The bus stop where I usually catch my bus is on top of a hill. Sometimes I see people running up the hill just in time to catch the bus coming from behind. This morning, while I waited for my bus, I observed a man running up the hill. Is there a bus coming, I wonder? I had a thought that I should make no judgments and just observe. The man ran up the hill, ran past the bus stop and kept running. He didn’t have the usual track suit or sports gear you would associate with someone going for a run. He was dressed in a regular way yet he was running, maybe just for the hell of it.
Years ago, there was an excellent billboard advertisement in underground stations. In the picture is a white police officer chasing a black man. The picture evokes thoughts of police brutality, racism etc. But on closer inspection, you realise these two men are both police officers – one in uniform, the other in plain clothes. They are actually chasing someone else. The ad was challenging stereotypes and false assumptions.
The other night, I watched the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Indiana, played by Harrison Ford, is on a search for the Holy Grail with his father, played by Sean Connery. In a scene, Indiana’s is on a tank which goes over a cliff. His father and two friends believe he is dead. His father is upset and regretting not spending enough time with him. The other two friends are visibly distressed. In the meantime, the invincible Indiana manages to crawl up the cliff and walks up behind them. He sees his friends and father looking over the cliff. He is curious to see what they’re looking at. They realise Indiana is alive and well and everyone is jubilant.
In the allegory of creation in Genesis, Adam and Eve are told by their creator, the Lord God, that they can eat fruits from other trees except the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Disobedience will result in death. Then comes the serpent who tempts Eve into eating from this tree. The serpent tells Eve that she will not die but she will “be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Eve likes what she sees, eats the fruit and passes some to Adam who eats the fruit. The result of disobedience is that humanity is cursed to endure hardship, pain and suffering. (See chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis).
There have been various interpretations of this allegory. I have read an interpretation in the book “Autobiography of a Yogi,” that Adam represents reason while Eve represents feeling.
This is the way I interpret this allegory. Adam and Eve and the serpent, all three represent states of mind i.e. thoughts, emotions and the five senses. A snake uses its forked tongue to sense what is around it and, in the same way, mortals tend to use their senses, thoughts and emotions to perceive and experience reality. The fruits of the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” represents false perceptions resulting from identifying yourself with your emotions, thoughts or senses. The warning is that you cannot rely upon the various states of mind nor should you trust them. The only one you can trust to interpret reality is the Spirit within. One thing that is usually missed out is that in the allegory in chapter 2, it is written that:
“And out of the ground made the LORD God 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 knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2: 9)
Note the key words are “pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” It is also written that when Eve was tempted she “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes. ” There is a similarity between the appearances of the fruits on the tree the Lord God has prepared as food, and the fruits from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” that Eve eats from. You see, the similarity is because of our senses deceiving us to judge things as good. What I believe this allegory is saying is that the only one you can trust to give you proper judgment is the Spirit, the I Am Presence, the Lord God, the formless consciousness free of all concepts and labels, which is your true identity; not the counterfeit version of humanity which judges according to appearances, beliefs, feelings and labels.
This is why one should never judge by appearances. If you are going to judge, you have to be able to see the big picture before you judge. If you don’t have the big picture, do not judge. It’s as simple as that.
In the beginning of this article I cited images that can easily be misinterpreted by appearances. The man running up the hill was simply having a jog, not running for a bus. The black man being chased by a police officer was actually a police officer. Indiana Jones appearing to fall over a cliff was never injured. But if you depend on what your senses tell you, you end up living a lie or experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions.
The best thing is I do not judge anything unless I know the full picture.
I am That I am,