Search Results for Eve
In one version of two found in the Biblical book of Genesis, Eve is the first woman created by God from Adam’s rib.
According to the Bible story, Adam and Eve originally lived in an innocent state of grace, characterized by their blissful life in Eden. God directly told them that they could eat anything in the garden except for fruit from the tree of knowledge at the garden’s center. Eve, however, was tempted by the clever and subtle serpent to eat from the tree of knowledge. The evil serpent said that her eating the fruit of of the tree would enable the first woman and man to become like gods, “knowing the difference between good and evil.”
Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then tempted Adam, who also ate. Suddenly they recognized their nakedness, lost their innocence and felt ashamed. They immediately covered their now-private areas with leaves. God their creator was stirred to great anger and thrust them out of the garden. He stationed an angel with a flaming sword at the garden’s entrance to ensure their banishment.
Women in general were cursed to suffer during childbirth and the harsh realities of suffering and mortality were imposed on mankind.
Scholars note that the story is likely influenced by or adapted from similar ancient Near-Eastern myths. Christian theologians are well aware of this idea. But they maintain that it does not necessarily contradict the idea that the Bible is a revealed text.¹
¹ For a Catholic position claiming that all sacred scripture is without error, see http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8441. On the role of interpretation, see http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/PBC_Interp-FullText.htm. And on the importance of understanding scripture through the door of faith, see http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20100930_verbum-domini_en.html#The_Interpretation_Of_Sacred_Scripture__In_The_Church
- Eden (earthpages.wordpress.com)
- Eden – The First Earth-Home (brakeman1.com)
- Our free will (welcomingjesus.wordpress.com)
- Not That Tree! (susangray2011.wordpress.com)
- Bible Challenge – “GARDEN OF EDEN” (pjsprayerline.blogspot.com)
- All About Eve (chronicle.com)
- Too Soon? (withapology.wordpress.com)
- The Garden of Eden: Between two trees (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
In spirituality, the idea of ‘levels of knowledge’ suggests that an individual or group may better understand the essential dynamics, without fully knowing all the specific details, of another individual or group.
By way of analogy, parents usually have a pretty good idea how their child will behave in most circumstances. And they can use this knowledge to help guide the child and also to protect it from harm.
Some theorists suggest that this kind of alleged higher knowledge could be applied to social and religious life. In ancient Greece, for instance, Plato advocated the rather undemocratic ideal of the Philosopher King.
Similarly, the Catholic attitude toward other religions implies that Catholicism is the purest and highest form of worship (this outlook being especially transparent with Pope Benedict XVI). According to Catholicism, non-Catholic faith groups at best only possess aspects or, worse, shadows of God’s truth and light.
Again, this kind of view implies that ‘group A’ knows about ‘group B’ better than group ‘B’ knows itself. Meanwhile, a Hindu, Muslim or Jewish believer likely believes they have a privileged perspective that the Catholic does not.
As for who’s ‘right’ or ‘most right,’ this is a topic of debate and sadly, often a contributing factor to local, regional and international strife.
It seems reasonable to say that each religious group contains incomplete beliefs and teachings in need of development. And each religious group could, and probably should, try to learn from one another.
Whether or not each group is equally incomplete is, of course, a different question. It is conceivable that some religious teachings are closer to the truth than others.
Quite apart from this type of reasoning, some say that whatever one believes about God and the universe ultimately becomes true—i.e. our belief structures essentially create our reality. Along these lines, some believe there’s no absolute hell and everything – even senseless, cruel acts – are ultimately acceptable. Taken to its logical extreme, it seems that this kind of thinking eventually places Adolf Hitler in heaven beside St. Francis of Assisi.
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- The oral stage of 0-1 years where infant gratification is achieved through sucking the primary object¹ of the mother’s breast (or substitute objects)
- The anal stage of 1-3, in which sexual gratification is achieved through the child’s control over and actual production of feces. From his or her toilet training the child first learns the reality of restrictions from the external world
- The latency period – occurring between the phallic stage and adolescence – in which the child pays less attention to the body and more to the acquisition of essential life skills
- The genital stage at which time the adolescent’s attention is oriented to developing mature, loving human relationships with others
According to Freud’s theory, so-called normal individuals proceed through these stages without major difficulties while some become fixated at a given stage. Fixation in this sense refers to an unconscious attachment to a particular object of libidinal gratification.
For instance, the alcoholic fixated at the oral phase substitutes liquor and the bottle for the mother’s nipple. Whereas those disregarding or, conversely, obsessed with cleanliness, order and regularity would be fixated at the anal stage.
In general, fixation manifests in excessive behavior such as excessive housecleaning and/or extreme emotional states such as depression, fear, anxiety and forced elation.
For Freud, normal human development pretty much ends at the genital phase. Behaviors such as celibacy, fasting and prolonged solitude may be viewed as pathological by Freudians. Other more holistic thinkers, however, see this as a reductive and potentially dangerous approach, one suggesting spiritual ignorance, immaturity and perhaps sin.
