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Thread: Original Sin

  1. #21
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    I read a book once that asked a lot of questions as a way to help you understand you inner feelings and your personality.

    One of those questions was, "At what age did you stop walking from your bedroom to the bathtub naked?"

    That question is a pretty good gauge of when you lost your natural innocence.

    Or if it seems more appropriate for you, you could ask, "If you sometimes spent the night at a friend's house and both of you always walked from bedroom to bathtub naked, at what age did you stop doing it? Do you remember why?"

    BTW those are rhetorical questions intended for self-examination purposes only!

    ETA: And just so no one will misunderstand, I was referencing what catherine said about sin being separation from our natural state:

    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    "Original sin" is our innate separation from God/The Source/Pure Love. And I would add that IMHO it's also our separation from our natural, more primitive selves--the selves we were before we got evicted from the Garden of Eden.
    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 8-27-21 at 9:58pm.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    I don't think opposition (saying no) is a sin in and of itself, because you could be opposing something bad
    I don't think opposition is a sin either. In many cases it is a virtue. When I said:

    We all commit the "original sin" the very first time we look at our loving parent, knowing they provide us with everything we need and we're totally dependent on them, and we defiantly say "NO!" anyway.

    I was talking about the first time a child rejects what a parent wants to give them just because they can. That isn't logical opposition, it's just a toddler saying "I'm my own person and I want to find out how much power I have."

  3. #23
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    Exactly. The word "sin" was understood in biblical times as meaning "astray" and a sinner was one who had gone astray. Sinning isn't evil, it's just what we do because compared to God none of us are mature enough to live our lives the way he intended us to. Everything was fine in the (metaphorical) Garden Of Eden until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (the knowledge of good and evil) and became ashamed of things that had always been perfectly natural before. IOW rule making is the beginning of civilization and the end of innocence.
    Yes, I agree with this.

    And just last night I was listening to my favorite podcast. The topic was Thomas Merton, and the speaker on the podcast, James Finley, referenced this passage in one of Merton's journal entries:

    "Brilliant and gorgeous day. Bright sun. Breeze making all the leaves and high brown grasses shine, singing of the wind and the cedars. Exultant day in which even a puddle in the pig lot shines like precious silver. Finally, I’m coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am, that I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself. And if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself. Whereas the unaccepted self that stands in my way and will continue to do so as long as it is not accepted, when it has been accepted, it will be my own stepping stone to what is above me because this is the way man has been made by God. Original sin was the effort to surpass oneself by being like God, that is unlike oneself, but in our godliness, we are at home."


    I LOVE this whole passage. [bolding mine]. "my highest ambition is to be what I already am, that I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself....in our godliness, we are at home." With the small "g" I believe Merton is not speaking of any God that religion has claimed as its own, but as the "perfect" state within us that is authentic and pure.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I LOVE this whole passage. [bolding mine]. "my highest ambition is to be what I already am, that I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself....in our godliness, we are at home." With the small "g" I believe Merton is not speaking of any God that religion has claimed as its own, but as the "perfect" state within us that is authentic and pure.
    Alan Watts riffed on the same point by asking "Who is the good you that wants to improve the bad you if it isn't you? And if the good you is also the bad you, isn't the bad you already good enough to become a good you if it actually wanted to? And if the bad you is also the good you, either the good you is to dumb to improve the bad you or the good you is actually not as good as it thinks it is." (paraphrased from various lectures on this subject)


    And of course Lewis Carrol said that Alice wanted to be a good little girl and "She gave herself very good advice, but she very seldom followed it." https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:...erland.djvu/31

  5. #25
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    The unavoidable fact that at some point every child defiantly says "no" to even the most loving parent, just because the child wants to assert their own separate personhood.

    Only a very foolish child would refuse to eat a bowl of their favorite ice cream, but if a child is mad enough about something you did, they will sit there and watch the ice cream melt instead of eating it, just because you gave it to them and they're mad at you. That is the nature of "original sin" -- intentional separation (hopefully temporary) from someone we ought to love the most.
    This just sounds like a normal part of human development. I don't see anything wrong or "sinful" about it.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    This just sounds like a normal part of human development. I don't see anything wrong or "sinful" about it.
    That's the point. There isn't anything "wrong" or "sinful" about it in the religious sense of being evil. It's natural and inevitable. But it's "sinful" in the biblical sense of the child (us) going astray by intentionally defying and separating ourselves from our loving parent (God). That's what Adam and Eve did by eating the only thing in the garden that was forbidden, and every human child does it, much to the dismay of their parent. That's why it's the original sin and the sin no human can avoid committing. We "go astray" by intentionally separating ourselves from God, just as we intentionally separate ourselves from our parents when we're toddlers. It's a necessary part of our nature, and we can't avoid it.

    But have you ever thought about the second sin? It's blaming someone else or something else when we go astray. As soon as God realizes Adam and Eve broke the rule by eating the forbidden fruit, Eve says the serpent tricked her into eating it. And Adam not only blames Eve, he also blames God by saying to God "This woman that you gave me..." tricked him into eating it.

    But why was the forbidden tree there in the first place? If God made a perfect paradise for Adam and Eve to live in, he must have had a reason for putting that tree in the middle of it. Did he do it to test whether Adam and Eve would resist the temptation, and therefore be worthy of greater things? Or did he do it because he knew they would need to eat the forbidden fruit later, when they were mature enough to use the knowledge it gave them wisely? Or did God put the tree there because Lucifer told God his perfect little children would defy him if they were tempted in the smallest way?

    It's all a myth, a metaphor, an analogy intended to explain a spiritual phenomenon in earthly terms by comparing it to our familiar parent-child relationship. Or if you prefer, it was an attempt to make religion more believable by saying our relationship to God is just like every toddler's relationship to it's parents.

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