The Divine Principle Home Study Course
The Origin of Conflict and Suffering
In the "Principle of Creation," God's ideal for our world was presented. There it was explained that God originally created man to see His own nature expressed in a tangible, visible being, with whom He could share a give and take of love. He thus created men and women who were intended to grow to perfection, form families and establish with God and each other the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
We don't have to look very far to realize that this ideal has not been realized. We have experienced what is perhaps the most violent century in all of history. Images of Dachau and Auschwitz, Hiroshima and the Gulag, homeless boat people and starving Cambodians, remind us dramatically of how far we are from anything resembling a truly human society.
Beyond these global catastrophes, there are the far too frequent sufferings of individuals and families. As families many suffer from conflict where there should be harmony and from resentment where we want there to be love. As individuals we often find ourselves struggling against ourselves, torn by inner conflict. We can all identify with apostle Paul's lament:
I can will what is right but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. (Romans 7:18)
Or even with the embattled comic strip character Pogo's discovery: "I have found the enemy, and he is us!"
It is no wonder that most religious scriptures contend that there is an infinite gulf between God and men.
According to the Jewish Talmud, two rabbinical schools prominent just before the time of Jesus debated over whether it would have been better if man had never been created, in the light of his subsequent sins and tribulations. After two and a half years of argument, the majority of rabbis voted with the famed Rabbi Hillel that the creation of man was a tragedy!
Within the Judeo-Christian tradition, the gap between the ideal and the real has been explained by the story, the first parents of humankind disobeyed God, separating themselves from Him and also bringing about the separation of all their future descendants from Him. This separation from God has caused further separations between people and within the individual heart of each person. Today we are separated from God, from ourselves and from others, and thus it may be said that we live in a state of sin.
Myth or History?
In the twentieth century the idea of a human Fall has encountered no little skepticism. The issues raised by Charles Darwin have had a particularly significant influence on scholarly and popular literature and have widely affected modern thinking concerning human beginnings.
Also, rather than think that the Genesis account of the Fall represents any particular event in history, a number of modern thinkers prefer to interpret it as a description of an inner process shared in by all men. The well-known psychologist Rollo May, for example, believed the Eden story describes the coming of age of every individual, involving an inevitable loss of innocence and the painful dawning of self-awareness symbolized by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Influenced by the insights of such men, today we question ideas of a first man and woman, forbidden fruits and original sin. Perhaps with others we recognize that interpretations such as May's seem inadequate to addressing such problems as the contradiction between a God of goodness and love and a chaotic world of suffering. By the same token, we may believe with many scholars that Darwin's theories do not exclude the possibility of divine guidance in the process of evolution. Nevertheless, we still are not content with traditional interpretations of the Fall of man. We need something new.
Any new insight into the Genesis story must incorporate the strengths and address the shortcomings of both traditional and modern interpretations. At the same time, it should point to a solution for remedying the effects of the Fall, thereby offering the hope that God's original ideal might yet be fulfilled. Happily, for many people these needs are met in the Divine Principle explanation of the Fall.
Tales of Origins
Before we discuss the Divine Principle understanding of the Genesis story, let us note that all cultures have provided us with conceptions of the origins of evil, many of which display a remarkable similarity.
In Egyptian tales, for example, we hear of a lost golden age, of death caused by the "ancestress of women," and of a serpent. In Greek heritage, the woman Pandora's curiosity allowed evils and woes to escape into the world. Indian legend teaches that Brahma was tempted by Siva into thinking that a blossom from the Tree of Knowledge would give him immortality.
The significance of these stories is not that they are literal recordings of events. They are legends that perhaps can be viewed as reflections of vague racial memories which share common themes because they reflect something that actually did happen. In the revealed story Genesis, we have perhaps the fullest indication of what that "something" is.
As you read the material in the upcoming months you may discover familiar ideas that gain your immediate understanding. In the alternative, you may meet ideas that are so new and different that they take some getting used to. Such reactions are normal, for the Divine Principle view of the Fall will lead you on unfamiliar terrain.
The Fall of Man
The Bible tells us that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, telling them they could enjoy everything in the Garden. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. For on the day you eat of it you shall die." (Gen. 2:17)
We may imagine Adam and Eve followed God's commandment for a while. Soon, however, a serpent came to the woman and tempted her to sample the fruit. Beguiled by him she ate of it and gave it to the man:
"Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:7)
In this act, Adam and Eve separated themselves from God, bringing about their own fall and the Fall of all humankind from a state of blessedness and grace.
If you have ever gone to Rome, you may have had the opportunity of seeing the magnificent Sistine Chapel. On the Chapel's walls and ceiling, the great Italian painter Michelangelo depicted the history of God from the Creation to the Resurrection, covering the Bible from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation. Michelangelo worked on this project for four years, from 1508 to 1512.
Included in this panorama is a scene depicting the Fall of Man. Michelangelo depicts a fruit tree, with a man-like serpent offering what many think to be an apple to a reclining, naked Eve.
For Michelangelo, as sell as for millions of people before and after him, this action is what initiated the Fall. Indeed, this is exactly what Genesis describes, although it does not specify the fruit was an apple.
Literal or Symbolic?
The question is, how are we to understand the Genesis passage? And in a larger sense, how are we to understand the Bible? Are we to think that its writers meant every word to be taken as literal truth or are some things to be understood symbolically? Specifically, is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to be understood literally or symbolically?
For Divine Principle, the Bible is the inspired word of God. It is the book in which the word of God among His people has been recorded. It is a storehouse of God's truth and wisdom, intended to enable us to find the true way of life, to construct God's Kingdom on earth and ultimately to gain our own salvation. Thus, the Bible is a mediator between God and man.
Nevertheless, the Bible must be properly understood. Whether its passages are accepted literally or symbolically, it is important to understand the message they are trying to convey. For example, in the Book of Jonah, the prophet is described as being swallowed by a great fish and living inside it. We now know that ancient Middle Eastern cultures often described a person who was in trouble as being "in the belly of a fish," much as today we might say he was "in a pickle." Thus, to think of Jonah as being literally in the belly of a whale would be to miss the point. In fact he was in trouble because he was disobeying God.
