It all started with an apple and a box. Both forbidden.
Because had Eva not eaten the forbidden fruit, disobeying God’s orders, she and Adam would not have been thrown out of Paradise – the Garden of Eden. Similarly, if Pandora had not opened the box she was given as a present on condition that she would never look inside it, the world would not have been filled with all the terrible things it contained: illness, misery, despair, malice, greed, old age, death, hatred, violence, cruelty and war. The only thing she managed to keep inside the box when she hastily closed it was hope. It can be likened to the way we as humans behave to the Earth that has given us plenty in abundance, yet we brought upon ourselves harm by destroying everything valuable and genuine that exists: nature, animals, humanity, even our own dignity. And all we have left is hope.
People are always enticed by the forbidden. They are tempted by everything prohibited and actually enjoy doing the opposite of what they are told. Perhaps it is out of curiosity, or a reaction, an act of revolution, a desire to stand tall and appear in control of things, a show of strength. For various reasons, we wish to dare what we are told we shouldn’t. We want to see for ourselves if the forbidden fruit is indeed the sweetest.
When something is prohibited, it registers in our mind as most important because we focus our attention on it, searching for the reasons why it is placed out of limits. It thus becomes something we ‘must’ do. At the same time, we believe that something that is not readily available and is more difficult to attain has also a greater value, so we are willing to reach extremes to possess it – e.g. consider the price paid for objects at an auction.
But, perhaps the most important reason why we like to chase after the non-permissible, is because we don’t like to be told what we can and cannot do. We don’t like to feel we are controlled in any way. This behavioural resistance explains why we stubbornly refuse to comply with various laws or our need to carry out rowdy and intense protests every so often.
Beyond that though, we actually enjoy the game of hide and seek, the adrenaline rush from hunting the theoretically unattainable, the yearning of wanting something that does not belong to you or that you are not entitled to have.
And here comes another issue of human weakness: we are rarely happy with what we have and we are always looking for something else or something different. We get bored easily and we are difficult to satisfy. Perhaps if we truly observe what it is we actually have around and inside us, we would realize that we are richer and more complete than we would like to believe. And that some of our possessions may be those which are forbidden to others.