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Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Eve the first to choose freedom (interpretation)


Eve = unconscious woman
Adam = unconscious man
Apple = consciousness/ reward
Eden = the earth without consciousness
Serpent = evolution
God = Animal instincts
Decision = freedom

Was there a moment in the evolution of man when he woke into consciousness? Was it a slow progression from animal to man via a slow awareness process (I hope)? Or did man even in a small way, at a moment in time just become aware. Did he wake to find himself on the earth conscious of himself and his surrounds? I personally can’t think of a more frightening experience. To suddenly wake up, with no understanding of who, what and where you are or why. To be ripped from blissful ignorance to sudden awareness must have been hell.

Could this moment in time be the falling out of Eden (in Western mythology)? Could man have made this story as a reminder of times before consciousness, a time of instinct? The pain, that is still in us all. The original sin if you will. A very romanticized story of course.

The conscious mind brings with it decisions. Decisions bring with it the possibility of pain both physical and emotional. Awareness brings with it both pleasure and pain.

I will not write the whole story of Adam and Eve. By using the key as a test, could the story make sense? Adam and Eve are two unconscious beings. The serpent, representing evolution brings Eve to the point of making a decision of her own not based on instincts which is God. This decision making is freedom and the apple represents consciousness itself that is the grand reward. “You must not touch or eat it under pain of death” the serpent replies “No you will not die. God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods. Knowing good and evil.” “They ate and then the eyes of both of them opened and they realized that they were naked.” Then begins the curses the God gives to Adam and Eve. The hard live they are to have without him without instincts controlling all actions.
If space permitted, I would love to have delved more deeply into the story but alas I will refrain from that temptation.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Levi Strauss part 1

Levi Strauss’ view on culture, using food is totally fascinating and familiar. I have spent many a lazy Sunday afternoon discussing similar topics with a friend over a hot cup of tea (I know lame!). Food, eating and culture have been an interest of Buda and myself for many months and we have evolved the idea as much as we can. Strauss’ intellectualised study on the subject makes those Sunday discussions all the more worth it.
Strauss uses Roman Jacobson vowel-consonant triangle and applies it to his Culinary triangle eg cooked means culture, rotten means nature and raw on the top indicating a middle ground between culture and nature domestic. “Boiling provides a means of complete conservation of meat and it’s juices, whereas roasting is accompanied by destruction and loss. Thus one denotes economy; the other prodigality; the latter aristocratic, the former plebeian”
I like to take this into a different direction and talk about the symbolism of food preparation and killing of life for food. There are countless rituals for the killing of animals for later human consumption. These rituals are from practically all nations and peoples. Life needs life to survive this is a basic fact and the eating of animals and plants is the means by which we all live. The cooking of an animal in my opinion is the ritual by which we allow ourselves to eat animal flesh. Cooking changes meat chemically. Once cooked the animal is no longer an animal. It is a symbol of that animal. It has gone through a ritual cleansing process and is now fine to eat. We have brought it from the natural world to the cultured world. We will not be considered a savage to eat it now that it has been cooked. Also meat takes pride of the table in almost all cultures. This part of the ritual is a sign of respect to the animal we are about to eat. We are in a sense de-spiritualising the animal with these rituals. I believe this fits in well with Strauss’ culinary triangle.
Now do read up on Strauss’ most interesting subject the structure of myth.

Friday, July 04, 2003

A Pharmakon (cure/poison)

As a student of the body I like to combine that interest with my limited understanding of the mind. The body has a limit a peak in which it will be at it's best. Through intense physical training you can achieve this. This zone is manifested outwards by great physical achievements beyond normal everyday output. Unfortunately though you can not remain at this peak with ought causing the body harm or illness (usually mystery illnesses). I believe the mind works on similar principle in some ways. It also can run at it's peak. Again this is achieved via intense training and study. It manifests itself as great innovation, discoveries, art, philosophy ect. Again though like the body it has a greater chance of failing if it stays on these conditions for to long. Mental illness's, stress, burnouts or worse.