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Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

July 4 2018
Tags:Religion, Orthodoxy, Men, Women

Why should a man and a woman be together? Why, being in the physiological nature of such different, man and woman inevitably stretch to each other? It would seem that the answer to the question lies somewhere on the surface. But if he is so obvious and clear, then why, having married, many soon part? Perhaps our difference is the error of God? However, the answers are really closer than it seems. Unexpected and sometimes unknown to modern man we find answers in the pages of the Bible. We offer our reader a series of two articles devoted to this riddle.

Let us make man, and let them rule.

The problem of two sexes worried minds from ancient times. Over the mysterious difference between a man and a woman thought and in the era of antiquity, and in the Middle Ages, and today. What is not surprising: even the most superficial glance shows that the difference in the behavior and psychology of men and women is so obvious that with a share of poetic exaggeration one can say that we are beings from different planets: "Men from Mars, women from Venus" (by the way, he called his book popular American psychologist John Gray).

But the question of the meaning of the existence of men and women in the world, the meaning of their marriage and, finally, the meaning of love between them inevitably leads to the question of the meaning of life itself. Perhaps, therefore, the author of the Bible book of Genesis spoke one of the first on the theme of love and marriage.

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

And God said: let us make man in our image, and in our likeness (Gen. 1: 26). As we see, the narrative about the creation of homo sapiens is conducted in the singular - "Let us make man". Here we are not talking about a man and a woman, but about a single person, containing a male and female nature. However, further in the text the singular number suddenly turns into the plural: and yes they rule ... (Gen. 1: 26).

What is this inconsistency? Randomness, a mistake in translation, an illiteracy of the author? This question excited many interpreters of the Bible. Another Archbishop of Constantinople V century St. John Chrysostom, known for his reflections on the subject of biblical stories, was surprised at this place. Zlatoust believed that before us, as it were, unfolds a picture of a striking unity in the first man of what will soon be divided and called a man and a woman.

The Bible and the myth of the androgyne

Ancient Greek philosopher Plato spoke, it would seem, something similar about the mythological androgyne - an ideal being in which two sexes are connected. The physical separation of men and women was interpreted as a tragedy. Each of the halves became something flawed.

Is this not what the Bible tells us? Is not the Biblical picture of man's creation with the ancient myth of the ideal sexual unity in the androgyne similar? After all, in the biblical text, too, it is first about a single person without sexual characteristics.

In fact, the idea of ​​androgyne is fundamentally alien to the biblical view. The "man" of the first chapter of the book of Genesis is both man and woman as one whole, one person in which, rather, male and female nature are united, but not sex in the physiological sense.

This is very important, because for the biblical author the person is primary. Paul only helps her to uniquely prove herself. But he is not a dictator, not a Freudian root cause, to which everything in man is reduced. The floor for the biblical tradition is only "God-like clothes", an important and profound part of our nature, which, however, is removed with the advent of the Kingdom of Heaven, where there is no male or female (Gal 3: 28).

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

The ancient authors are different, because it is the sex for them - it's the whole person. That is why Aristophanes can not imagine an androgyne about two legs and arms. After all, if there are two sexes in the androgyne, then it must have four hands and four legs: "The androgyne body was round, the back was not different from the chest, the arms were four, the legs as much as the arms, and everyone on the round neck has two persons of exactly the same type; The head of these two faces, looking in opposite directions, was common, there were two pairs of ears, two sham pieces, and the other can be imagined for everything that has already been said. Such a person moved either directly, full-length - just as we are now, but either of the two sides forward, or, if in a hurry, walked the wheel, climbing his legs and rolling on eight limbs, which allowed him to quickly run forward. "

This "man-wheel" in ancient sources could appear, on the one hand, due to the complete identification of man with his physical nature, and on the other - because of a steady desire for integrity.

The biblical narrative of man as a single beginning, apparently, means that all human characteristics are treated equally by both a man and a woman, who have not yet appeared in front of each other in their sex differences.

According to the interpretation of the Christian author of the 5th century, St. Augustine, the use of the singular in the book of Genesis, moreover, indicates the unity of the future union. Thus, man and woman are "qualitatively equal to each other", they are both created in the image and likeness of God.

This ancient biblical passage is the first manifesto in history to equalize the rights of men and women long before the rise of feminism. He says that both Adam and Eve are the same in their divine-human essence. They are both perfect beings, and perfection is in their godlike likeness.

Right to be sensitive

In the second chapter of Genesis we read how a person is invited to call names to all living things in the world. And the Lord God said: It is not good for a man to be alone; I will make him an assistant, appropriate to him. The Lord God formed out of the earth all the animals of the field and all the birds of the heavens, and brought them to the man to see how he would call them, and so that, as the man called every living soul, so was her name. And the man called the names of all the cattle and the birds of the sky, and all the beasts of the field; but for a man there was not an assistant like him (Gen. 2: 18-20).

