For men and women alike, we think we are practically two different species. It’s like two different worlds that have a hard time understanding each other. And we think it couldn’t be possible to build a bridge between these worlds. Each thinks the others’ way of thinking and feeling is an enigma. On we go with this battle of the sexes, only coming together out of need for each other.
In truth, our differences aren’t half as great as we think they are. We are the reverse of each other, with men embodying the active current and women the more passive. Where men are more passive though, women are more active. We’re two sides of the same coin.
The outer active side will be passive inwardly, and vice versa. This trend shows up in many aspects of our beings. Some qualities, like intelligence and intuition, could and should be equally developed in both men and women. But for a long time, there has been such a collective belief held that men are more intellectual and women more intuitive, we have seemed to have actually become this way. But this is only a result of encouragement to develop in a certain way. It’s not fundamental to our nature.
Just looking at the physical anatomy of the two sexes, it’s clear that the male and female are counterparts to each other. And this of course translates to understanding the emotional level more deeply, since the body is a symbol that reflects the spirit and psyche.
So we can look at how this is conveyed in the myth of Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis. Here you have the masculine and feminine represented, which would be the active and passive respectively. Yet in the story, we have Eve, which is the feminine and passive aspect, taking the first step toward the Fall of the Angels. Why would this be so?
The symbolism here is related to the presence of these two forces in each of the two sexes. Activity, as such, is not wrong for a woman any more than passivity is wrong for a man. But if we suppress a healthy active current, it’s going to come out sideways. It will start going in the wrong direction and cause destruction. Likewise if we repress a passive current and superimpose an unhealthy compulsion. Both men and women have been dealt a blow by these longstanding disturbances. Because it has a very harmful effect on people to not be allowed to develop freely based on who we are as people rather than on our sex.
What happened with Adam and Eve should not be taken as a historical fact. It is to be taken as a symbol. So Eve is symbolizing the notion that activity turns destructive if it’s not allowed to function openly, in a healthy way. By the same token, Adam sat by the wayside and was too passive. That was just as wrong and destructive in its own way. If he hadn’t been passive where he should have been active, he could have stopped Eve.
So they both had their wires crossed. But that doesn’t mean they should have been hardwired in the other direction. That would be a gross misunderstanding and wouldn’t even make much sense. Adam and Eve are simply each symbolizing people with our original innate qualities prior to the Fall, where activity was present in the woman and activity in the man. That’s how things are supposed to go, and it’s just a question of how these forces work together and manifest. If we had grasped this symbolism, we wouldn’t have gone on to suppress a valid part of the personality in each sex.
Instead, we looked at Eve’s activity as wrong and concluded that, Aha, activity must be damaging for women. Gonnnnng. The incident in question was showing that active and passive currents are present in both men and women from the get-go, and they only cause a problem when they get misdirected. So we’re not so different from each other after all.
But Adam and Eve also represent more than merely active and passive elements. They are a symbol of manhood and womanhood in all their many aspects. So there can also be other interpretations of this story, beyond this level.
For example, we can explore further why Eve seems to be one step closer to the Fall. This was due to trends other than activity. Women have historically emphasized their intuitive capabilities and neglected their intellectual ones. As a result, being inquisitive and curious-minded have become considered to be masculine elements, as one would associate with a scientist. And women have been more spiritually inclined. Society has built up these distinctions, but both elements exist just fine in both sexes.
With Eve being the one more immediately responsible for the Fall, this points again to showing that intellectual curiosity exists in women too. It’s when we suppress it that it becomes mischanneled and therefore harmful. But if curiosity is legitimately expressed and combined with intelligence, creative and constructive things can unfold. For everyone.
In this myth, it isn’t really shown clearly that activity and intellectual curiosity were suppressed in Eve. But we know that they were undoubtedly present. They had to be—they are part of her nature. So all is well and good as long as everything is properly channeled. But look at how the concept of women’s intuition surfaces related to Eve initiating the Fall. If a woman is more intuitively inclined she is more open to spiritual forces, so she can attain greater heights and therefore also reach greater depths. Ouch.
In the Garden of Eden, there are two trees. There is the Tree of Knowledge, which is forbidden because we have to come to awareness slowly. It won’t come served to us on a silver platter. The Tree of Immortality also applies to us as incarnated spirits. Neither of these trees could possibly apply to a liberated spirit living in the Spirit World.
Once our evolutionary journey brings us here to planet Earth, if we were born with an inner certainty that we are immortal—if we knew this without having had to struggle through the labor of self-development—our survival instinct would be too weak to make it. So having this uncertainty, which makes us solve our own problems and clean up our confusions, is for our own protection.
