God said Adam and Eve would die if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I'm sure they were surprised when they didn't actually die the way they imagined they would, but instead got cut off from their unwavering connection with God. I guess this is the Judeo-Christian explanation for why we continue to do things that hurt us in the long run, even after learning the hard way.
Once learnt that it doesn't bring about the consequences we'd expect right away, it seems OK to continue. But I guess that's just a misinterpretation of the consequences/warning signs. While our definition of death may look more immediate and severe, once we learn that it is relative and causes longer-term suffering it seems almost human or natural to reject our creator. Idolizing people who die young but live hard.
God did us an interesting service as the human race to not eliminate what he had created in a literal way after they chose to go their own way. If Adam and Eve had literally stopped breathing and living, we would never be here. Would have God started over again from scratch, or was it illogical for him to destroy what he had created? Is it possible that to a timeless creator, this whole story plays out to him from beginning to end in a larger, clearer narrative? A narrative that continues to play on, building upwards and upwards from its foundations?
And when God himself took on human form to live and die, and pass through this separation we experience, back to full communion with his Father in heaven--did he finally understand what this original death meant? For we do die, but we do not cease to exist as one might think after disobeying God. This space between disobedience against our source, our life and the eventual end of our bodily life is an interesting one. Full of speculation. There is no prize at the end of our conscious life, no prize we can take with us, even our legacy still lives on in a death filled world. One that is seperate from itself, unable to truly connect. Much as we are with God.
We have all tested this fruit, metaphorically, and have all seen that we haven't died in such a shocking or fearful way as we might have originally expected. To have fear is an echo of our days before we spiritually died, as Adam & Eve may have been fearful of God's wrath to destroy them. In the aftermath, when the smoke of their fear cleared away and they became ashamed and disconnected with God, it was as if they might've felt relief that it wasn't what they expected. They lost their fear of wrath, only to experience death inside. By allowing it to take over our lives, we gain nothing that we can take with us when our bodies are gone.
And what then, when all is finished and we cannot move another step or take in another breath because of disease and aging? Do we re-experience an echo of that fear Adam and Eve had. A fear of what might happen after eating a fruit that is said to cause death? If it is impossible for us to take full eternal responsibility for our actions, can it be that Jesus Christ can be believed to have done so for us? I truly hope so.
It is said the Holy Spirit comes and helps us understand better the life that is given when we believe God himself humanized and walked through the Eden experience once more. He lived in this experience of knowledge of Good and Evil in full war against every aspect of our human life as it was originally designed in full communion with God our maker. Was Jesus Christ a second Adam, born of a virgin Eve, who had not been corrupted by disobedience in her seed?
So often before I've experienced something dangerous I've never done before, sense tells me it isn't worth trying, but then curiosity tells me it won't be as bad as I think. That I can get away with it. Maybe this is the root of all evil, and the cause of all suffering. But it is inevitable isn't it? Every human being will do things--that according to God--are evil, and discover they may be able to get away with it. I suppose with that in mind, it was inevitable for such a loving God to help us with a real, physical solution. I like that my creator is so ready to act in ways that will never let us go. He continues everyday to offer us the possibility to pray and believe his spirit of perfect holiness and goodness in Jesus can intervene through the halls of time right to our moment. A moment of rest, a moment of life.