Some of the benefits of the Fall are: writing, mathematics, science, astronomy ... logical/syntactical thinking ... problem-solving abilities, organization skills, administration systems, the wheel, roads, drainage, sewage-disposal-systems (let us pause in deep appreciation of sewage-disposal systems!) ... philosophy, transportation, medical advancements, higher education, and the very technologies that make sending out this blog post possible...! All of this can be traced to the Fall/Leap that our ancestors made 6,000 years ago ...
Prior to the Fall, it seems that our ancestors relied almost exclusively on their right brains ... and after the Fall, the left brain not only emerged, but took over. The left brain is required to "opt out" of pain and suffering ...
What's interesting to me, is that art took a nose-dive after the Fall ... the quality of art went downhill. It went from flowing and expressive, to almost abstract and "stick-like". Ego-consciousness seems relegated to the left brain ... while intuition and the arts flow from the right brain. And, as any artistic/creative person can tell you, when the ego is chattering away in the left brain (often with a stream of negative, fearful thoughts!), it can severely block the creative ability of the right brain. Often, to break through a "block", an artist or writer has to "just do it" ... to push from left to right brain ... so that creativity can return. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist, who suffered a stroke in her left brain, suddenly became very aware of how she was connected to everything, as she was operating almost exclusively from her right brain (if you haven't seen that amazing video, you owe it to yourself to watch this video).
So, what are some of the negative psychological effects of the Fall?
- Aloneness. As a result of the ego-explosion, each human became "trapped" inside their own head ... being an "I" separate from all others ... disconnected from nature, from the universe ... from Spirit. As well, we feel *incomplete* ... as if something critical is missing. We have a profound sense of unfilfillment, a lack of purpose. Our "original trauma" is this sense of disorientation, a sense of "homelessness". A wondering of how we fit in, where we belong ... and we spend our lives connecting and disconnecting with various groups ... as if we're looking for our "tribe" ... though our tribe is the Whole.
- Ego-Chattering. The ego-explosion enabled us to "talk inside our heads" ... even to have an ongoing inner dialogue ... and yet, it seems at times to control us. The ego seems to have a life/mind of its own ... distracting us with an endless stream of words, thoughts, images, memories, fears, anxieties ... (and this seems most pervasive in the middle of the night, when we can't sleep!). The Ego-chatter has a very negative slant ... full of past-regrets, and future-fears, and current what-ifs. Dissatisfaction and fear of failure seem to haunt us ... like we have a depressed inner-person, who gripes about any and every thing, harranging about it's troubles, ranting about its worries, agonizing over its fears.
- Perceptual Sleep. Our unfallen ancestors had a profound sense of everything around them being VERY alive and REAL. The world seemed to glow and sparkle to them ... their senses were heightened to the moment-at-hand. But to us, the ones who have the egoic filter, life seems drab and dreary ... most of it becomes "rote" and mundane ... so that we largely live on auto-pilot, desperate for diversions and distractions to stave off the stifling threat of boredom. We look at the planet and all upon it as "just things" (and things to use and abuse for our own benefit). It's almost as if we've gone from 3 to 2 dimensions ... as if we're experientially flat-lining. We have replaced awareness and perception with thinking and doing. This perceptual sleep deprives us of a sense of *meaning* ... we see life as harsh and difficult --whereas our ancestors saw the world as a meaningful and benevolent place. Thomas Yellowtail, a Native American (and therefore a more unfallen person), describes life this way:
"Wherever you went, and whatever you were doing, you were participating in sacred life, and you knew who you were and carried a sense of the sacred within you. All of the forms had meaning..."
The ego-explosion has caused us to lose the powerful sense of being "at home" in the world.
-Fear of Death. Because we became self-conscious, we fallen people became aware of our existence, and of our potential NON-existence. One of the ways we've sought to deal with this fear, is our concept of an after-life. The unfallen people saw death as just a transition, like birth ... when life returns to God/Spirit. But once our ego/individuality becomes precious to us, we cannot imagine not being as we are ... and so we envision ourselves, individually, continuing on, after death. So too have fallen people seen life-after-death as a reward to make up for all the intolerable suffering in this life (which, ironically, is made intolerable and sufferable due to the ego!). Egoic people have tended to see this life as something to merely endure, to get through, in order to get to the reward.
As a result of these psychological effects, we humans tend to be an unhappy lot. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to GET happy, or trying to ESCAPE from being unhappy ... we accumulate things, possessions, money, accolades, applause, attention, awards ... and we escape into food, drugs, alcohol, work, business, religion, relationships, sex, shopping, gossipping, TV, computers, novels, hobbies, and the like.
What we fear most, and what we need most, is to go within. To face our fears, to ask ourself if what we fear, believe and think are true. To be still, and hear the quiet Inner Voice of the Spirit who alone can (& will!) lead us into all truth.
Our own happiness, and indeed the survival of humanity, is dependent upon us transending our egos (individually and collectively), and connecting again with Spirit ... of regaining our sense of Oneness with each other, with God, with All.
But before we go there, let's take a deeper look at how the Fall has done damage with the resulting war, social oppression and patriarchy ... and it won't be as boring as you may think...!