AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSE OF
IMMORALITY AND SUFFERING,
ITS HISTORICAL ORIGIN AND ITS SOLUTION
WHEN, HOW AND WHY DID EVIL,
SUFFERING AND THE HUMAN TRAGEDY BEGIN?
Throughout all recorded human history we notice the existence of an unnatural evil nature in man, which caused conflicts and contradictions and brought much suffering and tragedy in our lives. It is therefore reasonable to assume that evil appeared at the very beginning of our existence on this planet, starting most probably from our original ancestors.
As this is a problem that goes beyond the reach of science, we must try to understand it from a religious perspective.
It is very revealing and significant when we discover the fact that almost all cultures and religions in the world teach some kind of myth or legend about what happened at the dawn of history, recognizing that mankind lost its original direction and at a certain point became corrupted and evil.
In Egyptian stories, for example, there are references to a lost golden age and death caused by the "female ancestor" and the serpent.
Indian legends reveal to us that Brahma was tempted by Shiva to make him believe that the flower of the tree of knowledge would give him immortality.
In the Greek mythology, Pandora's box is a famous example. Pandora was a woman who was going to marry one of the gods, before the existence of evil. They gave her a box and asked her not to open it until the wedding night was over. However, she could not resist or control her curiosity and upon opening it terrible misfortunes and calamities befell the human race. The Bible tells the story of Adam and Eve.
The famous psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, understood these stories not merely as superstition or myth, but as important revelations of a truth far beyond the comprehension of our rational mind. For Jung, these were symbolic expressions of the collective memory of the human race, a treasure of secrets coming from our subconscious collective mind that tells us about our past as human beings.
Out of all the stories dealing with what religions traditionally call "the human fall", the Bible contains the most detailed account and the one which has caused the biggest impact on the different world cultural spheres. Consequently, this story deserves our undivided attention.
The book of Genesis in the Bible describes to us that the first man (Adam) and the first woman (Eve) lived in the "Garden of Eden", a world of happiness, without fear, shame or evil. This garden had two trees in its center. God gave full freedom to Adam and Eve, but commanded them not to eat the "fruit" of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", with a serious warning that if they ate it they would die.
Tempted by a "serpent", the woman ate of the forbidden fruit and then shared it with the man. As a result, both felt afterwards ashamed of their nakedness and hid themselves from God. Next, God cursed the serpent and expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden and placed an angel at its entrance to keep man from reaching the "Tree of Life", the other tree standing in the center of the garden.
This was the fall of our original ancestors in accordance with the biblical narrative.
Let's scrutinize this story in detail in order to decipher its various symbols, enabling us to understand its meaning and message relative to mankind's present situation.
THE SEARCH FOR OUR FIRST ANCESTORS
One of the characteristics distinguishing human beings from other animals is the possession of a unique, eternal and indestructible spirit. Therefore when we mention the first original couple [according to the Bible, "Adam and Eve"] we refer to the first masculine, eternal and indestructible spirit of a man [Adam] and of a woman [Eve]. Both represent and embody God's masculine and feminine characteristics, and were supposed to become the visible manifestation of His invisible characteristics [image and likeness]. These first incarnate human spirits were created to be God's children and lords and heirs of all creation. The rest of all existent human spirits originated from these two first [father and mother] human spirits.
Our fundamental concern is to clarify their spiritual and divine origin as well as the purpose for their creation, and not so much the details of their biological or physical origin. The question of physical origin falls in to the field of science which, hopefully, will give an answer some time in the future. Even under the assumption that multiple humanoids were involved in our biological origin it would not present a problem with the basic view of the Divine Principle. Nevertheless, there are very interesting new discoveries about our origins recently done through genetic biology:
Modern biologists Rebecca L. Cann, Mark Stoneking and Allan C. Wilson of California University, Berkeley, made an investigation of tracing the genetic code of the mitochondrial DNA contained in our cells, which they extracted from 147 placentas from women of all races and geographical areas on the five continents. Curiously enough, the mitochondrial DNA is inherited and transmitted exclusively by our mothers. The results of this study brought a powerful and revealing conclusion: each one of us, as part of the human race, can trace our lineage back to one single woman, nicknamed "Mitochondrial Eve" by these scientists.
These results were published on January 1, 1987 under the title: "Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution" in NATURE, one of the more prestigious scientific magazines. This investigation caused a huge controversy and later many attempts were made to discredit its conclusions. Although these attempts were successful in undermining the claims of race, time and place of the appearance of this supposed "first woman," the fundamental assumption that our genes come from "her" still remain unchallenged.
