By the transgression of these holy laws:
[God] created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;
And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship.
But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. [D&C 20:18-20]
“These holy laws” were not given to Adam and Eve while in the Garden of Eden. The only commandments given to them before their Fall were to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and for Adam to remain with Eve:
And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but, remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” [Moses 3:16-17]
And the man said: “The woman thou gavest me, and commandest that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree and I did eat.” [Moses 4:18]
However, after the Fall, Adam and Eve were given new commandments that pertained directly to the worship of God:
And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence. And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord.
Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore. [Moses 5:4-5, 8]
So, here is where “these holy laws” were given — to Adam and Eve after their partaking of the fruit of the tree of good and evil and their subsequent removal from the Garden of Eden.
At this point, mankind was not carnal, sensual, or devilish because Adam and Eve were obedient unto these commandments [Moses 5:5], and they:
made all things known unto their sons and their daughters. [Moses 5:12]
They brought up their children in light and truth, and were thus innocent before God. But:
And Satan came among them, saying: “I am also a son of God”; and he commanded them, saying: “Believe it not”; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God. And men began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish. [Moses 5:13]
Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.
And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through diobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. [D&C 93:38-39]
Man did need to become a kind of animal that had a left-brain concept of a Self as being some separate, skin-encapsulated center of will in the universe. We had to begin seeing ourselves as something not-God – something fallen away from Him, pretending that we are not one-in-the-same thing.
The Fall brought about by the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is how we could take this cosmic step back [or away, or down, depending on one’s perspective] and start to look at God from an outside perspective, see what kind of dance it is He’s doing – so we could do it too.
The Self [a left-brain, rational conception of “I”, a persona] is one-step removed from God because, though it represents the human wisdom to conceive of God — in order for humanity to gain that wisdom — they must begin to believe that they are somehow separate from God. With this word “I”, reality splits – like the human consciousness is split, into the subject and the object, doers and doings, this and that.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1]
represents the realization of the Word, “I” [who was, in the beginning, both with God and was God], that causes a concept of a separate Self to exist – instead of all things being continuous with God — one continuous happening — or Supreme Being. The beginning of the human ability to conceive of God comes only when it’s been separated into this-or-that separate Self.
The only way for the mind to understand something is to name it [or to clothe it in language] – essentially taking a step away from it, pretend it’s not you for a moment and simplify it into a model [or personification] of the thing using the intellect. The universe was created by the utterance of “I am” because this is the beginning of an existence that is separate from God.
So the isolation of the individual as a separate Self is a fiction that mankind has concocted – but then went on to forget that we did so. It’s a story we’ve all have been telling ourselves – so we can turn around and look at God, as though that weren’t really us. But this state of individualness is a great fiction – a story each one of us has created as a way to come to understand things by looking at them from the outside, as a way to experience God by pretending that He and us have no relation to each other.
Children and child-like cultures [what we’d label as “primitive” cultures] are still in touch with this paradise to the extent that they have not fully learned the illusion of Persona.
So though mankind did need to “fall” into a conception of their Self as separate existing centers of will surrounded by all of existence [the result of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil], they have no need to become carnal, devilish, or fallen man [the result of heeding the temptations of the devil, becoming subject to him]. The scriptures have examples of specific people or classes of people who work out their own salvation without sin and without the devil having any power over them:
But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten; Wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me; [D&C 29:46]
Faithful men and women of God:
Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. [Alma 48:17]
Transfigured believers in Christ:
Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a change wrought upon their bodies, that they might not suffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not tempt them; and they were sanctified in the flesh, that they were holy, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. [3 Nephi 28:38-39]
All people during the duration of the Millennium:
And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. [D&C 45:58]
And in that day whatsoever any man shall ask, it shall be given unto him. And in that day Satan shall not have power to tempt any man. And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. In that day an infant shall not die until he is old; and his life shall be as the age of a tree; And when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious. [D&C 101:27-31]
Fallen man became carnal, sensual, and devilish because when we left paradise — we forgot that this whole probation was really just a cosmic game of pretend. When Satan lured humans into believing that the feeling of a separate Self was in fact the actual state of things — it created isolation, fear, and competitiveness. We started to be “that guy” who starts taking the game of Monopoly a bit too seriously. We start acting like life is something that we can master or one-up — like life is a bank that we can rob. We exalt the Self above all else — we place our first allegiance to a fictitious feeling of Personhood. We transgress “these holy commandments” because we see God as something “other“, and then try to make our Self love Him above all else.
