A Tree, An Apple, A Wineskin...

Just what exactly did our Forerunners think they were doin'?
The story we heard growing up about our progenitors, Adam and Eve, is quite hackneyed, so here is a fresh take on an old rabbi's wive's tale.

In the Biblical account Eve 'tempted' Adam with the 'forbidden fruit', one 'bad apple', and got us all deftly kicked out of Eden--thanks to her sweet tooth!

The Quran does not lay the blame squarely on Eve's shoulders since both Adam and Eve are equally accountable for not having heeded God's warning to stay away from just that one 'tree'.

7 Al-A'raf (The Heights, The Unique Celestial Event A'raf, Aaraaf)

وَيَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ 7:19

7:19 And, O Adam! (First Human Being), you and your wife (are to) dwell in this garden; so eat (partake of it), both of you, whatever you may wish (desire); but do not approach (come near) this one tree, lest you become (of those who are) oppressors (unjust; inflict strife)!"

The Garden mentioned is the first one, Paradise or Eden, and it conveys many good things. First, that it is protected; the word ‘garden’ derives from Old English meaning ‘enclosure’ and in a similar manner both the Iranian and Greek sources mean ‘to make or form a wall around’. By extension, the Hebrew word for the Garden was ‘Eden,’ meaning ‘pleasure, delight’, and the Ugaritic sense for ‘dn, an added etymology, means ‘a well-watered place.’ Among the many other good things about this Garden was that it had ‘trees.’

In earlier posts trees were discussed as metaphors pertaining to chemistry. But trees can denote a host of other things to convey other meaningful ideas. The primary definition for tree is that of a woody perennial having a main stem and subsidiary branches and in this form it provides many direct uses such as fruits for food, flowers, lumber for shelter, and plays a central role in the O2/CO2 cycle. But 'tree' can also mean something that shows hierarchy; a supporting structure; a fixed source; as a transitive verb, it can mean to put someone in a difficult position; in material science, it refers to crystalline growth (especially in metals); and in computer applications, it refers to a data structure wherein every element has only 1 single predecessor except for the first element, which has none, and is called the 'root'.

Important to the message in Sign 7:19 is not only to avoid one said 'tree' but the reason for such avoidance is that it would cause our happy couple to become oppressors, unjust, and inflict strife; in other words, they would no longer be 'content' (Lat., contentus –contained, satisfied) to stay within the Garden.

Language is an integral part of the human experience, by articulating something--be it verbally, visually, or musically, etc.--we reinforce our perception of what we believe is our Reality. So, the saying 'root of all evil' is an interesting Jungian reference to the Genesis story about ‘gardens’ and 'trees', ‘apples’ and 'temptation', 'evil' and the loss of the Edenic (perfected) original state of being 'content'. Basically, this one phrase sums up the whole ball of wax about human experience; by alluding to a once perfect human state blissfully content to remain in the protected enclosure of the Garden and ascribing a basis for its loss consequent to one fateful act to partake of the one thing that ought to have been avoided. Amazing what four little words can do.

As mentioned in an earlier post, 'World War What?,' the Latin words for 'apples' and 'evils' are homophones--'mala,' and it is worthwhile to mention that, once upon a time, evil did not conjure up all sorts of demons but used to mean 'ills', 'badly', 'wrong'; expressing a not-so-perfect state--a state of 'malcontent'; or a deterioration from a wholesome/healthy state to a lower/diseased condition—a malady. The ‘fruit’ that brought about this evil did not of necessity have to be an apple, either, just the ‘product, sweet, result, or end’ of what that one ‘tree’ produced.

By the same token, Satan, who instigated the problem of malcontent, has its root found in s t n to mean someone who opposes, obstructs or acts the part of the adversary; not some creepy-crawly that possesses malnourished maidens; those later constructs probably due to the human propensity toward creativity. But Satan is credited as the leading cause to bring about the disease/malady/malcontent that cost our Garden denizens their Birthplace Address.

