adam & eve parable part 1

The Adam and Eve parable we are taught as children is only part two of the story. In part one, there is also a woman named Lilith. Lilith is Adam’s first partner. But because she wants to be equal to Adam, Lilith refuses to lie beneath him. She confronts both Adam and God, and in the end she leaves Adam, defying patriarchy, refusing to take a submissive sexual posture, and rejecting marriage altogether because it would require her to live under Adam’s authority. Lilith becomes what all tyrants fear: a person who is aware that she is enslaved. She then transforms herself into a snake and hides in a tree in the garden of good and evil.

When Adam asks God for a woman to lie beneath him, he offers his rib to God and is rewarded with Eve, a beautiful young maiden who naturally will agree to like beneath him since she is made from his body. Lilith, disguised as a snake, befriends Eve and whispers into her ear about the ways of the universe. Empowered by Lilith’s wisdom, Eve eats the apple, which represents sweetness and oneness with God and nature – in other words, enlightenment.

In ancient times, men feared Lilith because she knew the power of her sexuality, and she knew that her sexuality had power over men. Women, who have been molded to follow the example of submissive Eve, also fear Lilith because of the power she holds. But this version of the myth shows that Lilith is not an enemy of humankind. She holds the ancient fruit of knowledge, the secrets of our deepest sexual and spiritual nature, and she is willing to offer this fruit to us, the nectar of this truth.

Lilith means “the night” and she embodies the emotional and spiritual aspects of darkness: terror, sensuality, wisdom, and unbridled freedom. Eve is the intuitive, feminine aspect of humanity. Adam is the linear, masculine quality. The apple is the knowledge that we are all divine and connected to each other. The snake is the spiritual energy that yogis call Kundalini or Shakti—vital energy that sits in the root chakra, awaiting a trigger to rise and bring enlightenment. Native Americans look at the snake as the closest being to Mother Earth and a metaphor for transmutation and transformation. The South American natives believe the snake is the symbol of healing.

Within this scenario, we can see that our spiritual energy naturally supplies our intuitive side with the knowledge of the true nature of reality. However, when our intuitive sides shares this knowledge with our linear, calculating side; shame and fear result. Rather than accepting that oneness of reality and gratefully merging with it, our masculine self becomes ashamed and afraid of this ultimate gift and separates from the truth by ignoring this energy and forcing the feminine to leave the garden with him. What’s worse, he blames the feminine–and woman is forever tainted as the cause of original sin.

When we accepted the shame of Adam and the guilt of Eve, not only did we lose the chance to experience the true reality of total connectedness–otherwise known as paradise–we were also made to feel ashamed for our hunger for knowledge. We need to rewrite the story and allow our male side to embrace the knowledge of feminine intuition. Only then do we learn how to experience our true selves, with no guilt or shame. The power that Eve and Lilith embody is within every woman, waiting to come into fruition as we age.

Excerpt from Goddess to the Core – by Sierra Bender