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"What Was the Ancient Language of Eden...and How Do We Get it Back?"
(From the Book "The Ancient Language of Eden")
by Don Milam

Injection of the "Self" Virus

By eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, by willing other than what God willed, man became unholy. Dying to the holy, heavenly image, he now lived in the awakened bestial image of the serpent. The animal being had swallowed up the celestial being, and Adam and Eve then had common flesh, brittle bones, bestial members, and needed bestial clothing.

Man was now separated from God: Lusting after the earthly, the holy anointing oil given of Christ, was dried up; he became shut up in a gross, bestial image, for his flesh now belonged to the earth and to death; the dominion of this world now dwelt within him.
(Jacob Boehme)

As the virus released by their actions permeated their beings, the light of the most holy place within the spirit of man grew dim. In the inner man, the power of the soul gradually began to subordinate the rule of the spirit. Cataclysmic shifts in the nature of man were set in motion that would not be set right till the coming of the Second Adam.

Critically Wounded

In the beginning there was only one will -- the will of Father -- and all creation lived in harmony under this solitary rule. The rebellious action of man now introduced another will into the universe -- the will of the flesh. As Adam's will supplanted Father's will, an eerie echo sounded throughout Father's created world. For the first time there was more than one will in the universe, and all nature began to groan. All creation immediately felt the impact of man's treason. Nature's silent sobbing sounds will not cease until man returns to the ancient garden and the many wills are once more merged into glorious union with the Father's will.

Critically wounded by the injection of the "self" virus, man became spiritually disabled. The focus of his life became inverted as he began to dwell on his needs and desires. The true direction of spiritual life was meant to be upward toward the heavenly atmosphere, but now man's life was turning inward and downward. As the memory of Father's presence began to slowly fade, man's spiritual energies irresistibly declined.

Scrambled in a maze of linguistic disorder, the spiritual speech patterns and heavenly grammar of the ancient language were disappearing. Sadly, the words of the old love language began to sink into a sea of forgetfulness. With a dulling of the ears and blurring of the spiritual perceptions, the language of Father was ultimately replaced by another language -- the language of self.

The Birth of Moralism

Religion became a partner in crime, seeking to control its members by moral legislation rather than helping, or at least releasing, them to find their own way back to the ancient garden and the empowering Presence.

Coupled with the emergence of this new and deadly language was the development of an evil and darkened consciousness. The serpent's promise became a reality, but not with the results the man and woman had hoped for. The shortcut down the dark back streets of self-will resulted in a new awareness of themselves. The result was immediately obvious. They had not become gods. In fact, they were being reshaped into a lower creation, their unique personalities damaged, and their consciousness coming under the domination of a new fleshly law.

A crippled consciousness would now be the rudder of man's darkened soul. For the first time, man knew good, and he knew evil. This knowledge would inexorably replace the loving voice of Father. On that day morality was born. Moralism became the substitute for spirituality. Living in the presence of Father, man had been sustained by Father's breath. His life had been based upon the power of the Presence; now it would be based upon the enforcement of the law -- the law of good and evil. He would now be defined by doing good and avoiding evil.

This new law would be the means of judging and evaluating oneself and others. Rather then seeing each other in the light of God's image, mankind would value and judge one another in the light of performance and conformity to the new fleshly law.

The Law of the Spirit vs. The Law of the Flesh

Man would forever experience the conflict between these two opposing laws -- the law of the Spirit and the law of the flesh. The law of the Spirit would always be reminding him, though dimly, of the ancient language and the Presence of Father. The law of the flesh would insidiously obscure that memory as it enforced its own rules of procedure. These laws of behavior and procedure would become the basis of all future religions.

Seeking to enforce this homespun morality on others, all future cultures would emphasize the need for humanity to live by imposed rules from without rather than being motivated by the inward life of the Spirit. In some ways these outward laws would serve as a temporary protection for man until a new law could come -- the law of grace and mercy resident in Jesus.

