The Garden of Eden (revisited): if we knew then what we know now

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

 

cliffhanger … suspense … come back for the next episode … 

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ADVERT BREAK

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part two is about to begin please take your seats

 

The man said, “Dear God, yes you did. You commanded us both not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.  And this little snake thought we were easy marks and he was right as well. We were easy marks. We did wrong.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is your part in this?”

The woman said, “You commanded us both not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die – and we didn’t. The serpent deceived me, and I ate and then invited Adam to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.  And he did.  I could have said no to the snake – except I was created innocent and devoid of all shrewdness because I hadn’t eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.  And now I have.  So I have just become aware of what “shrewd” means.  Just as I now know what “innocent as a dove “ means as well.”

Then the Lord God said to the man, “But you did wrong!”

The man said, “Yes we did.  We did wrong – we were commanded by You not to do something and we did that thing.  But I have a question, Lord God.”

And the Lord God said, “Go on.”

And the man said, “What is unconditional love, Lord God?  I have this sudden awakening that it is relevant here somehow – but as yet my thoughts are unformed and I cannot get the words out.”

And the Lord God sighed, “You really have come a long way in a short time haven’t you, young Adam!”

And the man said, “So unconditional love is part of this moment, Lord God?”

And the woman said, “Lord God, I get the same sense too. That unconditional love is not separate to “later” – but part of this “moment”.  That the serpent and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die were all necessary somehow – all to allow unconditional love to be part of this moment – but not right now – which seems at odds with unconditional love as the thought forms in my mind – and the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die is particularly potent, Lord God.”

And the Lord God was lost for words.

And the woman looked at the lord God and asked, “What IS unconditional love, Lord God?”

And the Lord God looked at them both, “It was going to happen sooner or later … I guess sooner is okay …”

And the man and the woman looked at each with uncertainty.

And the Lord God said, “It’s okay – really it’s okay.”

And the man and the woman drew close to each other and said to the Lord God, “If we work really hard and do everything you tell us for generations to come – if we make the best religion and laws ever seen by mankind to follow – if we refine and hone this way of living by the law – will you forgive us – can you forgive us – will be ever be as One again?”

And the Lord God smiled and said, “Let me get you some clothes, and then we can all sit down around my little kitchen table and have a cuppa and cake together. If you want to talk about all that AND unconditional love, I might as well show you a kitchen, and a table, and chairs – not to mention putting coffee and cakes into the mix as well (thousands of years before I saw them as good).”

And the man and the woman were shown around IKEA by the Lord God, and they picked up a French Press and on the way back found the best carrot cake ever baked (which wasn’t hard as it was the very first ever carrot cake ever to be baked).  And then they all sat down around the Lord God’s kitchen table and had a very long chat about The Law and unconditional love and things like that.

And no one ever got cross again.

The end

(or is it?)

 

cliffhanger … suspense … come back for the next episode (you just know there will be a next episode – this franchise is too good to stop now) … 

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Acknowledgments:
a) The Lord God
b) Genesis & The Garden of Eden
c) Don Merritt (who might be wishing he hadn’t prompted the idea)

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No number other than one

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.

If I do a good job there, I can work outwards from there and bless others.   This site is a personal blog about the things I need to keep telling myself – not too many things.  Just the simple fact that very little is required to make life happy.

As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.  I do this through my passion for prose, free verses and non-factional opinions.  I do this because the dark valleys of life often slide in unannounced.  Nonetheless, as the saying goes, it is still better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

My joy will multiply if these musings ever help anyone that stumbles on them .”

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I believe in connections.  I believe God Soft Hands Jesus moves across these blogs.  I believe my GSHJ invites me to move in connection.

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  A landing page post not written for me.  So why this sense it is of He?  To the “About” page to look behind, to taste the sweat of another on a keyboard far away.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.”

A better place – yes!  But what can I do? I am only me.  No one listens to me.  I can’t change anything or anyone.  Not really.  Not like I see others change lives.  Not like others have changed me.  Ah well … maybe one day …

“As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.”

A long time ago I watched a video.  The speaker was inspirational.  One of those guru type inspirational speakers.  I have seen a few.  I have even met a few.  And I have thought myself changed. The memory is of this speaker painting a picture.  Of approaching the Pearly Gates and being asked in breathless excitement, “How many did you bring me?”  How many saved souls.  How many lives changed.  “How many did you bring me?”

I looked behind me and saw no one.  And as well as inspired I was unworthy.  I brought no one.  Only me.  And here was this speaker.  He would have thousands behind him.  We all should have thousands behind us.  And I saw no one.  Make disciples.  Preach the Good News.  Save souls from an eternity of separation.  Bring thousands.  It is the clarion call I hear again and again.  Revival.  Mission.  Outreach.  Education.  Junior Church.  Mega Church.  Where did you find God this weekend.  When did you last admit you are a Christian.  Why are not at church each Sunday.  Wait until you become a mature Christian.

And I saw no one.

It took several years for GSHJ to get through my thick skull.  He used others.  He took the direct route.  He never gave up on my giving up.  And slowly – bit by bit – I began to hear.

