Was The Forbidden Fruit A Crisp, Juicy Apple?

Eating fruit is supposed to be healthy for us. The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is a positive testimonial to its nutritional value and fiber content.

So why would God warn Adam and Eve not to do something which offered real health benefits? What made the forbidden fruit forbidden? If one does not think deeply about this, then the only conclusion to be made is that this particular fruit was not necessarily bad to eat, but that the act of disobeying God made it evil.

If one does think deeply about this biblical event it becomes quite troublesome. The outcome, called “The Fall,” challenges our intuitive and deep sense of justice and rightness.

In this story, God concocted an artificial test, which had nothing to do with a person’s actual character or morality, yet became so indignant by this minor infraction that all humanity was doomed to suffer. Why would someone’s moment of weakness be transferred to future generations as deadly original sin?

It seems as though God acted more like a spoiled brat than one possessing Infinite Love and Wisdom. And why did God later choose to become more practical with the Ten Commandments, which does indeed address and test the quality of human souls? Was God still tinkering with how humans should behave? Tinkering does not suggest inerrancy.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. The problem is that the literal interpretation of its stories kills heavenly communication.

The Word of God could not be the Word of God unless it contained the boundless depth of Infinite wisdom. God could not have created everything in the universe, including bio-complexity, from the Holy Word, unless it too, contained unimaginable complexity. The only way Infinite Wisdom and complexity can exist in a finite book is if Scripture is a multidimensional document with layers of meaning.

These higher meanings allow God to reveal more and more divine wisdom to us. For instance, on a higher level, the act of eating in Scripture represents appropriation. When we eat and metabolize food (or fruit) it enters into our very fabric and becomes “us.” The same thing holds true with ideas and beliefs – which we can swallow whole.

Simply put, the forbidden fruit was harmful because it was really poisonous to eat – poisonous for the soul. God warned against eating this fruit because it came from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which represents humankind’s misguided belief and faith in their own self intelligence, rather then being led by God’s wisdom (Tree of Life).

To be expelled from the Garden of Eden is to be removed from God’s wisdom. Everything wrong about today’s world and human affairs is not from any ongoing punishment. It all stems from a lack of wisdom.

Don’t you think that the “fruits” of one’s self-pride and ego reasoning are much more tempting and sweeter than a mere apple? This higher lesson is carried over into the New Testament by the Lord’s words, “wherefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) and “for the tree is known by his fruit” (Matthew 12:33).

Website: http://www.innergardening.net

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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3 Responses to Was The Forbidden Fruit A Crisp, Juicy Apple?

  1. Linda Austin says:

    The poor apple has a bad reputation from that story, when in fact the name of the fruit is not given, hence more easily seen as allegorical. Now what about that painful childbirth punishment…

  2. thegodguy says:

    You are right about the poor apple. The Genesis story is an allegory which addresses the “inner” world of men and women. The Garden of Eden is a psycho-scape. Since an apple is the fruit usually depicted in paintings or other renditions of Adam and Eve I have used it to illustrate that eating physical fruit (of any kind) could not have lead to the world’s problems.

    Much of humankind has “swallowed whole” belief systems and world-views that are toxic (as evidenced by war, poverty, and environmental pollution). The Forbidden fruit represents the mental digestion of hurtful and selfish ideas. We are what we eat – especially the ideas we have developed a strong appetite for.

    Punishment and pain are two different things. Besides, fashionable women seem to prefer smaller hips.

  3. thegodguy says:

    Hello again Linda,

    You have inspired me to pull out my volume #1 of Swedenborg’s Arcana Coelestia (Secrets of Heaven) from the bookshelf and see what he says about the “higher meaning” of painful childbirth in Scripture. I believe you are referring to chapter 3, verse 16, of Genesis.

    As I mentioned in my previous response, Scripture portrays events that symbolize the inner or spiritual reality of men and women. This inner world includes the quality of our faith-systems. In a nutshell, when we appropriate (eat) false notions into our lives it will become much more difficult to conceive and give birth to “ideas of truth.” Our concepts about reality and the world are the psychological productions or progeny of our inner or mental world. What could be more painful then living in a world of conflicting principles and ideas?

    These higher-level interpretations are, in fact, the Lord’s Second Coming. The Lord’s strategy of REVELATION is to show that the narratives of Scripture contain the means by which men and women can ELEVATE their hearts and minds. The Second Coming will bring about a much needed paradigm shift (world-view) as men and women become aware of, and seek out, the deeper lessons contained with Scripture’s literal words.

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