Innate Equality and “The Gift”

My apologies for being away for so long!  Life gets really busy sometimes and before you know it, poof!  Time has kept slipping into the future.  I’ll be more regular in my postings for a good while now – promise!  Now, onto today’s installment…

Genesis 5:1-2 states: “…the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; Male and Female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.”

About this Harold says…

These words present the bisexual nature of Homo sapiens, the equality of man and woman; but they also suggest that, male or female, male-femaleeach person is as Adam: a body of consciousness through which is expressed a body of his own that he takes to wife, for Adam is joined to his own flesh in Eve.  Thus man cannot separate himself from the desire for a body, or from the desires of his body, on the assumption that life can be divorced from physical manifestation and the need of male and female in Homo sapiens generation to express their sexuality.

We see here that “Adam” poetically represents spirit, the groom, the active principle, while “Eve” represents matter, the bride, the passive principle.  Spirit wedded to matter is that which makes up an individual human being, male or female.  Harold continues…

But Jesus’ listeners did not grasp the poetry of the Adam-Eve legend: humankind wedded each to himself in the beginning, and then each sex to the other.  Nor would they accept his presentation of the equality of the sexes, and so they replied, “Better not to marry at all!”  Jesus answers this plaint, “True, but this truth is not practicable for everyone, it is only for those who have the gift.”

Of course “the gift” refers to those able to abstain from sexual intercourse; eunuchs and all.  Right?  Au contraire, says Harold!  Let’s see what his take is.  Picking up immediately from where the last quote left off he says:

These words [of Jesus referring to “the gift”] do not prohibit the indulgence of sexual desire.  To the contrary, they are utterly permissive.  But they are also practical, for few have the gift to live and love freely.

So there you have it.  Harold sees this gift NOT as the gift of continence, of abstaining from sex, but rather as living and loving freely, without the emotional and social attachments that a sexual relationship in our day and age would usually entail.  In “The Palestinian Mystery Play,” a commentary on “The Shining Stranger,” Winifred Babcock helps explain:

Jesus saw that man’s nature is changing.  In time he will not need the bonds marriage imposes to make him behave responsibly toward the other sex and the children that derive from the union.

“But it’s obvious from the context that Jesus equated ‘the gift’ with being a eunuch!” I can hear you yelling at me through your computer screen.  You have a good point.  Let’s look at the original passage:

10 His disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can accept this 40-Year-OldVirginMoviePosterteaching, but only those to whom it is given [who have the gift]. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” -Matt. 19:10-12

With verse 12, Harold says…

Jesus then lifts the discussion to another level: continence.  He says that men are born eunuch, are made eunuch, or make eunuch of themselves for the sake of the realm of heaven, which is to say, in response to inner need.  Such continence is to be practiced only when practicable.

Because Harold understands that man “cannot separate himself from…the desires of his body…and the need of male and female in Homo sapiens generation to express their sexuality,” he sees the comments about the eunuchs as the raising of the discussion to another level, not a continuation of Jesus’ previous statement about “the gift.”  While this is another long stretch for me, in the context of Harold’s understanding this is a completely valid interpretation.  I challenge you to meditate on this!

Until next time, peace…

2 thoughts on “Innate Equality and “The Gift”

  1. The “Lost Books of the Bible” say the same thing about the bi-sexual nature of humans and the equality of man and woman. But even more so “The Shining Stranger” hints to the original nature of humans…….no sexuality. In truth the body is sexual…but not (that) which is
    housed in the…body…… broken temple.

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