The Urantia Book
THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Presented by Solonia, the seraphic "voice in the Garden."
73:0.1 THE cultural decadence and spiritual
poverty resulting from the Caligastia downfall and consequent
social confusion had little effect on the physical or biologic
status of the Urantia peoples. Organic evolution proceeded
apace, quite regardless of the cultural and moral setback which
so swiftly followed the disaffection of Caligastia and
Daligastia. And there came a time in the planetary history,
almost forty thousand years ago, when the Life Carriers on duty
took note that, from a purely biologic standpoint, the
developmental progress of the Urantia races was nearing its
apex. The Melchizedek receivers, concurring in this opinion,
readily agreed to join the Life Carriers in a petition to the
Most Highs of Edentia asking that Urantia be inspected with a
view to authorizing the dispatch of biologic uplifters, a
Material Son and Daughter.
73:0.2 This request was addressed to the Most
Highs of Edentia because they had exercised direct jurisdiction
over many of Urantia's affairs ever since Caligastia's downfall
and the temporary vacation of authority on Jerusem.
73:0.3 Tabamantia, sovereign supervisor of the
series of decimal or experimental worlds, came to inspect the
planet and, after his survey of racial progress, duly
recommended that Urantia be granted Material Sons. In a little
less than one hundred years from the time of this inspection,
Adam and Eve, a Material Son and Daughter of the local system,
arrived and began the difficult task of attempting to untangle
the confused affairs of a planet retarded by rebellion and
resting under the ban of spiritual isolation.
1. THE NODITES AND THE AMADONITES
73:1.1 On a normal planet the arrival of the
Material Son would ordinarily herald the approach of a great age
of invention, material progress, and intellectual enlightenment.
The post-Adamic era is the great scientific age of most worlds,
but not so on Urantia. Though the planet was peopled by races
physically fit, the tribes languished in the depths of savagery
and moral stagnation.
73:1.2 Ten thousand years after the rebellion
practically all the gains of the Prince's administration had
been effaced; the races of the world were little better off than
if this misguided Son had never come to Urantia. Only among the
Nodites and the Amadonites was there persistence of the
traditions of Dalamatia and the culture of the Planetary Prince.
73:1.3 The Nodites were the descendants
of the rebel members of the Prince's staff, their name deriving
from their first leader, Nod, onetime chairman of the Dalamatia
commission on industry and trade. The Amadonites were the
descendants of those Andonites who chose to remain loyal with
Van and Amadon. "Amadonite" is more of a cultural and religious
designation than a racial term; racially considered the
Amadonites were essentially Andonites. "Nodite" is both a
cultural and racial term, for the Nodites themselves constituted
the eighth race of Urantia.
73:1.4 There existed a traditional enmity
between the Nodites and the Amadonites. This feud was constantly
coming to the surface whenever the offspring of these two groups
would try to engage in some common enterprise. Even later, in
the affairs of Eden, it was exceedingly difficult for them to
work together in peace.
73:1.5 Shortly after the destruction of
Dalamatia the followers of Nod became divided into three major
groups. The central group remained in the immediate vicinity of
their original home near the headwaters of the Persian Gulf. The
eastern group migrated to the highland regions of Elam just east
of the Euphrates valley. The western group was situated on the
northeastern Syrian shores of the Mediterranean and in adjacent
73:1.6 These Nodites had freely mated with the
Sangik races and had left behind an able progeny. And some of
the descendants of the rebellious Dalamatians subsequently
joined Van and his loyal followers in the lands north of
Mesopotamia. Here, in the vicinity of Lake Van and the southern
Caspian Sea region, the Nodites mingled and mixed with the
Amadonites, and they were numbered among the "mighty men of
73:1.7 Prior to the arrival of Adam and Eve
these groups -- Nodites and Amadonites -- were the most advanced
and cultured races on earth.
2. PLANNING FOR THE GARDEN
73:2.1 For almost one hundred years prior to
Tabamantia's inspection, Van and his associates, from their
highland headquarters of world ethics and culture, had been
preaching the advent of a promised Son of God, a racial
uplifter, a teacher of truth, and the worthy successor of the
traitorous Caligastia. Though the majority of the world's
inhabitants of those days exhibited little or no interest in
such a prediction, those who were in immediate contact with Van
and Amadon took such teaching seriously and began to plan for
the actual reception of the promised Son.
