Religious Literalism: The Fall from Eden

Spirituality as a religious practice is best expressed in allegorical or metaphorical terms rather than in a literalistic sense that espouses dogma and rigid assumptions of actual peoples, places and events.

The human spirit as part of and belonging to the Divine does not know of itself or of its divine connection by mere facts. Facts are not feelings, not vision and not inspiration.

Facts are an assemblage of words. Words are attempts to express in writing or voice anything from abstractions to physical things. Assembling more words only adds, word by word, the risk of wider definition and confused meanings and intents. This is particularly true when trying to use words to express feelings.

The greatest minds, the greatest inventors, the greatest scientific speculators did not think in mere wordage, but in images; images based on internal senses, based on feelings, based on hunches and intuition.

Spiritually-based thinking is feeling thinking, visual thinking, sensual thinking, even aural thinking.

Spiritually-based thinking then takes place at the place within of “no words.” Words only limit the perspective. If useful at all words must serve only as signposts to expanded views, to spiritual, mental and emotional understanding.

Thus could we not say that literal-minded religious belief represents a rejection of all that spiritually-based thinking?

Could we not say that we are born into mortality, having come from a place of no words wherein we dwelt and progressed to a point of – as Mormon theology expresses it – needing to become mortal in order to progress eternally?

Could we then not say that the real truth of a carnal negativity is not that carnal man is an enemy to God, but that literal-mindedness in our carnal condition is the enemy to living communion with the Divine Source?

Could we not say then that literal-minded beliefs posing as religion constitutes the most genuine Fall from Grace?

Could we not make the comparison that as Adam and Eve began applying literal thinking to everything that God said to them they Fell?

“If ye eat of the fruit ye shall surely die” was later compounded by evil whispering in their ears the confusing rebuttal “Ye shall not die, but be as the Gods, knowing good from evil.”

If stuck in literal-minded thinking about a reality that truly functions in a “no words” mode, those who seek further light and knowledge must seek wisely; must ignore a dangerous and continuing literal-mindedness that limits knowledge and growth to mortal definitions and mere human meanings.

The Lone and Dreary World that replaced Eden turns out to be the literalist weed patch that very Garden used to be for us.

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