Table of Contents
In the Bible, the Lord is introduced as a Creator of the world. In the same Bible, readers are introduced to the story how God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. However, though they show the defiance and trickery of the serpent, the grace of the Creator was bestowed for Adam and Eve. This defiance introduces to readers the causes of evil and good, birth and death as well as the right and the wrong. In this essay, I will attempt to convince readers that the Biblical myth of creation still influences on the behavior of people in the modern society, i.e. the behavior of males and females. In the book of Genesis 3: 1-13, there is a description of how the fall occurring in the Garden of Eden took its place and how the Creator reacted on the actions committed by Adam and Eve.
The context of the creation story is happening in the Garden of Eden. This is the place where only the Lord, Adam and Eve were living. The Garden of Eden is seen as a utopia created by the Lord for all the creatures to live in. A special attention there was paid to the man whom God had given a lot of favors. In this context, the society was only made of Adam and Eve. It was simply a paradise with nothing good or bad. This had to remain perfect in the eyes of God. However, there is an interesting theory to consider the variant that what if the woman was not tricked by the serpent and spoke the truth, then the consequences of eating an apple from the tree of knowledge could be different. Thus, the theory of the serpent tricking the woman has formed the whole theme of the down falling. This leaves readers with an intriguing question that if Eve was not tricked, then what could be the main cause of fall for the serpent? It may sound ironical, but it comes out that the main reason was evil.
The idea held by readers of the Bible often is following the creation story. Then, Eve has to be blamed for the abandonment in the Garden of Eden. In the book of Genesis 3:12, Adam states clearly that the woman he was given had persuaded him to eat the forbidden fruit. The statement directly blames the consumption of the apple on Eve. It makes a description of her as an object that the man had for his possession. The placement of blame on the woman seems to be sufficient to the Creator. He has turned out to find more reasons why she disobeyed the rules provided. However, there is no further follow up on the issue why Adam ate the fruit also. However, he understood very well the source of the forbidden fruit. Nevertheless, the most important aspect of the story involves the behavior of the man and the woman (Pagels 22).
Thanatos and Eros as Destructive Forces
The main aim of this part is to attempt to explain how the concepts of Thanatos and Eros seen as a part of the situation revolving around the human origin are considered as detrimental to the existence of the man. One of the main conflicts in the story occurs when both Adam and Eve have eaten from the fruit of knowledge and become aware of their nakedness. Due to their behavior God cast both Edam and Eve out of the Garden to live on their own. Thus, readers must be left confused that if the tree of life and knowledge was never meant for the temptation and the consumption of their fruit, except just being there, then there was no actual purpose that the Garden of Eden was a real garden. Based on various accounts and historical records, there is no apparent reason for having the trees besides being regarded as the tree of knowledge and the tree of life. Since God is regarded as the One who does nothing wrong. There must have been some reasons for the existence of the Garden of Eden.
Examining Adam and Eve
This is an important reading when it comes to the nature of nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In the book of Genesis 2:25, readers understand that the man and his wife felt no shame. According to my observations, nakedness is a symbolical state of purity. The concepts of Eros and Thanatos are embedded into the mind of man. While reading the entire story of creation, it is never mentioned in any single verse the time when they were eating the fruit of knowledge. Thus, Adam and Eve came into conflict with themselves and the environment around. In the real world, the existence of the man and the woman provides the Testament one way or another. The fight will ensue over something from time to time. However, in the story of creation, there is no indication of conflicts in the religious text (Kvam et al. 34).
The conflict ensuing between the man and the woman forms the interplay of Thanatos and Eros and results into the changes in the human behavior and the emotions triggering the conflict between the man and the woman. In the similar circumstance, the party referring to Thanatos may be willing to do the necessary things to bring peace. Meanwhile, the others may not do everything that brings peace. Considering the Biblical story of Creation, the condition of their nakedness is understood as the state Eros and Thanatos. This is the nonexistence to them as innate; this is the circumstance which can be compared to the state of being a baby (Miles 34). According to the Biblical myth, it is only after consuming the forbidden fruit they became knowledgeable. The punishment that the Lord has given to Adam and Eve is being in the form to have great pain during the delivery of a baby, and to work hard to obtain any food. This may accepted as symbolical for the eventual conflict coming due to having Thanatos and Eros. Considering the fruit of knowledge, there are many debates that are ignited. For instance, it is true that the tree can be the source of knowledge for the man. Many people have consumed different kinds of fruit, though the essence of gaining something is impractical in them. Therefore, the tree of knowledge is used symbolically to refer to the knowledge itself rather than to the application of the concept of Eros and Thanatos. Taking a closer consideration on the concept of Eros and Thanatos, a good example is the following one. When we take a closer look at babies being born, even though they are clear by their nature, they do not possess to grasp the facets of Eros and Thanatos. This is because the lives of babies are still very simple and non-problematic with no worries. For any purpose, babies are still considered as the content. However, mature people may come to view babies and to conclude that they are this way as they do not understand anything. In this case, Eros and Thanatos are taking the central part.
