For well over a thousand years, mainstream Christianity has taught that the creation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden is literal history. While I will say it is a fantastic picture of how man came to this earth, I will also say that this story was never meant to be literal. In fact, to teach it in this way greatly diminishes the spiritual truth the author originally intended. But when this story is understood correctly, it unlocks the key to helping us live a full, abundant life, which is the way life was intended to be!
Getting right to the point, the story of Adam and Eve is about the human mind. More specifically, it is about a mind that has become fractured and is therefore no longer whole. Before explaining this, I want you to make a mental note of something which will become relevant at the end of this discussion. Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, which means “place of the skull”. In an esoteric sense, this is about the mind, and the battle is between the ears! Liberation and salvation come when we crucify the ego (the waking conscious) and heal the mind.
In the literal story, God placed Adam in the Garden. In the beginning, Adam was alone; Eve had not been separated from him. Adam was therefore whole. This is representative of the conscious and subconscious working in perfect unity and harmony, which is also reflected by the paradise (Garden of Eden) in which Adam dwelled. In this state of unity consciousness, Adam was ONE with God. As the story continues, we learn that God placed Adam in a deep sleep (the realm of forgetfulness and consciousness fracture) and Eve was created. In this new state of being, Adam represents the waking conscious of mankind and Eve represents the subconscious. When the conscious and subconscious are no longer in unity, the state of Paradise (inner joy and peace) can no longer be maintained because the ego will take control. Thus the fall! And of course the literal story presents us with this in the form of expulsion from the Garden. As the story goes, Eve is tempted by the serpent or Satan (ego), and because the ego took over the driver’s seat of man’s soul, Paradise lost becomes man’s reality. This is also spiritual death. And spiritual death = separation from God.
As we stated earlier, Adam represents man’s waking conscious and ego, and Eve represents the subconscious. Ordinary consciousness is represented by the male aspect (Adam) because consciousness has the power to impregnate the subconscious (Eve) to produce the physical reality we experience. The subconscious, or female aspect (Eve), is the power of birthing and creating on the physical plane. This is where the concept of “Mother Earth” comes from. It has nothing to do with a literal female deity in its original understanding. It is only an explanation of consciousness, just like the story of Adam and Eve. Remember, Eve is the “mother of all living”. In other words, our subconscious is the mother that births our reality. This is also why the Bible states that man will RULE over the woman after the expulsion from the Garden. This is not to be taken literally. As it now stands, your conscious self rules over the subconscious. In other words, your conscious thought (male aspect) impregnates the subconscious (female aspect) with the seed of your waking consciousness. If your conscious self dwells on negativity, your subconscious, which is the real birthing/creation powerhouse, will produce that effect for you. And negativity becomes your reality! Remember, the battle is between the ears! It’s all about the mind.
To be whole again, we need to be renew our minds in Christ consciousness, like the Apostle Paul tells us. This is the born again experience. As Paul states in Galatians, “…and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20).
So how was this accomplished in Paul? Notice how he stated, “…it is no longer I who lives…” What is the I Paul is referring to? It was his waking conscious and ego.
The ego wants to stay alive. That’s its job. The ego fears its own dissolution. In fact, ALL fear is rooted in ego.
Meditation helps to dissolve the ego, and, over time, the conscious and the subconscious began to work in unity. This is what Christ consciousness is. Some call it the “super consciousness”. The name doesn’t matter. It’s the outcome that matters.
Now that we have discussed the true understanding of the Adam and Eve story, I feel it is important state that man was never meant to RULE over or to dominate a woman. That’s just pure ego! But when the story of Adam and Eve is taken literally, people are taught that this is God’s will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We must be careful to interpret the Bible correctly or the world becomes dysfunctional. To interpret Bible stories such as Adam and Eve literally creates religion. This is what Jesus was trying to combat.
For those of you who may be struggling with my take on the whether or not the scriptures are literal, I completely understand. I was taught since I was a little boy that the Bible was the inerrant word of God. I used to read up on the latest creation science news to prove to others that man was created six thousand years ago and placed in a literal Garden of Eden. It was as if I had to PROVE the Bible because deep down inside I knew there was something missing from the big picture, and if I could prove the Bible was inerrant to my own self, I could cover up the missing component. So proving the Bible to be the inerrant word of God was sort of my mission. But through that mission I realized that is was nothing more than a big ego trip, and I was only fooling myself. Now I don’t have to struggle with questions like where Cain got his wife in the land of Nod unless it was his sister—yuck! That’s not what the scripture is about. The scripture is about spirit, not history. If we all realized this, wars would stop. People could live in peace. I also truly believe people would then be able to see the unity that truly runs like a current beneath all the major world religions.
I hope this article has helped you see the true spirit of the scripture where Adam and Eve are concerned.
Joshua Tilghman runs the blog, http://www.spiritofthescripture.com, in order to reveal the hidden meanings beneath the literal interpretations of the Biblical text. He is also a children's book author on spiritual issues and he teaches 4th grade writing.