The Father allows temptation into the Edenic bubble. The purpose of temptation is to allow the son to choose the father. The purpose of the Prohibition is to let the son choose the Father. The purpose of Absence is to let the son choose the Father. Choice is all; there is no friendship when the two have not yet chosen each other.
If there is no choice there is no person. It is not possible to create a person and not endow him with choice. “Person” and “chooser” are nearly tautologous.
The fallen substitute for choice is manipulation. When all you have known is manipulation — when you have never been loved — choice feels false to you, or perhaps cold, in contrast to the too-warm webs of emotional blackmail which read, after a lifetime, as normal.
There is no choice without distance. There must be a vacuam, with the real possibility of filling it with multiple results. If it is not possible to imagine and then create a result other than the friendship with the father, then there is no choice.
Distance, in the context of persons, means absence. So there is no personhood and no friendship without traversed distance.
So not all the absence of God is a result of the Fall. Some is, but He withdrew a distance from us as soon as He made us. Existence as we expereince it is an ambiguous mixture of pre-lapsarian distance and post-lapsarian distance. The one we should embrace as the freedom of creation, the other we should hate as alienation. But one of the many tragedies of our lives is these two distances are tangled.
The confused tangle of distance as gift and distance as bitter exile is used by the devil to throw a pall of resentment over the human mind toward God in all His distance, so that the soul tends to hate God for the very core of His goodness. Hating God because of His goodness is the uniquely Satanic sentiment in our culture.
You cannot have the gifts and reject the Giver — not because the Giver won’t let you, but because you CANNOT. The gifts won’t function forever in the absence of the Giver. But the Gift must LOOK like you can have it and reject the Giver, or the choice is not free.
Satan is commonly, in the folk imagination, depicted as a spinner of fantasies. But this is a vulgarization. No, what Eve sees, as he points the tree of knowledge out to her, is really there.
The devil’s nuclear weapon is emphasis and proportion. He seldom makes stuff up; he actually just emphasizes his own facts. He is a spin-meister, in the sense of the modern political guru.
Temptation is the ability to see facts differently than the Father sees them. To see different is to be tempted; to not hide your eyes is to eventually sin and die. Facts are formally false when they are used to draw false conclusions or paint distorted pictures. They are still facts, but they are not true.
“Their eyes were opened…”
If you choose to see differently than the Father, your eyes sclerose and then it is over. Death is simply a continuation of the process of temptation.
Of course this all flies in the face of the modern dogma that all potentialities are good and to be expressed, which actually is a continuation of what Arthur Lovejoy called the Principle of Plenitude.
Notice that no-one actually ever believes this nonsense about anyone else, they just believe it about themselves. I have a deep dissatisfaction within me that my potential as a human being is wasted, and so I must follow my heart and run off with my secretary. But no-one ever responds to that argument with anything other than a snort and a slap when they are the victim. Our instincts are true; self-actualization is an ethical justification for exactly nothing. We are willing to apply the truth, we just don’t want to live by the truth.