Cursed ground and clothes made from skin. Adam is dust, and he will once again return to dust. Ejected from the garden and denied the tree of life – the Lord God is just. Immortality would, in some way, further ruin Adam because of his knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve have somehow become like God and in such a state, they must not attend to the tree of life. The stakes were high. An eternal garden of failure, guilt and shame cannot be the outcome of this experiment.
Was the snake wrong?
There is a curious irony about deception that allows the deceiver to be technically correct on a certain level. Evil doesn’t have to a be a bald-faced lie. A subtle “interpretive difference” combined with a distorted motive is enough.
Perhaps even a guide giving honest directions about a road that he has never travelled, or never would travel – that is enough it seems, for evil.
This way might be harder than I originally thought.
“I am creative, but not in the way that God is creative”, he said.
“Really,” the old man responded, “how so?”
“Well, I can be creative by rearranging the material of the world. I can use my imagination to assemble and reassemble ideas. I can take materials and cut them and paint them and write on them and fasten them to other materials and heat them and anything else I can imagine doing to these things. But all of this is really only rearranging. Everything already existed. It is not creative in that it brings something into being that has never been and could never otherwise be without me.”
“Hmmm”, the old man said, “So you’ve never made a promise?”
What if you are more powerful than you ever realized?
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
There is a distinction between those things living and those things not. Existence seems always to press toward life – though there is no obvious reason that this should be so.
That which never could be construed in the same way as those things that are alive, yet this is the very ground of life. The foundational condition of material existence sets up the pre-condition of those things we experience as alive.
A strange interplay born from the living person of God, who does not need a prior condition. Life proceeds forth and participates in existence mediated through earth, through matter. Like a wave through the ocean, it comes and goes and yet always remains. It generates and regenerates. It is fruitful and multiplies.
God is Subject. There is no object. And then He speaks. And somehow, through His word spoken, participation with His existence is made, is brought into being. This is the power of word spoken out of the subjectivity of God.
But spoken word is followed by separation. God saw that it was good and then separated. What am I to make of that? How should I understand?
My experience and my teachers tell me that I share not only in participation in existence, but also with this power to speak into existence. I do it often, perhaps almost continuously. My words do not have the power of fiat. They are, it seems to me, more like the dull hum of continuous droning. It makes me wonder what would happen if I spoke less often but with increased focus and deliberateness.