Eve, part  two.yinyang

We left Eve in the last post, expelled with Adam from the Garden of Eden, into a new world of duality, away from their innocent unity. In that post I posited that going against the status quo and disobeying rules is often necessary for our psychological development. 

Did Eve have an innate urge to move from unconsciousness such as there was in the Garden of Eden?

Imagine if they stayed there for all time. Peace, bliss, harmony. No friction, no energy. It was too tranquil, too quiescent, too stable, too domesticated. No incentive to grow, no incentive to move beyond established boundaries.

God, like a good parent, had to let them go in order to grow emotionally and spiritually, mentally and psychologically. Trust had been developed in the Garden and I surmise that He wanted them to move from there and exercise their God-given free will. We as parents or adults also have to let our children go and grow and flee the nest. This applies as well to making decisions about leaving a stifling relationship or career or community, and moving out into the wider world and all the responsibilities attendant on that.

The story of Eros and Psyche illustrates the necessity of contact with the real world. This is the story where Psyche the beautiful maiden is deeply in love with Eros (son of Aphrodite), although there is a condition to their love. Psyche’s love for Eros is pure and she lives in an idyllic state, but she may not look upon him with open eyes as this will mean death to him and their love. However, Psyche’s two jealous sisters convince her that Eros is actually a serpent in disguise and she must kill him while he is sleeping. Psyche takes their advice and one night with lighted lamp in hand, she approaches Eros to kill him. But a drop of oil from her lamp falls on his shoulders and awakens Eros. He has been betrayed and flees to Psyche’s suicidal despair. Now begins Psyche’s journey to selfhood away from unconsciousness. Like Eve who took the first bite, so too does Psyche break the taboo albeit at her sisters’ jealous encouragement.

*Antony Stevens, British psychiatrist and Jungian analyst in his commentary of this story says, and I quote:

‘In this, the sisters function in a similar manner to the snake in the Garden of Eden which encourages Adam and Eve to break the taboo imposed by Jehovah. Expulsion from Paradise results in contact with the real world and a development in consciousness’ (italics mine).

He also comments on the story of Bluebeard and says: “Disobeying Bluebeard’s command, his errant wife enters the forbidden chamber and discovers his guilty secret. Disobedience is about defying the dominant male, refusing to be subordinate and coming to self-hood. It is a necessary step on the path to individuation, and a realisation in consciousness of one’s full self-potential”.

I suggest that Eve heard the knock on the door as Lilith/Serpent offered the apple, and not only opened the door but entered in and beyond thus setting the scene for their expulsion, needed in order to develop their consciousness and evolvement, a necessary requirement for today’s world and one worthy of deep and ongoing consideration.

Eve lifted the veil from Adam’s eyes – a courageous and intuitive act in her search for the beginning knowledge of opposites – Good and Evil – a knowledge necessary for higher consciousness. She may have had a momentary illusion of power in her desire for knowledge of Good and Evil, but she brought the beginnings of consciousness into the world and this is surely an act to be celebrated.

Yes, Adam and Eve were now alienated from God’s Grace. Perhaps in time they would come to value that which they had lost and thus seek in time to return to God’s Grace but this time in greater awareness, intention and consciousness.

Consciousness means using the gift of free will, choice, consciously, with no hidden agenda.

*Antony Stevens: Ariadne’s Clue. A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind. Allen Lane. Penguin Press, 1998

with thanks to google images for yin yang symbol

39 Comments on Eve, Part Two

  1. Hi guys, Thanks for the rec for Till We Have Faces. I haven’t read it either, so I’m joining the bandwagon. I just ordered two copies: one for me, and one for my 13 yr. old granddaughter!

  2. I love connecting Eros and Psyche with Eve and remembering how breaking the rules and taboos leads to consciousness. Sometimes we need those evil sisters whispering in our ear. One of the joys of my life was a week-long Marion Woodman workshop using CS Lewis’s ‘Til We Have Faces’ as primary text to work with Eros and Psyche. I was very familiar with the myth, but this work made me more conscious of the struggles of the shadow sister/serpent within me.

    As long as we live in a world of opposites–and that’s where I live other than a few memorable moments–we live in a world where there is good and evil. Your definition of consciousness is delicious.

  3. I love the discussion about a “sense of home,” I have always noticed that my momentary state of consciousness has special components, analogous to “Mentally, Spiritually, Emotionally, Spiritually.” This is also reminiscent of me living alternately in different Post Office boxes. Paying attention to how mercurial this can be is very useful and enlightening. In statistical probability theory this type of thing has been described as a “TRANSITION MATRIX.” You don’t need to be a statistical specialist to intuitively understand the powerful meaning of ‘TRANSITION.” Lilith and Eve knew this in their own ways.

