What St. Augustine characterized as original sin, I prefer to think of as original creativity. The creation story of our fall from grace is in effect a blessing of free will from God and a yearning for our return. For me, the story’s central character of Eve represents the intuitive nature of women and the inherent gifts they possess that by nature take them closer to the Godhead.
God is not a puppeteer. Humankind has been granted the greatest gift of free will from the creator so that they in turn are empowered to create. As for me, the garden represents the way of stasis – harmonic union yes – but somehow flat in its mythic presentation. With free will comes chaos and disturbance, yet opportunity. We see this in the poetic form of Apple Computer’s logotype, the representative fruit with a bite taken from it in the intentional act of breaking established rules.
Refreshing commentary on free will comes from theologian and priest Matthew Fox in his book, Creativity. “The Jewish Kabbalah instructs us that ‘the fierce power of imagination is a gift from God.’ Chaos is a prelude to creativity. Artists wrestle with chaos.”
It is in the dance of the creative act that we are brought home to glimpse the garden. Rick Danko of The Band sang, “Life is a carnival,” and thirteenth century mystic Meister Eckhart astutely posited, “God is delighted to watch your soul enlarge.”