by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer
I do not believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, but there are some truths that can be gleaned from it. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve perceived them-selves to be [essentially] one with God and each Another. They also perceived themselves to be essentially one with Nature. In addition, they also perceived good and evil as being [essentially] the same.
Then Satan temped them to eat the forbidden fruit from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." Eve told Satan: God says we mustn't eat it or even touch it, or we will die." Satan said to Eve: "That's a lie!" "You won't die! God knows very well that when you eat it you will become like Him - you will know good from evil!"
Then Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. After eating it they perceived good and evil as being [fundamentally different], and no longer [essentially the same]. They also perceived themselves to be no longer [essentially] one with God and one Another, and neither did they perceived themselves to be [essentially] one with Nature. They now perceived themselves to be fundamentally separate from God, each another and nature.
They had acquired a false identity. They believed that they were a combination of their outer personalities and their bodies. They had lost their awareness of their true identity, or their inter Self, wherein they perceived their [essential] oneness with God, Each Other and Nature.
Today, the vast majority of people on earth have this false identity. The people of traditional Christianity/Catholicism wrongly believe that Jesus Christ came to assure them that who they believed themselves to be was who they truly were. And that He would eventually restore the creation/earth back to its supposed paradise state of existence, or to the way it was before Adam and Eve committed "original sin." And that after restoring the creation/earth back to its supposed paradise state of existence He would place saved Christians in it, where they would live forever.
Modern-day scientific discovery has clearly revealed the truth - that the creation was not without corruption and death for planets, animals and humans prior to when the first humans lived on earth and supposedly committed "original sin."
Hindu and Buddhist meditation (also "Christian Zen meditation"), a particular type of contemplation and good works (especially including prayer for some people) eventually separate people from their false identities and reveal to people practicing these spiritual disciplines their true identity, the same identity that Adam and Eve had before they sinned. Jesus came to help us gain our true identity and usher in a new age and new world order - a new world order with a one world government and one world spiritual philosophy.
Catholic priest and contemplative advocate William Shannon in his book, Seeds of Peace, explained the human dilemma as being the following:
This forgetfulness, of our oneness with God, is not just a personal experience, it is the corporate experience of humanity. Indeed, this is one way to understanding original sin. We are in God, but we don't seem to know it. We are in paradise, but we don't realize it.
Shannon's viewpoint defines the basic underlying worldview of the contemplative prayer movement as a whole. One can find similar quotations in practically every book written by contemplative authors. A Hindu guru or a Zen Buddhist master would offer the same explanation. ref.
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