Religion became a partner in crime, seeking to control its members by moral legislation rather than helping, or at least releasing, them to find their own way back to the ancient garden and the empowering Presence. Presuming to be mouthpieces for the Father, religious leaders would arise to establish themselves as the authority in the community of God. Tradition and legalism would replace the life of the Spirit.

Father Has a Question for Adam

Meanwhile, back in the garden Adam and Eve stood rooted to the spot where they had thrown it all away, lost in the solitude of a frightening awareness of what they had done. Rewinding and replaying their actions again and again in their dazed minds, Adam and Eve trembled with fear of the consequences of their actions. Never had they felt such overwhelming terror. Retreating inwardly into their darkened deliberations, they experienced a deep sense of loneliness permeating their very souls. Meanwhile, a voice was attempting to break through the deep musings of their minds. Suddenly, they were arrested by the penetrating voice as it finally reached into the depths of their inner retreat. Rushing for the nearest tree, they attempted to hide from the voice.

"Adam, where art thou?"
"Who told you that you were naked?"
"Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

Questions are powerful tools to probe inward parts. The technique of psychological questioning is used in the psychiatrist's office as well as in the courtroom to find out the truth of a matter. Searching questions pierce the darkness of obfuscation, forcing man to confront the realities of his life. They compel us to examine our shame and our guilt, the destructive results of our wayward actions.

Father is the Master of the probing question, and as we will see in a later chapter, His Son also had the powerful gift of asking just the right question. It is of extreme importance that you understand the essential difference between the interrogations of man and the insightful searching questions of Father. Man's investigations are undertaken to expose and condemn. Father's questions come to reveal and heal.

The Mysterious Work of Forgiveness and Grace

Trembling at the sound of Father's voice, Adam and Eve attempted to hide themselves physically as well as psychologically. Hiding is man's perfected reaction to the horror of his actions and a natural response to the negative experiences of his life. Pulling the proverbial blanket over our heads gives us a sense of protection and security, albeit false. Through the years, man would refine this inward flight, creating great psychological impairment to his inner being. His only chance for healing is to remove the emotional coverings and in open honesty expose himself to the loving eyes of Father.

Regrettably, much of my life was spent on the pathway of this inward flight, as I sought to hide from the pain of what I perceived as my negative existence. Fearing to face the reality of my failures, I sought refuge in concealment. I lived under a false assumption that what others did not know would somehow protect me from increased pain and guilt. Fear of exposure hounded me, paralyzing much of my spiritual life. I did not understand that exposure was the only sure path to spiritual and emotional healing. Fear of exposure led me to the door of falsehood. When caught in a wrong action, I would simply lie to myself and others rather than expose myself.

To heal man, Father must expose man. Man's deep fear is that exposure will lead to even more emotional pain and condemnation. Man has good reason to fear unveiling himself. Self-disclosure more often than not leads to condemnation and judgment by others, even in the Church. But Father's questions are posed in order to enable us to see what He already knows. His questions help us arrive at a safe place of self-realization, where forgiveness and grace can do their mysterious and majestic work.

Hiding and Blaming -- Man's Answers to Father's Questions

The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate."

...The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

Genesis 3:12-13

The couple had now lost all control of the situation. They could not get a grip on reality and moved blindly, it seems, from one sin to another. A chain reaction of deception and denial that had been set in motion was establishing future patterns of behavior for man. Rather than deal with his sin, man now introduced two very powerful psychological tools for attempting to avoid the consequences of his failures in life -- hiding and blaming.

In hiding and blaming, man fashioned a whole new vocabulary, as it were, to replace the spiritual vernacular of honesty and openness that characterized the ancient language of Eden. This dark form of communication was developed in an effort to protect man from facing the consequences of the horrible realities of his life. Thus began the dialect of blame shifting, rationalization, deception, lies, coded language, irresponsibility and shame-speech.

And Eve originated what would become the classic copout: "The devil made me do it." Enter the world of recrimination, injustice, scapegoating, and irresponsibility.
(John Shea)

The old mother tongue began to disappear as self-talk took greater control of man's speech patterns. Self-love, self-defense, and self-advancement were becoming the rule of the interior life of man. The image of self was replacing the image of God.

