January 12, 2010

Original Solitude


When Adam named all the animals in the garden he realized he was alone. In other words, he understands that he is the only "person" in the visible world. He experiences what John Paul II in his Theology of the Body calls "original solitude." This original solitude has two senses.

The first sense of original solitude has to do with Adam's relationship with God. In "the beginning," Adam quickly began to understand that he had a unique relationship with the Creator. He alone could talk with God. He alone could have a personal relationship with God. None of the other creatures in the garden could do this.

It naturally follows that only man has an interior life. Only man is capable of loving. Adam/man is the Hebrew word for "mankind" as mentioned previously. Adam and Eve together experience original solitude. This is key to understanding the Theology of the Body. Mankind experiences original solitude in all its senses, both male and female. Adam and Eve both experience original solitude - not just Adam the male.

The second sense of original solitude is perhaps the most obvious one. In naming all the animals Adam discovers he is alone. There is no other human person to love and to receive in love. Adam longs deep in his heart to love an other and to be loved by an other. This profound loneliness, the second sense of original unity, was felt by both Adam and Eve.

Visit our Theology of the Body page for more.

1 comment :

tob1 said...

Exactly!! I had trouble with this concept thinking there was only 1 solitude. But there are 2 solitudes, one that both male and female experience as without God because they have an interior life and the animals do not so they are different from the animals, and the second solitude is the solitude of being alone and wanting another human to love.