Essentials Of The Unification Principle
by Thomas Cromwell
7. The Human Fall
There is no denying that our world is far from the ideal of God's original purpose for the creation. Instead of being populated by happy and prosperous individuals living in harmonious families within a peaceful global community, the world is torn asunder by conflicts at all levels. Typically, life is an exercise in frustration and unfulfilled hopes that offers only occasional glimpses of a joyful and satisfying existence. Anyone who tries to do good finds himself confronted by strong opposing forces, both from the unprincipled aspect of his own nature as well as from evils within society. The struggle between good and evil that characterizes human activity on earth is the result of battles between good and evil within individuals.
Human history has seen some improvements in life on the external level, but these developments have been achieved against a background of unreconciled divisions between individuals, families, tribes and nations, divisions which have produced unending bloodshed and countless wars. The supreme efforts of the best men and women of history have failed to resolve the internal and external conflicts of humanity. Yet the God of true love could not have predestined humankind to live in a world of suffering and misery. What went wrong? What happened to God's ideal? How did human beings come to be at war with themselves, other people and nature? Why is it so difficult for humans to live the life of goodness they were made for?
The Bible and Koran offer specific accounts of the origin of evil in the first human beings, Adam and Eve, but these are symbolic stories of the human fall. Nevertheless, when properly interpreted, they reveal a real history of the original human alienation from God which is the source of unprincipled behavior that characterizes fallen relations in history and the world today. By understanding the meaning behind scriptural symbols, one can unlock the secrets of human sin and suffering and recognize the nature of the solution needed to restore humanity. This chapter offers an explanation of the human fall based on the Principle.
Adam, Eve and Evolution
Evolutionary theory contradicts a literal reading of scriptures, but the notion that God created the universe, including human beings, can be reconciled to scientific theories of evolution. The Principle recognizes the need for living things to grow through stages to reach completion, in this fully agreeing with evolutionary theories. Undoubtedly, the first human ancestors appeared on earth much earlier than the 6000 years ago suggested by scriptures. Evolutionary theories tend to confirm the origin of the human species in one place (most generally believed to be Africa), followed by dispersion to the four comers of the globe. This agrees with the Principle teaching that God initiated the creation of human beings with one man and one woman.
However, people are qualitatively different from animals, plants and minerals. The fundamental difference is precisely the human spirit, which enables men and women to know God and transcendent reality and to develop a high degree of love. Humans are the pinnacle of the creative work of God and as such are distinct from other beings, and cannot breed with them. The step from animal to human was realized through God's investment of His heart and dual attributes into the creation of man and woman. The Principle accepts the figures of scripture, Adam and Eve, as the first man and woman. It affirms that they were part of the evolutionary process and that they were endowed with the godly natures ascribed to them by religion.
The Origin of Evil and Satan
Before a doctor can prescribe treatment to cure a patient's illness, he must correctly diagnose the sickness. Likewise, before humans can rid the world of evil, they must discover evil's origin and learn how to eliminate it. A satisfactory explanation of evil must provide a true analysis of the root cause of human alienation from God and the sinful behavior that causes this alienation (with the resultant psycho-social ills and global problems). It should also give a credible basis for interpreting scriptural accounts of the origin of evil.
God is only good, wanting only love and goodness for His creation. For this reason, with the exception of fallen humans, everything in the cosmos exists according to one, perfect order, reflecting the goodness of the Creator, God. Within a nature of pure goodness how can there be a base for creating an evil being? Many Christians and Muslims attribute evil to Satan, but who created Satan? God would not have created Satan as an evil being because there is nothing evil within God. Furthermore, God's unceasing efforts to save His children from Satan and evil imply that human beings can indeed be saved. In other words, Satan's existence is not co-equal with God's, with Satan a competing creator of evil instead of good. If it were, the presence of evil in the creation would be everlasting, and evil would be a part of human life forever. This would mean that salvation from evil would be impossible and God's work to save humankind a fruitless exercise. This leads to the conclusion that Satan was created as a good being but failed to fulfill his original, God-given purpose.
Why does anyone need to know Satan? The identity of Satan is important insofar as evil is specific: certain attitudes and actions alienate humanity from God and thereby destroy the ideal of creation intended by God. Locating evil in the behavior of an individual being responsible for setting in motion a chain of events that plunged humanity into the darkness of ignorance and continuous suffering enables people today to identify and avoid (or oppose) evil behavior, which is the repetition of original evil acts. Satan is everywhere in the thoughts and activities of fallen men and women and needs to be identified in order to be defeated and permanently removed from human life.