Likewise, throughout the Bible spiritual truths are frequently presented through the use of metaphor or symbol. The parables of Jesus are an obvious case in point.
With regard to the story of the Fall, even those who claim to take the Bible literally often make an exception with the Adam and Eve narrative; both the ancient Jews and early Christians treated the narrative as pure allegory. Augustine, who was perhaps the most influential of all Christian theologians and a man who was particularly important in working out the traditional doctrine of original sin, argued that the Eden account should be taken both literally and symbolically; that is to say, taken partly as historic fact and partly as spiritual truth.
Heredity and the fruit
Whatever the sin of Adam and Eve was, it has affected the whole human race. Even today we suffer from its consequences. Therefore it must be an inherited sin. Could such a sin be caused by one's eating a fruit? Science proves that substances taken into the mouth do not have hereditary effects. Along the same lines, Matthew reports Jesus as saying:
". . . not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Matt. 15:11)
One's eating a fruit will not affect the spiritual state of his children. It is impossible. Therefore, the fruit must be symbolic of something else.
Of course, for many people whether the fruit is symbolic or not is not the important issue. The very act of disobedience is the problem. God was angry when man disobeyed Him, and therefore quickly cast him out of the Garden.
But let us think. Would God be interested in testing the obedience of His children, particularly at the possible cost of their lives? Would any parent place some poisonous food in front of his children with the intention of testing their obedience? The answer is obvious.
By the same token, God is the caring Father/Mother of all people. As with any parent, God did not conceive His relationship with His children to exist solely on the basis of obedience. It is rather a matter of love. Disobedience is no doubt one component of the Fall, but it is not its cause.
If the fruit is not literal, let us examine what it represents. The Book of Genesis states that the fruit grew on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Yet if the fruit is symbolic it cannot grow on a literal tree. The tree, then, must also be symbolic.
In the Garden there were two trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. There were also, of course, two persons, Adam and Eve.
The Tree of Life is a rich symbol that appears throughout the Bible. In addition to the Genesis passage, it appears in the Book of Proverbs:
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." (Prov. 13:12)
It also appears in the last book of the Bible, Revelation:
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates." (Rev. 22"12)
For the writers of these books the image of the Tree of Life represented something highly desirable. It was the hope of people both of the Old Testament and the New Testament ages.
From reading Genesis, we can conclude the Tree of Life also represented Adam's desire. Genesis 3:24 states that God,
". . . drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, the guard the way to the Tree of Life."
Because of his sin, Adam was prevented from reaching what he wanted, the Tree of Life.
As stated in the Principle of Creation, according to God's ideal the destiny of each person is to grow to full maturity and oneness with God. For this reason each of us is continually seeking higher degrees of happiness, self-expression, and love. By the same token, people of both the Old and New Testament ages and Adam himself must have had the hope to grow to maturity and full personhood, realizing their own ideals and the ideals that God had for them.
Adam and the Tree of Life.
If this was indeed Adam's desire, it is logical to conclude that the Tree of Life in the Garden symbolizes a man who has reached full maturity, the state of true life. Thus the symbol of the Tree of Life represents Adam as he would be in perfection. If Adam had not fallen from God, but had accomplished the ideal of creation, he would have become a Tree of Life, giving birth to children of life.
Developing from this, his descendants could have established the Kingdom of Heaven on earth as a garden surrounding the Tree of Life. However as Genesis relates, Adam fell and his way to the tree of Life was blocked.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil
Genesis tells us that in the Garden of Eden, God created Adam and then created Eve to be his spouse. If the Tree of Life standing the Garden symbolizes Adam, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which stood next to the Tree of Life (Gen. 2:9), must symbolize Eve.
It is not unusual for the Bible to use the symbol of a tree to represent a human being. Jesus at times spoke of himself in such terms:
"I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
In Romans 11:7, Paul refers to Jesus as an olive tree:
"....and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree...
In a similar fashion, Adam and Eve are represented by two trees.
To assert that there was a Tree of Life and a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the midst of the Garden does not mean that there are two literal trees in the geographical center of a literal garden. Rather, the symbols mean that the two people, Adam and Eve, were to be the center and nucleus of God's ideal of creation. God's entire ideal of creation is to be fulfilled through man and woman.
When we see that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the woman, Eve, we can also imagine that the fruit of this tree is somehow related to Eve. A real tree would multiply by its fruit, which contains the seed necessary for producing the next generation. Comparably, mankind multiplies through the fruit of love, specifically Eve's love. Thus Eve was represented by the Tree of Knowledge; and eating the fruit represents experiencing Eve's love.
The Serpent as Adversary
In addition to the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, Genesis tells us of a serpent that came to Eve in the garden and tempted her. According to the scripture, he was a talking animal, more clever than any other beast of the field, who subsequently became a crawling creature as a consequence of his temptation of Eve. Again there is the question of how this serpent is to be understood. Is it literal or symbolic?
Obviously, this was no ordinary serpent. First of all it was capable of tempting and lying to a human being. In addition, it was aware of the existence of God and of the commandment He gave Adam and Eve. Genesis reports him as saying:
"Did God say, "You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1)
In other words, this serpent had the ability to comprehend God and His will.
As we know, snakes are not recognized for their spiritual capacities. An actual snake, which has no spiritual comprehension, could not be capable of such spiritual knowledge as was displayed by this particular "serpent". We must then conclude that the serpent is a symbol of a spiritual being who successfully tempted Eve to sin.
The Serpent and Satan
The Book of Revelation reveals who the "serpent" symbolizes: "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, he was thrown down to
the earth and his angels were thrown down with him." (Rev. 12: 9)
This passage brings together the last book of the Bible and the first. According to it, the ancient serpent, the tempter of Eve, was "Satan," and this has been the commonly accepted view within the Judeo, Christian tradition.
But the question is, "Who is Satan?" The word itself comes from the ancient Hebrew, where it meant "the adversary." It signifies the Biblical affirmation that there is a force in the universe which is in active opposition to God.
Since we know that in Genesis the "serpent" represents Satan we can discover who the "serpent" was by discovering who Satan is.