Otherwise, bottom line, we would be too lazy. We would come here but not get the job done. We would be satisfied with staying in the slow lane, accepting slightly improved conditions but not having the incentive to go all the way—to free ourselves completely and enter unity sooner than later.
The entire Plan of Salvation, which is not exactly a speedy process to begin with, would come to fruition so much later. People wouldn’t hang onto Earth-life in the same way if we knew for sure we had a round-trip ticket to come back. Not knowing about this helps hurry things up.
Alternatively, if we come to an inner conviction about immortality through our hard-won successes in self-development, this won’t impact our will to live. On the contrary, we will come to welcome this earthly experience more than before, when we were holding on because we didn’t know for sure. We will enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, not because we think this is all there is, but precisely because we know that it is not.
Once we’ve done the work, we will realize that we really are immortal. To experience the joy of living this way, knowing that an even better state exists—which can only come about by way of spiritual development—is what we’d call living in a higher state of consciousness.
Before then, it is our errors and misconceptions that make life on Earth hard. It’s the sweat of the labor that releases the errors, and this is what leads to this inner conviction we’re speaking of here. It’s not a belief from outside us, it’s a knowing from within.
All religions teach about the immortality of the soul. But knowledge and certainty are not the same thing. Knowledge can be given to anyone, although it’s up to the individual whether or not they believe it. Certainty, however, can only be gained by reaching a certain stage of development.
But then again, if we’re here on this planet, we’re not really immortal. We’re still in the cycles of death and rebirth, and we’re also going to die a little bit more every time darkness, disappointment and hurts cross our doorsteps. We need to get completely free of our errors to enjoy the kind of eternal life comprised of continuous happiness and joy. So the Tree of Immortality means we know that this exists. It’s what we are wanting to wake up to.
Our current outlook is only gloomy because we’re still living in the illusion of evil and sin. And yet we hold on. Unless we’re overly self-destructive, we want to stay, even if we’ve a rough row to hoe. And this is a very good thing.
Certain religions teach that Adam and Eve committed the first sin, which is tied in with the way humanity views sexuality. But let’s not put the chicken on the wrong side of the egg. Our idea that sex is sinful doesn’t come from this symbolism. We need to switch this around. We have interpreted this symbolism the way we have because of our ingrained notion that pleasure is wrong.
This originates from the fact that we, as human beings, have negativity in us. To the extent that this exists, pleasure itself seems almost dangerous. Twist that just a tad more and there it is, the way we have construed our interpretation of this myth to say sex is sinful.
To the extent someone is unhappy, experiencing pain within themselves, to that extent they will shrink away from all varieties of happiness. Tangible experiences of happiness then will seem like annihilation. Why would this be so? Partly because there must be a willingness to let go, to give oneself over to the life stream—a person must be willing to trust the process of life. But the contracted, separated ego holds on to itself. The tighter the holding on, the less life can be lived in a creative, meaningful way.
There is a supreme wisdom that will guide us each, automatically and naturally, into the channels where we are bound to go on our evolutionary journey. But the ego shuts itself off from this, as well as from life’s current of bliss. When this outer ego self insists so strongly that it contracts the whole inner person, the contact to the source is cut off. The connection is killed.
In this state, it seems like the loosening of the contraction—which could lead to pleasure—would be dangerous, since the person now feels untethered. Safety can then only be found in maintaining the contracted, separated, alienated ego state. What a battle. And since we are crouched and ready to fight, we also fight the very thing that brought us here in this human form to begin with. From this vantage point, the process of sexuality seems dangerous. We become afraid of it and so we make up this moralistic rule about it being bad.
This idea that pleasure is frightening will only continue to the extent that one is not free in their soul. In other words, if we believe that there’s an authority somewhere who decrees we are wrong or are doing something bad, we will continue to be frightened.
But if we shift our identification to ourselves, knowing that we are the ones who can decree what is right and wrong for us, then pleasure won’t be frightening. There are other aspects to this as well. For example, there is self-responsibility. If we’re afraid to take total responsibility for all aspects of our lives, the experience of pleasure will be both frightening and painful. It can touch us so directly, nakedly and at the core of ourselves that it seems unbearable. So we defend ourselves against this. We cloak it so as not to feel so vulnerable to the pleasure. The result? Numbness.
When we penetrate this numbness, the first inklings of feelings will be the sensations of shame and embarrassment. It will be like being naked in front of clothed people. But this doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. The feeling is toward ourselves and our own closed ego that puts this covering on itself.
When we feel the shame of being authentic—of letting ourselves be naked and real—we are directly tapping into this fear of pleasure. Just before this, there’s often the shame of pleasure, the shame of being real, of being ourselves—of our breathing, naked, real selves. And this frightens us because it is too naked, too vulnerable. Right here, the soul cramps itself up and hardens itself against this feeling.
