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CHAPTER TWO
The Choice
a
LAW and freedom

And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:15-17) .

Choice of Tree of Life as against the Tree of the Knowledge.

In the opinion of the Jewish mystics, both trees –the tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are in essence one. They grow out into two directions from a common trunk.

Genesis tells us that the Tree of Life stood in the center of Paradise, but it does not indicate the exact position of the Tree of Knowledge. The Kabbalists took this to mean that it had no special place of its own but sprouted together with the Tree of Life out of the common matrix of the divine world. The two trees are different aspects of the Torah, which have their common origin in revelation.

The presence of the Tree of Life implies that Adam and Eve were not by default immortal.  Even the choice of being immortal or temporal was to remain a choice to Man.  It could be interpreted that the material world was indeed created with decay and death as part of the creation of that realm.  This would have been necessary for life, since vegetative life was given as food to animals and humans at the end of the creation week. 

Gen 1: 29-30 Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

The other choice was to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil or not. The phrase in Hebrew: טוֹב וָרָע, (tov V' ra) translatable as good and evil, is an idiomatic example of the type of figure of speech known as merism. This literary device pairs opposite terms together, in order to create a general meaning; so that the phrase "good and evil" would simply imply "everything".  It speaks of the dialectics of logic - for and against.  Thus the Tree of the Good and Evil means "Tree of Knowledge of everything attained by reason and logic". 

Why does God forbid the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

Are we not supposed to know good from evil and right from wrong?

What really is the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

Does not God want us to know good from evil?

 

Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

To be able to depart from evil, we have to know what evil is. And to be to able to do what is good we have to know what good is. This clearly shows that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is not about avoiding knowing and understanding right from wrong. So what then is this mysterious tree?

 

To understand what this tree is we need to take a look at what happened in the garden of Eden.

Gen 3:1 -5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.

And he said unto the woman,

"Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of EVERY tree of the garden?"

And the woman said unto the serpent,

"We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

And the serpent said unto the woman,

"Ye shall not surely die:

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as [like] gods, knowing good and evil."

 

In effect Satan's advise was, "How do you know what is right and wrong, good and evil unless you experience it yourself?.  Try it."

 

God had instructed her and Adam not to do it, because God knows that being newly created, they are in no position to determine on their own what is right and what is wrong. They had to draw knowledge and understanding from the one who created them – their Father – to correctly know what is good for them. God was simply telling his son Adam not to make decisions on right and wrong, good and evil until he has grown enough to make those.  "Until then just trust me"  "First eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life and then someday when you are eighteen years old, I will let you eat of the Tree of the Fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." That is why that tree was in the center of the garden.  It is temporarily out of bounds because taken without the necessary responsibility it brings total disaster.

 

There is more to this because the question is:

What is good and evil?

Is there anything called absolute good and absolute evil?  If it does these standards are applicable to God also.  They are above God.  There must be something beyond God who makes the standard.

The Christian answer is that good and evil are based on the character of God.  God is the standard.  

 

Hence what God told Adam was, you cannot distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil unless you have my mind. “Until that time just trust me”.  In contrast what the serpent advised was, you have the freedom to choose, apply it.  In accepting this choice, Adam was asserting that the standard for good and evil are determined by him and not by God.  He was declaring his freedom from the laws and standards of the absoluteness of God.  In that sense Adam was claiming to be God.  When man makes the law and decides right and wrong, there will be pitfalls.  The society will be safe  when it is based on the laws of God, and the only thing that supersede the laws is God’s own spirit which interprets the laws.  The letter kill, it is the Spirit that gives life.” (2 Cor 3:6)

   

 In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of this Ten Commandments display  at the Texas Capitol.

 

 Religious leaders join the president of Faith and Action as he unveils their depiction of the Ten Commandments again  after vandals pulled it over, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, October 29, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

 

The choice that was given to man was to live with faith as a child or to grow in the knowledge by developing their own science and using it. The choice therefore was to live as a son enjoying eternal life as against living by understanding the laws of the various dimensions of existence and then taking control of it.

