=1 "The Tree of Knowledge"

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The Tree of Knowledge

by Medhananda

The angel took Adam and Eve on to a high mountain and showed them the forests and grasslands full of game and the fertile fields along the river.

“All this is yours,” he said.

“How?” asked Adam, thinking of the wild animals and looking at his bare hands which were all he had – no claws, no horns, no teeth with which to fight them.

“I will give you the greatest weapon of all.”

“Will it make me master over the mountain lions and cave bears and the sabre-toothed tigers?”

“Yes,” answered the angel.

“All right,” Adam replied, “show me that weapon.”

“It is not a weapon of earth. It is invisible. It is called intelligence. It is a weapon of the gods.”

“Will I be like the gods then?” Adam asked, unbelieving.

“No,” the angel replied, “Your body is an earthly body, and earthly bodies die. The gods are immortal. But the gift which is given to you, intelligence, won't die. You will be able to pass it on, living, to your children. Intelligence and reason, when they are passed on from generation to generation, are called culture.”

“I don't want to die, and I'm not interested in your intelligence,” Adam insisted.

But Eve, who had been looking at the land and found it beautiful, and in the eye of her heart saw it peopled with the children of her children, nudged Adam and said, “Accept the land and take the weapon of the gods”. But Adam remained adamant.

“I don't want to die,” he persisted. The angel smiled. “Perhaps you won't die,” he said.

“How?” asked Adam, with sudden interest.

“You are not merely a body, you are more. There is something in you which does not die.”

Adam shook his head. “That's not enough. I want to be that which doesn't die.”

“That is another gift of the gods,” said the angel, hesitatingly, “another world to conquer. And they might not give it to you so easily. But there is a way. It is called yoga.”

“We'll take both,” said Eve.