According to the passage just quoted, Satan was once "thrown down to the earth." If we contrast earth and heaven, Satan must have been originally in heaven before being thrown down to earth. Thus, the "serpent" must at one time have qualified for heaven. We may also surmise, in light of the principle of growth, that although this being was created good, later he fell and became Satan.
The Identity of Satan
What type of entity was Satan? Since Adam and Eve were the only man and woman, Satan had to be another kind of being. As is widely known, the Bible makes references to two kinds of creatures who posses spiritual capacities and who also ultimately fell from God. Besides man, God created angels, who also have sinned (Jude 6-7). If Satan is not a man, he must have been an angel. That Satan comes from the angelic world is consistent with the thought of the Book of Revelation, which indicates that Satan was "thrown down from heaven."
How could an angel be Satan? It is a long-held assumption within the Christian faith that at one time some residents of the angelic world rebelled against God. The second Letter of Peter, for example, refers to the fact and tells of the consequences of the angels' sin:
"God did not spare the angels when they sinned but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of nether gloom to be kept until the judgment.." (II Peter 2:4)
Complementing Peter's reference, the New Testament Letter of Jude describes the content of the angelic transgression:
"And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains... just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." (Jude 6-7)
This passage indicates that the sins of the angels and those of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were similar, both involving immoral behavior and "Unnatural lust."
Satan's crime must, therefore, have had to do with "unnatural lust."
The Forbidden Fruit
Let us examine the actual nature of Adam's and Eve's sin. We are told that originally:
"the man and his wire were both naked, and were not ashamed." (Gen 2:25)
After eating the forbidden fruit, however, they felt and acted differently:
"Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:7)
Obviously during the period between these two verses, something happened. After committing sin, our ancestors suddenly felt shame for their nakedness. This shame was not related indiscriminately to all areas of their bodies, but specifically to their genital areas. They didn't cover their faces or feet; they covered their sexual parts.
One's natural impulse is to hide evidence of wrongdoing. For example if a little child is caught in the act of stealing a cookie, his first reaction is to put one hand over his mouth and the cookie behind his back. In so doing he wants to cover up his wrong. Likewise, a thief or murderer will conceal any evidence which might lead to his detection.
If the sin of Adam and Eve involved eating fruit, they would have covered their mouths or their hands, the two parts of their bodies directly involved in the crime. This was not the case, however; Adam and Eve covered only the lower parts of their bodies.
"...and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons." (Gen. 3:17)
This indicates their transgression involved the concealed portion of their bodies, their sexual parts. From this we may conclude the crime of our first parents was one of fornication.
Evidence of a Sexual Sin
That the Fall was sexual in nature is suggested by other evidence also. For example, in referring to their sexual actions, the Hebrews (as well as men of other cultures) commonly spoke of eating or picking a fruit. In the Bible and elsewhere "To know" a woman means to have sexual relations with her. In the fourth chapter of Genesis, for example, it is said of Cain that he knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch" (Gen. 4:17) and of Adam that he "knew his wife again, and she bore a son." (Gen 4:25)
Of course such an interpretation is not without support among other Jewish and Christian scholars. Cardinal Jean Danielou, an expert on early Christian literature and member of the French Academy, asserts that "a majority of critics underline that fact that the sin has a sexual character."
Nor should we ignore the unusual merit attributed to the practice of religious celibacy. Not only did the apostle Paul encourage chastity but Jesus pointed out that there are some who are eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Indeed a commitment to chastity, along with commitments to poverty and obedience, is an essential part of one's becoming a monk, nun or priest within the Roman Catholic Church. Similarly, some branches of Hinduism and Buddhism have taught that for the true seeker the highest path involved sexual abstinence. Such practices imply that marriage as we know it does not have the complete sanction of God but is a compromise for those who are unable to realize such a path. Such religions hint that there is something fundamentally problematic with sexual desire as commonly experienced.
Even the rite of circumcision can be related to the Fall of Man if one sees its deepest meaning. According to Genesis, Abraham instituted this ceremonial act as a visible sign of the covenant binding the children of Israel to their God. The most obvious significance of the act is to distinguish Hebrews from others. Furthermore, however, something about sex is felt to alienate man from God. Cutting of the male child's foreskin indicates the Hebrew's determination to cut off many attachments he has which separate him from God. For Divine Principle, circumcision represents symbolic restitution for the original sin of Adam and Eve.
It should be made clear that there is nothing inherently wrong with sex. After all, Adam and Eve were originally to "be fruitful and multiply." In the view of the Divine Principle, they were to grow as brother and sister, and after reaching maturity were to marry, have children and create a God-centered family. Marital love was thus intended to be sacred, and in fact, the highest blessing given by God. When a man and woman unite in perfection, they are in a sense a new higher being even closer to God. If Adam and Eve had reached this state, they would have been the son and daughter of God and true husband and wife to each other.
In some way, however, the first parents forsook God. The sexual relationship they ultimately engaged in was somehow in violation of themselves and God's principles. It is obvious that their sexual action must have taken place outside of marriage and this action constituted the Fall. Let us see how this occurred.
What are Angels
Thus far we have seen that the Fall somehow involved not just Adam and Eve, but also the angel Lucifer. Yet who was this angel, Lucifer? And what are angels? Let us look at the angelic realm.
Belief in friendly, invisible spiritual beings has been a part of human culture since time immemorial. Their presence is recorded in the early chapters of Genesis (two angels ate with Abraham) and recently Billy Graham has written a best-selling book on the topic, called Angels.
In this area also, however, we must distinguish fact from fiction. We have only to look at much religious art to discover what is the traditional belief regarding the angels' appearance. They have been portrayed as being glorious man-like beings with huge swan's wings, often times carrying harps or hymn books.
Is this really how they appear? Genesis 19:1-5 makes reference to a time when Lot was visited by two angels, and the people of Sodom mistook the angels for men. Similarly, the Gospels of Luke and Mark refer to the angelic visitors to Jesus' tomb as "men" (Mark 16:5, Luke 24:4).
From such Biblical accounts we can conclude that the angles appear differently from what most medieval paintings would have us believe. In fact, man and angels look alike. The difference is that angels are created as pure spirit, whereas human beings are both spiritual and material.
The Mission of the Angels.
