Examining Truth Principles, versus the wrong concept of “sin”
Recently I noticed that even among people who meditate, embrace spirituality and universal wisdom, there are still a lot of misconceptions about some basic issues.
Young and old and hip people who explore spirituality apparently wholeheartedly still pray to, and speak of God as if He were some all powerful judge that sits outside of us in the Heavens, to whom we need to learn to pray or humbly beg for the fulfillment of our dreams, to be granted good health and to be spared misfortune in this life AND in the afterlife.
In my opinion, this disconnect undoubtedly stems from unexamined religious education and traditions, passed on to us from our families and ancestors.
When I was taking workshops and meeting people on the spiritual path, many jokingly admitted to me that they were “Recovering Catholics”, but admitted that the wounds and scars still run deep….
Many of the world’s oldest religions, do have a kernel of truth in them, but often the truth is buried under so many errors, misconceptions and partial truths.
Today I wish to explore the concept of “Truth Principles.”
In many of my writings, I have mentioned that when we bring ourselves into alignment with Truth Principles, we will experience more ease, synchronicity, joy, and walk the path of life feeling guided, in the “flow,” and will attract and encounter finer vibrational experiences.
Living against the “Flow” or acting in a way that is not in alignment with Truth Principles, can being us unnecessary hardship, or can lead us to difficult situations.
So what are these Truth Principles, that we need to come into alignment with?
They are codes of behaviors that if applied, will promote balance and happiness in us.
They include honesty, integrity, openness, kindness, love, sharing, caring, consideration, light heartedness, an open mind, willingness to learn, change, grow, explore and experiment, child-like innocence, trust, humor, understanding of our connectedness and Unity to all and to everything around us , charity, reliability, consistency, commitment, perseverance, patience, tolerance, keeping our promises and being true to our word, generosity, courage and many more.
The central idea is the same… What stems from a central belief that God IS LOVE….. that you are One with everyone, One with God…. that you are a being of Light and Love, a beloved, powerful and unlimited child of Life – is in alignment.
What stems from a belief that God is a judge, that you are small, less than, and not capable, is simply wrong.
In order to move into living in alignment with Truth Principles, we may want to become aware of some tendencies we have that may block our progress.
In the Catholic religion, there is the belief in the “Seven Deadly Sins”
Although not in alignment with my own belief in the nature of reality and truth, some kernel of wisdom does exist in them.
Before I elaborate about this, I wish to say that I do NOT believe in the concept of sin, or that we can sin.
The human experience is dense, humbling and hard.
If we cultivate spiritual understanding of our true nature, we can transform the human experience and elevate it from hardship, into a celebration of peace, power and joy.
If we are NOT able to do so, we will drift along, unaware of our spiritual powers and divine heritage.
While drifting, we might look for happiness and wholeness, where they do not lay.
We will continually meet with disappointments and disillusionments.
We will act from fear, feeling small, powerless, threatened and scared, and to make our way in the limited and dangerous world we wrongly perceive, we might cheat, lie, and under threat, we might harm others.
The good news is that none of it is real.
We are NOT bodies and NOTHING that we do here in a body, makes any difference for our ultimate reality, in which we rest secure, loved and whole, in the “arms” and mind of a loving God, who created us PERFECT in His/ Her image.
In our illusion that we live in bodies, we can make mistakes, and show great error in thinking and therefore in action, but we simply cannot sin.
It is ESSENTIAL that you learn to make the distinction between sin and error.
The Child of God (which is all of us, each one of us is the child of God) CAN be mistaken; we CAN deceive ourselves; we can even turn the power of our minds AGAINST ourselves, but we CANNOT sin.
For the sake of this conversation, let us replace in our minds the word “sin” with “error.”
So back to the Catholic concepts of the seven deadly sins…
The list of “the seven deadly sins” is NOT mentioned in the teaching of Jesus or in the Bible.
Yet somehow they made their way into the common teaching of the Catholic Church.
Jesus did not judge or condemn people, but actually taught the exact opposite, that we must LOVE and not judge others by their actions, but be tolerant of their errors as we should be tolerant of our own errors.