The human race began at a certain specific point in the history of our planet, just as our own individual physical life also had a precise beginning. Consequently it is reasonable to make the following comparison:
Our father and mother are the beginning point of our life. They transmitted to us their characteristics and genes, contained in the two original cells that united at the moment of conception, which after continuously multiplying resulted in the massive quantity of cells that formed the organs of our body. Each cell in our body carries an exclusive genetic code, characteristic of each individual, which originated from the two original cells.
In a very similar way, the more than 5,500 million people which now form the worldwide population, originated from the multiplication that occurred through all the different generations which existed over time, and eventually, upon moving backwards in our genealogical tree, would bring us to our original ancestors. The first father and first mother, the first human couple, the starting point of our species. Each one of us carries this exclusive genetic code and characteristic of our species, given by these original parents.
1 5.5 Billion 1 1 1 Inhabitants 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 Time 1990 [Each individual without exception originates from a father and a mother. It is therefore a mathematical problem of statistics of the population growth to regress from the approximately 5,500,000,000 present inhabitants of the word population until the time of zero inhabitants and obviously the next number after the zero that we can mathematically consider should be necessarily number 2, as 1 or 1.5 in this case cannot procreate.]
Will biologists ultimately reach the conclusion that, the Adam and Eve of the biblical story, the first couple and our human ancestors, did in fact actually exist?
We have to be grateful that today several findings in contemporary science are helping us to unify and clarify many of these ancient religious beliefs. Especially, the new and revolutionary discoveries in the areas of quantum physics, molecular biology and parapsychology.
Unfortunately in past centuries, from the time of Galileo Galilei, serious and irreconcilable disputes arose between the religious and scientific viewpoints, basically provoked by ignorance and fanaticism, which were many times present on both sides. According to the Divine Principle, contradictions between science and religion should not exist. As Rev. Moon humorously expressed to a group of scientists who were interested to know why a religious leader sponsored huge conferences for scientists, he replied: "God is the oldest and number one scientist." Science and religion should work together and in harmony, since both serve to overcome our external and internal ignorance. As Albert Einstein put it: "Science without religion is crippled and religion without science is blind." THE MEANING OF THE SYMBOLS
THE GARDEN OF EDEN: The Hebrew word for "eden" means happiness or delight, which indicates to us that human beings were supposed to live in joy and happiness. The "Garden of Eden" represents, therefore, this Ideal World or Earthly Paradise, that would be accomplished upon the completion of what the Divine Principle calls "the three great blessings":
The first blessing: refers to the fulfillment of our individual perfection.
The second blessing: refers to the establishment of a true family of eternal love.
The third blessing: refers to the harmony and unity between the human family and the whole creation (as caretakers and protectors of the environment).
These gifts or divine blessings should be the essential goals to be accomplished by every person and we find them expressed in verse 1:28 of Genesis : "...be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it..." (see diagram #3).
Adam and Eve were supposed to grow and reach physical as well as spiritual maturity as God's son and daughter, in other words, become one with God in heart, love and ideals. In this way, Adam and Eve were meant to be the incarnation or the visible manifestation of the invisible God. The temple where the Spirit of God would dwell constantly.
Then, with God's permission and blessing, they should have united intoxicated with a heavenly love, establish an eternal
DIAGRAM 3couple and become the True Parents of mankind who could transmit physical and spiritual life to their children. They were destined to establish the tradition of true love and eternal happiness that should be followed by all their descendants and eventually all humanity.
This realm of true love and eternal happiness was supposed to continue expanding into the spiritual dimension or Spirit World after the death of our physical body. Through the human family, God would have exercised a dominion of love over the whole creation both in this physical universe and in the spiritual world.
All of this would be a reality today if human beings would not have been degraded by sin in the very beginning. For this reason, man's permanent desire is to recuperate and restore that lost Garden of Eden or Earthly Paradise, and in that way accomplish finally God's eternal and unchanging ideal. This hope is expressed in religious terms as the "Kingdom of Heaven" or the "New Heaven and New Earth" mentioned in the Bible.
THE TWO TREES IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN: The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil mentioned in the Bible are not literal trees with leaves and branches that we can find in botanical gardens. These two trees located in the center of the Garden of Eden symbolized Adam and Eve who were at the center of the divine creation. In the Bible we can find several passages that compared man with a tree. (Prov. 11:30 and 15:4, Psalms 1:3, Is. 5:7, Dan. 4:17-19, Jn. 15:5, Rom. 11:17)
The Tree of Life was Adam's earnest desire but he could not reach it, having been expelled from the Garden after he sinned. It represents the perfected Adam or a man of life. That is why the expression "Tree of Life" is mentioned in the Bible on various occasions as the hope and permanent desire, not only of Adam, but of all human beings searching for perfection. For example, in the Old Testament - Proverbs 13:12, "... fulfilled desire is a tree of life" - and then in the New Testament - Revelations 22:14, "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life..."
