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December 27, 2009

In terms of love and virtue, Gardeners see no dichotomies—no purely good guys and no irredeemable bad guys. Since religious Gardeners emphasize the ongoing creation process, everyone has the potential to further and expand God’s Creation. Since Gardeners admire ingenuity, they see the qualities of cleverness and wisdom in some—and understand that those who lack those qualities today may possess them tomorrow. Categorizing someone as evil means one has decided that God is finished with that person—a conclusion religious Gardeners find dangerous to draw. Gardeners see potential in a person, even a terrorist or a criminal.

Gardeners see the purpose of love as to overcome the boundaries that enforce dichotomies. Religious Gardeners believe the intention of the divine is to reunite separated aspects of the world.

  • In the Bible, the story of marriage begins at the very beginning of time, in the story of Creation in Genesis. The story of creation is the story of God splitting that which was one into two—“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God goes on to divide light from darkness, land from sky, water from land, and then creates men and women at the same moment. Adam, upon first seeing Eve, says, “She is made of the very same stuff, the same flesh and bone that God made me”—they recognize that they are each other’s half. Later Mark wrote in his gospel (chapter 19, verse 6), “At the beginning, God made them separate, male and female. For this reason they will leave their families and be united, the two will become one flesh, so they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”
  • From the holy scriptures of Hinduism, the Upanishad: “In the beginning this universe was but the Self in the form of a man. He looked around and saw nothing but himself. He was just as large as a man and a woman embracing. This Self then divided himself into two parts; and with that, there were a master and a mistress. He united with her, and from that mankind arose.”
  • And from Plato’s Symposium: “The earliest human beings were round and had four hands and four feet, back and sides forming a circle, one head with two faces looking opposite ways. They were immensely powerful; and since the gods were in fear of their strength, Zeus decided to cut them in two. After the division the two parts, desiring its other half, sought and found each other, and threw their arms about each other, eager to grow into one.”

Gardeners conclude that this desire for each other is implanted deep within us to reunite those divided halves into one whole. Each of us, separated, seeks our other half.

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