EVE, Part One
Eveimages (3)

Eveimages (4)In last week’s post, Lilith emerged from the depths of the Red Sea to return to the place of her banishment – The Garden of Eden, Paradise.

Imagine: Eve, free as a bird within the Garden, delighting in its earthly treasures, beauty all about, Adam happily larking about somewhere, she as companion to him, helpmeet,  comfortable, secure, all their needs met, wanting for nothing. Paradise indeed! Who among us does not have such a yearning for such utter bliss of being at At-One-Ment – whether conscious or not of such a yearning –

I imagine Eve languishing against the Tree where she always took her leisure, in reverie. That particular Tree with its bountiful, glossy, red-ripe apples of which G.d had expressly forbidden eating. She herself felt that way sometimes, sensual, ripe, luscious.  There was not any other thing that she could not have – all was hers for the taking, save for the fruits of that one Tree. 

Lilith in disguise as serpent approached Eve when Adam was nowhere to be seen, perhaps sensing a kinship in her.

We’re familiar with the words: ‘Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree in the Garden?’

Eve pondered the question awhile and replied: ‘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. She wondered what this meant. What was this knowledge. Two words holding great energy, each seemingly in opposition to each other and yet somehow belonging together, each spoken with gravitas by the serpent/Lilith as if each word held equivalent weight.

Eve was unable to articulate the sensations coursing through her body but there was a reaction within her, like a jolt of electricity. Doubt, questioning, curiosity, every cell in her being was heightened. She felt touched and caressed, yet also a little frightened at the core of her being. In a trance like state she took the proffered fruit and took it into herself, biting, chewing, swallowing. It was bitter-sweet.

Adam appeared and Eve offered the apple to him which he accepted. God then approached, giving them a little time to hide in the bushes to cover their newly realised nakedness and shame for they knew they had been disobedient.

He spoke directly to Adam for it was to him that He had given the initial prohibition. 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.

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 blame the other. It is a recurring theme in our lives …

So, both exiled from the Garden with shame as their companion and no maps to guide them, into the hurly burly of real life, rough roads to be traversed.

We all need our peace and quiet, but when things are too peaceful and passive, when we are like naive and innocent children, when we live in an ongoing state of unconsciousness there is no room for growth, no room for discernment, differentiation, reflection. We need those opposites, Good and Evil the first ones in the Bible, to be broken into and broken apart in order to permit an emerging consciousness from the unconscious.

Eve, like Lilith, was banished from the security of the known into the unknown. Each of their actions caused their brutal exile, into an unfamiliar world, all now rent in two, a necessary pre-condition for consciousness, away forever from the security of the Garden of Eden, Paradise, where all was once one, unity.

In next week’s post, part 2, I’ll look at the necessity of breaking prohibitions which many times leave us in the status quo and the necessity of breaking them for our psychological developmental health.

with thanks to google images

36 Comments on Eve, Part One

  1. I shy away from biblical stories, except when they are metaphorical like yours. This post really resonates with me as it is written around themes I enjoy. Your analysis is so thoughtful that it makes me definitely rethink the meaning of the story of Adam and Eve.

    • Thank you Stephanie. Many (I don’t know about most) of the biblical stories in both OT and NT have been written about by e.g. philosophers, psychologists, theologians to look for a deeper metaphorical meaning as applicable to our contemporary lives – the biblical scriptures of e.g. Job, Abraham and his sacrifice, many many more are valuable in many metaphorical ways.

  2. Hi,
    I love this post! Especially your heartfelt proclamation: We all need our peace and quiet, but when things are too peaceful and passive, when we are like naive and innocent children, when we live in an ongoing state of unconsciousness there is no room for growth, no room for discernment, differentiation, reflection. We need those opposites, Good and Evil the first ones in the Bible, to be broken into and broken apart in order to permit an emerging consciousness from the unconscious.

    In order to grow, to become, we have to discover the talents within us and learn how to use them. It is a process that come with much uncomfortableness and sometimes even fear, but our purpose can only be achieved by swallowing the bittersweet pill and persevering as we move ahead.

    Thank you. This one is outstanding.

    • Thank you Patricia. I love your comment about the bittersweet pill that is necessary to swallow in order to meet our purpose and persevere…
      Shalom to you

  3. Susan, you’ve taken on a daunting project and you’re pulling it off.

    I’m grateful to my first spiritual teacher met in 1967 who decided his hippie students needed more than meditation. We needed psychological and philosophic understanding. Among other things, we studied Jung and started exploring our dreams. I’m still doing both.

    I still find it helpful to learn about the parts of myself that have become hidden in Shadow–like Lilith. Her story is important to those of us raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, even if we never knew the details. Something in us understands that powerful parts of us have been banished and need to be reclaimed.

