Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sin in Judaic-Christian Tradition

"The Bible says this about warriors from Benjamin, “Out of all these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.” .............. Judges 20:16
This phrase in Hebrew לֹא יַחֲטִא (pronounced: lo yachti) means “missing the target”.
Related to "חֵטְא"  (pronounced: chet) is another longer form of this word "חַטָּאת" (pronounced: chatat) this was the name of “sin offering” in Jerusalem Temple (Levictus 4:3).
It is breathtaking to see how Hebrew language can work. This same word that meant “sin/making an error/missing the mark”, connected to the sin offering in the Temple itself, becomes a word that can signify the concept of purification!" .............................. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

The word for sin in Greek used in the Bible is "hamarita"
"The term "hamartia" derives from the Greek μαρτία, from μαρτάνειν hamartánein, which means “to miss the mark” or “to err”. It is most often associated with Greek tragedy, although it is also used in Christian theology. Hamartia as it pertains to dramatic literature was first used by Aristotle in his Poetics." ..............Wikipedia

What was the purpose of choosing these words with the meaning "to miss the mark" by the spiritually enlightened scripture writers.
Missing the intended mark or target of human life is to realize our true nature. Here again we have subtle as well as targeted information provided both in the canonical Gospels as well as in the apocryphal writing as to what is the target in our life.
In the Gospels we have the parable of the prodigal son told by Jesus as to the son going away from the father and squandering away all that he inherited. He repents and come back to the father who is overjoyed. The inner meaning of this story is that we are born in the richness of the father and we are the heir to his wealth which the divinity invested in us. But if we waste away our spiritual nature and wallow in the filth of material pleasures, we miss the primary purpose of our life. This is the sin we commit. I f we realize this we can at any point go back to our original home, which is the nature of being divine.

In the Acts of Thomas, there is an episode called the "Hymn of the Pearl"
The hymn, which has been preserved and especially treasured in Manichaeism, is commonly seen as a Gnostic view of the human condition, that we are spirits lost in a world of matter and forgetful of our true origin.
In this poem the son who comes from the heavenly palace of the father to acquire the pearl of Gnosis or spiritual wisdom in Egypt from the serpent guardian forgets the purpose of his visit. This is the missing of the target. He enjoys the rich food and drinks and goes into deep slumber. He takes off the princely robe and wears a tunic of the common Egyptian. This signifies the disrobing of our spiritual nature and putting on our worldly and sensory nature. This is the slumber of the human condition trapped in worldly affairs. Ultimately he is reminded of the true purpose by a messenger sent from the father signifying the message of Christ. The Song of the Pearl is a Gnostic tale of salvation, of sleeping in error and awakening to light, of quest not only for the pearl but for the benefit of possessing the pearl and a return to the light.

This correction of approach is mandatory for the redemption that we must seek or the purification that is needed to return to the original light with which we are born.

In his book "Original Blessing" Matthew Fox writes:

"Thomas Aquinas writes that every person is "capex universi" that ia capable of the universe. He is inviting every human person to a cosmic awakening, a cosmic relationship............"

So if every person is capable of a cosmic perception, we tend to operate in a limited way throughout our earthly life and this results in a vacuum.

In reality this limited existence is the sin of missing our true target and this needs constant correction.

French philosopher Gabriel Marcel says:

"The important thing - and I think it is hardly possible to insist on it too much - is that in this cosmic  outlook the  true aim of knowledge and life is to be integrated in the universal order, and not at all to transform the world by bringing it into subjugation to the human will, to man's needs and desire"

Let this renewed understanding of sin empower us towards a cosmic existence.

Love to you all.

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