This is a beginning blog on Eve – I will update in due course. There will be 4 or 5 further posts on this.
As discussed in previous blogs, Lilith was banished to the depths of the Red Sea. G.d saw that Adam was lonely and so, when he was sleeping, He fashioned Eve from Adam’s rib and thus began their partnership in the Garden of Eden. All was peaceful, beauty and harmony reigned. They had need for naught. Paradise indeed!
Lilith had learned much while in the depths of the Red Sea, torrid though it had been. For many moons and seasons, she had been observing Eve and Adam from a great distance whilst they played in the Garden, naked and innocent as the day they were born. She had been waiting for the opportune moment to present itself, to make her presence known. She had decided it would be Eve to whom she would appear, not Adam, for fear of his rejection as before. Her exile had gone on for too long now; Lilith felt the need to show herself and now was the time. Her time for brooding was over.
She spied Eve one day – or was it the night – when Eve was leaning against the trunk of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve was gazing upon the glowing apples almost within reach but high up, full in their ripeness, abundant, luscious. Eve herself felt that way sometimes, sensual, ripe and luscious. She stroked her hair, her shining locks spilling over her shoulders, over her creamy white breasts. A gentle breeze wafted over her, the scents of jasmine and wheat causing her to smile. Dappled sunlight cast light and shadow around her. The sound of rippling water reached her ears – ah! how pleasing it was! All so lush and fertile.
She was content was Eve; she was at one in her Garden, though if truth be told, there was a nagging longing somewhere in her inner being, though she know not was it was. She loved these moments when she could be by herself. Adam was away elsewhere and these alone and quiet moments were cherished by her when she would wonder if there was more, somewhere, somehow … disturbing thoughts … but they made her feel more alive somehow. It was if her langour was pricked in some way.
Lilith, in disguise, approached her, as serpent, with the words: ‘Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree in the Garden?’
Eve pondered the question awhile and replied to the serpent: ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the Garden, but not of the fruits of the tree which is in the midst of the Garden, that God said: You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’
Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die’.
‘God knows,’ said the serpent, ‘that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be as God, knowing good and evil.’
Eve heard those words for the first time. Good and Evil. There was a stirring in her: what is this of which the serpent speaks? What did it mean ‘your eyes will be opened’? Was there something beyond, at present invisible to them, they who had power over their dominion? Good and Evil. What was this knowledge? Two words holding great energy, each seemingly in opposition to each other and yet somehow belonging together, each spoken with great gravitas by the serpent/Lilith as if each word held equivalent weight.
Who knows what her thoughts or bodily sensations were while she pondered the snake and its offerings? She was unable to articulate her sensations, but there was a reaction in her – of doubt, questioning, curiosity – every cell in her being was heightened. What was this new sensation that touched and caressed her, yet also frightened her and that she felt at the core of her being? What were these stirrings and on what threshold was she delicately balanced? Which way would she tip?
In a trance-like state, she took the proffered fruit. Beguiled no doubt, but she took it into herself. She took, bit, chewed and swallowed. This was the significant event – the swallowing – and it was sweet.
Adam appeared and Eve offered him the apple and he too took, bit, chewed and swallowed. God then approached, giving them a little time to hide in the bushes to cover their newly realized nakedness and shame for they knew they had been disobedient.
He spoke directly to Adam for it was to him that He given the initial command. Adam told God that Eve was to blame and that she had coerced him; Eve told God that the serpent had made her do it.
So, is this theme of ‘blaming the other’, blaming the circumstances and generally passing the buck and thereby refusing to take responsibility for one’s own actions, not one that continues to resonate today?
God banished them forthwith from the Garden of Eden, placing flaming swords over The Tree of Life to prevent them from attempting to use that as an escape route.
From Paradise to Exile in one fell swoop, half-naked and with shame as their dire companion for their wrong doing, like frightened children they limped out of Eden.
Both Adam and Eve were guilty of laying the blame elsewhere – in the other. The ‘sin’ as it were, was ‘out there’. Not for one moment did they think or feel that their act of disobedience resided within either of them. Neither was prepared to accept responsibility for their individual action. It was easier for each to deny their role and to blame the other.
It seems to me that God was not necessarily angry at their disobedience per se. After all, the attainment of knowledge is no bad thing and perhaps this was a ‘necessary fate‘ i.e. their expulsion for their act of disobedience – for what child does not disobey its parents in its drive for later separation and necessary ego-development in becoming their own person with their own identity – as their parents wish them to do? But what was reprehensible to Him was their act of denial and their refusal to take responsibility.
In a later blog, I will write about the necessity of contemporary women moving from the status quo for woman’psychological health and development .. and more besides.