If we apply some basic logic to this text we can only conclude that it makes no sense to our modern minds. Is it all about sex and lust or is it pointing to another harmful activity? Firstly, there is no mention of a particular gender lusting after women here, it says every ‘one’ pas, meaning each one individually. This leads us to ask what else could be meant by woman?
Gune, woman points to a stage in human evolution which is described in Genesis. The human spirit, Adam, took on a soul, Eve. For the first time in human evolution, every one, individually, took on this soul form. In its most elemental state it is our innate feeling nature. As we work to humanize this part of our nature we raise up these feelings above a certain instinctive level. This happens as we start to see our place in the world. We can imagine Adam and Eve looking around them and seeing the garden and the animals and birds and it would have given them a different sense of themselves. We know from Genesis that this sense of self, with the help of the serpent, led them to an experience of shame. That is another story.
If we stick with the idea of this new soul-awareness that came with the ‘woman’ we can imagine that we would be lustful for all that we saw in the garden. Lustful, epithumeo, means to be passionate. In this sense the soul can be consumed by passion. Thumeo actually means a very agitated anger. The purpose of anger is to give us the opportunity to conquer it. If we think about that for a moment we can experience the level of force within us that is required firstly to allow the anger to rise up, and then, secondly, to contain it. If we reach a level of expertise with this process we will then experience our spiritual Imaginative ability where living images give us spiritual insight.
So what then is an adulterer? Moichos, an adulterer, metaphorically means one who is faithless toward God, so they have lost sight of the God with whom they dwelt as spiritual beings. In other words, there has been a breach in the relationship between the soul and the spirit. The soul is more attracted to worldly things and is not interested to do the work necessary to achieve, of its own accord, the mastery required to individually and personally experience spiritual insight.
It is interesting that this should be experienced “In the heart”. Our heart is a most mysterious organ, grossly misunderstood by science. When our emotional life matures to the required extent we actually start to think with our heart (and feel with our mind). This relationship between feeling and thinking lies at the core of what is being said here in this text. If we continue to feel with our heart and think with our mind we commit adultery.