What is the fall of mankind?
"The first man, by disobedience gained his expulsion from Paradise. Not as if any evil existed in the tree of knowledge, but from the fact of his disobedience did man draw, as from a fountain, labor, grief, and, at last, fell prey to death." - St. Theophilos of Antioch
What is life in Paradise like?
The first humans were Adam and Eve. God put them in the Garden of Eden or Paradise and it was their duty to “till and keep it.” It was a most beautiful place with “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” In the middle of this garden was the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam, “You May freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you do you will die.” They lived without clothes as there were no bodily passions as they were totally focused on God. Man was created in the image and likeness of God and was given dominion over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air and over every creeping thing on earth and all the earth.
Saint John Chrysostom writes:
"Man lived on earth like an angel; he was in the body, but he had no bodily needs; like a king, adorned with purple and a diadem and clothed in royal garb, he took delight in the dwelling of Paradise, having an abundance in everything…. Before the fall men lived in Paradise like angels; they were not inflamed with lust, were not kindled by other passions either, were not burdened with bodily needs; but being created entirely incorruptible and immortal, they did not even need the covering of clothing." - Homilies on Genesis 13:4, 15:4
The Garden of Eden was a special place made for man alone, the kingdom of Heaven where man lived in communion with God. He was not deified but was created for deification. He was free from bodily needs. He had no fear of death and felt no suffering. There were no passions and he had responsibilities and a challenge.
Paradise is an image of the age to come. The everlasting day, a future that has no cycles of seasons, years, months, nor minutes of days. Paradise is one glorious day without routine work or sleep. This is where we are destined to return if we have faith and follow the way of Christ.