In an earlier post, I happened to bring up old Lucy-boy and the fact that he set out to sabotage our programme earlier this evening. As such, since I was already on the topic, I decided to do one more post. This particular one is a little bit of insight into what I learnt about the existence of evil and how it came to be.
A very long time ago, there existed a place beyond Earth where there was only beauty, and light. Neither death nor violence existed, and the beings who lived in that time were always happy, contented and at peace. It seems like an almost impossible scene to envision, so the closest experience that might help you view that world would be to do the following: Think on the most amazing memory you have ever had. That moment of ultimate peace and happiness where you were doing what you love, with whom you love, in a place that you never wanted to leave because it seemed like the most magnificent place you’d ever visited. If you were able to do that, magnify it by forever, i.e. imagine never ever having to leave that period in time. Imagine never experiencing any of the miseries that occurred before it or after. Once you’re able to hold on to that muse, you have officially tasted a portion of what the place we’ll call Heavenville was like.
In Heavenville, there were gardens that were filled with fruit trees of every kind; far more than ever existed on the Earth we know. The trees were always in season, and the fruits were never rotten. There were no leaves to clean up after because they never fell from the trees, and believe it or not, there was one extra special tree in the garden that bore a different fruit for every month of the year. For all of those people who spend hours gardening, understand that in Heavenville, gardening was one of the main pursuits. Flowers were well cared for, and all the gardens that existed in Heavenville could be enjoyed without the irritable task of weeding. Things like asthma, and allergies did not exist, so no one was worried about leaning over to smell a tulip, or rose or to caress a morning glory flower. The insects were all well behaved, and they neither stung nor felt a reason to sting because they never knew the meaning of danger or fear.
Amidst all of this, as with every community that has ever existed, there was a hierarchy. One great monarch, who everyone simply called God, His Son who was an extension of Him, and an equal in every way, the Holy Spirit who was a diaphanous expression of them, and then the angels and sons of God. In the group of angels there existed archangels, seraphims, cherubims; in short, many forms of angels who were all blessed with immortality. They all had gifts that ranged from musicians who sang all the ranges and beyond that we can contemplate, players of the harp, the flute, a fancier version of the piano and organ, instruments that we have never seen, instruments that we no longer use, and instruments that we still can’t help but love today. In charge of these talented musicians was Lucifer.
Lucifer was one of the most beautiful angels that all of Heavenville had seen. He was admired, and respected, and he conducted the mass choir of Heavenville like no choirmaster ever had in the enormity of the universe. Like all the members of Heavenville, he strode along the streets of gold, and ambled through the gates of pearl, ruby and other precious stones. He flew across the skies and gleamed when the luminous presence of God touched his armament. His breastplate of gold, rubies, diamonds, emerald, etc. was impeccably fitted upon his body, and his face was gorgeous. Lucifer was a handsome angel, beloved by God, and The Son, respected by the entire heavenly host, and given a position below the Son of God. If desires existed in the beings of Heavenville, then Lucifer was the representative and embodiment of those desires.
Then something awful happened.
Lucifer developed pride.
He looked at the Son of God, a being who mankind later came to address as Jesus the Christ, and became envious. In Lucifer’s eyes, Jesus the Christ was an equal. He was around in the heavenly hierarchy for almost as long as Jesus. Respected, admired, loved, handsome, physique beyond imagination, clothing that fit like a love, commander of the greatest choir to have ever existed: how could he not be equal to the Son of God. Therefore, if he was equal to the Son of God, then he too should be worshiped. He too deserved to hear the words “Glory, Glory, Glory!” uttered in reverence with heads bowed and eyes averted. Sure, he hadn’t created the world. True he hadn’t designed the worlds of Heavenville and beyond. Yes, he most definitely did not form the bodies of the beings who worshiped the God that had blessed him with amazing gifts and a position. So what? In the waters of the river that ran through the kingdom of Heavenville his face shown back at him, contrasting stunningly with the glow of his clothing. His voice when raised in song, caused all the other members of the heavenly host to fall silent and listen in wonder at the marvel God had blessed him with. He was Lucifer. He was ravishing. He was third-in-command. He was IMPORTANT! In fact, who was this Jesus that got all the glory that should have come to him? Who was this supposed Son of God that sat at the God’s right hand and took part in all of the heavenly counsels and councils? Who was this being that walked everywhere and beamed everywhere and touched everything beside the all important Father of Heavenville? Nothing. Nothing in comparison to him Lucifer.
