“it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.”
While we understand that opposition is necessary–“it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things,”–we are not very clear on the source of that opposition.
The essence of opposition in this life is a function of the fruit of the tree from which we seek to be satisfied. There are two trees, each offering us its fruit. And those fruits are in direct and open opposition to each other.
The fruit of one is sweet to the natural man: “It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.”
The fruit of the other is sweet to the spiritual man: “And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted.”
The two trees are effectively altars at which each of us worships. One leads to heaven, one to hell. We are always choosing/seeking one or the other; there is no middle ground. It is the trees, or fundamental world views which they represent, that are the basis of opposition in this life:
“And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.”
The forbidden fruit is naturally and inherently opposed to the fruit of the tree of life. By “opposition” we undertand they are mutually exclusive; one works against and is the opposite of the other. The two fruits are the two great ways; the two completely opposite paths. The fruit of the tree of life is the love of God. If we seek God’s love with all our hearts it will lead us back to His presence. What is the opposite way that leads us away from Father? Seeking after the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Knowledge vs. Love. Are these the two great ways? The two fundamentally opposite ways? “Even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life.”
In my simplified view of the world, I think of it as living through your brain or through your heart. How are we supposed to approach God? Do we do it through reason and analysis, through sheer intellectual horsepower? Or is it principally through feeling? Can this possibly be the great division?
When I think of my own life I can recall many years spent trying to approach God while living through my brain. It has not been a very productive endeavor. When I think about the times I have attempted to approach God while living through my heart–out of true heartfelt desire–it seems to have been the path that produced effectively all meaningful spiritual progress.
“Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”
“Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”