Angels in the Old and New Testaments serve three distinct purposes. The first was to be servants to God: "Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?" (Rev. 1:14)
Beyond being created to minister to God and man, the angels also serve as messengers. Throughout the Old and New Testaments there are reports of God sending His angels to communicate with men.
For example, angels appeared to Abraham telling him that Sarah would have a son named Isaac (Gen. 18:10). It was also an angel who told Mary of the coming birth of Jesus (Luke 1:31).
More than act as servants and messengers, however, angels praise and give glory to God. Their function here might be compared to a military honor guard paying formal tribute to a nation or its flag.
John of Patmos, the writer of the Book of Revelation, records: "Then I looked, and I heard around the throne..... the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands and thousands, saying with a loud voice, `Worthy is the lamb who was slain...."' (Rev. 5:11-12)
Servants not Children
What is the difference between man and the angels? Beyond the fact that angels exist only as spiritual beings, there is also a difference in roles. God created the angels as His servants and messengers, but He created mankind as His children. The ultimate joy and purpose of creation was manifested in man.
Since God created man as His child, His servants, the angels were intended to serve not only God but His children as well. As God's child, man was intended to rule over the angels.
To say that man was to rule over the angels many seem to be a radical statement. After all, within the Christian tradition angels have always appeared to be glorious and superior beings. Reinforcing this view, there is the famous Psalm: "What is man, that Thou are mindful of him...Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels." (Ps, 8:4-5).
According to Divine Principle, man was actually created on a higher level than any of the angels and now exists on an inferior plane only because of the Fall. The roles which scripture ascribes to angels would indicate that they were created as servants of God, whereas men were designed to be His children.
The true relationship between men and the angels is more accurately reflected in the apostle Paul's famous assertion: "Do you not know that we are to judge the angels? (1 Cor. 6:3)
Eve and Lucifer
The book of Genesis indicates that man was the 1st of God's creations. We are told that first God created "the heavens and the earth," and successively, day and night, sky and water, land and vegetation, fish and animals, and finally, man. In this process the spirit world , the world where the angels dwelled , was created before man.
After the completion of the angelic world, God placed an archangel to rule over the entire angelic kingdom Just as God gave a blessing to Israel through one man, Abraham, so God's love for the angelic world was given through one angel. According to the traditional understanding of many within the Judeo-Christian faith, this archangel's name was Lucifer.
Before the creation of man, Lucifer was the supreme, being in the heavenly hierarchy and was the greatest singular recipient of God's love. He appeared to be closest to God and even seemed to be God's favorite.
The Threat to Lucifer
According to Divine Principle, Lucifer was placed in the Garden with the young Adam and Eve to serve them and guide them in their growth. As he pursued this mission, he noticed that something had changed. He began to realize that Adam and Eve were receiving more love from God than he.
His situation can be compared with that of a child who is suddenly displaced by a newborn baby. Until the new infant arrived, the older sibling was the sole recipient of his mother's love. Now, however, he may feel that his mother's love for him has decreased and he may become burdened with feelings of rejection and envy.
Such was the feeling of Lucifer after the creation of man. Because Adam and Eve were created as God's children, not His servants, they received more love from God than Lucifer did. Lucifer was unaware that God loved him as much as He always did but that He simply loved Adam and Eve more.
Lucifer was jealous of God's attention to His children and felt particularly envious toward Adam who was male as was Lucifer. Lucifer knew that when Adam reached his full maturity, Adam would have dominion over himself.
Other holy books ascribe such feelings to Lucifer. In the Koran, for example, the angel says "What should I serve them? They are but of dust while I'm of fire." Why, he thought, should God degrade a servant who had always been faithful?
At the same time Lucifer saw Eve as a very beautiful and attractive figure. Since the source of beauty of God is His love, those who receive more love from God reflect the most beauty. As Eve grew, she became more and more beautiful and Lucifer was naturally attracted to her. In addition, feeling a loss of love, he sought to receive more love from Eve.
The more Lucifer was with Eve, the more their relationship grew. Wanting to preserve his supremacy, Lucifer sought to win Eve's heart. From her side, Eve was attracted to the angel. As the "angel of light" he was wise beyond anyone, and she was flattered by his attention.
Even though Lucifer knew his intent was absolutely against the will of God, Lucifer's desire for Eve began to grow beyond the fear of law or death. Finally he was determined to defy even God, if God stood between him and the object of his desire.
Because of God's warning to her, Eve initially rebuffed Lucifer's advances:
"And the woman said to the serpent. "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die." But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:2-5)
As her initial resistance crumbled, Eve became confused by Lucifer's words. God had given Lucifer to Adam and Eve to guide their growth; yet now he was telling her something that was absolutely opposed to God's direction. Instead of attempting to get further advice from God, or even consulting with Adam, Eve allowed herself to be wooed.
Her love grew and her desire for Lucifer's promised knowledge increased as well. At last she allowed herself to be persuaded that God was misleading her and she consented to a sexual relationship with Lucifer. This sexual union between the spirits of Lucifer and Eve brought about the initial spiritual Fall of Man.
Other Views of the Fall
A number of ancient Jewish and early Christian writings agree with the Divine Principle interpretation of the Fall. Several Jewish thinkers claim that Satan thought, "I will kill Adam and take Eve to wife." Another rabbit explained that Satan intended to rule the earth with Eve as his spouse.
Professor F.R. Tennant of Cambridge University, who did an exhaustive study of the Fall, notes that legends "concerning the monstrous intercourse of Adam and Eve with demons, and especially of Eve with the serpent, or Satan, were widespread" in ancient sources.
However well-documented this explanation of the Fall is, can one seriously believe that an angel could have sexual intercourse with a human being?
To throw light on the question, let us examine the beliefs of the Hebrews and Christians recorded in the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments take it for granted that spiritual beings can and do lust after mortal women. One key passage is a short account to be found in the sixth chapter of Genesis; in it, "sons of God," traditionally understood as angels, descended from heaven and successfully "took to wife" certain fair women (Gen 6:1-2).
