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THE TREE "IN THE MIDST OF THE GARDEN"

From the April 1927 issue of The Christian Science Journal


ALMOST everyone is familiar with the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, and has heard of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" which was "in the midst of the garden," the fruit of which Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat lest they should die. But not until individual thought became sufficiently inspired, through consecration and self-abnegation, to receive the spiritual significance of this allegory did we have the true concept of its meaning. Through the loving and consecrated ministrations of a gentle New England woman, Mary Baker Eddy, we have received the "key" which so wonderfully unlocks the treasures of Truth contained in the Scriptures; and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" is, as its title indicates, the principal medium through which these treasures of the Bible are revealed to us, although our Leader's other writings also abound in revelations of Truth.

While studying a Lesson-Sermon on "Adam and Fallen Man" a fuller understanding of the meaning of the tree "in the midst of the garden" dawned upon the thought of a student of Christian Science. It became clear that this tree might be regarded not as a part of the garden, but as apart from it; for the record in Genesis makes a clear and definite distinction between the trees of the garden and this tree, in the command given Adam and Eve to eat of all the trees of the garden but to abstain from "the tree which is in the midst of the garden," lest they die.

The trees of the garden are types of reality, of true substance or spiritual consciousness, in which there is no least sense of evil or unreality; while "the tree which is in the midst of the garden" represents illusion, a false sense of existence—in short, a lie of material sense. Since an illusion is without reality, it cannot exist except in a false, supposititious consciousness, which supposes evil to be as real as good. Viewed in this light, it is easy to understand the fatal results of believing evil to be as real as good. It simply means that as soon as we begin to believe the illusions of material sense we begin to experience the results of such belief,—namely, sin, sickness, and death,—and are thus shut out from the garden of Eden, the consciousness of good.

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