The “7 Deadly Sins,” are also known as the “Capital Vices” or the “Cardinal Sins.”
They are classified as objectionable vices that have been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to “sin.”
Despite the fact that no such list of sins is mentioned in Jesus’ teachings, his disciples did try to help the people understand the important of morality in bringing about inner peace.
They used the term “…If you do sin…you shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
They were NOT referring to the afterlife.
They were using ancient language to explain that you shall not know Bliss… Or ultimate inner peace and joy, if you act against Truth Principles.
But instead, you will feel guilt, unhappiness, and a variety of dissatisfactions that will rob you of inner peace and ultimately will stand in your way of realizing your Divine nature and powers.
The currently recognized version of “the list” is:
“lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride.”
The “Deadly, or Capital Sins” are considered sins that can lead to other sins…. They are seen as the origin of other vices (“capital” comes from the Latin “Caput,” for “head”)
I wish to examine each of these alleged “sins” in the context of spiritual discipline, of what could promote growth and happiness, and what could bring about unhappiness, or stand in our way of realizing our full potentials.
1- Lust – lust can be sexual, or a strong desire for power, food or any other strong craving.
In general, cravings imply inability to control ourselves.
If we let ourselves get carried away with strong desires that we know are not good for us, we claim that our body has power OVER us….
It is a mistaken idea to endow the body with powers that it does NOT have.
Only the mind is capable of making decisions and bringing about desires and cravings.
For spiritual growth, we must learn to train our mind and make wise and wholesome decisions by placing the mind over the body.
The body can be a wonderful servant, when it works in cooperation with an expanded mind.
Sexual lust is misunderstood.
Nobody really lusts, but is ALWAYS looking for something else underneath it.
There are always other emotional or mental issues hidden behind lust.
People crave excitement because they are bored, unfulfilled and unhappy, and so they may look for sex with casual partners to bring excitement to their lives.
Others may crave power, approval, love, intimacy, comfort, to be held, appreciated, satisfied…
From my own experience, I know that when I was young and experimenting sexually, I was searching for tenderness, for passion, to break the oppressing walls of society and morality, to find comfort and approval in the arms of another, to see myself as lovable and desired, through the desiring eyes of another, etc.
2 – Gluttony- gluttony is a BIG one…
It is the inability to stop… When you KNOW you should.
Gluttony in food, brings the people in our societies to their knees, and robs them of good health.
There are MANY diseases that are linked to overeating and obesity.
When we eat less, the body has more time to cleanse itself, to generate more energy and to heal disorders.
When we overeat, the body needs its energy to digest and break down the food and drink we have consumed, leaving us tired and lethargic.
Having no self control, will inevitably lead you to dislike yourself.
You actually dislike your body and the weakness of resolve of your mind, but you will translate it to self-hate.
It will lead to dissatisfaction and ultimately to depression.
You may be able to come to terms with your being overweight, and with how you look, and even learn to love your lusciousness, but ultimately if you DO KNOW that you are over indulging, your inner knowledge will lead you to not trust in your powers, and believe in your weaknesses instead.
This is why periodically I fast.
I do NOT do it as a means of losing weight or as a physical detox and cleansing (even though that sometimes happen.)
I fast as a way of disciplining myself, overcoming gluttony and gaining self respect in my ability to carry through a decision of my strong mind.
Just last week we fasted for two days, with only water or herbal teas.
Although gluttony is usually associated with food, the concept can also be applied for any other strong habitual greed.
These are NOT outside guidelines……..if you FEEL inside yourself, that you are continually overstepping a good stopping point, then it is best to examine WHY you do it, and then to make an inner commitment to learn to discipline yourself.
Discipline is NOT a punishment, it is an empowering tool that you will be able to use in many other areas of your life.
3 – Greed – Greed is an intense blind desire, usually for power, wealth or food.
Greed is more than just intensely wanting something, it implies a blind unstoppable desire, a grasping, a covetous mind…. An excessive or rapacious desire in pursuit of wealth, status, and power.