 

"Trusting your instincts isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s a concept that one has to really practice and test everyday to know what it’s like. Instincts are suppose to guide you through life and keep you away from bad choices while leading you to the good ones. But when you are in an unfamiliar territory, your instincts can become weary, and all-of-a-sudden, you don’t know what your instincts are “telling” you. "

This choice was a choice between submission and freedom or a choice between obedience and experiment.  Adam wanted to experiment with realities and know what was good and evil in contrast to just taking the time tested tradition and methods.

The Purpose of the Law

Galations 3: 16-25 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,…But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Neuroplasticity and Critical Periods.

Recent Brain research has substantiated the need of  giving correct controlled  experiential input during definite critical periods of life.  Developmental plasticity is a general term referring to changes in neural connections during development as a result of environmental interactions as well as neural changes induced by learning. Much like neuroplasticity or brain plasticity, developmental plasticity is specific to the change in neurons and synaptic connections as a consequence of developmental processes.  During development, the central nervous system acquires information via endogenous or exogenous factors as well as learning experiences. In acquiring and storing such information, the plastic nature of the central nervous system allows for the adaptation of existing neural connections in order to accommodate new information and experiences, resulting in developmental plasticity.

This form of plasticity that occurs during development is the result of three predominant mechanisms: synaptic and homeostatic plasticity, and learning. The underlying principle of synaptic plasticity is that synapses undergo and activity-dependent and selective strengthening or weakening so new information can be stored. In order to maintain balance, homeostatic controls exist to regulate the overall activity of neural circuits specifically by regulating the destabilizing effects of developmental and learning processes that result in changes of synaptic strength. By depending largely upon selective experiences, neural connections are altered and strengthened in a manner that is unique to those experiences.

Hebbian Theory is that the persistence or repetition of a reverberatory activity (or "trace") tends to induce lasting cellular changes that add to its stability is sometimes stated as "Cells that fire together, wire together" The theory attempts to explain associative or Hebbian learning, in which simultaneous activation of cells leads to pronounced increases in synaptic strength between those cells, and provides a biological basis for errorless learning methods for education and memory rehabilitation. the theory is also called Hebb's rule, Hebb's postulate, and cell assembly.

(Sensitive Periods in the Development of the Brain and Behavior Eric I. Knudsen Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 16:8, pp. 1412–1425)

 “Experience exerts a profound influence on the brain and, therefore, on behavior. When the effect of experience on the brain is particularly strong during a limited period in development, this period is referred to as a sensitive period. Such periods allow experience to instruct neural circuits to process or represent information in a way that is adaptive for the individual. When experience provides information that is essential for normal development and alters performance permanently, such sensitive periods are referred to as critical periods. Although sensitive periods are reflected in behavior, they are actually a property of neural circuits. Mechanisms of plasticity at the circuit level are discussed that have been shown to operate during sensitive periods. A hypothesis is proposed that experience during a sensitive period modifies the architecture of a circuit in fundamental ways, causing certain patterns of connectivity to become highly stable and, therefore, energetically preferred. Plasticity that occurs beyond the end of a sensitive period, which is substantial in many circuits, alters connectivity patterns within the architectural constraints established during the sensitive period. Preferences in a circuit that result from experience during sensitive periods are illustrated graphically as changes in a ‘‘stability landscape,’’ a metaphor that represents the relative contributions of genetic and experiential influences in shaping the information processing capabilities of a neural circuit. By understanding sensitive periods at the circuit level, as well as understanding the relationship between circuit properties and behavior, we gain a deeper insight into the critical role that experience plays in shaping the development of the brain and behavior.

Learning that occurs during sensitive periods lays the foundation for future learning. A classical example is that of filial imprinting (Lorenz, 1937): During a limited period soon after birth, a young animal (mammal or bird) learns to recognize, and bonds with, its parent (Hess, 1973). The newborn cannot know the identity of its parent a priori, so it imprints on the individual that is consistently nearby and that satisfies best its innate expectations for the characteristics of a parent. Under unusual conditions, that individual may not even be of the same species. The learning that occurs during this sensitive period exerts a long-lasting influence on the development of the individual’s social and emotional behavior (Immelmann, 1972; Scott, 1962).