The Bible describes Satan as a serpent, traditionally identified as the archangel Lucifer, while the Koran describes Satan as the jinn (or angel in some interpretations) Iblis. Whatever the exact identity, clearly Satan had a spiritual nature, since, according to these scriptures, he understood God and God's word and was able to communicate with the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. In the Bible and Koran Satan is described as having a masculine nature and is said to have been created to serve Adam and Eve. In this text, therefore, the spiritual being known as Lucifer or Iblis will simply be called the Servant. This title is also appropriate because the story of the fall is archetypal of many situations involving flesh and blood human beings.
The ability to acquire internal knowledge is an essential element of spiritual nature and to have such knowledge is to have responsibility. To take responsibility for what one knows, a person must have the power of choice, which is intrinsic to free will. Adam and Eve had to choose between obedience and disobedience to the commandment of God, which, according to scriptural accounts, prohibited them from eating the fruit of a particular tree. While the Jewish, Christian and Islamic scriptures leave ample room for diverse interpretations of what actually took place among the three key players in the world of God's original creation, they agree that Adam, Eve and the Servant all committed acts of disobedience. But what did God's prohibition really mean, and what was the nature of their disobedience? What could motivate disobedience in these pure creations of God, when, according to God's warnings, they had everything (including their lives) to lose by disobedience and everything to gain through obedience?
The Mission of Adam, Eve and the Servant
Adam and Eve were created by God to fulfill the purpose of human beings by realizing the three blessings. They were to grow through three stages to perfect their giving and receiving of love, first as a true son and daughter, then as a true brother and sister. Once mature as individuals they would become husband and wife and, finally, father and mother. As true parents they would give birth to true children whom they would raise according to God's will within the realm of His true love. Their family would be the starting point of a true clan, tribe, nation and world, and its mature members and descendants would be kings and queens in human society and lords of love over the rest of creation.
Adam and Eve were to inherit from God true love, life and lineage, and, through incarnating the image of God in creation, become the ancestors of true love, life and lineage for all humankind. Their lives were to be models of individual responsibility and maturity, and of harmonious existence with other people and nature. Their family was to embody the ideal of true love, actualizing a standard of loving relationships that would last forever as an example for all humankind.
Who was there to guide Adam and Eve in their growth? Without substantial parents to educate them during the period of their growth, how could they be expected to accomplish their predestined purpose? God was their invisible, spiritual Parent, but Adam and Eve were created as immature children who lacked the character needed to understand God directly. Since God did not have true parents to use in educating Adam and Eve, He assigned the Servant to raise His children. The Servant's mission was to guide them in their growth and the fulfillment of their purpose. He was given a position of great responsibility caring for Adam and Eve.
Men and women were created to be inheritors of God's parental heart, to be His children, while the other spiritual entities were to be His servants. Although servants have their own value in the creation, their relationship to God is not as intimate as that of His children. God loves all the creation but the capacity of children to receive the love of God is greater than that of servants. Therefore, the parent-child relationship between God and humans is more profound than the master-servant relationship between God and the Servant. Furthermore, a servant must be humble to the parents and the children of the family he serves, always respecting and deferring to the special intimacy of the parent-child relationship.
The Fall of Adam and Eve
Something went drastically wrong. Instead of educating them about God's love and truth and their purpose in life, the Servant led them into rebellion against God, inducing them to lose their purity and their relationship with their spiritual Parent. In the darkness of their separation from God, they created a family of self-centered love that was ignorant of God and became the dwelling of Satan. Instead of establishing a tradition of true love, life and lineage that could be passed from generation to generation, Adam and Eve created a legacy of satanic love, life and lineage: a world of hell instead of heaven.
Inheriting the perversion of his parents, Cain, their first son, killed his younger brother, Abel, in a fit of anger, revealing the depravity of his lineage and sealing the dismal fate of his family and its descendants. Thus Adam and Eve fell spiritually from a position of great importance as the children of God to become children of Satan who created a hell of false love in which men and women lived in ignorance of the love and truth of God.
The Motive and Process of the Fall
What force could have enticed Adam and Eve to disobey God? Since they were warned of the dire consequences of disobedience, there must have been a powerful temptation for them to do the very thing that God had forbidden them. That Adam and Eve succumbed to the desire to eat a literal fruit is not credible, given the abundance of natural foods available for their sustenance. Furthermore, they were warned that they would die if they "ate the fruit," a risk even a starving person would be most unlikely to take. After eating the forbidden fruit they continued to live for a long time, implying that the fruit they ate was not literal but represented something of deep significance to their spiritual lives. What's more, when confronted by God after the fall, Adam and Eve covered their sexual parts, suggesting guilt associated with love rather than the consumption of food (in which case it would have made more sense for them to cover their mouths in shame).
