I have been listening to “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville for the past few days. It is such a humorous book with a lot of deep meaning. It is also surprisingly filled with several homoerotic scenes like the following relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg.
“We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bedclothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more”.
I was in the process of canning apples while listening to this scene and what caught me was the part about contrast and how nothing exists in itself. I was reminded of duality and how the symbolism in the Garden of Eden and how it is about taking us out of our animal nature and into the world of duality. Everything exists in a contrast it is true that nothing exists in itself. There is something and nothing, in and out, black and white, good and evil. By duality and contrast is how we think as humans.
I like the Garden of Eden myth. It is a story which takes place in the heavens as a celestial myth involving the serpent, Hydra, and Virgo… “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” From a symbolic perspective, the casting out of the garden was the best thing to have ever happened to humanity because it meant we were no longer animals without a sense of good and evil. When Eve ate the fruit it opened the eyes of humanity to right and wrong. I never understand why people think the Garden of Eden was a happy place. People who believe that should read the text a little more carefully because there isn’t any mention of emotion or wisdom until after the “forbidden fruit” is eaten. There was no joy because there was no sadness. There wasn’t awareness of the preciousness of life because death didn’t exist. It is an allegory about what brought us into the world of consciousness and into the experience of life, joy and truth.