The term ‘‘sensitive period’’ is a broad term that applies whenever the effects of experience on the brain are unusually strong during a limited period in development. Sensitive periods are of interest to scientists and educators because they represent periods in development during which certain capacities are readily shaped or altered by experience. Critical periods are a special class of sensitive periods that result in irreversible changes in brain function. The identification of critical periods is of particular importance to clinicians, because the adverse effects of atypical experience throughout a critical period cannot be remediated by restoring typical experience later in life. The period for filial imprinting, for example, is a critical period. Most of us view sensitive and critical periods from the perspective of behavior. Many aspects of our perceptual, cognitive, and emotional capabilities are shaped powerfully by experiences we have during limited periods in life.

For example, the capacity to perceive stereoscopic depth requires early experience with fused binocular vision (Crawford, Harwerth, Smith, & von Noorden, 1996; Jampolsky, 1978); the capacity to process a language proficiently requires early exposure to the language (Newport, Bavelier, & Nevill)

To summarize:

"During a critical period, a pathway awaits specific instructional information in order to continue develop normally.  It appropriate experience is not gained during the critical period, the pathway never attains the ability to process information in a normal fashion and, as a result, perception or behavior is impaired permanently.“

Alternatively  ..

"During a critical period, a pathway maintains a state of vulnerability to unusual stimuli. ... If an inappropriate experience is maintained during the critical period, the pathway sustains adaptive changes permanently."

 

Most of us view sensitive and critical periods from the perspective of behavior. Many aspects of our perceptual,

cognitive, and emotional capabilities are shaped powerfully by experiences we have during limited periods in life. For example, the capacity to perceive stereoscopic depth requires early experience with fused binocular vision (Crawford, Harwerth, Smith, 8: von Noorden, 1996; Jampolsky, 1978); the capacity to process a language proficiently requires early exposure to the language (Newport, Bavelier, 8: Neville, 2001; Weber-Fox 8: Neville, 1996; Kuhl, 1994; Oyama, 1976); and the capacities to form strong social relationships and exhibit typical responses to stress require early positive interactions with a primary care giver (Thompson, 1999; Liuet al., 1997; Leiderman, 1981; Hess, 1975). In each case, the experience must he of a particular kind and it must occur within a certain period if the behavior is to develop normally..

Here are some of the effects of sensitive period experience which makes permanent changes in human character. These involve selective exposure and selective avoidance of exposure during the period.

See also http://www.brainfacts.org/brain-basics/brain-development/articles/2012/critical-periods/

The critical period starts right from the prenatal period starting from the conception.

 

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 #Bible @UnlckngtheBible

 


B

The Tree of the Knowledge:
Yetzer hara and Yetzer hatov

In Judaism, yetzer hara (Hebrew: יֵצֶר הַרַע‎, for the definite "the evil inclination"), or yetzer ra (Hebrew: יֵצֶר רַע‎, for the indefinite "an evil inclination") refers to the inclination to do evil, by violating the will of God.  The yetzer hara is not a demonic force, but rather man's misuse of things the physical body needs to survive. Thus, the need for food becomes gluttony due to the yetzer hara. The need for procreation becomes sexual abuse, and so on. There is also a   yetzer hatov ("a good inclination" “altruistic desire,”) until an age of maturity—12 for girls and 13 for boys—has its source in Chapter 16 of the Talmudic tractate Avot de-Rabbi Natan.

In Genesis 2:7, the Bible states that God formed (vayyitzer  ) man. The spelling of this word is unusual. Rather than one Yod as would be normal (i.e. vayitzer), this word has two: vaYYitzer. The rabbis determined from this that these two Yods (Ys) signify the word yetzer, or "impulse"and reveals an important secret about how we were formed.   The existence of two Yods here indicates that humanity was formed with two impulses: a good impulse (the yetzer tov) and an evil impulse (the yetzer ra).


