“THE GREATEST OF ALL THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF 20TH-CENTURY SCIENCE has been the discovery of human ignorance.” Lewis Thomas, Lives of a Cell. “OUR IGNORANCE, OF COURSE, HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US, AND ALWAYS WILL BE. What is new is our awareness of it, our awakening to its fathomless dimensions, and it is this, more than anything else, that marks the coming of age of our species.” Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Metaphor of the Garden of Eden


"Eden" (paradise) refers to the paradise of little childhood, the pre-egoic, pre-verbal life, up until about 4 years old. Our parents (if we're lucky) nurture us and provide us with every need. We have not yet acquired "the knowledge of good and evil," for we have not acquired language and intellect and built the self-image. But then when we become verbal (at about two to four years old) and the discursive mind begins to develop, we construct an ego-“I” that is no longer "innocent" for it now knows "good" and "evil", "self” and "other," and it exercises comparison and judgment. At that point, we can no longer remain in the paradise of childhood (of selflessness), for we have developed the discrete self-sense.

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