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.