By Pastor Robert Perez
In my new series, “Le Opera de ADAMEVE™”, I imagined and shot the story of the two disgraced lovers from Genesis living in God’s garden and under His care as a minimalist stage Opera. A simple set, with only the key players, God, Adam and Eve, and roses being metaphors for Love. Shot in black and white, it has a lovely theatrical feel to it. God is the hand of creation and authority. Adam and Eve are mannequins, symbolizing prototypes of human beings to come. The roses are an obvious, but appropriate choice for Love in all its guises. Their story is very compelling, as it has so many aspects to its relevance, even today.
The main story plots are that God made Adam and from Adam made Eve. He’s pleased with them; they’re pleased with God and the Garden. Since they were made for each other, they’re partners from the start. Eve gets tempted by the tree of knowledge by the taunting of a naughty snake and eats the forbidden fruit of the tree. She then convinces Adam to do the same. Now they have knowledge that God had wanted kept from them. Perhaps, with ignorance would have come happiness was His thoughts. God finds out and hence banishes them from the garden, to live life now like the rest of the animal kingdom, struggling for survival before eventually dying. Even in its basic story structure it’s a great one.
But the story seemed so much more to me the more I thought about it. I was fixated on Adam and Eve and their relationship. With any synopsis, the details between the main plot are left out and glossed over. In this case, they were obviously thought to be beside the point. Who cares if they loved each other? Why bother asking if they had discussed things beforehand? Did they have sex for sex’s sake? And if they did, was it any good? To put it bluntly, were they lovers with all the beautiful drama that comes with it?
The final question for me was, did they ‘choose to stick together’ in spite of God’s assured disapproval of their behavior?
The bible is a mishmash of awesome stories, as grand as any from Tolkien. The difference is it’s presented as truth, reality and historical. Do I believe the story of Adam and Eve? No, I don’t. Same goes for a lot of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. Does that make me a hack Pastor? How can I be a Christian if I’m rejecting the handbook? It’s not that simple, is the answer.
Ancient humans started to get a grasp of their worlds with the use of their glorious new ‘awareness of things’. With observation came questions and the need to sort it out with their imaginations and developing logical systems. The importance of the bible is that it is a written attempt at explaining it all and hence one of the building blocks of all knowledge, regardless of the inaccuracies, because as the saying goes “one thing leads to another”.
We have Einstein because we have the knowledge that came before him, all of it, including the bible. Einstein imagined God in his way and saw deep into His universe. I’m not convinced at all that he could have done it without imagination and the basic premises formed by his Jewish heritage and upbringing. Einstein found new ways of seeing God because he believed that something existed beyond our earthly borders. Call it God or cosmic soup, but something amazing is happening out there. Just look at the recent images from the Webb telescope. I am awed!
The bible needs to be continually unpacked, discussed, and debated for its secrets. Face value acceptance is quite frankly, silly. But incorporating the information the right way, we all can see as Einstein did by unlocking the barriers we have to higher levels of understanding, that is seeing versus merely being told.
God exists. In a way, Adam and Eve exist. They are us.
Today, we can choose each other like they did, and choose God too, while also seeing beyond the limitations of Earth and our imaginations.
Pastor Robert Perez is an Ordained Minister, as well as, a professional artist, photographer, director and writer.
To view the visual work of Pastor Robert Perez visit: Artist Robert Perez™