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Interpreting Adam and Eve – Part 2

2012 March 29
by Julie Clawson

The second part of my personal history of relating to the Adam and Eve narrative
(Read Part 1 here)

In college I also first encountered the significance of the Adam and Eve narrative in regard to gender roles. While I was at Wheaton College, the college, in partnership with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, held a series of lectures on the biblical roles for men and women. Key to many of those lectures were discussions regarding the correct translation and interpretation of the term “ezer kenedgo” in Genesis. What I heard them argue was that the term meant that women were created to help and serve men. While not ontologically different than men (women are created in God’s image) women and men have complementary roles. Men therefore have the burden of leading and providing for the family and the church while women are to submit to that leadership as they help men with that difficult task.

Central to this complementarian position is the situating of the establishment of women’s identity as a helper before the Fall. Male headship and women’s role as helpers cannot then be blamed on sin, but must be accepted as God’s design for men and women. Given this interpretation of the creation of Adam and Eve and the heightened awareness of that interpretation the series of lectures promoted at my college, it became very difficult to hold to any divergent interpretation. If one spoke of egalitarianism, one was told that to be a Christian who believed in the Bible one had to be a complementarian. It was the same argument based on an inerrant foundationalist approach to the Bible that I had heard used to argue against evolution, but now it was used to silence any questions about women’s roles. Similarly, girls who dared to ask a guy out on a date were mocked for usurping the leadership in the relationship. Once when a girl was asked to say a prayer during a chapel service, she was shouted down by someone who quoted Bible verses at her about women not being permitted to speak in church.

As one with emerging egalitarian leanings at the time, I struggled with this interpretation of Genesis. Yet at the same time, I believed that to question the Bible was a sin. I felt that to affirm the full equality of women I had to reject the Bible (and therefore my faith) entirely. Genesis became a battle ground. Either one accepted Genesis or one accepted science and the equality of women, there was no middle ground. It eventually took me leaving the world of conservative evangelicalism behind before I could admit that such choices presented false dichotomies.

For years after I rejected the evangelical approach to Genesis (as I had been taught), I treated the Genesis narrative with ambivalence. I knew I did not have to interpret it in light of creationism and complementarianism, but the way those ideologies had been used to silence and control questions left me with lingering uncertainties about Genesis. I finally found my way back to Genesis through my reading of authors like N.T. Wright and Brian Mclaren who focus on the Jewish cultural and theological roots of the New Testament story. Such a perspective rooted the narrative arc of the Bible in the Abrahamic Covenant of the people of God being blessed so as to be a blessing to the nations. This approach opened up for me the possibility to approach scripture, and even the Adam and Eve story, as part of a theological narrative that emerged out of a specific cultural setting. I find myself therefore recently both engaging the Genesis narrative as response to Ancient Near-Eastern mythology that shaped the Hebrew faith and as a narrative grounding for Christian theology. The historical approach fascinates me, but it is in the theological approach that I find the most meaning.

For example, instead of reading the Adam and Eve story as a story about science or gender roles, I see in it the basis for why humanity is to be valued and treated with dignity. The affirmation in this religious text that humans bear the image of God implies for me that to treat another person with injustice is to mock and mistreat the very image of God. I’ve similarly come to interpret the narrative of the Fall through a theological lens as well seeing Adam and Eve’s act less as an infraction that has to be punished, but as a failure to trust in God’s timing as they seek their telos of becoming ever more like the God they image. It is a story telling how humans are both image-bearers of the divine and yet must accept the limits of creation, time, and space. Like the tale of Pandora’s Box, Adam and Eve’s impatience and attempt to tap into instant godlikeness brought disaster. The moral of the tale is a reminder that we must accept the embodied life we have and relationally journey toward more fully reflecting the image of God as the finite creatures that we are.

This theological interpretation subsequently informs practical living. Given that the world is hurting and because our very being is to reflect God’s image we are to love the world just as God loves us. This isn’t just some inner warm-fuzzy that makes us feel close to God – it involves action. If we are moving closer to God then we will act like God and care for that which is made in God’s image – in short God’s creation. Hurting others, destroying the environment, being greedy, achieving at the expense of others – all these things don’t acknowledge our identity as being made in God’s image. Accepting who we are, our vocation as image-bearers, involves a responsibility to live for others and work for their good. God has blessed us abundantly, so by nature we are to bless others.

