Lessons from the Garden of Eden9
The Entrance of Original Sin
Original Sin is all about inadequacy. That has been the “pearl of wisdom” extracted from this series of essays on the Garden of Eden story.
Based upon this Pearl, it has been posited that because all of us sin – and all of us share in Original Sin – all people have some amount of inadequacy as part of their nature/psyche. And, when you think about it, all sin has, at its root, a connection to feelings of inadequacy.
The question then becomes, how is it that we all share in this? How is it that Original Sin/feelings of inadequacy affect – or rather – infect us all?
The answer quite possibly lies in a verse within the Garden story that seems very curious to men and is quite disturbing to many women.
Years ago, I dated a woman who held her belief in God as a very important part of her world view, but confessed to me that this particular verse troubled her greatly for she could not understand why God would do this specifically to women.
The verse in question is Gen. 3:16 – “to the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you shall bring forth children.”
Adam’s curse was to live life tolling the earth and having to deal with thorns and thistles amidst the good vegetation. This hardly sounds like a fair and equal “punishment.” Painful childbirth vs hassles tending the Garden.
Why is such a curse introduced to women and the world?
There is a likely explanation, but before that discussion is undertaken, it must be noted that humans are unique among mammals when it comes to great childbirth pain. We’re the only ones who come into this world in the midst of great pain. There might be discomfort in the birthing of other mammals – and pain if something goes awry – but when it comes to great pain with every birth, that is our singular experience.
This singular endowment can only mean one thing – that it is a significant piece of information. It is a very important component of this very important story that is telling us – giving us – very critical answers about what life and our individual lives are all about.
If you want to know what reality really is, read and study this story. The Garden of Eden story tells us what is really going on in the World.
But enough of this digression. Why great pain in childbirth? Because it is through this pain that inadequacy – Original Sin – clutches us. Think about this for a moment. A woman’s body guides, protects and nurtures new life. She and that new life are intimately connected. What ever she consumes goes into the growing baby. There is also emotional connection. Moods of the mother are felt by the baby.
And as the baby develops, he/she becomes aware of the surroundings and react to them. They kick, they prod and they react to the sound coming in from “that place out there.”
Pictures of fetuses in the womb all have one common trait -- profound tranquility. Fetuses always seem so perfectly at peace.
Then magically, the big event begins to happen. But instead of tranquilty and peace, the movement of the fetus away from its creation chamber is suddenly the cause of great distress upon the fetus’ life support system.
During this process, mother and fetus are still intimately and directly connected.
And the fetus is aware that where once there was peace and tranquility, there is now pain, turmoil and distress.
And he/she is the cause.
The fetus is the cause of this turmoil, pain and distress.
Suddenly, its act of coming into existence is causing intense distress to the very person that has made that existence possible. And with that realization, the fetus reacts: “What’s happening? Why am I causing my womb of tranquility such distress? What did I do to cause this?”
Of course, this is not a vocalized realization. It’s a much more powerful reaction. It is an emotionally-charged realization. It is one that is felt at the very core of a being because it is the first significant experience of the beings’ earthly existence.
I am…but at great cost. She who made me, protected me, nurtured me, has been greatly hurt by me. And thus inadequacy enters at the earliest possible moment, at the primal moment, the one moment we all, who have ever existed on this planet, share.This then is how Original Sin becomes our common experience, the one that transcends culture, locale and the ages. It is the shared thread of humanity.