PART III: LEGENDS
by Anthony Forwood (2011)
24: The Serpent and the Tree of Knowledge
According to our oldest recorded legends from the ancient Sumerian civilization, human beings are the creation of the gods, who were known to the Sumerians as the Anunnaki, and who they record as having come to Earth from another (currently unrecognized) planet in our solar system for the purpose of mining our gold. As we saw previously, at first these ‘gods’ mined our planet themselves, but soon grew tired of the laborious work, and so it was decided to create a worker-being, mixing their own genetics with that of an earthly creature. After several failed attempts (very possibly resulting in the various chimeric creatures described in ancient mythology and depicted in ancient art, and even perhaps the various co-mingling races of the early hominid species, specifically Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon), they finally created a human prototype that was satisfactory for their needs. The Anunnaki referred to these proto-humans as ‘the black-headed people’, which may have reflected their skin color, but could just as likely have reflected the color of their hair. In either case, this may have been a distinguishing physical characteristic between these proto-humans and their creators. These proto-humans, being sterile hybrids, had no means of procreation, but the gods eventually grew tired of having to continually produce them in the manner that they did, which involved using surrogate mothers from among the females of their own race for artificial insemination, so they decided to give these proto-humans the ability to reproduce on their own. This may have been the point in the biblical texts when Eve was created.
This Sumerian creation legend is very suggestive of the biblical events that occurred in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve ‘ate from the Tree of Knowledge’ and became ‘aware’ and suddenly felt guilty for their ‘nakedness’. This biblical story is meant to signify a major change to the human species, which definitely correlates with the earlier and more detailed Sumerian accounts. This change caused Adam and Eve to have to leave the garden – an enclosed sanctuary for the gods – undoubtedly because the ability of humans to procreate would have eventually overpopulated the sanctuary, and they would have become too many to care for, so they were evicted and forced to fend for themselves on the land.
In the Sumerian texts, we’re told that it was Enki, the god of knowledge, who created the first proto-humans as an experiment, and who thus became responsible for them and helped them to become civilized. Enki was also responsible for later changing the genetics of these proto-humans to make them able to self-reproduce. This angered the other gods (the Elohim of the Bible), who thereafter condemned him to permanently overseeing the underground mining operations.
Enki is represented in the Genesis account as the serpent, and it’s not too difficult to understand this in the light of the Sumerian texts. From these older texts we can better understand the deeper meaning, where it is spoken to the serpent in Genesis 3:14, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life”. Crawling through caves and mineshafts would certainly entail a lot of sliding on one’s belly and inevitably eating a lot of dust and dirt. It goes on to say in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed”, which is very possibly stating that what he had done would cause problems with the human race because of the genetic mixing that was used in their creation. More specifically, it seems to be saying that there will be hostile and antagonistic traits in the human species, and sure enough, this is what we have seen throughout our human history.
Could the human lack of deep concern for the planet be due to the possibility that we’re a cross between a terrestrial creature and an extraterrestrial creature, or perhaps even of completely extraterrestrial origin? Something about the extraterrestrial portion of our DNA may be influencing our negative actions towards each other and our planet, the extraterrestrial DNA itself having long before been influenced in its development by conditions that would cause the species to not hold much value or appreciation for life and all its diversity of expression. But what conditions might those have been?
These possible ancestors of ours, the gods of old, were undoubtedly far more evolutionarily developed than we are today. We might very well be following genetically inherited tendencies that cause us to pursue scientific understanding and technological development, rather than spiritual understanding and human development, and to separate ourselves further and further from the rest of nature as we do. A race of beings much older than ourselves that had become a technological civilization and had perhaps destroyed its own planet in the process, as we are also doing, would have been forced to take to space. This wouldn’t necessarily have hindered their advancement at all, but may have instead helped it along certain lines, and it would certainly have influenced a greater technological leaning and a further distancing from nature. Such a civilization might very well have become very militaristic in nature, much like we’re becoming, and this might be a genetic trait that we’ve inherited as well. Whatever the case, the Sumerian texts tell us that the Anunnaki gods came to Earth to mine our gold in order to use it to correct an environmental problem they were having on their own planet, and this problem may have arisen through their own lack of concern. The ancient texts, from Sumeria, India, and elsewhere, all speak of the god’s warring nature and the destruction they often wrought with their incredible weapons. Giving humans the ability to randomly procreate, and thereby upsetting the completely regulated process of reproduction that had given the gods full control of the population of proto-humans, threatened to bring out the more undesirable traits that were encoded into Adam’s mixed genes, and allowed the proto-humans to multiply wildly.