The International Institute for the Advanced Studies of Psychotherapy and Applied Mental Health sums up Freud’s theory as follows:
Although Freud’s theory of psychosexual development was extremely influential and continues to be taught in professional psychology programs today, empirical research has failed to generate significant support for these ideas and it is generally not an accepted model among practicing psychologists. Additionally, this theory has drawn criticism for being constructed on sexist ideas. Regardless, terminology associated with the stages of psychosexual development has found wide popular usage in a variety of registers and fields of activity.²
¹ Freud’s usage of ‘object’ includes other people.
This is also called ‘revelation,’ an idea found in most religious traditions.
One definition points to knowledge disclosed or uncovered about God’s plan of Salvation or the Divine essence; this knowledge could influence a person’s interpretation of observable events.
General revelation is often differentiated from special revelation. General revelation asserts that God’s existence and attributes may be partly understood through observation of God’s creation.
Specific revelation points to the belief that individuals receive divine communications.
In Catholicism revelation is understood as a truth communicated to a person by God; this revealed knowledge initially bypasses but does not contradict the intellect and differs from inspiration–although the recipient may subsequently think about and be inspired by a revelation.
From the study of mystics it seems that revealed knowledge is often initially misunderstood. Mystics are only human and seem to interpret revelations according to their limited perspectives. Over time the full meaning of a true communication should become apparent while a false communication – e.g. from the devil - would prove to be a sham.
This idea is closely linked to the notion of true and false prophets, as we read in the New Testament:
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew 15-20, New International Version).
A potential problem arises here, of course, in that some genuine prophets could appear ‘false’ because not enough time has passed to adequately test the revelation given to them by God. And by the same token, some false prophets could be regarded as ‘true’ by believers claiming that more time is needed to verify the revelation apparently given by God.
Clearly, this is not an easy area and many mistakes could be made by overly zealous, wish-fulling individuals and groups.
In philosophy and also in theology a distinction is made between knowledge obtained through reason and knowledge obtained through revelation.
This distinction could be questioned. For instance, it’s conceivable that concepts and their arrangement in a logical argument could be revealed to a person from God.
However, traditional Catholic theologians usually call this “inspiration” as a result of “illumination,” suggesting that it somehow differs from a revelation communicated directly by God.
Seven of Nine
A female Borg, convincingly played by actor Jeri Ryan in the American TV series, Star Trek: Voyager.
Originally a human, Seven of Nine was transformed into a semi-cybernetic entity when assimilated by the Borg while still a child.
Seven’s humanity was restored, however, when Commander Chakotay stimulated her human memories through a technologically manufactured mind-link.
She joined the crew of the starship Voyager and through trial and error relearned how to interact appropriately with her fellow human beings and the other bipedal life forms that constitute the starship’s crew.
Seven is a fascinating symbol of something gone wrong going right again. She adds a new twist to the fall and resurrection motif so common in mythic stories of old.
» Abyss, Angels, Borg, Chakotay (Commander), Chekov (Pavol), Data (Commander), Dax, Jadzia, Dreamtime, Janeway (Captain Katherine), Kardasians, Kirk (James T.), Klingons, Odo, Prime Directive, Q, Relations of Production, Roberts (Jane), Roddenberry (Gene), Romulans, Sargon, Science Fiction, Siva, Spock, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: Voyager, Sulu, Tek War, Temporal Paradox, Third Eye, T’Pol, Trickster, Uhura (Lieutenant), Vulcan, Worf
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Underhill, Evelyn (1850-1941)
Respected British author on the subject of mysticism.
Underhill is often described as an Anglo-Catholic. Her book, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness (1911) is widely regarded as a Christian classic.
Sincere mystics, she writes, are aware of the need for intense rational discernment and self-analysis.
Ecstasies, no less than visions and voices, must, they declare, be subjected to unsparing criticism before they are recognized as divine: whilst some are undoubtably “of God,” others are no less clearly “of the devil.”¹
In Practical Mysticism: A little book for normal people (1914), published at the outbreak of WW-I, Underhill makes a distinction between meditation and contemplation.
While these two terms often overlap, Underhill suggests that, for the most part, meditation may lead to more elevated forms of contemplative understanding. As Underhill puts it:
Now meditation is a half-way house between thinking and contemplating: and as a discipline, it derives its chief value from this transitional character.²
Arguably the strength of this definition is that it’s not ‘this or that,’ ‘black or white,’ as so many fundamentalists and conservatives depict the world. Rather, it represents a developmental approach. » Alice in Wonderland, Aurobindo (Sri), Clairaudience, Kabbala
¹ Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness (New York: The New American Library, 1955 ), p. 361.
² ___, Practical Mysticism: A little book for normal people (London: Dent, 1914), p. 46.
