In Which John and I Discuss the Bible

Yesterday at breakfast, John was lamenting the sorry state of his little soygurt tubs: i.e., can’t recycle them, can’t pawn them off on the Depot for Creative Reuse, can’t stand to see them go to landfill. The following conversation ensued:

M: It’s hard to be perfect. We live in a post-lapsarian world.

J: Yeah? Huh. When did the lapse happen?

M: When Eve ate the apple.

J: Wow. That was a long time ago.


J: And in only the first generation! You’d think we’d have gotten a little more of a grace period. Eve and Adam were the first people!

M: I have news for you.

J: Yeah?

M: Eve and Adam were not the first people.

J: Right.

M: That’s a myth.

J: Right.

[We resume eating.]

[Five minutes later.]

M: Can I ask you, though? What the fuck is up with that story, the Garden of Eden? What are we supposed to get from that? Ignorance is bliss?

J: Well, I think it might be a little deeper than that.

M: You eat from the Tree of Knowledge, and then everything sucks?

J: Isn’t it the Tree of Good and Evil?

M: I think it’s the Tree of Knowledge.

J: Maybe it’s the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

M: That sounds right.

J: So, it’s about a mindset. It’s like, the animals are one way; they live outside morality. But when you view the world in terms of good and bad, it’s a different state of being.

M: Huh. Well, that’s true, certainly. That’s actually kind of poignantly, Buddhist-ly true. But what about the serpent? The serpent’s an animal.

J: Yeah, not really. It’s standing in for a bunch of things. It’s not actually an animal.

M: You know, I think you’ve just provided me with the most palatable reading of Genesis 3 that I’ve ever heard.

J: Yeah?

M: Yeah.

J: I’d like to read the Bible, actually, some day.

M: It’s pretty good.

J: Yeah?

M: They’ve got some good stories in there.

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