Most of us know the story of a pair of naïve adults who were tricked by a serpent to eat from a tree that was forbidden. What you may not realize is their reasoning behind such a betrayal. You may also not be aware that their “punishment” was actually their pathway toward achieving what they had wanted all along.
In our story from the ancient text, Adam and Eve were stuck with the choice to evaluate their behavior as right or wrong. But, the hope was that, through exploration of the consequences, they would realize both what they were losing and the awareness that they could have had it all. That is, that right and wrong provides an elementary and incomplete option set.
Adam and Eve desired knowledge. They were curious about what they did not know. For the male, it was an attempt to find answers about origin and purpose. For the female, it was an attempt to test connections and reveal intimacy. The consequence tasked them with a new skilled endeavor requiring new skills. The quest for purpose now met problem solving, research & archival, generational learning, and the mote of wisdom. The quest for intimacy now met nurture, attachment, reciprocity, and relationship.
As it was for Adam and Eve, your curiosity must grow to understand that skills are the expression of principles, which motivate sustainable choice behavior. Identify the principles that correspond with your desires.
Adam and Eve tended toward consumerism. They wanted to utilize their uniqueness and privilege as sentient beings who themselves held the power to create. For the male, it was an attempt to create from his own hands. For the female, it was a hope to capture the miracle for herself. The consequence exposed them to training in production. The quest of the hands met the process of planting, watering, defending, pruning, harvesting, and storing. The quest for miracle met conception, carrying, preparing, birthing, and swaddling.
Both Adam and Eve learned what we must learn. It is truth that each choice has consequence. Each action has a reaction. As much as this is expression of universal law, it is also expression of our sense of purpose and order extending from our individual identities. The male sought control in the opportunity to be. The female sought stability in the opportunity to persist. The search for existence was met with a rule of reciprocity: you reap what you sow. Assurance of opportunity is a result of doing your honest part. The search for stability was met with another rule of endurance: love suffers all. Assurance of reward is the result of consistency and patience.
Like Adam and Eve, understand that consequences undergird destiny, expectations, and predictions extending from options. Change and consequences are all that is certain. You control both through the function of your individual, adult identity.
[This is a modified excerpt from the forthcoming book by Michael A. Wright, Deceptions, Distractions, and Disillusionment: Barriers to Your Success and Ours]