Returning to the Garden of Eden: Is it Good or Bad or Is It Just What it Is?

Would you choose to live in presence today?

I’ve shared a series of photos on my Live In Presence™ Facebook Page and asked what people thought the image was.  Here they are in the same sequence:

Good or Bad?

First Image

Is it good or bad by the way?

Now for the second image of the same object:


Now is it clearer? And by the way, is this “thing” good or bad?

Again, is it good or bad?

And finally, the low power view.


OK, so now you know?

Now that you see the entire structure, is it good or bad?

So what do the pictures mean?  The first picture shows an amazing work of art, which turns out at lower power (the last shot) to be a work of nature, or mold growing on a dead leaf sitting on the cement of my driveway in the last shot above.  So is it beautiful or hideous?  It represents decay and death, but is somehow interesting, even attractive.  The point of this is that things that we end up labeling as good and bad are not inherently either.  They just are what they are.  It’s not a bad leaf or a good leaf, bad mold or good mold.  It is a leaf that simply has mold on it.  The mold is busy surviving and the dead leaf is simply hanging around fulfilling the role of the dead leaf.

And so what?  Well it turns out that these pictures are a visual representation of one of the greatest spiritual secrets, which is how we can return to the Garden of Eden where we would still be had Adam and Eve not separated from God by entering their human minds and started to label things as good and bad.  They were perfectly happy until they started making ego based decisions of good and bad, such as the idea that their naked bodies were something to be ashamed of and that they could have their own ego driven way (think and be independent of their divine guidance and do what they wanted).  They thought they could be happy and survive in a state of separation from God/Universe.

So what are some examples of how using the labels of “good” and “bad” impact our health, our wealth and our relationships?

Let’s look at health.  Is cancer bad?  Is cancer good?  Or is it just cancer?  Most humans would say that the appearance of cancer is not just bad, but awful.  After all, it can kill the body, so it must be bad. 

But how could cancer be good?  It could teach some people how to value their lives and their relationships for the remainder of their lives, something that would have otherwise eluded them their entire lifetime.   At the human level, it’s a hard way to learn this lesson, but the point of this life in my view is to stretch to a higher point in consciousness and simultaneously to experience the joy of living.  “Bad” things that happen challenge us to move higher.  They do not occur in order to punish us, although we may feel that way initially.  There are countless examples of how people with cancer have inspired millions of other human beings to overcome their limitations, even when their lives were shortened.

In the wealth realm, is going bankrupt bad?  It feels bad at the time for those who have to endure it.  Their credit may be shot for a while and their reputation may suffer in their community, but we all know that countless successful entrepreneurs have gone through bankruptcy to emerge victorious in multimillion dollar, even billion dollar businesses.  Successful entrepreneurship is fraught with failures, but when learning occurs, the failures appear to be lessons, not threats to one’s existence.  The ego thinks failures are “the end of me.”  The ego does not believe in redemption and eternity.  Ultimately, nothing can kill you if you are in fact eternal.

In the relationship realm, is divorce bad?  Some label it and claim it’s bad without question, and there is plenty of suffering with it for all those involved, but others note that when children are raised in an environment of conflict, they suffer and may be traumatized for years.  So it’s not actually good or bad.  It’s just something that two people decide.  Not that I feel divorce should be taken lightly, but what happens following the divorce turns out to be more important than the event itself.

The principle of not labeling things as good and bad brings us to 100% responsibility for our lives.  Instead of blaming ourselves or others for what happens to us, either to our bodies, our finances, or our relationships, we simply take responsibility.  As my “Presence Definition” page on my website states at the top, our experiences are the exact reflection of our consciousness, no more or less.  There is no blame in that, but there is responsibility.

If we have a bodily disease, sick finances, or an unhealthy relationship, it’s just a condition, a condition that is temporary and there to show us where our work is, where our growth is as human beings attempting to return to the Garden of Eden.  How do you move beyond the labels of good and bad and end up in peace and joy?  My method is one of transcendence to a place of no attachments and no aversions and if you would like to learn the “how to,” please take my  Introductory Course.  It will bridge you back to the Garden of Eden to unconditional happiness.  If you take the attitude when something “bad” happens that it is in fact not good or bad despite the human appearance of it, you’ll be one step closer to that place.

