According to most traditional religions, evil originated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by ingesting the forbidden fruit.
What is not made clear in current religion doctrine is whether eating the forbidden fruit was a great sin because it challenged a divine dictate or if they had actually eaten something poisonous.
The “big clue” in answering this question is hinted at in Genesis, by Adam and Eve’s being convinced (by the serpent) that they would gain their own knowledge of good and evil and become gods themselves.
Such a false sense of self-importance seems much more grievous than the childlike disobedience of wanting to eat something that was off-limits. Even a parent will put a limit on a child eating candy because it can be lead to future health problems (not because the parent is testing for obedience).
Like all true crimes, transgressions of law need to be qualified by a motive. The motive of Adam and Eve was for power, rather than to expand their desert menu. They desired to place their own importance above that of God’s.
Evil is the reversal of order.
Within the Divine scheme of order we are to place the love of God and the love of the neighbor above our own worldly and temporal needs. However, when we put ourselves first, we turn God’s scheme upside down and on its head. All evil originates from the belief that we are better than others, and that their only value is to serve our needs.
Evil has no fundamental basis in reality. Evil is a contingency and choice.
When we put ourselves above others have we not “swallowed whole” a horrendous idea about ourselves? Under the principle of such a false image of ourselves, do we not seek the sweetness and fruitfulness of being numero uno?
Trees in the Garden of Eden represented belief systems. The Tree of Life represented a belief system based on God’s tenets. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a belief system based on one’s own sagacity and self worth.
The Lord said to judge people by their fruit.
What tree grows inside your heart and mind? What ideas branch out, blossom, and bear fruit from the principles you have chosen in life?
What is the sweetest and delicious thing you could experience in your life?