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Original Sin

August 23, 2010

My analysis of original sin first began in my post “Agony” (which btw is a ‘pain’ to read), which builds upon the premise that there is a price for everything, and even God himself is not exempt from this law; building upon this axiom (which I call “Balance”), I attempted to deduce what the price that God paid to create humanity, and the answer was clear: suffering. That is, in order for God to create us, he had to bring suffering into the world, in the form of Sin; Because Sin is the essence of Imperfection, and God is by his nature perfect, Sin has caused God to suffer greatly. Thus in creating us, God did not create Sin himself; rather, Sin is the inevitable byproduct of our creation. Sin is the consequence of our being created.

So it is that we have a sinful nature from birth; we are the child of both God and Sin, because for God to create us in the first place, we must also be sinful, as this is the price of our existence. Sin came into being as a direct result of our creation– and as a result of the creation of the world. Sin is also the cause of all suffering, and it is so that through suffering God might pay the price for creating us, and that we might pay the price for our own existence. The relationship between Sin, suffering, and existence is discussed more-depth in my post “Hope Versus Despair”.

When thinking about Original Sin, the Christian mind looks back to the Fall of Man, citing that man committed the Original Sin by disobeying God and eating from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But if you read those passages closely, you will notice that Sin existed long before Adam and Eve ate the fruit. In fact, never does that passage once say, or even infer that man sinned by eating the fruit. The first mention of man sinning does not occur until Cain and Abel; the first sin recorded in Genesis isn’t disobedience– the first recorded sin was murder.

So then, why does the Bible so intricately detail the consequences of man’s disobedience, as if it were a bad thing? Why must the ground, plants, animals, and people of the earth suffer, if there was nothing wrong with Adam or Eve’s actions? The answer cannot be found in the aftermath, because the consequences of their actions had already happened! They just were’t aware of it!

Notice that it is called the “Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil”? There’s one key word here: Knowledge. What is inferred by the Bible, but almost always overlooked by those who read it, is that Sin was already in the world! There was already suffering and corruption in the world– Mankind was just not yet aware of it! By eating the tree, Adam and Eve had in fact taken the proverbial Red pill, effectively waking up from the “God-generated dream world” that we call The Garden of Eden.

Sin has already been in the world from the moment of its creation, and the corruption and suffering that sin causes has always been part of the world’s nature. The world is by its very nature a world of agony– this is the price that the world must pay to exist, and the price that God must pay to sustain its existence. It’s not as if Adam and Eve brought sin into the world; rather, they suddenly became aware of the way the world had been all along. God tried to hide the truth from mankind by masking away the truth with a beautiful oasis, but mankind’s curiosity and thirst for knowledge God the best of him, making the overthrow of the original Matrix an inevitability.

So then, where did the Serpent come from, and what role did he play in this holy mutiny? To explain this we draw upon the initial premise, which is “there is a price for everything”.

If God created the world, the price for that creation is suffering– this we have already established. But if mankind is not aware of the suffering, he will not suffer; rather, he will be immune to suffering because knowledge of suffering is prerequisite to experiencing it. I would imagine that God attempted to “short-change” Balance in an effort to ensure his creation’s happiness, which would indirectly translate to God’s own heightened pleasure (via satisfaction). But in order for mankind to truly exist as an independent entity, he must have freewill, and there is a price that also; that is, if mankind is his own entity, he must share the same suffering as God.

As I will explain in greater detail in “Run Away”, the price of self-awareness is suffering; this is the reason why that God suffers from creating us: God’s creation is in fact the actualization of His character; we are the product of God achieving self-awareness through his creation. For this reason, the more self-aware we become (via Knowledge), the more suffering that we are subjected to. Self-awareness leads to individuality, and increases one’s freewill; as such, the price of freedom is suffering.

To quote Søren Kierkegaard, “If sin is ignorance, then sin does not really exist, for sin is precisely consciousness; if sin is ignorance of what is right, and one then does what is wrong because one does not know what is right, then no sin has occurred.” So as the price of consciousness is sin, the Serpent existed that mankind might obtain consciousness.

The Bible tends to confuse people on this matter, for one might think “weren’t Adam and Eve already sentient beings, being created with freewill by God?” But nowhere does it say that God created mankind with freewill– that is something that is inferred by the statement “Let Us make man in our own image.” If mankind does not know good from evil, he cannot have freewill, because to make any decision in the first place, there must be standard by which to decide, the most primal of which is “good versus evil.” Rather, it was by eating the fruit that man became self-aware, and gaining freewill as a consequence of that self-awareness. The other consequence, of course, was knowledge of Sin, which lead to suffering; thus the Fall of Man.

Getting back to the Serpent: In my opinion, the Serpent was an agent of Balance, seeking to restore the Balance in the cosmos by ensuring that mankind became self-aware, that the consequence of God’s creation (suffering) might be consistent with itself.

This implies an interesting proposition: It was not God that gave us freewill, but the Serpent. If we follow Jewish mythology (which sadly Christianity also blindly adheres to), this would mean that the Devil himself gave us freewill, and brought Sin into the world using the Tree as a medium. But certain Gnostic accounts of the creation story claim that Jesus was in fact the Serpent, and sought to give mankind their freedom from the “God-generated dream-world” created to blind us from the truth. Either way, to quote Cypher, “Ignorance is bliss.”

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