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil symbolized Eve in her stage of growth and her "fruit", as we will see later on, could give the knowledge of good as well as evil.
THE COMMANDMENT: The fact that the possibility of acting in a wrong direction existed indicates to us that Adam and Eve were still immature in a period of growing towards perfection. The commandment represents "God's Word, Truth or Principle" that had to guide them during their period of growth. It was the humans' responsibility to trust this word as the challenge that would enable them, by their own efforts, to reach perfection and fulfil the purpose of their lives. That story and the tragic reality in which we live today indicate to us that they failed in their responsibility.
THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT: What exactly did they do? The answer lies with the fruit. What is the meaning of this fruit that forced them towards evil? Obviously it should be the symbol of something extremely desirable for which they were willing to risk their life.
That fruit could not possibly be just a test that God put to them in order to demonstrate their obedience, as certain people believe. No parents and much less a God of love, besides being omniscient, would test their children and impose a death penalty for failing the test. Therefore, God's commandment was not a test, but a warning in order to protect his children from some serious danger.
Furthermore, our ancestors could only risk to die for something that was more tempting and stimulating than life itself. What could that be? What is more important than life itself that pushes us, even today, to risk our life? As we have already explained, only the force of love could be more powerful than the desire for life. Men and women now and in the past have sacrificed their lives for the love of God, their country, their ideals, etc. A great number of duels and deaths occurred in disputes involving a woman's or a man's love.
The fruit of a tree is a sign of its maturity and capacity for reproduction. A tree multiplies through its fruit that contains the seeds. In the same way, human beings multiply through their sexual organs which carry their seeds. Therefore, our "fruit" symbolizes the sexual love through which we also multiply ourselves. This is why, before eating the fruit, Adam and Eve did not feel ashamed of their naked bodies. Only after eating did they feel shame and hid their sexual parts. That Adam and Eve "ate of the fruit" means that they had sexual intercourse.
The fact that they hid and felt shame indicates to us that they lost their innocence and that this specific sexual relationship was carried out in disobedience to God's commandment and directions, before they achieved their physical and spiritual maturity. We have a natural inclination to hide our wickedness and feel ashamed of our wrong conduct.
Does this mean that sex itself is wrong? Of course not. On the contrary, as already explained, once we have achieved physical and spiritual maturity, sexual love centered on God should be the most beautiful and sacred experience between a man and a woman. The sexual organs should be the connecting point for the union and consummation of the true and eternal love between God, Adam and Eve. Those organs are the most valuable: The palace of love, life and lineage, through which the children of God would multiply.
God's commandment "do not eat" was necessary for Adam and Eve only during the period of their growth to perfection. Their strict obedience was very important because the realization of the Ideal of Love and the purpose of the Divine Creation depended on it. Once they reached maturity God Himself would have united with them in their enjoyment of marriage and sexual love.
THE SERPENT: We frequently encounter in most worldwide literature the famous plot of the love triangle, where two characters fight for the love of a third. Also, we find it in several of the stories about the fall. In the Bible's story this third personage is characterized as the "serpent".
Who is this "serpent" that persuaded Adam and Eve, who were pure and innocent, to have premature sexual intercourse in disobedience to God's commandment? It is obvious that this "serpent" does not refer to a literal snake with speaking abilities.
The Bible, in the book of Revelation (12:9), calls this ancient serpent the Devil or Satan and identifies it with a fallen angel who deceived the whole world and was expelled from heaven together with other angels. In the Christian tradition this leader of angels, originally good, who later betrayed God and provoked the fall of Adam and Eve, is known as the archangel Lucifer.
What did Lucifer do in order to betray the divine plan? The Bible reveals to us in verses 6 and 7 of the letter of St. Jude in the New Testament, that those fallen angels lost their position because they committed sexual sins. This indicates to us that the archangel Lucifer, as the leader of those angels, also fell and degraded himself because of a sexual sin.
Taking into consideration that this was also the sin committed by Adam and Eve upon being influenced by the archangel brings us to the conclusion that it does not refer to two separate incidents without connection, but rather they refer to the same crime.
THE FIRST CRIME OR ORIGINAL SIN
Once all the symbols of this story on the fall are examined and deciphered, we can come to the conclusion that the first crime or original sin was the adulterous and illicit relationship of sexual love between Eve and the archangel Lucifer. Afterwards, this tainted love was passed on to Adam, who was persuaded by Eve to have a premature sexual relationship with her. She corrupted him with the same type of false and selfish love learned from the archangel.