From the literalism of my youth to the contextual and theological lenses of my present readings, how I have interpreted the story of Adam and Eve has shifted dramatically over time. I look forward to being shaped in yet more ways as I continue to engage the text in the years to come.


6 Responses leave one →
  1. March 29, 2012

    Back in the day…when I was in college, my girlfriend at the time invited missionary friends of hers to my apartment for dinner. My girlfriend came straight from work, so I cooked the meal. Her friends seemed amused by that all night…I was not amused.

    Anyway, I went through most of these stages you are describing and believe that there is so much more to learn if we submit ourselves to a more simple reading rather than attempting to make it a scientific or sociological text. Sometimes the basics are so much more profound.

  2. DRT permalink
    March 29, 2012

    I was raised RC and went to Catholic school where the nuns taught us in the late 60s and early to mid 70s. I don’t ever remember them giving us any thought that the stories were true, in a historic sense. We all just assumed it was like Santa and eventually you start to understand the stories for their meaning.

    The nuns taught evolution, and I was the science and math darling in my grade and they sent me off for a lifetime of science and analytical thinking. I still have a hard time realizing that there are factions that are not teaching that way, nearly 40 years later….

  3. March 29, 2012

    God has blessed us abundantly, so by nature we are to bless others.

    This nails it, Julie. Why are we so easily distracted by petty theological bickering? Why do we find it so easy to argue about God? It’s like we all sit around incessantly arguing about the menu when we should be sharing a meal together.

  4. April 3, 2012

    The creation myth of Adam and Eve was never meant to be taken literally. Understanding it literally actually undermines the doctrine of creation. Saint Augustine, more than a thousand years ago, understood it as such, he even said that days are not to be taken literally as 24 hour days, not only because the Lord has a differente time conception than us, but because the hebrew word used for day was a very poetic word, meaning that it doesn’t really mean a 24 hour day. Also, I don’t know why many people don’t see that evolution and the big bang theory actually confirms the creation myth of the bible. There are so many similarities, I still don’t get how people cling to the idea of creationism.

  5. April 8, 2012

    What speaks to me in Genesis, is the message that God planted a garden at Eden, for His own reasons, then made a man, Adam, to tend it. Adam was the gardener. God, and His fallen angel Lucifer, were the occupants. Lucifer was made “satan”, the caretaker sprit who controlled the garden and the planet Earth. (This after having been in charge of what was the brightest star in the sky. The scriptures are unclear, whether the star itself survived the events that led to Lucifer’s fall, or if Lucifer simply vandalized the star, blowing it up in some sort of jealous tantrum over his inability to be God). This view is first found in Job, where the Sons of God are called into the Father’s presence from all about the Kingdom of Heaven, and Satan is called from “going to and fro upon the Earth and up and down within it”. I come away from Genesis, with the sense that God is initially showing mercy upon Lucifer. Removing Lucifer from his duties on the (former?) brightest star in Heaven and making him caretaker of the Earth, probably didn’t seem to human readers like much of a demotion, back in the days when the Earth was thought to be flat, and Heaven was considered an Earth-sized attic above the blue sky, where God ran a nightly planetarium show to entertain we humans. More recent views of cosmology, that present the Universe as infinite in extent, and the Earth as an invisibly-tiny rock if viewed from a neighboring galaxy, orbiting a quite-ordinary star on the outer edge of the galaxy humans call “The Milky Way”, do make this seem quite the demotion. In becoming Satan, or Caretaker, of the Earth, Lucifer lost the free run of infinity, and became confined to this rock, housed in a pleasant garden, where God had made a gardener named Adam to tend the place, giving Satan no particular chores to do. (All this happened after Day 6 of the Creation, when, as scripture tells us, God created humans.).

    Given that background, I find the Evangelical view troublingly egocentric…or at least…human-centric. Boiled down to its’ essence, only Man mattered in the Garden…God’s effort to rehabilitate Satan is completely ignored. Moreover, the Fall of Man is hereditary. Anyone not descended from Adam would not exist in a fallen state. Therefore, there can have been no day after the Seventh Day of Creation (since only we matter, once God is done resting, He will be obligated to right all wrongs or we will question His divine goodness), no occurrence of humans (plural) on the Sixth Day (despite Scripture stating the contrary), and when Cain knew his wife, she had to be his sister, which makes us all participants in incest of our brothers and sisters, and therefore, makes sex more shameful than the sin of Cain, and entitles us to visit hatred, death, and destruction upon our weaker neighbors, as long as we do it without becoming sexually aroused. (Does this Evangelical view trivialize the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection?)