The purpose of the devil:
And it must needs be that the devil should tempt the children ofmen, or they could not be agents unto themselves… [D&C 29:39]
After Lucifer rebelled against the majority vote against him in the pre-mortal council, he lost all power [agency] and was going to be straight-away removed from the kingdom of God into outer darkness. He thought up a purpose for himself and those who rebelled against the law of common consent — and proposed that he and his angels instead be cast down to earth to try and tempt the children of men because, as he reasoned:
if they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet…
As this was the desire of one of His children, God rendered according to that desire and allowed the matter to be voted on by the rest of us. We used our agency to chose to have an adversary be on Earth to tempt us.
We were “agents unto [our]selves” in heaven and voted to have Lucifer here doing this work among us – we gave him a purpose he wouldn’t have otherwise had. God always honors the agency of all things [or He would cease to be God], meaning that everything must be done by the common consent of the governed – or in other words, the keys of the heavenly tribe must be honored, which is why “it must needs be that the devil should tempt” us here – otherwise, our agency expressed in the pre-mortal council would have been abridged or over-ridden.
So we have Satan, the great dragon, being:
cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” [Revelation 12:9-10]
…by the power of mine Only Begotten [agency], I caused that he should be cast down; And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. [Moses 4:3]
Satan and his angels were cast down to the hell here on Earth, instead of straight into outer darkness — not because God needs a Satan-figure to fulfill the plan of salvation, but because God needs Satan here “that we might be agents unto ourselves,” or so that our vote and choice to have the devil here to tempt us would be honored.
Mortality is, for the most part, a hands-off period of examination. God puts us in a learning environment and then sees what we do with it. The Lord has stated that:
it is not meet that I should command in all things… [D&C 58:26]
God always prepares for every contingency, so even with Satan here [voted in by us], He prepared a means to save us from Satan’s power, should we have fallen into it – so we could then choose to be liberated by the prepared Savior. Regardless of what men choose with their agency, the plan of salvation that God has prepared cannot be frustrated, with or without a devil among us.
The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil:
The primitive , child-like [innocent and unfallen] state of humanity experiences God as essentially all things in existence. This natural state recognizes human life as something inexorably connected to all other things. It’s the oceanic feeling that infants and animals [non-rational life] experience – purely right-brain, a divergent view of all things at once, a single spontaneous happening. This is the right-brain, the mind’s Atlantis, the realm of visions and dreams, the lunatics and werewolves, unconscious, unreason – inspiration. It is without concept of time, persons, distinctions, and morality.
However, a paradisical state of oneness with nature [and God] does not allow for a concept of God to exist because to be one with something means you cannot know or discern the difference between it and you. You can’t look in your own eyes, touch your own finger-tip, taste your own tongue, etc.
Per our vote in the pre-mortal councils – it was decided that Satan would be permitted opportunity to try and to tempt mankind while on Earth. In order for us to be agent unto ourselves, God designated a time in which Adam and Eve would be left unto themselves to allow Satan the opportunity to tempt them to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
This fruit was forbidden by commandment during the duration of time God left Adam and Eve unto themselves to be tempted – to see if they would partake at the direction of Satan or await further instructions from the Lord.
This fruit had no magical properties to it – it was just a bitter fruit in a garden of sweet and pleasant to taste fruits. Humanity lived in a state of uncontrasted existence. They had no left-brain vision of contrast, distinctions, and separation. The purpose of the fruit was to awaken them to an understanding of differentiation between things — to turn on their left-brain and cause it to start dividing the world into man and woman, pleasure and pain, light and dark, life and death, virtue and vice — this and that.
Partaking under the direction of God would have caused the Fall [left-brain consciousness and death] – but not carnality, sensuality, and devilishness. We would have had death — but not hell. Death [like apocalypse] seems scary, but it is also natural. Death, in plainer terms, just means “a change of state“. It’s the death of the old that births the new — the death of all our earthly ambitions, worldly ideas, and petty emotions so that we can be reborn as the highest manifestation of humanity — God as a human, or Jesus Christ.
You see, the relationship between humans and God is the relationship between humans and the realization of their highest Self. Meaning that the only difference between God and humans is that humans still see a difference between God and humans [because they are using their left-brains to look].
We can our spend lifetime searching for salvation, enlightenment, the Philosopher’s Stone, the City of Gold, Atlantis, the Garden of Eden, the Fountain of Youth, etc. — when all the time, we carry it around in us:
behold, the kingdom of God is within you. [Luke 17:21]
Partaking, however, under the direction of Satan, caused left-brain consciousness and death, along with carnality, sensuality, devilshness, and hell. Without God’s further instructions, the left-brain became awakened but then immediately darkened in captivity to the devil.
that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. [Alma 34:34-35]
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness [Romans 6:16]
Instead of being a tool used to take a step-back from a continuous and unified state of existence with God and nature, in order to gain wisdom of Him and the dance He is doing – the left-brain became the tower in which our unconscious, right-brain attention, the moon, and womanhood lay chained — hardened and atrophied. The female power within every human [the lunatic power of the moon], constrained in the ring of the seven male stars of the classical liberal arts:
Such power – the left-brain system of symbols and images — used to suppress a natural state of mind that had ruled for millions of years – next to the relative short period of man’s 6,000 year reign. But the masculine pattern of control grows weaker amidst our current tumultuous times — when the right-brain, feminine dynamics may begin to re-emerge.
