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Lessons from The Garden of Eden3

Updated on October 10, 2010

Part Three:

Primal Motivation

In playing out his scene with Eve, the serpent reveals what he is truly all about.  He was all too familiar with the sense of inadequacy.  He knew its power… because he was totally absorbed by it.

Here, in the serpent, we have a creature created by God, living in the Garden with God, enjoying the freedom to associate with all the Garden inhabitants.  And what does he do?  He spoils the party.

Why?

Because he was obsessed with inadequacy.  He himself was the craftiest beast made by God.  He was the smartest.  He was the brightest.  And this was known to all.  But with all his smarts and craftiness, there was one thing he could never do.  He could never Create.  He could never make something from nothing.  That was something only God could do.  And this limitation ate at him, sowing the seeds of inadequacy within him.  No matter what he did, he could never be equal to God – even with his vast intellect.

So he crafted a scheme that would allow him to do the only thing he could do – disrupt the Creation of God.  If he couldn’t create, then it was up to him to corrupt Creation and make it bend to his desire.  In doing this, the serpent -- Satan – could then be “just like God.”   After all, if you can’t create it, control it.  And with such control, he could envision himself even more powerful than God.  “Yeah, you made all this, God,” Satan could say to himself, “but I run it.  And look what I’ve done to your Creation.  I’ve actually bent it to MY will.  I’ve made it run according to MY model – MY IMAGE!”

And his weapon of choice continues to be the most powerful one available, the very same one that drove him, gave him his ambition, and changed the course of human history: Inadequacy.

Adequacy vs. inadequacy.  Being vs. Anti-being.  This is the core contrast between Good & Evil.  This is Ground Zero.

Satan is anti-being.  He is all about inadequacy and its perpetuation. 

This is the very heart and soul of Evil.

The sense of inadequacy is like a fungus that rots our soul.  It destroys our sense of worth, value, ambition.  It is the fuel of addiction – to drugs, alcohol, violence.  It is the source of depression.

And it is also the cause of narcissistic hyper-ambition and all it’s permutations.  It is the driving force of selfishness.

As such, it is the driving force of our western society.  What is the underlying message of consumerism?  You are incomplete until you acquire thus and such.  The cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the burning desire to accumulate more and more money?  The hook of inadequacy can most certainly be found in the vast majority of buying decisions.

And no human is immune.

Good = Adequacy.  Evil = Inadequacy.  So clearly defined, Evil/Satan doesn’t seem so bad, so unavoidable. So why isn’t this clear distinction common knowledge?

Hold on to this thought.  We’ll come back to it.  But now its time to move forward…

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