- Feb 2019
hey've perhaps almost lost thm,c excellent Capacities which probably were afforded them by nature for the highest things.
A sort of reverse tabula rasa. While this could be a sort of flourish, I don't read it as one.
If we take her at her word, Astell is suggesting that those (rational) capacities which are originally inherit to humans, can, through disuse, gradually recede into nothing.
I have lots of questions about how the hell it got there in the first place and how it goes away etc., but I suspect it has something to do with the imago Dei and the Fall.
- Aug 2018
I made him just and right, Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.
Yes, and God also made mankind ignorant, with strong sensory appetites (for fruit like apples), with a desire for pleasure etc. etc. (I'm thinking of my mother who was so unattuned to childrearing that she expected me to act like an adult when I was 2 years old and punished me for acting by impulse according to reason). Just how much time did God spend teaching Adam and Eve how to control their desires, or role model such behavior for them?
It seems to me that anyone who is authoritarian and makes strong rules- especially for someone who is not yet really adult, experienced and knowledgeable -is asking for rebellion. The gestalt therapists speak of Topdog and Underdog. When there is an authoritarian Topdog, there's bound to be an Underdog who rebels. What's needed is to assimilate Topdog (integrating some facets of our SHOULDs and throwing out others that are not necessary), building a self in the process that it is NOT split in two. In Freudian terms, we're talking about a healthy ego that can help us integrate our id and superego rather than a strict superego that is authoritarian with a rebellious id. But the root of the Old Testament is such a split.
Adam and Eve were just born, right, though born as adults? (Personally, I think we can get beyond the split too of Creationism vs. Evolution. Why not view God as having given a lightning blast to chimpanzees which quickly led to ther evolving into humans?). So they weren't likely to have a lot of experience or become very mature yet. Of course they needed to go through the rebellious terrible twos!
In Greek mythology too, we have the first female Pandora who almost immediately after she is created is left in a room with a box and told that she must not open it. So she does, of course. Her curiosity gets the better of her. And so she is blamed for all the evil in the world, as Eve is blamed. Unfair!
Both of these situations are "set ups". What I don't understand is why God set up a test which Adam and Eve were bound to fail. So that he could fully assert His power over them?
The Old Testament seems to me to be based on a split consciousness with a Topdog God and an Underdog mankind. This is a kind of parent/child, authority /subordinate setup. But it is not the only way to live.
Yes, I'm trying to understand Milton, but in the process clarifying my own attitude toward his interpretation of The Fall AND that of the Bible and Christianity. As a Gnostic deeply influenced by Elaine Pagel's Gnostic Gospels and her Adam, Eve and the Serpent, I highly recommend these two books. To me, the make much more sense than the Fall in the Old Testament or the Miltonian interpretation.of it.
Those of us who are expressing our own views here abd criticizing Milton and the Bible (and certainly I'm doing a lot of it) may be at odds with those who are dedicated believers in the Bible and take Genesis literally. But I'd be happy to hear a variety of views.