Adam and Eve were obedient children who walked and talked with God in the Garden of Eden. God created them in His own image, and they were in complete harmony with him, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
We know they fell spiritually and physically, but it follows that they also fell mentally. Without their connection with God their minds lost power, and became binary and unbalanced, and they no longer perceived holistically, a perception I call three-dimensional.
In this unbalanced condition one hemisphere of our brain seems to contradict the other, and one side usually becomes dominant.
A binary two-dimensional mind perceives on an “either / or” level, where things appear to come in pairs of opposites, i.e. black or white, hot or cold, up or down etc.
The apparent opposites seem to be mutually exclusive so we feel compelled to take sides, but we are actually accepting a part-truth as the whole-truth and seeing the rest of truth as a threat to truth.
But neither half can be ignored without seriously rupturing truth. Truth is a unity, both sides being so interconnected that the meaning of each depends upon its relation to the other. Splitting truth creates an illusion of separation and conflict.
Imagine a person with a lazy eye who has only been able to see two dimensionally, when his eye has been corrected he sees much more than twice as much as he could with one good eye. With both eyes focused on an object he’s suddenly able to perceive in a whole new dimension, and likewise when we’re able to focus both sides of our brain on a concept we are able perceive in a whole new way.
A two-dimensional person presented with a three-dimensional concept scratches his head and calls it a paradox, a dilemma, or a catch 22. When someone is able to reconcile the two apparent opposites into an integrated whole, we say they are thinking paradoxically. I prefer to call it thinking and perceiving three-dimensionally.
I believe binary thinking greatly distorts and limits our perception of reality, and causes much of the confusion and disunity on this planet, so an important part of the plan of redemption is to re-balance our minds and restore our ability to perceive clearly.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and we haven’t lost our ability to see the third dimension, so I believe some pictures may help to clarify this concept.
A popular paradox is one that pits the optimist against the pessimist. It’s a glass that contains fifty percent air and fifty percent liquid. The optimist swears the glass is half full, because he assumes the glass is being filled. The pessimist says it’s half empty, because he assumes it’s being emptied.
In either/or land it has to be one way or the other. A person who sees the truth might try to make peace by saying, “Your both right, the glass is half full, and its also half empty.” But they would probably gang up on him and say, “You have to make up your mind, you can’t have it both ways.”
Actually the glass contains fifty percent liquid and fifty percent air, and this may sound silly, but this is the kind of thing two-dimensional people argue about.
Next we come upon two either/or people focused on opposite sides of a dime. With each of them stuck in their own point of view, one only sees heads and the other tails. A person with a balanced, open mind sees the three-dimensional dime.
I use an equilateral triangle to diagram the transition from the two-dimensional level, to the third dimension. The bottom line of the triangle represents the conflict between the apparent opposites. The top point of the triangle represents the place where the apparent opposites meet and balance one another to unite and become whole.
The religion that teaches that everything must have an opposite to keep things in balance is partly correct, but there are several problems with this theory. First of all things that appear to be opposite but reconcile in the third dimension, were never really opposite in the first place. We were only looking at the same thing in two different ways.
There’s a second group of things that also appear to be opposites, but if we examine them more closely we find that one is actually the absence of the other, i.e., darkness is not the opposite of light it’s the absence of light.
Thirdly there are cases where one thing we call an opposite of another is actually a distorted version of the original, i.e. falsehood is not a thing in-and-of itself, it’s only a distortion of the truth.
Then there are the things that are truly opposites, like submission and rebellion.
Two common sayings that sound like they contradict each other are, “Look before you leap.” And “He who hesitates is lost.” These two sayings are reconciled in perfect timing. It’s been said that, “God knows no haste and no delay.”
Hopefully the following diagram story will make this concept even clearer. Imagine two different religious organizations, one believes truth is a perfect square, and one believes truth is a perfect circle.
