Please find another exploration of this topic here.
Do you see how it says “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”? This is ambiguous even in Hebrew since it might very well mean that Man was made in the image of God and men were created male-and-female. In other words, neither one or the other but both. This reminds me of Aristophanes’ myth in Symposium about the original androgyne whom Zeus envied so he clove into sexes with the thunderbolt. This notion will receive a further inflection when Luke presents the Tower of Babel story from later in Genesis.
I want it return to the notion of sexes though, since sex is the same root as “section” or “segment” or “sectarian” and more or less means “to part” or “to sunder” or “to divide.” We can connect this to the notion of “original sin” if we think of how from an undivided state, the original Adam was divided into rational and emotional aspects. Animals don’t have this kind of psychic separation. As long as reason and emotion are not two, sin (or error or “making a mistake”) doesn’t make sense because there exists no standard against which to judge an action that is separate from the will that impelled it. Again, animals don’t have this distinction.
So it makes perfect sense why it was necessarily Eve who took the apple out of desire and how this was a sin because it is post-hoc rationalisation when Adam followed her. It is absurd to say that emotions are bad per se, but only that they are problematic when they are not ordered by reason. This is obvious to anyone who is willing to reflect on it. Reason, in turn, subordinates itself to first principles of reality, which are immediate to God as the plan according to which he created reality. It is quite amazing to see how the archetype behind the story of Eve is perfectly reversed in respect to the Mary at the Annunciation. “Eva” becomes “Ave (Maria),” which were apparently the angel Gabriel’s words to the Virgin.
I want to make one observation about the two trees. Juxtapose in your mind’s eye the picture of the nervous system, as you described, with that of the heart and circulatory system. Nerves are actually almost lifeless. They have to be in order to conduct electric impulses. Moreover, the more or less binary nature of nervous impulses along the action potential of a given neuron is reflection in the dichotomy of Good & Evil that the Tree of Knowledge bears. That the Tree of Life was guarded from Man relates to the fact that we lack direct control of our vital processes. “Who can change the leopard’s spots?” And “Which of you, by worrying, can add one cubit to his stature?” One can imagine the robust form of the beating heart as a symbol of the “Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life.” Consider the Orthodox icon below. It is especially evocative because the black attendants represent the lungs on either side of the heart. If anyone has more information about the icon, please be obliged to comment.