An observation of the way something behaves.
A commandment of the way something must behave.
In what direction does paradise evolve? A parallel can be drawn using natural laws. Examine any evolutionary system of growth. Form starts out simple, and through accretion (mass for body, knowledge for mind), it begins to become larger and more complicated. The growth of a system is also dependent on the amount of "food" available for it to consume, whether that be a large pizza, or just "food for thought." And, just as it is quite difficult to identify an adult from his baby picture, it is also quite difficult to find what Utopia has evolved into by looking at the original Utopian concept of Paradise Lost. But, if you observe the stages of growth, one can see how a man developed from the baby. This is how to find Paradise.
Baby Picture—The Original Utopia
The original Utopian system is ethics at its infancy, prior to any individuation of consciousness. Just as a child is dependent on its mother, "ethics" are dependent on its parent—something known as the collective unconscious. This represents the series of instincts, actions and reactions for any species, group or general collection. It is the operant principle behind any group consciousness, such as the herd behavior in cattle, the school behavior in fish, or a flock of birds. No individual responsibility; the collective, itself, carries the responsibility for action.
This concept is exemplified in science fiction through Star Trek's Borg, a race of group consciousness and collective behavior, where no one individual is of any importance. This should have included the Borg Queen, for under natural law, if she is destroyed the collective will simply appoint another to act as the voice of the collective. In Star Trek, however, the situation was different where the collective was destroyed with its Queen—the one "individual" that maintained the system.
This behavior can also be seen in many political movements, where one person represents the voice of the collective. Adolph Hitler did this for the German people, Napoleon Bonaparte for the French, Rush Limbaugh for the Conservatives, Billy Graham for the Christians, and many more. In America, Former President George W. Bush was trying to be the voice of the "united American people", but failed for two important reasons: first, the freedoms that people have in America have generated a higher growth of ethics than in most other countries. Granted, these ethics are typically unconscious and not actively practiced, but they are there, but disguised under "patriotism" and "God's will."
Secondly, King George the Second was trying to achieve this collective voice through the emotional rallying call of fear and anger, not through virtue. Fear and anger are contrary to the evolution of ethics; it is a poison to the spirit, just as though a mother fed a child tainted food. Eventually, they throw it up, and go find something more healthy to eat in order to survive.
Childhood—What are my Options?
Ethics, in its childhood, are still dependent on the collective unconscious for its survival, but having learned to walk a bit, can do some exploration. Different systems of ethics are evaluated, primarily the choice of service—whether an entity will choose a path of service to self or a path of service to others. And the spiritual system is free to choose its path, because responsibility is still at the collective level, not at the personal—it is basically neutral. The only guide is the current environment, and the influences from past and future lives played through that environment.
So, ethics, like children, will play around with different concepts. Demon one day, Angel the next. Just as the child seeks food for bodily growth and knowledge for mental growth, it also seeks the food of the spirit—choice. The exercise of free will.
Up to now, the child has had no free will, being totally dependent on the collective unconscious to determine its actions. As options present themselves, the child chooses, and that choice makes the spirit grow. The choices cause the spirit to grow in leaps and bounds, just as the body and mind do. But one must take care not to deprive a child of choice—for that is to deprive them of spiritual growth. They must make decisions, right or wrong, and live with the consequences. But remember that the first choice that must be made is the choice to choose.
But keep in mind that we are dealing with ethics, not morality. There is a difference that many people get backwards, because they are unaware of the etymology of the concepts.
Ethics, from the Latin ethicus, concerns a person's character--what they will do, and what they will never do. Ethics are tied to the animus, the spiritual and intellectual function of the psyche. A person will never violate their own ethics, because they are not "beliefs," they are what makes them who they are. Phrases like "corporate ethics" are misleading because the phrase applies to an artificial person, a corporation. Corporate "ethics" are just corporate policy. If you work for that company, you must obey its policies.
Morality, from the Latin moralitis, is based on the concept of nurturing and health. It comes from an outside source and is a socially imposed set of values on behavior. People often commit immoral acts (breaking social conventions), because they are behaviors that are imposed from the outside, not part of the internal character. Unethical behavior does not stem from a violation of internal, ethical rules--it comes from a lack of having them.
Paradise, at this stage, is hardly recognizable because it changes so quickly, exploring the options available, trying to create an ethical identity. But unlike a child, a concept does not have to grow in only one direction so paradise can take multiple paths. Also unlike the child who must obey man's law as well as natural law, Paradise only obeys natural law, so there are only two possible directions it will end up taking—the law of polarity.
Teenager—Rebellion from Instincts
Teenagers are known for their rebellious tendencies. A series of choices have been made from their childhood, and it's now time to put those choices into action making them a permanent part of life. And that results in a separation from collective, instinctual behavior. A teenager rebels in order to start to take control of his own life and survival. The body is changing from growth; the mind is changing, looking at things in newer perspectives, and the responsibilities of adult life are starting to take form.
The spiritual side of the teenager is doing the same thing, rebelling against established beliefs—the collective and those decisions that were forced upon it during its growth years. Just as the body is responding to the natural laws of moving into adulthood, the spirit is also responding to the natural laws of moving into ethics and virtue. It is at this time the spirit, like the teenager, will make their choices permanent, based on their environment, upbringing and "food" that they have consumed.