Now let us weep together as we examine the deterioration of the ancient language of Eden and the developing dialects of the language of self.

Language of Doubt

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"
Genesis 3:1

The matrix of the garden was an environment of total, loving trust and obedience to the spoken words of God. Love and trust were the root grammatical structures of the mother tongue. They constituted the framework of man's outer environment as well as the structure for his inner world. All things were held together by Father's word -- the outer world and man's inner space.

Having carefully followed this developing structure, the evil one knew the only way to break it down was to create a fracture in man's trust in the words of God. With subtlety, he carefully planted a seed of doubt in the thought processes of the woman. Man and woman were only accustomed to honesty and open communication, never having experienced any other language in Father's company. But then the evil one introduced a new form of speech -- deception and insinuation.

The cunning of satan opens a mortal chasm in the soul of man. As the woman pondered the serpent's words, a hint of doubt began to take shape -- doubt that would eventually grow into an act of betrayal and a breakdown in man's trust in Father.

Trust, so essential to the language of Eden, was shattered in that moment. That one small entertainment of doubt would eventually mushroom into a whole system of unbelief. The new language of that system would express this doubt in myriad streams of human thought -- skepticism, cynicism, atheism, and humanism. Man began to not only doubt Father's words, but also to question His love, misinterpret His actions, and even move to the point of questioning His very existence.

Language of Pride

"For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:5

In his plan to bring down God's beloved creature, the serpent proceeded to his next strategy -- the appeal to pride. Man had lived contentedly in the humble place of the creature, understanding that all he was and all he had were a result of Father's loving power. Man was the creature, and Father was the Creator. Seeking to disrupt that order, the serpent stroked man's pride. "You will be like God." Man pondered this. Could it be possible? Could man also be a god? The beguiling door to divine possibilities cracked upon satan's sly words, and the man and woman took the bait and slipped through the entryway.

Where his speech once was filled with praise and worship directed toward God, man's language degenerated into the slutty speech of pride-filled talk -- pride of accomplishments, pride of knowledge, pride of strength, and pride of life. The humble language of man was being twisted into a focus upon who he was and what he could do. Love of self would now dominate his communications with others. Self-preoccupation quickly grew to overwhelm man's speech habits, robbing him of the ability and even desire to intimately relate to Father and effectively communicate with others in the ancient tongue.

Language of Twisted Desire

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:6

In his desire to disrupt the flow of spiritual delight and desire between Creator and creature, the serpent again shifted the focus of desire away from Father's will to man's needs and wants. Eyes that were once filled with the light found in Father's presence were being clouded over with a perverted form of desire -- lust. The old words of worship and praise were being substituted with murmurs of selfish pleasure. The desire for momentary gratification was overwhelming the once content and grateful heart.

A floodgate of all sorts of evil desires rushed through the door opened by the woman -- inordinate desires for money, power, sex, and possessions would eat away at all spiritual desire. Rather than becoming gods as hinted at by the serpent, they unwittingly became slaves -- slaves to their own corrupted cravings. Rather than ruling over desire, desire would rule over them. The language of man evolved further, filled with all manner of lustful talk, eroding even further the pure speech of the love talk of Eden.

Language of Shame

He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."
Genesis 3:10

Adam had never experienced fear. Totally secure in his belovedness, he confidently performed his work in the garden paradise. Invigorated by the freedom he experienced in the presence of Father, Adam joyfully worked on Father's behalf tending the garden. Clothed with a sense of divine worth, he was never troubled with thoughts of insignificance or failure. Love of Father motivated him, not duty or addictions.

The serpent's goal to divide Adam and Father and to destroy the peace in this ancient place was beginning to be r ealized.When his seductive work was done, the serpent needed only to step back and let the chips fall where they may.

