0119 The stories of Adam and Eve, plus the naming of Adam as “an Image Bearer of God”, are tightly knotted word-games.
0020 Adam and Eve are commanded to obey only one rule. Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. What can we say about the name of the fruit, rather than the name of the tree. Can the fruit be called either “intelligent” or “stupid”?
Surely, Adam and Eve would not eat a fruit called “stupidity incarnate”, because they are intelligent.
But, what about a fruit called, “intelligence incarnate”?
Surely, they would eat such an admirable morsel, if only to discover their stupidity.
0121 Once in prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945 AD) discovers a label for all the incredibly well-educated and academically certified people who bought into the charisma of the National Socialists of Germany. He calls them, “Dummheit”, too stupid for words.
The so-called “Fuhrer” has a way with words. So do his propaganda-saturated followers, with advanced degrees in symbolic enumerations, deification studies and medical codification. They are sophisticated and up to date. They know how to label people, not as image-bearers of God, but more like… bodies with tattoos. Everyone can recognize the explicit abstraction. Here are the tattoo-bearers of a God that does not recognize the Fuhrer’s authority.
0122 That is the crux. It is all about spoken words. Speech-alone words do not picture or point to their referents, like the gesture-words of hand-talk and hand-speech talk. Speech-alone talk attaches labels to all sorts of parts and wholes. These labels promote explicit abstractions, which may seem logical, yet be totally in error. Yes, spoken labels can create cognitive structures that are completely internally consistent, hence logical, hence intelligent, yet unfathomably stupid. Thus, explicit abstraction (B), the stuff of intelligence and stupidity, stands in contrast to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A).
0123 Here is a picture of the next Greimas square.
0124 God labels the tree of knowledge of good and evil using speech-alone talk (A).
In contrast, speech-alone talk allows explicit abstractions (B), yielding either stupidity or intelligence.
Next, the implicit abstractions characteristic of hand-speech talk (C) contradicts the explicit abstractions potentiated by purely symbolic terms (B) and complements the idea that an adequate name for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is “intelligence” and “stupidity”.
Um… how come there are two names attached to the same fruit?
0125 Consider Adam’s implicit abstraction in the Genesis story. He implicitly abstracts a message. When put into spoken words, this message does not sound precisely intelligent. Adam says (more or less) “The woman that you made for me, she gave me the fruit and I ate.”
If I were God, I would have replied, “I gave you the title of Image Bearer of God, and you behave this stupidly?”
0126 The set-up for the drama of the Fall (D) lies in the fruit. The explicit idea that Adam and Eve will die when they eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (B) supports the implicit abstraction that the fruit is poisonous (C). The fruit (D) sets Adam and Eve up for the drama of the Fall, because it is not poisonous. Rather, the fruit (D) speaks against the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A) in the same way that a fruit (D) causes one to ignore the tree(A), along with that ridiculous commandment.
In short, the fruit (D) is not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (A).
Rather, the fruit (D) is “intelligence incarnate”.