The Adam and Eve of Paradise Lost

I only brought it up with regards to cultural interpretations of the time. I see the 1600’s interpretations as irrelevant, because at that point, no one had real insight.

I also see the Biblical accounts as incomplete, considering they come from a much earlier version of the same story.

It’s interesting regarding the general lack of enthusiasm people have in learning more about where Father Abraham got all his stories that he passed down via word of mouth.

The (seemingly) original story of creation that the Bible gets its narrative from is a very uncomfortable story rife with rabbit holes in all directions, but it’s the only one that even mentions the other humans already walking this Earth before Sapiens arrived.

I do try to distinguish between religious beliefs and mythology, although I know some believe they are one and the same. Speaking broadly, I classify mythology as based upon human rulers who have passed on…and legends have sprung up about them. In stories they do not seem to care much about humans and human affairs, and their conflicts are usually among other gods and goddesses. Some of these stories, like later Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales are loosely based on real life events of the time. This is an interesting study in its own right, and I have only skimmed the surface.

My own thought is that religious beliefs did not begin with mythology stories that people came to believe. I think religious beliefs began with near death experiences and legitimate spiritual experiences of God. Or (and Buddhism may be an example) of coming to understand that one’s own spirit has greater boundaries than self.

It seems to me that the Mythology surrounding these ancient peoples are all created by the so-called academics that unearth them thousands of years after all context is lost.

Ever notice how everything is treated like a temple, or a religious site, or some sacred nonsense or another?

Take Gobekli Tepe for example. Archaeologists call it a temple, when in fact it’s clearly a history book carved in stone, by the survivors of actual historical events on Earth, related to celestial events above (the source of the Deluge accounts).

As far as spiritual beliefs go, I find absolutely zero reason to think that divine worship hasn’t been around as long as sentient self-reflection, which is why no matter how far anyone goes back, the spiritual beliefs of the day are all similar, with different semantics. It has a single source, just like our languages.

Religion, IMO, is borne out of strife, following spirituality.

Accounts have boundaries, and this is especially noticeable in good narratives–many of which were told, not written, for hundreds of years. I do not think the story in Genesis was intended (at least not originally) to dismiss other humans. They were simply not a part of the story being told.

I don’t disagree, but the Sumerian version is the latest surviving accounts of this same exact Adam and Even (and Eden) story, and it includes the other humans that make up our DNA. It’s scary, and it’s staggering, and it leads to a lot of rabbit holes on the internet.

I’m reminded of an end times prophecy that I can’t name at the moment, which talks about all the lost knowledge of the world being revealed before the end, so a part of me doesn’t really want to know… yet. :wink:

This may be true among Christians who choose to focus on the New Testament instead of the Old. However, Jews have other accounts of Abraham, including that he came from a family who carved icons/gods, and it was he who is credited with first understanding there were not many Gods, but One.

1 Like

Yep, I learned about Father Abraham from my grandpa (a Jew), and learned a heck of a lot more than I did in Christian church.

My favorite part is when he destroys the shop, and when his uncle comes home, he blames it on the surviving idol. His uncle replies, “Why would you lie to me? A statue can’t do anything!”

Father Abraham replied: “Listen to what you’re saying, Uncle!”

Beautiful! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Yes. This should not be hard for everyone to understand. Even in the present day it is ridiculously easy (without looking at print dates) to differentiate between a story written in the 1940s about the 1940s and a book written even in the 1980s about the 1940s.

1 Like

Interestingly enough, Gobekli Tepe is not far away at all from Mt. Ararat, or where the Tigris and Euphrates begin, or where two other rivers begin… the land of Canaan does extend all the way up there though… :thinking:

Possibly, but I think there are steps between individual spiritual experiences and religion.

One person with a few followers and then a small group. When this group remains calm and confident during strife, then it attracts those who are pushed into the group as the result of strife. The group grows and then an organization develops to handle the numbers. At this time, within the organization, or the larger group as a whole, spirituality may wane–not with individuals necessarily–but within the total group. Think about it. It would be like having a very large group of students of all ages and grade levels. The focus becomes on the entry level and the more experienced are left to fend for themselves.

