How would western culture have evolved differently if the foundational feminine archetype, Eve, had been described as the heroic, curious and courageous woman who started the human journey of spiritual beings? Kabbalah offers exactly this interpretation of the Garden of Eden story for those willing to delve below the surface. By so doing, not only are we able to empower women to release themselves from the emotional shackles of guilt, remorse and shame that have crippled too many for too long, but additionally, we are able to re-envisage an image of God that is relevant in a quantum age.
The traditional reading of the Garden of Eden not only sets the stage for the diminishment of women, but also for a misunderstanding of the nature of God. This mystical and mythic telling of the tale intuits Divinity as the Creative Source of All Life, the wellspring of compassion. This God metaphorically plants two trees in the ‘Garden’- the forerunner to the world of Nature that is home to the human family on Earth. The Tree of Knowledge is the symbol for the physical world of duality that allows us to constantly make choices as we learn to use the gift of free-will. This Tree is the gift of our ‘human-ness.’ The Tree of Life awaits. It is the gift of our ‘being-ness’ with which we reconnect as we spiritually evolve and grow in consciousness.
In the deeper reading of the familiar story, we can hear the missing phrase that is written, not in the story as we know it, but rather in the spaces between the letters of the literal text. Humanity is told: “Do not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge… until you are ready for all that life will bring- the joys and the heartaches, the successes and dashed hopes that are part and parcel of life in the physical. In such a sharing, the curious, intuitive and courageous ‘Eve’- archetypal feminine energy, is willing to take the opportunity offered, to bring human consciousness to the physical realm just as God intended, but only when ‘she’ was ready for the illusionary separation from God and spiritual realm. God does not punish humanity by casting them out; here God, compassionate and unconditionally loving, holds the space for human beings to correct their errors and enjoy their successes as they make the choices necessary to experience this earthly journey.
As we reclaim the revealed Eve from the negative strictures of the traditional image that concealed her beauty and her strength, women are invited to welcome the ‘Eve’ within, and honor her intuitive wisdom, courage and curiosity- part and parcel of our inherent birthright. We have the opportunity of again moving the human story forward at this transformational moment in the new millennium, so full of promise and potential. The implied image of God, ‘I shall be that I shall be’ or ‘I become that I become’ is the evolving, mysterious, multilayered and unifying field and force in whose image we, consciously evolving humanity, are created. Are we ready?
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