    Yet, what actually prompted God, first to evict Adam from Eden, then later, to uproot the entire Garden of Eden, was Adam’s invention of blackmail. Certainly, Adam was distressed to find Eve had eaten the deadly fruit (which was apparently in the garden for Satan’s use, as Adam the gardener was told not to eat it himself or he would surely die). But rather than simply ask God to help her, he forced the issue by eating the poison himself. Either God would save Eve, or make a new gardener! (Of course Adam, believing himself to be the only entity who mattered, would force God to save Adam from poisoning…God couldn’t possibly replace him with a new gardener in Eden, because that would be contrary to Adam’s wants…if it even occurred to him that God could let him die and replace him, it didn’t seem real at the time.)

    This kind of coercion is ludicrous. Abnormal Psychology even has a technical term for it: Passive aggression. It is the belief that by obstructing the happiness of others, we can force them to give happiness to us…even though we cannot really force any independent, conscious entity to do anything (least of all, our omnipotent Creator)! Yet, all of the world’s false prophets of religion try to practice a variant of it. Perform a ritual, utter some special prayer, behead a chicken and sprinkle its’ blood on an altar full of candles and photographs, and somehow, the all-knowing God is tricked into doing man’s bidding. All false religion centers around how to trick God into giving us what we want…to turn the Miracle-Worker of Creation into a draft animal that pulls our wagons, plows our fields, wins our wars of conquest, re-directs the flight of golf balls, and makes the Las Vegas slot machines spill jackpots when our time to prosper comes. (Since the false prophets connive to trick God into a state of slavery, it should not surprise us that they do likewise to us, once we try to follow them. Sadly, those who do follow false prophets on to their own destruction, truly want to believe there to be some trickery by which humans can control God, and confuse this self-deception with the genuine worship of those truly thankful for God’s blessings, and thus, close their minds to the possibility that God resents their lies and their pretenses to speak for Him.)

    It is when we acknowledge that God loves us, and we trust in that love, and His superior wisdom, to deliver on His promises to us, and cease trying to force God to do what we want, but rather, pray as Jesus taught us, to ask God that His will be done on Earth, just as it is done in Heaven, that we transcend the trap of the false teachings, and make our prayers pleasing to God, instead of offensive.

    When I consider the Lord’s Prayer, it becomes evident what constitutes The Fallen State. Cut off from the (now uprooted) Tree of Life, disease, aging, and death are our inheritance. We cannot lift ourselves out of this state, because we cannot find a Tree of Life nor a place to find its’ seeds. It is as if God Himself went out on strike, demanding that we cease bossing Him, and learn the necessity of waiting for Him to work miracles, in His own way. After a lifetime of being hurt, when the self-interested acts of other humans, all trying in their own way to survive, and doing so in ignorance, collided painfully with my own self-interest, I must redevelop the faith that a little child puts in a parent’s love, apply it to God, and feel, “May Thy will be done”. For what God finds good, I will find good also. God, too, acts in His self-interest, but His interest in sharing love, coincides with our interest in sharing love. It was, thus, by making our own imperfect love, more imperfect than it needs to be, that we compounded our troubles in this fallen state, because we humans are envious, and imagine that God would exclude us from what gives Him pleasure, and thereby, make much less of God than He is.

    Satan is at the very center of the problems we face. Because Satan is the King of Lies, to listen to him is to become confused. Satan told Eve that God is a liar…that the poisonous fruit of death, which teaches us the knowledge of the ultimate good (the eternal life that we gave up when we ate it), and the ultimate evil that can come to us (by killing us), was instead, the best fruit in the Garden! And that God, (acting selfishly?), lied to Adam about how delicious this fruit was, calling it poison, so as to have all of it to Himself. Rather than repeat Satan’s allegation to God and ask God if it were true, Eve followed temptation and ate the fruit. Adam then added to the damage by eating it himself, instead of asking God to help Eve. In the end, God denied the whole world access to the Tree of Life, by uprooting it and destroying Eden. And, tellingly, the first fruits of their invention of passive-agressive behavior, was shame at sexuality and their own nudity. If one is to pleasure oneself, only by denying pleasure to others, the sexual pleasures absolutely prove the falsity of this proposition: Sex is at its best, when fulfilled between two humans in love. And no amount of hatred can become its opposite, Love.

