The State of Adam and Eve Before and After the Fall

I am now on my second time around reading the Bible from beginning to end.  I was wondering if I would discover new things that I didn't notice the first time.  This was indeed the case! This time around, the first thing I noticed was that Adam and Eve appeared to be in different states before and after the fall, and I spent some time thinking about this.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were in a more innocent state than we know today:
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
Genesis 2:25

However, Adam and Eve were capable of understanding directions and of choosing to obey or disobey.  In fact, the serpent was able to tempt Eve into eating the fruit of the tree.  Eve knew that this was against God's command:
The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
Genesis 3: 2-3

So Adam and Eve before the fall, despite their innocence, had some level of moral and intellectual understanding and had the ability to choose to obey or disobey God.

After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve had a change in their spiritual and/or mental state:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Genesis 3: 7

They evidently felt shame at knowing they were naked - so much so, in fact, that they hid from God:

But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
Genesis 3: 9-11

This change in state from before to after the Fall is hard to imagine exactly, because we haven't personally experienced this ourselves.  However, from the Bible it appears that there was a sort of an "opening of the eyes" or an awakening of understanding in Adam and Eve - but be aware in this case it was not one that God had desired.  Instead it was one which had arisen through the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

I personally think of it as that Adam and Eve were infused with "realization".  Before the fall, there was much they hadn't known or realized.  After the fall, realization hit them. 

We too have that realization and are in the post-fall state ourselves.  But what was it like, I pondered, to be Adam and Eve before the fall? They were in a very innocent state, yet capable of understanding right from wrong. 

There are no precise parallels to the pre-fall Adam and Eve in our world of today.  Perhaps the closest might be those people who have a limited understanding of the world (but can still understand right from wrong), for example those with certain mental or developmental disabilities.  I am not saying that it's "ideal" to have these conditions - after all, we exist in a post-fall world and must be able to function in that world.  Just as we couldn't expect to live an Earth-style life on the Moon, neither should we expect a pre-fall Adam or Eve to function particularly well in the post-fall world of today.  The point I am trying to make here is that Adam and Eve had two distinct states: before and after the fall. 

While the fall was evidently a bad thing when it happened and it continues to have negative repercussions for us, there is one thing we can salvage from it.  This is that we now have the realization to realize what God did for us when he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for us.  A pre-fall Adam or Eve might never have noticed the depth of God's grace and love, since they would not have needed redemption.  It is perhaps this rationale that may be the reason for C.S. Lewis's conjecture that redeemed man is somehow intrinsically better than man who never needed redemption:
"For God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been..." - C.S. Lewis, Miracles 1947, in Chapter 14 "The Grand Miracle".
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