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%PARABLES MADE UP NEWS STORIES HISTORICAL EVENTS+040209 %LITERAL LITERATURE SCRIPTURES SCRIPTS DRAMA PLAYS+040209 %RELIGIOUS WONDER FULL GARDEN DIFFERENT CREATURES+040209 %CREATOR BEGINNING POWERFUL PRESENCE SPIRIT BREATH+040209 %AIR WATER EARTH FIRE PLANET SPACE SHIP COSMOS SEX+040209 %SERPENT TEMPTATION DEVIL SINNER FALLEN IMPERFECT 040209 Some of the most ancient PARABLES found within religious literature are about the creation of a Wonder- ful Garden including a multitude of DIFFERENT creatures, created by the One who initiated creation. The stories differ, but in one story there was One Creator who is portrayed as most: powerful, present and knowing in BEING the CREATOR of all DIFFERENT CREATURES. What meaning can we discern in stories of creation? They are made up stories, parables. Different humans have found DIFFERENT meanings in the different stories/ parables. The following comments point out some of the meanings/implications which can be found in the stories/parables. The hearer/reader is left free to find and focus upon whatever meanings/implications they chose to focus upon. Creation stories/parables are made up stories; not news reports of a historic event. There were no disciplined: reporters, news organizations, recorders, or news media present to watch and record the creation of the garden of Eden and its residents. It is foolish to ask where within Space Ship Earth the garden was, as there was no place before the beginning of the creation of time, things, places and creatures. Given the nature of creation stories, they cannot be reports of any historic events. It makes no sense to treat the made up stories as news reports; i.e., to read them literally as reports of historic events. The stories are clearly made up stories; that is, parables. What meanings can we ourselves find in humans' creation stories? The creators/writers of the made up- stories are not now present with us to tell us what meaning they themselves discerned in their made up stories which are not authoritative news stories. The best that we can do is to openly and honestly share with each other whatever meaning(s) we ourselves find within their made- up stories. We are bound to find many different meanings in their made up stories. We can do no better than to honestly share the DIFFERENT meanings which we ourselves find --- with each other DIFFERENT person --- in ways which are open, honest and intimate. In one version of the made up creation story which has been honored by Jews, Christians and Muslims --- The- One Creator created a multitude of DIFFERENT creatures along with a first human being. The ONE human being notices the differences among the created creatures and NAMES the DIFFERENT creatures in the garden according to how they are similar to each other. The first ONE human exists within the garden with the many DIFFERENT creatures, but is lONEly, alONE; DIFFERENT from the many DIFFERENT creatures. Apparently the lONE human is unable to relate meaningfully and intimately with any of the other DIFFERENT creatures. God says that ALL of the DIFFERENT creatures are good, but that it is not good that the ONE first human is alONE, lONEly and unable to truly relate intimately and meaningful with any of the many DIFFERENT kinds of creatures. They are apart. In ONE version of the creation story God says that it is not good that the ONE human is lONEly, and so God takes some of the substance of the first human and makes a second human who is DIFFERENT, but yet an appropriate second human to be truly intimately together with the first human. Nothing is said about just how the second human is different; but it indicated that it is good that they can be meaningfully/wonderfully together with each other within the wonder full garden of many DIFFERENT creatures. When the humans start trying to discern who is good and who is evil; all hell breaks lose. Applying the labels of "good" and "evil" to individual human beings breaks down the integrity of the RELATIONSHIPS among the individuals within the wonder full garden. Attempts to promote authoritatively good individualistic conformity generates alienative relationships of: estrangement, competition, contentiousness, conflicts, greed, possessiveness, domination, controls, etc. The wonder- full garden disintegrates because the individuals try to label each other as individually being "good" or "evil" individuals. Being graciously/wonderfully together within gracious RELATIONSHIPS is no longer a high priority; and so the humans are no longer graciously together within truly intimate relationships. God's plans for both personal and communal integrities are tragically subverted by human's desires and plans to be superior to other individual humans. Cooperation is tragically replaced with competition and contentiousness. Humans no longer know each other in ways which are truly gracious, intimate and honest. It is NOT GOOD to try to eliminate the differences which God creates. It IS GOOD to try to integrate the complementary differences which God creates. Shalom. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================