Every human culture on the planet has developed a cosmology. Is this a cultural need for any society to function? Or is it a response to man’s need for answers to his questions. Or is it an intrinsic need of human nature? A need for answers about the origin of life and the state of human nature are reflected in the Creation and Garden of Eden stories in Genesis, the first book of the Torah. The Torah is more about man’s reality and his relation to God, than it is about God and God’s relation to man.
The Garden of Eden explains how man came to fall, but what is important is the fact that man’s nature is fallen, not how it came to be fallen. Culturally this concept has been expressed in poetry, art, music, and philosophy. Whether it was the fault of the serpent or Eve seems to matter little. What is important is the recognition and acceptance of man’s intrinsic, innate, or natural state, and that is a state of brokenness.
From Plato’s Timaeus to the colorful Hindu creation myths, man has always needed an explanation of his origin. These same sources also tell the story of man’s fallen nature. Plato has the elaborate Charioteer Myth to not only explain how man came to fall, but how man can be reborn. These and other cosmologies offer not only theories of origin and human intrinsic brokenness, but mechanisms, paths or strategies to heal that brokenness.
The purpose of this project is to show the universality of the Creation and the Garden of Eden stories in other cosmologies, and the importance of the recognition of man’s fallen state as exhibited in art, music, and philosophy. Man’s fall in the Garden of Eden has allowed for the compassonate understanding for man’s broken nature, sometimes apart from any religious context. The poetry of Robert Blake and Arthur Rimbaud will be examined for those qualities that help us to understand and live with ourselves.
Mark E. Smith, a punk rocker from Manchester, England, recognized the universal condition of the broken man. He formed the band, The Fall. Although band performances do not exude biblical reference, a deeper reading of some of Smith’s lyrics and his other writings show a sophisticated understanding of the human condition. If you dare, have a listen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56dxJjXbnjg