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In may be interesting to make the comparison of Adam’s and Eve’s story with the example of a baby. As stated in the quote (Spoul 12), Adam and Eve were created naked without any shame. This is similar to the nature of how babies are being born to the world. On the other hand, the bare born ones of the story mention nothing concerning a sexual act or the existence of any genitals directly as the relevant parts that need to be covered. It is hard to imagine Adam and Eve having a sexual intercourse, whether legal or illegal before they have discovered the differences between the bad or the good. Since it is thought that the story of creation describes a real event between two human beings. It is pity that readers are not provided with the literal description such that we find in the third quote (Kvam et al. 35). Therefore, we must fall back on our limited knowledge. This is not surprising that such a wide range of interpretations have evolved from the totally analytic to the completely psychoanalytic.
The thesis that I wish to establish is that the story of creation, regardless of it being seen as the allegorical myth or a literal history, has played a dominant symbolical role in providing the justification of the male’s mastering state (Frymer-Kensky 21). This thesis has three elements. Firstly, this is the male dominance seen as a social norm in the evolution of gender and sex. Secondly, the story was used to justify gender and sex relations between the man and the woman. And, thirdly, the male dominance will continue further. In the contemporary world, males have exercised the overt control above females in the society. However, this is validated through religious symbolism, where Christian God has masculine characters. In another perspective, the creation story of Adam and Eve is simply seen as a dead myth. As stated before, the story is influenced by the way gender relations are being idealized and what may be seen as the shame of sexuality.
It is inconceivable that at present for various concepts under Eros and Thanatos to never form a part of the human culture. Thus, the speculations can be made concerning the type of individuals we have to be. The man had no other ambition, but not to think of ourselves as synonymous, while others may consider the state of being rather idiotic. Considering the Creation theory, the whole world was created within seven days. Each day was specific and was a building block for the next stage. Thus, if the Lord was systematic in doing things, the trees could be considered as the stages for God’s plans for the man. As seen from the occurrence of events, the man has violated this plan of God by consuming the fruit of knowledge. Therefore, it may be concluded that the Christian culture being the source of the Creation theory states that the reason behind conflicts the man experiences in the world is due to the human nature. This notion is further emphasized by the fact that the Garden of Eden was full of wild creatures. They were never at any moment in conflict with animals (Gary and Stone 16). This is very strange as in the current world if the man is placed in jungles with wild animals, there could be a conflict due to being attacked by a wild beast. However, in the story of Creation, despite being surrounded by wild animals, Adam and Eve had never been attacked. This may be seen as symbolical due to the fact that before the man had come to acquire Eros and Thanatos, harmony existed in nature. It was only after such knowledge that imparted into the man and this harmony disappeared. However, the true fact remains that the man is the creature dominating in the planet. The man influences on the big amount of changes happening in nature. But it is quite unfortunate that most of changes have been negative and caused the alteration as well as the destruction of processes in the whole ecosystem.
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There are some aspects of Eros and Thanatos. For instance, the ambition and the need in the order have actually resulted into the domination of the man in the earth, as well as to subjecting the world to his needs to create the sense of order to satisfy his desires. When the desire to fulfill the man’s needs is combined with the ambivalence of Thanatos, this directs the man to alter the phase of planet for suiting his desires without caring for the consequences of his actions. This has resulted into some detrimental implications to the environment in which we are living. It is not certain that the ancient culture of Christians could foresee the environmental degradation initiated by the man’s activities. People could not be aware of the changes or the potential destructive qualities of Eros and Thanatos. Therefore, it may be concluded that if the qualities of Eros and Thanatos did not stand in the first stage, there could be the harmony between the man and the nature and those of its own kind. According to the Creation theory, the origin of sin could be interpreted as the man taking the wrong direction to the knowledge and understanding. The goal of religion is to assist the man to take the right path to the knowledge as well as understanding, which may lead to the harmonious understanding among people.
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An important scene in the Creation theory between God and the Man tells of the tree of knowledge. God states clearly that the man is free to consume from any tree in the Garden of Eden, but must not consume from the tree of knowledge, being the tree of evil and good. God emphasized that if the man broke this rule and consumed from the tree of knowledge, death would be the ultimate consequence (Genesis 2: 15-17). While analyzing the scene between the Man and God, in the Garden of Eden, this passage is very important and interesting to be interpreted, since neither Adam nor Eve encountered death after consuming the tree of knowledge. Therefore, we can assume that God lied. However, as it is understood that the Lord does not lie at all, the results have become quite contradictory to this fact. Some analyses of the scene claim that the serpent told the truth, while God was lying.
