apple vs. Apple

The forbidden apple vs. Apple Incorporated
The original Apple logo, which is both amazing and wildly impractical. Via

The story of the apple appears at the beginning and the end. In the beginning, the apple was a bad thing, a symbol of man's fall. At the end, however, AAPL symbolizes the highest valuation. What capitalist society values most. In these fallen days, we worship the fall.

The apple

The tree of knowledge is the foundation of modern civilization; reason, science, and capitalism all grow from the root of basic knowledge. Yet knowledge is the one forbidden fruit! The Torah tells the story of this tree being cursed, the Bible retells it, and the Quran retells it times three. It's obviously important. YHWH has given us three major software updates, all imparting the same lesson. As Allah told us in the Holy Quran,

We cautioned, “O Adam! Live with your wife in Paradise and eat as freely as you please, but do not approach this tree, or else you will be wrongdoers. But Satan deceived them—leading to their fall from the ˹blissful˺ state they were in,

In the Bible, the serpent said, “when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And as Hawwa (Eve) thought at the time, “the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom.”

This forbidden tree and its fruits—knowledge, beauty, wisdom, productive capacity—were both the original sin and the origin story of modern society. This means that civilization has a very deep problem. We're obviously not following God and we seem, in fact, to be following Satan. And you know how that goes.

Just look at what we worship today. Not God but goods, not prophets by profit, not His message but iMessage. We fear not the apple but instead keep Apple products in our pockets. For this brave new world, a brazen new creation story is required. And so the story of the tree and the apple was rebranding, into the founding myth of Apple Incorporated.

The Apple

You can see it all in the original Apple logo. The original 1976 Apple logo, designed by Steve Jobs and Ron Wayne, is wildly impractical. Just imagine this on the back of your smartphone. It would take up the whole space, and need to be engraved. Despite being a modern technology company, Apple's first logo was a woodcut with a full-ass Wordsworth quote and highly elaborate shading.

This 'logo' is Apple's creation myth, which is broadly the creation myth of the also false Enlightenment (the Buddha did it first!). In this image, the tree of knowledge is not what got us kicked out of paradise, it's what leads us there. You can see the vista of prosperity looming in the distance, just waiting for the tree of knowledge to drop some science on Isaac Newton. An apple glows beatifically above him, about to fall. This is the creation myth of Apple, the glory of the fall. This is exact opposite of the religious story, its secular refutation.

Apple's creation myth inverts (I daresay, perverts) the word of God. In this telling, the tree of knowledge is good. It gives you iPhones, iPads, iBooks. Meanwhile, what do the People of the Book have to offer? Praying, fasting, almsgiving, martyrdom, suffering? This idea—forget God, build your own Paradise—obviously comes from Iblis, but the thing about deals with the devil is that they're good deals. He just gets you on the financing. Infinite growth sounds great, until you see the long-term interest rate.

The returns on 400 years of Enlightenment thinking—made flesh through corporations like Apple—have been astronomical. More wealth than ever in human history. However, the compound damage we have done to the environment (re: our souls) has been astronomical as well. More rapid ruin than anything since the asteroid. Every graph of human creation has a corresponding graph of natural destruction. Human 'progress' and climate collapse are the same graph, just from different perspectives. God, sitting above this all, told us so. Humans thought 'I think therefore I am' made us special but YHWH means 'I am that I am,' which is real power.

The truth is that the Garden of Eden is not some mythical Bible story. We actually lived in a brief climatic Eden, and we are actually getting 'kicked out' because we consumed the fruit of knowledge. The story of the apple was really a prediction of our current apocalypse, not a myth about the apocryphal past. Eat of the fruit of knowledge and you will be cast out of Paradise. This message is actually more relevant to 'the last man' than to the first. The man at the 'end of history' holds an iPhone as proof of his wisdom, when it is precisely this hubris that is our undoing. The Apple business model is literally putting the tree of knowledge on your desk, then in your pocket, then in your ears, like the serpent hisself.

I don't mean to pick on Apple. I like Apple. I just used my iPhone yesterday to order some short eats, look at photos, and read Telegram, all on a Sunday. As the Bible said, “The tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom.” Nobody said the tree of knowledge wasn't good, they just said it was evil. I know this—I even have 'Screen Time' set to clear Sundays—but then I just click 'Ignore For Today' and carry on as usual. Such is temptation. One can know that this path is bad and still follow it. This is the uselessness of knowledge. It's all fruit and no trunk.

Opposites Day

The creation myth of The Book is paralleled by the destructive reality behind iBooks. God has told us the same dire story over and over again, but the devil tells us what we want to hear, which is much more compelling. The devil is in us and corporations are just the devil incarnate. Incorporare means to literally unite into one body, 'in' to a 'corpse'. Corporations are just our original sin made flesh, and given teeth and wings to rampage across the world. To justify this all a new creation myth is required and, soon enough, one is literally manufactured. Thus you get the myth of Apple's founding, which is the myth of the whole Enlightenment, which leads to the reality of resource exhaustion and climate collapse. That is, to a very real fall.

The end days are really opposites days, modern 'wisdom' gets ancient wisdom all backwards. Instead of the apple leading to the fall from paradise, the fall of the apple leads to paradise itself. Instead of Enlightenment being the Buddha's conquest of self, it becomes the self conquering all. Instead of 'the end of days', you get next day delivery of whatever you want. Who needs Deus when you have deus ex machina? Who needs visions when you have Apple Vision Pro? Who needs faith when you have works? Who needs the judgment of scripture when you have a great golden bull market, that goes on forever. All you have to do is sacrifice a few children and poor people every recession.

The story of humanity is of biblically bad assumptions leading to temporarily good results. The triumph of knowledge over wisdom and—even more importantly—over faith and submission to God. The point of the apple story is not that Satan told us what he wanted, he told us what we wanted. And we took it. We took the fruit of the tree of knowledge, even though it was literally the only thing God told us not to touch. Satan, on the other hand, never judged us and helped us get what we wanted. Which is precisely what the 'free market' is supposed to do. That is the force we have unleashed upon the Earth (with predictable results). As Satan himself said in The Devil's Advocate.

I’ve nurtured every sensation man has been inspired to have! I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him, in spite of all his imperfections! I’m a fan of man! I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist.

This is the original sin. Not killing, not stealing, not adultery, these are all later commandments. The original sin is knowledge, which the secular world values above all things. The 'solution' to collapse is not humanism, human supremacism is precisely what's killing our living relatives! Neither can we 'science' our way out of this, that's precisely what got us in! The problem is much deeper than most of us are willing to stomach. The original sin is knowledge.

Knowledge is what led to the sky-high valuations of incorporations like Apple. Knowledge is what justified the 'Age of Discovery'. And knowledge is what leads to climate and societal collapse right now. To return to the source, the Quran says, “But Satan whispered evil to him, saying, 'Adam, shall I lead you to the tree of immortality and to a kingdom that never declines?'” What is this if not the founding belief of modern economics? The belief in infinite growth, year over year, quarter over quarter, forever. Today we literally believe in an “invisible hand” guiding all human activity, but we never stopped to ask whose hand it was. It was obviously fucking Satan, wasn't it?

The story of the apple is thus not our apocryphal past, it is our apocalyptic future. It's not the promise of future damnation, it's a prediction, revealed in a few short generations now. Just look at what we worship, in these fallen days. We still don't fear the apple and we definitely don't fear God. No, we worship the fall.