  4. Oddly enough, the Garden of Eden reminds me of living in southern California. Like Eve, I had to leave and return to what I consider normal life, with seasons and strife, and less smiley people. I revisited there recently. A place like that (physically and mentally) is lovely to visit but I still don’t want to reside there. Authenticity, the way I see it anyway, is far too precious than to exist in a perpetually blissful state.

    • Thanks Stephanie for coming by. I guess we know where home is, and where we feel at our authentic best – as you say, mentally and physically, and I’d add emotionally and spiritually .. somehow there’s a sense of ‘this is home’… even irrespective of place ..

  5. Thank you Susan, I find that in this story that jealousy is the sub-text which initiates the negative action of the beloved and it is jealousy that destroys the other woman’s ‘paradise, ‘ whether deluded or not. Jealousy then satisfies itself by consummation of the other’s lost heaven. That emotional sting spreads other poisonous spores

    • I agree that jealousy is a sub text Gillian … Reminds me of Cain and Abel. Sin always lurks at the door as God said to Cain. Unsure of the exact quote. So many stories and real-life happenings attest to this …
      Thank you for your comment.

  6. Hi,
    As I read this posting, and thought about the Eros and Psyche and what Stevens had to say, I also thought about Cinderella and her mean stepsisters and stepmother in the Cinderella fairy tale. This is a very interesting point of view and I love the last sentence,”Consciousness means using the gift of free will, choice, consciously, with no hidden agenda.” This speaks to my heart.
    Thank you for an excellent article.
    Shalom,
    Patricia

  7. I really like the idea of Eve lifting the veil and launching them both into a journey towards consciousness as something to be celebrated.
    And I love your definition of consciousness, especially the part about having no agenda. There are so often hidden agendas to everything nowadays.

  8. I’m with you in every respect. Well said. Love your definition of consciousness. Thanks for addressing this topic so beautifully and meaningfully. Jeanie

  9. Hi, Susan. You make some interesting points here, but I have to disagree about Eve’s disobedience leading to true consciousness. Sin is what separated us from God, and while God knows everything, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Eternal truth is without evil and Christ restores our connection to that truth by His Cross.

    • Thanks for your comment Robert. I see Eve’s act (even though the serpent may have been arrogant in stating ‘and you shall be as God’) as necessary for the greater drama to unfold. It is also said that Eve was the precursor to Mary, mother of Jesus ..

      I agree with you that eternal truth is without evil – tis only thinking makes it so ..

  10. Yes, I agree with all of the comments. You have written a very thought-provoking post. This post makes me think of the rigid families where the kids have to rebel in order to learn a different lesson. Or did Eve naively enjoy the apple without giving thought to the results of her actions? Either way, a lesson will be learned. Thank you for making us “THINK!” I enjoyed your beautiful post.

    • Thank you Gwynn … we all need to rebel at times against the conditioning we’ve been subjected to. Eve was too unconscious at the time, but there was an inner force which led to her necessary action and development …

  11. Dear Susan;
    The responsibility to listen becomes the insistence to be our whole and total elves. It is really a trial–like Eve had to face with the resistance and force of the psyche. To go against it would be devastating.
    Susan

    • Thank you Susan – trials indeed which we all face which myth illustrates so graphically in its depiction of the psyche striving towards authenticity.
      Susan

  12. Excellent writing as always, Susan. Those last 4 words “with no hidden agenda” are very applicable in today’s world where betrayal of trust and promises has pervaded our governments and societies.

    So timely about leaving the Garden and striving for individuation as I read numerous books about puberty, (grand)parenting and how to shepherd our beloved Sparks and Ragi through the coming years. They say the key is early attachment and stable, loving family (yes) and listening and patience above all (I’ll work on that!)

    They also stress that kids have an easier time making good decisions when peer pressure isn’t part of the mix. States very clearly that kids shouldn’t be held accountable for being pressured too soon and that parents need to be wary of leaving kids on their own and expecting them to stand up to their peers. We’ve already seen examples of that, and will talk to their parents about why they mistakenly expected too much from Sparks and Raqi. Interesting times ahead !!

    Keep writing. This is so valuable.

    • Thank you Sammy D. It’s beyond appalling what goes on in governments and societies. If you knew what was going on here in South Africa 🙁

      You’re providing a wonderful role model for your precious grandchildren – they need valuable, loving and caring time from their caretakers (parents and grandparents & family) for them to flower and to be their own persons and individuality.

      Thank you again.

  13. As always, a post that makes one think. No hidden agenda … and there is so much of that going on in the world. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words, research, and storytelling with us. I am sharing on twitter.

    • Thank you Silvia. I agree re hidden agendas and it’s powerful influence in the world. It begins with us realising our own hidden agendas. We’d be in a better position to identify where else it is and say ‘no’. Thank you for sharing on twitter 🙂

  14. I echo Jackqui’s comment and would add: Free will is indeed a gift that sets us apart from other creatures. Incidentally, I’ve always liked the balance that the yin – yang images seem to suggest.

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