In a blinding, horrific realization of what they had done, Adam and Eve recoiled in shame. Falling to the ground, they groaned deep within their spirits at their treasonous deed. A penetrating sensation of shame was stripping away the clothing of personal worth they had worn in the presence of Father. Father! Oh no! They became paralyzed at the thought of Father. For the very first time ever, they feared the presence of Father. What would He think? What would He do? "We have failed Him!" The pain was almost unbearable.

A pervasive sense of shame is the ongoing premise that one is fundamentally bad, inadequate, defective, unworthy, or not fully valid as a human being.
(Lewis B. Smedes)

Thus, destructive thoughts of shame were introduced into the being and language of man. At first subtle, eventually they would saturate his psyche to be acted out in his daily life. Shame would drive mankind in the wrong direction -- away from the presence of Father. This is the destructive power of shame. Rather than draw us to the place of healing, it drives us to run and hide from God and others. Unable to bear the guilt of our actions we hunt for places of seclusion that result in a numbing sense of loneliness. Enter the language of self-hate, compulsive comparison with others, unworthiness, and voraciously needing the approval of others.

Father Would Provide a Covering for His Still Beloved Children

I know a lot about shame. Much of my life was lived in the house of shame. At first, it was subtle and mostly unconscious, but I could feel shame's debilitating presence encroaching on my inner thoughts. I could not have explained exactly what it was; I just knew that there was something very wrong with me. Life went on, and the accumulation of years of failure sharply defined the shame. It began drifting to the surface of my mind more and more.

I felt the awful weight of shame for my failures as a son, as a husband, as a father, and finally, as a preacher. Shame depreciated my every attempt to please Father. Years of a steady infusion of shame finally left me spiritually disabled in my mid-life years. Only when I discovered the loving Presence of Father, or rather, when He found me, did the shame lift from off me.

Man helplessly wallows in the mire of guilt and shame until the coming of Jesus. In Jesus the filthy clothing of shame is replaced with the clothing of the Spirit.

The pain that Adam and Eve felt did not begin to compare to the pain of loss pulsating in Father's heart. Though deeply hurt, He could not leave His children to wander the world uncovered. He already had a plan in the works that would take care of everything, but until its appointed time, Father would provide a covering for His still beloved children.

Language of Rejection

Therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden...
Genesis 3:23

Man had only known the Presence of Father. He had never lived a day of his life without the comforting sense of God all around him. His eyes first opened beholding the face of God radiant with love, and he had known only the security of living in that all-encompassing love. Now he was banished from the place of the Presence. There would be no more daily walks filled with sweet nothings being spoken in his ear. As the human retreated further into his own dark, self-absorbed world, he became deeply aware of a bone-chilling feeling of isolation. While relationship with Father is not totally destroyed, it is distorted and detached.

This detachment is the source of the profound sense of loneliness. At the numbing center of this loneliness man experiences a deep ache and longing for what could have been. This alienation and loneliness is woven into the very warp of modern man. His guilt and shame have driven him inward into a psychological alienation and spiritual loneliness. In this hermetically sealed condition he is prey to all the ongoing lies of worthlessness and shame.

C.S. Lewis said it well when he said he felt like a man brought out under naked heaven, on the edge of a precipice, into the teeth of a wind that came howling from the Pole.

The communal memory of what was lost in that ancient garden creates a psychic ache in the soul of man. Though unaware of its origin, he nevertheless seeks to fill this vacuum of loneliness and rejection with any and every sort of activity and relationship, or else he retreats into seclusion. The language of man is rife with expressions of names for this deep sense of loneliness and spiritual rejection.

Changed by the Realization that Father Has Always Pursued

What man does not understand is, he was driven out so that he might be brought back, changed by the realization that Father had always pursued him. The Tree of Life was kept from him for a time that it might be kept for him for an eternity. In the book of Genesis, we see man driven out of Paradise and away from the Tree of Life. In the Book of Revelation, we see the gate to Eden reopened and man once again brought into the garden with a special invitation to come eat from the Tree of Life. The Son of man will be the one to swing open that ancient gate and help man reclaim the precious ancient language.

by Don Milam

(From the Book "The Ancient Language of Eden")