Genesis as allegory?

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by dhouseholder, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    So a friend and I were discussing various topics around a campfire one night concerning human nature and evolution, and after various tangents we came across this little nugget...

    What if the creation myth at the beginning of Genesis is an allegory for man's (for lack of better terms) "ascent" from the animal to the human form? Here are the arguments.

    What we get from scripture, and pardon the brief paraphrasing, is that everything was good and great in the Garden. God made Adam and he walked around buck-naked, hung out with Eve, and they were generally worry-free creatures.

    Enter knowledge. Their first response AFTER chowing down on the Apple is to clothe themselves. Let's stop here and create our first premise.

    A) One can only "know" of something due to a presence of an opposite. For example, you can only know pride if you know shame, hot if you have known cold, light if dark, etc.

    Therefore, at the moment of knowledge, we became human. We stopped viewing ourselves as "not-human" and began to view ourselves as different from our environment. Is this not a benchmark for humanity? Self-awareness?

    So if you were first Homo sapiens (which, sapiens means "knowing"), how else could you explain the fact that those monkeys over there have no understanding that they do what we call "evil" things, yet anatomically they are pretty much the same as us? What makes US different from THEM? Knowledge of Good and Evil.

    Is this an allegory for human's first conception that we were somehow different from the rest of the monkeys?

    God also said, "If you eat the fruit, you will die." That's because those non-Human monkeys are not sentient. They didn't eat the Apple. They know not of their impending death. We do.

    This is why I propose that Genesis is a recollection of genetic memory of our budding humanity expressed the only way that early humans could, as a mystical and sacred thing.


    Thoughts?
     
  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    It will be for you everything you choose it to be.
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I have read something along these lines before except they said eating the apple transformed us from our vegetable soul to our animal spirit. When in the vegetable state we are in total peace with GOd because he provided all we needed without the polluting of self awarness and this vegetable soul is our direct connect to God and was required first in the processes that was to come. The purpose of the transformation was to learn to subdue the animal spirit through self awarness guided by the vegetable soul or God, however you want to put. The end game is for the vegetable soul to control the materalistic animal spirit and combine their "powers" if you will to be more like Jesus or Muhammad for lack of better example. In this same book I read that the vegetable soul is to re-emerge and begin to overtake the animal spirit in December 2012!
     
  4. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    By the way I have always found it mystical the way a campfire can whisper wisdom in your ear if you sit with it long enough! I would love to join one of those campfire sessions in the future!
     
  5. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    Self awareness leads to instinct, instinct leads to free-will. Interesting.

    Hrmm... Subduing the animal spirit, reminds me of something I heard once...

    A mystical union perhaps? A wedding of some sort? :001_smile:

    :laugh: LOL, that's usually when I would put a book like that book down.

    There is something mystical about a campfire under the stary canopy, very primal.. if/when it happens again, maybe I'll drop you a line. :001_smile:
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  6. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    The book was pretty far out there but it did not go into 2012 very deeply just briefly implying that is when the transistion was predicted to start. The book is somewhat of a tell all of secret societies throughout history and like I mentioned there is some far out there stuff but there is spot on stuff as well and I reccommend it if you like to question from whence we came? IT is called "The Secret History of the World as Laid Down by Secret Societies" by: Mark Booth
     
  7. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Boys I believe I heard of apples long before I heard of 2012. In fact, I didn't hear about 2012 until somewhere along 1:15 PM on January 1, 2000. I guess the only thing that really saves me is that I pretty much hate to eat apples but kinda like the regularity of a good meal chocked full of vegetables.

    Seriously, Brother dhouseholder, your campfire sounds much less stuffy than either a school of theology or philosophy. And, for that matter, quite a bit more productive.

    Please drop me a line before the next enlightlening the campfire. I'll pull up a log and a cooler full of adult beverages and we'll take on the rest of mankind's wonders. No apple-delivery systems (womenfolk) allowed, I presume?
     
  8. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Boys I believe I heard of apples long before I heard of 2012. In fact, I didn't hear about 2012 until somewhere along 1:15 PM on January 1, 2000. I guess the only thing that really saves me is that I pretty much hate to eat apples but kinda like the regularity of a good meal chocked full of vegetables.

    Seriously, Brother dhouseholder, your campfire sounds much less stuffy than either a school of theology or philosophy. And, for that matter, quite a bit more productive.

    Please drop me a line before the next enlightening the campfire. I'll pull up a log and a cooler full of adult beverages and we'll take on the rest of mankind's wonders. No apple-delivery systems (womenfolk) allowed, I presume?
     
  9. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Boys I believe I heard of apples long before I heard of 2012. In fact, I didn't hear about 2012 until somewhere along 1:15 PM on January 1, 2000. I guess the only thing that really saves me is that I pretty much hate to eat apples but kinda like the regularity of a good meal chocked full of vegetables.

    Seriously, Brother dhouseholder, your campfire sounds much less stuffy than either a school of theology or philosophy. And, for that matter, quite a bit more productive.