The system of growth for Paradise will, unlike the teenager, divide and take both paths. On one hand, the system of ethics will accept that service to self is the path of growth, to accumulate virtue from others. On the other hand, it will also take the path of service to others, learning that to give is better than to receive, because virtue is then accumulated from a higher source. Both are seen as taking in virtue from outside sources, the former from material sources, the latter from metaphysical sources. Both are correct, and at this stage will exist in reasonable agreement, with service to self providing the needs for service to others. But it is only one half of the coin.
At this time, Paradise appears to be truly lost and cannot be recovered, for the choice to depart the collective unconscious has been made and there is no return once individuality is experienced. (Not a limitation of natural law, but a simple matter of incompatibility. Can't put a square peg in a round hole.)
Paradise is not actually lost, but co-existing in two, seeming irreconcilable and competitive points of view. Therefore, they cancel each other out from worldly perception.
Early Adult—Societies and Taking Responsibility
Time for the child to become the adult and take on the total responsibility for survival, including a job and family. This is the second stage of growth, where the early adult is still separated from the collective and acting with reasonable autonomy, but learning the techniques of cooperation and the concept of society.
Societies exist for but one purpose: to compress time. For example, take one man out in the wilderness. In order to survive, he must have food, clothing and shelter. Man is not well equipped for the wilderness and must rely on his intellect and feelings to survive. Intellect provides the use of tools to make up for the physical deficiencies, whereas feeling applies those skills. But, one man, unless exceptional, will have a very difficult time meeting all the objectives of survival. He needs to build a shelter, to hunt for skins for clothes, to garden for food. Each project requires completion before winter sets in. One man can build a very nice shelter over the course of the summer. But it would be at the expense of hunting and gardening, which means though he will be cozy and warm in the winter, he will starve to death. Or, he could make a wonderful garden, and have lots of food, then freeze to death. Or, he could hunt and have some clothes and some meat, and suffer all winter long on minimum rations.
It is to this end that societies are formed, so that people can work together to do more things than they could by themselves. Let's add two more people. Our original man is good at building and now he finds a gardener and a hunter. Each does what they do best and enjoy doing. The result is an increase in productivity (happiness generates productivity), and you end up with a nice shelter for the winter, more than adequate for three people, an abundance of food and plenty of clothes and meat. All survive with minimum effort.
When more people are added who can also be productive in the areas they enjoy, life starts getting good. Surplus is generated, which can be exchanged for other goods from other societies, which the original group could not even conceive of. This forms a happy, growing community.
This is what the early adult is seeking to do. But, when a society is not free to function through natural laws, people will seldom be able to execute the jobs they enjoy and make a living. This results in unhappiness, which results in laziness ("what's the point...") and a degeneration of community.
The concept of Paradise is attempting to do the same thing: seek happiness and growth. Paradise will then expand its concepts from the original collective utopia to include a collection of individuals—"collection" not "collective," which will compress time so it can do more and have more benefits. Here, the two opposed versions of paradise will start to stand out from each other, one a collection of individuals whom want to control others and the other a larger collection of individuals who want to assist others. Each form of Paradise will take many expressions within the human community, in every discipline of man's knowledge and belief.
Paradise can be located at this point through the symbolism it projects in groups of people, but it is still quite young.
Middle Adult—Seeking Spirituality
The middle-aged adult has become comfortable and set in their ways, with an established job, family and circle of friends. After the kids leave home, a void sets in and usually the middle-aged adult will turn to religion and spirituality to attempt to fill that void. That void is altruistic love and the light of wisdom, which cannot be filled by erotic love, nor familial or collective love, nor scientific knowledge. (Though these may be heavily engaged in, as displacement activity.)
From the view of a paradisaical system, it attempts to do the same thing. The concepts and members of its group are well established and secure; but being "spirituality" itself, it cannot turn to spirituality. It must look to something "higher": altruistic love and the light of wisdom. At this time, Paradise manifests itself as social structures, out to "do good for humanity." Unfortunately, most of the attempts to "do good" are based in the laws of man, not natural laws, so they usually end up doing more damage than good. Paradise is not a construct of man, but of the Universe, and will only conform to natural law.
Senior Adult—Paradise Found
With age comes experience and knowledge, and the application of knowledge eventuates in wisdom. The Wise Old Man and Wise Old Woman are archetypal and exist in every culture, and when people get to this age, the displacement activity of younger days is not fulfilling; fulfillment beings to come from working together in a cooperative spirit, a spirit of rapport.
Many of the ancient cultures revered its senior citizens. Even the Aztec, known for their brutal treatment of enemies, would provide everything needed for their seniors (having reached the ripe old age of 52). They were respected and served as counsel to the leaders, and to any of the population that had a question.
Paradise is just now reaching this level of maturity. It has grown, matured, become experienced and educated and now stands ready to engage in a social compact with those seeking it; those who are willing to learn, grow and to participate together, as a knowing, conscious act, in order to achieve still higher goals. Paradise is found when its inhabitants discover a life of compassion, moderation and the cooperation of working together in harmony and rapport towards higher, unexplored goals.