E : Eve, Lilith’s sister
In an earlier post in this thread of Lilith, I mentioned Lilith & Eve in the Garden of Eden as being the first trailblazers. Please remember that I am treating this story as a myth for the purpose of extracting some psychological meanings from the acts of Lilith who challenged Adam, and Eve who disobeyed the prohibition of not eating the apple.
Many authors, historians & theologians who have written about the fall from Paradise, view it as the rise from an ouroboric, unconscious, innocent and childlike state; that something had to happen to precipitate Eve & Adam’s departure from the Garden. For Paul Tillich (Western theologian), the Fall represented ‘…a fall from the state of dreaming innocence…’ ‘…and awakening from potentiality into actuality; and that the ‘fall’ was necessary for the development of humankind, a symbol for the human situation, not a story of an event that happened ‘once upon a time’.
I imagine Lilith in the depths of the Red Sea pondering her Fate and that of Eve. She temporarily shed her pain and anguish and returned in disguise as a serpent (I’ll write later of Lilith as serpent and symbol of transformation) and tempted Eve to take the apple. I imagine Eve being presented with a choice – to remain forever dependent in the Garden or to experience the world beyond, even given the very high stakes.
She took the apple, chewed and swallowed it, pips and all. And gave it to Adam to do the same. The digesting came later but the immediate consequence was the Authority admonishing Adam for eating the apple. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. This issue of blaming and not being accountable continues today in all spheres of society. Even worse, denial –
From a world of perfect (unconscious) unity, they were immediately thrust into a new world, that of duality. Thrust into a world of as yet unknown opposites. To experience pain and pleasure, life and death, good and evil, divinity and mortality. Now they were fixed by time and space, fixed by corruptible bodies whose forms would not endure.
Is there meaning in disobeying injunctions and expulsion from Paradise? Are there times in our lives when we go against the taboo? A few myths come to mind – Bluebeard’s wife using the key she was prohibited from using to open a certain door which she did while he was away a’hunting, and discovering his dreadful secret. Psyche going against Eros’ injunction to not look upon him in his aware state. Anthony Stevens writes about breaking the taboo* : ‘Expulsion from Paradise results in contact with the real world and a development in consciousness’. ‘Disobedience is about defying the dominant male, refusing to be subordinate and coming to selfhood. It is a necessary step on the path to individuation, the realisation in consciousness of one’s full Self-potential’. **
“The Garden is a metaphor for the following: our minds, and our thinking in terms of pairs of opposites – man and woman, good and evil -are as holy as that of a god. Joseph Campbell
Thank you for reading!
*Anthony Stevens: Ariadne’s Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Mankind
** Robert Johnson: She: Understanding Feminine Psychology