Friday, June 24, 2011

Why The Tree of "Life"?

Yesterday I found myself pondering why the movie is called The Tree of Life.
The movie opens with Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?”". If I hoped to find the meaning of the title, it seemed logical to revisit the Garden of Eden narrative in Genesis.
  • In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve freely ate of the Tree of Life giving eternal life.
  • They were only instructed to not eat of the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil.
  • Once they had eaten of the forbidden tree, they were banished from the garden and consequently could no longer eat of the the Tree of Life.
Humanity, in their rebellion with the Knowledge of Good and Evil, was no longer fit to continue eating of the Tree of Life.

The universal question of choosing the path of nature or of grace is the result of the friction created by the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Which means the movie is not so much about the Tree of Life as it is the absence of the Tree of Life.

And the movie is also about time; as in all time, from creation at the foundation of time until the redemption and resurrection of humanity at the end of time. Again, this transitory conception of time is the result of the absence of the Tree of Life.

And honestly, "The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil" is just a mouth full. "The Tree of Life" was definitely a better title.

UPDATE January 6th 2012 - Just stumbled across an excellent Tree of Life quote from Irenaeus, I think he would have enjoyd this film as well.

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