How does the idea that the serpent is “a reified projection of Eve’s unconscious thoughts” play out in the Genesis text?
The idea that the serpent is an independent being comes in the introduction, where the serpent is described as the “most wily creature that the Lord God had made”. But, this description also fits the modern psychoanalytic concept of the “unconscious”.
The serpent first speaks in an “ongoing conversation”. Who else was Eve talking to? Adam only is later mentioned. She was talking to herself.
The serpent validated Eve’s “unconscious suspicions”. Then Eve converted the serpent’s comments to justificationselfs.
None of these contradict the idea that the serpent could be the reified projection of Eve’s unconscious thoughts.
After Eve ate. The serpent no longer spoke.
When the Divine Presence arrived and guessed what is going on, Eve blamed the serpent in the same way that we would blame our own justificationselfs. “The serpent beguiled me.” sounds very much like “Well, I thought that” followed by justificationself.
Then the Divine Presence addressed the serpent directly. In doing so, (in this speculative interpretation), the Divine Presence acted as if “the reified projection of Eve’s unconscious thoughts” were an independent entity.
Eve’s pretense that the serpent beguiled her was enough for the Divine Presence. Sure, she was guilty and would be punished (with a description of how Neolithic and Paleolithic women lived outside of Eden), but she was not going to be held responsible for that reified justificationself. The serpent was on its own.
Does that not sound like “the remission of sins”?