The story of Adam and Eve is an allegory describing the loss of “paradise” through the arising of self-knowing. So, it seems, there is wholeness (paradise) and within that boundless, free-floating, causeless energy, something appears which experiences itself as being separate from that wholeness (paradise).
Here is a metaphor pointing to what seems like “the story” of self-consciousness, out of which is apparently born the knowing and experience of free will, choice, time and space, purpose and direction.
As “the story” unfolds, so the self learns to know “the world out there” and attempts to negotiate the best deal possible for itself . . . it apparently takes action to find pleasure and avoid pain. The greater the knowledge the more effective the action, the results and the apparent sense of personal control . . . or so it seems.
All of these efforts bring varying results, and so the individual comes to know fluctuating states of gratification and disappointment. However, it can be noticed that there seems to be an underlying sense of dissatisfaction which drives the self to find a deeper meaning.
Because the apparent self can only exist through its own knowing, its search for a deeper meaning will be limited to that which it can know and experience for itself. Within these limitations there are a multitude of doctrines, therapies, ideologies, spiritual teachings and belief systems that the seeker can come to know. There can also be the knowing and experiencing of states of silence, stillness, bliss, awareness and detachment, all of which seem to come and go like night and day.
All of these teachings, recommendations and prescriptions are attempting to provide the seeker with answers to that which is unknowable, and ways to find that which has never been lost.
So the self is the separate seeker that pursues everything that it thinks it can know and do, excepting the absence of itself. That absence is the emptiness which is unknowable, but paradoxically is also the very fullness, the wholeness (paradise) that is longed for.
Should the apparent seeker meet with a perception which reveals in great depth the real nature of separation and also exposes, without compromise, the sublime futility of seeking, there can be a collapse of the construct of the separate self. That totally impersonal message carries with it a boundless energy into which the seemingly contracted energy of self unfolds. A resonance can arise which is beyond self awareness . . . something ineffable can be sensed . . . a fragrance and an opening to the wonder of unknowing can emerge.
Suddenly, there seems to be a shift and an impersonal realisation that this is already wholeness. The boundless, naked, innocent, free-floating and wonderful simplicity of beingness is already all there is . . . it is extraordinary in its ordinariness and yet it cannot be described.
Painting of Tony Parsons by Fred Schley