What do we see? God turns the whole world to man and waits: what will a person do with this world, as he calls it? Let us ponder how strange: the world, which according to the Bible was created by the Creator of His one: Let it be, it also needs the word of a man who, in turn, becomes not only a competitor of meaning, but a free connoisseur of the beauty of everything created. But the God of the Bible is far from dictate - He gives man the right to what in religious experience is called "synergy" - for free interaction, cooperation, cooperation. That is, in the final sense - the right to creativity and personal sensitivity.

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

Finally, there comes a time when human experience knows the Divine purpose. Everything that a man has met in this primordial world is a couple, except for the man himself, who suddenly not only feels lonely, but understands the need for someone else. And only when this need is realized by the experience of man, God gives the being of his thought.

John Chrysostom says that initially all the qualities were laid down in man, but gradually, as it maturation, incompatible in one being both male and female qualities began to appear in him. When he finally reached maturity, God divided him: Adam knew that he was one - and Eve appeared before him.

What kind of sleep did Adam sleep?

But this act of the appearance of the "other" was not an ordinary evolution, a trivial development. The Bible narrates about this as follows: And the Lord God brought a strong sleep to man (Gen. 2: 21). That is, according to the biblical narrative, in order to produce a wife, God introduces man into an unusual state, for which the word "tardem" existed in Hebrew.

"Tardema" is more than a sound sleep. This is a condition when a person loses himself. The Greek translation offers us the word "ékstasis" - literally ecstasy, a breakdown, when a person is no longer a closed person, but an open one, receptive to outside influence. In the Slavonic translation, the word "frenzy" is close to this notion.

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

In other words, speech in the book of Genesis does not mean that Adam fell asleep "deep sleep," and God surgically cut out his rib and "polled" to the image of his wife. A person, being in the "tirdem", leaving in its depths, reveals itself and becomes something more than it was before.

The Bible once again emphasizes that neither Adam nor Eve has the right of primacy before God, but there is a unity of nature between husband and wife. That is, the grace of God lies on both. They have the same human dignity. Adam did not degrade, having given birth to Eve, and Eve did not become the highest stage of evolution, having come from Adam.

Further we read how Adam saw Eve and exclaims: "This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; she will be called a wife: for she is taken from her husband (Gen. 2: 23).

Hymn of Love

It is completely unclear why Adam's "rib" should be called a "wife"? In this sense, the Slavonic word "wife" does not carry a special semantic load, except that the wife, as it were, "shook", "married to her husband". However, no other translation was able to convey the ideological fullness of the term. In the Hebrew original, we find that "the wife" will be called "isha," because it is taken from the "husband", which in Hebrew sounds like "ish". An amazing word game! The Hebrew word is used here at once in two genera, in masculine and feminine, and implies one human being, but two sides of the same phenomenon.

Here we first encounter the manifestation of poetic creativity in human life. This is the first hymn of Love. Adam sings Eve and the relationships that develop between them, praises the miracle of communication on equal terms, which his wife will give him. Adam looked at his wife and saw that she has an identity, she is a full-fledged, completely meaningful being, and is connected with the living God in a unique way, like himself. Adam sees and realizes that Eve is like he's in a feminine gender, and Eve sees in Adam that it's her, but in the male "performance." Thus, after the advent of Eve, male and female nature begins to manifest as a sexual polarity. It follows that the sex itself is not a function of the human body. Sex is the property of the whole man, every cell of his body; property, but not the essence.

Man and woman: the error of God or the fullness of happiness?

Through a physiological difference, Adam and Eve become non-identical to each other. They have not only a personal difference, but otherness. They seem to really come from different planets: "from Mars and Venus", while remaining the children of one "solar system". In other words, the sons of Adam and the daughter of Eve are not two civilizations (at the level of human nature and human dignity - man and woman are two absolutely identical beings), but they are two different ways of existence.

Sexual difference for them does not become pain. Animus and anima, the masculine and feminine dimension of being, gives them both the opportunity to realize themselves as a whole person, not robbing them, but empowers them to feel the world and each other more deeply and deeper, to understand themselves even deeper.

Here, for the first time in the biblical text, we meet with the idea that only together Adam and Eve are the fullness of human happiness.

Instead of a conclusion

So, our notorious natural dissimilarity is far from a mistake, not at all a whim and not even a fad. This difference, as shown in the Bible, is nothing but the need for being, realized by the experience of the first person.

Both Adam and Eve, created for the love of God, were called to eternal perfection, to replenishment of one that is lacking to another. Each of them had a unique nature and individual qualities.

At the same time, their nature was reflected in bodily life, because the connection between the soul and the body is not external mechanical, but internal. Adam possessed a male, and Eve a female gender. Through this difference they enriched their personal being.

PETROVSKY Igor
THOMAS
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