 

 

 

Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Hatov

The yetzer tov is the moral conscience, the inner voice that reminds you of God's law when you consider doing something that is forbidden. According to some views, it does not enter a person until his 13th birthday, when he becomes responsible for following the commandments.

The "image" of the Creator is the ability to discern and reason

• Humanity has an inclination to both good and evil

• Free will is the ability to choose which inclination to follow

 man did not fall in sin out of ignorance or out of compulsion; he was in complete knowledge of what he was supposed to do and what he shouldn’t. He made the choice consciously and voluntarily.

In Jewish tradition, the Tree of Knowledge and the eating of its fruit represents the beginning of the mixture of good and evil together. Before that time, the two were separate, and evil had only a nebulous existence in potentia. While free choice did exist before eating the fruit, evil existed as an entity separate from the human psyche, and it was not in human nature to desire it. Eating and internalizing the forbidden fruit changed this and thus was born the yeitzer hara, the Evil Inclination

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Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Hebrew: משה חיים לוצאטו, also Moses Chaim, Moses Hayyim, alsoLuzzato) (1707-1746 AD), also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL (or RaMHaL, רמח"ל), was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist, and philosopher. Most of the material in this site refers to Ramchal's analysis.

Man

1.3.1 – The Yetzer ha-tov (also: "Yetzer Tov") and Yetzer ha-ra (also: "Yetzer Hara")

Before we begin this next chapter, there are two points that we should review:

·        Evil (deficiency) existed from the beginning of creation in perfect balance with "good"

·        Evil is anything that conceals God’s perfection

Ramchal explains how, before the "fall," the physical and spiritual were "on a level playing field." Neither had "an advantage." If this were the case, man would have existed in a state where he would have been unable to perfect himself. It would either be done apart from man (i.e., God making us into "robots" with no free will), or it would be impossible for man to do this (which would make God a bit of a sadist).

Evil, as Scripture states, is created and not made. That is to say that God did not actively make evil, but that it is a natural consequence of God's concealment of His Presence in creation. It is this concealment that gives man his "purpose" -- that is to try mankind, so as to give them room for Divine service.

As Ramchal states, "Only man is placed between perfection and deficiency, with the power to earn perfection." This fact necessitates the existence of "free will."

Creation existed, prior to the fall of mankind, in a state of balance between perfection and deficiency allowing man to be situated between "good and evil," compelled towards neither.

The purpose of "evil" was to provide Adam with the opportunity to exercise free will. Without temptation, the choice of good would have been axiomatic. With "just enough" evil present in creation, Adam could have fulfilled his intended purpose (as Ramchal stated in the previous chapter), "to acquire perfection and avoid deficiency…"

As stated in our last lesson, "Adam and Eve did not know either good or evil, as we now do, before eating of the tree." That is to say that "evil" was not a part of their psychological makeup - they were pure of sin (i.e., they had no reason to conceal themselves from God until after they ate of the tree). Another way to consider this, is that evil was not "internalized within them as it was after the fall." Man had, "the power to incline himself in whichever direction he desired." He was created with an inclination (or urge) to either good (the yetzer tov) or evil (the yetzer hara) and had the power to choose either side, and possess either one.

In this light one may view the yetzer hara as something to be hated and despised, but this is not the case. In fact, the yetzer hara was created not that man would succumb to it, but rather that he would be strengthened by overcoming "temptation" in order to gain perfection. Mankind's task is to labor to eradicate imperfection from himself first, and subsequently from the entire creation, as far as is in his power.3

Here are several interesting aspects to the Yetzer Tov and Yetzer Hara:

·        The Yetzer Hara is not solely associated to what we would "normally" consider as sin. Anything that we do for ourselves ("self preservation," as opposed to Godly service) is "driven" by our Yetzer Hara. This includes "normal" activities such as working for a living, building a shelter, seeking a mate, procreation, etc. These functions are all part of this present life, and as by their nature are not directly serving God. They are considered "necessary evils" associated with our physical bodies. There is an axiom that, "sleep is one-sixtieth of death," which is based on this premise.

