The capacity for good and evil lies in the soul of all of us simply because we partook of that proverbial tree at some point in our lives. We made choices that left us wishing we’d decided to go in a different direction, and disobeyed what we knew to be the right choice. In essence, we simply missed the mark. We were driven by our lower nature, the part of us that strives to build and protect an acceptable image that enables us to feel loved.
At the same time, we struggle to find our intrinsic worth, to subconsciously escape the need for societal acceptance, boxes, and labels. Our constant struggle to become whole within ourselves can weary us. Until we come to know that the fruit in the tree of good and evil are one in the same, we will forever search, forever wonder, forever live below the level we were intended.
So, what exactly is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? God told Adam not to eat from that tree. Eating / partaking of something alludes to becoming united with it, joining with it, or consuming and devouring it (the root meaning of the word partake). Religion says it’s that tree that leaves us with no ability to be perfect (whole); that we will never be perfect until we die and get to heaven. That makes death our deliverer and not Jesus Christ who came to transform us back into the image of God, just as we were when we were with him in the Garden.
Separating us into categories of good and evil is a mirage that distracts us from the greater within. Our capacity to reach deep inside ourselves is vast, but many of us do not take time to make the discovery because we are comfortable with the notion that I am good and you are evil (or I am evil and you are good), and therefore, I am justified in my actions and thoughts toward you, no matter which side of whatever fence we are both straddling.
Good and evil are in all of us until that moment when we allow it to be purged from our hearts by the Spirit of God. In the parable of the Sower, Jesus says, “Let them [the weeds and the grain] come up together till the getting in of the grain; and then I will say to the workers, ‘Take up first the evil plants, and put them together for burning: but put the grain into my store-house’ (Matthew 13:30, Bible in Basic English). The implication in a spiritual sense is what we experience when we have that moment of true deliverance of the heart. The good seed of Christ lives within us as well as the evil (means twisted) seeds of the lower nature, until the day that Spirit decides it is time to gather the grain imbedded in our lives. He not only sets us free from an evil nature, but a good one. He fills us with the Christ of Himself. Jesus is life.
We tend to focus on the word evil when it comes to that infamous tree in the garden, failing to recognize that good is also a fruit that causes death once we partake of it—death to the freedom we had before we understood the dichotomy of the two. Once we have partaken of goodness, attitudes of self-righteousness, arrogance, superiority, prejudice, separation, and the like also become embedded in our soul. These attitudes are much harder to break than those forged by what we perceive as evil acts. We have now entered a state of division in humanity, that of good and evil, and we have become separated one from another.
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written by: Yvonne Williams