Genesis of Eden

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Adam and Eve and the Fruit

Jane King

Adam, you see, had his head in the clouds. He had only one idea, and this was that he was "first." He only came up with this thought because he noticed the Other, and "she," he thought, "not being first like me, must be second." Thank God, he thought, I'm not second like her, but first, first, first." Now, in this Adam was confused. But he was trying to make sense of things, and once he'd gotten hold of the "first" idea, it kind of ran away with him. In long, dark nights he contemplated his wonderful firstness. "Firstness" he thought "is holy and high." "It is natural, right, blessed." He began to worship the concept of Firstness. I am the first of me, he thought, but there is a different, greater first. There is the whole Idea of First; if there is something outside of me even greater than me in my firstness, it must be awesome indeed. I must be the creature of this great First. But I am made in its image. He is First, I am the image of first. All this is how it's meant to be.

Now Eve had to put up with this nonsense morning, noon and night. She didn't share Adam's reverence for numeric order, but she could nevertheless count better than him. "Adam," she said, "open your eyes. Look around you. There is abundance everywhere. It's not firstness that gives something value, but multiplicity. Everything here is both first and not first, both parent and child." This just made Adam sigh and shake his head in wonder at how stupid non-firstness could make a person. "Don't you see, Eve," he asked, "the Great First is what we must obey and worship, because it is like me, only Firster? How can you fail to worship something so wonderful?" But nevertheless, something began to tear at the corner of his mind, and as much as he didn't want to acknowledge it, he began to doubt his firstness. Could it be, he thought, that Eve is as first as me? But she is different, how could she be a Firster? He wandered in some confusion about this for quite awhile, then he heard a voice calling him, and he listened. "Adam," the voice said, "you can PROVE you are first." Proof! A great notion, he thought. He went about it immediately. "Eve," he commanded, "lie down." "I'm first and I'm going to prove it to you." Well, you know, Eve just laughed. "Don't be ridiculous, Adam." "You've got to look around you, get that head of yours out of the clouds and see what's here." "I'm stronger than you," he said, "and I'm going to prove it, and then you'll see what Firstness means." "Oh Adam," she sighed, "you're not stronger than me, only bigger and made fierce by your obsession with this One thing."

Eve left him, she felt she had no choice. She went to confer with the animals and plants, with whom she felt quite connected. She loved them, and they her, and she often consulted with them while Adam was talking to the sky about the wonders of First. She lay down on the sweet grass, amidst all the bounty, and felt great love and peace. "Togetherness," she thought, "communion," "love," are all so right. "Who cares what is first when there is all this bounty to enjoy?" Her special friend was a serpent, whose gleaming straight lines pleased her with their economy. She liked to watch it spend its skin; always new, always old, always changing, yet always the same. "Dear one," she asked, "what should I do about Adam and his obsession?" The serpent thought like a serpent, so its reply was a serpentish one. "Shed your skin," he said to her. "Show Adam something new. Reveal to him the cycle of shedding and newness, the interaction of old and new, first and second and first and second. Then maybe he will see." "Perhaps," she said, "but he is stubborn, you know. He can only see and value this one thing. It's depressing the way he can't ever have more than one thought." "Well, you know, Eve," the serpent said, "there's a fruit here than can open a person's eyes to the wholeness of it all. You, who already understand this, will be made even wiser and more connected with us. Adam, when he tastes it, will see his connection to us finally. He will see it is a circle, with no beginning and no end. We will all be there to support you, and you and Adam can finally join us more wholly, and be in perfect communion with the cycle of life." "I believe I will do it," she said, "though you know Adam is always reluctant to try anything if he wasn't the first to do so." "But he loves you," the serpent replied, "and he is connected with us, even though he can't see it or acknowledge it." "He will feel the pull of the fruit himself." "And if he doesn't, you can always convince him that by doing so he will be forever First in your heart."

So, Eve found the fruit and ate it. She was astonished by how much more alive she felt, how strongly she could see and feel her connectedness to everything. She felt great love for Adam, when she could see clearly how connected they really were, and she wanted to share this blissful awareness with him immediately. "Adam," she begged, "please try this. It has made me feel so wonderful, and to see how wonderful you are, too." "I can't," Adam replied, because you have already done it, and for me to do so would violate the terms of my Firstness, and my agreement with the great First in whose image I am made." "This fruit is a temptation placed here to test my allegiance; it belongs only to the great First who made me, and no human must ever eat it, because that would be usurping the priority of that Wonder of Wonders." "No, Adam," Eve replied, "the serpent and the other beasts eat it all the time. You are mistaking this for something it is not; if it belonged only to a Great First, He would not have let those beasts eat it and continue you to live, as an affront to his firstness." Now, Adam was indeed feeling the pull of the earth at this moment, the connection he did not acknowledge but which was part of his very being. Eve and the fruit were both very appealing to him, and for just a few seconds, he forgot all about being first. "Give it me," he cried. "I want to be one with you." He bit into it.

Immediately, Adam perceived his place in the cycle. He saw that there was no "first," only a great circle of life. He felt great shame that he had not seen before what was all around him, but confusingly, he also felt a great loss, the loss of the notion that had supported him his whole life, his belief in his uniqueness. "You traitor," he cried to Eve, "you've taken away the've stolen it!" "You ate this first," he shouted, "but your first is a bad first. Mine was perfect and holy, but yours is the first that takes away first. It's a grievous error." "Well, Adam," Eve disappointedly replied, "I'm sorry you see it that way, but what's done is done. For better or worse, here we are together, and the whole world before us to love and explore. We may as well enjoy it." But Adam's betrayed sense of the importance of firstness still spoke to him, though its voice was not as loud as before. "Now," he said, "I see we will have to suffer and die, I see that that is what happens to this everything we are so connected with." "Oh Eve," he lamented, "I want my firstness back; I do not like knowing I will die, knowing I am just like all the others." "Adam," she lovingly replied, "you will always be remembered as the First. Even if we know differently, the world will have to learn this for themselves, just as we did, and until they do, they will honor your firstness. But remember, they will also honor our connectedness to the whole, and in the end, that is the better thiing for them to know." "Indeed it is," said Adam. "I see it now. I see the dark sky as well as the bright clouds, and I see that I belong to this earth, and these creatures, and you. Let's go exploring."

You can believe this or not; but I assure you, it's how it really happened. And each of us must learn, as Adam did, how we are really all connected to the whole, to the earth, the beasts, the plants, the tree, and each other. So, take the fruit now, and don't hesitate to eat it..