by HFH Reuvers


In the beginning, man lived in a 'paradise on earth'. He was still uncorrupted, like a child or a dog. He unconcernedly scraped and scrambled to gather his food. If he was too old or too weak, he stayed behind in the forest. Then he died with hunger, or by the bite of a wolf. But he was not afraid of death. In fact, death didn't exist for him. Because, as long as he was there, death wasn't present yet. And when death was there, he himself didn't exist anymore.
Misery began when man became discontented. He noticed he could influence the course of events. He could set traps and make sharp arrows. He could conquer the world. So now he began to think, and thinking brought concern and fear. Because, man could be ever so strong, but after some time his forces began failing. Then man was ashamed, both before himself and before others who reproached him.
If he had paid much attention to hunting, he had neglected his wife. If he caressed his wife, the children became troublesome. If he played with the children, he wasn't present with the rituals around the holy oak. Thus he realised he failed always and everywhere. Now he had to care for himself. And he dreamt about the joys that didn't fell to him of themselves.

Now what was his worst sin? That he refused to submit to God! Although he didn't realise yet there was a heaven, he did see God made the world, and that he himself couldn't exist without God. But he hated it as poison. If he had fallen on his knees to thank God always and everywhere for life and nature, then he would have stayed innocent. Instead, he cursed. He didn't want to be in the hands of God. On the contrary, he wished to be equal to God, so to speak. Then he could get the joys of life without robbing his fellow creatures.
I don't say man should give up. Because trusting in God is something quite different. And I don't say he shouldn't defend himself, either. But never at the cost of the innocent! Now he did realize this. So he invented rituals to clean himself. But these failed too. Because he always left room for pretext, in order to escape total submission to God. For instance, he said the sun was God or he said God didn't exist at all.
By his example, man hands down these sins to posterity. This way, 'original sin' came into the world 'by Adam's guilt'.