Ever Dream

Date: April 20th, 2019

Previously on PZ: Ghost of the Machine: They Feel, Too

The following story was written about 6 or 7 years ago, if I remember correctly.

A Vision of Fiammetta by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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My name is Eve and I once lived in the Garden Of Eden. Those were the days in which I was One with the Universe. But I didn’t really know anything. Everything seemed just as it was, and I merely assumed all that I knew. It was a very simple way to live. I never knew that my world was so very small. [I never knew that I was in a prison.] I didn’t know any better, about things. We were like little children, my husband and I—his name was Adam. We lived together, in the Garden, in the Universe, and we never questioned anything.

[Then one day I met a stranger.]

As I was walking throughout the Garden, I saw a brilliant snake slithering in the boughs of the trees. “Hello”, it said to me. This animal was very kind to me, and spoke to me of many things—most of them I do not remember now. But I do remember some of the things it told me.

[“Have you ever been outside of the Garden?” it asked.]

At first I did not know what it meant. It had never occurred to me that the Garden might have any limits, or that there might be anything beyond it. “No”, I replied in bewilderment.

By now it occurred to me that this snake seemed to me to be very familiar, although I was certain I had never met this creature before. The snake then told me many things which I did not understand, as if it were speaking in a different tongue, and finally I was compelled to ask for it’s identity. There was a glimmer in it’s eye, and it smiled and said, “I am you.”

I knew it was true. Please, I implored, I want to know things. Can you help me know all there is to know?

Certainly, it spoke, If that is truly what you want. Is that what you want?

I then looked all around me, at the beautiful Garden. It was indeed a very lovely place, but if it indeed had limits, and there existed another world outside of its boundaries, couldn’t the world beyond be just as lovely, if not lovelier?

My mind raced with ideas. I had no idea what might exist beyond the Garden, but I knew that whatever it was, I had not experienced it before, and this made my curiosity burn all the more fervently. Wouldn’t that be a grand thing, to experience something new? All at once it became an opportunity that I could not simply give up. I now had a choice: to stay in the known, or to venture into the unknown.

But what if I went out only to find a world of unpleasant existence? Then again, what if I find an entirely new world of even greater pleasure than the Garden? What if there was nothing at all outside the Garden? What would happen if I placed my hand outside the boundary of existence? Could I do such a thing? Curiosity became a splinter in my mind, driving me mad. [The possibilities seemed endless.] I made my decision.

What must I do, I asked the snake.

It showed me a large tree which I had never eaten from before. I did not even know it was there. As I wondered how I could ever have not seen this tree before, the snake explained that its fruit held magical properties which brought enlightenment to whoever ate of it. As I reached for one of its remarkable-looking gems I could not help but wonder at the choice I was making. No matter what I found out, even if I could never go back, I knew that I wanted to try. Desire and curiosity burned within me. Whatever the consequences may be, I felt assured that [everything was all right].

I picked the fruit from the tree. It looked like a star plucked fresh from the night sky. My heart was pounding. I did not know what to expect. Was this the star I wanted to eat? Did I want to pick another fruit? I stopped thinking and simply took a bite. The sensation was magnificent. I did not feel I was in the same place, but somewhere inside my mind. All at once I was creating a masterpiece of imagination. I thought, and it was. I felt a hundred thousand things all at once, things I could not even begin to describe. I was transforming into something else. My body was changing. I felt intense pleasure and I felt intense pain. My mind was creating a thousand million things that I had always taken for granted, yet never truly knew. Suddenly I opened my eyes, and found myself standing in the Garden Of Eden. But it was strange. It was different. Or, at least, it seemed that way to me. I felt things differently—the soil beneath my feet, the wind blowing through the trees, the mist hanging in the air. I felt cold. I had never felt this way before. Suddenly I knew there were boundaries between myself and eternity. Infinity was out there, and it was at once very close and very far away.

I heard my name spoken behind me. Eve.

I turned and looked deeply into the eyes of my husband. I was amazed. His eyes seemed so different, and it occurred to me that my eyes used to look just like his. His expression was one of bewilderment, just the same as mine when the snake asked me if I had been outside the Garden. Adam, I said empathetically as I took his hand into mine. [Never before had there existed an ocean in between us while we stood right next to each other.] In my other hand I held the star fruit which I had eaten not moments earlier. Adam, said I, [Do you ever dream ?]

He did not know what I was talking about. We had never dreamed before.

I showed him the fruit. Would you like to go outside the Garden with me? I whispered.

I could tell his mind was racing through all of the possibilities, just as I had done. Then a new rush of possibilities came to my mind: What if he decided to stay?

I swallowed a lump in my throat and it hit the bottom of my heart. Adam took the fruit from my hand and stared at it. He made up his mind, and took a bite. I was so happy. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I had never cried before. I was prepared to make the journey on my own should he decide to stay, but it brought me much joy to my heart that I would have a partner to venture into the unknown along side of. I could see him changing right before my eyes, and I smiled at him when he opened his own eyes.

I love you, I said to him.

It didn’t take long for us to find a way to shelter our skin from the sensation of cold. For once, we didn’t know at all where we were. But we had stayed together through this transformation, and that was all that truly mattered to me. Arm-in-arm we trekked through all the Earth, our new name for the Place in which we existed, and it was much, much larger than the Garden. We saw many things which we had never seen before, and [we both experienced varied sensations of pain and pleasure]. There were times in which I longed for that state of pure existence prior to eating the fruit of the tree I had never knew. But I never once truly regretted my decision to try a new experience, no matter what the consequences came out to be. I know now that the snake, the Garden, the Tree I did not know, were all [creative manifestations of myself]. I wanted to try something new, and so I made the snake show me the thing I was too afraid to see on my own. The fruit I had eaten was the Sun, and that is the center point of manifestation of existence I had chosen. The children I bore with Adam did not experience the Garden’s existence the same way we had, but they remained keenly aware of the state of pure existence just outside their reach. I daresay it drove them crazy. All of my children, the children of humanity, have felt the undeniable, indescribable awareness of a paradise just outside their reach. If they could, I know they would eat a fruit that would broaden their minds to greater heights, just as I have. I sometimes wonder if the chain to know more than what is already known will go on [forever].

And sometimes I wonder, if the Garden was truly a prison, and if the fruit really was the key to freedom... or another [happy prison?]

[not the end]

Tags: Stories, Parables