Hey All --
Beginning our little Friday evening spiritual excursions. A selection from Genesis -- the beginning.
Most of us who are of the Judeo-Christian persuasion have learned of the creation story contained in Genesis. But I'd like to read into it a little bit deeper.
Chapter 1 details how the universe was created in six days. That does beg the question -- if the solar system was only being formed, and the earth's rotation on its axis was a work-in-progress, exactly how long could each "day" have been?
Pretty easy . . . what was recorded as a "day" in Genesis could obviously have been a millennium . . . an epoch . . . an age of undetermined length, but finite nonetheless. The first and second days could have been planetary formation, the third day could have been the ice age and the continents dividing, the fourth day could have been the formation of the atmosphere, and the fifth and sixth day could have been the ascendancy from the primordial soup.
Not exactly pinpointing the sequence of events, you understand, just offering a way to reconcile these ancient scriptures with what modern science has shown us. Call it "intelligent design," call it what you will, I just would like to think that the miracle of life we regularly take for granted actually did not happen by accident or coincidence.
This is where all my agnostic friends start pointing fingers at western religious tradition, and say that it's all sexist and male-centered. Oh nooooooo, it says Eve told Adam to take the apple, making her the bad guy, and making it her fault they got booted out into the world. Sexist! Prejudiced! Ignorant!
Chill out, hippies. Maybe it is sexist, but I'm seeing that from a much different angle than you are.
What if Adam, instead of passively taking the forbidden fruit, had said: "Hold up, babes. Even if what that snake said was true, that by eating this we'd actually be more aware of our surroundings, and not just happy and clueless, that thing swallowed a mouse whole, OK? He's not a cool friend, he's a predator -- and he's making me uncomfortable in ways I can't describe. I say we drop them apples, and grab some oranges and bananas from those other trees over there. I'd rather listen to that big booming voice who told us that there's only one rule to follow, ever, than that thing that's wrapping itself around other animals and squeezing them until they pass out. Really, babes, I'm not doing this."
Ain't that a concept right there -- saying no. Standing your ground, not being pressured, and not being swayed. No, this wasn't so much Eve's fault as it was Adam's. He never actually felt the temptation from the snake, he just got docile and did what Eve told him to do, because he assumed that she knew better than he did. Wrong, wrong, wrong on too many levels. This did nothing but set the standard for generations of yes-dears and house-husbands to just do whatever "she" says to do, because she's the boss and we're just the clueless man-boys depicted in every family sitcom. Shame.
Did the forbidden fruit give them thoughts and understanding that they previously lacked? Sure . . . just like marijuana does now! I've learned from those who partake that it enhances your understanding of the world, and unlocks your creativity. But it also slows you down so badly that you can't think on your feet, and makes you want to raid White Castle in the worst way! This fruit may have "opened their eyes," and allowed them to think, but it also got them booted out of a phat crib where they had everything provided for them with no cost or labor! Hope it was a good high . . . .
THE LEGEND CONTINUES:
And what happens to the next generation? The other extreme. They have two sons, and instead of one blindly following the other, one murders the other out of jealousy. Was this an attempt to right a past wrong by swinging the pendulum hard the other way? Could be.
G-D then waited for thousands of years, allowing further dysfunctional generations to pass before concluding that He just never should have started this whole project to begin with. Could this have been the first instance of the Forgiving G-D, who then just got sick of being forgiving? Very likely.
Clearly, the message is that we've been hopelessly flawed from the beginning, but G-D knew that already. He must have understood that people were going to make mistakes, and he permitted it to continue. And this is why Cain and Abel were not the perfect people that their parents couldn't be. The first instance of that imperfection was a man's unwillingness to question what a woman tells him, even after hearing the opposite of that from G-D Himself. The second was a man's willingness to deprive someone else of his very life, just out of jealousy.
We've gotten better since then, but we'll never be perfect. We'll never be restored to the perfection and innocence of Eden, even if some of us are wealthy enough to live in comparable surroundings. It's better simply accept the existence of our imperfections, learn from our mistakes, and just try to live the best lives we can by emphasizing our strengths and managing our weaknesses. These friends from long ago obviously couldn't, but we can.
And that's my jam for now -- more to come this weekend, including the Bronx 10-Miler!