Andrew Cort finds that Original Sin is an inner symbol and that Eve isn’t as tempting as she’s made out to be.
A NEW LOOK AT ADAM & EVE: Part 2 – “The Fall”
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Notice here that Adam’s behavior in this story is completely passive. Throughout the scene, he is silent. The Serpent and Eve have their discussion, she decides to eat the fruit, she gives some to Adam, and he eats it too. That’s all it says! The story doesn’t say that Eve tempted Adam, and nothing in the narration or in his silence suggests that she did. There’s no indication he’s reluctant to eat the fruit, that his better judgment is overwhelmed by Eve’s treachery, or even that he thinks about it at all. He says nothing and he takes no initiative. It’s merely a passive act of acquiescence.
Socrates will later describe the human soul as composed of three parts – the Thoughts of the Mind, the Emotions of the Heart, and the Needs and Appetites of the Body. He shows us that these parts are in a state of total chaos and disorder. To ‘perfect’ one’s soul means that each of these parts must perform its own proper task in a well-ordered harmony with the others.
In the story of Eden, which is a parable of our inner life and the need to evolve and perfect our soul, Adam represents the Mind, Eve represents the Heart, and the Serpent represents the Body. (This is typical ancient mythological symbolism: males = mind, females = heart, animals = body). In their proper alignment, the Mind should be the Active principle that governs the soul. The Body should the Passive principle which supports the efforts of the Mind. And the Heart should be the Reconciling principle that protects and nurtures the soul under the guidance of the Mind. But what happened in the Garden of Eden is that the appropriate ‘order’ became inverted. The serpent (the Body) interfered, took the active lead, and persuaded Eve (the Heart) to go along with its wishes. Adam (the Mind), silent and oblivious, passively joined in.
This was the real ‘sin’ that occurred in the Garden of Eden, and that recurs in each one of us. This is the ‘Original’ (in the sense of ‘fundamental’) sin – the sin of an inverted soul. It takes very little imagination to see that this allegory provides a complete and accurate description of our contemporary life – the pop culture, the greed, the obscenity. The Body’s appetites are completely in charge of what we do, the Heart’s emotions fawn over these cravings, and the Mind (at least in the sense of genuine Wisdom) sits back silently and lets it all continue. ‘Original Sin’ is not “something an evil woman did a long time ago”. Quite the contrary, we are all committing this sin right now. It is high time we stopped blaming ‘Eve’.
When God returns to the Garden of Eden, his instructions are really quite simple. If the soul wants to evolve, the Serpent must crawl on its belly – in other words, the Body must be Passive and focus on the Earth. Adam must “earn his bread through the sweat of his face” – in other words, the Mind (the “face”) must make active efforts (“sweat”) and take control. And Eve must “obey” her husband.
But this last statement should never have been twisted into a sexist command about social and marital relations. It’s an inner symbol which simply means that the Heart (in all of us) must be obedient to the intelligence of the Mind, not the cravings of the Body.
Don’t miss Andrew’s previous features on the blog:
About Andrew Cort
Andrew Cort is an expert on the inner message of Spiritual Awakening that is always ready to be found in the wonderful stories of the Bible and Greek Mythology. To receive several FREE GIFTS from Dr. Cort(a copy of Chapter One, ‘Making the Decision’, from his new book, THE DOOR IS OPEN; a copy of his article on RECONCILING SCIENCE AND RELIGION; and a complete version of the Bible’s erotic masterpiece, SONG OF SONGS , adapted as a Poetic Dialogue to be read out loud by lovers; as well as a subscription to his SPIRITUAL GROWTH NEWSLETTER) click here http://www.andrewcort.com/Gifts . You can also learn more on his blog, Spirituality and Religion.
A native of Boston (and life-long Red Sox fan) who came of age in the turbulent 1960’s, Dr. Andrew Cort has followed a uniquely versatile path through life. He received his Bachelor’s Degree (in English) and Master’s in Teaching (Science Education) from Colgate University. He then went on to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from New York Chiropractic College (he practiced in New York City for ten years, focusing on nutrition, exercise, applied kinesiology, and the mind’s impact on physical health), as well as a Law Degree from Boston College Law School (he is a member of the Massachusetts Bar). During his years in New York, Dr. Cort served on the Executive Board of H.E.A.L., Inc. (“Health Education AIDS Liaison”) and wrote his first book, on issues of health care and the environment,Our Healing Birthright: Taking Responsibility for Ourselves and Our Planet (Inner Traditions, 1990, currently out of print)
Deeply committed to education, spirituality, and activism, Dr. Cort has taught in a variety of colleges and schools, private and public, including The State University of New York in Morrisville, NY; Bay State College, in Boston, MA; The Desisto School, in Stockbridge, MA (a private school for troubled youth); Berkshire Community College, in Pittsfield, MA; and the Springfield Public School System, in Springfield, MA. Dr. Cort has taught courses in Mathematics, Physics, English, Mythology, Business Law, General Science, and English.
In addition to academic studies in literature, science, law and mathematics, he has studied the work of many spiritual traditions — from the Bible, Plato, the Qur’an, Dante, etc., to contemporary teachers including G.I. Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, Rudolf Steiner, Paul Brunton, Anthony Damiani, Sri Aurobindo, Mme. Blavatsky, Oscar Ichazo, and others.
Dr. Cort is the author of numerous books and articles on religion, spirituality, mythology, politics, history, science, education and healing, and how these all relate to contemporary American culture. Following in the tradition of Socrates, he considers himself a student, and not a teacher, of these extraordinary thinkers, philosophers, mystics, and writers. His work invites readers to study along with him.
He is also the Host of Spirit of the Berkshires on CTSB-TV, and available worldwide on Vimeo.com and on http://www.andrewcort.com. Also on there (and on YouTube) is his series of short videos on The Sacred Feminine: Women in the Bible.
Andrew Cort lives in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, and can be reached at Andrew@AndrewCort.com. He is an accomplished, energetic, and articulate public speaker, and is available for interviews and speaking engagements.
Find Andrew Cort
About The Door Is Open
The door is always open. The light is always ready to receive us. But we have to learn how to tread the path.
Fortunately for us, all of the wonderful myths and legends of ancient Greece, as well as all the sacred and beautiful stories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have the common aim of showing us, through symbols and allegories, a practical method for reaching spiritual enlightenment, for returning ‘home’.
THE DOOR IS OPEN describes the seven precise steps that are revealed in all great mythology and scripture, along with enjoyable and effective spiritual exercises and activities that are suitable for individual seekers or groups of friends working together.
This is a story that has been lost and forgotten, even though the entire tale has been right before our eyes the whole time. Buy it from Amazon for your Kindle here or get the print copy here. Or, check it out on Goodreads.
Win one of ten ecopies or one of ten signed print copies of The Door Is Open through the Rafflecopter widget at this link. The giveaway will run until November 10th.