From the beginning to the end of the Creation myth, both Adam and Eve were mortal and this was inevitably to die at some point of time in future. Therefore, the punishment given to Adam and Eve by God before due to eating the fruit of life provided the proof for this. This occurrence brings us to believe in the following facts. Firstly, the Lord has stated that Adam would die but he never died. However, even before consuming the tree of knowledge, Adam was scheduled to perish presumably from the old age.
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It seems that the meaning of existentialism can be characterized as the philosophy searching for the essential human conditions. Existentialists believe that human beings being alienated from the essential self in the existing society are most often caught in the state of despair. The original self refers to the self being before the Creator. In the Creation story, initially, the man was experiencing the state of peace and comfort. But the state of dread was also present. When God informed Adam of the tree of knowledge prohibited to consume, the possibility of freedom was raised inside of Adam. Thus, this possibility of freedom has thrown him into extreme dread.
There are various states of existence. The first stage is the aesthetic existence, whereby individuals in this stage follow their sensual desires. Bur since the pleasurable moments cannot be maintained continuously, individuals in the aesthetic stage are trapped into fatigue or dread. This causes them to fall into despair; but through the decision making process they move into the second stage of ethical existence. In the stage of ethical existence, individuals live according to their conscience understanding the good and evil standards of judgment. However, this does not matter how hard the man may try, he cannot live totally in accordance with his conscience. Hence, humans become frustrated and fall into despair. In this stage, after making some decisions, the man proceeds to the next level of his religious existence. He is being alone with his faith in the presence of the Lord. By doing so, the person truly becomes an existential being. In order to reach this level, the step is required if the individual believes in paradox, which cannot be understood by the pure intellect. It is only through such step that the man can truly discover the relationship with God, as the Creator.
Other views state that existence is the state of being awakened to oneself as an individual. Existence should not be viewed as an objective source of thoughts and actions. It relates to self, and, thus, to the transcendence. Therefore, the existence is seen as the process for attaining the original existence. The transcendence is regarded as the possible existence. The man is usually seen as a potential dweller that lives in various circumstances. However, by acting upon the given circumstances, the man is able to live positively. There are certain conditions, which cannot be changed, i.e. death, suffering, guilt or struggle. These circumstances are known as boundary situations. Under these situations, people become despair and frustrated being aware of their own limitations.
According to the principle of unification, God has created the man with the main purpose to fulfill his plan of creation These includes the perfection of personality, the perfection of the family, and the final perfection of dominion. In the Creation story, Adam and Eve being the original human ancestors failed to keep the promise given to God. While they were started the imperfect personality, they became a husband and a wife centered on their non-principled love. This made the mankind be separated from God.
Existence is seen as related to transcendence, while at the same time being connected with God. Based on the unification principle since the fall of Adam and Eve, a human being has inherited sins committed by the ancestors, Adam and Eve. Therefore, individuals that have fallen are able to restore themselves in the original form by establishing certain conditions of indemnity and paying for their wrong doings. In addition, as the existence precedes the essence, freedom means that the entire possibility for deeds depends on us.
The man is seen as free. On the other hand, if God never existed, the man would find no values or commands to turn to. This makes legitimate as the man’s conduct. When it is said that the man is objective, then in order for the man to exist, there must be the existence of any object receiving the dominion from the man. There is the being for self and being for others. When the man experiences being for himself, or the conscience for being himself, there is no problem. However, when the man faces another human being, the problem arises. On the other hand, when the individual faces another person, human existence becomes as being for others referring to being opposite to another being.
The story of Adam and Eve epitomizes a psychodynamic, whereby the progressive growth with separation of individualism is terrifying. In the Creation myth, the increasing psychic maturation of Adam and Eve causes a crisis. In this context, not only the divine authority is being flouted, but also apprehensions are aroused as the Creator maybe diminished or humbled. This has threatened to the Lord, causing Him to evoke his wrath and leading to the punishment of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The Creation myth demonstrates an emotional complex of the widespread application. It is seen as an archaic version of the Oedipus complex. This archaic complex is delineated with clinical applications of various components being provided.
The Creation myth has some implications on the society being a result of the value given to it during the origin. The effects of this myth are also intertwined in the current society regardless of whether the man recognizes his origins or not. Currently, the society is modeled by the effects of myth due to the behaviors being originally produced. The behaviours have passed from one generation to another.