And their eyes were open and they were conscious that they had no clothing and they made themselves coats of leaves stitched together.Gen 3:7
God most probably lives outside of time. For sure he is not subject of time. There is nothing but through him.
This tells me that God certainly had enough time to think through creation and his plan with man beforehand, wouldn’t you say?
Of all possible scenarios he maybe went through – I do not know whether a perfect God finds the perfect scenario on first go, thus bear with me in humanizing God a bit – the one we are in is the best to reach the goal God wants.
This is comforting and puzzling at the same time.
Among many other things, it lets me look at the creation story and especially the fall differently.
The Fall traditionally
We look at the fall as a terrible story. Man blew it and made all this necessary. We often look for somebody to blame.
Was it Eve that fell for the serpent’s ensnarement?
Was it Adam that knew better and did not control, sorry lead his wife better?
Was it the serpent, used by the enemy?
Or was it God? Why did he institute a rule like this in the first place?
There are many things we do not understand in our traditional understanding. Why was this rule necessary? Why can sin only be forgiven with bloodshed? Why was it necessary for God to give his own son? Why would God start with a single man, a family, a people, before opening it up for everybody? He is sovereign, he could have done differently.
We start coming up with answers to those questions that fall short, and when this is pointed out, retreat to the notion of faith.
Well, we just have to believe it.
But maybe, just maybe, we ask the wrong questions, as much as they make sense.
Maybe it is not about guilt and the resulting why-questions.
Maybe, what-for is the much better construct. What is God aiming for?
Doesn’t the bible say that God declares the end from the beginning?
A new Perspective
At the end of the bible we see God’s final destination: the bride of Christ. He wants a wife for his son. He wants to share his divinity, his fellowship, his creativity, his eternity with somebody else.
Let’s be blunt and outside of Christian humility: God wants to form another Goddess and integrate her into himself. A many-membered Goddess. Father, Son, Wife, and Holy Spirit.
This is us!
Never before has anything like this been done – unless one believes that the phrase “his only begotten son” point to Jesus having been literally begotten.
Here, something totally new is to be done: creation becomes creator, subject becomes God.
With this highest goal in mind that has ever been set, we might look at the fall differently.
The verse we talk about today shows us that man’s eyes were opened and they became conscious. First, they had a new perspective for the natural and external around them. But in reality, they became spiritually conscious.
They now knew good and bad.
Our spiritual consciousness separates us from animals: to be able to think about thinking, to be self-aware, to be able to make decisions based on reason.
This is necessary for love. No love without the possibility to chose to hate or neglect.
If God then is love, he certainly knows the difference between good and evil, he certainly can make decisions to hate.
For us to be like God, we have to become love. For us to harmoniously fit into the enlarged trinity, we have to be love, because a kingdom divided cannot stand.
It was therefore necessary to give us choice. It was necessary to introduce boundaries, because in order to choose, there need to be options. Options are divided by boundaries. Think of water, land, air, and outer space. The boundary between water and land is the seashore.
With boundaries, God introduces dualism. Good and evil, life and death, me and you, God and us. Death is the boundary, since absence of life.
The goal of it all is unity. Monism, just one. Hear, oh Israel, your God is oneness.
A new Look at Creation
I frankly do not believe that the creation story is an accurate historical account. For one, God told us to look at nature as it reveals himself. Science is a close look at nature.
But let’s keep the artificial debate of science versus religion out of the picture.
What I believe the creation story to be is a very metaphoric and rich story of the beginnings.
God made the universe and when it was ready, man became spiritually aware and self-aware. He became capable of making decisions based on criteria such as good and evil.
So far, man was not aware of hardship and toil, pain and joy any more than animals. Now, man started to ask questions about the why and what-if. Creativity was used to make things easier – tools were invented. On the other hand, weapons were invented just to have more. More food, more security, more power.
So far, man had not looked for greater meaning. He was one with everything. Now, he started a search for God. First very primitive, he started to shape God after his own understanding. But man grew, shaped by history, society, and his search for and interaction with God.
It took ages for humanity to understand ever more complex principles of how the world works. And it took ages for humanity to grasp the deeper meaning of life.
But just as we grew in our understanding of the world, we grew spiritually. We realised that there is but one God – that in itself took some time. We realised that God is personal with three persons in prefect unity – a paradox we hardly get. We started to understand that we do not need to work for our salvation, but have it by grace through faith.
During all this time we stuck to what got us started in the first place – duality. Rules, like the one in the garden or the ten commandments, bring division, but God is about unity.
We also stuck to hierarchy. Only possible in duality, as it is rules that make some higher than others, we think of it as necessary. But again, God is about unity. No hierarchy in the trinity.
In William Paul Young’s book “The Shack”, God appears to Mack in the form Mack needs him at each moment. Form is also only possible in dualism. A form is defined by its shape and therefore boundaries. God has no form, but meets us in special forms for us to understand.
Spirit has no form, but is fluid.
We will leave dualism behind and become formless. In Revelation and in Paul’s letters, we are the body, the bride, the city, the multitude. Whatever is needed, we are. We are fluid.
History as portrayed in the bible, including Revelation, is therefore a story of man maturing. Especially Revelation shows us that we get rid of many dualistic elements, usually triggered by catastrophe, to become who we are to become.
Maybe God will not come back to earth, but we will grow able to see him and be with him. He has been here all the time.
We are therefore not responsible to follow rules, but to grow.