The was posted over at Junior Ganymede and I just loved the ideas it inspired in my mind.
There are building metaphors in the scriptures and there are husbandry metaphors in the scriptures. Christ is the building block, for example, and the true vine.
I noticed something about those metaphors today. The buildings all seem to work. They are literally heavenly. In my father’s house there are many mansions. The New Jerusalem is the Eternal City. When something is wrong with the buildings, it is because the builder chose poorly. The foolish man’s house is on sand because he built it there.
Farm and garden metaphors are different. Things go wrong through no fault of the gardener. What more could I have done for my vineyard? The man who sowed the wheat was not the man who sowed the tares. Garden metaphors are about the stubbornness of outside reality.
(Now, curiously, in my own life buildings have been just as recalcitrant as gardens. Houses also insist on their little eccentricities that you can’t do much about.)
What does it mean that life began in the ideal garden and ends in the ideal city?
In short answer to the question of life being from the ideal garden to the ideal city, agency governs: As all creation, we progress from chaos to order until we reach our potential.
Our journey from primordial garden to resplendent city is a microcosm of a macrocosm, a holographic pattern repeated, even one eternal round. What follows may then be obvious:
The Garden of Eden is like our first estate. We were to maintain its beauty, its order, and to eat its designated fruit. But we also had to voluntarily risk leaving for a time, journeying to this world of chaos. We are also to maintain this world’s beauty and eat the designated food as well as to organize a family. Striving do what it takes to return to the Garden, we must also help our family and others likewise. Individuals and families on this journey unite to form a city. Those who make it back to the Garden may eventually plant their own Gardens, iterating the eternal round.
Very cool thoughts, yeah, it is interesting to see this larger pattern and cycle that appears when you compare the beginning with the end and see how they relate.
One thing that came to mind while reading your last paragraph was the idea that the garden is much like the womb, we started there but can never return there, we can only “reproduce.” Taking that to the macro level seems to make the most sense as a greater purpose that transcends our short lifespans.
It also reminds me of something my Institute teacher used to say, “Innocence is a state arrived at unknowingly while virtue is a state arrived at willingly.”
The garden is an abode provided freely where one may dwell, a city must be built as a place where vast numbers may interact. You have pre-mortal initiation to post-mortal collaboration.