So Lucifer decided that it was time to take matters into his own hands. It was time to overstep his position and become even more powerful. Perhaps one day he could even supersede God! Yes! It was possible, but first he needed an army. First he needed to show his fellow citizens of Heavenville that they were not living in an Utopia. What he needed to do was show the praise-obsessed members of Utopia that they were actually living in Dystopia. Once they understood that the monarchy, the hierarchy that they worshiped, and adored was really just an illusion of power-hogging glory, then he Lucifer could take control of the reins and stand as commander of the entire UNIVERSE rather than just some measly choir group.
Lucifer planted the first seeds of dissent among his sisters and brothers, his admires, followers, friends. “Look!”, he said. “Don’t you see how that God is forcing us into worshiping h-Him? Can’t you see that He is pretending to be holy and just, but that really He neither knows nor understands mercy? Look at Him on His throne, acting perfect and benign. Observe how He holds you indebted to Him by giving you everything you need. Take a peek at all those meetings He only invites Jesus to. View! View! View how smugly that so-called Son of His is smiling from His right hand position on the throne.”
At first no one believed him. No one paid heed to the mutterings of Lucifer. He was beyond magnificent, but he wasn’t God. Then one by one, the roots of doubt took firm ground. They stretched, and wiggled their tiny hair-like limbs into fissures and holes. Was it just them, or did God sound extra patronising today? Did he really need to extend that golden road by one foot to the neighbouring hamlet, or was He actually skimping on the building materials in the North-zone, but favouring the East-Enders? Holy Heavenly Father! Did He just take Jesus with him into another one of those high profile meetings? How could he? Lucifer was also high up in the chain of command, and he should be invited too. God was being unfair to Him! How could he?!
And the roots continued to grow. Murmurs spread throughout the kingdom of Heavenville, and rumours leaked into the worlds beyond. Lucifer was being mistreated by the supposedly “just” God. Lucifer, that choirmaster whose tunes were sung throughout the universe in love and devotion to his darling God. Lucifer, who spent millenia sitting at the feet of God planning out compositions, mumbling words of praise in every note, tone, and semi-tone. Poor Lucifer. This had to be fixed. It had to be corrected!
Lucifer smiled at his handy-work. The angels were slowly coming over to his side, and it seemed that God had either turned a blind eye to his activities, or he was truly blind. Good. Very good. The journey to power would be much easier now. So what if God could see the future? He had obviously given his beloved Lucifer so much power that His far-seeing eye had been poked by one of his 12-month changing trees. Maybe what he had been telling the other angels about God was actually true. Perhaps it wasn’t a pack of lies. No, no, no, no. There was no way that he could really be the first proud, lying, arrogant, rumour-monger that set foot, and wing into the universe.
You see friends, Lucifer had become so occupied with his little plot to rise to power that he actually began to believe some of what he was speaking, and thinking. In his heart he knew the truth, but like the best liars, the most practiced, he knew how to lie to himself with the best results. He had all the practice in the universe on the most holy of beings, corrupting his own mind completely was the easiest task to accomplish.
When God looked out toward His kingdom. He saw every single move that Lucifer made. All the hurtful lies, and fantasies that he spread to attempt to wrest power from Him snaked into the ears of God. He saw and He knew. His beloved Lucifer was spiralling out of control. His Lucifer wanted to steal the power from the two beings who had created him, and given him the power, talent and beauty that he was so proud of. It would be so easy to smite him with some awful death, but he was a misguided child, and there was still hope for his heart if he would let go of his pride. God knew though, He knew that Lucifer would never turn away from the path. He made appeals. God spoke to him in private, offered special statements in the usual conferences and mass meetings that were worded especially to meet his heart…..yet Lucifer was stubborn. He had gone too far and he didn’t want to turn back now. He had begun to believe his own words–the words he had once uttered about God being unmerciful. In his eyes, there was no way that God was going to allow an attempted usurper back into His good graces. He would return to God, and God would demote him, and there was just no way that he could allow that humiliation and embarrassment to ever occur. It was all or nothing, and God watched as Lucifer turned his back on His open arms. God stared in dismay as the beloved choirmaster of the entire universe went against every single lyric, chord, melody and harmony he had ever created.
