I ask myself why we keep calling the Fall “the Fall”.
I for a long time thought that I have to call it so, as it seemed to be the correct term to easily have people know what I am talking about.
Now I believe that it just evokes bad associations. It somehow demands seeing ourselves as worthless worms, or at least faulty, disobedient, sinful creatures, imperfect, broken, unworthy.
Have you ever noticed that it is only called the fall in subtitles in some translations of the Bible?
What then would you call it instead?
I believe that it is the emergence of self-awareness, consciousness, even self-consciousness.
We can see that in phrases like “their eyes were opened, and they saw that they were naked,” which lead to shame and hiding the differences they consciously recognized now between themselves.
But what about sin, then? Is it a matter of obedience? I think that this is precisely the categorization error we made by calling it the fall.
Is it about sin being a disease? Even though this is what the early church believed, and the eastern church still does, I think that still does not really fully express what it is all about.
For me, sin is a natural consequence of becoming aware, and becoming conscious is a necessary step in God’s plan.
One could say it short and sweet: ABBA. Not the Swedish pop band, but the name Jesus gave the Father.
ABBA, or 1221: from unity to duality, and then from duality to unity.
We lived in an unaware unity with God, and becoming conscious was only possible by also becoming self-aware and see and experience separation.
In this state of duality, of dualism we develop an ego, undergird it with moral and ethics, become individuals, embrace grace, before stepping again slowly into unity. But this time, it is mature, aware, individuated unity. Us being mature members of the trinity, with the trinity becoming a multitude.
Is sin the decision to not mirror God in this world? Yes, but is it bad?
By choosing this route to become God’s mature counterpart and complementation, what came from this decision might look like disobedience, might seem like a disease, might present itself like moral failure, but is it?
I see it as the path that we chose. We decided to “learn the hard way,” I could say. We decided to grow by developing an ego and fight to get it under control.
We begin our journey unaware, develop the ego, use external rules, regulations, examples, socialization to slowly get a grip on it, develop it further with other motivations within the framework we have learned, and become aware of our need for grace, learn to love all people, and realize that we are the “I am.”
But was it really a decision that brought us here? Did we have an alternative?
First, we have to decide whether we look at the story in Genesis as the beginning of humanity or the beginning of each individual life. For me, it is both.
When we see the story as the beginning of the individual life, with the baby living in the womb, unaware, unconscious, before being driven out to be set on a journey of ever greater awareness, we might ask: did we decide to become a conscious being?
If so, I at least do not remember that. But we could imagine that the divine spark within us, the true self, existed before conception and had a say.
This was how Jewish people understood Genesis 3. It is situated not in this world, and only started being here when God clothed them with skins of animals, namely our skin.
But no matter whether this was true or we just needed an interpretation of what happened: we in our aware, conscious state will try to find reasons and explanations for why we suffer, why we live with bad consequences of our behavior.
It could well be that there was no alternative. It could well be that the two trees are just one, and it is the mindset we entertain that has us see one or the other, dualism or non-dualism.
Could it be that therefore “the Fall” was plan A, and there was no alternative and never a need for one?
The journey into maturity through dualism makes us aware of all the faults and errors we have, and thus we develop shame and guilt. It makes us aware of things like death, pain, suffering, stuff that happens. It does make us also aware of consequences of our actions, bad and good.
To change, we have to come up with categories like good and evil. We want to learn how to prevent the evil consequences, and enhance the good ones. As I said, we first have to become aware of it, then we need external teachers and motivations, before we break free of external control and through individualism and grace come to a deeper understanding and self-authoring.
Once we learned to discern, we no longer need stiff categories. We will just produce and radiate life.
Why can we not just accept our life and live it?
I offer you a future-oriented explanation of what is happening to us:
We are suffering the consequences of our actions and are aware of the world to become who we already are, to break through into greater awareness.
Diabolos does mean “through the fall,” but it first means “through casting down”. It is through casting down ourselves or others, through seeing ourselves as lacking, that we fall.
So let’s learn from what happens to us. Let’s see through it into the Father’s face, shown in Jesus and each of us. Let’s grow and mature.
If you need external rules to do so, do it in love. If you need to break free, do so in kindness. And if you discover grace, don’t judge those that have not yet discovered it.