Or, more formally, "Who told thee that thou wast naked? " Thus spake God to Adam and Eve, after they broke the rules, and deigned to "be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Erich Fromm, a German-born U.S. psychoanalyst and social philosopher, in The Art of Loving interprets it this way:
After Adam and Eve have eaten of the "tree of knowledge of good and evil," after they have disobeyed (there is no good and evil unless there is freedom to disobey), after they have become human by having emancipated themselves from the original animal harmony with nature, i.e., after their birth as human beings—they saw "that they were naked—and they were ashamed.http://archive.org/.... [requires pdf reader download]
I have a different take. If you're interested, please slip through the "infinity symbol" a la Kos below, and explore with me.
IMHO, as well as being a "creation myth," explaining how the world came to be, it also attempts to explain the origins of human consciousness, that emancipation ... from the original animal harmony with nature, when then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Their "sin" was not disobeying God, but rather leaving the paradise of having a consciousness on the level of the animals, and developing a consciousness on the level of God, [or the gods.] And with Knowledge of Good and Evil came emotions such as love, hate, joy and fear. And there also came concepts such as self-esteem, and shame.
Dr. Fromm goes on to say:
...after man and woman have become aware of themselves and of each other, they are aware of their separateness, and of their difference, inasmuch as they belong to different sexes. But while recognizing their separateness they remain strangers, because they have not yet learned to love each other (as is also made very clear by the fact that Adam defends himself by blaming Eve, rather than by trying to defend her). The awareness of human separation, without reunion by love—is the source of shame. It is at the same time the source of guilt and anxiety.Well, I don't know about all that. To my way of thinking, you can't have a male without a female side, or a female without a male side, anymore than you can have a one-sided coin!
From my favorite philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“POLARITY, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in darkness and light; in heat and cold; in the ebb and flow of waters; in male and female; in the inspiration and expiration of plants and animals; in the equation of quantity and quality in the fluids of the animal body; in the systole and diastole of the heart; in the undulations of fluids, and of sound; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in electricity, galvanism, and chemical affinity. Superinduce magnetism at one end of a needle; the opposite magnetism takes place at the other end. If the south attracts, the north repels. To empty here, you must condense there. An inevitable dualism bisects nature, so that each thing is a half, and suggests another thing to make it whole; as, spirit, matter; man, woman; odd, even; subjective, objective; in, out; upper, under; motion, rest; yea, nay.”Compensation
In other words, if you can show me a magnet with one pole, or my coin with one side, or something born that will not die, I will believe we are all "wholey" one gender.
As a child, I came to believe I was born on the wrong planet, as this one makes no sense to me. Eventually, I learned to "navigate" psychologically, and decided to pity more the "me" who was supposed to come here, but ended up there, as I was sure "she" was having a worse time of it than I was.
And so I became one of those annoying people, unable to chose a major in high school because I wanted to understand "The Meaning of Life" first, to understand "Why Am I Here," before I could chose a direction in which to go.
Again, my friend RW Emerson:
The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.Self-Reliance
In other words, it wasn't meant to be easy. I could try to ignore my need to understand, distract myself with popular culture, recreational drugs [I think pot is OK if not used to avoid dealing with life], "Reality TV," ["Survivor" after 9/11? Really?], romance novels, or all the countless ways people use to "kill time." I wanted to fit in, but didn't want to do so at the price of my sanity, as that was what it was costing me to "play pretend." Eventually I did find my niche, working in various permutations of the health field, a fitness instructor, CNA/PCA/CHHA/LPN/RN, waiting for the day I no longer was required to show I knew how to wash my hands properly.
And reading, and seeking.
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.Self-Reliance
Thank G/od[s] for books! Every question I had, every concept I struggled with, somewhere in history, someone had also contemplated. I just had to look. And several boxes of books handed down by some friends who were moving contained my first Emerson, my first Henry David Thoreau, and my first Tao Te Ching, the Witter Bynner translation, which I love and cannot find a version I love better.
Can you hold the door of your tent
Wide to the firmament?
Can you, with the simple stature
Of a child, breathing nature,
Can you continue befriending
With no prejudice, no ban?
Can you, mating with heaven,
Serve as the female part?
8Yes, the World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket. Yes, there are more questions than answers. But I do not need to know why I was "born this way." There is no one answer that I am going to find that will end my seeking. That is the meaning of my Tag line, The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. The entire quote, more or less:
Man at his best, like water,
Serves as he goes along:
Like water he seeks his own level,
The common level of life
...but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.To me, this means once we have "discovered the answer," we stop looking. And if we think we have discovered the answer, why would we keep looking? Well, that isn't even my favorite HDT quote. This one is and provides a better answer:
“We should come home from far, from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day, with new experience and character.”http://www.goodreads.com/...
And so I do believe.
Now, I'm sure a few of you are wondering, "How is she going to work Neil deGrasse Tyson into this?" Well, we could all use a little NDT now and then, especially knowing he said
“Down there between our legs, it's like an entertainment complex in the middle of a sewage system. Who designed that?”As he also said,
― Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier
“... informed ignorance provides the natural state of mind for research scientists at the ever-shifting frontiers of knowledge. People who believe themselves ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the cosmos.”In other words, just because you want the answer to every question to be: "Because...God!", it doesn't mean everyone has to! Are you listening, ID'ers?
― Neil deGrasse Tyson, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution
And so, in conclusion, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
There is a deeper fact in the soul than compensation, to wit, its own nature. The soul is not a compensation, but a life. The soul is. Under all this running sea of circumstance, whose waters ebb and flow with perfect balance, lies the aboriginal abyss of real Being. Essence, or God, is not a relation, or a part, but the whole. Being is the vast affirmative, excluding negation, self-balanced, and swallowing up all relations, parts, and times within itself. Nature, truth, virtue, are the influx from thence. Vice is the absence or departure of the same. Nothing, Falsehood, may indeed stand as the great Night or shade, on which, as a background, the living universe paints itself forth; but no fact is begotten by it; it cannot work; for it is not. It cannot work any good; it cannot work any harm. It is harm inasmuch as it is worse not to be than to be.I have more to say, especially about Vice as Nothing, as something that cannot work, for it is not. Next diary.