Buddhism and Adam and Eve
The story of the garden of Eden.
“Adam and Eve took from the tree the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.”
Before knowledge of good and evil – which is judgment – there is the “One Taste” of pure experience, pure awareness, pure being, innocent of comment and contamination. Mara demons – which are the likes and dislikes of the ‘I’ – want us (pure awareness) to ‘enjoy’ and then the ‘I’ feeds off our embarrassment and guilt, feeling ‘naked’ and exposed. Thus, we spend our lives covering up and trying to appear better than others. Don’t we feel guilty and/or superior most of the time?
It’s difficult to notice our own inner demons; it’s easier to see them when we criticise others, and are therefore their demons; this, of course, works in reverse too. We feel this way because, if we are doing this to others, then they must be doing it to us. We suspect that our weaknesses are being observed and exploited, while we are doing exactly the same to others. This is merely pure being observing our own silliness. Crazy!
When we become involved in judgement, the concepts of good and bad (evil) arise, attraction and repulsion become established, emotions explode, actions take place and a complex belief system ensues.
A yogi in isolation sits in a cave and ‘is’, eating only what is given. The great yogi Milarepa merely ate the nettles in front of his cave. Every time he went in and out, his body got stung, and so he thought, “I should clear them away”, but didn’t bother as this would be a waste of time and a distraction, when he could become enlightened in the next moment.
This way of considering the story of Adam and Eve is something to consider from a Buddhist viewpoint. It could be that the “old realisers” wrote in a more flowery, poetic way, which unfortunately came to be taken literally. A story is an image that is easier to remember, but it has to have reasonable meaning.
Two translation versions :King James and The New International
King James Version
1 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?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 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.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
God Arraigns Adam and Eve
8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
New International Version
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,
3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
Oh, I see you have one already!
😀 😀 😀