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talking to myself

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Sin or ignorance

markdohle

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Sin or ignorance

‘Sin’ is a difficult concept to understand. Today the word itself is in disrepute and I can understand that. Here I am 65 years old, and I still struggle with the term. In some religious traditions the concept of ‘ignorance’ is used when it comes to seeking to understand the plight of mankind. People can embrace the above states, of sin and ignorance, or they can be victims of them, yet the outcome is the same.

I was talking to a man in the 12th step program and he said something to me that I often think about. The quote is actually a paraphrase. He said:

“The label for any addiction does no good if it is placed on someone who does not accept the reality of his or her dependence. The results of the addiction, the chaos and pain that it causes in life is there, but until the person can say ‘I have a problem with drugs or alcohol, or food, or sex etc’…nothing can be done. They are in fact imprisoned by their ignorance (or sin if you like). The key is to name it. That is the only way to open the door”.

It is self-knowledge that starts the journey to healing, mercy and a larger participation in community. Isolation is often the fruit of being a victim and not knowing how to unlock that door.

I was going for a walk this morning very early. Something I have always loved to do. Well at least in the last 30 years or so. As I was walking, I started to understand a little about the reality of sin in my life. Not in a way that belittled me, or made me ashamed, or led me to despair, but to a place where I could embrace it. It is what keeps me back from leading the life that I believe we are called to live. A life of interior freedom and joy, a life of being open to the knowledge that my faith wants me to experience and live out on a daily basis. This can’t happen unless I can name what keeps me back.

Jesus (and from what I have read and studied over the years, most religious paths), calls us to ‘die’ to self. What he is asking is to allow something deeper, more loving, healing and merciful into our hearts. To love our enemies can be one of the most difficult things we can do. Sin (or ignorance) can keep us chained to that millstone that weighs us down and is in the end self destructive. To learn to love others freely is to allow the soul to breathe. Sin (ignorance), traps us, smothers us, and keeps us from living a full live in the Spirit.

The deeper we understand this, by whatever name we wish to call it, the deeper our experience of ‘Infinite Mercy’ becomes. Mercy, though freely given, paradoxically has a price. It demands that we face what we are, what we have done as well as what we have not done. It is a process that deepens as we mature. So that mercies work is felt at ever deeper levels. To let go of the chains of sin and or ignorance is the only way to actually love ourselves, so as to allow us to love others.

Our addiction, the ways we seek to avoid life in all of its fullness drowns us, dragging us into a hell like existence if carried along far enough. Hell is a state of self-creation; mercy seeks to open up the gates so that we can allow the light of grace into our hearts. Hell’s seed is in the human heart, it is self produced, while mercy leads us into infinite reality, a gift that can only be accepted and not earned. Our ‘yes’ has deep ramifications, as well as our ‘no’. Who gives that deep ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not known by me, nor should I seek to identify, for I will always err in my judgments of others.

Judgment is always true when it comes to how we must face ourselves after we leave this life. It is not about ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. No, it is instant and true. When we face that reality of who we are and what we have become though our own will and choice, then we will embrace what we have become with our whole being. Those who choose separation from the infinite, are not in conflict, nor is their regret on their part, though there is the absence of what they actually long for but have rejected.

The world today is created by man. It has heaven, hell and purgatory (which are our inner conflicts) within its boundaries….that is so because we chose here. Our inner and outer conflict happens here….it is here that we have free will. When we come to full term, then self conflict is over, and we either grow in that reality for eternity if we choose to die to a self that is self consumed; or we disintegrate for eternity.

I believe C.S. Lewis’s book “The Great Divorce” deals with this reality and I would recommend all to read it. This life is important, our choices crucial, our little choices very important. We are in conflict because we are in the process of becoming more open or more closed off from ‘reality’. The great saints and the great sinners (which I believe are very rare) are at peace, they have chosen. The rest of us simply go from day to day struggling to be open to ‘reality’ and to grow hopefully into greater love and healing.

It is not about power,

but love of others and self,

and yes of God.



12 Comments


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Davros of Skaro

Posted

Just think If Dsylexia was a sin?

If one with the sin of Dsylexia mated with another with the same sin, then chances are the offspring will be a sinner.

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Davros of Skaro

Posted

Do you agree that if your Pappy was an Alcoholic and his Pappy was one too?Then you have the potential of being one too?

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Davros of Skaro

Posted

1) Sin is like trying to enter a fancy eatery after you swam around in a Septic Tank.To get to fancy Heaven, one has to take a Jesus Blood shower for that deep down Soul clean that God approves of.

2) Sin is a superstitious Man made concept used for not only to control actions but thoughts too.There're sound biological and sociological reasons to explain away both good or bad things people do.

Which one makes sense?

Are Humans just another Primate:

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Sin is simply missing the mark. We are primates but different. We have theology, philosophy, science and psychology. We are aware of our deaths, we long for justice and love, we seek a better world and we know this world is not what we desire, or on some level know that it should be. So yes we are like other primates, but we are just not another primate species.

We do inherit tendencies, but we are not bound by it. We can choose. Sin is choosing to run from what we are called to.

Peace

mark

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Davros of Skaro

Posted

Did you ever hear of the Russian Fox experiment?

They would put a Gloved Hand in a Cage.The sinner Fox (agressive) would bite at it.The nonsinner Fox (passive) would not.

They bred only the Foxes that resisted sin.In a couple generations their Ears got floppy, they got fluffier and started to take on the traits of a Puppy Dog.

So sin can be bred out.

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I choose everyday how I am to react towards those I meet. When I am in a aggressive mood, I monitor my reactions to others. I am not passive I choose. We are self aware creatures, we can become ever more free and more deeply human by making choices that led us to maturity.

Lower animals who lack our level of self awareness don't sin. The are bound by their instinctive responses. Sin only has meaning when talking about human beings.

Peace

Mark

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Davros of Skaro

Posted

Hook up a device to a Chimp that stimulates a Dopamine surge in his Brain everytime he presses a lever.That Chimp will avoid the lever for food and go for the Dopamine till it dies.

Sound familiar?

You should watch the lecture I linked, but it's probably folly to you?

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No, humans can decide to go when the lever is pushed. Chimps can't. Humans may go with the lever much of the time, or most of the time, yet they can choose not to.

Your a thoughtful guy, I like reading you. You think deeply on what you believe, and I guess I do to. Our starting points are different, our perspectives even if we try to broaden them limits us. I think you miss my point, but to be fair, I am sure you think that about me as well ;-).

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I saw the video, he is a very good speaker. I liked what he said, when he talked about the brain and abuse; I found that interesting since in my past, like many others, I when through that when very young. So it has led me to deal with aspects of myself that I have had to watch and work with.

Of course we are like primates, we we are cousins I guess since they branched off from us millions of years ago. It will interesting where this sort of thing leads......it does not lead to atheism, not does it lead to theism, it is just something about this wonderful world we live in. The Neuro Placidity of the brain.

Consciousness itself has to be sorted our.

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