There was war.
Lucifer and Jesus led an army each. One third of the hosts of Heavenville fought with and for Lucifer. One third of the hosts believed that there was no turning back; that God would never forgive them; that he would punish beyond comprehension. Rip their wings from their backs, brand them with flaming swords, pull off toe by toe, burn their tongues for daring to utter grievances against the most holy, omniscient, omnipotent One. They were doomed if they didn’t, and doomed if they did. So the followers of Lucifer fought with a vengeance. They fought with every bit of power and strength that they had been given, and they used it against the One who had given it to them. They battled on and on. Waging war in Utopia. In the gardens that never decayed. Under the branches of the trees that bore 12 fruits per year. They trampled over the roses, the hydrangeas; crawled through the morning glories, and for the first time got dirt and grime on to their spotless, white raiment. They fought. Swords flew. Blades gleamed. Metal clanged against metal. Rubies fell from breastplates. Diamonds fell off swords. Crowns of gold disappeared under bushes, and into the river. The streets of gold which once shone with the glory of God were crowded with a fighting mass.
Lucifer and his army were thrown from Heavenville. The gates of the cities were locked to them. God refused to destroy them. He had given them Freedom of Will and they had exercised it. They had observed His method of operation and chosen to misunderstand every olive branch of reconciliation He had extended. They had made their choice. They would forever remain His beloved creations, but they could not remain among the two thirds of Heavenville that were faithful to Him. The sons of God of the other worlds would receive the official decrees to beware of the being they once welcomed and pampered with love. Lucifer and his motley bunch of misguided followers would no longer be welcome anywhere in the entire universe.
God left them their own devices, and set out to make a new creation. Man. He spoke a new world into being and decided to name it Earth. In Earth He placed one of His most favourite things on Earth, a garden, which would be known as The Garden of Eden. The animals that would inhabit Earth, the lights, and the waters that would be on the Earth were spoken into place. On the last day of creation, He placed His hand into the muds of Earth and formed Adam. Adam would not be immortal immediately. He needed some time to adjust to the new life, and make the decision for himself that would either allow him to be immortal or join Lucifer and his associates.
So Adam was set loose in the gardens of Earth and given the task of caring for things. He cared for the animals, and made friends with them. They spent time together, enjoying the tranquility of the place God had put them all in. During his walks with God in the evenings, Adam was usually warned by God about the existence of Lucifer. To Adam, that being’s wily abilities only appeared to be some strange, and mystical fantasy, so he rarely paid much mind to it. Instead, he was more concerned about his loneliness. All the creatures of the Earth had companions and mates, they had friends of their own kind, but he Adam was companion-less. God on seeing the desires of Adam’s heart fashioned a woman for Adam using one of Adam’s ribs. He did it to remind Adam that the new companion that he would have would be the help-meet, and companion that he had wanted. She would be by his side in everything that they both did, and they would and should always remain together, side by side, performing the tasks of the garden.
Once Eve, Adam’s wife and help meet, came into existence, they worked together moving through the garden and befriending the animals. They were visited by others from the surrounding worlds, and constantly they were reminded that they should watch out for Lucifer. He might sound like a vague, nebulous name that would never set foot on Earth, but he had once been among the heavenly hosts and would not think twice to pull Adam and Eve into the place-less limbo he and his ex-angelic hosts now endured. In addition to those warnings, was the one constant gentle reminder from God: “Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you do, you both shall surely die.”
Of course, just like the warnings about Lucifer, those entered one ear and passed out the other with only small trails remaining. As such, when one fine day a serpent entered the garden that none had noticed before, no one paid it any mind. When Eve left Adam’s side instead of walking with him around the gardens as usual, no one bothered to remind her that she and Adam were meant to stay together. Ergo, when Eve found herself drawn toward the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, no alarm bells rang in her head. She didn’t shy away in surprise when she first noticed that a creature, a serpent of garden had actually decided to rest itself upon the branches of the forbidden tree.
