For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of Eve, between the serpent’s temptation in Genesis 3, and the time Eve and Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
For reasons I don’t understand, the Bible decided not to elaborate on the thought processes of the Prodigal Son, between the time he first heard there was even such a place as the far country, and the time he said “Father, give me my share of the estate.” (Luke 15:12, New International Version).
I believe Eve entertained the thought, “If I ate the fruit, I’d be different than any creature in the garden. Different from any plant, different from any animal, even different from Adam. I would be something that never before existed in the universe. I would be special.” I believe the Prodigal Son entertained the thought, “No one in my family ever been to the far country, not my father, not my older brother. I’d be different from everyone in my family if I traveled to the far country. I would be special.”
A Course in Miracles describes the human condition as having separated ourselves from God in pursuit of an experience of being special. Furthermore, because this experience of being special is an unreal illusion, we go to great lengths to defend the value of this experience, engaging in relationships (“special relationships,” either special love relationships or special hate relationships) for the purpose of reinforcing the idea of being special.
Step 13 of Steps to Knowledge, “I want to be separate to be unique,” recaps a good bit of the material in A Course in Miracles in a remarkably few words, in my opinion. I consider the word “unique” to be but a synonym for “special.”
While being special has a certain buzz to it, our choice of it has had much greater costs than the benefits. Eve must have thought “Maybe I should have asked God to elaborate when he said ‘Ye shall surely die.'” The Prodigal Son recognized this as he was doling out the husks to the swine. I’ve been told that if I realize my motivation for separation, I will know that I want to come home, just like the Prodigal Son did. Let this comment on Step 13 from a fellow student supply the exclamation point:
OK OK! I admit it. The whole thing of wanting to be God in my own life didn’t work out so well. I’m sorry for throwing that temper tantrum and storming out like that. It was brash and childish. Thank you for letting me experiment until I made a fool of myself and was forced to face the inevitable. I was sufficiently distracted for a few billion years and tried to pretend that I could manage on my own but I’m over it now. A better plan for Creation has failed to present itself to me. I have a hard enough time with the shopping list.
Can I come Home now? I miss my bed.
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