    It is essential to take away from the story of Eden, this one fundamental truth: God could perform more miracles, and other miracles, than the ones He chooses to perform. It is our distrust of God’s motives for acting as He acts, and sitting idle when He does not act, that has driven a wedge of mistrust between God and humans. We must forgive God for all the times we have prayed to Him, and He has answered our prayers with “No.”. It is frustrating to experience this, yet, necessary. By learning our limitations, we also learn what is allowed us. Do we even think to thank God for the ways He has blessed us, of which we have yet to learn?

    Consider the force of gravity. We humans have no knowledge of its’ cause. We do know that we can measure its’ effect on matter, as the force we call “weight”. Were it not for gravity, the Earth would be trillions of billions of billions, of tiny particles of ice and stone…formless and devoid of life. We honestly have no idea of what miracles God performed, to cause matter to exert gravitational attraction. Yet, from those unknown miracles, we Earthlings derive the blessings of seasons, wind, rain, ocean currents, and the rich soils that form in river valleys, where we grow our best crops. All these blessings relate in many ways to gravity, and the tendency for objects raised up by our efforts, or by the heat of the sunshine, to return back down.

    I recall once meeting a snotty kid in the cafe car of a train, who once asked me, “If God is all-powerful, could He make a rock so heavy that He could not lift it?”. The snotty kid expected to demonstrate his sharp wit, if I said “Yes”, by explaining that God would not be all-powerful, if there existed a stone too heavy for Him to lift…and had I said “No”, he expected to frustrate me by stating that God would not be all-powerful, if He could not create such a heavy stone.

    The snotty kid was totally unprepared for my answer.

    “Isn’t it a blessing”, said I, “that God chooses not to exercise some of his powers, and in so doing, makes it possible for us dumbbells to observe cause-and-effect relationships? If God did not use His powers with discretion, the universe would seem irrational, because everything would change all the time and for no apparent reason. At one instant, your giant rock would be too heavy to lift…at the next, lighter than a feather.”

    Which left behind one very speechless kid, deep in thought.

    All of which brings us around to the lessons we can learn from The Hunger Games this Easter Sunday.

    Emanuel Swedenborg (who wrote that the biblical Book of Job taught him nothing) and Martin Luther reached opposite conclusions about the importance of the Law, neither of them coming to the fundamental sense of what Jesus meant, in saying “I am come not to change the Law, but to fulfill it”. For the Law binds the power of Satan in a very specific way. All of us will die at the hand of Satan, for Satan has willed this upon us. But if any two of us follow the Law, we cannot become Satan’s instrument to harm one another. When Jesus prayed to God, at Gethsamane, that “if it can be, let this cup pass from me”, it was not a vain prayer, for Satan had the chance at that last moment, to reveal himself in the hearts of Jesus’ human enemies, confess his lies, and allow them to forgive each other and be reconciled. Satan instead willed that his lies be believed, and that Jesus die because of them, like all the rest of us who inhabit this rock. In so doing, Satan willed his own destruction and chose the means by which Jesus would fulfill the Law. God’s curse upon Satan in Eden was, “You shall bow down to a man”. On Calvary, Satan chose to kill the man Jesus, to whom he will bow down not that first Good Friday, but at the Second Coming (from where he will be imprisoned in a pit adjacent the Temple in the New Jerusalem), for Jesus on the third day rose from the dead, and went to prepare a place for us in God the Father’s house, to be safe until the Resurrection of the Body and the thousand-year rule of Jesus upon the Earth. (Hmm…perhaps there’s something to my concerns about the human-centric view of Eden. It seems to have taken Satan’s decision that Jesus must suffer death, to seal Satan’s fate. Up to that point, only imperfect humans who had committed at least one teensy little sin, had been “punished” with death. The murder of Christ, who was without sin, established for a fact, that Satan wanted humans dead because he liked death, not because he was purifying we humans of sin and in some twisted way, was doing God’s work for Him.)

    The Luther vs Swedenborg dispute is seen to be silly at this point. No amount of obedience to the Law, will gain us access to the fruit of the Tree of Life, for God will replant the Tree of Life only when He chooses to plant it, which will be after Satan has been destroyed. Thus, we cannot create an eternal life for ourselves, by obedience to the Law. But what I do achieve, by obedience to the Law, is to deny Satan the power, to use me as his instrument, to bring harm to others who also obey the Law. Eternal Life, as Luther explained, is a gift from God, that will be given us when God so chooses, and not by our own works. But when we do good works beyond what the Law demands of us, as Swedenborg urged, we demonstrate to our neighbors, the love of which we are capable, and remind them that God is Love, and in a world where God’s will is done, just as it now is in Heaven, that God’s perfect love will maintain us in peace. These are not mutually exclusive concepts deserving of a theological dispute. Rather, they are truths that come into perspective, once we recognize that Eden was God’s effort to make Satan’s first place of confinement, a bit pleasant.

    The Hunger Games is a story, set in a future wherein America has become a New Roman Empire, and only the fossilized relics of Christian culture (monogamous marriage, time off from work on Sunday) are practiced in the Districts. The only allowed object of worship is the Capitol itself. The people never speak openly of God. Author Suzanne Collins is true to this principle totally…God’s name never appears in her 3 books. The people speak, at death, of a “falling asleep”, but do not know, or cannot say, that those asleep in death, are asleep in the place Christ prepared for them, nor that there will be a Resurrection of the Body and a Life Everlasting. This New Roman Empire has stripped its subject people, of the capacity to speak of God. (Those whose speech offends the Capitol in some way, are made Avoxes, their tongues crippled surgically so they cannot speak. There are many such Avoxes, employed by the Capitol to wait tables, wash dishes, clean sewer pipes, and perform other menial tasks. Some, perhaps, discovered the Gospel of Jesus in some book that had not yet been burned, but the audience have no way of hearing it, for they can no longer speak, and may do nothing but obey orders). Film director Gary Ross has broken this taboo in two places, where Katniss Everdeen utters “Oh my God” as an expletive…once while illegally hunting with Gale when he surprises her with a fresh dinner roll from the bakery that he had bartered from the baker, with squirrel meat…and again, during the Games, when she finds a wounded but well-camouflaged Peeta, slowly bleeding to death by a riverbank, and saves his life. She’s the only person in the movie who ever speaks of God at all.

    Katniss has, it seems, no awareness of the name of Jesus. Nor of Satan. Nor the Source of the Law that is written in her heart. She is, nevertheless, strong and resolute in the Law. No one will use her as his instrument, to bring harm to others. Even in the evil arena of the Hunger Games, she seeks to avoid combat and to live off the land by hunting. Only when engaged in combat by an attacker, does she kill. Yet, despite her best efforts, she is haunted by the deaths of over 1,700 people in the years that this gladiatorial fight has gone on, and by the deaths that result from her efforts to end this wicked practice. It troubles her endlessly, that to stop this evil from continuing, harm befell innocent people.

    In the end, Katniss’ mental troubles lay in the seeking of perfection in a fallen world. There is no ideal way of life, in a world overrun with hatred that masquerades as love. President Snow repeats to the citizens of District 12, a twisted version of history, which asserts that the people of the Districts deserve to suffer in The Hunger Games, because 4 generations ago, some of their ancestors (called “traitors”), rebelled against the nation that loved them and fed them.

    The reality, of course, is that people had been feeding themselves by farming and hunting, on land made by the Creator…and Snow’s sole claim to legitimacy is that he did not play Lucifer and burn it all up with nuclear weapons. In short, the Capitol demands to be worshipped as if it were God, because of the things God made, that it has not yet found a way to destroy. Since the Capitol is destroying life no matter what, it is hardly Katniss’ fault that people died in ending the Capitol’s reign of terror. Yet she, as an obedient servant of the Law that is written in her heart, is troubled by evils, that do not trouble the evildoers.

    This demand to be worshipped for not wrecking a thing, as if the act of not wrecking it is equal to the act of creating it, is evil in its’ purest form. It is the failure to hate perfectly (destroying everything), pretending to be an expression of love.

