Santa Monica, California, USA
What Happened In The Garden?
This begins with a quote from Serenity's post in another thread (Intelligent Darwinism) in which she says: “mythology and the stories of religion are all hero journeys.”
The Hero with a Thousand Faces” is only one aspect of Joseph Campbell‘s work, dealing with hero stories of death and renewal. Certainly, the New Testament reflects this.
In other writings (and in writings by others) Campbell takes a deeper look into the Garden of Eden story, (not a “hero” story) which seems to go: We used to live in this wonderful place, then we did something to annoy the Gods, God, the Goddess, Spider Woman, etc, and now we’re stuck in this place where life is a stinker, and then you die, but, with any luck, sooner or later we get to go home.
What happened in the Garden?
This is my take on it: When humans, Adam/Eve, ate from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Judeo-Christian version, Adam/Eve’s unity with their world was broken, and they made the distinction that “I Am Not That” which physically surrounds me. Somehow, we’ve been placed apart. Hence, a longing for reunion with the Godhead.
The mechanism for this sense of apartness is the acquisition of language. Per Mark, “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In religion and mythology, the usurpation of the “Word,” or language, a God quality, is the usurpation of the ability to make distinctions between “This” and “That.”
Prior to events in the universal Garden, only God had the ability to make distinctions, or separations, like between Heaven and Earth, Night and Day, Before and After, You and Me, etc.
Granted, this is a gloss on the text. At the same time, the thought that Adam and Eve discovered their sexuality in the Garden is also a gloss on the text, and, to my mind, a bit off the Mark (excuse pun).
For correlatives, what was Prometheus doing when he delivered Fire? What happened when Krishna created Atman and Brahman? What is the “Veil” in the Sikh “Veil of Illusion?
Here’s a kicker: Can Poetry be a tool to effect reunion? For the poet of the reader? Or is poetry just another mind-trap, the logos running amok?