Here is an exercise for today:

List all the things you consider to be bad.  Sit with each until you find one way in which the “bad” thing is actually good.  Write that down as in “It’s actually good/partially good because…”

Next time, I’ll discuss how we can reframe our attitudes in transcendence toward good things too.  If you want to be notified of the next post, you can subscribe here: Questions of Consciousness™

Those who sign up will also be invited to a free one hour call I’ll be doing called “What’s Good and What’s Bad” at 11 am ET on March 23rd.  You can sign up at the previous link.  You do not have to have taken the intro course to attend.

Would you choose to live in presence today?

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Copyright © 2013 by Universal Ideas, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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7 Responses to Returning to the Garden of Eden: Is it Good or Bad or Is It Just What it Is?

  1. You make such an excellent point here David! If we remove the judgment, which comes from our emotional reaction and ultimately societal “training”, we can see things just as they are and nothing else. As you so eloquently explain, it’s ONLY when we see things as “just is” that we can take responsibility for ourselves, our circumstances and our lives. It’s only then that we can stand in clarity and take actions to manage whatever the “is” really is. And it’s only after doing so that we can truly live our lives powerfully. After all, the most powerful moment is when you see that you own both the breakthroughs AND the breakdowns. Breakdowns aren’t your parents’ fault, your client’s fault, your co-workers’ fault or anyone else’s fault. In that moment, you will understand that YOU CONTROL YOUR FUTURE and that YOU CREATE YOUR DESTINY.
    Aprille Trupiano

    • David Durand says:

      Great comment Aprille. From the way you write, I’m sure you know this, but in that last sentence, I’d define the “You” as the capital “You” vs. the “little you,” meaning the “little you” ego that wants credit for what “You” does. When we know we have help as the “little you” from the “Power that knows the way” or “the I” or “God” or whatever we would each call it, we are fully aligned to bring on the full expression of our potential. Hence Jesus’ claim that is it “not I but the Father who does the works.”

      But YES! we “yous” have the responsibility to align and be a creative instrument for that power. The time to “go for it” and align is now as you say! The new Pope Francis is actually demonstrating that sort of humility in creation/in action, for all the world to see. He was seen riding in the same bus as the cardinals and paid for his own room!

  2. Donna Nelson says:

    Great article and discussion! When something is ‘bad’, it is only our thoughts, words and deeds we have control over. Labeling it ‘bad’ is not productive without some way to make it ‘good’! Easier said than done in the moment sometimes! Thanks for this one. Very good reminder. And, yes, it is very encouraging to see a new Pope that considers himself one of the people. The ripple effect of that is going to be huge!

    • David Durand says:

      Thanks for your comment Donna! Yes, my feeling was that Pope Benedict was no match for John Paul II in consciousness and although I am not Catholic, I do recognize the influence the Pope has on the consciousness of the planet. Interestingly, only some Popes are sainted while some are not. As I was mentioning, when we bring humility with our intentions, we can soar. This Pope lives by example of that lesson.

  3. Carol De Lucia says:

    Great article and nice dialogue, accepting everyone and everything with an open heart is being totally aligned with The Presence.

  4. Carol Kadien says:

    We are all built in Gods imagine, we as humans have the ability to make decisions. I do not disregard that many of those decisions are based upon our up bringing or life events encountered. So yes, at times, we can feel out of control and react on these so called environmental factors. However, when we find ourselves stumbling down because of our choices that is our time to seek out wisdom from beyond who we are; something greater in life. The lessons we learn, there is a right or left turn to be made, to repeat our own doings, or grow and strive to move forwards and better ourselves. When this is achieved, a threshold will be reached as you will treat others better regardless of how of others treat you. I am only 35 but know what facing ground zero does to a person and how it can manipulate ones thoughts. A principal that comes across as simplistic and sometimes viewed as unreachable in our eyes requires an embrace of faith. The principal I first encountered that changed my reactions is, hurt people, hurt people. Why become a statistic when you can be the change?

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