The actual story of Adam and Eve and the downfall (devolution) of humanity would have been written around the time humanity's shift from hunting and gathering cultures and nomadic herdsmen to agricultural settlements and civilization. Daniel Quinn speaks to the importance of this movement in his book, Ishmael by focusing on the story of Cain and Able, the Sons of Adam and Eve.
Quinn's brilliant thesis reflects upon Cain being the newer way of living for humanity that we now call agriculture. It is from the agricultural revolution that we now have what we deem as civilization. Able, in turn, reflected the older way of living. This included hunting/gathering and nomadic herding cultures.
These stories are foundational for who we are today and speak to many of the modern "woes" that we have including environmental destruction, greed, alienation and constant warfare. In fact, with Quinn's hypothesis, we can see the battle of Cain and Able occurring to this day. All we have to do is remember the destruction of the Native American cultures.
Yes, Cain is continuing to murder Able to this day.
This is the beautiful horror of myth. It can identify and link individualized fictional characters such as Cain and Able to massive movements such as hunting / gathering cultures being destroyed and its people forced into agricultural and industrial civilization.
Unfortunately, in our "fall" from grace or sense of belonging to the planet, ecosystem and tribe which we belonged to, what we also lost was our appreciation of the metaphor, the language in which most religious texts are written. In a previous article I suggested that this would have also been the time when God was seen as more of a verb than a noun.
Epistemologist Gregory Baetson states metaphor is a language that connects. Metaphor is a relational language that allows for stories like Able and Cain to be told regarding a huge historical movement that led to our modern culture. The results and consequences of this movement are huge for us living today.
Does our lack of understanding the connective language of metaphor have anything to do with the current wars upon wars on this planet? Is our lack of knowledge of life as metaphor also a participant in global warming, alienation of the majority of us living on this planet, and high rates of extinction due to our behavior?
And, then there is that battle of the opposite sexes. If one or the other of the sexes became extinct, how much longer would we be here? I know, I know, the genetic engineering firm Monsanto will save us. Then, we can get rid of those emotional and devolved females once and for all. Please take this as sarcasm. By the way, a woman by the name of Mary Shelley wrote the book "Frankenstein." She was on top of this understanding. In the healthy foods movement, this insight of Shelley is realized when genetically engineered food is referred to as "Frankenfood".
In our day and age, metaphor is suspect and seen as a sign of devolution. Thus, we make fun of the "naked savages" of the Earth who see the planet as their Mother and who respond to that Mother in the same way a child approaches his mother for food, comfort, and safety.
So what happens when we have scavenged the entire planet?
On another level, in glamorizing Barbie Dolls, what have we done to the power and self-esteem of girls and women? Who has the most influence on a new baby in the world, the Father or Mother? Who most often feeds us either from her own body or by feeding us more externalized foods? Or do we lead credence to the Father in the form of far off politicians and corporations, be he Hilary Clinton or a Jeb Bush (PS, I am not saying it will necessarily be these two running).
Is this the true reason for minimizing the "woman's role?" and lambasting those men who show high levels of femininity such as caring and nurturing? "Those damn bleeding hearts," as some conservatives would call us liberals. In answer to these conservatives, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. Thus, the more masculine conservative is said to be right wing. Likewise, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body. Thus, liberals are often considered more feminine, caring and left wing.
Apparently, today, we choose the right wing desire to control and dominate as reflected in the insane practices inherent in the modern educational system. We do not educate children to question, but to obey. Education has been standardized for just that purpose. True education in its epistemological meaning, "to unfold potential" is a joke. Brainwashing and preparing children for the Corporate Masters is what education has become through standardization. "Get them ready for the labor force! Meanwhile, bust the unions, diminish benefits and make them thirst for the little bit that we give them. Give them a political "choice": corporate heavy or corporate light. Let them toil for us and spend their pittance buying from us and their mite of leisure being entertained by us."
These are huge concerns that need to be raised and debated in today's world. Quinn is one of those questioning, as is Rob Kall with his "bottom up" philosophy.