Sunday, October 11, 2009
"Forbidden things have a secret charm."
-Publius Cornelius Tacitus
Why is it that we are subconsciously drawn to those things which
are forbidden, or denied, us?
As children we are told "don't touch the stove", so we immediately
touch the stove. We are told "don't play with matches", so we play
with matches. We are told "don't stick a paper clip into a wall
socket", so we stick a paper clip into a wall socket and immediately
find ourselves on the other side of the room.
And, even as adults, the moment we are told "don't" we experience
an uncontrollable urge to "do" that One Forbidden Act.
Mythology abounds with tales of the One Forbidden Act.
Pandora was told, "do not open the box". So, what does she do?
She opens the box.
Bluebeard tells his wife, "you may open any door in the castle
except that one". What does she do? She, of course, opens that
In Navajo mythology two young boys set out on a journey to find
their father, the Sun, in order to help save their village from
monsters. The wise elder tells them that they can travel in any
direction except North. They immediately set out to the North and
after many unique adventures they find their father.
And, in perhaps the most famous myth of all, Adam and Eve are
told, "you can eat the fruit of all the trees in the garden except that
one." We all know what happened there. Upon performing their One
Forbidden Act, and relishing the Forbidden Fruit, they are cast out
of the Garden (which symbolizes the Womb; the Realm of Unity),
and thrust into the realm of matter (which is the realm of Duality;
the realm of choices both good and ill).
The legend of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for birth, whereby a new
life leaves the world of Spirit to enter the world of matter.
So what is it that these myths and legends are passing down to us?
The One Forbidden Act is a metaphor for that one required catalyst
which is needed in order for change, growth and new creation to
occur. Metaphorically, without the One Forbidden Act, there would
be no change; there would be no growth; there would be no new
Something must be the catalyst that upsets the status quo, the
proverbial "apple cart", which insures that change and new creation
occur in rhythm with Universal Laws. That catalyst is The One
The One Forbidden Act teases us to do what has not been done
before, to go where no one has gone before, to envision what no
one has envisioned before and to experience what no one has
The One Forbidden Act is the "open doorway" which stands at the
threshold of our journey in our quest for our personal Holy Grail.
Metaphorically, we become the Dorothy who leaves our battered
house to enter the colorful world of Munchkins and bewilderment in
order to travel down the Yellow Brick Road in pursuit of the magical
land of Oz.
However, there are further lessons involved within the tale of the
One Forbidden Act. When we bite into the "Forbidden Fruit" we
acknowledge that we are both willing and unafraid to pursue the
journey which lies before us. This journey consists of accepting the
responsibility for our actions and decisions as we experience the
realm of Choices and Duality in all of its many aspects.
We also understand that should we choose to avoid the Realm of
Choices, we will find ourselves limited to, and enslaved by, the
choices of others. When we willingly, and understandably, accept
the responsibility for our actions we are then able to savor the
fruits of our chosen odyssey.
On the highest plane the One Forbidden Act symbolizes the Seeking
of Truth, which is the bane of all governments and organizations;
governments and organizations which continually indoctrinate us
to live in a blurred and confused state of false Hope, unfounded faith
and guilt-ridden servitude.
It is only when we bite into the "Forbidden Fruit" that we experience
a Destiny different from the majority and blaze our personal Path
Subconsciously, we desire to grow and become Wiser. However,
society is forever conditioning us to stagnate and conform.
Driven by our Spiritual Desire to grow and create, we find ourselves
in a state of constant battle with society's attempt to stifle and
control our thoughts and actions. This constant battle between
Spiritual Growth and physical control is the central issue of why
many of us live in dis-Harmony and unhappiness.
It is not until we perform the One Forbidden Act of biting into the
"Forbidden Fruit" that we are able to discard the invisible restraints
of conformity and travel down the unique and non-conforming path
that leads us to our personal Destiny.
---Suggested Reading: the writings of Joseph Campbell
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© copyright Joseph Panek 2009