If Eve did not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, then she and Adam would have lived uneventful and uninteresting lives in the Garden of Eden until they died of boredom or from one those idleness-related diseases.
And I would not be writing this post, you would not be reading it.
But since she did, we are now living very interesting, challenging, varied, colorful though, sometimes, chaotic lives.
Christian doctrinaires insist that our lives are replete with sorrows and pains, including the pain of death, resulting from Eve’s betrayal of God’s trust.
Looking at it another way, it was not all that bad. It gave birth to two very powerful desires that, more or less, govern our lives – ego and sex.
Sex is something we all need, though at different frequencies and urgency. In our sex-dominated society, life without sex is “a form of sexual anorexia – a sad and lonely state at best, unnatural at worst,” says Elizabeth Abbott, author of A History of Celibacy.
Ego is another matter. According to Deepak Chopra, “Ego is our self-image, not our true self. It is characterized by labels, masks, images and judgments. The true self is the field of possibilities, creativity, intentions and power. We can go beyond the ego through self awareness – awareness of our thoughts, feelings, behavior and speech.”
Was Eve’s sinfulness then, a blessing in disguise?
Through sex we came to his world (Gen 3-20). Through ego we are what we are today.
And what are we today?
Martin Luther King, in his book, The True Measure of Man, wrote:
“There are some people… that believe ‘man is a little more than an animal’ and there are those ‘who would lift man almost to the position of God’….‘there are depths in man that go down to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven.’”
Such a varied and contrasting definition of what we are can be summed up in one word – ego.
Man can be a genius or a lunatic, a creator or a destroyer, a benefactor or a thief.
Man can bring forth life, but can also take it away. Through the years he has made monuments to his genius, but he has also caused two major global conflicts.
If there is something predictable about Man, it is the unpredictability of his ego. But despite this apparent randomness of his behavior, if a balance sheet is to be drawn showing the bad and good fruits of his ego, the latter will win by a wide margin.
That does not rob the word ego of its bad connotation, though. For some people, the mere mention of the word leaves a bad taste in their mouths.
But what is Man without an ego? Even a puppy appreciates a good pampering; even weeds grow. And a man without ego will find sex impossible.
Ego is the wellspring of all dreams – your dreams, my dreams. And all that we are today, all that we have, are products of Man’s dreams.
So journey with me to discover how to harness your ego in achieving success in your life.