And so the process of separation was complete.
Night could now bow to the rising sun. Seas could caress the dry land. Birds could watch the grass below for any signs of food.
Man could hold woman in his arms and sway with the wind.
The most important separation lay where no one was paying any attention. In the heart of the garden. Two trees. Separate in their concepts themselves.
But on one tree there existed the ultimate separation: Good from Evil.
This divided wholeness came in the form of fruit, which we know is defined by having seeds.
Strangely, given the context, but still very applicable, seeds are life.
Nothing alive can live without seeds.
Every seed has life in it, and every seed is a source of life.
Seeds are also magical: they can be transported around the world. By clinging to a butterfly’s wing. By catching a ride on an air current.
By being ingested and then discharged.
We can take seeds into us. And then express them out again.
Which is significant.
Adam and his wife ingested the seeds from The Tree of Good and Evil.
Then a lot happened.
They got into an argument with God.
They got shown the gate.
They would no longer have access to that other tree: The Tree of Life.
The life on this tree was eternal life.
And we think we understand what this means.
But we don’t.
Out you go!
The finger is pointed. The direction is followed.
The dismissed duo don’t have much to carry with them.
Nothing, really, except the seeds inside them.
And so they get busy setting up life on their own.
And get busy having children.
It is the time for the seeds to be sown.
We have a Good Seed.
And we have an Evil Seed.
There is so much irony in all of this.
We have two trees, standing side-by-side in the garden.
One is called, The Tree of Life.
The other is hung with knowledge.
Yet we know that the knowledge tree is laden with fruit, with its seeds.
Life. This tree with knowledge bears life.
As does the other.
So there’s life on the tree to the left, and there’s life on the tree to the right.
It is Cain who grows the fruit in the land on the other side of the fence. The one who creates life.
I am beginning to read the Bible as God’s confession. His journal that records his life, so to speak.
Cain and Abel present gifts to God, who must have just dropped by to say, Hello.
After the presentation, God warns Cain:
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
God tells us what he is looking at: the human expression of Evil.
From the fruit of the tree that he, himself, created.
And here was Evil looking at him right in the eye.
A seed of a concept grown into a man.
And what does God do with this seed? He strews it.
He lets it go to recreate itself wherever it goes.
It is a protected concept. Not to be eradicated by anyone else.
And what happens to the seed of Good?
It is destroyed.
So now we have all that we need to understand evil.
God is the creator. He is also the re-creator. And the un-creator.
It is through God that we receive life. That we can be healed. And through whom we die.
Cain, grown from the wrong seed, stands up and takes the act of death into his own hands.
He usurps the power of God.
It is the ultimate act of separation from God.
It is the ultimate assumption of power on Earth.
It is Evil.
With this before us we can better understand Good: the total surrender to God’s will.
In birth. In healing our lives. In death.
Life is the Spirit within us. The Spirit that allows us to have a soul that connects with God.
It is the sacred on Earth.
Cain, as Evil, changes the dynamic that existed naturally in the garden.
He redefines life.
Instead of being connected with God as just a natural part of our existence, we now have to be contented with a human who disrupts that connection.
Evil is there before us now.
We can be killed by man.
And by this disruption, we are separated from our connection with God.
Or at least we perceive ourselves to be.
We are confused.
First, everything was up to God.
Then a man took “something” out of the hands of God and took it on himself to determine the deaths of others.
Even in the natural world of man, the seeds of Good and Evil have found a way to express themselves.
Chemical companies have bought out seed companies and have redesigned the seeds to need the chemicals the companies sell to grow.
Continuing this change to nature, these companies have created seed that won’t produce seeds in turn.
So a farmer is forced to buy seed every year instead of keeping the seed from his own plants to plant another year.
The seed manipulation has become so extreme that there are now seeds that can ruin a farm and destroy the life of the farmer.
In India, over 270,000 farmers have committed suicide because very modern seeds would neither grow nor produce more seed so that the farmer could continue to farm. Having taken loans from banks to buy these “super” seeds in the first place, a ruined crop strips everything away from the farmer.
Even his life.
Compounding this explosion of Seeds of Evil on Earth, the chemicals used on these special seeds cause extensive health problems for those exposed to them.
What we are told by the simple story of a pair of people who thought they knew what they were doing, but didn’t, is that their act began a chain of events that have, in time, come into reality.
We now have Seeds of Life and we have Seeds of Death.
We can see what has happened with the Seed of Evil.
But what of the Seed of Good that was not allowed to spread so long ago?
What happened to the legacy that could have been Abel on Earth?
Well, if we follow the story, it looks like Good comes to an end.
But as I wrote above, seeds are magical.
In spite of our contentiousness that grows so great God actually expresses regret for creating us, we find sprouts of Good popping up here and there.
Abraham is willing to sacrifice his own son to show God how much he is willing to surrender to God’s will.
Joseph saves his bickering and jealous family from starvation.
Job remains true.
Looking at scripture as a description of how not to be a gardener, we can see Good struggling to grow up in the thick weeds of Evil that blocks out the sun from the tender shoots and does its best to choke Good to death.
It is, after all, the mission of Evil: to cause death.
So what does Good do?
It keeps growing.
The key, I think, to allowing Good to actually prosper in the world, is not only to continually plant its seeds wherever you are, but to do whatever you can to help others do the same.
When a friend is out of feeling Good, give him some of your own seeds.
Know that the more gardens of Good we create in the world, the more likely it is that Evil will find less and less land to dominate.
Our churches are our grange halls: the place for gardeners to go for support and company.
And we need to learn the secrets of the Plants of Evil. We need to know if confronting them and trying to uproot them only makes them spread more. We need to learn how to weed them out for good. Perhaps what I meant to write was, for Good.
But most of all, we need to depersonalize this battle—stop making it about how Howie down the street hasn’t returned our lawn mower yet and how that makes him a bad person—and focus on our own gardening skills.
In short, we need to pray.