We might dismiss this story as primitive myth if it did not reappear in two different parts of the New Testament. In the Epistle of Jude (6-7) and in II Peter (2:4), the story is revived and given the authority of Christian scripture. Obviously, for the Christians, it was assumed that spirits and human beings could and did have sexual relations with each other.
There are other times in the Bible when angels had direct contact with people or things in the physical world. For example, an angel wrestled with Jacob so vigorously that he dislocated the patriarch's thigh joint (Gen 32:25).
When two angels visited Lot at Sodom to warn him of the coming destruction of the city, he invited them into his home and they had a meal there.
When Mary saw an angel near the tomb of Jesus, she thought he was the y see that angels gardener (John 20:15).
From this we can readily see that angels not only possess powers of sensual perception similar to humans, but also possess a form which can on occasion be perceived.
Nor is there a lack of evidence of this phenomenon on what we might call the satanic side. Satanists have long maintained that in their mystic rites one could experience sexual union with their master or his supernatural associates. During the Middle Ages down to the seventeenth century and even today, they have confessed as much to clerical and secular authorities, not as an admission of guilt, but as their belief and experience.
Of course, a spiritual sexual experience is not within the realm of the ordinary person's experience. Nevertheless, it is a fact of existence, even in the twentieth century.
The Fall Complete
How was the Fall of Lucifer and Eve extended to Adam? Love unites two beings, bringing a reciprocal influence. Having united with the archangel, Eve received two elements from him. First, she experienced fear. The archangel knew in his heart that in uniting with Eve he would violate a clear principle of God, yet the power of his love for Eve led him to do so. In rebelling against the Almighty God, he became frightened. When the unprincipled union between Lucifer and Eve took place, his fear was extended to her and became a part of her. She came to feel the same fear Lucifer did.
Also, when Eve at the forbidden fruit, her eyes were opened as the Serpent had predicted. At that moment Eve understood that Lucifer was never intended to be her mate but that God had created her for Adam. Deep regret and repentance came to her. This realization, in conjunction with her sense of fear, made her turn to Adam for comfort and help.
Loathing her previous act, Eve was willing to do anything to regain her former sense of well-being. Recognizing that God had intended Adam to be her rightful mate, she erroneously thought that by having a sexual union with him, she might rectify her prior error. Acting on this idea, she tempted Adam to behave as her husband.
Heretofore, Adam and Eve had lived together in a brother and sister relationship. It had been intended that they would grow in this way to perfection and then receive the blessing of marriage from God. In the state of mature love with God, they would be in the proper position to have a Godly love with each other. Any union with each other before reaching this stage was in violation of God's design.
Nevertheless, Adam responded to Eve's advances and two united sexually. This union between Adam and the spiritually fallen Eve constituted the physical Fall of Adam and Eve. Since God created man in both spirit and flesh and Eve had already fallen spiritually, from the moment of their physical union, their Fall became complete.
What She Might Have Done
Rather than tempting Adam as she had been tempted, Eve should have confessed her mistake to him and begged him to intercede for her with God. Through Adam, God could have restored Eve. When Eve led Adam to have a sexual relationship with her and he consented, they only repeated Eve's first mistake. Now they both were cut off from God and without hope. There was no one to intercede with God on their behalf.
Sunk in their shame and guilt, Genesis records that God Himself ultimately had come looking for them, calling "Where are you?" They were lost, spiritually and physically.
If our first ancestors had not eaten the fruit of god and evil, they would have established an ideal family by producing children of goodness. Eve's love would have been a good fruit and she would have been likened to a Tree of Goodness. But before she could achieve perfection, Eve fell and led Adam to fall, thus giving rise to a family lacking God's love and stained with a satanic heritage. Therefore, the fallen Eve was likened to an evil tree and her love to an evil fruit.
Immediately prior t the Fall, Eve was thus in a position to become either a tree of goodness or a tree of evil. For this reason she was symbolized by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The fruit of the tree, which was her love, could have been either good or evil.
How was the Fall Possible?
The question may be asked: How could God's plan go wrong like this? he created the universe. He must be almighty. Lucifer, Adam and Eve were all His creatures. They must have existed in accordance with his plan. How could things turn out so badly?
In the view of Divine Principle, God created in such a way that His universe may be compared to a train running on a track. The train represents God's creation and the track is comparable to His law. As a train is guided by the track, so God's creation develops automatically within the context of His law. But if the train is struck by another power greater than the holding power of the track for example, a landslide or an intersecting truck the train will be derailed.
Similarly, if some power in the universe greater than law struck Adam and Eve, then they could be knocked off their original course. Such a power greater than all the law and principle of God is the power of love.
Love, Not Law
As was explained in the Principle of Creation, God created to experience the give and take of love. his ideal is not a world of law or regulation, but a world of love. Therefore, God made the power of love greater than every other power. Love is the supreme force in the universe. God made the power of love so absolute that even His principle does not preclude expressing love in a way which violates His will. Adam, Eve and Lucifer fell because of the power of love.
Literature and history alike pay tribute to the omnipotent reign of love over the human heart. Freud and other psychoanalysts point out that in this fallen world the erotic impulse by itself is strong enough to disregard all the moral conventions which society and conscience ascribe to the will of God. Shakespeare has immortalized how love drove Romeo and Juliet to suicide, how Hamlet's uncle was driven by passion to kill his brother in order to marry his sister-in-law, and how Lear became literally insane because he made a mistake about how much his daughters loved him. In our time, King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne for the sake of love.
Love of God, Love of Man
Since God created love supreme, once man attains maturity and becomes united with God in love, nothing can break this relationship. In perfection, no corruption is possible because a person is one with the love of God. However, before man reaches perfection, his desire may be misdirected. For this reason, according to Divine Principle, man and woman should experience a full union of love with each other only after their love for God has crystallized. To achieve this, God knew Adam and Eve needed protection and special guidance. For this purpose, He gave them the commandment: "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat" (Gen 2:16-17).
The sexual interpretation of the Fall has signal merit precisely because it points the finger at the one sin which is rooted in the biological structure of man. In one sense and apart from details of his theories, Freud correctly traced the human tragedy to the sexual drive.