Curious as to why the snake had chosen to make that area his resting spot, she became drawn into conversation with him. One could call that mistake number two on her part. First, drifting away from her companion who had always provided the perfect equilibrium, and then speaking to the serpent. If one has ever wondered where that old bit of advice “don’t talk to strangers” came from, that moment may have been the very birth of the phrase, for do you know what Eve did? She opened up her mouth, and her ears to the strange snake that was walking on the tree (Yes, snakes walked then).
Upon being drawn into conversation, Eve became enchanted by the silvery, remarkable speech of the serpent.
**(My Paraphrase here most definitely)**
Serpent: Eve, beautiful creature. Wife of Adam, and well-created example of the finesse of God, how art thou? Enjoying the weather today?
Eve: Well…..I’m not accustomed to talking with your section of creation and receiving responses, but yes, yes I am enjoying both the compliments and the weather. And thou? How art thou liking thine position on the tree? Mighty high up, aren’t thee?
Serpent: Friend, thou speakest the truth, but thou seest not how gorgeous this tree is? It’s leaves art the greenest I’ve ever viewed. The branches are the strongest, thickest, biggest, and most magnificent I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across…..and the fruit….
Eve: The fruit? Dost thou mean the fruit God said would kill Adam-darling and I if we ventured to taste it?
Serpent: But of course! Don’t tell me you have never eaten this most phenomenal of fruits?! It fills my mouth with the saccharine power of honey, watery sugars of a watermelon, the tangy nectar of the tangerine and orange combined, and juiciness of the reddest, ripest cashew hanging from the far end of the garden! It is the most palatable thing I’ve tasted in the whole of the universe!”
Eve: But…God said it was…bad…
Serpent (laughing patronisingly): Of course he said so Wife of Adam. It’s called the Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of Good and Evil. Perhaps…..God doesn’t want you to taste the fruit…. because….
Eve (nervously, glancing around the garden): Because…..
Serpent: His High and Mighty Righteousness doesn’t want you to be as intelligent, witty, and glorious as He! Errm….I mean he doesn’t want to share the wonders of the stunning cacophony of flavours with you! He doesn’t want you to have the knowledge of their sweet delight….and the wonders beyond….
Eve: So….we won’t die if we eat the fruit? And we’ll become more like God too? God is amazing! I would love to be more like Him!”
Serpent sotto voce (Women, if this one is so easy now, I know her generations to come will be nothing but fresh clay between my fingers. You messed up with another creation, Big Guy): Eve, thou sawest me on the tree. I am still on the tree. Therefore, I am not dead, and the fruit has not killed my humble personage. So…..go ahead….Here, let me point thou to a ripe one near the bottom. Let’s enjoy a good bite together…..Then, just like God, thou shalt have the knowledge.
Eve is lost in the fruit. She and Lucifer continue to have their conversation, discussing God, the elephants who happened to pass by a watering hole not too far from them, and the whale who usually stops by in the afternoon with his dolphin friend. They observe a lion who is tickling his lamb friend with his tail, and tugging playfully on her ear. Eve looks up, realising the time, bids the serpent good-bye, grabs one of the fruits for Adam and races off to find him so they can get ready for their usually walk with God. She feels a bit strange, sort of airy….exposed…..vulnerable, but she ignores it. It is a strange sensation, one that she neither understands nor knows.
Adam: Eve!!! I’ve been looking all over for you! Why weren’t you by my side? It gets so lonely without you!
Eve (in a seductive voice she never knew she had): So you’re saying you missed me?
She runs a finger along his arm, tickling him just under his chin before finally tapping his nose. The other hand holds the extra fruit behind her back, waiting to offer it to him at the right time.
Adam (with naivete and confusion): What is this “miss” thing you speak of? And whyever has your mode of speech changed so….drastically? And you’ve never done that with your finger before. Eve….what have you been doing?
Eve: Adam, darling…..honey…..sun of my life, second only to God, stop worrying, and see what I’ve brought for you!