·        The purpose of the Yetzer Hara is to serve God – Both inclinations give us "energy," and even the energy from the Yetzer Hara can be channeled for Godly use. A modern analogy would be an athlete who channels his negative emotional energy toward his sport, thus improving his performance. A person with a strong Yetzer Hara has a greater potential to do remarkable things for God over someone with a "lesser" Yetzer Hara.

·        Many of the "great people" of the Bible had a "strong" Yetzer Hara. One of the best examples is King David, who was a man who enjoyed earthly pleasures. In Hebraic literature, David is compared to Esau. Part of this comparison is that each man was said to have been born with a "ruddy" complexion. (Ruddy having to do with red -- the color of the "physical" earth.) Whereas Esau was not able to channel the energy from his Yetzer Hara to serve God – David was – so much so that he is referred to as being "a man after God's own heart." (1 Samuel 13:14. Note also Paul's comments about himself in Romans chapter 7 -- see below.)

·        The "energy" of the Yetzer Tov can be misdirected as well. For instance, a person may have a great love and respect for the treatment of animals. Because of this, they may read of the animal sacrifices in the Tenakh and view them as being a "bad" thing. Biblical examples of the "misuse" of the Yetzer Tov would be David regarding his son Absalom, and Eli regarding his sons. Both men "leaned too far to the right," and failed to properly deal with situations that needed correcting.

·        Thus, we find instruction in God's Torah about not "turning to the left" (Yetzer Hara), or "to the right" (Yetzer Tov), but to seek out the proper balance in our lives (i.e., Deuteronomy 5:32; 17:11,20; 28:14) in order to move forward toward the "image of God." This is by being a "hearer and doer" of the Torah, praying without ceasing, and performing acts of kindness. 

1.3.2 – The dynamic between the soul and the body –The soul and body are in a, "constant state of battle." Ramchal says of man, "if he allows the physical to prevail… then besides lowering his body, he also debases his soul. Such an individual will be unfit for perfection, and will be kept far from it..."

This reflects Paul’s message to the Romans, warning them of the dangers of giving into the "flesh," (i.e., the physical) even to the point of "no return":

Romans 1:24-32 -Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Paul equates the "flesh" with the "body" -

Romans 8:13 - For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Paul states very clearly that the "flesh" and the "spirit" are in constant battle with one another.

Galatians 5:16-17 - "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."

Paul describes even clearer the "war" that occurs between the "flesh" and the "spirit" (see Romans 7:14-25 for full text). He states that in his "flesh" nothing good dwells." Paul further states, "I find then a law, that evil is present with me," and that, "I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Here is the basic "dilemma" as Paul states, "So then, with the mind (that is the "realm" of the soul/spirit) I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."

It is these "opposing forces" within himself that draws Paul to the one conclusion that God intended for man to make. That is the realization of man's true state, and his total "dependence" (i.e., faith) on God. As Paul states, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Messiah Yeshua our Lord!"

The test of the righteous, provided by God's concealing His Presence, affords for the dynamic of faith to operate. When God constrains Himself, He leaves room for "doubt." The Talmud refers to the Garden of Eden's "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" as "Ilana d'sfeika,'" the "Tree of Doubt," since it was a mixture of good and evil.......

1.3.4 – The aspects of this world and the World to Come – Creation was intended to be a magnificent "garden" of harmony, containing those elements necessary for mankind to bring it towards perfection. 
With man in the role of the "gardener," he was to actively "subdue and dominate" the physical, and by doing so remove those aspects in creation that concealed the presence of God.

This is reflected in the creation account:

Genesis 1:26,28 - Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth…Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Though creation existed prior to the fall in a perfect balance of "physical" and "spiritual," Adam's ultimate purpose was to "uproot" the physical and partake of the spiritual. If this were the case, why then would the spiritual not have been made more powerful than the physical?

