The Tree of This and That


The left-brain-mind experiences existence as being some-one or some-thing that is apart from or other than the rest of creation.  This part of the brain is a tool, designed only to look upon the mark – thus it cannot see the fractal nature of the big picture.  From its point-of-view, life is reduced to the sum of its parts – losing all sense of connectivity and spark.  A living body has the same number of particles as a dead one.

Thus, life becomes a task or chore – something that must be done.  You get out of bed in the morning so you can go do life.  Every interaction, every connection, whether with another human, a book, or a sandwich is experienced as though it is foreign.  Life becomes that which implies that you are this.  However this is alone.  It has no role to play and no sense of identity.  This is naked – and always searches for a wardrobe.

There’s nothing wrong with being naked.  You were born naked, and you’ll die naked.  The nude self is the true self.  As the nude self, we are, respectively, Adam and Eve.  Naked, we are dressed for the universal drama – wherein Adams and Eves re-enter the garden from whence they’ve been removed and reenact the ordinance of creation.

Nudity is the experience of pure life – it is just being [as opposed to being this nor that].

God describes Himself as nude.  When Moses asked God:

Who should I say has sent me?

God replied:

I am.

Simply am.  The naked, which surpasses the distinctions of this and that.

Adam and Eve have partaken of a fruit of distinctions.  It grows on the tree of this and that – good and evil, day and night, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, sickness and health, life and death, God and humans.  They leave the basic experience of “I am” and become this and that.  At this event, self-consciousness is born – replacing the God-consciousness that previously reigned.  Once Adam and Eve are this – this becomes aware of its nakedness.  There never was a problem with the nakedness, but when the self-consciousness gained reign – knowledge of the nudity brings with it shame and sin, which will reign until you lose consciousness [die].

The focus on clothing [and other outward appearances] is but the visual manifestation of the left-brain-mind’s obsession with acquiring a wardrobe – frantically trying to cover the nakedness with distinctions, labels, and boundaries.

The next thing Adam’s left-brain-mind reached for was busyness — labor.  The next step for God’s creation [according to the plan that was counseled on in the beginning] was to enter the Sabbath rest.  However Adams and Eves create a distraction from this rest.  The diversion enables this to ignore the nakedness – God providing associated physical coverings according to their desire.  Now this doesn’t have to be conscious of its nakedness because it is busy doing that.

The left-brain-mind expects life and everyone in it to provide its clothing – because it must be that’s fault that this is naked.  Adam and Eve will pluck from the tree fig leaves of labels for a covering.

The left-brain-mind gains dominion over others by assigning that – this way it can have a self-conscious purpose.  Naming that husband, then makes this become wife.  Now a desire has been formed – but not for the connection made between Adam and Eve – rather for the credentials received from the connectionThe fear of not having such a connection is just replaced with the fear of losing it.  When governed by the left-brain-mind, Adam and Eve are ready to freeze that – to box it up and own it – however, the left-brain-mind is ignorant of the fact that the connection is alive [everything is parts, no life].

Labeling it is a form of slavery, and the left-brain-mind is willing to shove a living, breathing human into a conceptual box and deny her/him the right to freely express their will – all in the name of pretending to be something it is not – clothed.

So we set up stakes and put up conceptual boundaries that suppress the intelligence of another – holding them hostage in order to play dress up in our minds.

The gospel is not a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – it is the unification of these things.  Putting the left-brain in unity with the right-brain – the Adam in unity with the Eve.

To cut thru the coverings acquired by your left-brain-mind, you must rest.  But rest doesn’t mean to stop.  Stopping just shifts the idolatry from being busy to being lazy.  The left-brain-mind proceeds to beat you calm— forcing you to relax, which is, of course, impossible.  No real rest is the passive yin principle, it is to be still and know that Jesus is God.

To yield, to submit, to rest, to sit down, to cease your frantic effort to be this or that.

Next Article by Justin:  The conditions of this law

Previous Article by Justin:  The Healing Gifts

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13 Comments

  1. The common understanding of Lehi’s teachings in 2 Nephi chapter 2 is that the fall was good and necessary. There must be opposition in all things or the creation has no purpose. Further it is commonly believed that because of the fall (and the atonement) we can attain a higher state than the one we had in the garden. Do you think that Lehi is misunderstood? Or do you have some way of reconciling these ideas?

