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« Was Eden Ever an Ecologically Balanced Historical Place? »

Eden is not a utopia lost. It is not a Garden of magical thinking or innocence. It is an evolved, healthy ecosphere that is alive in our conscious mind, and lives even more strongly in the regions of our unconscious. It exists mythologically to guide and shape OneEarth living. In various forms, it may exist biologically and ecologically. Earth appears intentionally bent on evolving it. We can inhabit it, but only if we have conversations with ourselves and others that frighten the bejesus out of our egos. Only by centering who we are around the larger core of our Self, not our ego, are we able to inhabit Eden. It’s bio-systems, deeply real, transcend what our civilization has delivered, or can deliver. Civilization’s orientation toward rational proof and thought, helpful as they are, cannot deliver Eden. But as we move beyond rational understandings and embrace the fullness of Earth’s ways, we also use our fuller capacities as humans, including employing myth, symbol, and imagination. We then become, not only able to live in Eden, we insist on it.

But even as I say this, I do not mean to shrink Eden to historical size. As soon as we name a place “Eden, ” Eden will be somewhere else. It remains beyond our control, beyond what we can fully embody. It is material and mystery. The heroic journey on which this book takes us increases our capacities to move Eden out of the unconscious and express it in our lives. But Eden is ever developing new potentials in our unconscious minds.

For readers who’d like to see an account of the Eden myth, it can be found in Genesis 2:5-3:24. I recommend reading it in the New Revised Standard translation of the Bible as well as other variations. 

(The above is an excerpt from the opening chapter of my new book, From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable, available February 6, 2017.)

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