Wednesday, July 30, 2008
i've always had a problem with the notion of sin. especially original sin.
what a loaded word! it made me bristle and in fact gave me the creeps when i heard it.
because i've always thought that what many consider "sin" is just basic human behavior. not always the "correct" of human behaviors, but a natural part of the growth and development of the self.
plus, sin is damn fun.
the notion of sin especially bothered me in the hail mary. a prayer that i can appreciate, a prayer that could i love, except for the "pray for us sinners" part. i could never fully attach to the hail mary because i never considered myself a "sinner." it just felt wrong.
and yet i love mary and everything that she is, which made not loving the hail mary even harder.
because i am not a sinner and i don't want someone to pray for me as such. not even mary. not even at the hour of my death.
oh, sure, i am far from perfect and have done movie of the week worthy crap in my day. BUT, that doesn't make me a sinner. it just makes me human.
anyhow, recently in a new earth by eckhart tolle, i read the definition, actually the translation of, sin. literally translated from ancient greek, sin basically means to miss the mark, to miss the point. living unskillfully and blindly, causing suffering as a result.
of course as with so many things in the larger culture of the organized christian church and its attendant dogma, sin has been co-opted and convoluted to suit the needs of those who deem themselves in charge. the translation has been replaced by definition to suit the culture of the christian church and its teachings.
but i love the literal translation, and it totally captures the bumbling circus that is individual human existence for much of our waking hours.
i have missed the mark so. many. times. i have suffered, and i have caused suffering.
we try not to, and sometimes we fail in the trying. and missing the mark never gets easier, and suffering whether experienced or caused never gets less painful, BUT knowing that they are a natural part of the human condition lessens the sting and speeds the moving on to the next level. and each time i end up with renewed faith that tomorrow is a new day. another chance. the knowledge that i'm not the only asshole on the ship.
well, if that's sin then i'm getting pretty good at navigating it so sign me up!
and hail mary, pray for this sinner now and at the hour of my death.