The world you see is a function of the way you look at reality. The first man and woman were in the Garden of Eden because they were able to see the All and therefore felt at one with reality – God. But when they ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge, they damaged the breadth of their vision. As a result of that damage, their perspective became so skewed that they could only see a very narrow slice of reality, which then appears as a physical world. Indeed, as a result of their change of perspective, they even experienced themselves as physical.
Initially Adam and Eve didn’t have bodies of skin, they had bodies of “light.” In fact, everything in the Garden of Eden had that same quality. There were no shadows in the Garden of Eden, because nothing was opaque or heavy or dark or solid—the way we experience matter today. There was a luminescence to everything.
The difference was all in how Adam and Eve saw and experienced their world. Their bodies, the trees, the animals, the birds were translucent. Nothing obscured anything else and it all appeared part of one beautiful whole.
It’s only after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree—when they partook of the knowledge of good and evil—that they experienced themselves as heavy and opaque. Suddenly, they perceived they had bodies of flesh; they experienced themselves as garbed in a sack of skin that created a boundary between them and the rest of reality.
When they experienced themselves as having bodies of light, their entire self- definition was bound up with God; there was no sense of separation between themselves and the All One. They didn’t know it could be any different.
But the snake told them that it could be different—it could be better. The picture the snake painted for them went something like this: “Hey Eve, come have a bite…God doesn’t want you to eat from this special tree because He is afraid that if you eat from it, you’ll be just like Him.” Then the snake went into his best line: “You know why He’s restricting you, don’t you? He wants to be the only who is independent and powerful. He wants to be the only god—He doesn’t want competition. So, He’s keeping you down, subordinate, inferior. But if you eat from this tree, you’ll see things in a whole new way.”
That was the lie of the snake—presenting God and humanity as separate conflicting entities.
Once Eve, and later Adam, bought into this lie, into this illusion of separateness and independence, they began to have exactly that experience. Be careful what you wish for, it might come true, the saying goes. That is exactly what happened to them. They suddenly experienced their bodies as physical—opaque, solid, heavy. The physical body of the human being was born out of the first humans’ mistaken attitude that to be separate and independent would be somehow better. Ironically, as soon as they had a body they felt like a “nobody” and in fear they ran for cover from the intimating presence of the All One.