There were two trees in the Eden narrative – the Tree of life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One sustained life, the other brought death. In the last post, we saw that life is the ability to repair physically and spiritually. Physical life is in the blood, and spiritual life is in words. The right nutrients in blood can repair physical damage, and the right information in words can repair spiritual damage. The right information (expressed in words) that can repair and lead to spiritual life, are words of repentance. Repentance begins with contrastive thinking.
With the right blood, and the right thinking, you could repair forever and have eternal life.
If life is the ability to repair, then obviously “death” is the inability to repair.
Early onset death
Since death did not exist before Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, it is logical to assume that they were initially immortal, or at least had the means to sustain their “alive” status without any cellular degradation (presumably by eating from the Tree of Life). But when they ate the forbidden fruit, something happened to disrupt this.
So what happened when they ate the fruit? Their disobedience cut them off from righteousness (God) and instead of repenting and repairing, they chose to be comparative. This comparative thinking lead to a form of brain damage that was passed on to their genetic offspring (us). Thus, while Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, we are all born in the image of fallen Adam and Eve.
We’ve inherited their brain damage. We are born without the connection to righteousness (God) that they had. We are born self-centered instead of God-centered. We are born with an innate capacity for comparative thinking. We are born without an innate desire for contrastive thinking (Romans 3:10-12). We are born without the ability for sustainable spiritual self-repair – we are born spiritually dead.
When Adam and Eve got the boot from the Garden of Eden, they also lost access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:22-24), so they lost the capacity for sustainable physical self-repair, and their bodies began to age and deteriorate toward physical death. And their offspring suffer the same curse.
But this situation, while just, presents God with a problem. A population of spiritually dead and physically dying people would make it impossible for God to get what He wants (spending eternity with the walking dead probably isn’t much fun – unless you’re Stephen King). So God has to come up with a just way for dead and dying people to regain life.
How can the dead and dying regain life? By being reborn. In order to be reborn, we first have to die.
We will all die at least once. Our physical bodies will one day die and decompose, but our spirit is different. It cannot cease to exist because it is eternal. However, as we just read, our spirit can be “dead” when it cannot repair.
The living dead
Yet while we are born spiritually dead, we are born physically alive. We continue to grow and repair (non-lethal) damage until we peak in early adulthood, then we deteriorate and die physically.
If a physical rebirth were possible, it would have to happen after physical death. but since we are born spiritually dead, we could conceivably experience spiritual rebirth while we are physically alive. We could be spiritually “born again” even though our physical bodies are deteriorating.
How could this rebirth happen? Through perfect thinking and perfect blood. If we could gain access to perfect thinking and perfect blood, we could be reborn into spiritual life while we are still physically alive (though deteriorating), and regain sustainable physical life after our bodies die.
So if we could experience two births (Initial physical birth and spiritual rebirth) we would only die once (physical body). However if you were to choose not to access the perfect thinking and perfect blood for whatever reason, then when your physical body dies, justice would demand that your spirit be put into a state in which it could not repair for eternity. We’ll discuss this in a later post when we address “Hell”.
In a nutshell – if you’re born twice, you die once. If you’re born once, you die twice.
It would seem then that a result of the first dispensation was the need for God to find a righteous and just way to give humanity access to perfect thinking and perfect blood so that those who chose to accept it could live for eternity. This idea will prove to be the seed plot of our entire history.
Understanding life and death completes our look at the Tree of Life. Now we need to take a look at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why did gaining knowledge of good and evil lead to death for Adam and Eve? In order to answer that, we need to understand what “good” and “evil” are. Next time…
Alive and Well, or Dead and Dying
Blood and Words – the Cure for Death
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