Back Theoretics

From Sin to Oops

Sin is a big hammer in the toolbox of the religions of fear. When people are still primarily concerned with their animal natures and material desires a fear of wickedness make sense. The focus on not doing bad is at the heart of evolved religions and serves an important social regulatory need. They are characterized by what-nots and shall-nots rules of behavior. Participants are constantly admonished that they are sinners. They are born into sin. Repent! This is an attempt to try and guide human behavior by the coercion of emotional reactions.

As humans evolve intellectually they will tend to reject the constraints of presumptive authority that fail the test of reason. That is particularly noticeable in those whose personal balance is skewed toward the mind at the expense of the ability to feel. They may note that the word sin comes from the Greek and is used to mean ‘miss the target,’ as in an archer would sin. That significantly lessens the emotional impact of the word. They might point out that ‘repent’ merely implies rethinking and go on about a Latin root of the word. That isn’t actually true but I’ve heard it so many times that the idea seems to be an article of faith in anti-religion common knowledge.

When the spiritual viewpoint shifts from Fear to Love the frame of mind changes from stopping the bad to creating the good. In an evolving individual the need to stop bad behavior is progressively replaced by more satisfying goals; those are the creation of beauty, the search for truth and the social service of goodness. They yield joy, illumination, and an increased Universe identification, perhaps the greatest positive reinforcement there is. We are only assured of that reality through experience.

Another result of shifting to Love is the dwindling importance of fears as we discover in the process that courage is a complement to our faith. It accompanies the transformation of sin to oops. We’ll continue to run into areas of our personalities that need further refinement but less and less often. Even in the disappointment of newly recognized cases for needed personal change the weight of the emotional impact goes from “Damn!” to “Drat.” You are reborn from sin into a state of oops.

Then there are several features to discover in a path of creating goodness. One is that you may not experience the same emotional roller coaster of ups and downs. Even when you do they won’t be as intense as they were in the past. In some types of creation the seeds of your next course of action are made evident in the present by discovery of new possibilities. In that case your spiritual trajectory seems to be upward – plateau – upward – plateau rather than down – up – down – up.

Possibilities to create goodness are encountered every day of our lives in our normal social activities. In order to be aware of appropriate circumstances for that type of action you need to be in the-here-and-now. If you are living in memory or anticipated futures you will fail to see the opportunities passing before you. When they arise you need to first notice them. Then listen in stillness so you can best appreciate the other person and respond by letting Love guide your actions to suit the occasion.