- Category: Alison Marshall's Column
- Created: Friday, 31 March 2006 12:04
- Published: Friday, 31 March 2006 12:04
- Written by Alison Marshall
- Hits: 5575
Let's look at what Abdu'l-Baha says in Some Answered Questions about the meaning of the story of Adam and Eve (pages 122-126). He says that there are many meanings in the story and he will give us one of them. He explains that "Adam signifies the heavenly spirit of Adam, and Eve is his human soul". "The tree of good and evil signifies the human world." This is explained by the fact that the spiritual world is purely good but the human world contains opposites like light and darkness and good and evil. "The meaning of the serpent is attachment to the human world." Abdu'l-Baha explains that attachment to the human world led the soul of Adam from a world of freedom—the spiritual world—to a world of bondage—the human world.
A few paragraphs later, Abdu'l-Baha gives us the definition of sin. He states: "this attachment of the soul and spirit to the human world ... is sin", "for attachment to the world has become the cause of the bondage of spirits, and this bondage is identical with sin." (page 124) We can see here that Abdu'l-Baha defines sin as attachment to the human world. In other words, he sees sin as a prison. Given this, we can begin to understand why he talks about being freed from sin. In Abdu'l-Baha's mind, sin is a spiritual state; it is the state of being attached to the human world. To be freed from sin is to lift one's soul out of its submersion in the human world and lift it up and attach it to the heavenly Kingdom.