    Please drop me a line before the next enlightening of the campfire. I'll pull up a log and a cooler full of adult beverages and we'll take on the rest of mankind's wonders. No apple-delivery systems (womenfolk) allowed, I presume?:thumbup1:
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  10. Bro. Christopher Dawson

    Bro. Christopher Dawson Registered User

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    YES! - good questions, Dave!

    I do love discussing symbolism and it's too bad that 200 miles separates us to where we can't have these kinds of convo's on a regular basis. I'd like to focus on the quote "If you eat the fruit, you will die."

    My first question is "If the Tree of Knowledge provides us the knowledge of Good/Evil, then is that to say that the Tree of Knowledge represents Genetic Memory and our reptilian instincts; those instincts which allowed Early Man to survive outside of the Garden?" If so, then my next questions are "Where did Genetic Memory come from?" (This ties into a question I like to ask regarding the origin of Scientific Laws [as we know them] such as Gravity, etc...)Did this knowledge already exist independent of God, was it created by God, or was it accumulated by some other means and stored in the Tree of Knowledge by God? Was it God's knowledge and experience(because if that's the case, I have a whole chapter of questions as to the necessity of our existence)?

    (As an aside, to suggest that eating the Apple removes us from our connection from God and starts us down the path of Enlightenment to be re-connected with God seems like it might make Hell redundant. Hell is sometimes described as the separation from God, without knowing his love and Light. To be disconnected after eating the apple causes me to think that we are in Hell now, searching for that connection again. Is that more of a question about Dante's Hell?) ...And I'm curious why God would create us as these beautiful and immortal creatures and provide a means for us to become closer to him...with heavy-handed consequences. Of course, I don't mean to sound like I need a stern talking to from a tornado, but the question still remains.

    But, yes, I believe eating of the Tree of Knowledge is symbolic of our ascent/descent to Humanity and self-awareness. It's the "Monolith" moment.

    Anyway, great way of putting together those thoughts, bro!
     
  11. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    Those are great questions, unfortunately, I don't have an answer for any one of them. The closest thing I can point toward is what a Newtonian scholar once said while paraphrasing Issac Newton. Strangely enough, it was concerning the Gravitational Theory, but that is not why I post it. I like it because is explanatory of a lot of physical and metaphysical phenomena.

    "I have not as yet been able to discover the reason for these properties of gravity from phenomena, and I do not feign hypotheses. For whatever is not deduced from the phenomena must be called a hypothesis; and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, or based on occult qualities, or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy. In this philosophy particular propositions are inferred from the phenomena, and afterwards rendered general by induction. " -I. Bernard Cohen

    Experimental philosophy being science. Faith is the opposite of that, yet not mutually exclusive.

    We do need to have a campfire philosophy session.

    Yep. There are offerings left upon the Altar of Knowledge by everyone.
     
  12. jhodgdon

    jhodgdon Registered User

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    Very interesting topic here. I've never heard of Genesis being allegorical but it makes quite a bit of sense. Where would the Serpent come in? Would that be allegorical for our own self-will and general curiosity?
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I read the serpent represented knowledge or the messenger of knowledge.
     
  14. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    Indeed, I think that it would be fitting for the serpent to be a method of explaining the catalyst in which we are no longer "the same" as our surroundings. Who knows, to the ancients, the serpent might have been a symbol of knowledge, you could certainly spend your entire academic career on studying the use of serpents in mythology.
     
  15. jhodgdon

    jhodgdon Registered User

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    I think that's right...the serpent being a symbol of knowledge. So why would knowledge be cast out of the garden along with the newly cursed humans? Is knowledge/technology a curse?
     
  16. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    To me knowledge could be looked upon as a curse until we reach a certian stage of enlightment.
     
  17. mrpesas

    mrpesas Registered User

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    Does full enlightenment mean that we "know" everything? otherwise I have always felt that knowledge begat curiosity. As my 8th grade science teacher put it, "the more you know, the more you don't know". Meaning your level of knowledge always opens the window to expand upon. And if there is always something to learn, can we ever be fully enlightened.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011
  18. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    IMHO. No full enlightment for a human would not require you to know everything, actually it seems full enlightment would require one to be at peace he does not know everything. I am not sure as individual humans we have the facilities currently to know everything.

    Knowledge is not a prerequisite for enlightment only love. Knowledge is a by product of enlightment and one could most certianly be fully enlightened without knowledge of all things.
     
  19. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    The Serpent is one of God's creations.

    It represents the ability to see flaws and faults, the ability to use raw knowledge, the ability to perceive the other side of things and the ability to rationalize (but not flawlessly).

    It does not represent Wisdom.

    And, as with all of God's creations, it required Wisdom to use to our benefit.
     
  20. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Perhaps the serpent is our passions, which can lead us to horrible things or lead us to greatness--again, depending on whether we temper them with wisdom, light, Grace, etc. In Eastern Christianity, for example, one often comes across the "deadly passions" rather than the "deadly sins". Thus, while lust is a deadly passion, libido need not be. While gluttony is a deadly passion, mere hunger is not. While vanity is a deadly passion, appropriate care of yourself is not. Thus, the serpent could represent giving the passions free rein, which leads to separation and death.
     

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