A plus in Buddhism is it appears right from the beginning people understand this is going to be pretty much a solitary journey. Meanwhile, within Church, one may not realize how solitary it becomes for those who want to move beyond entry level instruction and practice.

1 Like

May I borrow this quote for the future??

Yes! I would have liked to have known Abraham.

I find that interesting as well. I was still a kid when I read the idea that Adam was not the first individual, but rather Adam was a tribe of people, and that tribe grew and other tribes (Cain and Seth) broke off from it.

Not only does this resolve the problem of marrying siblings, it resolves an individual living for 930 years. That the nation/tribe of Adam survived 930 years before dissipating (or dying off) tells us it was a strong, early civilization. This sounds more plausible than an individual living that long.

1 Like

Sure. It is only a simple observation. Back in the 1500s Teresa of Avila wrote a book she called The Interior Castle where there were seven levels, with each level filled with many rooms. I love The Interior Castle but quickly saw what Teresa saw. She noted that not many progressed beyond the first or second level.

I wondered why this was so, and that had me simply noticing that while the Church does such a great job with getting people from outside to the foyer to levels one and two, there is simply not the means in the average size church to assist those who are struggling to reach a higher level. To be fair, every day life prevents people from having the time to discover and investigate the higher levels as well–and to stick with them when life makes other demands.

It could be people haven’t read the book, or read it so long ago do not remember the fine points. I suspect that if a point from Paradise Lost is raised, people would enjoy discussing that point.

Regarding the history, there are some who insist on taking the Bible’s words literally, but I don’t know when that started? Was that also a Medieval thing? It doesn’t make much sense to me that Jesus would use parables to speak literally, ya know? :thinking:

The modern day push to take the Bible literally came from the Evangelicals in the 1970s. As long as I have been around, Catholics (at least as a whole) did not take everything literally. Even in my grandmother’s day, the Catholic Church did not care whether Catholics believed in evolution or were strict creationists. (But then Catholics throughout time have had a history of disagreeing with each other.) Believing in the Resurrection, the Sacraments, and the Commandments were more important than wondering if the flood covered the whole planet or all the earth in a section of the planet.

In the late 1800s, a Protestant Bishop thought he could determine the age of the planet by counting back generations as mentioned in the Bible. However, he did not take into account the language difference, and hence the late 1800 idea that the earth was only six thousand years old.

I think it was about a hundred years later another Protestant sect thought that the Book of Revelation was a book–not about a first century account written in Apocalyptic style–but was instead a future prophecy and should be taken literally as such.

An unintended result of Protestant insistence that anyone could read and understand the Bible on their own may have brought about so many taking the Bible literally.

1 Like

Another thought that may be apropos here is what percentage of the population have a tendency to be literal thinkers. I do not mean far end of the spectrum (i.e. Sheldon Cooper who often could not discern sarcasm), but people who are simply wired to look at things more literally. Is a literal assessment of the Bible helpful to believers who naturally think in more concrete terms to better understand God, while at the same time turning atheists away because atheists must take the flood literally or reject it entirely?

In other words, are atheists more literal thinkers than people of faith? Could this be why so many atheists demand physical (literal) proof of God, and why believers cannot seem to reach them when they speak of faith?

I think people are taught from childhood to be literal, material-reductionist thinkers, and that it’s been going on long enough that it has infected the population as a whole.

It’s not without its merits, as wars can fought over non-physical beliefs just as easily as money and material wealth can be had over a narrow, material view. It’s a pretty easy choice for most, especially when their childhood conditioning reinforces it.

Anyone who looks far enough within their Self, realizes that the Self cannot been “seen,” and that goes against “rational” thought. We can’t taste our own tongues either, and nothing about reality is rational in the first place, since rationality is just a human concept. :man_shrugging:

If so much of the Bible is allegorical, cannot the very concept of God also be allegory?