Original Sin Re-visioned
We have focused on the nature of original sin in our attempts to return to goodness, but the true depths of the problem have not yet been clarified enough to comprehend why we experience division and conflict between groups who believe in the same origin story.
A lack of clarity and insight has led to unexpected loss of unity and love, even as Unificationists have been able to claim the victory of Foundation Day.
This same loss of love is manifested in an explosion of violence and political enmity in the world around us. In America, we are experiencing pointless mass killings, and our jails have become filled with lives destroyed by the atmosphere of violence and disunity which haunts our streets.
Humanity has been caught up in the story of the first transgression as a means of explaining our traumatized reality since people first began to wonder why human lives were dominated by suffering in a world of so much beauty and harmony. For thousands of years, our existence has been almost entirely dictated by religious thought, demonstrating the absolute need for a sense of meaning and purpose at the core of our being.
But the Western world moved on to a purposeless model for life, based on a materialistic paradigm within which science could grow, and current developments have brought us to a singular challenge — in which our choices today determine whether we move forward to a true spirituality, or whether we hold on to the flaws in thinking that designed our past.
We must make decisions about the myth at the root of so much of our troubles. Therefore, let’s look at an alternative telling of the story of our original human ancestors:
“Eve was feeling confused. She really loved their teacher Lucifer, and he seemed incredibly wise and knowledgeable, but she had to admit what he was teaching her wouldn’t pass the Adam test. But then, since Adam hardly ever turned up for their lessons anymore, she felt annoyed she should even think about how Adam would react. He was missing out on so much stuff that was really fascinating, and he would just never know how the universe came into being, for one thing.
But Eve had to admit she sometimes felt Lucifer was teaching her things that maybe God wouldn’t have brought up, and at times she even felt like he didn’t seem to think God was as incredible as she always believed without question. The angels had done most of the work in creating the universe, from Lucifer’s perspective.
Gradually over time, this situation became more extreme, and Eve forgot that she’d felt uncomfortable on occasion, and came to believe everything Lucifer told her. If she occasionally worried, she argued with herself that God wouldn’t have put her in the care of a teacher if it wasn’t all okay.
So when that terrible day came in which Lucifer seduced her into eating the fruit, and she realized the depth of his betrayal as he laughed at her ignorance and gullibility, she was beyond devastated. He told her that her actions were unforgivable, and she had taken the whole of creation away from God, who would judge her forever and ever.
She sat at home, deeply miserable, not knowing what to do, and trying hard to avoid Adam, knowing he would see her state.
One day Adam came looking for her, since he hadn’t seen her for a week or so. He came in and immediately saw how she was feeling, and knew right away that it was Lucifer. He was about to explode and accuse her of being so stupid, but he saw tears fill her eyes, and his heart was touched.
He reached out to her, embracing her like a big brother, and told her, “Eve, I don’t know what happened, or what’s right and wrong here, but we can work it out. I’m here for you no matter what. It’s okay, we’ll go ask God, She often takes a walk in the Garden around this time of day, She’ll know what to do.
Eve was pretty scared, but Adam took her hand and she let him tell God they needed help, and gradually she let it all out: how things had progressed, and how she’d felt bad at first, but then let herself be led because Lucifer seemed so powerful and convincing. And Adam was shocked as the whole story came out; but he loved his sister and stood with her, even when God told her she would have to go through a difficult course to put right all that had gone wrong.
And after a few years, Adam and Eve had their first baby, and they were deeply happy, and felt deeply loved by God.
Sometimes she would sit and think back to that awful week, and feel so overwhelmingly grateful she wasn’t trying to raise children with that terrible feeling inside. She knew she would never have been able to love her children fully as they needed with such a heavy core of unresolved guilt and betrayal. She would find herself looking over at Adam, and realizing how he had come through for them at the right time, no matter how much he seemed to space out here and there when household chores needed doing. And if he didn’t know much about how the universe was made, well, she could always teach the kids herself.”
Here we meet Adam as true hero and lover, quite different from the archetypal hero or warrior and winner of fair lady, who thereafter worships him and lives to make him a success. The alternate path of overcoming the depth of guilt while bathed in a universal sea of accusation and dismissal has taken women from actively participating in creating heaven on earth as they were created to do for thousands of years at least.
The monotheistic religions no doubt helped in the sense of making the accusation explicit, plunging the world into the reign of the “Sky Father,” who suddenly cared above all else about the actions of His creations, in contradistinction to the lax acceptance of the “Earth Mother.” But neither would be enough to lead humanity into a realm of spirituality that could bring a simple healing of the heart. Only today, as women reclaim their true authentic power, are we seeing developments that can lead us into a future of beauty and love.
* * *
People commit crimes as the result of a long process, maybe an ancestral process over which they have no control but simply find themselves born into. With women’s power severely constricted, there has not been enough kindness and deep acceptance in the world to bring about real steps towards an ideal that still exists deep in the philosophical core of each and every being on earth. Men’s power has been twisted toward methods of external control and physical force, and history has been one of war and conflict.
Our jails have become filled with lives destroyed by the atmosphere of violence and disunity which haunts our streets.
However, we can see that the root of the problem today is accusation. That doesn’t mean there should be no consequences for mistakes or criminal actions. It means we have to find a way to deal with these that is not simply punitive, but also restorative and healing. Some parts of the world have made major steps towards humanizing their criminal justice systems; some have taken backward steps, like America in recent decades. And now the consequences of these choices are becoming clear, as the criminal justice system threatens to take over almost every aspect of life in many American communities.
We are discovering that an excessively male-designed style of government, though having served America well in the past, has serious flaws when the majority of the people are excluded from meaningful input. Impasse has effectively settled in to reign in Washington, DC, in the European Union, Russia, the Middle East, and all over the world, except for where enough power is concentrated in one person that human rights can be ignored with impunity. And all the current dysfunction on display worldwide could have been avoided by simple kindness, humility and love as the response to mistakes, rather than heaping on the accusation.
Humanity needs to be connected to God because God’s input was necessary for Eve. A real connection to God is not the same as reading a list of laws and punishments from a holy book. The time for such an intellectual approach to relating to God is over, as masses of people have already, in their hearts, walked away from this. The time has come for knowing that deep within each person lies the indivisible consciousness of God, the universal oneness from which our whole being unfolded. God is indeed the ground of our being, not primarily the ruler and lawgiver.
God cannot truly be known except insofar as God’s real nature and heart has been manifested within the physical universe. Without this caveat, there would be no need for a physical world; everything could have existed within the mind of God, and would have been harmonious and perfect — and from God’s perspective, boring and meaningless. It would have been like having just nature, a great science project, but not much more.
We are required to go deep inside to discover the nature of God, and live what we find there. Finding God is the same as finding the deepest, most meaningful self within, and then making it real.
We need to see every person’s actions as an attempt to return to love and oneness prior to visiting judgment upon their actions. Judgment without heart is destructive, and in a country so deeply invested in adversarial trial, guilt and sentence, the destruction of people’s lives has run rampant over our original ideals.♦
Alison Wakelin (UTS Class of 1989) has an M.A. in Astrophysics from Princeton University and is currently Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. Previously, she lived and worked in Korea for ten years.