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Reflections on Eve, Adam, and Atum

Botero's Adam and Eve
Creative Commons License photo credit: Eustaquio Santimano

I think often of Adam and Eve. I consider myself a Christian, though not in the traditional sense of the word. Don’t believe in the scriptures literally, and believe that the concept of sin isn’t a paternalistic damnation, but a caution from our Creator of certain actions whose consequences are the murder of our own souls.

A mainstay of my belief and religious philosophy is that I believe that anything not prescribed as the word of God is left to interpretation, and may be out of the context of the time period it is written (outside the first five books of the Bible, which the Bible code makes it hard to believe are not of some significance). I also believe that it’s possible but not probable that man mis-translated words given to him divinely, for a purpose only our Creator would know.

Hell. Maybe He/She/Cylon enjoys double entendres.

So when I read the story of Eve and examine the way women are referenced in the Bible, it’s hard for me to believe that a divine being, intelligent enough to create us, a living machine whose day to day functions are independent of itself, would create womankind to be inherently flawed and evil.

The very word “evil” is a reference to Eve. And I think that we received her whole story out of context, at best, incompletely.

It is well known that the story of Adam and Eve was modeled after the Egyptian story of creation. (I like to believe that all the various religions are an attempt to tell the exact same story, rather than the idea that Egyptian, Greeks, Romans, Christians, Israelites, Moslems are all worshiping different Gods. Same Spirit, different contextual interpretations – makes more sense to me.)

Lesser known is the story of Atum, the first God in Egyption mythology. He is the one becoming in the Kepera passage my poem is based on.

So in the Bible, he’s the first man. In the Book of the Dead, he’s the first god. In the Bible he is created by a divine presence, our Creator. In the Book of the Dead he is self created via becoming self aware.

Another interesting idea I found gave me a possible alternate interpretation of the Fall of Eden. Atum usually appeared as a man, but sometimes showed up as a serpent.

Eve was cleaved to man, and tempted by the serpent.

What if one of the foundational ideas that paints women in the Bible, and hence in Christian culture as lesser creations is simply incomplete?

What if Eve is being tempted by Adam/Atum in his serpent form?

I like things to make sense. And it would reconcile the idea that somehow, Eve, a derivative of Adam is a more flawed, lesser incarnation. Because it doesn’t make sense that Adam would be this nearly perfect creation, and the 2.0 model would be worse than the initial.

Eve’s not a copy – she’s the fully formed successor model, sprung full from the seedling.

Anyway. I’m thinking of playing out this idea in the dreams of the main character in my novel.

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