The Circle Church is convinced there can be nothing in the universe more perfect than a circle. They see the Square Church people as rigid, conservative, old fashioned, and “square.” The Square Church is very proud of their four perfect ninety-degree angles and their perfectly equal sides. They see the Circle Church people as liberal, worldly, and “pointless.”
As long as they remain in the two-dimensional either/or world, there are only three alternatives.
l. They can remain Separatists, and go to their Round Church and their Square Church.
2. They can go to War and try to eliminate one another.
3. Or they can Compromise.
Which brings us to a very important word, possibly the most important word of our day. That word is, ‘Unity.’ All believers agree we’re supposed to have unity, but there’s a true unity, and there is a false unity. False unity comes from compromise. If the “Squares” and the “Circles” try to reconcile their differences through compromise they’ll come up with an octagon, or a stop sign.
If a Blue Church and a Green Church tried to compromise, they would conclude that truth was blue-green, but if they took their focus off of one another and kept their eyes on the prism, they would eventually reach a true unity in the pure white light.
Meanwhile let’s say a few people from the Circle Church and a few of the people from the Square Church humble themselves enough to communicate, and discover a higher truth in the third dimension called a cylinder! – – – – No, I’m not saying the truth is a cylinder, it’s just a good example of how two apparently opposite points of view can be reconciled in a higher dimension.
Neither of them were completely right and neither of them were completely wrong, but both of them have to become willing to give up their pet theories and their limited points of view to be able to perceive the three-dimensional whole.
If we follow any truth to its logical conclusion it will lead us to an even higher truth, but truth is too complex to be diagramed as a single arrow, the whole truth is much more like a wagon-wheel.
The spokes on either side of the hub represent pairs of apparent opposites that reconcile with one another at the hub. For the wheel to run smoothly, all of the spokes must be evenly balanced, (temperance in all things). If we let our attention drift away from the hub and on to any one of the spokes for more than a moment or two, the centrifugal force will carry us away from center and unbalance the entire wheel.
The apparent opposites which are really two poles of a three-dimensional whole, will have an active and a passive nature. A plus and a minus quality like a battery. i.e., Law (active) and Grace (passive), Judgement (active) and Mercy (passive), Lion (active) and Lamb (passive). And just like a battery, truth’s power depends upon unity of opposite poles.
Now stretch your imagination a little farther, and pretend you’re laying on your back in a tee-pee looking up along the poles and out of the small hole at the top.
The hole at the top of the tee-pee represents Jesus Christ, who is the Truth. It is in Him that the tops of the equilateral triangles, the tee-pee poles, the spokes of the wagon-wheel, and the colors of the rainbow, all meet and become one, in the full prism Truth of Jesus.
Just like the force of gravity in the tee-pee, and the centrifugal force of the spinning wagon-wheel, the things of this world are constantly trying to attract you, but if you simply do not resist, God will draw you upward and to himself by the power of his love.
If any of this appears self-contradictory, so be it, because spiritual reality is of a higher dimension than physical life. When the elements of truth seem to stand in opposition to each other, hold them in tension by faith without picking a side, and continue to study believing you will eventually discover how the apparent opposites meet and are reconciled on a higher level. Then truth which appeared to be in conflict with itself will arise in shining unity and we will see that the conflict was not in the truth, but in our sin-damaged minds.
Mystery is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
Imagine how short the Bible might be if Adam and Eve would have simply ignored the serpent.
It probably would’ve said, ‘God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, they terraformed planet earth and made it into one big garden; they multiplied and filled the earth with beautiful children, and lived happily ever after.’
My point is this; about ninety nine percent of the Bible is God’s love letters to fallen humanity.
In other words, the Bible was written for people with two – dimensional sin damaged, binary minds.
Please consider this; many verses in Scripture call Jesus a man, and just as many verses say He’s God, but there are no verses that say Jesus is The God Man.
Likewise, many verses declare God’s Sovereignty, while others clearly speak of man’s freewill.
These are higher paradoxical truths that must be held in tension through faith while we continue our studies.
Truths which must ultimately be grown into.
Next; Good vs. Evil.