IN THIS ANALYSIS WHEN REFERING TO GOD, I’M REFERRING TO HIM AS A CHARACTER IN A STORY.
Most of us have heard the story of Adam and Eve. God told his creations to not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge, yet the snake tricks them into doing so anyway. As a result, God curses Adam, Eve, and even the snake, and banishes them from the garden of Eden. For the rest of their days, they must make a living on earth. But is this the whole story? What is the tree of knowledge, and who’s really to blame for the fall of man? Well, there’s only one way to find out. I’m going to do a close explication of the story of Adam and Eve to seek answers to these questions.
In the Bible, the story of Adam and Eve is located in chapter two of Genesis. In this chapter, the narrator describes how God made a magnificent garden in Eden, and in this garden resides the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam is the manager of the garden since God expects him to take care of it. Adam is free to do whatever he pleases, but God gives him one rule to follow: don’t eat from the tree of knowledge. God says, “You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” The first question we must address before exploring the symbolism of the tree of knowledge is, “Why did God incorporate a deadly source in his seemingly innocent garden?”
God is testing Adam. He is making sure Adam trusts his word and obeys his rule. And based on the God’s statement, the test is very simple to past. Adam just has to stay away from the one tree, and as a reward, Adam is granted eternal life. But, is there more to this analysis? May be there’s another perspective to this situation. What if God is very curious? After all, Adam is one of his first human creations. Adam is God’s experiment. May be God wants to see if Adam will choose knowledge over life, but knowledge of what?
At face value, the tree of knowledge is as stated. It’s the tree of the concept of good, and it’s the tree of the concept of evil. However, there has been some speculation that the tree of knowledge is the tree of sexual knowledge. I can understand this claim because immediately after Adam and Eve eat from this tree, they realize they are naked. The narrator says, “Then the eyes of both of them were open, and they realized they were naked.” The reference to the eyes signifies that the tree of knowledge is more than just sex. When your eyes are open, they see things for what they are, including their own nudity. After Adam and Eve ate from this tree, they now see their world for what it is. Basically, they gained consciousness.
Consciousness is the part of the mind that analyzes and understands. Consciousness is, “the awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, and surroundings.” So Adam and Eve now realize they’re human, they realize what is God, they realize what sex is, and most importantly, they realize what are good actions and what are evil actions. Therefore, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the tree of the conscious mind.
Before Adam and Eve ate from the tree of consciousness, they were like new born babies. God gave them everything they needed to survive, and they didn’t have the ability to question anything. So God wants Adam and Eve to remain in this state. He wants them to remain ignorant and carefree. However, as I mentioned before, God is curious. He put that tree in the garden to see whether his creations want what he wants. Of course, Adam and Eve decision to eat from the tree suggest they want the opposite of what God wants, but this may not be the case. May be they did want what God wanted. They were just tricked into thinking otherwise. In the next post, I will attempt to find out Adam and Eve’s intentions, and who’s to blame for the fall of man.