As long as our ancestors had faithfully kept the commandment, they would not have become over involved with the archangel. Under these circumstances, the love powerful enough to cause Adam and Eve's deviation would not have come into existence. However, since they did not keep the commandment and instead formed a close reciprocal relationship with Lucifer, an immoral love developed and caused them to deviate from the track of God's principle.
How long would God have required Adam and Eve to keep the commandment not to eat of the "fruit"? If Adam and Eve had perfected themselves, they would have entered the direct dominion of God's love. Then, with God's blessing, they would have free to develop their love with each other as husband and wife. If they had done so, there would have been no possibility of their love being broken. Having perfected themselves individually, they would have been capable of developing a mature love with each other. Accordingly, obedience to God's commandment was necessary only as long as Adam and Eve were still growing toward perfection.
Free Will and the Fall
In the Principle of Creation, it was shown that God gave free will to man to allow us to participate in His creation, thus becoming a co-creator with Him. Therefore, God's giving a free will to man was necessary and good, as traditional Judeo-Christian theology has asserted. Free will is the greatest gift God gave man.
If man were simply forced to serve God, there would be no beauty or life in man, and no joy or glory for God. It is most beautiful and precious when man serves God voluntarily and loves Him wholeheartedly, in free will. The flower turns its face to the sun because there is no alternative open to it; man's free will gives his existence a special dimension. From this, man is supreme in all creation, validating his lordship.
Some believe that Adam and Eve fell because they had free will. Of course, their free will made it possible for them to fall. If they had fallen because of their free will, however, there would always be the danger of falling, even after they had become perfect. Insecurity would exist even in the Kingdom of God, where man is to have complete freedom. Such insecurity would then exist forever, and the promised attainment of perfection would be impossible.
Though free will did not cause the Fall, Adam and Eve lost their freedom because of their sin. The reason is that freedom exists only within the confines of God's law. Outside of God's law, there is no freedom.
To understand this apparent paradox, think of the freedom which we enjoy our society. This freedom exists only so long as we abide by the laws of the nation.
To take a simple example, if one chooses to run a red light, he may lose the privilege of driving. Similarly, our freedom of motion exists within the law of gravity. If we try to walk out of a fifth story window, we will quickly find the limits of our freedom! When such limits are ignored and freedom is misused, disharmony, chaos and destruction result.
In the case of Adam and Eve, the illicit love of Lucifer shattered God's law and destroyed the freedom of man. Because of this, man has lived under a Satanic bondage.
Spiritually man does not have complete freedom to do what is right and good in God's eyes. He is inextricably enmeshed in voluntary and involuntary captivity; this has been brilliantly analyzed by such thinkers as Augistine, John Calvin and Reinhold Neibuhr, as well as portrayed through our greatest novelists.
On this point the apostle Paul lamented: "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate...Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:14-15,25)
Hence it is necessary man to restore his original liberty before he can build the Kingdom of God in his midst; though man may have free actions, those actions may not be the result of inner freedom. One of the signs, it is felt, of growth in the spiritual life of mankind is that in present times there is a universal demand for liberation on every level, whether it be in racial, national or theological terms. In history, free will from a religious perspective is best illustrated in the lives of those who chose God and the spiritual liberty at great risk or even at the cost of their lives, for example, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Cardinal Mindszenty and numerous Christian martyrs.
By and large most believers assume that God knows everything and can do anything; there are no restrictions on His power and no limitations on His knowledge. He is seen as omniscient and omnipotent.
On the basis of such belief it follows that God could foresee the possibility of the Fall of man. Actually, some traditional Christian theology goes even further, arguing that God knew that the serpent would seduce Eve and that she would successfully tempt Adam even before these events took place. In such theology God is said to see in His mind past, present and future as an instantaneous "now." According to such thinking God knew beforehand of the coming Fall with its calamitous effects on human history yet did not prevent the monstrous transgressions. Whenever this sort of theology is taught, sooner or later some genuinely troubled believer will ask, "Why did not God intervene? Why didn't He prevent the Fall?"
Confronted with this kind of dilemma, many sensitive and thoughtful people have concluded that God is either not all good or He is not all-powerful; with our kind of world as evidence of His workmanship, He cannot be both.
This problem has been struggled with before. For example, when the devout Christian philosopher Liebnitz sought to defend God, he argued that ours was the best of all possible worlds; Voltaire demolished the argument with ridicule in his novel Candide. The classic Book of Job wrestles with the problem of God and the existence of evil without coming to a generally accepted solution. This where the situation remains. Within the Christian faith, many theologians have been content to declare that Christianity did not come to solve the problem of sin but rather to overcome the fact of sin.
Why then did God allow the Fall? In the Divine Principle view, God created man as His child to whom He could send His limitless love and from whom He could receive a full response. Thus God wanted man to live in the highest expression of love. If God's principle controlled man's love, then it could not be absolute. After reaching the state of perfection, man is no longer under God's principle, but under His direct dominion, where the bond between them in unconditional and inseparable.
Divine Principle suggests that God could foresee the possibility of man's fall; but though almighty and all-knowing, He would not intervene directly in Adam and Eve's affairs until, in accordance with His principle, they had grown to perfection. Adam and Eve, though warned, fell when they were immature. Had God intervened, He would have violated His own perfect system and usurped His children's responsibility.
Furthermore, God created man to be lord of all creation. To assume that position, Adam and Eve had to pass through a process of maturation; in this they were given a large measure of responsibility to develop self-initiative and self-discipline. They had to grow to a state worthy of trust by God, by their children, as well as by creation.
For this reason, God did not explicitly forewarn Adam and Eve of the archangel's temptation. They had to use their judgement in all situations. If God had exercised direct dominion over Adam and Eve, He would have been recognizing them as mature, which they were not. Also, it would have been an indication that Adam could not be trusted to reach perfection.
For these reasons God sought to preserve the personal integrity of man. However, there is another side also, having to do with God's own integrity. Christian theology has always been determined to avoid a dualistic world view in which God and Satan are co-creators and co- rulers of the universe.
As a Being of perfect goodness and utter holiness, God could not recognize evil as part of His plan of creation. Therefore neither the sin of Adam and Eve nor the non-principled act initiated by Satan could be related to His divine creation. The Fall was man's affair alone. God is in no sense a responsible participant. If God had interfered with the Fall, He would have been automatically recognizing it as part of His creation. Since the Fall was initiated by Satan, He would in essence be recognizing Satan as another creator, virtually the equivalent of Himself. This God could not do.
