Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Returning to Eden

  As the wheels appear to be coming off the bus of human existence and countries of the world experience extreme opposing attitudes among their citizenry, the question arises when did things go so wrong between us? Scanning through the annals of time, we can find many examples of similar episodes between the two-leggeds repeating over and over, extending back in time to the story of Adam and Eve.

According to the myth, Adam & Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden at the dawn of human time.  It was a garden of perfection and general harmony abounded.  That is until the day the talking serpent showed up to convince Eve that there was more to be gained if she but took a bite of the forbidden fruit. Once she and her mate, Adam, had partaken of it their eyes were opened.  Their arrogance grew and they soon waltzed from the Garden to seek their fortunes on their own terms. The rejection of their place in the ecosystem they had enjoyed was just the beginning of humanity's problems.

To this day humans view themselves as "higher" than all other lifeforms and believe in their own god-like powers and capabilities. Some have taken their superiority so far as to denigrate other humans, attempting on numerous occasions to wipe "those vermin" off the face of the Earth. Leaping over all the genocide, wars, slavery, hoarding of resources, and poisoning of sea, land, and sky, we discover this arrogance of self-aggrandizement is squeezing the Earth into a potentially desperate corner. Only just now have we begun to collectively begun to wonder, "What have we done to ourselves?"  And how do we get out of this mess?

The good road back to Eden depends on the human coming-of-age realization that Eden existed because of the Love that created it and the homeostasis maintained by the peaceful coexistence of all lifeforms found therein. In Eden, there was no dominance of one species over another. Each one had its place and part in maintaining the balance.  The danger crept in when the temptation to control a single resource (the forbidden fruit) overpowered their appreciation for the love on which the Garden was based. 

To return to Eden is to return to Love.  Love for the built-in diversity of lifeforms - plants, bacteria, reptiles, mammals.... and humans.  It requires appreciation for each of the contributions those fellow occupants have in the balance needed to power the gift of life that the whole enjoys. Life depends on being willing to share, to be sensitive to the needs of "the other," and to be conscious of how and why others might be struggling to hold up their end of the balance. 

The animosity generated from this abandoned principle is the seed for ultimate destruction.  It is far past time to return to Eden values.