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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, July 2017

The Creation Story:
A Journey From Paradise to Duality and a Possible Return Home

by: Brett I. Cohen, Ph.D. and Elissa Cohen
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Genesis Story of the Creation of Adam and Eve

We are all familar with the Sunday school bibical Genesis story of the creation, according to the Abrahamic religions. In this story, Adam and Eve were created as the first man and woman on Earth. Adam and Eve are the ancestors of all human beings and from this humanity can be seen as a single family (where all of humanity is descended from a single original ancestor). The Adam and Eve story provides a description of the paradise on Earth (the Garden of Eden) that was created by G-d as a home for his newly created human species. The story that follows can be seen as the "fall" of Adam and Eve from their non-dual consciousness of unity with G-d to their subsequent existence in duality consciousness and separation from G-d. The "fall" of Adam and Eve into duality was their entry into a world of suffering, pain and death.

In the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament (King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV) Genesis), Chapters 1 through 5, there are two creation narratives. In the first, Adam and Eve are not mentioned by name and are described as being created in G-d's image, where both the male and female were created at the same time (Genesis 1: 26-27). The male and female were then instructed to multiply and to be stewards over everything that G-d had created.

In the second narrative of the creation in the Old Testament, G-d forms Adam from the dust of the Earth and plants a Garden east of Eden in which he places Adam. In this garden G-d planted beautiful trees that provided good fruit for sustenance. The Tree of Life was in the midst of the garden as was the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2: 7-9). Adam is told that he may eat the fruit from all of the trees in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2: 16-17). The price to be paid for eating from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil would be death. Eve is then created (from one of Adam's ribs) as a helper to Adam (Genesis 2: 20-22).

Adam and Eve at this point have no knowledge of good and evil and therefore in their nakedness they are unashamed. A cunning serpent then tempts Eve to eat the fruit from the forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. The serpent claims that if Eve eats the forbidden fruit she will not die but instead she will become like G-d and know good and evil. Eve believes that the fruit will make her wise, as the serpent suggests, so she eats the fruit and then gives some of the fruit to Adam (Genesis 3: 6). After eating the fruit their "eyes were opened". They suddenly identified themselves with their bodies and felt that these bodies were something to be ashamed of, something to hide. This is the birth of fear and shame, the marker of separation consciousness and the subsequent descent into egoic consciousness. G-d curses the serpent and then banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to begin their lives of pain and toil outside of the Garden (Genesis 3: 14-24).

The "fall" from Non-duality to duality in the Creation Story of Adam and Eve

Non-duality has the literal meaning of "not two" and can also be described as "one undivided without a second" , unity with or “non-separation” (Katz 2007). The concept of non-duality is found in various religions and spiritual traditions throughout the world (Harvey 2013, Katz 2007, Loy 1988). The "ego" is part of the conscious mind and is also part of the identity that one considers themselves to be (Katz 2007, Loy 1988). The "ego" is also described as an inflated feeling of superiority over others and/or a feeling of inferiority in relation to others. The "ego" is also responsible for pleasures and desires as well as aversions. The dissolution of the ego reveals the presence of non-dual consciouness. When "ego" death occurs there is a complete loss of subjective self-identity (katz 2007, Loy 1988). In other words, the death of the "ego" allows for the awareness of unity consciousness in which One is undivided without a second. This realization of unity could be considered a post-egoic state, or in otherwords, the return to paradise (Garden of Eden).

There is alot of theological discussion as to why there are two creation narratives in the Old Testament. It is interesting that from the outset of the Old Testament the question of duality, as it relates to the reason for the two stories of creation, is aroused. This can be seen as the foreshadowing of the "fall" of human consciousness from non-duality to duality (two), the basis for the entire journey of humanity that is to follow.

The second creation story of Adam and Eve has numerous descriptions of the "fall" from non-duality (“non-separation” or unity with G-d) to duality (separation from G-d). Eve believes (after the serpent convinces her) that the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil will make her wise. So she eats the fruit and then gives some of the fruit to Adam. After eating the fruit, their "eyes were opened" and the "fall" from non-duality to duality begins. Adam and Eve hear G-d walking in the garden and hide. G-d calls to Adam and asks "Where are you"? (Genesis 3:9) Adam responds that he was afraid and hiding from G-d because he was naked. This feeling of fear and shame expressed by Adam are the first indication that the "fall" from non-dual consciousness has occurred and duality consciousness has emerged.

G-d then asks Adam "Who told you that you were naked"? (Genesis 3:11) This clearly indicates that a voice other than G-d's had arisen in Adam and G-d was aware of it. This is the first instance of the voice of the "ego" in the experience of humanity. G-d then confirms that Adam and Eve have eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil by asking them if they have eaten from it (Genesis 3:11). Adam blames Eve for his disobediance (Genesis 3:12). This reaction of blaming others is an other example of the rising of egoic consciousness and duality. By the behavior of both Adam and G-d in this story it is evident that a dramatic change in their way of relating has happened, a split has occurred. Where before the eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil there was harmony and unity (paradise) now there is hiding, shame and blame (separation). These personal emotional responses of Adam are due to his developing "ego".

