IV b – East of Eden

With the chores of the day completed, the evening had been reserved for a lesson from the Torah. Each evening a different sage would gather the initiates around a blazing fire pit located at the center of the monastery. There they would tell their stories and describe their meanings. The daily chores seemed a numbing routine for initiates, but the stories told by the sages held the initiates enthralled them for hours. The next evening another sage took his place beside the fire at the head of the group of young initiates. He began his story in the following manner:
“Tonight our story returns to the two cast out of Aten’s garden. Once again, they had become wandering nomads. Bitter over the events that had led to their banishment, they decided to replace the names assigned them by Aten. In their native language, they took for themselves the names Adam and Eve; Adam meaning “man” and Eve meaning “life.” With the forbidden knowledge stolen from Aten, these two, the first man and woman of the new bloodline, would become the progenitors of a new race. This new race would be blessed with Aten’s knowledge of wealth and power. In form, Adam would one day be recognized as a lord over his own people.
Adam and Eve wandered through the desert, returning to their former hardscrabble existence; but they found it more difficult than before, for they had seen how wealth and power provided comforts for the flesh. Adam began making basic tools and weapons. The crude implements provided bare existence by allowing the killing and butchering of animals whose skins Eve made into clothing and shelter.
One day Eve emerged from their rude tent holding an infant crying out, “Adam! Adam! We have a son! You have given me a son!” She cradled the infant in her arms saying, “we shall call him Cain.” The filthy man sitting on a stone lifted his head from the cradle of his hands; in utter despair, he looked up at the woman dressed in dirty rags holding forth the infant. Then he put his head back into his hands, moaning that he now had another mouth to feed.
Time passed and Eve delivered a second son Adam called “Abel.” By this time Adam had managed to capture and tame wild goats and sheep, somewhat improving their life of desperation. Adam had learned of various locations that would best accommodate the seasonal journey necessitated by a nomadic existence. He staked out pastures for the spring birthing of his herds and the four of them set up camp there to bring forth the lambs and goat kids. With the help of is mother, young Cain had begun a garden and with wild seeds had cultivated grain and vegetable crops while his brother Able preferred husbanding the animal herds. By the end of the season, they would take the produce of their efforts and offer them to their father Adam, who would then bless his sons for their efforts.
A year came that saw a truly productive season and the two sons of Adam brought him the fruits of their labor. Cain bought his grain and vegetable produce and Able brought forth his best lambs and kid goats. As Adam surveyed the offerings of his sons he said to Able, “My son you have brought me the finest animal, the best of your flock and in that I am much pleased. What a fine gift it is and I bless you for your efforts thank you.” Then to Cain he said, “My son, is this all you have to offer from a full season of labor, that which grows naturally from the earth? Is this the best you can produce? Meat is what I need, not this food fit only for vermin.”
Incensed at the rebuke, Cain responded, “Father I have labored long and hard to produce these gifts I offer to you. I have brought you the very best of my labor, but you are not grateful, is it fair to me that you recognize the labors of my bother, but do not recognize my efforts?”
Adam replied “It is not a matter of fairness; it is a matter of necessity.” While your brother produces meat you produce food that leaves one wanting for sustenance, we cannot work without meat. Why should this invoke your anger, is this not simply a matter of fact?”
As the days passed, the brothers became increasingly argumentative. One day, after a particularly bitter dispute, Cain stormed off across the field where his brother tended his flocks. Striding angrily over the open ground, Cain stumbled over an object lying in the field and fell to his knees. Cursing, he stood up and examined his bloody knees and then looked the object that had caused his grief, a bone from some animal. Looking down at the sun bleached object protruding from the earth, Cain bent down to dislodge it from its resting place. Picking it up, he shook off the dirt to find himself holding the jawbone of an ass. Boiling with anger, Cain reared back to hurl the bone as hard and as far as his strength would allow. Suddenly he stopped in mid-throw and lowering his arm, began examining the dead object in his hand. He could feel the hate for his brother welling up inside him, eating away at his soul. With a firm grasp on the instrument of death, Cain began walking rapidly across the field to where had left his brother.
He found Able sitting at the edge of the pasture under the shade of a tree holding a lamb in his lap. Able glanced up from the lamb and gave his brother a questioning look. The last thing he saw was Cain raising the jawbone high above his head. In his fury, Cain bludgeoned Able with the jawbone. Again and again, the blows form the sharp object rained down upon his brother’s face and skull, horribly gashing him until his features were no longer recognizable. The frightened lamb, covered with Able’s blood, jumped from his arms and ran off across the pasture. As his brother fell, Cain continued the beating until Able’s skull finally opened to spill his brains out onto the ground. He then threw the bloody jawbone down on the body and stormed off towards Adam’s tent.
As Cain approached the tent, Adam surveyed his son’s bloody knees and the blood on his hands. Sensing something was terribly amiss, Adam demanded, “Cain! Where is your brother?”
“How should I know? He is not a child and certainly not MY child, he goes where he wants; am I to be my bother’s keeper?”
“Have you harmed your brother? Where is he? Is he injured?”
But Cain refused to answer. Adam jumped up and ran off towards the field where he knew Able would be shepherding his flocks at that time of day. There he found Able’s lifeless body with the bloody jawbone lying upon the mutilated corpse. Picking up the lifeless form, Adam returned to the tent to lay the body before Cain. “You have murdered your brother because he was a better producer. Get out! Leave now! Never return!” Reaching for his staff Adam took it and shattered his son’s bloody hand saying, “See how well you can farm now, try growing your rabbit food with a shattered hand.”
Cain screamed in pain, “How can I farm now that I am crippled? When others find that I am crippled they will have no mercy upon me.”
Adam replied, “Then I will put the mark of a cripple upon you!” And with that he struck Cain across his face, opening a wound that would leave a scar crossing from top of his forehead to the bottom of his chin.” Adam then bellowed, “Get out get out now! Never return, for I have no longer have a son!”
The sage looked around the fire at the horror and disbelief painted on the faces of the young initiates surrounding him. Yeshua blurted out, “How could one murder his own brother for such a trifling matter, are not all productive efforts valuable to the family?”
The sage sat in silence for a moment. “This is a lesson of the overriding value of meat to the sacrificial system. Meat is the first order of importance to the priesthood. It is of such importance that one might even murder his own brother in dispute over it; more importantly, this story sets the sacrificial precedence of meat over other products, especially grains and vegetable matter. This story clearly points out that this Lord God favors meat with his blessings over all other sacrificial efforts.”
Gently picking up a scroll that lay beside him on his carpet, the sage carefully unrolled it and bade the initiates to gather around so they might examine its contents. The students could see the scroll was in fact a genealogy chart. At the top of the chart were the names Adam and Eve. Under those names were the names Cain, Able and Seth. From those names sprang a multitude of branches containing other names.
Once again the sage spoke, “This chart represents the principals of the pure bloodline and therein can be found the foundations of our race. Mark these names well, for race represents a unified, homogenous people of like cultural values. It is in those values that one finds their power, for when all perceive themselves as one, they can be addressed as a unified force and all will move as one in the direction given. Know this lesson well, for within it and its corollaries are found the fundamental principals of true power.”

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