Where do consciousness and language—the cornerstones of the human mind—begin? And may we ask, why? What ghostly errand do they serve?
For they are not—mark this carefully—an end in themselves.
“Eve’s Breast” takes us back into the womb to eavesdrop on the beginning of all human discourse, the fountainhead of consciousness and language, recapitulated in every individual since Lucy the Australopithecine. Called the Conversation of Grace.
The conversation that says, “You are taken care of.” Older than the Bible, older than all religion—it is the Great Code.
There is more. In the dark place of the womb and, later, at the nursing breast there is no language and consciousness as we commonly understand them. There is, instead, what the poet Robert Bringhurst calls the “ear of language”: the touch, the sound, the warmth. The uterine. The oral. The contracting and expanding. The pulsating. And, always, nurture. Always, affirmation. Always, relationship. Always, presence.
In the deep conversation of the womb there is eros. Kinetic and sensual. And, above all, an amazing grace.
This is Calvin Luther Martin’s answer to Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667) and, frankly, the Bible. Prize-winning author, former Guggenheim Fellow, retired Rutgers historian—Martin believes Milton and God got the Eve story wrong.
Argentine designer, Cecilia Sorochin, bore her first child while creating (and experiencing) this book. The child to whom this book is dedicated.