I came across a blog on the internet that challenged my concept of the self, and after a lot of reading and meditation I finally came to an understanding. To explain my ideas I’m going to use the biblical creation myth, hinduism concepts from the upanishad and developmental psychology. I know it doesn’t make sense using hinduism concepts to explain a Christian concept but religions, in my opinion, may appear different on the shallows but the deeper you look into them, they all point to one central entity…Yahweh/Brahman/Tao. As you read this I hope you keep an open mind and remember, this is just my understanding; I may or may not be right, and it’s okay if you have a different opinion concerning all this. At the end of the blog I’m also going to include some bonus self quotes I’ve picked along the way.
The biblical creation myth has parallels in other creation myths and the common idea in all of them is the idea of one supreme being (God) or a unity (father, son and holy Spirit) from whom two are created (Adam and Eve) and from the two, humanity arises. Adam and Eve, with the influence of the serpent, eat the forbidden fruit and for that, they are kicked out of the garden. God then places a guardian to guard the garden of Eden and prevent Adam and Eve from eating the fruit of the tree of life.
In my understanding; the garden of Eden represents a pure state of consciousness in which Adam and Eve lack knowledge of self…let alone knowledge of good and bad: The state a new born baby is in. With time however, the baby slowly realizes the world is made up of others too. The baby’s thinking therefore shifts from ‘only one in existence’ (God) to two (Adam and Eve): the baby and others. The baby’s sense of self further widens as he/she grows from ‘the baby and others’ to ‘the baby, family members, friends, ethnicity group, races and fellow humans (humanity).
Self identification however happens after the apple is eaten with the aid of the serpent. Now, serpents are very ancient symbols and have been used in many cultures to represent immortality, life and rejuvenation as in the case of the ouroboros (the unborn and undying serpent that eats its own tail). I’m going to use the hinduism concept of Brahman (the God) and Atman(the soul) to put across my point. In hinduism, the creator Brahman becomes the created Atman(the god who creates becomes the soul that is created). The Atman/soul is the life giving-force, conscience, inner wisdom, and the deepest purest part in us which is God. In many cultures, Atman is related to breath, such as in German where to breath is to ‘atmen’, and in christianity, where God breathes his life-giving breath into Adam. Anyway, the serpent in the garden is used to symbolize Atman. Therefore Eve, symbolizing the role of women in giving birth, is guided by her own deepest self and inner wisdom to give birth to self awareness.
God does not destroy the garden containing the tree of life (as earlier written, the garden simply represents a pure,un-aware state of consciousness), instead he employs a threshold guardian to guard the garden. In many mythologies, threshold guardians can be overcome: either by knowledge (such as the Greek Sphinx) or by doing battle. God prevents anyone from accessing the tree of life because whoever does that will become like God.
Going back to the concept of Brahman(God) and Atman(soul), we know they are one and the same but with an illusion of being different. Getting back in the garden means seeing reality for what it really is: that the only thing existing is the ONE, you are the ONE and being different from God is just an illusion of the senses. As a scientist, I like to put it simply: we are cells and God is the body. We think we are different and independent from the body but in real sense the cells make up the body and the body is what makes the cells (without the cells there will be no body, and without the body there will be no cells). Therefore you can’t separate the body from the cells because they are one. Eating the fruit of the tree of life means going back to the pure,undifferentiated state of mind in which we are one with God (garden of Eden), but this time, unlike a new born baby, we are in blissful awareness (awareness of our oneness with God).
God threw us out of the garden because he didn’t want us to be like him. But he knew all along we were him.
- The most important relationship you should ever have is one with yourself.
- Have so much self love that you can’t help but share without expecting anything in return. If you can’t love yourself then you can’t truly love.
- There isn’t anybody out there better qualified to take care of you than yourself.
- Have faith in yourself and your ability to deal with whatever challenges thrown your way.
- It takes real discipline to not compare yourself with others. After all, we can never know who we truly are if all we are is in comparison to others.
- You are the most important thing in the world and the moment you realize you control your destiny, the power will fall in your hands.
- Only you can know what’s truly best for you.
- Putting yourself first is not selfish. What is selfish is expecting others to put you first instead of themselves.