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 Melchizedeks, 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.
And now must all flesh on Urantia take the natural course of life and death. Adam, Eve, their children, and their children’s children, together with their associates, all perished in the course of time, thus becoming subject to the ascension scheme of the local universe wherein mansion world resurrection follows material death.