The Urantia Book's teaching about the "Tree of Life" is a revelation of great interest. We learn that this amazing plant - "a shrub of Edentia" - was sent to this planet in the days of the first visitation of celestial government - the arrival of our Planetary Prince Caligastia - who subsequently went astray during the Lucifer Rebellion. The tree of life had a property - a kind of "superenergy" - that was antidotal to the normal process of aging on Urantia, but this property was useful only to the spirit beings who possessed the ability to metabolize it - beings with a "dual circulatory system." To mortal beings, the tree was useless.
The tree of life was not instrumental in the default of Adam and Eve, despite the traditional Bible stories about Eve eating the "forbidden fruit;" however, they did partake of the fruit of the tree during the many, many years during their mission to Earth as a source of energy. After the default, they were unable to further make use of it, as their failure had reverted their bodies to that of the mortal estate.
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The Caligastia One Hundred and the Tree of Life
The Caligastia one hundred were personally immortal, or undying. There circulated through their material forms the antidotal complements of the life currents of the system; and had they not lost contact with the life circuits through rebellion, they would have lived on indefinitely until the arrival of a subsequent Son of God, or until their sometime later release to resume the interrupted journey to Havona and Paradise.
These antidotal complements of the Satania life currents were derived from the fruit of the tree of life, a shrub of Edentia which was sent to Urantia by the Most Highs of Norlatiadek at the time of Caligastia's arrival. In the days of Dalamatia this tree grew in the central courtyard of the temple of the unseen Father, and it was the fruit of the tree of life that enabled the material and otherwise mortal beings of the Prince's staff to live on indefinitely as long as they had access to it.
While of no value to the evolutionary races, this supersustenance was quite sufficient to confer continuous life upon the Caligastia one hundred and also upon the one hundred modified Andonites who were associated with them. ~ The Urantia Book, (66:4.12)
The Tree of Life in the Years Following the Rebellion
During the times of this struggle the loyalists dwelt in an unwalled and poorly protected settlement a few miles to the east of Dalamatia, but their dwellings were guarded day and night by the alert and ever-watchful loyal midway creatures, and they had possession of the priceless tree of life.
Upon the outbreak of rebellion, loyal cherubim and seraphim, with the aid of three faithful midwayers, assumed the custody of the tree of life and permitted only the forty loyalists of the staff and their associated modified mortals to partake of the fruit and leaves of this energy plant. There were fifty-six of these modified Andonite associates of the staff, sixteen of the Andonite attendants of the disloyal staff refusing to go into rebellion with their masters. ~ The Urantia Book, (67:3.4)
The Loyal Van and the Tree of Life
Van was left on Urantia until the time of Adam, remaining as titular head of all superhuman personalities functioning on the planet. He and Amadon were sustained by the technique of the tree of life in conjunction with the specialized life ministry of the Melchizedeks for over one hundred and fifty thousand years. ~ The Urantia Book, (67:6.4)
The Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life
In the center of the Garden temple Van planted the long-guarded tree of life, whose leaves were for the "healing of the nations," and whose fruit had so long sustained him on earth. Van well knew that Adam and Eve would also be dependent on this gift of Edentia for their life maintenance after they once appeared on Urantia in material form.
The Material Sons on the system capitals do not require the tree of life for sustenance. Only in the planetary repersonalization are they dependent on this adjunct to physical immortality.
The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" may be a figure of speech, a symbolic designation covering a multitude of human experiences, but the "tree of life" was not a myth; it was real and for a long time was present on Urantia. When the Most Highs of Edentia approved the commission of Caligastia as Planetary Prince of Urantia and those of the one hundred Jerusem citizens as his administrative staff, they sent to the planet, by the Melchizedek, a shrub of Edentia, and this plant grew to be the tree of life on Urantia. This form of nonintelligent life is native to the constellation headquarters spheres, being also found on the headquarters worlds of the local and superuniverses as well as on the Havona spheres, but not on the system capitals.
This superplant stored up certain space-energies which were antidotal to the age-producing elements of animal existence. The fruit of the tree of life was like a superchemical storage battery, mysteriously releasing the life-extension force of the universe when eaten. This form of sustenance was wholly useless to the ordinary evolutionary beings on Urantia, but specifically it was serviceable to the one hundred materialized members of Caligastia's staff and to the one hundred modified Andonites who had contributed of their life plasm to the Prince's staff, and who, in return, were made possessors of that complement of life which made it possible for them to utilize the fruit of the tree of life for an indefinite extension of their otherwise mortal existence.
During the days of the Prince's rule the tree was growing from the earth in the central and circular courtyard of the Father's temple. Upon the outbreak of the rebellion it was regrown from the central core by Van and his associates in their temporary camp. This Edentia shrub was subsequently taken to their highland retreat, where it served both Van and Amadon for more than one hundred and fifty thousand years.
When Van and his associates made ready the Garden for Adam and Eve, they transplanted the Edentia tree to the Garden of Eden, where, once again, it grew in a central, circular courtyard of another temple to the Father. And Adam and Eve periodically partook of its fruit for the maintenance of their dual form of physical life.
When the plans of the Material Son went astray, Adam and his family were not permitted to carry the core of the tree away from the Garden. When the Nodites invaded Eden, they were told that they would become as "gods if they partook of the fruit of the tree." Much to their surprise they found it unguarded. They ate freely of the fruit for years, but it did nothing for them; they were all material mortals of the realm; they lacked that endowment which acted as a complement to the fruit of the tree. They became enraged at their inability to benefit from the tree of life, and in connection with one of their internal wars, the temple and the tree were both destroyed by fire; only the stone wall stood until the Garden was subsequently submerged. This was the second temple of the Father to perish. ~ The Urantia Book, (73:6.1)
Adam and Eve and the Tree of Life
While cooking was universally employed outside of the immediate Adamic sector of Eden, there was no cooking in Adam's household. They found their foods—fruits, nuts, and cereals—ready prepared as they ripened. They ate once a day, shortly after noontime. Adam and Eve also imbibed "light and energy" direct from certain space emanations in conjunction with the ministry of the tree of life. ~ The Urantia Book, (74:6.4)
The Material Son and Daughter of Urantia, being also personalized in the similitude of the mortal flesh of this world, were further dependent on the maintenance of a dual circulatory system, the one derived from their physical natures, the other from the superenergy stored in the fruit of the tree of life. Always had the archangel custodian admonished Adam and Eve that default of trust would culminate in degradation of status, and access to this source of energy was denied them subsequent to their default. ~ The Urantia Book, (75:7.6)