I The Forbidden Fruit: Externalized Aspects of Ourselves

The Forbidden Fruit

Genesis 2:8-9; 15-17 (NIV)
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 3:1-6 (NIV)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

From our experiences, we’ve found that the “forbidden fruit” from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is any quality that we externalize outside of ourselves, such as freedom, safety, beauty, health, personal power, sensuality, creativity, success, magic, purpose, self-knowledge, etc.  Externalizing these qualities causes us to experience existence separate from them, which in turns causes us to experience shame for no longer being connected to them, and guilt when we try to attain them again with our actions.  We become a victim for no longer having the qualities, and then have the option to externalize even further, where we either attempt to regain the lost qualities by being the hero for other victims, or the villain who steals them from other victims.  The hero is the “light side” (good), while the villain is the “dark side” (evil), but both are acting around their state of being a victim.  

When I’m the hero/rescuer, I am able to pretend that I am not a victim, as I externalize my victim onto those who require my sympathy; this is my attachment to finding victims that need saving. When I’m the villain/bully, I am able to pretend that I am not a victim, as I externalize my victim onto those that I abuse and treat poorly; this is my attachment to finding victims that I can bully. Both are externalizing my inner victim, so that I might find relief from it, rather than looking it square in the face and shining the light of consciousness onto it, so that I might be transformed. ~Nathan & Aline

Action cannot cause a person to be something, as action is an effect of being, and not the cause of being.  In our society, actors personify the reversed unnatural flow of DOING something to BE something, where they take on a role in a play; they are not really the role they are playing, but merely wearing a persona.  The words “act, action, acting, and actor” all come from the same Latin root ‘agere’, which means “to do”.  Actors DO a role that is not really them, just as when we are reversed we are acting a role that is not really us; we are acting as humans, but in all actuality, we are individuated aspects of the Divine stuck playing a role in a human vehicle; we believe we are the role rather than the being playing the role.

The externalizing of any quality of our being outside of ourselves has caused us to “act to be” rather than the truth of “be and then do”.  Any externalized quality is now an idol, authority, and god, and I will obey and do everything in my power to make sure I am able to conform and regain my externalized qualities.  If I have externalized the quality of being a good husband or wife, I will then act in a manner that I feel is consistent with the image of what I believe a good husband or wife to be.  It’s not inside me expressing itself outward, no, I see it as an external goal that I must become, and my life force energy becomes a resource that I must spend in order to get there, and to maintain the illusion.  I must maintain the image / persona at all costs, through continuing to act (spending my value), or lose my hope of ever being happy and powerful “like god”.  That which I am seeking is worthy, and I give my value to it in order to temporarily have it; the necessity to spend our value to regain our externalized aspects of ourselves is what makes it easy for us to be preyed upon by predatory beings.  

Males and females have a myriad of different externalized roles they can play, sometimes known as archetypes, such as action hero, doctor, husband, businessman, prince charming, father, patriarch, Jedi, super villain, and superhero, while women have many to choose from as well, such as princess, homemaker, wife, mother, matriarch, supermodel, goddess, and seductress.  Regardless, we’ve externalized several aspect of ourselves, and instead of being one with each quality and outwardly expressing our Divinity in our human vehicles, we’re sacrificing our energy (value/action/doing) for addictive hits of worth for “becoming” temporarily reunited with that which we first placed outside of ourselves.  

Let’s take a look at an example of how we currently go about creating something in our lives from the outside-in (doing → being), and how we might instead create it from the inside-out (being → doing).  

Let’s say that I want to buy a house, therefore I work at a job to save up enough money so that I may comfortably attain my goal that I have placed outside of myself; this goal may include one or more qualities, such as being safe, stable, a successful man, a good husband, a good father, etc.  I search for the perfect home that matches the image I have in my mind, get a bank loan, and purchase it.  I then must maintain it by continuing to work, fixing it up, placing nice furniture in it, and paying the utilities.  I must also continue to play the role of husband and/or father, and do it well, or risk losing the house in a divorce.  This requires a tremendous amount of energy and effort on my part, where I must continue to invest both time and money, until which time I either move on and buy another house, divorce, or die.  

However, how might creating a house look if I already had all of the qualities that having a house encompassed within me?  Already being safe, stable, a successful man, a good husband, a good father, and so much more within me, I choose to create a home that expresses who I already am.  From this space of already being whole, I express the qualities of safety, freedom, love, nurturing, peace, and joy outwards into the world, where I harmonize with like minded beings, to either create or co-create it’s shape and form.  Yes, it can magically appear out of thin air, but it doesn’t have to, since we’re in these bodies to act and express our individualized creativity; as our bodies were designed to be our vehicle for creative activity.  My home then is not a false image/idol/god that will temporarily complete my being as long as I continue to exert energy, but rather it has expressed forth from my completeness into manifested form; it is an external reflection of who I am within.  The house does not complete the image of me, with the Two becoming externally One, as it is an aspect and expression of me; for we are already One before we meet as Two.

Questions that we can ask that may help us re-internalize our fragmented aspects of Self:

“What aspects of myself have I externalized?”
“What images (idols/authorities/gods) do I have, that I perceive are worthy for me to become?”
“What qualities comprise the images I want to become?”
“What qualities do I see as separate from myself?”

“Why did I externalize such and such aspects of myself?”
“Why do I want to be such and such an image?”
“Why did I separate these qualities from myself?”

“How can I reclaim such and such aspects of myself?”
“How can I re-internalize the fragmented aspects of Self?”
“How can I reintegrate these qualities back into myself?”

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