There’s a story about a man and a woman who live in a garden. They’re placed in this garden by their maker who tells them they can eat from any tree. But not that one over there. That one’s off limits. Unless you want to die. At first they’re okay with the prohibition. Until they meet another creature who suggests there’s good reason to eat from that tree. And they do. Things are never the same.
They just had to find out for themselves. It wasn’t enough to be cautioned by the most credible of sources.
This is the story of every single person alive. It’s not enough for us to study past actions. Or hear tales of others who have passed this way before. We don’t learn from our mistakes. Not really. If we did we wouldn’t keep repeating them. Individually and as a civilization. I think it’s because we want to find out for ourselves. We don’t really know something until we’ve experienced it personally. Any other version of a thing just isn’t real. Even when it leads us to places we regret. Which we are often surprised by. Because we are poor at anticipating what happens after we act. Not because we can’t. We just don’t think that far ahead. And mostly expect only positive outcomes for ourselves from our actions.
So the doubt continues. And we follow it wherever it goes. Sometimes it takes us to deeper levels of understanding and living. Sometimes it brings out the very worst in us. But for all the experiences we have collected over generations of generations we stay pretty consistent, a bunch of people all trying to live, fearful that we won’t be able to the way we’d like to.
Even if we were shown the way, I’m not sure we would know how to take it.