    Small wonder, then, that the final book of Collins’ trilogy, Mockingjay, reveals that once the Capitol and its’ rulers had been removed from power, and Katniss and Peeta had returned to their home, it took them the better part of two decades to work up the courage to give birth to two children. Collins leaves her readers with a pensive Katniss, watching her son and daughter at play in a grassy field, atop the unmarked mass grave of a great many dead, marveling over how normal they seem, living a life dominated by love and vacant of hatred.

    Having spent their youth in a land ruled by liars who confounded them with the false pretense that love was a form of (failed) hate, Katniss and Peeta had to learn the reality of love, all over again, before they felt right, about sharing that love with children. It was in rediscovering that love is stronger than hate, that, like Job, they came to accept that God had allowed evil to continue for a time. Which could make quite a story in itself.

    But that story is not all that different from our own experiences, as humans who share a planet with The King of Lies. Every one of us has a bad experience to relate, that came from believing what a liar told us. Most of us have tried out the liar’s lifestyle ourselves, and come away with bitter memories of how we learned that to be no way for a person to live.

    Overzealous elements amongst the Religious Right need to take their zeal with caution. No human was present at the beginning of the Sixth Day of Creation. There are no human witnesses to the events that took place in Eden, and the events that took place elsewhere on and off the planet Earth. To assert that God could not have used evolution as a means to make or refine any of His creatures, is to put human-imposed limits on the infinite powers of God. And to tell a lie. Which tosses to the winds, the salvation won us by Christ that first Easter day, and puts one back in the kingdom of the King of Lies, in need to confess one’s error and be forgiven yet again.

    When the truthful answer to a question is, “We do not know”, that is also the only answer worth making. Even if it takes a wee bit of humility to learn, once again, that in the presence of the infinite wisdom of our Creator, our own knowledge and understanding, is very small.

  6. April 14, 2012

    Considering the Garden of Eden — again
    Earth? Earth mother? Sophia? What have you created? Considering the Garden of Eden story, I was thinking that this would be the time and place when dualism was born. For better or worse. Of course everyone seems to latch onto the idea of Original Sin and won’t let go, the believers spin and weave in attempts to make sense of the idea, while nonbelievers point to the unreasonable idea that a god would take the misdeed of an innocent and make the innocent guilty, and further, punish the guilty, and atop that, punish all humankind forever more. I think both sides fail to grasp the symbolism of this story. First of all, without humans, not only does the concept of good and evil not make sense, but in all of nature it is absent. In all of nature (apart from humans) only “good” and “nothingness” exists. Bad doesn’’t exist, for everything in nature seeks to exploit it’s own potential to live and replicate. That either happens or doesn’’t happen. You might think of all nature as one big organism that exists, and exists only because each part that makes up the “all-nature” live and die to provide another part of “all-nature” with energy to do the same. Nothing is “bad” because in “all-nature” adaptation to prevent extinction is the only goal (if “goal” exists without humans) and total extinction would be the only ““bad”” possible. Yet again, even extinction couldn’’t be “bad” in a humanless and Godless “all-nature,” for in such a universe, everything just is. Or just isn’’t. No matter. For to matter requires intelligence to create the idea of mattering and not mattering. 

    I think the Garden of Eden, this metaphor, explains the need for intelligence, for awareness, for self awareness, before the ideas (and concepts) of good and bad/evil can exist. Adam (aka mankind) before gaining knowledge of self awareness (or if you prefer, evolution before the brain/mind developed self awareness) was as innocent as a tiger pouncing upon a lamb and ripping it to shreds for a meal. Without self-awareness, “pre-humans” did whatever was required in order to live another day and replicate. After self-awareness (Original Sin) humans became aware of their every action and the consequences of these actions and further became aware that life and replication at whatever cost was no longer possible, for the new brain/mind was not only aware of each action, the consequences of the action, but also if the action had a good or bad value. And for the first time “bad” had a meaning other than failure to survive, the human brain/mind continued to develop this concept of “bad” until it became a powerful force that identifies all that would or could harm the individual, the family, the group, the environment around the group, and today the entire earth. These are things that no other life/creature can think, humans not only think, but can act upon these abstract thoughts. And so in the story Adam and Eve with full self awareness watched as their sons fought and one became a murderer and the other a victim of murder. Good and evil sprang to life as if it were an entity, a concept so powerful that not one human evermore can return to that Garden of Eden, that ignorant state of innocence where good and bad have no meaning. Or so it seems to me. 

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