In the first centuries of Christianity, the new religion proved insufficient for the educated people in many ways, and so gnosticism became widespread. Gnosticism did then what poetry does today for educated people. But poetry should not be reduced to mere aestheticism. In its most important instances, poetry is an exploration of man’s place in the cosmos. Good and evil have been attributes of man since the Fall. The big question is: What state did Adam and Eve live in before that moment? Original sin is an enormous and extremely difficult philosophical problem. Lev Shestov said, and I agree, that it is remarkable, indeed hardly conceivable, that primitive shepherds were able to come up with a myth so enigmatic that the generations who have sweated over it to this day still do not understand it.

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