73:2.2 Van told his nearest associates the
story of the Material Sons on Jerusem; what he had known of them
before ever he came to Urantia. He well knew that these Adamic
Sons always lived in simple but charming garden homes and
proposed, eighty-three years before the arrival of Adam and Eve,
that they devote themselves to the proclamation of their advent
and to the preparation of a garden home for their reception.
73:2.3 From their highland headquarters and
from sixty-one far-scattered settlements, Van and Amadon
recruited a corps of over three thousand willing and
enthusiastic workers who, in solemn assembly, dedicated
themselves to this mission of preparing for the promised -- at
least expected -- Son.
73:2.4 Van divided his volunteers into one
hundred companies with a captain over each and an associate who
served on his personal staff as a liaison officer, keeping
Amadon as his own associate. These commissions all began in
earnest their preliminary work, and the committee on location
for the Garden sallied forth in search of the ideal spot.
73:2.5 Although Caligastia and Daligastia had
been deprived of much of their power for evil, they did
everything possible to frustrate and hamper the work of
preparing the Garden. But their evil machinations were largely
offset by the faithful activities of the almost ten thousand
loyal midway creatures who so tirelessly labored to advance the
3. THE GARDEN SITE
73:3.1 The committee on location was absent
for almost three years. It reported favorably concerning three
possible locations: The first was an island in the Persian Gulf;
the second, the river location subsequently occupied as the
second garden; the third, a long narrow peninsula -- almost an
island -- projecting westward from the eastern shores of the
73:3.2 The committee almost unanimously
favored the third selection. This site was chosen, and two years
were occupied in transferring the world's cultural headquarters,
including the tree of life, to this Mediterranean peninsula. All
but a single group of the peninsula dwellers peaceably vacated
when Van and his company arrived.
73:3.3 This Mediterranean peninsula had a
salubrious climate and an equable temperature; this stabilized
weather was due to the encircling mountains and to the fact that
this area was virtually an island in an inland sea. While it
rained copiously on the surrounding highlands, it seldom rained
in Eden proper. But each night, from the extensive network of
artificial irrigation channels, a "mist would go up" to refresh
the vegetation of the Garden.
73:3.4 The coast line of this land mass was
considerably elevated, and the neck connecting with the mainland
was only twenty-seven miles wide at the narrowest point. The
great river that watered the Garden came down from the higher
lands of the peninsula and flowed east through the peninsular
neck to the mainland and thence across the lowlands of
Mesopotamia to the sea beyond. It was fed by four tributaries
which took origin in the coastal hills of the Edenic peninsula,
and these are the "four heads" of the river which "went out of
Eden," and which later became confused with the branches of the
rivers surrounding the second garden.
73:3.5 The mountains surrounding the Garden
abounded in precious stones and metals, though these received
very little attention. The dominant idea was to be the
glorification of horticulture and the exaltation of agriculture.
73:3.6 The site chosen for the Garden was
probably the most beautiful spot of its kind in all the world,
and the climate was then ideal. Nowhere else was there a
location which could have lent itself so perfectly to becoming
such a paradise of botanic expression. In this rendezvous the
cream of the civilization of Urantia was forgathering. Without
and beyond, the world lay in darkness, ignorance, and savagery.
Eden was the one bright spot on Urantia; it was naturally a
dream of loveliness, and it soon became a poem of exquisite and
perfected landscape glory.
4. ESTABLISHING THE GARDEN
73:4.1 When Material Sons, the biologic
uplifters, begin their sojourn on an evolutionary world, their
place of abode is often called the Garden of Eden because it is
characterized by the floral beauty and the botanic grandeur of
Edentia, the constellation capital. Van well knew of these
customs and accordingly provided that the entire peninsula be
given over to the Garden. Pasturage and animal husbandry were
projected for the adjoining mainland. Of animal life, only the
birds and the various domesticated species were to be found in
the park. Van's instructions were that Eden was to be a garden,
and only a garden. No animals were ever slaughtered within its
precincts. All flesh eaten by the Garden workers throughout all
the years of construction was brought in from the herds
maintained under guard on the mainland.
73:4.2 The first task was the building of the
brick wall across the neck of the peninsula. This once
completed, the real work of landscape beautification and home
building could proceed unhindered.
73:4.3 A zoological garden was created by
building a smaller wall just outside the main wall; the
intervening space, occupied by all manner of wild beasts, served
as an additional defense against hostile attacks. This menagerie
was organized in twelve grand divisions, and walled paths led
between these groups to the twelve gates of the Garden, the
river and its adjacent pastures occupying the central area.
73:4.4 In the preparation of the Garden only
volunteer laborers were employed; no hirelings were ever used.
They cultivated the Garden and tended their herds for support;
contributions of food were also received from near-by believers.
And this great enterprise was carried through to completion in
spite of the difficulties attendant upon the confused status of
the world during these troublous times.
73:4.5 But it was a cause for great
disappointment when Van, not knowing how soon the expected Son
and Daughter might come, suggested that the younger generation
also be trained in the work of carrying on the enterprise in
case their arrival should be delayed. This seemed like an
admission of lack of faith on Van's part and made considerable
trouble, caused many desertions; but Van went forward with his
plan of preparedness, meantime filling the places of the
deserters with younger volunteers.
5. THE GARDEN HOME
73:5.1 At the center of the Edenic peninsula
was the exquisite stone temple of the Universal Father, the
sacred shrine of the Garden. To the north the administrative
headquarters was established; to the south were built the homes
for the workers and their families; to the west was provided the
allotment of ground for the proposed schools of the educational
system of the expected Son, while in the "east of Eden" were
built the domiciles intended for the promised Son and his
immediate offspring. The architectural plans for Eden provided
homes and abundant land for one million human beings.
73:5.2 At the time of Adam's arrival, though
the Garden was only one-fourth finished, it had thousands of
miles of irrigation ditches and more than twelve thousand miles
of paved paths and roads. There were a trifle over five thousand
brick buildings in the various sectors, and the trees and plants
were almost beyond number. Seven was the largest number of
houses composing any one cluster in the park. And though the
structures of the Garden were simple, they were most artistic.
The roads and paths were well built, and the landscaping was
73:5.3 The sanitary arrangements of the Garden
were far in advance of anything that had been attempted
theretofore on Urantia. The drinking water of Eden was kept
wholesome by the strict observance of the sanitary regulations
designed to conserve its purity. During these early times much
trouble came about from neglect of these rules, but Van
gradually impressed upon his associates the importance of
allowing nothing to fall into the water supply of the Garden.
73:5.4 Before the later establishment of a
sewage-disposal system the Edenites practiced the scrupulous
burial of all waste or decomposing material. Amadon's inspectors
made their rounds each day in search for possible causes of
sickness. Urantians did not again awaken to the importance of
the prevention of human diseases until the later times of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Before the disruption of the
Adamic regime a covered brick-conduit disposal system had been
constructed which ran beneath the walls and emptied into the
river of Eden almost a mile beyond the outer or lesser wall of
73:5.5 By the time of Adam's arrival most of
the plants of that section of the world were growing in Eden.
Already had many of the fruits, cereals, and nuts been greatly
improved. Many modern vegetables and cereals were first
cultivated here, but scores of varieties of food plants were
subsequently lost to the world.
73:5.6 About five per cent of the Garden was
under high artificial cultivation, fifteen per cent partially
cultivated, the remainder being left in a more or less natural
state pending the arrival of Adam, it being thought best to
finish the park in accordance with his ideas.
73:5.7 And so was the Garden of Eden made
ready for the reception of the promised Adam and his consort.
And this Garden would have done honor to a world under perfected
administration and normal control. Adam and Eve were well
pleased with the general plan of Eden, though they made many
changes in the furnishings of their own personal dwelling.
73:5.8 Although the work of embellishment was
hardly finished at the time of Adam's arrival, the place was
already a gem of botanic beauty; and during the early days of
his sojourn in Eden the whole Garden took on new form and
assumed new proportions of beauty and grandeur. Never before
this time nor after has Urantia harbored such a beautiful and
replete exhibition of horticulture and agriculture.
6. THE TREE OF LIFE
73:6.1 In the center of the Garden temple Van
planted the long-guarded tree of life, whose leaves were for the
"healing of the nations," and whose fruit had so long sustained
him on earth. Van well knew that Adam and Eve would also be
dependent on this gift of Edentia for their life maintenance
after they once appeared on Urantia in material form.
73:6.2 The Material Sons on the system
capitals do not require the tree of life for sustenance. Only in
the planetary repersonalization are they dependent on this
adjunct to physical immortality.
73:6.3 The "tree of the knowledge of good and
evil" may be a figure of speech, a symbolic designation covering
a multitude of human experiences, but the "tree of life" was not
a myth; it was real and for a long time was present on Urantia.
When the Most Highs of Edentia approved the commission of
Caligastia as Planetary Prince of Urantia and those of the one
hundred Jerusem citizens as his administrative staff, they sent
to the planet, by the Melchizedeks, a shrub of Edentia, and this
plant grew to be the tree of life on Urantia. This form of
nonintelligent life is native to the constellation headquarters
spheres, being also found on the headquarters worlds of the
local and superuniverses as well as on the Havona spheres, but
not on the system capitals.
73:6.4 This superplant stored up certain
space-energies which were antidotal to the age-producing
elements of animal existence. The fruit of the tree of life was
like a superchemical storage battery, mysteriously releasing the
life-extension force of the universe when eaten. This form of
sustenance was wholly useless to the ordinary evolutionary
beings on Urantia, but specifically it was serviceable to the
one hundred materialized members of Caligastia's staff and to
the one hundred modified Andonites who had contributed of their
life plasm to the Prince's staff, and who, in return, were made
possessors of that complement of life which made it possible for
them to utilize the fruit of the tree of life for an indefinite
extension of their otherwise mortal existence.
73:6.5 During the days of the Prince's rule
the tree was growing from the earth in the central and circular
courtyard of the Father's temple. Upon the outbreak of the
rebellion it was regrown from the central core by Van and his
associates in their temporary camp. This Edentia shrub was
subsequently taken to their highland retreat, where it served
both Van and Amadon for more than one hundred and fifty thousand
73:6.6 When Van and his associates made ready
the Garden for Adam and Eve, they transplanted the Edentia tree
to the Garden of Eden, where, once again, it grew in a central,
circular courtyard of another temple to the Father. And Adam and
Eve periodically partook of its fruit for the maintenance of
their dual form of physical life.
73:6.7 When the plans of the Material Son went
astray, Adam and his family were not permitted to carry the core
of the tree away from the Garden. When the Nodites invaded Eden,
they were told that they would become as "gods if they partook
of the fruit of the tree." Much to their surprise they found it
unguarded. They ate freely of the fruit for years, but it did
nothing for them; they were all material mortals of the realm;
they lacked that endowment which acted as a complement to the
fruit of the tree. They became enraged at their inability to
benefit from the tree of life, and in connection with one of
their internal wars, the temple and the tree were both destroyed
by fire; only the stone wall stood until the Garden was
subsequently submerged. This was the second temple of the Father
73:6.8 And now must all flesh on Urantia take
the natural course of life and death. Adam, Eve, their children,
and their children's children, together with their associates,
all perished in the course of time, thus becoming subject to the
ascension scheme of the local universe wherein mansion world
resurrection follows material death.
7. THE FATE OF EDEN
73:7.1 After the first garden was vacated by
Adam, it was occupied variously by the Nodites, Cutites, and the
Suntites. It later became the dwelling place of the northern
Nodites who opposed co-operation with the Adamites. The
peninsula had been overrun by these lower-grade Nodites for
almost four thousand years after Adam left the Garden when, in
connection with the violent activity of the surrounding
volcanoes and the submergence of the Sicilian land bridge to
Africa, the eastern floor of the Mediterranean Sea sank,
carrying down beneath the waters the whole of the Edenic
peninsula. Concomitant with this vast submergence the coast line
of the eastern Mediterranean was greatly elevated. And this was
the end of the most beautiful natural creation that Urantia has
ever harbored. The sinking was not sudden, several hundred years
being required completely to submerge the entire peninsula.
73:7.2 We cannot regard this disappearance of
the Garden as being in any way a result of the miscarriage of
the divine plans or as a result of the mistakes of Adam and Eve.
We do not regard the submergence of Eden as anything but a
natural occurrence, but it does seem to us that the sinking of
the Garden was timed to occur at just about the date of the
accumulation of the reserves of the violet race for undertaking
the work of rehabilitating the world peoples.
73:7.3 The Melchizedeks counseled Adam not to
initiate the program of racial uplift and blending until his own
family had numbered one-half million. It was never intended that
the Garden should be the permanent home of the Adamites. They
were to become emissaries of a new life to all the world; they
were to mobilize for unselfish bestowal upon the needy races of
73:7.4 The instructions given Adam by the
Melchizedeks implied that he was to establish racial,
continental, and divisional headquarters to be in the charge of
his immediate sons and daughters, while he and Eve were to
divide their time between these various world capitals as
advisers and co-ordinators of the world-wide ministry of
biologic uplift, intellectual advancement, and moral
Presented by Solonia, the seraphic "voice in the Garden."