“Tree of good and bad” means what?

by venus 42 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • venus

    If “Tree of good and bad” were literal, it would mean Adam and Eve would know what is “good and bad” only after eating of that tree. However, even before eating of it, they would think “it is good for us to eat of this tree” which means they are already endowed knowledge of “good and bad.” That means “tree of good and bad” is symbolic of something.

    Since religious organizations interpret this differently, each reader has to adopt his own conclusion. For me it looks like this: One thinks of good and bad in relation to himself—if something is beneficial for him he would say it is good for him, and bad for him if it is not beneficial. This is the characteristic of ego. That means “tree of good and bad” represents ego. Our experience is that the day we start interpreting things and happenings as good and bad our happiness ‘positively dies.’ Hence it would seem God’s command was not to interpret things and happenings as “good and bad.” Such a command is reasonable because good and bad are relative. One may say wheat is good but weed is bad whereas a herbalist may find this so-called weed as precious medicine. Rainy season may be good for certain business people whereas summer season may be good for another business.

    When I stopped interpreting things and happenings as good and bad but started as seeing them as flow of events which are totally neutral, it keeps my happiness in tact.

  • pleaseresearch

    Nice post. I personally think putting such a thing there in the first place was wrong. The curiosity would have been too much if not for Adam and Eve, then for someone else. I mean the fruit from that tree was gonna be eat by someone, someday. I just had to.

    The fact that God can see into the future too is very disturbing. Knowing that this was going to happen all along.

  • Crazyguy

    There's a scripture where is says god created Evil.

  • notalone

    It is so funny you brought up this topic. I have been discussing this with my husband recently. I made the decision to read the different holy texts and to see what they actually say and not add outside interpretation. So this is what I am thinking about at this point. It says there was a tree of knowledge of 'good and bad'. The term 'of good and bad' could also mean 'everything'. There was also a tree of life.

    The bible does not say it was there as a test for mankind just that they were there. What we know is that it is stated that after eating from the tree they did understand things they didn't understand before. The human brain has a physical learning process. It is able to progress in learning when the synapses myelinate and cannot progress until that happens.

    What if it was always the intention of God to have Adam and Eve eat from the tree when they had matured enough. We know that God said that man was good not perfect( or complete) when he was created. It may have been (my own idea) that the eating of the tree caused an premature myelinating that they were not ready for and that this would cause problems. Like a three year old cooking on a stove or a five year old driving. If this were the case there would be a reason for the tree and it would explain the physical reaction to eating from it. It could also fit with the description God gave of the results of this premature knowledge. Also it was stated that if Adam and Eve ate from the tree of life they would continue to live. God may have known that they the way had physically altered themselves would become genetic and would only lead to problems that would need to be addressed.

  • waton

    Common theme of writers that want to control. Prometheus, punished for advancing mankind with the gift of fire. Do not touch knowledge (eden). Avoid higher education; wt.

    keep'em dumb to control them, knowledge only for the elite (they would become like one of us).

    When "god said"" all is very good", A&E were actually mortal. that is why they had the un-forbidden tree of life to keep alive! They did not die because of knowledge, but because they were deprived of that one staple of their diet.

    not endorsing.

  • venus


    You brought an excellent point: "The term 'of good and bad' could also mean 'everything'.

    That would mean they were forbidden from doing anything. This is an indication that story was poorly copied from other cultures.

  • smiddy

    Maybe Satan is not an evil Angel but the evil that resides in God.Remember God said "here the man has become like one of us knowing good and bad"

    If I understand things correctly Satan as a fallen angel is a christian concept and one not accepted by the Jews .

  • dogisgod

    I often wondered why if Satan was so smart, being JCs first creation and being around for kazillions of years......why not induce them to eat the tree of life first? They could still be alive today.....if they existed in the first place.

  • unsure

    Interesting point @Smiddy

    That's why to me, it makes more sense that God is not this perfectly all loving being. That they have these very human like emotions and ways. That they are like God's in mythology with imperfections and struggles themselves. That "bad things" are just the way the universe is, order and chaos, Ying and Yang. That God is a being very much like us just on a different plane and infinitely more powerful.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    It is I think, a mistake to give every incident a profound meaning in a mythical story, and most certainly not to reckon that it is from God. Incidents and objects in myth are often explanations attempting to reconcile contradictions.

    Adam and Eve clearly never existed and neither did the fabled tree. Nevertheless it is possible to unpick the events, characters and components of this story as a creation myth which points to the mythical creator's right to determine what his innocent creation must and must not do. This is something we were all confronted with as we grew up; we all asked ourselves-- but not necessarily at one moment, the basic philosophical question: what is the best way to live our lives? What should we do and what must we not do?

    The Biblical story has been used by Jews and Christians to capture the allegiance of young people in turning them towards "God" as ultimate authority.

    I might add that since the Age of the Enlightenment, "reason" has proved to be a more reliable authority.

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