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Evolution and the Gnostic Tree of Life

"The True and Perfect Myth of the Serpent"

There is a profound mystery behind the story of Adam and Eve which, when explained, sheds an entirely new light on the primal couple and on the tree which opened the eyes of those who ate of its fruit.

The real meaning of the mythical "Fall" was concealed under a cloak of allegory and metaphor. Even the Old Testament writers were often unaware of the hidden implications of the myths from which they drew their inspiration.

This accounts for the contradictions not infrequently found in their works.


The Flaming Sword which Guarded the Tree.

The Oral Tradition

Those who were in possession of the key were called Gnostics, the men who knew
. They were the Essenes, Nazarenes, and Mandaites, etc., all initiates who understood the true symbolic nature of the serpent.

The Gnostics were expounders of the ancient wisdom by means of the oral tradition of Egypt and Chaldea. They had inherited the unwritten Law, the sayings uttered from mouth to ear and only made known to those who were instructed in the mysteries.

The Food of Life


Speaking of the Biblical narratives, the learned Philo observed,"These things are not mere fabulous inventions in which the race of poets and sophists delight, but are rather types shadowing forth some allegorical truth, according to some mystical explanation."

No truer words were ever spoken. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the tree of divine Wisdom. And Wisdom, personified as the Sophia or feminine logos, pertained to the laws of evolution, the very antithesis of the Fall.

It was the doctrine of development, a sacred (secret) science, which teaches that "when rightly plucked, the forbidden fruit is the food of Life; wrongly, it is the fruit of Death."

The Gospel of Eve


The Ophites were another gnostic sect who revered the serpent as a symbol of the hidden wisdom. For them there was no meaning in the prohibition against eating of the carnal tree.

In this quotation from their Gospel of Eve
, we find the true and perfect myth of the serpent, which, says Genesis, "was more subtile than any beast of the field:"

"Then Eve heard a voice as of Thunder, and as she drew near, he spake unto her thus: 'I am thou; thou art me, and wheresoever thou art, there am I. I am dispersed throughout all, and thou canst gather me wheresoever thou wilt, but in plucking me, thou gatherest thine own self.' "

The Secret Meaning

The secret tradition held that the human fall was simply and solely the sin of ignorance.

"Wisdom (knowledge) is a tree of life to them that lay hold of her," the mystery teachers said, and by "tree" they meant the human cerebrospinal system. When it is stimulated by a new and more potent form of Life Energy, called prana
, the nervous system becomes the Tree of Life.

Then an extraordinary change occurs, marking the beginning of a highly accelerated evolutionary activity in the body, known to adepts as the awakening of the Serpent Power, or Kundalini.

The Third Eye


The main participants in this almost unbelievable inner drama, designed to fashion the whole system to a new awareness, beyond the normal limits of consciousness, are the brain, the sexual organs and all the nerves of the body.

It is a process of rebirth in which the whole system develops a new biological function and a supersensory channel of perception, designated in the ancient texts as the Third Eye or Sixth Sense.

"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (Genesis iii, 5)

The Flaming Sword


"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil. . . .And he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned in every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." (Genesis iii, 22, 24)

Accordingly, there was a certain diagram in the gnostic Book of Wisdom which contained "seven ruling daemons" (the cherubim or chakras) and a "fiery sword" that kept the tree of life at the gates of paradise (the human body). Origen, one of the early Greek Fathers, describes the flaming sword as "the diameter of a flaming circle, as if it is mounting guard over the tree of knowledge and of life."

It was depicted as a radiating disk at the summit of the tree, symbolic of the upward streaming of the reproductive energy into the brain. This is the Urdhava-retas
of the Yoga Masters.

Luminous Glow


To the awakened, the radiant energy appears like a luminous glow in and around the head, signifying the opening of the Sahasrara or Thousand Petalled Lotus.

The phenomenon, namely the reversal and transmutation of sex energy, constitutes the essence of the Gnosis. Though knowledge of it had existed for ages on ages of time, it is just now being rediscovered by modern science.

It is the long sought evolutionary mechanism in man, and its proper manipulation can lead to creativity, genius, mystical experience and Illumination.




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