Adam (completely lost now): Worry? What is worry? Eve, what in the name of our beloved God are you speaking about? Let’s hurry down to the meeting point before God arrives ahead of us!
Eve (pouting slightly): Wait, Adam! Forget about God. I am here in front of you, and I am trying to tell you something. So, slow down and listen.
Adam (realising that something is wrong): Eve…..my love…..what did you do?
Eve (shrugging coquettishly): I picked a fruit.
Adam: A fruit? And you’re behaving like this? What tree did you get this fruit from?
Eve: First take a bite, and then I’ll tell you. (While handing it to him) A very good friend of mine from close to the centre of the garden was visiting. We got to talking (and as Adam takes a bite), and he strolled down from his perch on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and offered me a bite. I took a taste, and nothing happened. I’ve been eating it all afternoon, until I ran into you that is.
Adam (now half way through the fruit, using words and phrases he never knew before): What the…! What do you mean you took from the Tree of— Oh good God!! You disobeyed Him, and you took me along with you!”
Eve: Adam, you already knew what it was. Don’t pretend.
Adam: I guess, in a way…. I couldn’t imagine living life without you again. It would be so–
Eve: Lonely. Yes, I know. Now let’s go before we’re late for our meeting with God.
Adam: But Eve, haven’t you noticed something? Since I’ve eaten the fruit I’ve had strange feelings….and I feel…naked….Exposed…
Eve: Naked? We’ve never been naked before. It’s a strange word….and yet slowly I’m beginning to understand it’s meaning. I’ve never noticed how your triceps and biceps rippled before…..or the way your abdomen bridged into a perfect pack of squares ranging in size or–
Adam: I have to say I’ve never noticed the way your waist curved so delicately before……and were your palms always this soft, and so pleasing to the touch?
Enters God, knowing what they’ve done but being the patient parent as always.
God: Adam!! Eve! My children, where art thou? Did you enjoy the stroll over by the west side of the garden? I sent a new type of tiger there especially for you. White fur, black stripes, ice blue eyes. Fantastic creatures I knew you would love! Why art thou not approaching me though? Is something wrong?
Adam & Eve: We….we….we were hiding from you, my God. Putting together some fig leaves and such to clothe our nakedness while you searched for us.
God: Nakedness? Where did you hear that word? Who taught you that? How do you know you’re naked?
Adam: God, I….I….I’m so sorry!! The woman strayed from me, and well you know how these female creatures are. She got to talking, and somehow returned with the forbidden fruit…..I….I took a bite.
Eve: It wasn’t me God! Don’t listen to, Adam. It was the serpent. He was walking along the tree, and called me to him….and before I knew it we were eating and chatting right at the roots of the forbidden tree.
God (his voice thundering through the garden): Serpent!! Lucifer! I know you’re here! Show yourself! Snake, from here on, you shall no longer walk like the rest of the creatures of the Earth. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust for the part you played in the entrance of sin onto Earth. Leave my presence!! Adam, Eve, you too will also have to leave the garden. I can’t have you anywhere near the Tree of Life after having a taste of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If that were to happen, sin would live forever and you and your children would suffer for all of eternity. I could neither allow you nor my other worlds to suffer the horrors of sin for generations times infinity.
For the first time a creature is slain in the entire world. Lambs of the garden are killed to clothe Adam and Eve, and they are sent away from the garden to endure the consequences of their disobedience–death, and the pain, labour and misery that accompanies its arrival. An angel with a flaming sword is placed to protect the Tree of Life from the now polluted hands of the sinners. They cannot be allowed to gain immortality while they carry the corrupted essence of the Forbidden Fruit. They have made their choice, and their generations to come must face the consequences of their actions.God chose not to destroy Lucifer, but eventually, Lucy-boy’s time is coming, and in the meantime he’ll be out and about gathering more friends for the journey to his final end.
That was the version of the story I learnt about sin’s entrance into the world. The ensuing result was human being after human being making wrong choice after wrong choice, and blaming the consequences on God. When they were unwilling to do so, Lucifer stirred up the pot, adding his own spices and passing the stew off as a meal from the Master Chef– God.