I've heard/read quite a few secularists and even some Christians who, when discussing the garden of Eden in the Bible, refer to the "Tree of Life" and the "Tree of Knowledge," but the second term is completely inaccurate. In the Bible, they are the "Tree of Life" and the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil."
I came across this note while reading about this topic in the New King James Version* of Genesis 2:
"...in this lush natural reserve [the garden of Eden] were found the two trees that are key to everything that follows in all of human history. They were the physical means God used to transact spiritual realities. [emphasis added] The tree of life is the tree associated with experiencing the life of God, including immortality. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil represents human autonomy, that is, self-rule and an assumed independence from God in all areas of life."
Human autonomy from God.
That about sums it up.
It's the assertion that humanity was never intended to rely on its own intellect, emotions, and resources of judgment, especially in the task of understanding good and evil. We were always meant to look to God as our source.
My prayer today: Lord, help me to depend on You and rely on You in all things, and allow my times of prayer, devotion, and praise/worship to push me toward a greater dependence on You instead of a stubborn reliance on myself.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..." (Prov 3:5)
*the edition with R. Russell Bixler's notes on Genesis