Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adam and Eve

In an article about the divine nature and destiny of women, Glenn L. Pace states "I’d like to share a perspective from John Milton’s Paradise Lost that fully resonates with my soul." As I was reading what he shared it also resonated with me, (especially after reading a comment from a friend on a different post) so I wanted to share it here with you:

 Milton describes the beauty of the Garden and the variety of animals. In his account, Adam watches the interplay between the animals and communicates with them as best he can. However, Adam concludes something is drastically amiss. Milton wrote: 


They rejoice 
Each with their kind, lion with lioness; 
So fitly them in pairs thou hast combin’d; 
Much less can bird with beast, or fish with fowl 
So well converse, nor with the ox the ape; 
Worse then can man with beast, and least of all. 


In other words, Adam is saying, “What’s wrong with this picture?” Milton goes on to suggest that God delayed the introduction of Eve until Adam could fully appreciate her. Seeing that Adam is now ready for the introduction of Eve, God describes what is going to happen next. I love Milton’s description of what Eve would mean to Adam: 

What next I bring shall please thee, be assur’d, 
Thy likeness, thy fit help, thy other self, 
Thy wish exactly to thy heart’s desire. 

“Thy fit help”? No, this doesn’t mean she would be in good shape. It means she would be a match, a complement, a counterpart, even his “other self.” Finally, Eve stood before him, and she exceeded his highest expectations. He had never seen anything like her in the garden. Milton continues: 

Under his forming hands a creature grew, 
Manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair, 
That what seem’d fair in all the world, seem’d now 
Mean, or in her summ’d up, in her contain’d, 
And in her looks, which from that time infus’d 
Sweetness into my heart, unfelt before. 


I hope Milton will forgive me for adding my opinion that the “sweetness” Adam felt, which was “unfelt before,” was much more than that which was generated by Eve’s physical appearance. Those feelings flowing into him had as their source her wellspring. His feelings were the direct result of standing in front of one of the daughters of heavenly parents who had a divine nature different from, but complementary to, his own divine nature.

 I think God also does the same for each of us, delaying our introduction to our "fit help" until we are each prepared to fully appreciate the other. I believe that in that moment we will each experience that same sweetness and complimentary power.

1 comment:

  1. I've definitely found this to be the case. All true.

    ReplyDelete