  2. Do you think that Lehi is misunderstood?

    No — but there does seem to be misunderstanding.

    Mold — from your comments I would venture a guess that you understand the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 injunctions of “Multiply and be fruitful” and “Do not partake of the fruit of that tree” to be contradictory commandments that gave had to give Adam.

    The Lord did not need to give Adam contradictory commandments so that he would trespass in partaking of the fruit of the tree. Heavenly Father was coming back to give further instructions to Adam.

    The period of time between being placed in the garden of Eden and when God returned in the evening was to permit Satan according to his desire — which was to tempt Adam and Eve. God grants everyone according to her/his desire.

    We know that the Father had prepared a Savior in case Adam and Eve heeded to temptation — but we assume that means that there wasn’t a Savior still prepared if they didn’t heed to temptation.

    In either case, a Savior was prepared and the Fall [or genetic decent] of human kind was initiated — rather it be thru deception or informed choice.

    Re: your point about the necessary “opposition” — LDSA wrote a post on Lehi’s sermon in 2 Nephi 2 — in it, he explains:

    Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.

    The phrase with the comma is explaining that the law [separating the created universe from outer darkness] necessarily is set up so that there is an opposition in all things — in other words, that the law itself is creating the necessary opposition in all things [the “opposition” is outer darkness as opposed to the created universe].

    Whereas the phrase without a comma is saying that an opposition in all things is necessary. This is where most LDS stumble in the correct interpretation of this scripture. They read it as if there were no comma and thus miss the true meaning of Lehi’s words.

    You seem to fall into this latter group, Mold. Your comments seems as though you are reading Lehi’s comment about opposition without a comma and are therefore assuming that everything requires an opposition.

    Perhaps you could check out the linked post too if I didn’t explain things fully with this comment.

    Further it is commonly believed that because of the fall (and the atonement) we can attain a higher state than the one we had in the garden.

    Are you asking if I believe a resurrected state to be a higher state than a transfigured state as existed in Eden? Yes, I do.

  3. Are you asking if I believe a resurrected state to be a higher state than a transfigured state as existed in Eden? Yes, I do.

    Yes I wanted to know if you felt that returning to the Edenic state was our ultimate goal, or if there is something better. Your explanation seems to say that there is something better, and that the fall was not necessary for us to reach that. You have helped open a new perspective for me. Also, the idea that “Adam fell that men might be” takes on a new meaning. Thanks.

  4. I wanted to know if you felt that returning to the Edenic state was our ultimate goal,

    My post on the healing gifts explains my view that:

    The practical application for all of this is that we all should be seeking transfiguration — not as a blessing meant for the few, but for all those who seek Zion for this is necessary for the prophecies be fulfilled by us.

    This would be the counterpart to the doctrine of being spiritually born of God or receiving His image in one’s countenance or experiencing the mighty change of heart. This would be a doctrine of being physically born of God. Transfigured or translated flesh is strong and matches the willingness of the spirit — correcting the conflict [in which mortal humans’ spirit is willing but their flesh is weak] and allowing humans to have total and complete peace.

    Thus, I see the transfigured state as the fullest manifestation of what it means to be “human” that can be reached in this life. This type of flesh is what Adam and Eve had while in the garden of Eden and it was the type of flesh that Jesus Christ was born with.

    Both fallen, mortal flesh and transfigured flesh are still short of the kind of flesh Jesus Christ currently possesses — which is resurrected flesh. Only when we receive resurrected flesh thru the atonement of Christ do humans then reach the fullest manifestation of what it means to be children of God — being patterned after His body in both spirit and in flesh.

    My post was directed towards the binomial point-of-view of the left-brain-mind. That organ is what sees the stark distinctions [good/evil, pleasure/pain, this/that, etc.] — it cannot see the infinite variation that lies between. The primary organ for humans is to be the right-brain-heart [where the Holy Spirit can dwell].