If we can pause right here, aware of this feeling, and just let it be felt for a few minutes, even a few seconds, we will come into contact with this feeling. And in this way, we can speak right into the depth of our divine being, which has the power to give us the courage to enjoy pleasure—to be naked unto ourselves.
This is the only way to be real and to access these immense universal powers that exist within and around us, using them to make life the most creative experience we can imagine. There are literally infinite possibilities for expansion and experience that we can know in every possible way.
This is possible only when we can allow ourselves to be naked in pleasure and naked in the creative forces as they exist in each one of us—without shame. This is the symbolism conveyed by the biblical story of Adam and Eve in paradise. This is exactly what that is talking about.
The analogies and symbolism found in the Bible should not be considered as one-time historical events. They are being constantly recreated in our souls. If we think of Adam and Eve and what they represent, separating them from the distortions that human minds and human religions overlaid onto them, we can find the truth as it exists in them as well as in ourselves, right now.
As we said, all our difficulties, hardships and feelings of enslavement that accrue from Adam and Eve leaving paradise are related to our fear of pleasure, our fear of being naked—of being real. The myth of Adam and Eve also includes persuasion by a serpent. While the serpent has been given many symbols, in this case, it mainly connotes what we consider to be the animalistic life force. This is the pleasure force as it moves in man. And just as the snake is not really low, it is not low. It is only our vision that makes it seem so.
In addition to being a symbol of fertility, the serpent is also a symbol of wisdom. This life force that is said to be animalistic, low and blind has a tremendous wisdom of its own. It’s only the distorted life force that is blind and destructive. But in its original beauty, it has its own wisdom. Fertility here goes beyond reproduction. It’s also fertile in the deepest sense—in its creativity—representing the abundance of life with its multi-faceted possibilities.
The tree symbolizes the wrong kind of knowledge. It is intellectualization that separates us from the immediate experience of the moment, which can only happen when the mind, body and real divine spirit are integrated. When these aspects get fragmented, then knowledge gets separated from experience. In that case, the mind and the experience can be very different, as we all know. That mind is a Tree of Knowledge split off from the feelings and experience of the person.
It’s not that Adam and Eve were supposed to eat the fruit and be driven out. There’s no “supposed to” here. Each created being has free will—totally and completely. This isn’t really a reality that we can know in our heads. We have to have experienced, at least at times, what it feels like to be in the flow of this being-force to understand this. That’s what it means to be free, with no fences and no authority who expects anything of anyone.
Such a staggering realization is frightening for the young parts of ourselves still alive in us. These immature aspects fear what this kind of freedom would mean. But when we can gather the perspective that self-realization is a privilege, not a difficulty—the same as self-responsibility—then freedom becomes a wonderful delight.
This is a wide-open world we live in. There are no “musts.” There’s just the lawful workings of highly organized forces that we are always welcome to shun. We are perfectly free to not understand or heed them and suffer the consequences. Our choice.
We are the ones deciding to suffer. And at some point, as we approach self-realization, we will uncover this important truth: we deliberately suffer. We don’t have to. We choose it. We hold onto destructive attitudes out of spite, stubbornness or resistance, or maybe we just want to punish someone—life, perhaps, or our parents—for not letting us have our way.
This childish spitefulness and stubbornness, it’s always in there somewhere. Each one of us has a dose of it. That’s the part of us that is clinging to suffering. Even when we’re aware of it, we won’t give it up. We see the way to freedom down a suffer-free route, but we go kicking and screaming. It can be a long time before we pull up our knee socks and turn to go in the right direction.
It’s as though we think it’s safer to suffer. This of course is highly illogical so we shove it down into our unconscious. Then our brilliant conscious minds glorify this into a religious command coming from a god that says: Yes, we should suffer because it’s good for us! Sheesh.
Let’s be clear, it is a whole other matter that mankind can, if we want to, turn suffering into something fruitful. But first we start with choosing the suffering. Constantly. All the time. The most fruitful part of this whole deal is the moment we see ourselves choosing it, on purpose. Right then, we can become ready to give this charade up. But not a moment before.
For many, this is a whacky concept. But if we travel deep into our souls, we’ll find this isn’t a theory. Nothing presented here is a theory. We can know this to be true once we find these pieces within ourselves—if we are willing to go this way, courageously and with an open mind.
The way forward is not through accepting this as a mental concept. We have to experience all this as a living reality within ourselves. That can only come through the clearing of our personal blocks. We must understand them and transcend them by fully facing them.
We can’t experience the great freedoms and riches of the universe with our ego self. No, we must be integrated with our greater self—our real, divine self. That happens as a byproduct of doing the work of self-development. Over time, we will organically come to live more and more in our original state.
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