While there are several versions of the Fall narrative in ancient Semitic literature, it is not widely known that a mythic memory of a primordial Fall is also recorded in the Oriental world and this phenomenon is especially interesting when examined from the perspective of Jung’s theory of the archetype; i.e., the common and universal patterns of thought that spontaneously appear in the stories and myths gathered from all around the world.
Although the Buddhist tradition does not speak of a Fall in the Western theological sense, it does speak of a state of Original Ignorance that occurred at the dawn of human creation. From ignorance came greed, anger, jealousy, and pride; and from these emotional energies come misdeeds that lead to suffering. The first sin among the ancients that perpetuated the Fall was the prejudice of appearance—those of brighter skin began to look down on those with darker skin. Ignorance led to the formation of gender, which eventually gave rise to desire and passion. Continue reading “A Buddhist Version of the Edenic Fall?”