All of this suggests that the race of gods were very conscious of population control, which would have been a necessity when living in a long-term space environment. Such isolated conditions would require a very conservative attitude, which would have continued after having settled on Earth. The gods erected an isolated sanctuary for themselves on our planet, which is referred to as Eden in the Bible, and would have been known by different names in different places and at different times. A lost civilization such as Atlantis or Lemuria may have once existed but since disappeared, and may have been where the original Garden of Eden was located, but it was just as possible to have been where the underground mines were that Enki was in charge of, and where he created the first proto-humans. The reader should consider how little evidence would be found today of any such prehistoric civilization that had kept its numbers in check and followed a conservative attitude, but could have nonetheless been highly advanced technologically.
It’s also interesting to consider that these proto-humans would not have lived or understood life anything like a naturally procreating species does. Being sterile clones, they would have had no sense of family as we do and no concept of a history beyond their own individual lives. Nor would they have had any sexual drives. They were eunuchs and wards of the court, produced only for working, and as such, they knew of little else and relied almost completely on the gods, their creators, for their existence and survival. Adam would have been just one of these creatures, a worker-being that had been assigned to be a caretaker in the Garden of Eden. He was undoubtedly a favored proto-human to be given that task, while others like him were working elsewhere, undoubtedly in much worse situations, such as in the underground mines. All of these non-reproducing proto-humans would eventually become extinct when the gods left, and only Adam’s descendants would remain to populate the Earth. These proto-humans, considering their unique situation of being totally dependent on the gods and indebted to them for having any life at all, may have even developed an idolatry around these gods that eventually formulated into the early religious rituals that we associate with our earliest ancestors. Some of these rituals might possibly have been copied from what appeared to be the rituals that the gods performed to gain the power that they wielded, imitating them in the hopes that they might also attain a level of godhood through these efforts. Many of the apparent rituals of the gods may have actually been something other than religious rites, perhaps being the activities surrounding certain of their arcane sciences. The sense of life and final death, for these proto-humans, would have been very different than it was for procreating species. They would have been given some sort of explanation for their existence, and what would happen to them at death, and whatever it was, it would have influenced whatever religious activities they may have developed. A belief in an afterlife may have been purposely instituted by the gods, in order to appease the concerns of these proto-humans, who might otherwise revolt against being made to continually work so hard without any hope of a reward or rest. However, whatever they might have been told would probably not have been entirely accurate or was overly simplified, and some of their distorted understandings may have carried over into our later religious beliefs.
It should be noted at this point that there is a very close parallel between these ancient proto-humans and what is described in our modern times as the common ‘gray’ extraterrestrial. These grays apparently do not reproduce as we do, but might instead – given that the more outrageous sounding alien abduction reports might nonetheless be true – breed through cloning, which is said to be overseen by a separate, more advanced race of beings than the grays themselves (usually an insectoid or reptilian race). Although these modern-day grays are obviously not the same creatures as the proto-humans were, they may very likely be a similar type of worker-being that was also genetically created. They might even be similarly considered in terms of the biblical angels, who were the emissaries of the gods, and who would often intervene in human affairs to communicate messages from the gods to chosen individuals. This is precisely what we see in the modern-day UFO enigma, and more particularly in the abduction cases surrounding it.
Returning to a consideration of the Sumerian god Enki and his depiction in the Bible as the serpent, we can understand that Enki has come to be portrayed as the biblical fallen angel, the devil, Satan, Lucifer, etc. He was condemned by the other gods to live in the dark and cavernous pits of the Earth, deep underground in the hot mines of the Lower World, where it’s dark and dusty, or fiery-red and full of smoke and molten rock – the fire and brimstone of Hell. The religious and mythological symbolisms become so much more obvious when biblical understandings are seen in the light of the more ancient Sumerian accounts. But if it is the case that Enki is the biblical serpent, then Enki, and thus the serpent, has gotten an unfair characterization over time, having actually been the real creator-god of humans, and the bringer of knowledge and civilization to mankind. This is why, in spite of the Church’s depiction of the serpent as evil, we find cultures throughout the world, both in ancient times and in the present, that worship a serpent god. In shamanism, incidentally, the serpent is similarly regarded as the creator and bringer of wisdom, and is thought to live at the center of the Earth.
