In a previous post on Felix Culpa, we reviewed the concept of the “fortunate fall” of Adam and Eve. Their expulsion from the Garden of Eden was a harsh reality for their disobedience by partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
“Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:22-24 ESV)
Adam, Eve and their descendants were denied access to the Tree of Life (HaEtz HaChayyim). Cherubim guarded the gates of Eden as a flaming sword rotated to bar entrance. Perhaps, this depiction is an ancient statement about a doorway or gateway to another dimension, time or place which humans were not allowed to reenter until the promised Messiah would come to reopen the gates of paradise.
Cherubim were a special classification under what we commonly call angels. These celestial beings are mentioned in ancient writings and are referred to by different names in various cultures around the globe.
In the popular Star Trek series of the 60s religious references were frequent as the crew of the Enterprise visited strange new worlds and encountered life forms both inferior and vastly superior. In one classic episode Kirk and McCoy have a discussion about paradise:
In Star Trek’s This Side of Paradise Dr. McCoy says to Kirk:
“Well, that’s the second time man’s been thrown out of paradise.”
“No, no, Bones, this time we walked out on our own. Maybe we weren’t meant for Paradise. Maybe we were meant to fight our way through, struggle, claw our way up, scratch for every inch of the way. Maybe we can’t stroll to music of the lute; we must march to the sound of drums.”
Is there something in the human genome that prefers the drum to the lute? Is there some cosmic-embedded drive in us where we prefer the difficult path to the summit?
Would we have been content tending a garden, playing with animals and raising children? Would the human creativity have flourished in such an idyllic environment?
Regardless of what you believe, wouldn’t a time in paradise be a welcome repast from the daily routines and struggles? To reach out and take a piece of savory Edenic fruit? To listen to the soothing strings of a harp as the winds touch the empyreal strings might be refreshing at the end of a long journey fraught with incessant toils? To travel the cosmos and to open its mysteries and gems of cosmic truth?
G. D. Williams © 2013
Star Trek: This Side of Paradise
The Forest: Search For The One