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William Somerset Maugham

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A soul is a troublesome possession, and when man developed it he lost the Garden of Eden.
--
Red (1921)

 
William Somerset Maugham

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The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.

 
Frank Zappa
 

I have to say this in defense of humankind: No matter in what era in history, including the Garden of Eden, everybody just got there. And, except for the Garden of Eden, there were already all these crazy games going on, which could make you act crazy, even if you weren’t crazy to begin with. Some of the games that were already going on when you got here were love and hate, liberalism and conservatism, automobiles and credit cards, golf and girls’ basketball.
Even crazier than golf, though, is modern American politics, where, thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

 
Kurt Vonnegut
 

God created man for fellowship… The fall of man ruined that and Paradise—that is, the garden of Eden—was lost, but on the new earth paradise will be regained and God will again fellowship with mankind in a unique sense.

 
Paul Enns
 

The garden [of Eden] is the realm of pure beauty from which man is expelled when he becomes interested in ethics, in the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The return into paradise, the homecoming, depends on him penetrating the veils of morality to glimpse again the lineaments of lost beauty.

 
John Carroll
 

The Garden of Eden in which Adam and Eve dwelt was only an illusion. Before men accumulated sexual shame and celebrative guilt they lacked that character differentiation out of which the human soul takes its being. Their world was a garden only in the sense that the jungle is a garden to its animal inhabitants. Man means something different when he speaks of a garden, or an El Dorado, or a paradise for the human spirit. Man means a world of eternal springtime in the human heart, where faith never fails and hope never falters, where men always understand more today than they did yesterday, and establish an always broadening responsibility in the world. He means a world of lasting contentment, where the contentment of today passes that of yesterday, and a world of complete happiness where today's happiness is bigger than that of the day before. He means a world of love which fears nothing that the human eye can see, and a world of power which cannot be touched by rage in the performance of any act. When he sees these things he is not dreaming, and when he reaches for them he is not play acting. He is only sounding the battle horn and raising the banner by which he lays claim to ownership of the world, acting in his own name. [page 188]

 
Paul Rosenfels
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