I’m not going to address the Eve and the serpent thing and how this story has justified the mistreatment of women for millennia, that’s a discussion for another article. I do want to explore another framework for understanding the significance of the apple.
I’m clear that we don’t understand good and evil, so if the apple held that knowledge, I think it was not transmitted through eating! I’ve spent my entire career exploring the question of good and evil because it has never seemed very clear to me. Take death. We ALL die, there’s no way around it, so there has to be a good in death. There seem to be lots of different ‘goods’ in death if you take the long view and understand nature’s way. Most folks don’t really want to live forever, especially not if our bodies get old. The planet couldn’t hold all of the life if birth continued to happen, so it seems as if the trade of would be no birth if there was no death. That’s doesn’t seem too appealing does it?
The whole concept of evil is too big to tackle in this post, but I’d like to make a case for something else, something that looks, to me, to be at the root of so much of our ‘successes’ and our failures – discontent. It is because of discontent that we refuse to accept the status quo. It is because of discontent that we fight against the apparent limitations of nature. What would happen if, instead of seeing these ‘limitations’ as restrictions we saw them as the boundaries for success?
I believe that the Apple of Discontent led us to see whatever we didn’t like as evil or wrong. By making things that made us sad, angry, anxious or frustrated as evil we gave permission to ourselves to change it, instead of working with it and changing ourselves. This resistance to self-reflection is what keeps us stuck. Our willingness to project onto nature, the world, God, and others, creates an easy justification for self-deception. We can rationalize all sorts of behavior because we are uncomfortable to one degree or another. This is what gives birth to the “s/he made me do it” syndrome. By abdicating responsibility we also lose the power and control to change it, making us ‘victims’ of our circumstances.
Discontent should become a signal that we need to look into ourselves to better understand why we feel that way. What does that feeling tell us about our own needs and expectations? By better understanding ourselves we can act with authority and in integrity with both our own essence, with nature, and with the divine within.
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