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November 14, 2019

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What Does the Serpent Mean in the Bible Story of the Garden of Eden?

What Does the Serpent Mean in the Bible Story of the Garden of Eden?

And the serpent said unto the woman: ‘You shall not surely die; for God knows that in the day you eat thereof, your eyes shall open, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.’”

 

What Is the Serpent and Why Does the Serpent Appear?

The “serpent” is your egoistic desire, your nature.

You would be right to ask, “What is the reason that the serpent (our ego) revealed itself?” Why didn’t it just go on living in the Garden of Eden, as any other living creature, without leading man to sin?

The answer is that man would then remain on the level of an angel, “infertile,” while the goal is for him to become human! This is why the serpent (ego) reveals itself. It is precisely what man needs to rise from the level of the Garden of Eden to the Creator’s level, and of his own volition.

 

Why, then, Does the Serpent Go through Eve?

Eve is that concealed ego that already exists in Adam (the desire to bestow). Eve is the bridge that links Adam to the real, powerful ego (man’s nature, as ego can only be connected through ego). So when the time comes to execute this connection, the serpent appears before Eve: “And he said unto the woman: ‘Indeed, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden.’’”

Because Eve is the egoistic part of Adam (the quality of bestowal), she resists the serpent because she wishes to keep Adam pure, an angel, so she can stay with him in the Garden.

 

Becoming Human by the Serpent’s Advice

However, according to the Creator’s plan, Adam must become truly human, and grow from the state of Katnut (infancy) he is in, to the state of Gadlut (adulthood). He will achieve this after finally demonstrating his ego to the full extent, but using it exclusively to benefit others, for the sake of the Creator.

This is why the true ego insists: “And the serpent said unto the woman: ‘Ye shall not surely die; for God knows that in the day you eat thereof, your eyes shall open, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil.’”

In other words, our “serpent” insists that this is the only way to actualize a true act of bestowal toward the Creator. That is, carrying out a true act of bestowal toward the Creator involves attaching the whole egoism, and achieving the goal of Creation, namely equivalence with the Creator, all in one go. (The serpent didn’t lie. He was speaking from the end goal when this will happen one way or the other. He had only the best intentions.)

The Eve in man thinks that he really will be able to deal with his ego. He feels confident and doesn’t doubt for a second that he will not stumble off the spiritual path.

 

Revealing the Egoistic Self through Eating from the Tree

This Bible story describes what happens when Eve (the egoistic desire that’s not connected to the spiritual, to Adam) joins forces with the serpent (the primordial, earthly egoism) and heeds his words: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise…”

In other words, you thought this action would bring you to the goal, that it was “good for food,” just as the serpent claimed. That is when the strongest egoistic desire enters you – your Adam, your most ardent desire to attain the spiritual state. This causes the “breaking of your Adam,” the pure spiritual desire, and this is “the fall of man” (Adam).

“…she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” You were certain you’d prevail, that you would do it for the sake of advancing spiritually. That was your sincere intention. The Adam in you “eats,” meaning attaches to himself egoism he has never used before. Naturally, he did not prevail; he began to use the pleasure for himself.

Indeed, they discovered the Light of Love, the Creator’s Light that surrounded them all that time. “And the eyes of them both were opened,” but then they also saw each other in that Light, and realized that they were absolutely opposite to Him.

They understood that they were egoists and couldn’t be like Him, having felt their corruption, their disparity from the Creator on the one hand, and their individuality, uniqueness and ability to achieve correction on the other hand. You could say this was the first manifestation of man’s “I.” Until that moment, he existed in the general Light, fully devout to the Creator, when suddenly his “eyes were opened”: There is my “I,” there is my ego.

The Secrets of the Eternal Book“What Does the Serpent Mean in the Bible Story of the Garden of Eden?” is based on the book, The Secrets of the Eternal Book: The Meaning of the Stories of the Pentateuch by Semion Vinokur.

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