As Ramchal states:

"…in light of man's true purpose and what God desires of him, namely, that he earn perfection through his own effort, it would not be good at all."

God did NOT require man's effort to perfect creation; He could have brought creation into existence completely perfect without any defect. However, God's desire was to bestow "the greatest good" upon man, therefore, "His wisdom therefore decreed that the nature of this true benefaction be His giving created things the opportunity to attach themselves to Him to the greatest degree possible." 

To bring about the greatest "good possible" for man, God created him with free will. As we have already discussed free will cannot operate without the presence of choice which enables man to "live by faith."

As Paul states:

"For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;"

So it is not vanity that makes God require man's effort; it is so man will willingly choose to "cleave" to his Creator, having rejected physical pleasures for spiritual relationship...............

1.3.6 – Mankind up to "the fall"

As a "gardener," Adam was to toil, but only to a minimal degree. This changed after the fall, when his "workload" was increased (i.e., Genesis 3:17-19). Man is not "totally depraved," as God told Cain (Genesis 4:7). We all have the ability to choose between sinning (heading away from perfection) and fleeing from sin (heading toward perfection).

The idea of God wishing for man to "work and perfect himself" is found throughout Scripture.

Yeshua instructed his followers as follows:

Matthew 5:48 - Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Paul's letters to contained instruction in "working out our salvation," "fighting the good fight" and "departing from iniquity" in order to become closer to God (perfecting ourselves):

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

1 Timothy 6:11-12 - But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

2 Timothy 2:19-22 - Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Messiah depart from iniquity." But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

The fact that mankind has "fallen" does not make him powerless to uproot imperfection in himself and creation. However, the measure to which he can obtain this "perfection," has been severely restricted in this world (Olam ha-Zeh).

As Ramchal states in section 1.3.8, the amount of evil in this world increased due to Adam's sin, and thus necessitates the existence of another world, (Olam ha-Ba) where complete perfection can be accomplished...................

Genesis 3:22-24 - Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"-- therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Ramchal's words reflect what is written throughout the "New Testament." There is a constant struggle against sin that exists between the spiritual and the physical "parts" of man (i.e., Romans 6:12-20, 12:21; Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Timothy 5:20-24, 2 Peter 2:19-20, 1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26).

Paul wrote about this struggle with the Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Tov in his own life, associating the former with "the flesh" (body):

Romans 7:15-23 - For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Even the walls of the Temple were considered as being a "necessary evil" in that while they "contained" the presence of God, they also "restricted" it. (Hence the reason there is no more Temple in the World to Come - i.e., Revelation 21:22.)

There is therefore a necessary aspect to "evil" (in the sense given above), which includes anything God Himself establishes for His ultimate purpose.

Again we refer to Isaiah's words:

Isaiah 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

The concept of evil coming "indirectly" from God (who is not evil Himself, nor does He create "evil things" as people often think of "evil things"), is troublesome for some. Nonetheless, it is true, as there is but One Creator, and it is He who restricts His light in people and in situations to bring about His desired result. In Hebraic writings this is often called the "right hand" (merciful) and "left hand" (judgmental) of God.

 

“Oh children of Adam!  Let not shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents [Adam and Hawwa] out of Jannah, stripping them of their garments to show them their private parts.  Shaytan and his tribe certainly see you from where you cannot see them.  Indeed, We made the shayaateen (devils) friends of anyone who disbelieves.” [Koran Surah Al-A’raf 7: 27]


C

 THE CHOICE :  YOU WILL BE LIKE GODS

Tempted by serpent, Eve ate of the fruit, and she then persuaded Adam to eat of the fruit. Adam and Eve violated the commandment not to eat of the tree of the knowledge. 
They have now made the choice of living using their knowledge refusing to live with faith alone.

 Wait, there is more to it.  Reread the passage again.

Gen 3:4-7  "Then the serpent said to the woman,
You will not surely die.
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Adam was created only a little lower than Elohim.  Here are the translations

Psalm 8:5
 KJV For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

However, the majority of modern versions tell us that Adam was made a little lower than God himself. After all after the unique Son of God who was co-substantial with God the Father and God the Son, the unique created Son of God who was the image and likeness of God was Adam.

