The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official) [on Facebook] wrote:Celebrate the birthday of Frank Zappa who said: "The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your f*** mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions."
Here's a comment from Bhikkhadasa Bhikkhu on how the fruit might be interpreted in a different way.
In No Religion http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhis ... ORELIG.HTM he writes:
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu wrote:The word "die" provides another example. In people
language, "to die" means that the bodily functions have stopped,
which is the kind of death we can see with our eyes. However, "die"
in the language used by God has quite a different meaning, such as
when he spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden telling them not
to eat the fruit of a certain tree, "for in the day that you eat of it
you shall die" (Gen. 2:17). Eventually, Adam and Eve ate that fruit,
but we know that they didn't die in the ordinary sense, the kind that
puts people into coffins. That is, their bodies didn't die. Instead,
they died in another way, in the Dhamma language sense, which is a
spiritual death much more cruel than being buried in a coffin. This
fate worse than death was the appearance of enormous sin in their
minds, that is, they began to think in dualistic terms--good and
evil, male and female, naked and clothed, husband and wife, and so on.
The pairs of opposites proliferated making the pain very heavy, so
much so that their minds were flooded by a suffering so severe that
it's impossible to describe. All this has been passed down through
the years and inherited by everyone living in the present era.
The consequences have been so disastrous that the Christians
give the name "original sin" to the first appearance of dualistic
thinking. Original Sin first happened with that primordial couple and
then was passed on to all their descendants down to this very day.
This is what God meant by the word "death"; whenever we partake of
this fruit of dualism (from the "tree of the knowledge of good and
evil") we must die right then and there. This is the meaning of
"death" in Christian language.
"Death" has the same meaning in the language of the
Buddha. Why is this so? Because both religions are pointing to the
same truth concerning attachment and dualism. Whenever
dualistic thoughts arise there is bound to be suffering, which is
death. Death means the end of everything good, the end of happiness,
the end of peace, the end of everything worthwhile. This is the
meaning of "death" in Dhamma language. Most of us die this way many
times each day.
Any comments about this interpretation of the Dhamma?
Whenever dualistic thoughts arise there is bound to be suffering...