Since I learned to read, I love reading myths. The story of Adam and Eve was particularly enticing, but I found too many dots difficult to connect. I’ve read many different interpretations, I removed what made no sense to me, found common ground, connected the dots, and of course, I added some of my own chilly powder for seasoning.
What you are about to read is an excerpt from my new book. I hope you like it!
"Adam and Eve knew of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They asked themselves many times why shouldn't they try the fruit from it.
In the meantime, while hosting doubt and curiosity, they lived in perfect harmony with the rest of creation.
After a while, they decided to try the fruit to gain God's knowledge and understanding of Good and Evil. So they did.
Adam and Eve fell into a long and deep sleep. They woke up confused and surprised about what they saw. Their perception had changed, and their new capacities encouraged them to identify all the objects in their surroundings. They could no longer understand how they could have lived without naming things.
Soon enough, they found differences between each other. They felt vulnerable to judgment and tried to hide them.
They learned that some objects were more useful than others, some animals more beautiful than others. They liked and disliked. Each one felt insecure.
Their new knowledge allowed them to improve their tools and choose more comfortable places where to spend their time. They stopped going to the lakes and rivers they regularly visited before eating the forbidden fruit.
Adam and Eve thought they knew all that is needed to know. Of course, they didn't know what they ignored. They became arrogant and judgmental, but they also learned to avoid dangers, and they became fearful and defensive. They felt insecure because they realized they could know even more. They judged not knowing as harmful.
One morning God visited them and said: The reason why I forbid you from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is that you would misunderstand your new powers, begin to separate, qualify my divine creation and judge it as good or evil, positive or negative, you would transform your incomplete opinions into beliefs. You would create a cycle of suffering and violence, fear, and limitation.
Eve and Adam found truth in God's words; they experienced judgment and different ways of suffering. They asked: When is that cycle going to end? And God responded: When you will find that you are not different than everything else."
This famous myth suggests that we lost the capacity to live in paradise as soon as we could learn, name, identify, qualify. Can that be the moment when we, as species, became cognizant? Or when we learned to speak?
Is it possible that what some traditions refer to as “the original sin” is our capacity to misunderstand reality based on our limited knowledge? In the past, we thought the storms and earthquakes were signs from an angry God. Today we know that Earth is a complex ecosystem of interdependences.
Thinking that we know enough to decide to harm nature, including ourselves, might be the source of most of our problems. That’s how we justify war and how we discriminate against others—a cycle of insecurities and fear.
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