It would certainly explain why the big G was so intent on not letting the first naughty kids chow down.
He just didn’t want them to grow up, same as any doting parent.
But Adam and Eve took the apple, and grew up, cast into the land of Nod, where they were allowed to fuck and suffer for themselves.
The rest is history (or rather, it’s all mythology and we’d better not try and pretend it’s real or we’re going to get owned by the science folk).
The Garden of Eden had a tree of knowledge of good and evil in it. The fruit of that tree was forbidden. Until they ate it, the kids walked through the garden with no shame. It was only the fruit that caused them to cover up their shit, sewing fig leaves into aprons, which must be quite a trick.
I like the bit where the serpent, tricksy embodiment of evil that he is, tells them that if they eat the fruit of the forbidden tree they will be like Gods, for they will know good and evil. The whole thing is motivated by jealousy for the parent.
The whole thing is a Freudian’s wet nightmare, basically.
And there definitely is an argument for reading it as a metaphor for the sexual discovery of puberty. A little bit of psychodrama to kick off the greatest story ever told, before all the begetting gets started.
Puberty is about discovery. And unfortunately, thanks to a lot of religious hangovers, it also tends to be about shame and being cast out into the wilds.
When we eat that apple, we should probably be learning from someone with better motivation than the serpent. Yet that tends to be what happens. Even non-religious parents can be embarrassed by the thought of explaining the realities of life (sex is only a part of this, albeit quite a big one) so they leave it to whatever serpents may be lying about (playground rumour, bike shed fumbling, hollyoaks) to talk to the kids about it.
Apples are these huge fruits, full of nutrients to give seeds a better chance of growing into big healthy trees.
We definitely need to do this with our own kids more often. Not let embarrassment or shame or awkwardness or stupidity and selfishness hold them back.
That’s probably easier said than done, but forbidding all the exciting stuff and denying it’s existence is definitely not the best start.
Childhood innocence is pretty much a construct anyway. Children are so much cleverer than you think, and in a society as saturated with sex as ours is, they notice it fairly quickly.
Not to mention the internal cues.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one to discover my sexuality by accident. It’s something separate from a practical education.
And it’s nothing like eating an apple.
Like anything, an apple is made of symbolism.
I wouldn’t read too much into that.
But I will talk to my kids.
Illustration by Adam.