by Andrew Cort
In the state of consciousness represented by the ‘Garden of Eden’, our ‘fall’ into illusion begins when the soul inverts: like Adam, the Mind becomes passive and disconnects, the physical appetites (the Serpent) become active and take over as substitute ruler, and the emotions (Eve) wed themselves to the desires of the body. This is the ‘sin of Eden’ which we continue to indulge in throughout our lives. In other words, the phrase “Original Sin” refers to our ‘original’, i.e., most fundamental, archetypal, ‘sin’ – the sin of an inverted, sleeping, fragmented soul. ‘Original Sin’ is not ‘something bad that somebody else did a long time ago’. It is not something that ‘women’ are responsible for. It is something we are each responsible for, because each one of us is committing it right now in our own inner life. Life is not difficult and confusing because of something some woman did a long time ago. No one is at fault but ourselves.
But why does this inversion happen? Why are we ‘asleep’?
Our souls inevitably turn upside-down, and the physical body becomes the ruling active force in our lives, when we are taken in by the overwhelmingly hypnotic spell of the material world around us, and our response is to disperse all our thoughts, interests, and energies, outward into that world. This means that the central focus of our lives, the soul’s ‘center of gravity’, shatters — and all the pieces end up being external to ourselves: in other people, events, and material objects.
Once the focus of all our attention is thus outside of us, and all our emotional and intellectual energies are constantly swept away by our fascination with external things, we stop experiencing our own inner Being, our own Presence, here in the midst of our own life. In other words, we forget ourselves, we lose ourselves, and external phenomena take control of our consciousness. While we are in this state, everything ‘just happens’ to us — we cannot really ‘do’ anything, since we are not really present. It is in just this way that we become completely passive, and the body and material world drag us by the nose through a life that we no longer own. Our participation in life is then as passive and unconscious as stone, and we are completely at the mercy of fashion and whim. This is what it means in the Bible to be asleep (to ourselves). While sleeping, we dream about ourselves and our idols. Sometimes our dreams are quite pleasant. Sometimes they are terrifying. In the end, of course, this difference scarcely matters.
To awaken from this sleep, we have to start becoming awake to ourselves. In other words, when I experience something (an impression, a feeling, a physical sensation, a thought), I have to learn to be consciously aware that I am doing the experiencing, rather than passively letting it ‘just happen’ to me. We have to actively remember our presence in the world, by learning to divide our attention between the outer experience of the world and an inner conscious experience of the self, simultaneously: to remember to say “I Am”, in the midst of the flow of life.
This act of Self-Remembrance gradually creates an internal focal point of stability in a world of endless chaotic change, and it slowly but steadily begins to draw our center of gravity back inside as we begin to awaken.
Want to know more about Awakening? Read “Return to Meaning: The American Psyche in Search of its Soul”, by Dr. Andrew Cort, D.C., J.D. To read Free Excerpts, to order books, and to find out about Talks and Seminars, click here now http://www.andrewcort.com . Dr. Cort lives in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.