And Satan is a character that contends with God when it comes to having to serve or be subservient to humans. Central to Satan’s argument is that God created Satan of better stuff than the mere ‘sounding clay’ that constituted Adam, and his pride about his finer mettle sets him up to be the human adversary when he is commanded to ‘bow’ down to Adam and he refuses to lower himself. Not doing as God commanded Satan is immediately lowered from his existing finer state and he sets out to prove his point that Adam (Humanity) is truly not worthy of his adoration. Satan is not an Angel, but is considered Jinn, another form of creation that preceded Human creation, but came some time after God had already created Angels. Angels are comprised of ‘Light’, Jinn of a ‘Smokeless Fire’, and Humans of ‘Sounding Clay’ or of ‘That Which Clings (Embryos).’

And then there is that naughty 'tree' (Lat., arbor) that produced the forbidden 'fruit' ('sweet', 'result', 'final product,' 'end'); a 'bad apple', or some say pomegranate; which became the 'root' (Lat., radic-) of all the 'evil' that ensued.

The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise is an allegory, or similitude, that attempts to explain or account for why our human state is not perfect since we expect a Perfect God to make a Perfect Creation. Some of the confusion revolves around our not having a very good handle as to the true nature of our own Creation.

Surah 56 Al-Waqi'a (The Final Outcome)
إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ 56:1
لَيْسَ لِوَقْعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ 56:2
خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ 56:3
إِذَا رُجَّتِ الْأَرْضُ رَجًّا 56:4
وَبُسَّتِ الْجِبَالُ بَسًّا 56:5
فَكَانَتْ هَبَاء مُّنبَثًّا 56:6
وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً 56:7

56:1 WHEN the (Expected) Event (Outcome) Comes to Pass (Happens)
56:2 There will not be any to deny (lie) it Happened
56:3 Abasing, Exalting (Lowering, Raising)
56:4 When the Earth is Jolted with a Jolt
56:5 And the Mountains Are Pounded to Powder,
56:6 To Become (as) Scattered Dust
56:7 And you were 3 Pairs (Triad?)

Understanding Sign 56:7 provides pivotal insight into some of the mystery surrounding the Human Creation; one might say it is the Crux of the ‘matter’. There is no doubt that the 'you' mentioned is each and every one of us. That we are created in pairs, or have matching companions or dual nature is mentioned throughout the Quran; but in this one instance, that I could find, it is very clear that each one of us is part of 3 pairs or 3 duals; it is only a guess on my part that it could also mean a complementary triad, but that is only a guess.

{To gain some insight as to how this might work, consider the lithograph 'Relativity' by M.C. Escher, wherein there are 3 perpendicular earth-planes intersecting; the inhabitants have common use of the stairs, yet it is not possible for them to live on the same floors since they each have different perspectives of horizontal and vertical surfaces.}

Classically, 56:7 is interpreted to mean being divided into 3 groups, but the language is very specific in its use of the word for couples/pairs/dual complements (أَزْوَاجًا). If 56:7 is to be taken literally, the nature of our human form is such that we are each a single element comprising a set of 3 couples. What is of further interest is the form of the verb 'to be' is past tense; that we each 'were' a part of this sextet while the Event alluded to is happening. In addition, while the Event appears to be cataclysmic on some level, Ayeh 56:3 foreshadows a type of segregation or sorting out that occurs as a result of it (lowering and raising; kind of like what happens when you distill something).

Signs 56:4-56:6 may be referring to **earthquakes**, but there is human activity associated with this type of phenomenon as well--that is mining, particularly as in mountain top removal for coal mining; there would be a jolt, the mountain would turn to powder and then the dust would be scattered. This is on topic since coal is made of carbon, and there is a reference to the number 6 in that we each comprise a sextet, and it just so happens that the Atomic Number for Carbon is 6 ; and carbon forms the basis of all organic life forms found on Earth. Still not convinced there is a God? All this embedded info in the Quran just happened by accident? (**Insights pertaining to earthquakes in a later post in order not to digress too far from the main topic here**).

