Question: Are we to believe literally in the story of Adam and Eve, that we are actually suffering from the consequences of their fall? Or are we the product of evolution from animal life?

Sri Chinmoy: From the pure spiritual point of view I wish to tell you that there is no fall; there is no such thing as a fall. It is only an experience. Who is having that experience? Not you, not me, but God Himself. He is experiencing it. He is the experience and He is the experienced.

Now there are two viewpoints. One viewpoint is that of evolution which is absolutely true. We are evolving. From the plant life we have come to the animal life and from the animal life, we have come to the human life. This is the theory of evolution. Now again there is another viewpoint, which is equally real, that the Spirit entered into matter and Spirit permeated matter. When Spirit entered into matter it was not the fall of the Spirit, because inert matter had to be accepted by Spirit, a divine reality; Spirit likewise had to accept matter in order to have a divine life inside matter. So Spirit entered into matter, but people now say, "Oh, it is a fall; you were at the top of the tree and now you have descended! " No. Spirit descended there in order to create palpable life. Where there is creation there should be life and there should be manifestation. For that, Spirit is required to permeate and animate matter.

You say that according to the Bible there was the fall. I must say that from the strict spiritual point of view there is no such thing as a fall. It was an experience; at that time, Divinity was going to express itself through humanity and it was Adam and Eve, the representatives of the Supreme here on earth, who embodied humanity. The Supreme wanted to have that experience through these two human beings, Adam and Eve.

There is no fall; there is only one track, one single way towards the goal. But sometimes we take a rest, sometimes we halt. We can tread awkwardly, we can walk, we can march, we can run. This is the path of evolution. If we go unconsciously we will go slowly; if we go consciously we will go faster. Now when we speak of falling, it means that we are going back towards self-destruction, towards annihilation, where there is no existence, where it is all death. But it is not like that. So to come back to your question, there is no such thing as a fall. It is the experience that the Supreme had in Adam and Eve and it is the same experience that He is having in us, with us, through us — to fulfil His dream, to transform His dream into reality.