In light of all this, we must be fair when considering what the Bible says, irrespective of how we’ve been conditioned to interpret it, and in so doing, we might look at the Garden of Eden story again, and see that it was not the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve regarding the Tree of Knowledge, but rather the god who ordered them not to eat from it. This latter god lied when he said in Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”. We know that Adam and Eve didn’t die after eating from the tree, and the serpent even told Eve in Genesis 3:4-5 that if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge, “Ye shall not surely die: 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”. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree, their eyes were indeed opened, and they acquired a new awareness. Whatever else this awareness might have revealed to them, it made them aware of their nakedness, or, more accurately, their natural sexuality. Because they had gone against another god’s orders, however, they were punished, and this was the original sin that was placed on Adam and all of his future generations. So, in all fairness, it was not the serpent that deceived Adam and Eve, but rather the god who ordered them not to eat from the tree and who condemned the entire Adamic race to eternal sin, and this is commonly presumed to have been the god we know as Yahweh. If the serpent had deceived anyone, it was the other gods and not Adam and Eve.
Was the Tree of Knowledge an actual tree, or was it a metaphor for something else? It may very well be that it was an actual tree, and it’s fruit was perhaps some sort of natural mind-altering intoxicant, but such an intoxicant would have had to cause permanent changes to the human physiology, perhaps even at the genetic level. It may be that something else is meant by ‘eating from the Tree of Knowledge’, however, and the original wording of the biblical texts became misconstrued through the incomprehensibility of what was being said. The first books of the Bible are the oldest, and as has already been said, it is very likely that many parts have been omitted or changed since they were first written down. For all we know, a great deal of detail regarding the events in the Garden of Eden was omitted or lost long ago, and what remained has been pieced together to give us the current version of the story we find in the Bible. The texts from even earlier Mesopotamian cultures can help us to a great extent, such as those of Sumer have, but many aspects of the story are still unclear, and we must therefore allow ourselves a certain amount of license to speculate on what might more reasonably have been meant by this story, in light of our modern scientific understandings.
For instance, what does it mean when the gods state that eating from the Tree of Knowledge will open one’s eyes and make them aware of good and evil? Perhaps the answer to this question can best be understood by asking ourselves how we know the difference between good and evil.
Although we might use the higher brain functions of logic or reason to distinguish between the two, they don’t necessarily lead to such a distinction. In using logic or reason to distinguish between good and evil, we consider causes and their effects, which involve imagining or observing situations and their possible outcomes, and judging those outcomes by whether or not they are desirable, based on a number of possible qualifiers. But what’s good or desirable for one person may not be good or desirable for another, and so what is good and what is evil is a purely subjective issue for each person individually, rather than something that can be determined absolutely. Logic, nonetheless, is a function of the higher brain processes, which distinguishes humans from animals more than anything else. At the very least, it allows us to make judgments. It gives us the subjective world of thought that allows us to think and reflect and make choices. That is our greatest power as human beings.
However, it could be that the ‘fruit’ actually opened up certain dormant neural connections in the brain that had been genetically ‘closed’, allowing proto-humans greater functionality of their mental processes. If we consider the sudden increase in brain size between Neanderthal man and Cro-Magnon man, marked by the development of the neocortex, we can understand how this development gave us the ability to make judgments that earlier hominids could not. Without the ability to judge situations, we would not have a very strong concept of good and evil, and would rely on purely reflexive responses just as other animals do.
On the other hand, it may be that this ‘fruit’ opened up the neural connections to an even higher brain function than this, which might have been that of the intuitive or psychic senses, thought to be centered in the pineal gland. If eating from the Tree of Knowledge opens one’s eyes and broadens awareness, giving the person the ‘sense’ of knowledge, then it might be the origination of our intuitive faculties, and therefore our psychic faculties. This would support the proposition that I’m presenting in this book, that we’ve been purposely diverted from using these psychic faculties, and made to believe that they’re not reliable, even dangerous, or don’t even exist. However, the psychic senses seem to be a natural function in lower species as well, so this may be natural to us and stemming from the earthly genetics we inherited. This function would nonetheless be a potential threat to any alien group attempting to dominate us, so although it may not be what was meant by ‘knowing good and evil’, it would still be something that certain parties don’t want us to develop. It’s more likely that the development of the neocortex is what gave us ‘knowledge of good and evil’, and therefore ‘eating the fruit’ was somehow tied to its development.
Adam’s descendents were certainly psychic, after all, and more often than not, their god chose to communicate to them by this means.
