|My Xanadu must have a lot of water and greenery|
Xanadu is a paradise. Originally it was the summer palace of Kublai Khan celebrated by poet Coleridge in his poem, ‘Kubla Khan’. The Tatars ruled by Khan were barbaric. Khan created his personal paradise, Xanadu, as a refuge from the savagery of both his people and the nature.
We all need to create our own Xanadus in order to take shelter from the resounding savagery around us. Each one of us must find his/her own way of creating the personal paradise. I create my Xanadu through reading and writing. You can create yours following your own passions. Music, craft, gardening – there is an infinite variety of options open to you for the creation of your Xanadu. It is a place or ambience that gives you personal gratification. It helps you move closer towards self-realisation.
In the biblical creation myth, Adam and Eve lived in the Paradise created by God until the couple was driven by the irresistible human urge to know good and evil. In God’s Paradise they were mere animals that acted mechanically following nature’s laws. Animals have no knowledge of good and evil. They don’t need any ethical systems and legal codes. They live by their instincts.
Human beings go beyond instincts. The expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise was caused by their search for greater knowledge than other animals. It is quite a different matter that their search is portrayed as evil, fall from divine grace, in the book of Genesis which was written by a patriarchal sexist who wished to take the place of god outside the biblical Paradise.
The plain truth is that we cannot live as human beings without knowing good and evil. Adam and Eve had to lose their innocence one day or another, if knowledge of good and evil is loss of innocence. It is not knowledge of good and evil that causes loss of innocence, however. It is the choice of evil.
We live in a world in which evil far outweighs the good. People have made wrong choices. We have our own option, nevertheless. We can create our own Xanadu. We should create it as our refuge from the evils that surround us. Adam and Eve could have created their own personal paradise even after their God had expelled them from His Paradise by retaining their innocence through the choice of the good over the evil. But Adam and Eve are mythical creatures created with the intention of keeping believers under certain leashes.
Create your own Xanadu. Innocence is possible even in our very wicked world. Our Xanadu is the only heaven that is really real.
Tomorrow: Yes to Reality