Wanta go to heaven?

In my conservative upbringing, I was taught that the story of Adam and Eve was about creation and “the fall.”  I was taught that when Adam succumbed to the temptation of Eve’s offering of the forbidden fruit (i.e., the apple), we as a species were plunged into sin, we had “fallen” into sin.

I now see that story as a myth and a very compelling and rich myth.  It is the story of how we did indeed fall from grace but only in the sense that it was the fall from a primordial unity with nature into the realm of consciousness—from raw, unmediated, instinctual experience into the realm of conscious, cognitive, rational reality.  And this event in our psychic development is very much related to the advent of language.  This event can be thought of as a fall from the pre-conscious into the realm of the verbal.  Even Aesychlus noted, circa 500 b.c. noted how that Zeus had “banished us thought-ward”.

Karl Jung taught that before the advent of language, the child dwells in a state of unity with his/her mother.  The mother’s world and that of her child are tightly intertwined until the process of differentation leads them to that radical juncture in the process of separation—language. (That world of unity is sometimes thought of and conceptualized as the ouroborus, symbolized by the snake eating its own tail.)  Furthermore, I have read of speculation that those children with speech impediments have been overly enmeshed with their mothers and have not formed clear and separate boundaries.

And, yes, “sin” is relevant to this situation.  Human experience is that of a sinner in that we sense on some level that we “come from out there” or at least somewhere else.  It is a sense of being separate from our source.  We are cut off from our source and cannot go back.  Our longing for heaven is the yearning for that Edenic state of one-ness with nature, primordial unity.  On some unconscious level we recall “heaven” where all was well with the world, nothing ever went wrong, all of our needs were met.  And, as conscious adults we subscribe to the belief that after death, we return to that wonderful state


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