their potential for higher knowledge. That capacity was the ability to achieve penimiut (inwardness). With this, all experience would be integrated; without it, knowledge would remain external and fragmentary. With it, they could indeed become like-G-d. Without it, they would remain knowledge-seeking humans.

Adam and Eve followed the suggestion of the snake because their creation was not yet complete. The text suggests this by a play on the word for "naked," eirom, which later on is written with a yud and no vav, but here is written with no yud and a vav--in the same form as arum, "cunning." Adam and Eve being "naked" meant that they had access to animal-knowledge but were not yet ready for free choice.

Also, you know how Zeitgeist showed how many stories of the bible were retold versions of Sumerian and many other religions tales, well, was this notion of knowledge and good/evil depicted in any other older stories?


edit on 8-9-2010 by speculativeoptimist because: more information

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:21 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:35 PM

edit on 8-9-2010 by davidgrouchy because: posted the wrong video

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:14 PM
To be honest the Old Testemant jew god is basicaly a bit of a dick. He advocates all kinds of crazy, if eating some tasty tasty apple treats, which science has pretty much proven beyond a shadow of a doubt there super healthy and good for you, means getting away from that nutjob and his global genocides im all for it.

knoweledge = win

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:11 PM
reply to post by Johnze

knoweledge = win

That's what I lean towards also Johnze, and I would add, ignorance = controlled, in a world with "powers that be."
I am curious if other religions teach anything similar to refraining from seeking knowledge.
I can see some of the Eastern religions that embody emptiness and simplicity supporting such a notion, but are their any ancient religions that taught this? The Sumerians the Celtics, Egyptians, Hindu....?


posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:19 PM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

Knowledge which helps us advance is much different than knowledge of Good and Evil. That knowledge I assume is far more dangerous. If you knew stealing was evil and you stole,versus, you didn't know stealing was evil. The first, would mean you were aware of your evil action before doing it. It would mean you had time to think it over and, therefore, would be more evil than the latter.

Once you know what you are doing is evil you are responsible for your own actions.

That is why children can't be held accountable for their actions. Because they can't tell apart the good from the evil.

posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:47 PM
reply to post by Equinox99

Knowledge which helps us advance is much different than knowledge of Good and Evil.

Thanks for putting me back onto the original line of question, "knowledge of good and evil," before I further digress my own thread.

If you knew stealing was evil and you stole,versus, you didn't know stealing was evil. The first, would mean you were aware of your evil action before doing it. It would mean you had time to think it over and, therefore, would be more evil than the latter.

Would this then go against the proverb of the tree, in the sense of telling us to not eat of it and become aware of good/evil? What you mention sounds more logical, because we are going to learn what good/evil is in our lives, at least what we call good/evil, therefore we have to recognize it to avoid it no?

Once you know what you are doing is evil you are responsible for your own actions.

This is what makes me think the tree proverb is more for control over the masses thing than genuine and altruistic wisdom.

That is why children can't be held accountable for their actions. Because they can't tell apart the good from the evil.

I wonder if this is what the scripture had in mind, keeping us all as unaware children? Is this a loving gesture or a gilded cage meant to imprison?

edit on 8-9-2010 by speculativeoptimist because: gap control

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 09:03 AM
Generally 'higher knowledge' (e.g. esoteric knowledge etc) is mainly a risky business for fundamentalist 'christians' and similar extremists, who often will end up in 'chapel perilous', because whatever 'truth' they experience will be somewhat in conflict with doctrines, they have supported fanatically earlier.

'Angst' is likely.

That early Paulinism committed genocide on the group of people, who could have acted as guides through the process of achieving 'higher knowledge', isn't helping. Leaving only horror-scenarios of fire, brimstone, devils and witches presented to scare people into submission.

It's usually forgotten, that religion derives from directly experienced knowledge. Not the other way round.

posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 11:55 AM
reply to post by bogomil

Thanks for the insight bogomil!