According to the Principle, the only force greater than that generated by truth, and therefore capable of leading humans to disobey the laws of God, is love. God's essence is heart, and the very reason He created was to express the love of His heart. Human purpose is fulfilled when individuals reciprocate God's love, giving joy to the Creator and His creation. Therefore, nothing in the creation can be superior to love. God's laws exist to guide humankind in the perfection of love: they exist to serve love. If it were otherwise, God's intention for the creation could not be fulfilled. Thus, the only force powerful enough to tempt Adam and Eve into disobeying God's commandment was love. The force of the Principle was not as powerful as the force of love, but the force of the Principle combined with the force of faith in God's commandment was stronger than the force of love. Therefore, as long as Adam and Eve obeyed the commandment they were strong enough to overcome the temptation to misuse love.
The aim of spiritual growth is the perfection of love. Thus, the most important task of the Servant was to teach Adam and Eve how to love according to God's will. But the Servant did not do as he was instructed by God.
A scenario of what took place in the fall, seen through the Principle and corroborated by prevalent patterns of sinful behavior evident throughout history and the contemporary world, pictures the following unfolding of events.
As Adam and Eve approached maturity, they greatly developed their capacity to give and receive true love, in the process embodying the beauty of their Creator more and more. This development of their spiritual natures meant they were growing in their ability to know and communicate with God directly, thus reducing their need for the Servant as a teacher and guardian.
The Servant sensed that his guardianship was to end and that he was to take up his permanent position as a servant of Adam and Eve. This change in the Servant's relationship with Adam and Eve did not change God's love for the Servant, but, given the wrong interpretation, it did create an opportunity for the Servant to feel he was losing God's love. From God's viewpoint, the Servant would completely fulfill his purpose, and become a greater object of love by humbly serving Adam and Eve. By assisting the creation in realizing its completion, he would have received maximum benefit. But from the Servant's point of view he was confronted with a loss of position and love.
Furthermore, the Servant had to face the truth that he was not to participate in the three blessings of Adam and Eve who were receiving God's love in a special way open only to human beings. Their beauty and potential to give and receive love was a cause of jealousy to the Servant, even though he was made by God to be fulfilled according to his own characteristics and potentialities. The Servant was unable to accept that his special role as God's representative to Adam and Eve was only for a limited time and that his permanent role and eternal value were as a beloved servant rather than a beloved son.
There were two possible responses the Servant could make to the changing situation. He could share God's increasing delight in the growth of His children, or he could feel jealous of God's parental affection for Adam and Eve and seek to replace the love from God he felt he was losing. Unfortunately he chose the second course by pursuing a relationship of love with Eve. He sought her love to benefit himself rather than caring for Adam and Eve and seeing that they got what they needed to reach maturity and fulfill the three blessings. The masculine nature of the Servant inclined him towards Eve, whose femininity was particularly attractive to him. But in pursuing this relationship with Eve, the Servant was leaving his position as a guardian of God's children and usurping the position of Adam, who was created to be the spouse of Eve.
When scriptures say the Servant encouraged Eve to eat of the fruit, in fact he encouraged Eve to share her love with him, disobeying God's instruction to the contrary. There were no literal fruits created by God that were not for human beings to enjoy. All fruits were to be taken in their season and for their proper purpose. Eve's mature love was to be given fully to Adam once she had reached womanhood and was qualified to be a true wife to him. Any other use of her womanly love was contrary to God's will.
Eve was attracted to the Servant because of his superior knowledge. But by responding to the Servant's unrighteous love (by agreeing to 'eat the fruit'), Eve lost her purity and her natural ability to give and receive true love. She learned perverted love from her teacher, losing her position as God's true daughter and her qualification to be a true wife and mother. Although the Servant was only a spiritual being and Eve was a human being living on earth, the love they consummated in their spiritual union was sexual and substantial to the point of violating the laws of true love. (The fact of substantial sexual relations between spirits and people on earth is well documented in the literature on male spirits, incubi, and female spirits, succubi, who are known to engage in sexual intercourse with humans.) God could not accept or participate in the relationship between the Servant and Eve because it had nothing to do with His standard of love. The unprincipled love relationship between them caused a spiritual fall, in which the two participants cut themselves off from the true love of God. (The fall in this text means loss of unity with God. It does not have any connotation of physical position.)
