The story of the Garden of Eden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil sets the tone for the rest of the Bible. Every person who interacts with God in this sacred text views materiality through the prism of the tree of illusion – knowledge of good and evil – until Jesus comes on the scene with a radically different view of reality.
Returning to the story about the Garden of Eden: we find Adam and Eve were confronted with their failures. It didn’t take but a moment for Adam to throw Eve under the bus. (Some things never change, right?) “The woman you gave me is to blame,” he told God. Adam’s line of defense was clear: I’m a victim. It’s not my fault. It’s Eve’s fault, and it’s your fault because you gave her to me.
Every infraction, every misdeed, and every failure has its own unique sentence. If we get fired from our job, and the list of excuses runs out, we turn the finger on ourselves. We are guilty, and now the shame of not being enough the way we are demands some form of punishment.
The ego is always terrified of being exposed, humiliated, and disapproved of. It fears the judge, our conscience, and the hell of inner torment and suffering that awaits as punishment for our wrongdoings. It’s afraid of anything that threatens its carefully crafted identity. Most of all, it fears death—the end of its importance.
Once Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the illusion of separation was almost complete. A shift of consciousness had occurred. Awareness of spirit had turned to intellectual reasoning based on the five senses. The transference from the love-union consciousness to the fear-self perception would have an immediate impact.
The third lesson we learn from the story about the tree of knowledge of good and evil is how the formation of the ego resulted in a distorted view of God, where God is made in the likeness and image of the false self.