When I first read about the default of Adam and Eve in The Urantia Book, my strongest reaction was to ask if the collapse of a whole planetary regime and epochal revelation was really warranted as a punishment just because Eve, (and then Adam) had children with indigenous inhabitants? After all, their children were destined to mix with the rest of the planet’s inhabitants. What was wrong with helping things along a bit- improvising in the face of such overwhelming obstacles such as those they faced? Why were the repercussions so drastic? Wasn’t everything that happened a bit extreme for what amounts to an albeit serious lapse in judgement? In other words, why did their punishment have to be a default of their whole mission. Why couldn’t they have just continued on as best they could?
Well, the fact is, that is exactly what Adam and Eve did. They carried on with their mission to the best of their ability, but due to the default -their failure- they lacked the one thing that would have made their mission an eventual success, longevity. This was due to the one consequence of their failure from which everything else eventually collapsed- they lost their immortality.
Why did they lose their immortality? In short, because they attempted to modify the divine plan. Even with sincerity and the highest motives in mind, it was simply the wrong way to achieve righteous ends- what they did was not part of the plan. The consequence was the immediate loss of their immortality and degradation to the status of mortals.
But here is the whole point of this post; their loss of immortality was not a punishment. Even their degradation to mortal status was not a punishment. Is was the inherent result of their choosing to participate in good and evil. Adam and Eve were cleared of participating in rebellion against the universe government- theirs was an error in judgement and therefore there was no need to punish them.
So if they weren’t being punished, what happened?
Let’s look at a quote:
(845.5) 75:7.5 1. Adam and Eve, like their fellows on Jerusem, maintained immortal status through intellectual association with the mind-gravity circuit of the Spirit. When this vital sustenance is broken by mental disjunction, then, regardless of the spiritual level of creature existence, immortality status is lost. Mortal status followed by physical dissolution was the inevitable consequence of the intellectual default of Adam and Eve.
The act of embracing rebellion (in the much earlier case of the rebels) or participating in the practice of good and evil (in Adam and Eve’s case) was the real cause of their lost immortality. The severing of their intellectual association with the mind-gravity circuit of the Spirit was the mechanism by which the loss of their immortality occurred. Adam and Eve weren’t punished by having their immortality taken from them by their superiors, the loss was inherent in the deed.
Aside from special bodies, immortality required two things: a connection with the mind-gravity circuit of the Spirit, and continued sustenance from the fruit of the Tree of Life. They were degraded to mortal status once the link with the mind-gravity circuit of the Spirit was severed, and they were denied access to the Tree of Life once mortal. This is the same mechanism which deprived the rebels of their immortality some 150,000 years earlier.
Everything that happened to Adam and Eve, and the collapse of their mission stems from this one fact.
They were not cast out of the first garden. They could have stayed there and continued with their mission, even though they had been reduced in status to mortals, but their transgression caused ripples, which in turn caused tidal waves of disaster.
The enraged garden inhabitants attacked the tribe of Cano, massacring him and every man, woman, and child they could find, provoking war with the rest of the Nodite tribes in the area who immediately mustered a force to march on the garden. Adam, Eve, and their children chose to leave the garden rather than fight a bloody war to defend it. They ventured southeast to found a second garden instead.
They could have maintained the divine plan to build up the violet race before mixing with the indigenous races. And to some extent this did happen. But again, the tidal waves of repercussion washed over them.
On their way to the area of the second garden, their journey was interrupted by the arrival of system authorities and transports. Adam and Eve were informed that all of their children under the age of 20 would be removed from the planet, and those above 20 were given the choice to stay on the planet with their parents or go with their younger siblings. In this way, Adam and Eve lost 3/4 of their children, and in their remaining mortal years they were unable to produce the numbers necessary to affect the biologic uplift as had been planned and required for the planet.
Eventually, the numbers would have become enough, but their descendants lacked the continued guidance of Adam and Eve to properly implement the program for mixing their progeny with the indigenous races over the ensuing millennia. What happened instead, was that their children started mixing with Nodites and other indigenous races within a few generations of Adam and Eve, and they were absorbed into the rest of the population far too quickly and too early to achieve the levels of biologic uplift that were required. Had the correct population levels been achieved before they ventured forth, we are told that among other things, we would be far more resistant to disease.
Religion was advanced by Adam and Eve through their children, but again, as generations passed, the light of revelation became clouded. Adam and Eve did not have the immortality required to remain the spiritual lighthouses of the ages that they were meant to be.
So in this way we see that the real reason the mission failed was not due to a punishment, but because they ran out of time. They lost their immortality through contravening their mandate, and in doing so were unable to effect the rehabilitation of the planet simply because they ran out of time and died.
What happened wasn’t a punishment, it was the natural repercussions of their misdeeds.
This one fact has immense theological implications. We can talk about them in a separate post.
Interested in pursuing this topic further? You can read the most in-depth account of Adam and Eve available on the planet in The Urantia Book.