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The Tree of Knowledge

   Cryptic reference to the temptation of Eve by the Lucifer Spirits is found in a passage from the early teachings of the Essenes:

   From the skin of the serpent, Jehovah made coats of skin for Adam and Eve.

   If the serpent had not been cursed he would have been of great benefit to man. Every man would possess two serpents, sending one northward and the other southward for thirty days. They would bring him silver, gold, jewels, and rare pearls.

   Samael taught Eve lasciviousness. Says Eve: "While persuading me to eat of the fruit, he married me, making me his wife."

   Adam knew that Eve was pregnant by the angel Samael (Lucifer) and she conceived and bare a son, Cain; he was like an heavenly being and not like an earthly man. Eve said: "I have acquired a son with the angel of the Lord."

   In the Talmud we read: "The serpent slept with Eve and poisoned her. Israel got rid of this poison at Sinai, but the people who did not obey the law kept it."

   The Zohar declares that those who descend from Cain are called "Bene Elohim," or Angels.

   The Tree of Knowledge symbolizes the dual consciousness of man after the Fall. Paul admonishes us to know the true from the false, the real from the unreal; also, he reminds us that things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal. "The Tree of Knowledge becomes the Tree of Death. Aspirants toil, sacrifice, and serve at the foot of this tree that it may again become the Tree of Life."

   The Apocrypha of Genesis states that Eve was tempted by an Angel of Light to partake of the forbidden fruit; and that when she did so the leaves fell from all the trees in the garden excepting the fig tree, from which she and Adam afterwards made for themselves garments to cover their nakedness. The word "leaves" has common derivation with a word in Hebrew meaning sorrow and pain. As used throughout the Bible, the fig tree symbolizes generation.

   The first effect of eating of the Tree of Good and Evil was an awakening to the existence of the physical world. A species of intuition opened their eyes. The faculty of imagination commenced to function on the material plane. It imaged forth physical objects. Gradually the focus of consciousness changed from the spiritual plane to the material. It fell.

   On awakening to physical existence, Edenic humanity perceived its nakedness. When this stage in human evolution was depicted in the ceremonials of the ancient Mystery Schools, the neophyte was naked except for an apron.

   Jehovah's warning to Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, "for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was simply a statement of consequences that would follow such an act. They ate, and thus assumed responsibility for using the law of generation as they desired, disregarding appropriate times and seasons which had always been observed when they were under the guidance of Jehovah and His Angels. Sensuous gratification followed, with the result that disease and death entered man's experience. He lost spiritual sight as he became immured in a denser body; physical conditions closed the gates on the etheric Eden wherein he had dwelt. Thus it was that he "died" to higher worlds.

   As long as the present law of generation exists there will be enmity between woman and the serpent. Jehovah states: "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." Upon woman has fallen the chief burden of sorrow and pain following misuse of the generative forces.

   When man descended into the material world it became necessary for him to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. As long as he is clothed in a dense physical body, his spirit will experience the death of that body. "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." This will continue as long as man thinks materially. The Fall first occurred in consciousness. Later, it manifested in external conditions. Likewise, liberation from bondage to material conditions will begin with re-elevation of consciousness. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

   In the early days of the Lemurian Epoch before the Fall, man was pure and innocent, the docile ward of Guardian Angels who guided every step of his unfoldment. He had not yet been endowed with reason; nor was such a faculty necessary since, there was only one path to follow. He was not yet a free agent with the power of choice. Had no disturbing factor entered into human evolution the Earth would have remained an etheric paradise and man as innocent and beautiful as the Angels. Pain, sorrow and sickness would have been unknown.

   It was otherwise after the Lucifers opened his eyes to a knowledge of good and evil and the Lords of Mercury assisted him in the unfoldment of his reasoning faculty. He then became potentially greater than either, a consequence in accordance with the spiral path of evolution. Endowed with free will and reason, he is privileged to ultimately fulfill the promise of Christ: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do."

 — Corinne Heline

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