Whosoever will come after me, let [them] deny [their] self, and take up [their] cross, and follow me. [Mark 8:34]
Redemption from the Fall is about getting over the sensation of being a Self locked out from everything not-Self – of being only one Self who was flung into competition and conflict with every other object it can experience. Humans have come up with many different systems to accomplish this project:
- Zen meditation
- hallucinogenic drugs
- sensory deprivation
- positive thinking
- chanting mantras
The problem with every one of these systems is that getting seriously involved in any one of them just further boxes you into another elite group – another Self that sees itself as separate from the rest of everything not-Self. You didn’t get out of the box, just made another one to jump into.
The out-of-the-box, right-brain consciousness experience of your Self cannot be made to happen by any act of your fictitious will because that perspective only validates the existence of the separate Self [unless of course the repeated efforts to be accidental on-purpose eventually reveal to you the futility of such efforts]. There is no way to internally manifest the will to get rid of the feeling of separateness as a Self. That would be like trying to go to sleep – for in your trying, you mess the whole thing up.
It’s why moralistic preaching doesn’t work. Focusing on behavior and doctrine only breeds good hypocrites [good actors] — people sermonized into shame, guilt, or fear – forcing themselves to behave as if they actually believed the things they say they do. We make disciples by sitting around and talking – and then act surprised when our disciples go on to sit around and talk.
We work at trying to do things that would just be part of our nature [how we are] if we would soften our hearts in repentance. God’s commandments are not instructions on behavior that will get the Spirit to work on us – they are descriptions of what results once the inner nature of a person is changed by the Spirit.
Churches are a problem too because currently, they aren’t communities. They are groups of people trying to produce a community. It’s backwards. The church gathers because of their changed hearts and their connection to each other – it doesn’t gather in order to make those things happen. The “ekklesia” was supposed to be the vacation or rest from the world – while we can’t think of anything better to do after three hours of church on Sunday than to get home and rest from it.
So — you can’t get rid of the fallen, left-brain, Self-sensation – so don’t try. Take it, like any other feeling you have, as a feature of your total process – a wave of hot or cold, angry or sad. Working to get rid of the Self is the ultimate act of Self-ishness – it simply confirms and strengthens the reality of the feeling.
This is what’s made me reevaluate what prayer is to me. Any spiritual exercise [be it prayer, meditation, yoga, or whatever], when practiced in order to get some spiritual experience, only strengthens the fallacy that I am my Self. Speaking “out there” to God as though He was only this separate entity that resides somewhere else in the cosmos just continues the Fallen fiction that my Person is something separate from God.
There is nothing wrong with praying just to pray – in the same way we listen to music just for the music. You don’t worry about the value of it. What’s the purpose of prayer – it has no purpose, and that is its purpose. That may sound like Eastern, paradoxical nonsense – but think about what is the practical application of the universe — of billions of galaxies swirling around? What’s the use of playing music [or any other art or game]? If you play music to make money, or outdo another artist, or be a person of culture, etc. – then you aren’t really playing because your mind’s not on the music. Things like games or art are a waste of valuable time and money that could be put into more practical applications – rather than making elaborate patterns or color or sound. But what would we think of a society with no room for music and games, dancing and art? Such a society would be surviving [biologically alive] – but to no end.
- The universe is, at its core, an illusion [the Latin ludere], a play, or a ludicrous game of pretend.
- It’s magic – being enchanted [the Latin incantare] by the song of images and measurements.
- It’s meaningless, meaning it has no point unto itself. Like a flower is meaningless – it’s all just dancing patterns of light and sound, water and fire, vibrations and rhythm, electricity and space.
- The world is an amazing [amasian or lost in a maze] arrangement of letters – a spell [the Latin fascinum], or spelled with A-T-C-G, Lys-His-Met-Ala-Pro, C-H-O-N-P-Na-Cl-Au.
All of existence, then, is one thing, one shape, one happening. Separate persons and events are merely arabesques is an over-all fractal pattern – which is all continuous with the whole created universe — all of it continuous with [or unseparated from] God. A redeemed sense of reality.
You can return now to your separate moments, separate selves, and separate rooms — and know that separation for the imaginary [or image-based], feeling that it is. You can go about your practical affairs again – but now with a new sense about it all. There is no “You” who can get something out of this game – life is not a bank that you can rob. Your Self is God attempting to look at itself from billions of points-of-view.
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