Adam, or the Birth of Anxiety  
Thus, along with lack,  
anxiety was born.  
    A fallen apple – from the same branch that Eve  
plucked hers – continues to spoil at the foot of  
the felled tree.  
   Rotten fruit. Its name: ANXIETY.  

   Image of emptiness before emptiness.

   Biting into the apple, did Eve know she was  
devouring her soul?  

    What if the book were only infinite memory of


a word lacking?


    Thus absence speaks to absence.


    "My past pleads for me," he said. "But my fu-


ture remains evasive about the assortment in its




    Imagine a day without a day behind it, a night


without a previous night.


    Imagine Nothing and something in the middle


of Nothing.


    What if you were told this tiny something was




   And God created Adam.


   He created him a man, depriving him of memory.


   Man without childhood, without past.


   (Without tears, without laughter or smiles.)


   Man come out of Nothing, unable even to claim a por-

tion of this Nothing.  

   Did God consider for a moment that with one stroke He


deprived this man of what He would in the future grant all


other creatures?


    Adam, son of Nothing by the will of God, fruit of wan-

ton benevolence,  

    fruit ripe before ripening, tree in full leaf before growing,


world completed before emerging from nothing, but only in

the Mind of God.  

    Man of strange thoughts on which, however, his life de-


    Man chained to the Void, chained to the absence of all


    The past reassures us. Man without such security, deliv-


ered to whom? to what?


    Man without light or shadow, without origin or road,


without place, unless part of that place outside time which


is indifferent to man.


    Things must feel this way. But no doubt even they have


their thing-memory, recalling wood and steel, clay or marble.


Recalling their slow progress toward the idea, the know-


ledge of the thing they were to embody.


    O emptiness! Nothing to lean against, nothing to rest on,

is this anxiety?  

    Time molds us. Without past there is no present, and the


I cannot be imagined.


    Orphaned in the fullest sense of the term, of father and


mother, but also of himself - are we not engendered in that


moment of carnal and spiritual experience? - what could


seeing and hearing be for him? What could speaking or act-


ing mean? What weight has a word, what reverberations in


the future? What could it profit him? What contentment,

what soothing could he expect from any gesture?  

    Discoveries, encounters, surprises, disappointments,

wonder? Probably. But in relation to what other ap-  

proaches, in reply to which inner question, lacking all com-




    The key lies in the fertilized egg, the ovule, the fetus.


    The mystery and the miracle.


    Fertile forgetfulness. It pushes us to sound soul and spirit


in the name of spirit and soul. It helps us clear the various


paths of consciousness, to learn and unlearn, to take what


is offered, whether by dawn or by night, daily, in short, to

create ourselves.  

    I am not. All I have ever been is the man life has allowed


me to be.


    Thus I exist, molded by the best and the worst, by all I


have loved or fled, acquired or lost, molded by seconds at


the mercy of seconds as life drains away.


    Eve came out of Adam's sleep, woke next to him by the

will of God. She, too, a woman without having been a  

child, not having seen her body grow and develop, felt her


mind open out, giving full rein to voluptuous sexual desires


or fighting them.


    They looked at each other without a word. What could


they say? They could only observe, only study their differ-




    Days of boredom, of uneasiness followed. Of anxiety,




    They were God's playthings. Living together, yet unable


to get anything from each other. Living, yet without land-


marks of existence, not even a picture, a portrait which


would bear out that they were real.


    Only an unfamiliar body and a mind unable to think.


    Enter the serpent. Enter into their ears the blandishing


voice of the reptile, which was perhaps only the urgent


voice of their anxiety.


    Ah, this need to know, which on their part was not just


curiosity, but the hope to be healed. For God had im-


planted suffering in them, the hurt of being. God had made

a mistake. God had done wrong.  

    What if Eve's sin were really the sin of God which Eve,


for love of Him, took on herself? Both a sin of love and the


mad wish to save herself and save Adam?


    Anxiety had encouraged the act, hastening the coming of


their freedom.


    Breaking God's commandment meant, for one and the


other, finding their humanity.


    Nature taking its revenge, the sin of the flesh will prove


to be only the sin of procreation, of glorifying the seed.


    Ephemeral eternity of what is born.


    Eve and Adam cherished in advance, through the child-


hood they never had, their fragile, future offspring. For


God had already left them to their fate only to be in turn


forsaken by them. Their freedom – O solitude and


wound – issued undeniably from this double desertion.


    But two questions remain.


    Did God know, when He created man, that He could


never make a man of him because he could only become


one by himself?


    Did Eve's weakness later seem a lesson to God, and to


Adam, an essential test leading to their particular conscious-

ness of existence, to the acceptance of life and death?  
from The Book of Shares  
translated by Rosmarie Waldrop