5. Reasoned Reality in the Garden of Eden

Reasoned Reality in the Garden of Eden – Fragment

Before humans had been created we were given an interesting detail: “No plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground” (Gen 2:5). In other words, before humans appeared on the scene, there was only natural vegetation but no cultivation of fields whatsoever, and because cultivated plants grow only in fields on condition that they receive adequate rain, since there were no fields, God had no reason to send any rain either. Just as there is a reason for what humans are doing, so also there is a reason for what nature is doing. After humans were created, however, one would have expected God to send them in the fields and start pouring rain on the ground, but that is not what God did:

And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil … . The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gen 2:8‑9, 15‑17).

Consequently, God created humans so that they would till the ground but placed them in the most luxuriant piece of jungle where everything grew by itself. Why would anyone want to go through the trouble of tilling when you get everything for free? And if anyone wanted to do some tilling just for physical exercise, how could anyone till even a square inch among trees where roots were everywhere? Whenever humans practiced agriculture, they had to clear the ground of trees first. If Adam wanted to do some tilling, he needed an ax to fell down some trees and then he needed a plow or at least a hoe to soften the soil, but during those six days of creation when God came to the conclusion that everything he had made was “very good,” although he knew that humans needed to work the fields, somehow forgot to create any ax, any plow, any hoe, any sickle, or any tool that humans might need. Not only humans did not have any tools, but even if someone had offered them some, they would have had no idea what to do with them because using tools to till and cultivate the land required knowledge, something that the first humans not only did not have, but would not have been able to develop even if they wanted to because God hanged the knowledge on a tree and told them not to touch that tree. So, no knowledge, no tools; no tools, no tilling; no tilling, no sweat and sore muscles; and why would anyone want to do any work when everything grew by itself so that all humans needed to do was to lie down under trees with their mouths wide open so that when fruit got really ripe, would just fall by itself right into their mouth so they would not even need to climb into trees to pick it. The reason God planted trees to provide food for Adam and Eve was because trees are the only plants that need no care in order to grow, to yield their fruit, and even deliver their fruit to the ground so they even self-harvest. No wonder that the Garden of Eden has remained humanity’s ideal for la dolce vita (….)


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