As an aside, for those of us having difficulty getting our heads around our
comprising a set of 6, this explanation pertaining to perception might help
explain it: “If you draw a picture of (a playground) scene and try to make
it look realistic, you will make some of your people appear substantially
smaller than others. That is, you deliberately
in order that the picture will look ‘right’.
-- from
'The Golden Mean' by Charles F. Linn

So, our nature might be such that being a part of a sextet would allow for this type of distortion from the perspective of an Outside Observer (hmmm, wonder Who that could be?)

Later, in Chapter 56, it goes into some detail to explain the result of this separation; and each group of 'Companions' is referred to specifically with respect to their physical location-- which on a secondary level may coincide with their disposition (or character): (I hope you all like flying and sailing, or, as pertaining to my case, auto-marin-airing)...
فَأَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ 56:8

وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ 56:9

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ 56:10

56:8 The Starboard Companions, what of the Starboard Companions?
56:9 The Larboard Companions, what of the Larboard Companions?
56:10 And The Foremost Forerunners? (The Leading Precedents, The Harbingers Closest to the Front, The Leading Precursors, i.e., 'The Apparent Leads', 'Those Foreshadowing the Things To Come'; ‘Ancients’...)

You and your 'companion', whether you have met or not, occupy these positions, whether you are aware of them or not. According to Signs 56:8-56:10 you have 3 levels of existence, not only in the Space-Time continuum, but in condition as well, those being: the Good (On the Right), the Bad (On the Left), and the Exemplary (At The ‘Bow’, Closest to the Front).
I don't recall that the exact idenity of the forbidden fruit is actually ever revealed to be an apple. The only moniker it is ever given is that of it being called 'zaquum', which is not any fruit we have come to identify as yet. Perhaps because the word 'zaquum' is the adjective form or can serve as the plural form of the known word for wineskin, 'zaq'. This tree is linked to something having to do with wineskins. A process that usually involves drying, waterproofing or sealing, and then tanning animal hides.

لَآكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ 56:52

56:52 They (Larboard side companions) shall taste (eat/partake of) the Tree of Zaquum

Traditionally, wineskins were made from goat skin that was dried then coated with pitch to make it impermeable or waterproof. Pitch refers to any of a number of viscous, solid resins extracted mainly from pine and juniper trees . While nowadays pitch can be made from petroleum products, traditionally it had been derived from trees. Petroleum-derived pitch is called bitumen and pitch produced from plants is known as resin. Purified at very high temperatures, it was used for waterproofing for the inside of tanned skins used as wineskins.
Incidentally, pitch and bitumen have associations with the state we call 'Hell.'

The tanning process derives from the use of tannins, usually extracted from tree bark such as pine, Holm oak, ink plants or, most commonly nowadays, mimosa. The main purpose of tanning is to convert the skin into an inorganic product so that it does not rot. Tanning also lends body to the skin, while leaving the pores soft.

Tannins precipitate proteins and chelate metal ions. Pomegranates have a wide variety of tannins, nutritionally making them a good source of antioxidants, but overconsumption may lead to anemia in sensitive individuals due to tannins effectively leaching iron ions from hemoglobin.

Maybe that's what happened to Eve; she developed a taste for such a fruit and succumbed to its ill/evil health effects. At which point, she would not have had to tempt Adam to eat it; her describing a new found novel condition to him may have led Adam to see for himself what she was on about. I can't think of anything worse than a long protracted illness to make someone any more malcontent. At which point, they didn't need God to send them any lower, they sank themselves. But the effect was probably not just physical but mental/psychological since it altered their perception/innocence.

