300.22 Elaboration on Structure of “Trees” (pps.85-86)

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the dynamics of the Tree of Knowledge. These sets are mutually exclusive. One may not simultaneously operate under the full dynamics of the Tree of Life set and the full dynamics of the Tree of Knowledge set.

The sets are in inverse proportion. The more one increases the influence and magnitude of elements inherent in one complete set, the more one decreases the influence and magnitude of the dynamics inherent in the other complete set.312

One cannot simultaneously possess full freedom and eternal life, because each is an inherent dynamic of mutually exclusive sets. The operation of one set in full force would imply the relative quiescence of elements of the other set.

As full and aggressive Divine Providence, along with all the other elements of our Tree of Life paradigm, decreases, all elements of the Tree of Knowledge paradigm—including the elements of challenge, freedom, privacy, and responsibility—increase. The expansion of one set implies the contraction of the other set.

Man cannot have the “best” elements of each set simultaneously, as, for example, both pursuit of knowledge and eternal life, not as a Divine punishment, but rather due to the implicit nature of the dynamics. God will not unravel the relationships, as they are inherent in the cosmic essence, which is inherent in God’s nature, as well.313 For God to unravel the relationships would be to unravel the fabric of the cosmos. Universal truths are extensions of the Divine, and vice versa, and consequently, immutable by definition.

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312 See Merton, The New Man, p. 110. “Adam, by his proud act, his insistence on improving his wisdom and science by adding to it the knowledge of evil, inevitably lost the full experience of goodness that was freely given to him by God. . . . These deprivations [the consequences of eating from the literal ‘tree of knowledge’] were not merely the revenge of an irate God-they were inherent.”

313 Thus “miracles” are consistent with a period of limited Divine intervention, e.g., the Exodus, but not consistent with a period of perceived contraction of the Divine, e.g., the mid-twentieth century.

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