Adam was fully a spiritual human in the image of God. The knowledge gained was evil, just as much as being aware of how good Adam had it. Innocence as we see it after sin is all around us would indicate we could sin and get away with it. However there was no evil also, thus Adam could not sin and “just get away with it”. Like the Angels there was no choice when it came to good or evil. The choice was still only in the act of eating done only by Adam. No other human at the time was tasked with changing the state of the world where good and evil became common knowledge. We have to view all of life at that time as if there was no good and evil. No one else had or needed at that time access to the tree of eternal life. A tree like physical fruit to renew the flesh, was a spiritual tree to renew the spiritual. The physical without the spiritual would eventually default back to dust. But there was no physical or spiritual act of attempting a renewal of the spiritual or physical condition. Would or was Adam exporting the fruit of eternal life to all other humans? It could be pointed out that would be a necessity for biological life even if death was not possible. Even the account of Cain and Able points out the specializing of individual task expected of each human on earth to keep the economy of the world moving smoothly. The consequences of not willing to be part of the process was known as sin. The account is half about the world before sin and half acknowledging that sin was already in the world.
There is a strong sense that Cain and Able were born before the fall, becauss after Adam sinned and death entered, was Cain even able to cause death to come to Abel. Cain still had the pre fall image of God and had to be marked or he would have blended in with all the other humans. There was a sense that Adam and Eve left the garden to be at the mercy of other humans. Cain and Abel remained in the Garden, until Abel was killed and then Cain was also expelled to be at the Mercy of other humans. Once there was no one left in the Garden, the rest of the world had no access to the tree of life. Eventually the point of spiritual existence became a mute point. Seth was born in the image of Adam. The Adam who now realize his separated condition from God. Or attempted to forget, because forgetting God was more merciful than living with regret and shame. Seth had no knowledge of God, but it was said their offspring Enoch was the first to seek God out and return to the condition of the spiritual life in the Garden. The choice is presented that the “sons of god” could remain in God’s image or follow after the offspring of Adam who were only in Adam’s image. Saying that Adam became more spiritual after eating the forbidden fruit does not follow. Loosing access to eternal life through the renewal of the spirit was both an act of Mercy and Justice because Adam was justly treated in the loss of access, and Mercy because not knowing is better than the struggle over loosing something that could never be regained. The good we know is the potential of being the image of God even in a physical body. We know evil, because it separates us from God.
We have an example of the pre-fall condition when Jesus was “transfigured” along with Moses and Elijah in front of the disciples. The tree of life being the physical component of the spiritual body. Jesus being the means of restoring the spiritual condition without the physical act of eating. Other than the figurative point of the Lord’s Supper. Communion is there to keep us always reminded of what Jesus did. It is not the tree of life or any change in the nature of the bread and wine to give a physical renewal to our spiritual body. In fact our “physical” spiritual body is fully in tact, but the only connection we have to it is in the subconscious. We cannot use it for any benefit in the physical part of us. We are still separated from it, and some even more so than others. This is evident in the ability to actually “know” there is no God.
The point of the Holy Spirit is the ability to substitute the loss of connection with our own. But it takes giving up our own will, and conforming to the will of God. Is God just and merciful when there is a manipulation in our thoughts known as the hardening of the heart? Should others suffer from a fault in those given leadership over us? I think leadership comes from the desires of those being led. If leadership seems bad it is because the governed are reaping what they have sown. Is God merciful in preventing bad choices to keep going on generation after generation. God promised not to punish past the 4th generation, but should also be allowed to remove any generation and start over again.