According to Christian Science, the deep sleep of Adam, described in Genesis in the allegorical account of material creation, symbolizes the first appearing of magnetism to human thought. Hypnotism has become a force to be reckoned with, as the author of this remarkable allegory realized even then.
Following the story of the formation of Eve from Adam's rib—representing the self-division of error, or the fleshly sense of life in matter—the allegory depicts hypnotic mental force as a serpent which can tempt humanity and draw it away from obedience to God's commands.
The serpent continues to symbolize suppositional evil mind throughout the Bible. Mary Baker Eddy says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 564, 565): "In Genesis, this allegorical, talking serpent typifies mortal mind, 'more subtle than any beast of the field.' In the Apocalypse, when nearing its doom, this evil increases and becomes the great red dragon, swollen with sin, inflamed with war against spirituality, and ripe for destruction."
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