The Bible doesn’t mention the Tree of Knowledge again after the second chapter of Genesis, so it remains uncertain what exactly it may have represented. It should be noted, however, that throughout the Bible, particularly in the New Testament, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding are spoken of with high regard again and again, in spite of Adam and Eve having acquired it against the wishes of the gods, so it’s possible that the type of awareness acquired by eating from the Tree of Knowledge was perhaps of a different sort altogether than that acquired through ordinary means.
This raises another question relating to the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. We’ve considered the Tree of Knowledge and its effect on the first human prototypes, Adam and Eve, but what about the ‘Tree of Life’? It tells us in Genesis 3:22 that the gods were concerned that Adam might eat from it also, and live forever. The Tree of Life therefore seems to have offered immortality, or at least increased longevity, and this may have been the reason why the gods themselves lived so long, as we saw from the Sumerian Kings List. Although immortality or increased longevity would obviously have caused an eventual problem with overpopulation when coupled with the ability to procreate, as we’ve already discussed in regards to the long lives of humans before the Flood event, it might also have been a problem for the gods in another way.
According to the Sumerian texts, the gods were interested in humans primarily for using as slaves to carry out the labor of their undertakings, and in this capacity they required humans to remain without any great aspirations of their own, otherwise they wouldn’t continue to labor for them, but would eventually seek their own undertakings instead (this is reflected in the story of the tower of Babel in Genesis). Having already eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and acquired the ‘knowledge of good and evil’, immortality would enable humans to eventually know and do as much as any of the gods, and to become their equals. But why would this be a bad thing? As already stated, the answer to this may lie in the actions of the gods themselves, which many of the ancient legends reveal to be very destructive. The gods often warred amongst themselves, and caused a great deal of damage in the process. Humans, even being mortal, have already shown themselves to be just as destructive, if not more so. Because of this fact, it may have been deemed necessary to assure that we wouldn’t easily attain the same level of knowledge that the gods have reached, and for this reason our understanding of things has been systematically distorted, beginning with the knowledge of our own origins.
It’s interesting to note at this point that the serpent is also symbolically associated with the Kundalini experience of Eastern mysticism, in which it’s depicted as being coiled at the base of the spine, where the first of a series of chakra points resides. Through certain practices, such as with Tantric yoga, each of the body’s seven chakra points are successively opened up, starting at the base of the spine and working up to the crown of the head, at which point the energy, represented by the coiled serpent, surges up through the spine and ‘explodes’ in the head of the experiencer. Having attained this Kundalini experience, a person is said to attain a new level of awareness, and is thereafter permanently changed, having become ‘enlightened’. From this, we also have the concept of the ‘third eye’, associated in mysticism with psychic knowing, and associated anatomically with the pineal gland, which is located behind and between the eyes. There may be direct parallels here between the Kundalini experience and the effects of ‘eating from the Tree of Knowledge’ that go beyond just the ability to procreate, and this would better explain why the tree was called the ‘Tree of Knowledge’. It should also be noted that a common method of achieving Kundalini in Eastern religions is through the practice of Tantric sex, in which a person’s sexual energy is allowed to build up and prolonged as long as possible until an incredibly overwhelming orgasmic release occurs, at which point the ‘serpent energy’ is released. Those who have had such experiences often report seeing actual explosions of light in their heads and feeling tingling electrical sensations coursing up their spine at the moment of orgasmic release. The connections between Adam and Eve’s new awareness and their ability to procreate, and the Kundalini experience reached through the build-up of sexual energy resulting in a changed person who is thereafter ‘enlightened’, should not be ignored.
From all of this, we should begin to wonder at the deception that’s been cast over our eyes regarding not just our true origins, but also the true interests that the different gods might each have in the human species. The Elohim, as a group, probably decided to expel Adam and Eve, rather than just the one god Yahweh, who was the god who is believed to have later taken favor to Noah and saved him from the Flood, and thereafter created a covenant with him and all his descendents. Of course, this may be all wrong, and in light of the Sumerian texts, it appears that it is, and it was actually the serpent, Enki, who saved Noah, while Yahweh was the god who initially sought to destroy the human race and only later came to accept them through Enki’s convincing him to change his mind.
If Enki was the biblical serpent in the Garden of Eden, and Yahweh was his brother Enlil, who had wished to destroy the human race but saw favor in Noah when the latter showed his worthiness immediately after the Flood, then perhaps this would better explain the otherwise stern and wrathful nature of the god who led the Israelites about the land in battle after battle against other peoples. This god may have pushed Enki aside and taken Noah and his people as his followers, and Enki may have been all but forgotten by humans for who he was, except by those who continued to worship him in secret, and this has continued throughout the ages in what are now known as the serpent cults.