Gardening in the Garden of Eden
- This page is part of an ERW course Gardening courses, topic Spiritual aspects of gardening.
- By John Eagles.
When we look at ourselves from the viewpoint of our growth and development, we can distinguish three stages. The first is that of our individual growth in a relationship to God. The second is that of our growth by forming families and in all other relations with fellow human beings. The third is that of our learning to relate to the world of creation that is all around us.
That world of creation around us is called 'The Garden of Eden' in the Book of Genesis. It is where Adam and Eve lived before they fell to sin.
What we need in life is a purpose for our individual lives. This purpose was given by God, so more important than anything else is our relationship to God. We came from God and as we grow up, we can learn to be more like God, loving and creative according to the essence of our being.
We cannot grow without relating to what is around us. A child learns in the interaction with its parents and siblings and also in the play with toys, animals and the world outside, in a garden with plants and trees.
God gave to us what we can see as great blessings. The first blessing is God's gift of our being created. God made us, God wants each us to exist in order for God to share God's love with us and for us to share our love with God and living for the purpose of creation that God and we have in common.
God also gave us people around. Our parents and siblings, our children and friends, they each express aspects of God's love that we could not otherwise receive from God directly.
The third great gift of God is our magnificent environment, the world of creation, our home and our garden. This is the Garden of Eden. We all live from the food that plants provide us, directly by eating those plants or by consuming animal products. We need food to stay alive and to grow, so from that viewpoint, gardening or farming is the most fundamental occupation in life. We need food not only for our physical bodies, we also need food for the growth of our spirit bodies. Without good food our spirits could not grow. We can learn to enhance the quality of the food we eat by learning how to grow plants, how to treat a soil, how to relate well to the animals living in, on and above that soil.
The Book of Genesis said that Adam and Eve were cast out from the Garden of Eden after their fall. What does this actually mean? It means that Adam and Eve had lost their awareness of what this beautiful Garden of Eden means. They did not understand anymore that this Garden was for them to develop their love and creativity, that this Garden could teach them how to care and that through this Garden they could relate not only to the world of plants and animals, but also to the entire spirit world of spiritual beings created by God.
So Adam and Eve went off and started doing their business. They had forgotten the pleasure of relating to all things and instead went on a hunt for money, thinking that getting more properties would give them the gratification they now were missing because they had lost their close relationship to God and their awareness of what God's creation of nature could mean for them.
By working for money we can get an easy life, but by investing our creativity in the world of things, building a house and the furniture and creating pieces of art and making tools, and by investing in the world of created beings in nature, we come in a flow of continuous learning and development. This is very similar to how little children grow, by playing with the things around them, by learning how to use them.
Our creativity is an endless ocean of possibilities. This creativity needs continuous stimulation, less in the rather boring and distracting world of money in today's overly organized and controlled society, much more in the endless cosmos of nature. It is in our home and garden that we can meet not only some people around us, but the entire cosmos existing in the spiritual world. From our work in the Home and Garden we can then move into the larger world of creativity in science and culture and arts.
The most important in all this is to learn to love and care, and to develop the seeds of creativity that God has sown in each of us.