The biggest gift – the best gift – the ONLY gift I can ever bring … is me.  The only “How many did you bring me?” my God Soft Hands Jesus ever wanted was …

One.

And it took me years to get that.  It took me years for me to get the “why”.  And my getting it – my “why” – is mine alone.

But what I hear Him ask is this.

“Tell them I have no number other than one.  Tell them one is all there ever is.  One is all and all is one.  Forget the big numbers.  Forget the worldly measure of “success”.  Forget the inspiration that tastes good in the mouth yet leaves your stomach sick.  Tell them I do not count and never have.  Tell them I never will.  I will never judge thirty years “service” better than none.  I will never applaud headcount other than one to one.  I will never hold higher one who gave more.  For if you give you – there can never be “more”.  Counting is conditions and conditional love.  That is why I only see one.  Unconditional never compares.  Unconditional love always shares.  Love without condition will never count.  Not more than one in one right now.”

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For all those who think “my blog is not enough” …

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

Who is this “name unknown” my GSHJ invited me to … ?  It is –

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AYOKA – Things I should be telling myself

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A sense to connect is yours alone.

All I ask is that you listen and hear without numbers.

That you listen to One.

Thank you –

paulfg

 

All life needs love

I read somewhere that a female human being will seek a mate for procreation: strong, powerful of muscle and mind – eye candy with a brain. And yet that same female human being will seek someone different to protect and nurture her children: a keeper, someone solid and caring, someone who will be there for her and their children. The conclusion was that monogamy is a cultural conundrum – that the essence of successful creation requires multiple partners.

I have a different thought. I have a thought that love is the answer – that love changes everything.

So yes,  if the “female” seeks only a sperm donor of orgasm – then love is not a requirement. And yes, if the “male” seeks only a sperm recipient of orgasm – neither need love. Surely that is not the “creation of life”?  Yet – for me – the consequence of orgasm and sharing sperm will have consequences. Not just if birth control statistics come true and creation of life is “the consequence”. But in the very act of that “intimacy of sharing” crossing a line. And how ignoring the crossing will eventually have consequences. Maybe not immediately.

But at some point “it” will not be enough. And hope for “life beyond the line” will be the consequence. And ALL life needs love – even hope.  So the consequence of shared orgasm is life at some point – whether desired as “relationship” or not desired as “a baby” – both are the creation of life without love.  Which may then need “multiple partners” before love is found (along with a growing scepticism of “love”).

I have found that “religious orgasm” with others has consequences. Because whilst there is no sperm sharing, there is “soul sharing” – and as far as I know there is no soul “birth control” available yet.  And when you orgasm on religious faith you will create life. You will create hope that is living – and all living things need loving.  So if the “hallelujahs” are all there is … if the “saving” is all there is … if “Sunday” is all there is … if Love is missing …  how will then hope be nurtured?

And just as bad dating experiences cause disillusionment with “love” – so too bad experiences with religion cause disillusionment with “God”. And just as “all men” become bastards – so too “all religions” become evil.  And just as “they only want to get a ring on my finger” – so too “religion” –  and just as “I have had it with relationships” – so too the age-old “I have had it with God.”

All life needs love.

But we so often make God as fickle and imperfect as we see in each other.  We so often impose our own shortcomings on God (and others who “believe in God”).  We question both – we test both. And – surprise surprise! – BOTH come up short!

I have been through the lust stage. And I looked for the loving. And I found it missing. So I kept on looking. And found it in the most weird of places. I found it in the place God was – and I thought He wasn’t. I had tied God down – I had decided how big He was – I had defined where He was and where He was not – I had imposed ME on god!  Yet He – as unconditional love – would not be bound.  He – as Love – “escaped” my imposition – and He is always “there” before me – always and everywhere.

God does not change.

In my experience He does not go through the lust stage and move on to the love phase. In my own experience unconditional love is constant. And I have learned that unconditional love does not need.  That unconditional love desires – empowers – liberates – allows – All – Always.  Unconditional love does not change.

But I do.

I have changed. I have railed against my Lord. I still do. My real complaint is that God does not need me – God “desires” me. So I cannot test God in the way I can test others: How much do you love me (God)? Show me how much you love me (God)! If you love me (God) – then show me – make life easy – give me good things – stop all the bad things – make everybody’s lives perfect (God)!  And even worse than that – my God never demands that of me either!  My God never rails at me, never tests as I do, never demands as I do, but is constant and always!

The word “affluenza” comes to mind.

A term of privilege. A word which encapsulates the “legitimacy of unawareness” for others. The absence of accountability for ourselves.  Of being brought up in “a bubble” of privilege one’s whole life.  Of an absence of allowing others the same freedom I have – because I never knew they should or could!  Affluenza is the legitimacy of being totally self-centred – to cause harm to others – and that harm not being my fault.

Affluenza is currently being tested in a court of law as a defence against just that.

So …

Is that really the relationship we wish of God for ourselves – to be in this bubble of unaccountability – for all the bad stuff we do to each other – for all the bad stuff anywhere – for it always to be “His fault”?  And what does that say about how we love ourselves – how we love others – before we ever get to “debating God”?

What does that “God” say not about God – but about us?