This was brought to our attentiion by the Maharal of whom I will introduce in a later post.
The path to the tree of life is guarded by the ethical behavior in this world and learned by observing the precepts of the eternal torah actually preceded the torah given in the 26th generation which took an extended expanse of linear time to prepare man and the world for the sublime Sinaitic Revelation. A foundation had to be erected carefully amid the confusion presented by the evil inclinations of mankind, a path that led to this and yet beyond the eternal law which was given initially and revealed in stages as the race could absorb and fathom it. The initial thrust took 26 generations as commented. All leaders, all religions, and the ascended masters had a role in unfolding its precepts for the perfection eventually of the race and the cosmos, so have I read.The preparation is a cosmic undertaking of vast proportions.
The Midrash comments on the verse (Gen. 3:24) "Lishmor derech eitz hachaim"
...to guard the path to the Tree of Life: Derech Eretz (ethical behavior,
alluded to with the word "derech") preceeded the Torah (alluded to by the phrase
"eitz hachaim) by 26 generations. (The Torah was given on Sinai during the 26th
generation after creation. There were 10 generations from Adam (1) to Noach
(10), another 10 generations until Avraham (20), followed by Yitzchak (21),
Yakov (22), Levi (23), Kehat (24), Amram (25), and Moshe Rabbeinu (26) in whose
generation the Torah was given. Derech Eretz, however, existed in the world from
the time of creation, 26 generations earlier.) I will begin with the Maharal's
introduction to Derech Chaim, where he explains why he called his work "Derech
Chaim" the path to life, or eternity. In this section, he elaborates on a number
of different issues.