I did not know about the Paulinisim and it sounds like another example of control over the people.


posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 07:56 AM
In the millenniums BCE a lot of of basic existential and religious concepts migrated back and forth in the near and far east. In different constellations forming hybrid ideological systems. Such a set of concepts is presented in the Eden myth, and represents a certain combination and interpretation.

There's much more to this than what appears at first sight, and a possible conclusion can only be made in a very big context.

But first it's important to try to ascertain, what the various concepts (components) of the Eden myth really are.

1/ What does 'knowledge of good and evil' (the standard translation) mean, and IS this a correct translation?

2/ What is the 'god' included in the scenario, and what perspectives outside Paulinism can be used concerning 'god's' real nature?

3/ What is the Eve/Adam activity really meaning?

4/ There are three different nominally 'christian' factions involved in interpretating this (I only use the initial part of their names: Jewish, Gnostic and Pauline), plus some similar speculations in Buddhism.

All four points give different optional answers, and to find an overall picture is more like laying a jigsaw-puzzle than using only deductive reasoning.

If my thoughts lead to any interest, there'll probably also be some secterian hullabaloo, but I'll take it one step at a time if I'm responded to here.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 08:43 AM
Great thread my Friend,

The story of the Garden of Eden is the story of how God kicked off the evolution of man from a dependent being, to an independent being. First he gave but one rule, a rule which was a lesson in itself. Adam & Eve did not know it was wrong to disobey a rule of Gods. They were "innocent" of good and evil. So, Eve did not know it was wrong to listen to the serpent. Once Eve ate the fruit and shared it with Adam, they realised, "Oh my goodness, we listened to a lowly beast (our animal instincts) over the word of God (Our conscience)". For this they were dreadfully ashamed. Don't we even to this day feel ashamed of ourselves when we do something our conscience says is wrong?

So, they see themselves naked, and don clothes. When we do something wrong, isn't our first instinct to cover it up? And, they hid from God. Don't we try to rationalise our behavior when we go against our conscience, by justifying it and even discrediting it, or hiding from our conscience?

Then Adam blames Eve, who in turn blames the Serpent. In the end, don't we try to blame someone else for our unconscionable behavior.

In the end, God did not Judge Adam and Eve, they judge themselves and shifted blame. Gods rule to not eat the fruit and the result was all part of Gods plan for man. It is how we grow.

The way back to the Garden of Eden is realising that we must take responsibility for actions. follow the word of God, which is our conscience, and not listen to the serpent (our animal instincts).

Interestingly, after being kicked out of the garden of Eden, God gives one last commandment, "Go forth and multiply", which can only be done with love.

With Love,

Your Brother

edit on 11-9-2010 by IAMIAM because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 10:04 AM
Well, IAM

that's one way of looking at it. In my opinion rather embellished and with many unexamined absolutes. Selling pre-digested answers without explaining the steps leading there isn't my intention on this thread. So sorry, no sale.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 10:18 AM
reply to post by Johnze

Well, there is a bit where your thinking is wrong....I'm sure you were being hypothetical, but I had to question it because you went on to say about scientist finding what is good with Apples. The problem? no where in the biblical story or any other story related to Eden does it ever say the fruit is an "apple" at any time. That is simply a fruit put in place when they tells a children's story. The bible never ever mentions just what exactly the fruit was.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

