I.
Adam and Eve stand between the two trees,
the tree of life, radiant with a mysterious light,
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
rich with succulent fruit so heavy
that it pulls its branches toward the ground.

Eve:
Why, my Adam, if the Lord God made us
to be united intimately to himself,
has he left us here in the garden,
and not taken us immediately
into the fullness of his life?

Adam:
I have asked myself that question too, my love,
and I think it is because there is still something…
something expected of us, before we can do so.

Eve:
What could that “something” be?

Adam:
I feel that we haven’t yet fully welcomed his gift
down to the very core of our being…
and abandoned this gift back to him completely.

Eve:
You mean that our creaturely “yes”
has not yet reached a fullness
that reflects the “Yes” of the Trinity?

Adam:
Something like that, yes…
For here we are, in time, in space…
these three dimensions of materiality,
and this other three dimensionality of temporality.
But in the midst of these there is another Dimension,
the one that gives meaning to all the others.

I sense it, I know its presence,
becoming explicit as He walks,
in the cool of the day, through the garden.
This Dimension envelops us completely,
and penetrates every moment, every space
of our existence in this world.

Eve:
But?

Adam:
But we have not yet consented
to remain in this Dimension,
no matter what…

II.
Adam has left and Eve is alone
between the two trees.
She speaks:
What is the meaning of these two trees?
A tree of life…a tree of knowledge.
We have not eaten of either of them…

Ah, one astounds me, almost frightens me
—for it is too luminous, too radiant,
I cannot even fix my eyes steadily upon it.
But its beauty gently draws my heart,
and I hope that soon I will partake of it.

But the other is different…ah, I cannot say.
I attracts me too, though on another level.
Yes, and it frightens also, though differently too.
What is it, anyway, this “evil” that one is to know,
and the “death” that God said would come
were we to eat of it?

In one tree, I sense infinite expansion,
and also, as it were, a surrender of self.
It is consent to belong, forever, to Another,
though precisely in this way to belong,
fully and truly, to myself as I am.

In the other tree I sense…what is it?
Self-affirmation, the clinging to self.
But is not the self good, in itself?
Or is it, perhaps, good precisely because
it is always in relationship with the Other
who communicates at every moment
his Being and Goodness to it?

Ah, regardless, I won’t eat of it…

Wait, what is that?

Tempter:
Greetings, beautiful one,
one radiant in majesty, divine…

Eve:
Divine?

Tempter:
Yes, do you not see the divine in you,
alive in your heart, your mind, your flesh?

Eve:
Ah…I indeed do.
I see it and feel it as a gift from Him.
But it is His, you see, alive in me.

Tempter:
Is that what he told you?

Eve:
Well, it is what I have seen, and felt.

Tempter:
But did he not tell you something…
let me see, what was it?
Yes, that you are not to eat
of any of the trees in this garden?

Eve:
Not exactly.
He said that we couldn’t eat of this tree,
here in the midst of the garden.
He said that if we would eat of it
we would die.

Tempter:
Ah, that you would die, he said!
Of course, you won’t die!
He only said that because he
doesn’t want you to be like him.
If you were to eat of this tree,
you see, you would be like gods!

Eve:
We would be like God?

Tempter:
Er…yes, that’s right indeed.
For you would know good and evil,
just as he does.
And this divine beauty that is yours,
do you really need to let him hamper it,
by keeping it in submission always to himself?

You would be so much more godlike
were you to go your own way,
throwing off the constricting bonds
that he has placed on your life, your being.
See, woman, that you can make divinity from within yourself.

Eve:
From within myself?

Tempter:
Why, of course.
You need not rely on receiving from another,
from that man whom God placed here with you.
Why continually look without
for what can come purely from within?

Eve:
You seem really to affirm my beauty…
You seem really to affirm my goodness…
Perhaps what you propose comes from love.

Tempter:
Ach…you misunderstand!
Why have another affirm you from without?
You see that you do not need this insecurity…
The man could turn from you,
and his gaze could turn to dislike.

Eve:
Really, I don’t understand what you mean.
Love has always been there for me…
in him, and in the One he manifests.

Tempter:
They have fooled you, fooled you…
You think that you are free, but you are not.
Take the fruit of this tree,
and you will be free, without constraint,
in a way you cannot even imagine now.

Is that not so much easier
than this long-enduring patience,
this passive acceptance of whatever comes,
and this longing for a fullness that may never be?

Who knows if that other tree
will ever proffer its fruit to your taste?
And anyway, I know…it is bitter to the tongue.
Trust me.

Eve:
Trust you…ah, but I thought you did not want me to trust?

Tempter:
No, that is not the trust I mean.
Feel my power surging into you…
Don’t you feel it, this vigor in your veins?

Take the fruit, take it…
and you will know true power,
all your own.

Adam approaches, and speaks:
Eve, what are you doing?
Who are you speaking to?

Eve:
Adam, he is offering me freedom
and fulfillment, from within myself…

Adam:
From within yourself?
All you have is a gift…
but it is truly yours in precisely that way.

Eve:
Is it really?
I am not so sure.

Adam:
Eve…

Eve:
Why, if, as you say, God gave completely,
is he withholding this from us?
This one here says that God doesn’t want us,
by eating of the tree, to be like him.

Adam:
Doesn’t want us to be like him?

Eve:
That’s right.
Are we not like slaves?
We are forced to do whatever he says,
and we cannot ever do anything for ourselves.
But a single act, look!
We can act for ourselves,
and then we will be free!

Join me, Adam—ah!
Isn’t it exhilarating,
to have such choice, such power?

And look at this tree,
how attractive it is,
so good for food,
so pleasant to our eyes.
And above all, it will give us knowledge:
that wisdom which God withholds from us.

She takes some fruit from the tree.

Yes, see, I have taken it,
it is mine!
Mine, you see!

She takes a bite from the fruit,
and then hands it to Adam.

Join me in this.
We will each be like God.

Adam takes the fruit,
and eats of it as well.
After a long pause, he speaks:

Eve, what? …Ah…