Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - what is it?

Most of us know that the first parts of Genesis art not historical, but mythological.

Even liberal Christians tell us that there was no actual tree in the physical sense, but that the story of Genesis is an allegory about the development of man and that the tree represents individual free will. 

But can we determine which verses are historical and which are mythological?  If we are just going to go through the Bible and say this verse is historical and that verse is mythological, we might as well throw the Bible away and write our own book.

We do have many historical records and ancient documents we can refer to help us make this important determination, but when it comes to creation, the Bible is the oldest book and it stands by itself.

Remember how language has changed over the past 3500 years since Genesis was first put in print. Through the years, many elements from Greek and Persian mythology and European Christianity have crept into the interpretations and translations. In order to understand the text, we must go to the original Hebrew text and read it unshackled by any traditions or preconceptions. Luckily most of this work has already been done for us. The nineteen-century Hebrew scholar Fabre d’Olivet has already prepared such a translation. His translation is probably the best available, but, since it is only a raw text, it does require transliteration and polishing to make it readable. The following verses are based upon d’Olivet’s 1815 translation:

And in the lower parts of the adamic, the Eternal produced all the systems of perception and growth, including . . . .a system of lives and a system of experiencing desire and aversion. And the Eternal told humanity, "You may freely partake of every syttem here but you should not partake of the system of desire and aversion, for when you do, you will become corrupted. - Genesis 2:9, 16:17

The original Hebrew is quite different from the traditional and orthodox versions. For comparison, check the above against your standard King James version of the Bible.

We find that of tree the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil wasn’t a physical tree at all. These verses speak about system of human activity which the text calls "a system of experiencing desire and aversion."

Not only was there no tree, there was no "Garden of Eden" either. Instead all the activity takes place in the pre-physical realm which is called the adamic. Nothing else in these verses is physical either..

Though there was no real, physical tree, but instead a system of perception, the corrected translation tells us that God warned (but did not prohibit) Adam of the consequences of participating in this system.

Of course, Adam partook of the system of desire and aversion anyway and suffered the consequences.

Both masters, Jesus and Buddha, taught their disciples to avoid extremes, to take the middle path, to tread the narrow way between good and evil, desire and aversion. When we walk the narrow path avoiding both desire and aversion, we are no longer eating of the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil".