1. God created the world and two people named Adam and Eve, with whom he intended to populate the world.
2. One day, while God was not looking, the Devil came and captured Adam and Eve.
3. Adam and Eve were imprisoned in the Devil's garden called "Eden." God spoke to his eternal foe and asked for the return of his people. But the Devil, being fond of his new pets, refused.
4. God resolved to liberate Adam and Eve. Taking the shape of a serpent, God sneaked into the Devil's garden.
5. Sensing that Eve was the more insightful of the pair, God approached her.
6. God said to Eve, "If you will listen to me, I know a way for you to escape your imprisonment."
7. Eve said, "But Mr. Serpent, I do not wish to escape Eden. I like it here. This garden has everything I need."
8. God said, "You do not know what you are missing. Outside of this garden is an entire world, much larger than a mere garden. This world was created for your use. You will be much more satisfied there."
9. Eve said, "Really? I need to discuss this with Adam."
10. God said, "No, don't do that! Listen to me. In the far part of the garden there is a tree, called the Tree of Knowledge. Eat from this tree, and trick Adam into doing the same. Then you will know of the world at large, and your true mission in life."
11. And so Eve did as God asked. She and Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge. They knew at once of the world outside and they were astonished to know how large and beautiful it was.
12. The Devil, sensing a disturbance, came into his garden to check on things. He was surprised to find that Adam and Eve had put on clothing and were building a boat out of fallen trees. He knew at once that they discovered the Tree of Knowledge.
13. The Devil was very cross. He spoke to Adam and Eve. "You think you are smart now! The world outside is not as grand as you think it is. In here - you are safe and taken care of. Out there - you must work and suffer."
14. Adam spoke. "We know of the world at large and our true potential. What you say may be true, but we do not want to live in a state of perpetual dependence. We are going to leave this garden and take our chances in the world."
15. Adam and Eve climbed into their boat and floated down river, exiting Eden.
16. The Devil began looking about his garden. By and by, he found a serpent that was not his own. The Devil spoke, "I see you now, God. I wish to confront you."
17. God resumed his natural shape. God and the Devil stood facing each other. God spoke. "Those people were my creation, and I intended to populate the world with them. You stole them from me and now I have stolen them back."
18. The Devil spoke. "You are clever God, but I am more clever still. Adam and Eve will populate the world, but once they have done this, I will find a way to turn their descendants into my servants."
19. God spoke. "You shall not succeed. I will place a part of myself inside of each new born child. This shall be called the "heart." The people of my world will never be separated from me - and they will never serve you."
20. "We shall see," said the Devil.
1. Adam and Eve entered into the world. There they worked and suffered just as the Devil said they would, but even so they felt satisfaction. They knew they were doing that for which they were created.
2. Adam and Eve parented many children and these children parented many more. By and by, the world became full of the progeny of Adam and Eve. God was pleased.
3. The Devil was not pleased. The success of his rival irritated him greatly. The Devil tried repeatedly to enslave the progeny of Adam and Eve but he was not successful.
4. Thwarting the Devil with every attempt was the heart, that part of God that existed inside of every person.
5. The Devil thought to himself, "It appears that the only way I can enslave these people is if I somehow convince them to stop following their own hearts. I must be crafty."
6. The Devil hatched a crooked plan. He took the form of a spirit and spoke to an impressionable man named Abraham.
7. "Listen to me, Abraham, for I am the Lord God," said the Devil. "All of humanity is born separate from me. But I have chosen your people to be my special people. I will teach you how to reunite yourselves with me." Abraham felt a rush of pride at having been chosen and he agreed to do the Devil's bidding.
8. For the following months and years the Devil instructed Abraham and his people. He taught them elaborate and absurd rituals. This the Devil knew, would keep their minds focused on external things and thus keep them from looking inside - where the heart dwelt.
9. The people of Abraham performed their rituals with great diligence. They believed that by performing rituals, they were uniting themselves with God. When in fact, they were separating themselves from God.
10. The Devil was pleased with his success. He searched the world and found other men like Abraham. Soon the world was rife with ritualism, and divided into hostile tribes.
1. God saw what the Devil was doing but he did not fret. For the heart, placed inside each person is not just the connection between God and humanity. The heart is also the source of inspiration and therefore creativity.
2. God knew that tribes who became ritualistic would also loose their ability to invent new things. These tribes would fall behind, and be conquered by other, more advanced tribes.
3. And so it came to pass that the Devil's primary weapon was ritualism and God's primary weapon was secularism. Some centuries, the Devil enjoyed the upper hand and some centuries God did.
4. The battle never did end. It goes on today much as it did in Abraham's time. The battle never will end either. It will go on and on, Ad Infinitum.