Early this morning, as the moonlight poured in through my window, illuminating my room with soft blue light, the kind that makes your memory and sometimes, your fantasies come to bear. I was still in some sleep inspired reverie when my thoughts turned to Adam and Eve, that story told to us about the creation and fall of man.
I thought on the strangeness of the story - Man, woman made of man's rib, the snake, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...a fatal ploy that was oddly set to work against the female Oedipus complex of Eve. God had to have known that, when faced with such a challenge, the human condition would falter in vast instances.
Now, I'm here to debate theologians or those with alternative versions. This was and is, purely my own imaginings...
First we meet Adam, first human, created by God and set in the wondrous Garden Of Eden. I wonder, was he made as a child? Or as a fully grown man? What was his first year of life like? What was his first night like? How did he learn to communicate? How did he learn to name and hold dominion over others?
Then, comes Eve, woman. Given to Adam as a companion and constructed from his rib (which seems quite patriarchal and not at all likely), they are, for all intents and purposes, made for each other.
They are told by God, their parent that all trees are available to them, save one, the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil. Such a set up could not have been better planned. How could it have ended any other way?
So, who then is the snake? I've met several snakes in my life, some belonging to my own mind. They entice you, lure you with exhilaration, with what could be, what you could experience. Then, against the obviously subliminal warning of God, Eve takes it. Then, offers it to her husband.
Suddenly, they become aware of their nakedness... What does that mean? Don't tell me it's sex...That's too easy. How was it that the Knowledge of Good & Evil made them suddenly become aware of the need for couture? Why was nakedness tied to Good and Evil?
Then Adam, of course, blames his wife and, to make a long story short - they are booted out of the G.O.E. never to return. Cherubim with flaming swords guarding the entrance.
One of the things that struck me completely about this was the archetypal play at work: God creates a world and then a man to live in it, which he gives dominion. But the ruler is lonely, so God creates a companion from the man, who then disrupts the plan of both man and of God (or so God says).
It has been said before that man and woman are both perfectly built to throw off and screw up the opposite gender. No one quite knows how to distract somebody then a romantic partner. It seems almost inevitable, doesn't it? In the story, Eve wasn't being wicked, was she? She was simply wanting to experience what she was told that the tree would provide? Then, she shared with her husband - thus setting the entire course of humanity.
And ultimately, with all of the richness in this story, I was left with this: relationships do pull us one or another way. We can move further into responsibility and mastery over our lives or retreat into induced experiences (like the fruit from the Tree). But in this case, Eve pulled Adam, in fact all of us, from the land of quiet servitude, of blind, unknowing obedience, into the world where our ancestors and we suffer and grow stronger, suffer and grow stronger.
And from that suffering, we have created great things. Can you imagine what life would have been like without Eve and that little snake on the tree branch?