The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and why I choose not to believe

I recently wrote a blog post about some of my confusion about what to believe. Reading a comment to one of my posts, I began to think again about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Back when I believed whole-heartedly in the bible, I had a whole theory about this tree in the Garden of Eden. Now I’m not so sure whether this story from the beginning of Genesis is actual history or simply a tale, but I still find the imagery to be helpful.

The story goes that the first man and woman, Adam & Eve, were put in a perfect garden with only one possible sin they could do–eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Of course, satan shows up as a serpent and deceives Eve into eating the fruit; then she gives it to her husband, and he eats too. They’re both kicked out of the garden for good, and now the rest of the human race must suffer with the effects of allowing sin into the world. Whether or not that story actually happened really does not matter if one looks at it as a parable.

What were the tellers/writers of this story trying to show us about spirituality and human nature? I believe that the point is, it is better not to know. If you try to know and understand everything about what is good and what is evil–in short, about religion–you end up kicked out of the garden, out of the place of intimacy with God.

When I look at religion as a whole, I see people eating every day of that fruit–always trying to know and understand, to have the “right” beliefs, to have the “truth.” What’s funny is that Jesus once said “I am the truth,” in essence saying that truth is not a set of beliefs but a spiritual being you can have a relationship with.

So even though sometimes I am freaked out that I don’t know what to believe any more, when I think of this story, my heart fills with peace. I don’t believe much in particular, but I do open my heart to relationship.  I do believe in God, but I don’t believe too many specifics about God or all the other peripherals religion adds on. And I would rather say I don’t believe for the sake of being real, than to pretend that I have all the answers.

The thing pounding on my head is that if I don’t have the right beliefs, not only do I risk the eternal punishment of hell, but I risk helping other people end up there by not witnessing. So I jeopardize my own salvation and that of every person I come in contact with. But I think this first story from the bible can help with that problem. According to the bible, trying to gain knowledge of good and evil is a sin. So I feel justified in choosing not to know and not to do anything about it for anyone else. Instead of spouting a bunch of beliefs at anyone who comes near me, I choose to be myself, regardless of the consequences.

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6 Comments to “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil and why I choose not to believe”

  1. I can’t believe you wrote this today! Last night I had the most vivid dream. It was about this word we call “truth”. In the dream God was saying truth just is. I just remember this sense of overwhelming relief that it did not depend on me and my understanding. What God was saying was I AM TRUTH!

  2. What a relief that is! Christianity has set up such a massive roadblock to peace by saying that we have to have correct beliefs to be saved. If God is TRUTH, then we don’t have to worry about what beliefs we have. The more we come to know God through relationship, the more we know truth, without any other effort to study and perfect all our human knowledge. I think all that human knowledge gets in the way of knowing God anyway. There’s a bible verse that says, knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. I think having a loving relationship with God is our only way to apprehend truth.

    • Eva, I have a site on facebook where I go into this subject in depth. I would love to share it with you as I have found most often true is that truth is basically common sense realities. That explains that truth just is. I love that and decided it is true years ago when I became a medicine woman or healer of the human spirit. Or another way to see it is I help people balance themselves.

      Also there are little things I discovered after becomming a medicine woman for example, if you have trouble falling to sleep you can slow your own heartbeat down a bit with this simple exercise:

      There’s a little exercise I do that I learned shortly after my awakening and becomming a shaman. It goes along with my namesake, Wekiva Bites Tongue…maybe you already know this one.

      All I do is take in as large a breath as possible and let it out so slowly that it’s as if all you have to do is say P,P,P, just that tiny amount of air that comes out while saying P, sounds like, ‘Puh’, realeases just the tiniest amount of air, perfect amount that describes how slowly the air must be released to slow the heartbeat.

      You can increase the heartbeat by doing the opposite, take in deep gulps or quick breaths of fresh air and then breath normally.

      Like I said, maybe you already know this one, but thought I would add it in just in case. For years it has been a closely guarded secret of gurus but to me it is creators knowledge and deserves to be shared. Loves, Sister Debbie

  3. Wow, I never thought of that story as a parable before but it makes so much sense! My heart leaped at the thought of it. It’s like an amazing peace has come because of what you wrote. I’ve always felt slightly condemned by most Christians because I value science and geology and astrophysics, and cryptozoology, which shows us there is a timeless unfolding of the universe that continues to this day, now I don’t feel so condemned. It reminded me of a book Jaques Ellul wrote called “An ethical research for Christians” and in it he basically takes down the entire moral world view of Christianity, he took the creation story as literal(as did I) but one of the things he wrote was that human beings cannot know good or evil. We can invent it, we can build a system around some belief that we have but we cannot know good and evil truly because we can’t see the whole picture, only God knows truly, absolutely, and yet he just loves, it seems there is no judgement but love. I love that idea that it’s not our responsibility to deal with good and evil, that I can just know Truth, personally, and live freely, in the freedom I have not needing know, or even understand. That was always one of my frustrations being a christian and also with philosophy… It all seemed so fake, contrived, and wearying. But not with Father, a simple life of total freedom in Him is way way better.

    • Dward, I’m so glad you are finding peace. I never really thought of whether it is a parable or not either, until I wrote that, but I do feel that there is a truth in the idea behind it. It actually seems sort of weird to blindly accept the Genesis account of human beginnings, when many other cultures have had their own stories, and there is also science that doesn’t quite line up with it all. I think it is a mystery.

  4. iam impressed

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