This illicit sexual love constitutes the biggest betrayal against God and His ideal of true and eternal love, which Adam and Eve were supposed to have accomplished after their physical and spiritual maturity.
If love is the most sacred and valuable expectation in life, then the destruction of love represents the biggest tragedy in history.
As we will see next, this incident desecrated our first ancestors who were supposed to have set the true standard of what would be the eternal love between husband and wife. They were also meant to become the True Parents of mankind and the visible representatives of God for all their descendants, establishing a prosperous and joyful world.
But, instead, human history began with adultery and fornication, establishing a false model and a totally different example from what was meant to be the ideal, bringing human beings to a very low level, a primitive life style both physically and spiritually, reducing us for thousands of years to a caveman existence and bringing tragic consequences to human history.
We have always been taught that the original sin is the root or the source of all subsequent transgressions and is responsible for the spiritual death and misery of all humanity. Many theologians and believers have been intrigued and wondered how a single incident, whatever its gravity, could corrupt the entire human race for so long.
We could compare it to just the jab of an eye, causing permanent blindness, or to the mere perforation of the heart that finishes the life of the entire body. Psychoanalysts have often traced cases of severe mental disturbance back to a single psychic trauma or shock.
We could compare it to the contamination of the water supply, which inevitably would affect a whole city or to a disease that enters the root of a tree and gradually infects each branch and leaf. In the family tree of the human race, Adam and Eve were the root.
The interpretation of the fall of the angels and the fall of Adam and Eve in sexual terms is not completely new in the history of Judeo-Christianity.
We find this line of interpretation in the writings of some Jewish rabbis, mostly in the inter testamental period, as well as in those of some early Church fathers and ecclesiastical writers of the first centuries.
Clement of Alexandria in the second century wrote: "... the first man of our race did not await the appropriate time, desiring the favor of marriage before the proper hour and he fell into sin by not waiting the time of God's will...they (Adam and Eve) were impelled to do it before the normal time because they were still young and were persuaded by deception." (On Marriage XIV:94, XVII:102-103).
Theophilus of Antioch and St. Irenaeus also considered Adam to be in a premature age when he violated the precept of abstaining from a sexual union with Eve, his future wife. This was not because it was a wrong action, but because it was inappropriate for their age.
This notion that the fall occurred in a period of immaturity before they achieved perfection is also shared by Peter Lombard, Hugo of St. Victor, Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventura, John Duns Scotus and others in the Franciscan school.
Influenced by some apocryphal books of that period and especially the Book of Enoch, the notion of a carnal relationship between angels and women in the beginning of history was commonly accepted, particularly, in order to interpret verses 6:1-4 of Genesis. Tertullian (160-200) called these fallen angels "Desertores Dei, Amatores Feminarum" - Deserters of God and lovers of women.
Similar interpretations were maintained by St. Irenaeus, Athenagoras, St. Athanasius, St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Justin and others. However, those ambiguous and incomplete analyses could not offer an effective solution to the serious problem of the original sin.
The "Ambrosiaster", a writing of the fourth century attributed for a long time to St. Ambrosius, but now considered to be an anonymous writing, is a little more specific on this topic:
"...Eve, the first woman, upon being corrupted, lost her virginity against the will of God and everything that was engendered by her appeared to be corrupted, starting with Cain, born of the first disobedience."
"...the devil used Eve to entangle Adam, making him an instrument in order to usurp the supreme sovereignty, which belongs only to God."
"...Adam the first and only man created and promoted by God to universal royalty, with the investiture of the divine image and likeness, accepted the devil's proposal to become like God, deflowering the virginity of his wife Eve, to whom the Lord God had promised the chaste conjugal love of a sacred marriage" (The Original Sin. Eleuterio Elorduy. B.A.C. 1977, pp. 202, 208, 221)
The "Ambrosiaster" had a great influence on St. Augustine in his interpretation of the original sin. St. Augustine, although he emphasized that the fall was primarily due to the sin of pride and disobedience, deserves our recognition for uncovering also the involvement of the sexual component, as well as his understanding that concupiscence is still the root of the present sinful state of man.
What is so remarkable about these new revelations presented now by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is the fact that they don't appear as a mere biblical interpretation or as a study of the theological interpretations given in the past, but rather Rev. Moon proclaims with absolute conviction and great authority that these are new divine revelations, the result of a direct and intense search in the reality of the Spirit World.
Secondly, these revelations, as we will see, illuminate and deepen with precise detail, for the first time, the motivation, process, consequences and solution to this first crime or original sin which affected us so deeply and continues to affect us, tragically drawing man and woman in the direction of illicit love.
Unfortunately, we have to recognize that deep in man's heart a powerful inclination or tendency to seek an illicit or forbidden love still exists.