I appreciate anthropological insights into the nature of the bible, as in Carel Van Schaik and Kai Michel "The Good Book of Human Nature: An
Evolutionary Reading of the Bible", but hearing their anthropological account of the larger trends that constituted what they called "original sin"
(they believe, quite plausibly, that it was private property), I activated into my own understanding of the Book of Genesis, an understanding that I
have never seen represented, and which derives from contemporary research into the brain, and theory of neurological and psychodynamic function as a
"single continuum of transformation".
I've posted this here before, and some people seem to have the idea that this is the "secret" kabbalistic reading. It may be, but it is something that
I have mostly "discovered" by reading over the Hebrew and considering the correlations of the tale with developmental facts.
In my opinion, the ancient Hebrews had a pretty sophisticated metaphysics, which was more or less an archetypal psychology of psychodynamic
The ending of Genesis 2 is interesting to me: There was no Shame.
In my own study of the emergence of the human being, and more basically, the emergence of the brain, the brain functions as a 'correlator' between
internal homeostatic events and external situations that either satisfy internal motivations (SEEKING, PLAY, CARE, for example) or aggravate certain
needs - the most powerful of which, the social attachment systems, expects at a very deep genetic level for the other party to recognize the
legitimacy of your feeling needs; thus, if recognition is not present, a large (or in some people) a slight indication of "self-decohesion" will
happen, which is what psychologists would call 'shame'.
This makes total evolutionary sense, and is also consistent with my special emphasis on 'symmetry' in determining 'what works'.
Shame is entropy. It is not just a feeling, but a profoundly powerful attractor. If one is doing wrong - such as 'owning land', and feeling that one
deserves to own land because of the benefit one may have brought to others, it is still nevertheless true that private property, the claim that
something in the outside, external earth 'belongs to you', is an evolutionary mismatch with how our species has always behaved - never mind the fact
that, in being based in symmetry dynamics, the mind is most robust when it is not feeling threatened, something that happens much more easily with the
moral complexities brought into being by private property.
In any case, as an archetypal psychology, Adam and Eve appear to be about the relationship between a primary 'male' principle, and a primary 'female'
principle. One may or may not accept such divisions, but when it comes to the narrative between Eve, the snake, the Tree's, Adam, and God's
'searching' for Adam, there is a clear cut psychodynamic metaphor at play here, with Adam playing the role of the intellect, Eve, which literally
means "living one", refers to the feeling body, the snake, coincidentally, is a fitting metaphor for the 'reptilian brain', or that part of our
neurological structuring which puts on the brakes when an external cue indicates a past threat, and so triggers a change in feeling (which you usually
take to be 'random').
So the Snake could be called the "traumatized self", or archetype; Eve is the feeling body, and so it is by analyzing this interaction between the
feeling body (Eve) and the snake (the traumatized self; or the part of ourselves based in primitive threat responses) and the snake utters a series of
statements which, if read in the Hebrew, is misrepresentation of what God says to Adam in the garden. Such misrepresentation is likely not a scribal
error, but a deliberate expression of the phenomenology of this sort of experience: the threatened part causes us to misrepresent a situation, which
the body (Eve) is likely to compel us to perceive.
The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is the source of error. It is the source of duality. The source of "good" and "evil" - not right and wrong,
but a state we have mythologized called "evil"; and another state which counters the other state, called "goodness". Goodness is real, but the
goodness that derives a satisfaction from labeling others "evil", is a goodness that is better described as sanctimony.
The threatened self goads us towards making assertions - false assertions, that derive from an agitated need to 'defend the self'. The "fruit" is
always the end product - a behavior. The snake - the traumatized part of the self - tells Eve - the body - that this situation is one of "evil" and
"goodness". Think of any state of persecutory speech, where we speak with a lot of venom, and you are more or less enacting this archetypal dynamic,
which each of these elements present; the whole 'shape' of the dynamic is the tree, and your eating of its fruit happens through a snake persuading
your 'feeling body' (Eve), that it is all ok. The fruit is eaten; the basis of the action (the tree) and its fruit, now needs to persuade itself
further. Another part nags.
Of course, Eve then tells Adam - the intellect, to eat the fruit. The body's completion of an action which derives from a general confusion about how
things work (tree of Knowledge) feels compelled now to persuade its intellect - Adam - that this is so. My "eyes' are open. This is the conviction of
a fanatic: the body is fanatical, maniacal. It is tendentiously pursuing an agenda to quell the guilt. Adam eats to, and lo and behold, something far
more sinister has happened: the acceptance of a false doctrine - the delusion of the reason; the self-deception of thinking "you are a god" no doubt
relates this situation back to occultism and the powers that human beings seem to possess in non-traumatized, non-entropic conditions.
Adam - the intellect - now no longer wants to hear the voice of God. The voice of God, YHWH, is the voice of the 'common being' that is shared between
living and non-living things - the "spirit" of nature that runs through each. In the human being, this teleodynamism is expressed as our conscience -
as our recognition of right and wrong action - and so, here, at this juncture, the intellect - Adam - denies the substantiative basis of its being, in
the unity of being that unites all things.
It hides - and by hiding, by pretending, or imagining, that humans are not in a situation to "will" some new state of affairs that doesn't derive from
symmetry, is not heard. They leave paradise - Eden, which means pleasure, but also means "to be continuous witness". Mindfulness of self in action in
an ever new and changing present is what is required to live in paradise. There is a flaming sword which guards its entry - the sword of the churning
intellect - a mind which moves so fast, and so calmly, that it keeps track of when its going off, or when something needs to be said for the self.
With Cain and Abel, we may be describing a state of affairs that comes after this period. Historically, we know our species is at least 200,000 years
old. But are we so sure that "hunter-gatherers" constitute the 'truest' natural state of humans? Why do we assume that contact between civilization
and tribes, over the last 10,000 years, hasn't also led to a transformation of hunter-gatherer groups? We know there are at least two modes of 'being
human'; the majority of us are civilized; whereas an ever shrinking number...
edit on 20-5-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)