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Hieronymus Bosch (Originally Jerome van Aken, 1450-1516) was a Catholic Painter from the Netherlands born in Hertogenbosch. Later in life he was suspected of heresy, which is not surprising, considering the times and the nature of much of his work.
Bosch’s depictions of demons and hell are horridly convincing, perhaps enough to compel some of the most hardened of sinners to repent and pray.
The contemporary treatment of Bosch’s work is illustrative. Prestigious art galleries display his frightening and gruesome representations without any public protest while fundamentalist and conservative religious persons point to the alleged debauchery and danger in rock and rap music videos, seeing these as indicative of a decline in cultural morality.
This arguably is a form of hypocrisy and, perhaps, racism against black rappers. In any case, it illustrates how societies, or certain aspects of a given society, can be arbitrary and selective when pointing the proverbial finger.
Many people don’t realize that representing evil doesn’t necessarily mean that an artist (or writer) advocates evil. In fact, C. G. Jung argued the opposite. Jung believed that evil left unrepresented or “swept under the rug” just reemerges in equally disgusting forms—a point that many religious persons and pillars of society sometimes overlook.¹
Among Bosch’s most popular works are The Garden of Earthly Delights (in the Prado) and the Temptation of St Anthony (at Lisbon). Bosch also had a noticeable impact on Surrealism.
Interestingly enough, there’s ongoing debate over how many of Bosch’s works were actually created by Bosch. He only signed seven works and art scholars agree on a mere 25 that they believe can be attributed to him. Many other works once thought to be Bosch’s are now thought to be those of his followers and imitators, his style being hugely influential.
¹ A similar dynamic occurred with satirical writings and dialogues of Erasmus (1466 – 1536). Martin Luther denounced Erasmus’ Ten Colloquies and vowed to tell his son not to read them. Even some of Erasmus’ friends and patrons didn’t like some of his work. Craig Thompson notes that, in his defense, Erasmus distinguished between (a) content appropriate for characters and dramatic situations and (b) an author’s actual opinions. See Erasmus, Ten Colloquies, trans. Craig R. Thompson 1986, MacMillan, pp. xxv – xxvii.
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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer and musician born in Eisenach. He’s often described as one of the greatest Western classical composers.
Orphaned at the age of 10, Johann Sebastian was raised by his brother, Johann Christoph (1671-1721), who taught him the organ and clavier.
A devout Lutheran, biographers note that Bach was a perfectionist to the point of beating his students when they made mistakes. Nevertheless, his polyphonic inventions raised the existing Baroque tradition to a new and unsurpassed level of magnificence.
In 1711 he was kapellmeister (orchestra leader) to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, composing the Brandenburg Concertos (1721) and The Well-tempered Clavier (1722). In 1723 he was cantor (director of church music) of the St Thomas School in Leipzig, writing cantatas, including the St Matthew Passion (1727), the Mass in B Minor and The Art of Fugue.
Pianist Angela Hewitt notes that the move from kapellmeister to cantor was a professional step down for Bach, “but he knew that Leipzig would be a better place to educate his children.” She adds that Bach wanted better instruments and performing musicians but his requests were repeatedly refused by authorities in Leipzig who didn’t appreciate his rare genius.¹
Almost entirely blind at his death, his work as a composer was not fully recognized until the following century. During his lifetime he was known mostly as an organist. This oversight is ironic as many today speak as if he snatched music from heaven for the benefit of mankind.
His influence reverberates throughout classical, jazz, and even pop music. The Canadian pianist Glenn Gould came to love Bach over all the other composers. Gould recorded the Goldberg Variations twice, once in analog and later in an early digital studio. Sales of those records, especially the analog recording, reached all-time highs for classical music.
A 1934-36 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations BWV.988, Italian Concerto BWV.971 and Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue BWV.903 by keyboardist Wanda Landowska has been marketed by EMI records as a “great recording of the century,” despite the sound quality being subpar. And Landowska’s rendition of The Well Tempered Clavier – tinny sound and all – makes a lasting impression on anyone sensitive to great moments in recorded music.
Along with Mozart and Beethoven, Bach stands out as one of The Big Three, whose works Polish composer Henryk Górecki described as the “bread and butter” of the classical repertoire.
¹ Angela Hewitt, liner notes from Bach, The Six Partitas, Hyperion: 1997. This CD has a soft but definitive touch that makes Hewitt my favorite contemporary Bach pianist. (MC)
- who do you prefer musically bach or beethoven? (johann-sebastian-bach.information-about-music.com)
- Bach and Handel (Their Influence On Future Composers) (johann-sebastian-bach.information-about-music.com)
- Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (johann-sebastian-bach.information-about-music.com)
- Bachs: A Bach Notebook for Trumpet – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and his oboe concerti (walkerhomeschoolblog.wordpress.com)
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- Bach Unwrapped, Kings Place, review (telegraph.co.uk)