Over the last ten years, I have been on a spiritual quest during which I have asked questions and have been rewarded with the most amazing answers. One of my most passionate quests has been to understand the teachings of the Bible. While most people readily accept it as “the word of God”, I realize that it has been translated many times and into many languages, edited as well and most importantly was put together by a group of men called the Nicean Council. There is clear proof that many teachings were deleted because they would not have fit with what these men sought to accomplish. Add to that the fact that for years the only people able to even read the Bible were the clergy, well...you see my point.
In my searching, I am often intuitively “hit” with knowledge. Sometimes I will get some information and it just rings true to me; the following is one of these bits of truth. If you don't agree with it, fine. If you do, fine. The point is for all of us to find what we need to find as it relates to our relationship with God. I share this with you to provoke thought and discussion within your family and group.
For most of us growing up, we were told that the serpent represented our fall from grace into sin as man was given and chose free will; however, for me that never rang true. I puzzled over why God would create man/woman in his own image (which is perfection) but then create a serpent to more or less set him/her up to fail? This just never made sense to me.
After doing some meditation and reading, I had my answer! The snake and the decision to eat the fruit actually represents man/woman's separation from God; at that moment, man/woman began to look outside of himself/herself for answers (or for God). The kingdom in that moment, became something to seek outside of man/woman. Free will was not created in this moment but separation from God was.
The serpent says, “if ye shall eat of this tree (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) your eyes shall be surely opened and ye will be like God.” It is clear that as man/woman's eyes open, they begin to look outside themselves for answers and truth. From this point on, is man/woman is no longer one with God. (When man/woman were one with God, free will was a lot less dangerous.)
Jesus then came to teach us or to help us remember that “the kingdom of Heaven is within”. Jesus had, through the practice of his meditations and fasting, become one with God or Christ-consciousness. That was the crux of his teaching. We as humans could become Christ-consciousness if we allowed ourselves to remember that “the father is within me and of myself, I can do nothing.” Once we stop looking outside of ourselves for The Kingdom, we find God within and can attain more than what Christ attained: “Verily, verily I say unto you. He that believeth in me, the works that I shall do, he shall do also; and greater than these shall he do...”
We are also assured by Jesus of this: “To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” In this sense, overcometh means that we find God again within ourselves and stop looking outside for any answers. At that moment, when we become one with God again, we are allowed back into the Garden and may eat of the Tree of Life. What a wonderful blessing and something to which we may all aspire.