Consequences of the Fall
What are the consequences of the Fall of Man? How has is affected our world? Certainly we can say that with Adam and Eve's failure to establish a true parenthood, throughout history their descendants have been unable to live as true brothers and sisters.
In other words, without true parental love we have not had true brotherly or sisterly love. but why is this so? What are the specific effects of the Fall? Let us examine some of the most basic ones.
False ruler of a false world
If Adam and Eve had reached perfection, forming a four position foundation with God, they would have been able to love each other as husband and wife with God's love, and they would have borne children as expressions of that love.
But because our first parents fell, forming a four position foundation with Satan, God's love was not realized on earth. Adam and Eve created a family centered on false "love", and initiated a satanic lineage based on self-centered love.
Reflecting this reality, the gospel of John reports Jesus as telling the people: "You are of your father the devil." (John 8:44)
In another passage from the New Testament, Paul deems Satan as the "god of this world." (II Corinthians 4:4)
To state that the world is under satanic dominion is to suggest that there are negative spiritual forces operating in our lives.
Although this reality is testified to almost unanimously by such spiritual teachers as Jesus, Paul, Buddha and Mohammed, it is questioned by some in the modern age. Ever since the Age of Reason there have been fewer and fewer educated Western people who have accepted the existence of malevolent or benevolent spiritual beings other than God and the immortal souls of departed humans.
Satan as deceiver
Someone, perhaps C. S. Lewis, has quipped that since Satan is the father of lies, his most effective deception has been to tell people he doesn't exist. If we are not looking for him, he can do his work without much fear of discovery. If physical objects can skip our notice simply because we are preoccupied with other matters, how much more difficult it is to perceive spiritual reality which we cannot easily see, hear or touch. This is particularly true in the modern age in which Western man has largely restricted his attention to the temporal rather than the eternal, the material rather than the spiritual, the human instead of the divine. Regardless of our awareness of spiritual forces, they are still realities.
It is nevertheless imperative to distinguish the actuality of Satanic forces from popular misconceptions handed down to us from folklore. For example, Satan is supposed to have horns and a tail, yet otherwise look like a human being. If we actually conceive Satan in such terms it would be highly unlikely that we will ever receive a visual confirmation of his existence.
It is important to recall that Satan is an expert of disguise and appears in a variety of ways depending at least in part upon what we expect. Baudelaire, the poet--and for a time a confirmed Satanist--reminds us, "The devil's first trick is his incognito." If he sometimes manifests himself in a manner which makes his identity crystal-clear, more often he appears masked in an attractive form.
Ultimately, the best teacher in these matters is experience itself. As one begins to walk a spiritual path, he will frequently encounter all kinds of disturbances, obstructions and temptations. It is such experiences as these which have led those who have gained a certain spiritual enlightenment to conclude there are satanic forces that work against individuals and that have contributed to the destructive nature of human history.
Satanic influences can affect a person only as long as he cooperates with them. Man is influenced by Satan only when he makes a base for him. Ultimately, each person is responsible for his own feelings, thoughts and actions.
Claims that "the devil made me do it" are futile. If one were to rid himself of the negative, destructive or evil elements he has within himself, Satan would become powerless.
What is good?
The argument may be made that since the actions of Lucifer, Adam and Eve were based on love, then they should have been alright. After all, love is good, isn't it?
From the point of view of Divine Principle, nothing is good or evil itself. All things are created neutral and their goodness or evilness depend on their purpose.
A person, for instance, may pursue a great deal of money. If, beyond providing for his personal needs, his goal is to use the money to provide for his family, serve his community, or help his nation, this is a good act. On the other hand, if his goal is purely selfish or even destructive--for example investing in a drug ring--then this action is evil.
This principle applies to human nature itself. For instance, human ambition is often considered evil, but in fact, is part of the original nature given to us by God. Without ambition, human history would be barren of great men and great events. Moses would never have led his people out of Egypt. Lincoln may never have seen his divided country united again. Edison may never have invented the light bulb.
All too often, however, human ambition has been directed to less public-minded purposes. Ambition directed toward selfish ends has led people to steal, dominate others and even to kill.
In this same way, man's capacity for love is neutral. When used in accordance with Godly ideals and principles, it is the most creative and constructive force in the world. Apart from such principles love can be selfish, destructive and merely and expression of lust.
The problem then is in defining what is good, or in arriving at a universal standard of goodness. However, ever since the Fall standards of good and evil have been relative.
At one time the values of one group predominate while at another time another party with entirely different values sets the standard.
Two hundred years ago in the United States perhaps the credo "all for one and one for all" expressed the dominant ethic. Today "doing your own thing" seems to be what is sanctioned by society's opinion leaders. Politically, for the communists, state ownership of all means of production is good. For capitalists, private ownership is what is most desirable.
As a result of such conflicts in standards, history has been filled with struggle. These conflicts will continue until a universal standard of goodness is found, restoring the standard that would have been established if the Fall had not occurred.
The Emergence of Sin
Although scholars and theologians have identified different types of sin, the sin of Adam and Eve is almost unanimously regarded as the primal, original one--the root all sin. For Divine Principle, it is the cause of the spiritual death that has beset humanity from time immemorial.
But what is sin? For different people, the word has slightly different meanings. The ancient Hebrew understood sin in terms going astray or missing the mark. Others stress that sin is an act separating a person from God. People wander from the path of righteousness, breaking the covenant binding God and mankind together. For Divine Principle, sin may be thought of as any act or thought which violates God's law and which inhibits negatively our own growth to perfection. Sin is thus never simply against God. It is also against ourselves, in that it violates our own deepest essence.
Even though we may not identify it as such, in one way or another, we all have the experience of sin. This fact is proclaimed in the apostle Paul's famous words "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) In a similar vein, Jesus' disciple John writes to the early Christian Church:
"If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (I John 1:18)
Many people acknowledge the fact of individual sin, but they are reluctant to trace it back to a primal source. Both theologian and lay Christian alike have wondered how a single sin, whatever its gravity, could corrupt the entire human race.