    The fruit caused Adam and Eve to leave a right-brain-heart point of view where the focus is on the connective-ness of all things — and shifted them into a left-brain-mind dominated point of view where all things must be this or that.

    I think most LDS [and Christians] think about the gospel in terms of a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – when instead I see it as a unification of these things — putting all things into their proper perspective [which the left-brain-mind cannot do b/c it must focus on one thing at a time].

    Putting the left-brain in unity with the right-brain, also brings the Adam back in unity with the Eve — the spirit in unity with flesh — the humans unity with the Gods — etc.

  5. Justin said: “I think most LDS [and Christians] think about the gospel in terms of a battle between the forces of darkness and light [good and evil, virtue and vice, men and women, etc.] – when instead I see it as a unification of these things — putting all things into their proper perspective [which the left-brain-mind cannot do b/c it must focus on one thing at a time].”

    Could this be what Moroni is teaching as he wraps up the Book of Mormon?

    “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves OF all ungodliness; and if ye shall DENY YOURSELVES OF ALL UNGODLINESS, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God YE ARE PERFECT IN CHRIST, ye can in nowise DENY THE POWER OR GOD.

    And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and DENY NOT HIS POWER, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.”

    Notice that Moroni said to deny ourselves OF all ungodliness, not to deny all ungodly things. Could it be that we aren’t to deny ungodly things (“sins,” bad stuff, etc.), but we deny the idea that ungodliness even exists? All things are a part of God, THERE IS NO UNGODLINESS, other than what we create for ourSELVES, and that is what creates the separation. We need but look and live! To remiss means to let go. Do we hold onto the idea of sin is doing “bad stuff,” when in truth, a “sin” is denying God the power to save us with NO MERIT of our own? We ARE perfect, in Christ, but by creating this paradigm of opposition, we deny or reject God’s power and place ourSELVES in hell.

    So that brings us to the idea of casting out the natural man, or “Satan.” Moroni pounded this message home over and over. He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils (the “devils” inside of us, or the Natural Man); they shall speak with new tongues (the tongue of angels, or those who have denied the concept of “ungodliness,” those in the Terrestrial abode); they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them (drinking the “Kool-Aid” has no effect on us anymore, because we know that these deadly things don’t exist… they are made up by our Natural Man).

    This is a very uncommon way of looking at things, I’ll grant you. But it sure seems to fit with Christ making our burdens LIGHT (as opposed to dark.)

  6. Interesting. So, are you saying there was a physical brain split when Adam and Eve ate the fruit?

    I notice, in myself, that I need to have unity with me. If I cannot have unity with me, I cannot have unity with another.

    Healing the breech, becoming whole again.

    My personal opinion about Adam and Eve in the garden is that it is very possible that God would have lifted the ban on the tree of knowledge at some point in time, when Adam and Eve had matured enough to be ready for it. I also believe that Satan was planning to have Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, then go over and eat of the fruit of the tree of life, thus living forever, thus proving God to be a liar, thus causing God’s downfall. But God was smarter and more well-informed than the adversary and prevented the plan from being completed.

    Also, I have thought that “opposition in all things” means simply that choices are available. We can’t choose good unless evil is around to be the opposite choice, for example.

  7. Inspire — excellent analysis, I enjoyed reading that.

    Toni:

    Interesting. So, are you saying there was a physical brain split when Adam and Eve ate the fruit?

    The corpus callosum does physically divide our two brains — though until I read your comment I had never thought of its existence originating with the fruit of the tree. I was thinking more in a change in perception — but I like that other idea too.

    I also believe that Satan was planning to have Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit, then go over and eat of the fruit of the tree of life, thus living forever, thus proving God to be a liar, thus causing God’s downfall.

    This seems very accurate to me — since the downfall of God was his goal in the beginning.

    Also, I have thought that “opposition in all things” means simply that choices are available. We can’t choose good unless evil is around to be the opposite choice, for example.

    Do you think that this point-of-view on opposition comes from reading the 2 Nephi 2 passage about the opposition in all things without a comma [see my first comment on this post, written in response to Mold, in which I also posted a link to one of LDSA’s posts that talks about the difference with/without a comma]? Would a make a difference to you to read that verse the other way?