Greed can lead to blindness of what is good and honest,
to people accepting bribery, willing to do anything to get and maintain positions.
Greed comes from the ego that has insatiable thirst.
It quietly whispers lies to you, saying that ONLY if you get this job, position or amount of money, will you be worthy and loved….
4 – Sloth- is a tendency for not caring, being indifferent, lazy, not willing to work, procrastination… And more.
The word “sloth” stems from the root “slow.”
It is easy to see how our unwillingness to work on our issues and on training our minds, to care about what is important to us, to participate in promoting the good in our lives, can lead to lethargic feeling and behaviors, and delay our progress.
A lack of desire to put efforts into work, can lead to financial difficulties.
Spiritual or mental sloth, can lead to despair and depression, lack of meaning, and to living a life devoid of joy and connectedness to your source.
But my very favorite is the definition of Sloth as a failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts.
If you are a writer or an artist- but you think that you are not good enough…
And if you are not motivated to create…..If you put your gifts and talents down, and not utilize your God-given tendencies, you are delaying your own progress, and depriving your soul of fulfillment and happiness, as well as depriving society at large of your gifts and talents.
5 – Wrath – The definition refers to extreme anger or rage.
It is easy to see how letting uncontrollable rage take over our mind, even temporarily, can lead to extreme unhappiness, to making bad decisions, and ultimately leads to a twisted perception of others and the world.
I believe that not only the extreme version of anger and rage are unwholesome.
I believe that holding a grievance, and having an unforgiving mind, is a hindrance to our spiritual growth.
Holding a grievance against another, even if we believe he has wronged us, is just the ego’s way of judging people and of hiding the light in them.
We judge them as wrong, limited or un-evolved, and by our judgement, we believe that they ARE what we judged, and NOT beings of light and love.
With this judgmental mindset, we also judge ourselves.
In the same way we misjudge others, we condemn the image of our own selves.
6 – Envy – The concept of envy stems from a wrong belief in fear and limitation.
We envy someone, because we do not believe that we have the power or ability to have what we think they have.
Instead, envy implies the belief in randomness…. In “lack,” in “Good Fortune” which we may feel we were not blessed with.
When we grow in understanding to the realization that EVERYTHING in our life is there because we asked for it…. and that we have total and complete power to grow in understanding of the manifestation process,………… to change and to choose again, we will not envy anyone or anything.
7 – Pride – refers to Vanity, or a feeling of superiority.
It is easy to see how a sense of superiority can lead to wrong ideas.
We are all equals in truth and equally worthy and loved.
Vanity comes from identifying with the body and taking pride in our looks.
This will inevitably lead to sadness and disappointments, when we do not look our best.
One of the reasons Asian monks and nuns shave their heads, is to let go of vanity.
Long lush and shiny hair, is considered in many societies as a symbol of beauty and health.
Vanity is a major vice in our spiritual path to let go of identifying with the body, to realizing that we are spiritual beings of light and love, and that our bodies are ever changing energy fields and vibrations….
None of these are sins…. Sins simply do NOT exist.
None of them will lead you to eternal damnation, because eternal damnation does NOT exist…. It is an invention of the Church, that wanted to control and manipulate people by instilling fear in them.
Eternal damnation is a silly concept that stands in EXACT OPPOSITION to EVERYTHING Jesus taught.
The Christian Catholic church which was founded in Jesus’ wake, should be teaching the exact opposite…
It should tell you that you are ALSO a son of God… Just as your elder brother Jesus is…. And it should talk about love, forgiveness and ETERNAL LIFE….
But alas…..how can you maintain the Vatican and many billions of dollars in the Catholic till, if you do not intimidate people to hand over their life savings by fear of sins, judgement and the possibilities of eternal damnation?…
Why would you need a mediator or a priest, if you can reach God in your own heart?….
Yes…..These are NOT sins, but merely things to be aware of and to watch.
When we honestly examine our weaknesses, we can choose again.
It can promote a healthy mind and a quiet heart, or by choosing wrongly, it can lead to hurting others and ourselves, and therefore lead to arguments and discontent…. That is all.
It is up to you to make the choices day by day.