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Thursday August 26, 2004: Adam & Eve, and all that Rot

            In case anyone thinks that having lots of mystical experiences invariably turns all the emotions soft and gushy, and all the thoughts, sugar-sweet  -- I thought it was time for a rant page. The subject came up again yesterday: Woman was the source of all evil, and the problems of the world started with Eve leading Adam astray. Being a Taurus, all I could see was the red flag waving. 
         Misogynists have this need to convince women they are the weak link (Why can't you delicate and flawed creatures just stay in your proper place?): as if ­­-- with Eve out of the picture -- things might have turned out differently; as if the serpent would never have thought to approach Adam, and -- if Adam had been approached -- he certainly would have resisted the serpent's persuasion.  
           I do recall a conversation with the serpent where Eve brings up God's rule about the tree. The serpent counters that objection and Eve has both viewpoints to consider before finally deciding to try the fruit. After the first bite, she hands Adam the fruit and he eats. Some accounts even have Adam  beside her while she's discussing the issue with the serpent. Does Adam ever step in to stop Eve before she takes a bite? Does he turn down her offer with "Oh no, babe, God said not to eat and I'm not eating."? Eve turns and hands Adam the fruit; he takes a bite.
          If people are going to assign blame for why we're no longer in the Garden, then could we please distribute the blame evenly? If we're going to fault Eve for listening to someone else's advice instead of following the laws of the land, then we should fault Adam for doing what he was told without thinking out the consequences.

           Another issue that bugs me is the assumption about the two main trees, the ones that God places in the middle of the Garden and then labels 'do not touch.'  Here you have a God who very methodically builds a world; who checks each step of the process to make sure it's perfect before advancing to the next level of complexity. What was the purpose of creating the infamous 'keep-your-human-hands-away-from-these' god-trees? This would imply a god who either threw the trees and serpent into the Garden for no reason at all (ah, it was just a momentary lapse of judgment), or who set the scene specifically to see if Adam and Eve would trip up, thereby giving God an excuse to kick them out of the Garden (my, what a divinely malicious streak).
            Why does no one think to ask the obvious question: just who was supposed to eat the fruit?  If the fruit fell to the ground, I imagine various animals, insects, worms, and bacteria would consume the fruit, since that's the nature of little critters. I hate to think they would be given preferential access to eternal life or concepts of good and evil, and God would look the other way (after all, little critters aren't capable of understanding orders and at least the fruit wouldn't be eaten by mankind). If you tell me God intended the fruit for himself, then wouldn't you be implying a god who must continually renew his god-powers, who must routinely remind himself of the concepts of Good and Evil, perhaps by eating an apple a day? Why create the trees at the end of the creation process and not the beginning? Why bother creating fruit if it's never to be eaten?
         Presenting the traditional story of the Garden, using physical world standards, seems to leave too many questions unanswered. If I had a wish list, I'd have this story interpreted from a higher level of awareness, but hey, at this point I'd be happy just to get past the traditional interpretation -- the one where Eve (woman) must carry the blame for leading Adam (man) down the path of wanton destruction.
          Are humans flawed? Undoubtedly. Could the human potential someday lead us back to a Garden of Eden-state of consciousness? Possibly. Until then, let's be fair about current day reality.We've mucked up the planet and the history of human interaction. If that's an inherent human flaw, based on biology, then let's all accept the responsibility. I bet women would be willing to own up to the effects of their PMS, if men would own up to the effect of their testosterone.

Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004 at 04:57AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | CommentsPost a Comment

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