While the serpent told Adam and Eve that they would not die if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil the reality was that they did experience a "spiritual" death. Here, the separation from unity with G-d, for both Adam and Eve, resulted in their "fall" from non-dual consciousness with G-d to dual or separation consciousness. The creation story ends with Adam and Eve banished from the Garden of Eden, which is symbolic of the complete separation and the full rise of the "ego". They are told they would now have to enter into an existence of suffering, which is the hallmark of separation consciousness in various religious traditions.

The "Fall" of Adam and Eve has been depicted in religious art throughout time. Figure 1 illustrates the "Fall" of Adam and Eve by Michelangelo in his great work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. On the left side of the Figure, Adam and Eve have no knowledge of good and evil and are in conscious unity with G-d in paradise. This work of art was inspired by the biblical text, which describes the garden as a beautiful place with bountiful food, a place where all needs are met The artist beautifully portrays Adam and Eve as being in a state of joy and fulfillment. It should be noted, that the experience of non-dual consciousness has been described in this way, as a state of fulfillment without lack of any kind. After eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge (on the right side of the Figure) both Adam and Eve have entered duality consciousness and have developed an "ego" which can be described as the separation from G-d. This work of art masterfully depicts the emotional and spiritual despair that Adam and Eve have fallen into following their experiences of shame, fear and blame. In this visual representation, the contrast of the state of non-dual consciousness and egoic consciousness, before and after the fall could not be more evident.

The journey out of the Garden of Eden is the end of one story but the beginning of another. The possibility of an eventual return to the Garden is left open as it is made known that the Garden of Eden and theTree of Life in its midst are preserved yet constantly guarded. The question of whether humanity will transcend egoic consciousness and return Home to the Garden of Eden and eat from the Tree of Life is yet to be answered.

About the Authors:
Dr. Brett I. Cohen

Dr Brett I. Cohen holds a PhD in inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry from the State University of New York at Albany. He received his PhD in November 1987 for his thesis entitled “Chemical Model Systems for Dioxygen-Activating Copper Proteins” and was a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University in 1988–1989. His research at Rutgers was in the area of peptide synthesis utilising transition metal chemistry. After his postdoctoral fellowship, from 1989 to 2003 Dr Cohen was one of the owners of Essential Dental Systems where he was CEO and Vice President of Dental Research.

Dr Cohen has been awarded 16 US patents and has had over 100 papers published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Inorganic Chemistry, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, Journal of Endodontics, Autism, etc. These papers cover a variety of areas such as inorganic and bioinorganic chemistry, biomedicine, autism, physical chemistry, dentistry and more.

In the Alternative Arena Dr Cohen has published articles for Nexus Magazine, Phenomena Magazine, The Skeptic (Australia), Alternate Perceptions Magazine (AP Magazine), Interalia Magazine and Argunners Magazine, etc. These articles cover a variety of topics such as UFO's, Ancient Mysteries {for example; Queen's Chambers chemistry in The Great Pyramid at Giza, Roman Flexible glass (Vitrum Flexile), Secret Chemistry of Damascus Steel and "Greek Fire", etc.}, Alternative History (for example, "Aero" Airship Flight in the mid 1850's, Prussian Blue staining the walls of German World War II concentration camps, and Early use of Chemical Warfare during the Persian-Roman War, etc.), Mythology {Cryptozoology} (chemical mechanism of fire-breathing dragons), Spirituality (Non-dualism), Alternative Health (Autism and links to Epigenetics and Non-dualism and Autism, etc.) and more...

Dr Cohen's article Non-dualism (or Non-Duality) and Autism was published in Alternate Perceptions Magazine (AP Magazine), issue 230; May 2017.

Dr Cohen's article The Secrets of Damascus Steel Revealed: A Chemical Perspective was published in Alternate Perceptions Magazine (AP) Magazine, issue 231; June 2017.

Dr Cohen can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Elissa Cohen

Elissa Cohen has a Masters degree (MS) and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling Psychology (CAS) from the State University of New York at Albany and has an intense interest in the experiential understanding of non-duality.

References Harvey, P., An introduction to Buddhism. Teachings, history and practices, Cambridge University Press, West Nyack, New York, 2013.
Katz, J., One: the Essence Writings of Nonduality, Sentient Publications, Boulder, CO, 2007.
King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV) Genesis 1-5.
Loy, D., Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy, Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn, 1988.

Figure Legend
Figure 1. Image of the "Fall" of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
(Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/67/Michelangelo_S%C3%BCndenfall.jpg)

Tuesday, February 20, 2024