Every year, it is with great joy that I see the spring blossoms while people decorate their homes for Easter and prepare to celebrate Passover with their loved ones. Yet rarely do we discuss outside of a church or synagogue the historical events that led to the creation of these special days. I myself did not realize how little I had covered with my own son until I recently took him to see the movie Noah, which led to a lot of questions that I assumed had already been answered. So perhaps this week, as many of us take time off for the high holy days with our kids, we should take a moment to pass on some of our thoughts– deep thoughts about creation and our human existence.
Personally, I have spent a lot of time thinking about our exile from the Garden of Eden, which is by far one of the most powerful and thought-provoking stories about our human condition. This beautiful story actually seems so much more relevant today than ever before, because let’s all be honest, in Eve’s shoes, which one of us would not have taken a bite of the forbidden fruit? Not because we necessarily want to disobey God and his rules, but because our natural curiosity is immense and when we don’t understand the basis behind a rule, it is easy to dismiss it.
The fruit that dangles from the tree of knowledge is alluring beyond belief, and we are surrounded by tempting snakes every where we go these days, however, it is not always so easy to identify the snakes in the grass as perhaps it once was so very long ago. And so it is that life in the Garden of Good and Evil, which is where we find ourselves today is indeed full of many challenges. Mischief is easy to find, and now more than ever we need to give our kids a moral compass that will help them stay the course so they can stay true to themselves and maximize their full potential on Earth.
Sometimes, I hate to admit that it feels like I am living back in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet, somehow every day I also manage to encounter little of acts of kindness that remind me that gentle souls do still exist. Angels seem to appear at the most opportune times, and miracles still do happen if you take the time to actually notice them. And if you let yourself dream (naturally, not by some drug-induced coma), you actually can transcend this world and connect with spirits. But to do all of this there is one key thing you need to do: unplug.
My greatest fear these days is that these younger generations (and maybe some parents) don’t know how to unplug, and if they don’t learn this fast, how will they ever be able to connect with nature, enjoy connecting with others, and most importantly develop the ability to connect with themselves?
There is a false sense of connection created by modern technology, and an unhealthy attachment to electronic devices that many seem to think hold all the answers. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth– the real answers are within us.
If you take the time to truly explore the Garden of Good and Evil, you will see there is great beauty in the balance created by both powers. For better or worse, to truly understand peace, you need to see chaos; to appreciate true beauty, you need to see some ugliness; to enjoy happiness you have to contrast that with moments of loss and sorrow; to recognize good, you have to witness some evil. To enjoy success, you need to overcome challenges and sometimes suffer set backs. All of these messages are actually in the stories of our ancestors, which unfortunately many seem to have forgotten or abandoned along with their faith in any god.
Whether or not you believe in God, angels, spirits and an afterworld, I don’t think any of us can deny that humanity has slowly been destroying Earth and there has been a steady decline in our overall respect for life. And so I am not surprised to see the escalation of violence or natural disasters that we can all tune into every day, and it is not because God is dead or has forsaken us, but because we now need to step up and take responsibility for our own actions.
Let’s face it, we all took a bite of the forbidden fruit, perhaps not realizing the unintended consequences that would come from that one act. Trying to play God, we’ve all taken it a bit too far. Now we need to right those wrongs– if for no other reason than because our children should not suffer for our sins.
So, while the Garden of Eden is long gone, and we have strayed very far indeed since our exile, I do believe we have the power and knowledge to restore some balance here on Earth before it is too late. The roadmap was actually given to us long ago, so go revive the stories of your ancestors, share the wisdom from past legends with each other, and fill your children with hope.
Best wishes to you all for a beautiful week of spirituality and peace.