ASV For thou hast made him but little lower than God, And crownest him with glory and honor.

RSV Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor.

NIV   You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings...

The temptation presented was that Adam who was the paragon of creation who was created only a little lower than the God, the Vice Regent of God would also have the status equal to God,  "like God", who was able to make the physical laws for the world and control it. Then instead of taking the absolute standard from “what is God” and his character and will to that of “What is that I want”, “I make the rule”, I am the absolute”.

Aham Brahmasmi = In me is Brahman: interpreted as I am Brahman = I am the Supreme God
The Christian teaching is that every individual is part of God and God is imminent or inside every man. But God transcend cosmos.


Naan Kadavul (I am God)

“Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit: तत् त्वम् असि or तत्त्वमसि),
a Sanskrit sentence, translated variously as "That art thou," "That thou art," "Thou art that," "You are that," or "That you are," is one of the Mahāvākyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Sanatana Dharma which according to the Advaita introduced by Sankara identifies man with the ultimate reality and truth which exactly was the Adamic Fall.

 


http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/manchris/manchr8.htm

Steps  in Lucifer’s Fall

However later  reformers tried to correct this heresy by interpreting this mahavakya in different ways.  

   Shuddhadvaita - oneness in "essence" between 'tat' and individual self; but 'tat' is the whole and self is a part.

  Vishishtadvaita - identity of individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat', Brahman.

  Dvaitadvaita - equal non-difference and difference between the individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.

  Dvaita of Madhvacharya – insisted as the real mahavakya as “Sa atma- a tat tvam asi” or “Atman, thou art not that”. In refutation of Mayavada (Mayavada sata dushani), text 6, 'tat tvam asi" is translated as "you are a servant of the Supreme (Vishnu)"

  Acintya Bheda Abheda - inconceivable oneness and difference between individual self as a part of the whole which is 'tat'.Thus in the historical development of St.Thomas Christianity, Sankara brought in the heresy of Advaita which separated from historical Thomas Christians to form modern  Hinduism.

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.   Then the eyes of both of them were opened"

It seems to say they realized that they were Gods

So the essential sin was an attempt to usurp power - an assertion of self.  The significance of this is not usually understood by the theologians because of the lack of understanding of the relation between the creation and God. 

Many theologians argue that God cannot have any material part.  The question then will be, how did this matter come into existence and where does it exist.  If originally God alone existed matter when created should be part of God or it existed within the body of God which he created himself.  Within this body God created various organisms. According to Kabbalah, humankind is like a group of cells. Each person in fact this includes all living creatures whatever realm (material, Mental, Spiritual or Divine) represents a cell or an organ or a part of the body of God.  This picture is reflected in the concept of Church as the body of Christ and form a vital part of the theology of Paul.

Adam Kadamon, was originally a unified being consisting of all creation.  The health of the Adam Kadamon depended on the synchronized functioning of each part of the body.  When one organ refuse to acknowledge the orders of the brain and start reproducing themselves to get advantage over others we have a cancer growth. 

Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth.  Cancer harms the body when damaged cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.

More dangerous, or malignant, tumors form when two things occur:

· a cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymph systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion

·  that cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.

When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat. In a selfish world, as time goes on the life of individuals becomes a living hell.  Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body are programmed today by God to follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Cancer disregards this order from the brain and continue to multiply.  Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control which eventually lead to the death of the host..

 

Thus the peculiarity of cancer is that it kills all the living organisms in its host and in that process kills itself.  In order that the whole creation to be preserved, God had to get involved to curb the sin and its consequent pain and suffering.

Instead of the whole creation in all dimensions eventually getting corrupted and live eternally in pain, the damaged cell is programmed to die.

Hell was created by Adam and Eve by their disobedience. May it was some other creature who fell into selfishness and sin in the cosmos before Adam.    This selfish act is what the Bible call ‘Sin”. 

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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