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MARIETA MAGLAS

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 10/15/2016 |




Usually, the purpose of a taboo is to preserve the boundary between the sacred and the profane.The word 'sacred' makes us think of another world,   where the things are related to a sacred dimension of life. The sacred values go together with the profane values according to the taboos and the tabooed objects. The taboo exists to be broken periodically in order to preserve the sacredness.

The Biblical prohibition “Thou shalt not know” suggest an inverted taboo, which is a way to conceal what it is forbidden. The fact that the humankind is not allowed to know what it is forbidden to it makes this taboo be powerful, even it is at risk of being destroyed.

Adam and Eve have been the first pair making a mistake. In Genesis 2:16-17, God allowed Adam to eat from every tree that has been existent in the Garden of Eden, except the tree of knowledge. This pair had desires against what God had told them and because of this attitude they have been punished to live on Earth. ''Thorns and weeds would make planting while harvesting hard labor. Men would have to work to eat. Women would give birth in pain. Animals became dangerous and carnivorous.''

The first parents left the Paradise because they had been disobedient.  The awareness of being in Eden came after being forced to leave this paradise place to live on the earth. This tree was existent there because they really lived in Paradise.

The oldest taboo against eating from the Tree of Knowledge was imposed for the good of humanity because God created this pair for a purpose. In Genesis 2:9, there are described two trees, one being for knowledge and the other one being for life, but only the first one is forbidden.(Genesis 2:17) The tree of knowledge can awaken Adam and Eve. Then, they can eat from the tree of life, which is not intentionally forbidden. After gaining the knowledge, they could understand the meaning of the tree of life. Without knowledge, they wouldn't need to know  the secret of life, which is, in modern terms,  the human genome. ''If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.''
- British poet and mystic, William Blake

Yet, this tree was the tree of a self-reflective knowledge. This way, Adam and Eve had the ability to come into contact with the unknown. They started to understand their own thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Prior to attaining this adeptness to the new state of being, they had been naked while not knowing anything about the nakedness. Therefore, they felt no shame. 'So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.' (Genesis 3:6-7)

In the phrases where the word 'nakedness' is used in the Bible, only its natural meaning makes a plain sense. For example:
''Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.'' (Gen. 9:22)
''…so I spread My skirt over you and covered your nakedness.'' (Ezekiel 16:8)
''I will also take away My wool and My flax Given to cover her nakedness.'' (Hosea 2:9)
In other phrases, this word has a deep meaning being related to life and features:
''None of you shall approach any blood relative of his to uncover nakedness; I am the LORD.'' (Lev. 18:6)
In Eden, Adam and Eve firstly have been “naked and unashamed” (Gen. 2:25), but after committing the sin, they got a new 'nakedness', a sinful one, and they needed to cover it in order to make the sin be their secret during the meeting with the Lord.
''Mankind can no longer look upon nakedness in innocence,'' wrote Matthew Neal.

''You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.'' (Lev. 18:8)
The words, “father’s nakedness” don’t mean that the father is unclothed, but it is about to expose or not the father's secrets and vulnerabilities.
This expression “uncover the nakedness of…” can also be understood as an euphemism for a sexual intercourse.
It’s obvious that the target of Leviticus 18:6-
18 is to shape and to forbid the incestuous sexual relationships.

This word ‘nakedness’ means the purity of the soul, “naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”Job 1:21 . The naked prophets were not sinners in order to do the will of the Lord. ''Then the LORD said, "My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign--a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.''(Isaiah 20:3). Their nakedness is a sign of humility and brokenness before God. A man who dwelt in the Gadarenes region had thousands of demons in him (Matthew 8:28 - 32, Mark 5:1 - 13, Luke 8:26 - 33). The spirits forced him to dwell, naked, in graveyards and to hurt himself using stones (Mark 5:1 - 14, Luke 8:26 - 37, Matthew 8:28 - 32). He was 'naked' because while being mad he couldn't do the sin.

''But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.'' (Matthew 5:28)

 In Matthew 5:27–30, Christ talks about the adultery, which is the seventh commandment, but many people belonging to actual societies are not Christians.  It is not to be a Christian in order to avoid the extramarital affairs, but to be a husband loving the needed wife in order never to look at another person with lust in the heart. We live in a world in which the pornography is allowed and encourages all the illicit sexual activities.

The extramarital affairs are the growing 'seeds' of the lustful desires and are fed by the lack of faith. The sinners don't know to fight through repentance.  They have an attitude toward the sexual sin.(James 1:12–15)

People don't understand that the sexual desire is a part of their natural structure because they are created by God to be married. (Gen. 2:23–24). Moreover, they don't really understand the physical attractiveness, because the  beauty which is described in the Scripture has a different connotation .(Gen. 29:17; 1 Sam. 16:12; 25:3) This lust is a wish for some sinful sexual orientations like  pornography, adulterous fantasies, some homosexual behaviors, incests, sexual abuses, rapes, and aggressions that are forbidden in the Bible.  In fact, Cain is considered to be the first sinner. ''Freud argues that the primal murder went on to determine the character of every religion. To him, all religion is an attempt to alleviate the feelings of guilt,'' wrote Jason Carr.

The Cristian Church says that any kind of sex for the sole purpose of pleasure is not appropriate. The religious reason for the sexual encounter is the pregnancy because this act means self-sacrifice through love in the marriage relationships. They [the husband and wife] shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). In this sense, the sexual meeting is a physical manifestation of God's statement involving the physical pleasure, but it is not that sex for pleasure which is done in the absence of love, and which is used for a physical release. Satan  keeps people from reading and understanding the truths of God.

''The question our century puts before us is: Is it possible to regain the lost dimension, the encounter with the Sacred, the dimension that cuts through the world and goes down to that which is not world but is the mystery of the Ground of Being?'' said Theologian Paul Tillich, Hillel Society, Harvard University, 1956.

''The oldest taboo in the world is seemingly a most potent one. Its prohibitive power cannot be denied, yet it also suffers a fatal weakness. As taboos go, this one is odd, an inexplicable exception. Traditionally, native societies around the world observe taboos, ritual prohibitions. Among the most common are taboos against eating certain foods or animals: the Muslim taboo on eating pork, for instance. Or the Hindu taboo on killing cows. Such prohibitions may look foolish or simple-minded,but there is a profound understanding behind them.''

References:
The Bible
Beauvoir, Simone de (2009). The Second Sex. London: Vintage Books. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-099-49938-1.
Jump up ^ Brown, Norman O. (1985). Life against Death: The Psychoanalytical Meaning of Human History. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-8195-6144-4.
The Discovery of a Lifetime, John Lamb Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin.
Sigmund Freud and the Primordial Murder, Jason Carr
Does the Bible Ever Condone Social Nudity?Matthew Neal


[MARIETA MAGLAS]

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