I write a lot about the garden of Eden, and for good reason. It is the most important and vital metaphorical story in the whole of human history.
Essentially, it’s message is this: Don’t try to understand everything, just enjoy everything. Adam and Eve were give paradise to enjoy, as we have been. They were told not to consume from the tree of knowledge, which means don’t attempt to understand how things operate. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents our dualistic conceptual mind. The tree of life literally represents our heart.
The message is clear. Enjoy the beauty, enjoy yourselves, enjoy paradise. Just don’t try and figure it all out, otherwise you will lose touch with the joy and wonder and beauty of experiencing paradise wholeheartedly. You will become exiled in your mind, which is exactly what happens to adults as they lose touch with the childlike innocence of their heart. They leave the garden.
The garden of Eden is a story about being a child, in a world of beauty and wonder. Being innocent, not embarrassed to be naked, not self conscious.
But once knowledge and conceptual understanding are tasted, consumed and become part of us, our innocence becomes adulterated and we become impure and contaminated with what we call knowledge. We become separate from the purity of our heart. We become ‘adults’.
From this point, all that matters is returning to the Garden, to that place of innocence, joy and wonder, because that is our home. It is what we remember deep inside, and it what our heart longs for, because it was in this place that our heart sang, and resonated like a beautiful bell. It was deep joy.
So we have to track back, and retrace our steps. Conceptual knowledge was the impure, contaminating substance that was added to us, so we must release it from our system. Everything that we think we know or understand about the world in our mind, keeps us from fully occupying the realm of our heart. We are so used to getting our security from mental knowledge, that we overlooked the much deeper security that came from knowing the divinity of our being, and our relationship with creation. This is the true security each person longs for.
So as we learn to spend more time in the space of our heart, without thinking or understanding anything, just experiencing the realm of stillness and peace, we start to retrace our steps back to our innocent state. It is not complicated, because we are letting go of all the mental complexity, and remembering the simple warm space of gratitude and love that we encounter in our heart. We have to trust that this process is a worthy one, which it truly is.
Many thoughts, doubts, and worries try to take us away from the inner space of peace and trust, so our prime purpose is to become anchored and strong in our heart-centred awareness, to re-establish ourselves there, so that we feel that is our base, that is where we keep returning to when we get pulled in other directions by thoughts and emotions.
Your heart is the tree of life, at the center of the garden, in paradise, and as you learn to dwell there, abandoning all conceptual, worldly knowledge bit by bit, you realise that you never left the garden of Eden. You were not expelled from it. You had simply become lost in a dream (or nightmare) of concepts, of knowledge.
Climb down from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, from your thinking mind, as it offers only illusion, and keeps you blind to the paradise that surrounds you in this moment. Open your eyes, and feel your innocent heart beating in your cheat. You are still that child whom you once were, and you can now begin to awaken from the poisoned dream of adulteration. You are safe, you are forgiven, you are loved, you are innocent. Enjoy this wonderful life, this beautiful planet, in peace and gratitude. It is the greatest gift in the Universe, and it is given to you to enjoy wholeheartedly.
“Develop the strength of your heart”
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