To answer this question, different analogies have been offered. The original sin has been compared to one puncture of the eye which causes permanent blindness or to a single perforation of the heart which brings life to an end for the whole body. Several rabbis compare it to a poison whose effect is passed on from one generation to another.
Psychoanalysts have often traced severe mental disturbances back to a single psychic shock. One could further say that it is like the contamination of a water supply at its source which inevitable affects an entire city, or like a disease that enters the roots of a tee and gradually infects every branch and leaf. In the family tree of mankind, Adam and Eve were the roots.
In addition to original sin, we may mention hereditary, collective and individual sins. Hereditary sin is passed on from our ancestors and is conveyed to us, the descendants, through our blood lineage.
Collective sin is neither one's own sin or hereditary sin, but it is the sin for which all members of a particular group are responsible; for instance if a group of people lynch an innocent man, every member in the group is responsible for the action.
Finally, individual sin is the sin committed by each individual in his daily life. For Divine Principle, it is god's will that we ultimately be liberated from all sin. even while we are on earth. However, we cannot be cleansed of sin without first removing original sin, the root. Such a task is one aspect of the mission of the messiah, a mission that will be discussed in the next section.
God created everyone and everything to be good, including Adam, Eve and Lucifer. While Adam and Eve were still growing to fulfill this ideal, the fall took place. Through the fall, the personality and character of Adam and Eve were corrupted, changed from what God had originally intended. In a word, Adam and Eve inherited a fallen nature. Throughout history,m this fallen nature, or, as it is termed in Roman Catholic though, "second nature," has been passed on to Adam and Eve's descendants.
Divine Principle identifies four major aspects of humanity's fallen nature. Let us look at them briefly.
1. God's viewpoint, our viewpoint
One dynamic contributing to the fall was the failure to see things from the standpoint of God. As we have said, before the birth of Adam and Eve, Lucifer was the major recipient of God's love.. If, after their arrival, Lucifer had loved Adam, and Eve in the same way as God loved them, he would not have fallen. If he had struggled to stand with God, loving what God loved instead of submitting to his own self-centered feelings, he could have overcome his jealousy and avoided his tragic error. Instead, however, what God loved, Lucifer hated, This tendency to see things form one's own self-centered perspective was transmitted to Adam and Eve, and this nature has been passed down to us throughout history.
A well-known example of this inherited tendency was displayed in the lives of the twelve sons of Jacob. Of all his sons, Jacob favored his eleventh son, Joseph, which the ten older sons knew. Had they truly loved their father, they would have struggled to see his point of view, accepting Joseph and remaining confident that their father loved them, too. Rather than striving for this response, however, they became jealous of Joseph, hated him and sold him into Egypt.
We may see something of this same tendency in our own lives today,. Students may feel jealous of another student who because of his diligence seems to be the teacher's favorite. In a job situation, people may feel jealous when a co-worker gets a raise or promotion for excelling in his work. In these instances, we may say such jealous individuals, like Lucifer, have failed to appreciate things from God's point of view. The task is to appreciate people for their own merit, regardless of how their position relates to one's own personal status.
2. Improper position
We have also inherited the tendency to leave a position that has been given us. In God's original creation, a position was ordained each creature. Angels, for instance, were created as servants of god while Adam and Eve were created as His children. If these positions had been maintained, order and harmony would have emerged. Sadly, they weren't. Reflecting this, a New Testament author writes: "And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal judgment . . ." (Jude 1:6)
Similar phenomena occur today. In each of our lives there are proper roles which, when fulfilled, lead to happiness and satisfaction for ourselves and for God. When the proper relationship is established between parent and child, or student and teacher, or husband and wife, for example, both parties can be pleased and contented. Apart form working out these roles, however, no larger order or individual peace is possible.
3. False dominion
Another aspect of fallen nature that we inherit today is the tendency to reverse dominion. As was previously indicated, there was a certain order of authority in the creation: God, Adam, Eve, followed by the angels, and finally the things of creation. When the Fall took place, this order was reversed. The archangel successfully enticed Eve to sin. bringing her under his servitude, and Eve, in turn, led Adam to sin. Ultimately God was left entirely out of the picture.
The tendency to reverse dominion has been passed on to us, often originating in a Lucifer-like desire to receive more love. We tend to want to climb over others, even those who are properly in authority over us. We may pursue a false ego trip, seeking to subjugate others to our own desire for glory and recognition. Ultimately, of course, such efforts are doomed. We need to remember that the only way ultimately to receive love is to give it first.
4. Multiplying evil
A final quality we tend to inherit from the original dynamics of the fall is the tendency to want to get other people involved in the wrongs that we have done. Eve appropriated to herself the archangel's unrighteous desire and then further multiplied her wrong by tempting Adam. If Eve had not multiplied her crime Adam could have remained pure and ultimately could have restored his mate. However, Eve multiplied her wrong in Adam, and the fall was completed.
Our tendency today is also to get others involved in our wrongs. In this way we seek to protect, support and justify ourselves. Perhaps in gaining the external support of others, we seek to defend ourselves against our own internal sense that what we have done is unacceptable. As we do, however, we spread the evil we have done. The fact that in our present world evil is more rapidly multiplied than good is a manifestation of the reality of this original fallen nature.
Throughout modern society all of these fallen nature have practically become a way of life. It is common to feel jealous of someone who receives more love than we do, and common to see disloyalty in families, betrayal among "friends", and grabs for power and recognition. Finally it is common to see evil passed from person to person more rapidly than goodness. The entire society has become a reflection of the fallen nature that originated with Lucifer, Eve, and Adam.
Adam and Eve were meant to be the link between God and all of their descendants, up to the present day. Thus, through our first parents a world of happiness and joy was to have come about--the Kingdom of God on earth. However, because of the fall, Adam and Eve were disconnected from God, severing the link between God and all their children. Ever since the fall, both God and mankind have been seeking happiness and peace. Yet, apart from each other there has been no way for either to reach these goals.
To solve this problem, God's strategy has been to establish a mediator between Himself and mankind, this is the role of the Messiah. This is the focus of the next section of the Divine Principle Home Study Course.
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