I like to think it was inadvertent. Eve may have simply been unaware of her repeated contact/proximity to the tree that may have exuded something of its complex tannins, terpenes, what have you; and unwittingly suffered some negative effect as a result leading Adam to investigate and suffer the same outcome.

That the exposure or partaking was involuntary is alluded to here:

7:27 يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ (7:27)يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

7:27 O Children of Adam! Do not allow Satan to seduce you as he caused your Forerunners (Parents) to be exiled from the Garden and tore off from them their rainment (mantle of innocence) that he might manifest their shame to them. Verily, he sees you, he and his tribe, from where you cannot see him. Truly, We have made the devils forerunner (parents) of those who do not believe.

Let's see what else Quran has to say about this troublesome tree:

37 As-Saffat (The Array/Matrix, Those Arranged In Rank)
أَذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُّزُلًا أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ 37:62

37:62 Is that good 'boarding' (being greeted with Peace!) or the tree of al-zak-um (wineskins)

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِينَ 37:63

37:63 Truly, We created it (the Tree of Zakuum, as a) Sedition/Spellbinding/Mezmerising/Rabble-Rousing (thing) for the wrongdoers (oppressors/malcontents)

طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُؤُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ 37:65

37:65 Its fruits are like heads of devils

Anyone know of any 2-horned fruit? I can think of something that may be derived from a tree that has a molecular structure that looks like the devil's head, but no fruit comes to mind. Here's one possible suggestion (a benzene ring with 2 Radicals--get it 2 'roots of all evil' which can probably make you very sick; not recommended for consumption--this being simply a mental excercise for me to keep my mind off headaches and nausea and their b$%#s$%#;):

Pthalic Acid can look like a devil's head, too:

Since the heads are plural, quite possibly the material under discussion may be a multiple chain of these types of molecules. Some people take issue with the following Sign:

4 Nisa (Women)
4:79 مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّهِ

وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِك

وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولاً وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيدًا

4:79 What ever good touches you comes from God, and whatever bad touches you comes from yourself; and we sent you to humanity as a Messenger and God suffices as your Witness.

But experience tells us that in fact most of the evil or bad things that befall us are a consequence of our own actions; often for the simple reason that we fail to think far enough ahead. For example, the material under discussion here is readily found in nature and serves a specific purpose, it is only when people manipulate it without careful planning or for malicious intent that it can and sometimes does become harmful. Contextually, this would imply that whatever bad befalls us, may not be our own personal actions of doing or undoing but that of other human beings doing unwarranted things to us and each other--so that 'you' is reflective of Humanity's Action(s) rather than God doing the hurting.

Compare and contrast intentions for using such substances as the ones suggested here vs the mission of say the US Army Chemical Corp. This Corp had in the past sported a branch insignia that also resembled a devil's head. How do its current crest icons of the tree's and the dragon's significance compare in contrast to what trees mean here? {If you are really paying attention what can you say about the color scheme for these icons and that of the Maxie Time book cover; how does it compare to the colors on the Waxie sanitary supply trucks?}

The conclusion of this investigation being that this substance, or classs of substances, are or will be around in a prevalent manner that the unfortunate 'Larboard side' companions are made to imbibe enough of it to fill their bellies; it causes a boiling sensation, insatiable thirst, and other undesirable side effects. Yes, it sounds like punishment doled out, but where is everyone's sense of compassion? The Larboard side occupants are just another form of you! And if someone out there gets what this is all about, maybe this is their chance to do some Good.

31 Luqman (The Prophet Luqman)
يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ 31:17

31:17 “(My dear) son! Establish (regular) prayer, and enjoin the doing of what is right (good) and forbid the doing of what is wrong, and patiently endure whatever may arise for you; of a certainty, these intentions matter (these are the best intentions)!”

7 Al-A'raf (Aaraaf)

7:188 ...وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ … …

7:188 …had I known the Unseen I would have amassed goodness (done an abundance of good) and nothing bad would have touched me…

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