  8. To tell you the truth, the scripture you referenced doesn’t make sense to me when I read it with the comma like you suggested. I just can’t wrap my brain around it, even with your explanation. It feels like an incomplete sentence. (I would welcome enlightenment from anyone who can explain it in a way wherein I can “get it”.) I got my view of “opposition in all things” from more than just that scripture. It was observing life, as well as reading scriptures in general.

  9. Lehi said:

    Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement—

    For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.

    When LDS preach that Lehi taught that it is a necessity that all things have an opposition — they are reading this verse without the comma.

    However, with the comma [as it is written in our translation] — the emphasis is placed on the it — there is an “it” that must be in order for there to be opposition in all things. That “it” that “must be” is the ends of the law of the Holy One — in other words, the sphere of the created universe. This is the opposition in all things.

    Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

    To say that an evil “Satan” figure is necessary for God’s plan implies that His plan of salvation is not perfect — meaning it is not capable of saving all of Heavenly Father’s children, for one must rebel.

    In fact, this rebeller is making a larger sacrifice than the Only Begotten of the Father. If both Jesus and Lucifer were absolutely necessary [per the “opposition in all things” doctrine] — then Lucifer made the harder choice and is owed more thanks for his sacrifice than is Jesus.

    When we try to set-up such a strict duality — we run into these kinds of strange conclusions.

  10. Oh, I get it. There must be opposition in all things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there has to be a devil fighting against us, that we could/would still be faced with choices even without his rebellion. The law and the opposition to the law are free-standing. Is this what you’re saying?

  11. There must be opposition in all things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there has to be a devil fighting against us, that we could/would still be faced with choices even without his rebellion.

    Yes, in that latter portion of my comment above, I quoted — “Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” — b/c it says that we need to be enticed by one side or the other — not one side and the other.

    The law itself is creating the necessary opposition in all things — there is nothing else that must needs be in order for there to be opposition in all things.

  12. This is from King Lear — but I thought about it in regards to the blaming of Satan for being that darn “opposition in all things”.

    This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
    when we are sick in fortune, — often the surfeit
    of our own behavior, — we make guilty of our
    disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
    if we were villains by necessity
    ; fools by
    heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
    treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
    liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
    planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
    by a divine thrusting on
    : an admirable evasion
    of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
    disposition to the charge of a star!

  13. Alan Watts said of karma:

    Karma means “action”, and incidentally, that is all it means. It does not mean the law of cause and effect. When we say that something that happens to you is your karma, all we are saying is that it is your own doing. Nobody is in charge of karma except you.

    Before reading that, I had always thought that karma was something along the lines of “as a man sows, so he reaps”. However, I read that above quote after reading this author’s admittance that she is a determinist.

    Philosophically, I am not a hard determinist — I see hard determinism as placing the responsibility for one’s choices [or doings] into the hands of past events/external stimuli. Determinism is a chain of interdependent origination — where This arises because That becomes, and That in turn causes This to arise, etc., etc.

    This chain of events encircles and binds people. You turn your “doings” over to circumstance and just live out your programming. In this light — humans are just the combined result of genes and environment, spitting out the appropriate, programmed result. For example, I am bound by this chain to the extent that I eat when hungry. My biological hunger is determining my doing. This is not a choice on my part.

    To break this chain would mean a person act without being motivated by the results of action — to be like God, who was an uncaused Cause in the beginning.

    The chain keeps people bound to the past. Saying, “I’m doing this now because that was done then” seems like it is answering things — but it is no answer at all. Everything keeps pointing backwards. We never get anywhere:

    Punish the criminal.
    But it was his parents’ fault — they abused him and were poor.
    OK, so punish the parents.
    Well, their parents were neglectful and in-and-out of jail themselves.
    OK, so then punish them.
    But they’re dead.

    We could continue this blame game all the way back to Adam and the forbidden fruit. And what did Adam say — “But Eve gave me the fruit“. And what was Eve’s response — “But the serpent beguiled me.

    And thus we are still where many Adams and Eves are today. Satan’s temptations — the devil and the “world” — the constant opposition in all things — the That that is constantly fooling with my This.


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