The one thing that stands out here is the New Testament..there is a passage by Jesus where children come running to him and the apostle try to keep them away from (as if he were to important for children) and he tells them to let the children come over to him..he then lays his hands on their head and tells the group of people surrounding him that unless they become like children..they will never be able to enter in God's Kingdom nor understand it. I think what he is saying is...and this would go along with the that we need to remain innocent, like little children...look at a child..they are so trusting, loving, giving...a child never suspects wrong doing because they can't imagine wrong doing because they don't know wrong doing..therefore they trust inexplicably, without reservation, without us the adult who teach our children to not trust, to not remain obviously this is due to the world around us..our fear..don't talk to strangers, don't trust that person, this can hurt you, this will happen, etc etc etc...its no longer a perfect world..but what if? what if...everyone read that one passage? and then followed it? became and acted as little children? (not fully, not without responsibility) but in thinking. Its kinda like that movie..I don't remember the name, but its a movie where no one even knows what a lie is...and no one lies..and then the one guy discovers he can lie....and does. In the same way you have the tree of Knowledge..but heres where it gets iffy...The serpent tells eve to eat of it, that it looks good,...she reasons that God told her not to, because she will die...the serpent then tells her she will not, she then proceeds to reason it out...heres the confusing part for me...Eve in this instance..already knew Good and evil..if she did not? she would not have had to reason it out...if she only knew good, she would have 1 not believed God would lie..and 2..would not believe the serpent would lie..she also would not have understood what death was..because there was no death. But she did reason it out..she did argue about it at first..and then made the decision to "disobey" and eat. That to me everytime I read it says it was one thing (my opinion here) it was a symbolism....not to say it didn't happen, but the tree was a symbol between Adam, Eve, and God. A symbol of trust..did Eve trust God to listen to him without reservation? without question? God couldn't make a robot who just would...what would be the point? he wanted a creation to love, and that would love him in return..unconditionally, without reservation (why? who the heck knows?) so there had to be something that stood for that trust. Think about it....we trust our children, our children trust us from the first, without question, without reservation. I have a 3 and 9 year old...from the first they trusted that I would feed them, clothe them, keep them warm and safe, without question my 3 year old does just about anything I ask, until it comes to preference. My 9 year old? a totally different story, trust has been broken, she has caught me telling white lies (so what else does mommy lie about?) She has caught me losing my temper at times (mommy is not always sweet and nice) and vice versa...I have caught her lying about completing homework or if her room is clean or simply making up big is broken..this causes hardships and plenty of discipline scenarios. Don't eat of the Tree...don't break the trust.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by speculativeoptimist

Just for a different point of view on the whole thing, check out this

Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the English paraphrased version. Very enlightening. Then, if you want some clue as to what the Chronicle Project is, visit their home

Or this

Have fun!

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 11:04 AM

Originally posted by bogomil
Well, IAM

that's one way of looking at it. In my opinion rather embellished and with many unexamined absolutes. Selling pre-digested answers without explaining the steps leading there isn't my intention on this thread. So sorry, no sale.

It wasn't for sale my friend. It is simply my opinion offered for free.

All are welcome to interpret however they see fit. There is blessing in sharing.

With Love,

Your Brother

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 11:36 AM
Anybody needing sermons can go to a church of their choice.

My presense on this thread is based on the (somewhat optimistic) hope, that a few would be interested in constructive dialogues.

So I'll just hang around passively until the holy noise dies down.

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 11:50 AM
Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil = Judgment

Judgment is picking one of the specific vibratory pole. e.g. - good/evil, love/hate, this/that

The difficulty in this life is accepting what is, when it is, as what is simply is.

A tree has branches that continuously change.

A snapshot only captures one moment of the continuum.

What is your judgment occurs before the tree's branch branches once more?


posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 11:58 AM
I think it was Nietzsche who explained it
that good and evil is a misnomer, or a misspairing.
It's good and bad, not good and evil. Evil is opposed by righteousness.
It should be good and bad, and evil and right. By miss pairing them, or inverting one side,
one creates the two class culture with the upper class doing good, and if they fail they only failed to do well,
not so bad really. But the lower class can ever only do it right, if they fail it is evil and must be dealt with, by the uppers of course!

David Grouchy

posted on Sep, 11 2010 @ 12:51 PM
Re: Zroth

It depends on the translation from the original hebrew. It has been suggested, that 'good and evil' means something like an encompassing range of life. Maybe a comparison to 'yin and yang' could be used implying the higher totality of 'Tao'.

As such the outcome of eating the fruit would be access to higher consciousness.

All of which ofcourse is very unholy, so let the liturgy begin again, until this thread is cleansed from sin and heresy.

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