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This is Eden—well, not exactly; but it’s as close as we can get. The word “paradise” and the word “garden” are synonymous: the Old Iranian word for the walled garden above was "pairi" ("around") and "daeza" or "diz" ("wall", "brick", or "shape")—the walled garden is paridaiza. Xenophon of Athens, an historian, borrowed the term to create paradeisos. So the above image, straight from the Middle East itself, represents Eden—when Genesis was written it was a garden like this that the author had in mind.

So you can imagine Adam and Eve in there—and you can imagine quite how hard life must have been when they were thrust out into the wilderness, the desert. The desert looks very bleak indeed—very hard. Heaven is indeed, to quote Belinda Carlisle, a place on earth—an oasis in the desert, yet we have been expelled from heaven.

The “paradises” were created for the old Iranian kings—men like Cyrus the Great; and they contained particular trees with esoteric significance—the olive and the fig, for example. The seeds in a fig have often been likened to the “grain of mustard” that Jesus alluded to—and the Hindus too. The two trees in Eden—the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life—were real; just as Eden was real.

Further, every “paradise” contained a fountain at its centre—and from the fountain flowed four rivers (just as in Eden in the Bible). The fountain is the Godhead—that which gives and gives without condition, as described in Nabokov’s Pale Fire when his protagonist reaches heaven; it is also the world axis, the centre—Mount Meru. The four rivers stand for Jung’s quaternary—the four traditional elements: earth, fire, air, water (which combine to release the fifth element, Lucifer-Apollo). The four rivers meet at the fountain: unite the four to release the fifth element.

You can see how the Hindu mandala—it represents the soul—drawn by Jung above contains four “rivers” that flow from the centre; and these rivers divide the char bagh (the four gardens of paradise). The mandala is Eden represented in another form—and you can visit a real Eden today, for the Taj Mahal is built on these principles. This is what it means to “square the circle”—for the mandala is set in a square; and Eden was a square circle too. The same four rivers can be found in Islam (composed from water, milk, wine and honey)—and in Nordic mythology; four rivers flow from the Yggdrasil, the world tree (the Körmt and Örmt and a further two called “Kerlaugar”—and one is said to be honeyed). Hence we now see how there is a lost primordial tradition to which Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and even the Nordic religions all relate—yes, there was even a bodhi tree in Eden for Buddha to sit under.

As a final note, as Europeans, we should consider that the Bible starts with the first man and woman in a paradise created by an Indo-Aryan king. Adam and Eve were not the first Hebrews (Jews), the Hebrews branched off later—though that might not be the popular impression. However, the story of man starts in a garden built by the Aryan race—and that should tell who are truly “the Chosen People”.


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