One interesting truth about us as a race is the one often overlooked in this story - that we do fear to cross boundaries without some sort of perceived approval. Eve wouldn't have dared, except that the snake was there to rationalise with, was standing there (he had legs at the time, in this story?) egging her on and promising understanding and support and validation. He wasn't enough though - she desperately needed her other half to understand her, and the story repeated.
Crossing boundaries, overcoming morals or expectation to deliberately commit a perceived sin is something we rarely if ever do on our own. No, this isn't going to head off into a discussion of the perils of television, of normalising shocking events; nor of how a man, pushed too far by one means or another, can turn into a suicide bomber. I'm not even going to sidestep into the biblical advice to hear, see and speak no evil, although it makes sense. The only way to wrap your head round some things is to concur that they are not so unspeakable or unthinkable, to face your own potential for overstepping the mark.
The first instructions to mankind in this tale were:
- Go forth
- And multiply
- Subdue the earth
- and all that is in it
- Need to feel in control
Okay so where are we? We feel more fully alive and validated when we are
- In control
- Conquering something
- Exploring (whichever boundary you personally choose to push)
- Having sex (when point 1 also applies)
- Getting approval (Eve got it from the snake, Cain didn't from God)
Compare yourself to any person who achieves more or less than you in the list above, and you have the root of jealousy, anger, rape, violence, pride, conceit, disdain, bitterness, theft, greed, even at its lamest the root of an inconsiderate and selfish attitude. Find others who feel the same and you bolster those bad things up with validation. Heck, we actively search for other people, news or soundbites or movie clips to build us up in our wrong attitudes, because the wrong is endemic now and so much of what others do causes us anguish. We rush to build ourselves new castles, to defend and reinforce our sense of personal right to this, that or the other. We're all infected.
This post was going to be about something else entirely, but the foundations of what I had to say have erm, expanded slightly on the page.
Split into two. See next post up.