From her fallen position, Eve could no longer understand God and His will for her. She could see that Adam was good and, feeling ashamed of her disobedience, she could clearly understand that she had been deceived by the Servant. She realized that she should have waited to be blessed in marriage with Adam, once they had reached maturity. Eve was faced with a choice. She could repent of her error and confess her sin to Adam, thereby separating herself from the Servant and his false love, and allow Adam to help her restore her relationship with God. Or she could incriminate Adam in her mistake and try to lose her sense of loss and isolation from God by drawing him into a relationship of love with her by getting him to 'eat the -fruit' as well. She chose the second course of action. Adam, even though he knew it was clearly against God's commandment, abandoned his purity and entered into a relationship of premature conjugal love with her. It was premature because he had not yet reached full mind-body unity (the first blessing), which was a precondition for blessing in marriage, and because Eve, defiled by her relationship with the Servant, was in no condition to be his spouse. God could not recognize or participate in their love relationship because it violated the principles of true love. The ideal world of the three blessings could never be fulfilled through the practice of immature love. The premature sexual relationship between Adam and Eve is called the physical fall.
Eve's seduction of Adam did not liberate her from the misery she had fallen into; it merely drew Adam down to the same fallen realm. Through the fall, both Adam and Eve lost previously close relationships with God and were cut off from His true love. Now distant from God's heart and love, they created a distorted imitation of true man-woman love, patterned after Eve's relationship with the Servant. Thus, instead of receiving God's blessing in marriage and creating a true love family, Adam and Eve established a fallen standard of love in a family that was blocked from receiving the love of God. Their impure love became the standard inherited by their children and subsequent generations of humankind.
Each had reason to blame the other for their fall. Adam could blame Eve for having deceived him into a premature love relationship; Eve could blame Adam for not protecting her from the wiles of the Servant and for responding to her affections when he should have known that they were not sanctioned by God. By harboring such resentments for each other instead of repenting and seeking forgiveness from God and each other, Adam and Eve created a home of acrimony and bitterness, a loveless environment that was a dwelling for Satan rather than God. Raised in that satanic home, the children of Adam and Eve never received the parental love they needed to grow into true men and women. Instead they inherited the patterns of unprincipled behavior which turned the Garden of Eden into hell on earth.
Evidence the Fall Was a Misuse of Love
Both religion and science confirm that the misuse of love is the root cause of evil and human suffering. Religion teaches that men and women must be responsible in the creation of families, and stipulates the harshest punishments for those who break God's commandments regarding these matters. In particular, adultery and other forms of illicit love are strictly forbidden. In many traditions, they are punishable by death.
The social sciences confirm that healthy families are the key to the creation of a healthy society. The breakdown of man-woman love results in a breakdown of the family unit, producing all societal problems, from alcohol and drug abuse to juvenile delinquency and crime. Of particular concern to psychologists and sociologists is the rise of child abuse in families with immature, unloving parents. Moral decline has been the terminal sickness of all civilizations which have passed into history. The rapid decline of morality in secularized societies today has produced a plethora of sociological problems, ranging from those of single-parent families and abused children to the growing ranks of the homeless and soaring rates of criminality and debilitating addictions.
Medical scientists and practitioners add their own corroboration of the damage caused by family breakdown through the evidence they have gathered of the harm inflicted on society by venereal diseases, which are spread primarily through illicit love relationships. In particular, the AIDS epidemic, which is the direct consequence of widespread contemporary immorality, threatens the lives of a growing percentage of humankind.
The true family is the basis for creation of a healthy society and world. Only when true love governs man-woman and parent-child relationships can there be a permanent solution to the many problems that afflict human relations, from familial disunity and social disorder to racial conflicts and wars.
The most powerful force in the universe is love. Thus the purpose of God's creation was shattered when the first man and woman misused love. Adam and Eve never completed their growth to maturity and failed to create a true, godly family. Consequently, they also failed to establish a loving dominion over nature. Instead they put their own wishes above those of God, in the process destroying the very means by which they could have fulfilled their deepest desires. Since the unprincipled love relationship between Eve and the Servant took place on the spiritual level, while the premature sexual relationship between Adam and Eve was both spiritual and physical, the fall of Adam and Eve occurred in two stages. When their son, Cain, killed his brother, Abel, the fall of Adam's family was complete and humanity embarked upon a history of misery and suffering, cut off from a relationship with God and the true love, life and lineage that come from Him alone.
The results of the fall were catastrophic, plunging humankind into a spiritual darkness so profound that thousands of years have passed without a solution being found to human separation from God. Without the Creator's parental love and goodness planted in the hearts of His beloved children, the original value of life was lost and, consequently, human beings have known only distortions and perversions of God's ideal. Some of the most serious repercussions of the fall are discussed in the following chapter.
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