“Then the one who is wiser than all of them, this one who was called “the beast,” came. And when he saw the likeness of their mother, Eve, he said to her, “What is it that God said to you? ‘Don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge’?”
She said, “He not only said ‘Don’t eat from it,’ but ‘Don’t touch it lest you die.’ ”
He said to her, “Don’t be afraid! You certainly shall not die. For he knows that when you eat from it your mind will be sobered and you will become like God, knowing the distinctions which exist between evil and good men. For he said this to you, lest you eat from it, since he is jealous.”
”On the Origin of the World.” The Other Bible. Ed. Willis Barnstone. Harper San Francisco, 1984. 71.
This picture shows the gnostic symbol of the universe – the ouroboros, a vast cosmic serpent devouring it’s own tail.
Here the serpent is taking a break from its’ steady diet of tail to force a man to smell a dirty old shoe. The man in question stubbornly refuses to recognize the cyclical nature of existence – thus he must rely on his sense of smell, the source of humanity’s oldest and most powerful memories. We can only hope that he will some day awaken.