    • Thank you Elaine. Like you I’m also discovering unknown parts of me. Thank heavens there IS still much to uncover, discover, recover. It’s a lifelong task. Myths like these e.g. Inanna, Demeter-Persephone, Amor-Psyche, have such value …

  4. Chivalry is courteous behavior, especially of a man towards women. Lilith deserved justice and help to the weak in her time. Guillian is right-on!

  5. Guillian posted Honi soi – – -on June 9th.

    Honi soit qui mal y pense has been translated to English as “shame on him who thinks evil of it.” THIS IS A MOTTO OF THE ORDER OF THE GARTER.

    Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry.

    The next service of this Order will take place 15th of June, 2015!

  6. “Like Lilith” as I wrote, I was NOT feeling anything bad about her! Praise is a nice description!

    About me, 3xBAD, I shall forgive my self.

  7. About Honi soi, I think we can get more precision from Gillian, according to how she approached the topic discussed here, what were the antecedent sources that nourished her from literature, and the European countries she encountered these sources in print. Like Lilith, I tend to be very curious and compulsive, sometimes locked in by my ruminations. I’m BAD! BAD! BAD!

  8. There are different ways this is written. BABYLON 10 software translates Honi soi qui mal y pense as “Evil unto him who thinks evil of it.”

    • Joseph, thank you very much – it is a very powerful quote. It sounds biblical. But also Edward Burke-ish …and Spanish. The ‘mal’ is Latin for bad, this we know. It makes me think of: ‘There’s neither good nor bad, ’tis only thinking makes it so’. I think this is Shakespearean but I do not know from what play …or even if I have quoted it 100% correctly –

  9. Interesting post. Like Marian, I’m looking forward to reading more. It is interesting to think about Eve and Lilith and their stories as allegories, and to consider what would have happened to humankind if we had not been “awakened.”

    • Thank you Merrill, it is an excellent question you pose! The wheel I suppose keeps on turning. Would we have had a Christ, a Buddha, a St. Francis, a Mother Theresa, a Helen Keller, a Florence Nightingale, a Hitler, a Zuma, a Mugabe, a Bush? Just my quick thoughts as I write …

  10. Interesting Susan, a very insightful post; also read every comment, and glad for all the learnings and view points of different persons here… I felt inclined towards what Celine Jean jean had said about the journey a child takes…..makes a lot of sense to me… thanks for adding new perspectives in understanding the story of Adam & Eve … am eager to see your new post evolving ..

    • Thank you very much Genevive … it is essential to leave our naiveté behind and get real – one day hopefully we can return to the Garden in fuller consciousness – and responsibility -as our unconsciousness evolves towards consciousness, at least some of it …

  11. Thank you Gillian, I couldn’t have put it better – those words have no meaning in a state of innocence.
    I would love a translation of your words.

  12. I agree with Joseph Rubin that the eloquence and drama intiates from ‘hearing for the for first time
    the words Good or Evil, as certainly in a state of innocence those dimensions would be void.

    Honi soi qui mali pense Thank you Susan

  13. I have to agree with Susan and Gwynn too. That simple contentment and simply being while needing nothing is lovely for a time or so, but after a while there’s a need to go out and explore, to learn, to create.

    Eve and Adam’s journey also reminds me of the journey a child takes, and the gradual understanding of right and wrong and of the world out there. It’s also very childish to refuse to acknowledge having done something bad! I didn’t realise they both laid the blame at the feet of another, but that’s a really child like reaction, I think.

    A beautiful post as always Susan, wonderfully written and very thought provoking.

    • Thank you Celine. Yes, like children they too have to step out and into the world, learning/creating as they meet it head on! No one wants to be admonished, punished, rejected for our errors that our almost automatic response is to deny deny deny … an age-old story!

  14. Eve’s FIRST HEARING the words, Good and Evil, are described by you, Susan, in an eloquent and most dramatic manner! I can actually FEEL the gravitas, fears of the unknown future, and the curiosity that tugged her into her new world.

  15. I agree with Susan’s comment. Sadly, I become bored when my life is too stagnate. I need to explore, experience, and create. I suppose this can be good and bad as then I can find trouble. Sadly, in educating ourselves it is done through mistakes. It is a unique way of learning. What would we learn if Adam and Eve had never shared that apple? Would we still be sitting under that tree in the garden staring at the vegetation? Would the world have developed? All of this can be good and bad. But, since God knows all, maybe God actually knew that Adam and Eve would eventually eat the fruit from the forbidden tree.

    • Thank you Gwynn for coming by. You’re right, we learn from all there is as consciousness is increased. I’ll be elaborating on God’s expelling them in a later post, and yes, I also reckon He knew they would disobey Him as our own parents know that we have to disobey or distance ourselves from them sometimes for our own growth –

  16. The ‘contentment’ you describe is dangerous as we do not explore and probably then also do not create. We might thank eve for the awakening.And, thank the serpent for knowing whom to approach…

    • Thank you Marian for commenting. Re the apple – the Latin for apple is malum – which says something. I’ll elaborate on that!

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