A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed colour. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid anymore.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the first time I felt shame, guilt and a sense of smallness for being a female.
I was six years old and leaving Church after mass. Red faced with my little mind ready to pop and an urgent need to figure out how to give my soul a good scrub, preferably with the good old fashioned scrubbing powder my Gran used when washing up liquid just wouldn’t cut the mustard.
Like many in the western world, I was born into a catholic family. In England at the time, the majority were catholic or protestant. It was without the secular conflict that occurs to this day in Northern Ireland but it was important, much more important than it is in today’s world.
Were we religious? No. Like so many others it was something that we were born into, a label. I attended a catholic school and we would go to mass more to be seen than to worship because it was deemed the right thing to do.
Like many children, I was often told that Jesus along with Santa Claus is watching you, you’d better be good. It worked. I really didn’t want to get on the wrong side of Jesus. He was my mum’s watchful eye and if Jesus knew I’d misbehaved then there’d be no treats for me.
On this day, the Father at Church turned his attention to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Shamefully, he is still there at his pulpit 30 years on unwavering in his out of touch condemnation of homosexuals, divorce and on and on with no empathy whatsoever for his flock.
I don’t remember the exact words of the sermon but I do remember being in one of the front pews as this man, who had the ear of God, spewed his venomous words, eyes full of hate, spittle flying from his mouth as he told the tale of the Sin of Eve. How every female has carried that sin on her soul ever since. How we have all paid the price for her crimes. How women taint the world. And on and on.
I left church that day feeling small. Dirty. Confused. Wondering how I could get rid of this big sin on my soul because Jesus wouldn’t be happy with this. I was in trouble and it’s fair to say terrified. As a girl of six, I believed Eve was a real person in a real place and I was no doubt just as bad as her.
In the following weeks, I spent quite a few nights drifting off to sleep trying to figure out what the soul looked like and the best I could come up with was a giant tooth inside of me filled with dirty cracks. It rocked my little world and set the stage for the onslaught of negative conditioning I would receive because of my gender. Not just from the church or the school but society in generally that every female has faced in one way or another. In other words, that sermon was filed away in my young mind and set the stage for the mind control that subtly pervades Society and keeps us all in our place.
And not something a six year old girl should have to listen to.
I imagine every woman has a similar story of their first memory of somehow feeling it was wrong to be a female. It doesn’t matter whether you were born in the west, north, east or south, every society and culture has their own subtle or not so subtle way of introducing this concept.
Was Eve framed? Damn right she was and it has fallen on women to carry the brunt of the burden of Eve’s sin. And to the men out there may seem to have escaped ~ Eve really isn’t about being a woman. Eve is the feminine energy we all carry and that is what has been repressed for a millennia or more. Why? To control us.
Like many myths and lore that are told to incite fear, it also tells the truth of our being and for those with a mind to look for the truth; it is a very telling story indeed.
But the big question is. How powerful are we if such a large organisation would feel such fear to repress, hound, incite violence, burn, rape and pillage the good name of Eve and every daughter that has followed since? If we are as powerless as they have made out then surely we should be left to it in our weak and pathetic state?
Because the answer is the exact opposite; we are vastly more powerful than anyone of us can comprehend and the Church or any other organisation that slurs women in a similar way prove this point by their very actions. The tale of Adam and Eve is told to stop our curiosity in its tracks. The fruit is forbidden because the knowledge of our true nature is forbidden. Armed with this knowledge the days of the control and power of the church are numbered.
When it comes down to it, Eve’s sin was one of curiosity. She wanted to taste the forbidden fruit. And what was the forbidden fruit? The fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. And what does the catholic church fear more than anything? That we all have a good munch on the fruits of this tree and gain the knowledge to awakening to the reality that we are all little bits of God, holding the spark of divinity within.
So, I say taste the forbidden fruit and gorge on the knowledge that is now becoming available to us all and realise your sovereignty. You are the captain of your ship and the master of your soul.
(C) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.