"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism

03 August 2013

Sufi question - how does Jesus' sacrifice help?

A Sufi friend recently asked, "If Jesus died to take away the sins of the world, why didn't this affect original sin? And, if we are born in sin, how does Jesus' sacrifice help us? Does he keep dying, or something?"

My takes on this are admittedly modest. Here are several perspectives:

1. An 'Original' sin - In this view, we are assuming that Jesus is either the actual or representation of the literal or figurative Adam. He caused or performed the Original Sin. Now the term Original Sin can mean several things. For example, it is typically viewed as the first sin. But it may not necessarily be the 'first' sin. Some views suggest that sin or separation or forgetfulness had been going on for quite a while. And then one day, the first born, the Elder Brother, couldn't take it any more. He decides to incarnate himself, and lead the lost back. But he, too, succumbs. The Elder or Original brother succumbs, committing for the first time 'Original' sin. I think I may have first come across this perspective in Edgar Cayce readings.

2. First to overcome sin - Anyway, he atones for Adam's mistake, or his own past mistake. BUT, he is atoning for his own mistake, not Eve's mistake. In this scenario, Eve has not reconciled yet, and so Original Sin still remains a bit unreconciled. Jesus, in this scenario, has been the 'first-born' to reconcile. He has opened the path, illuminated a way. But the literal or figurative or holographic Eve (meaning the Eve who is in each of us) has not yet taken the step. Until she does that, until the perfect union of male and female have done that, until the whole or entire Being has done that, it is an incomplete reconciliation. In this interpretation, Adam represents the part/side of us that looks inward, toward the spiritual plane, while Eve represents the part of us that looks outward, toward the earthly, physical plane.

3. Incomplete Redemption - In this view, we are assuming that Jesus' death DID in fact somehow pay or offset sin. And the sin that was offset was Original Sin. However, Original Sin resides in a place both within the greater human body and within each of us as individuals that we are in denial over. In other words, we aren't necessarily denying that Jesus died for our sins, but rather we are in denial about this so-called deeper resolution place within ourselves, that 'Jesus' (or what he represents) and Original Sin reside in each of us. We are denying that. And so we either can't or haven't accessed it, or refuse to face it. Either way, it is not being accessed and we are consequently unreconciled. This is the holographic view, where we are each a cell in the greater human body. As above, so below.

4. The blind are still blind - And yes, Jesus keeps dying. Because we keep choosing death and separation. Because we are in denial about our true nature. The Christian church proves this. At the front of the church are the reminders of death (crosses, and crosses with a dead savior nailed to them). Regardless of the many sermons about the risen Christ or Christ-point, the focus remains on sin, suffering and debt. Consequently, the media is always reporting on all the suffering in the world, including mounting debt, debtor nations and so on. This view represents the lagging ability to improve our inner nature, to become self-realized. Emerson and many others have written about this.

Until we face and accept our true nature, and unify and resurrect it, then pain, suffering, guilt, anxiety, sin, right and wrong, selfishness and divisiveness will remain our focus points, our priorities, our Lord and Master.

I have found an interesting twist occurs when people say things like, "I serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ," or "Jesus is my Lord and Master." The twist is buried inside their perspective, as pointed out above. They are often serving the pain and suffering Jesus, the Jesus who represents, at least to them, everything about sin, guilt, right and wrong that's so fun to embrace - because it allows us to feel redeemed and superior without having to reconcile within ourselves, without having to center on the so-called Christ-point or Christ consciousness itself.

It's a dalliance, a no-win dance. It's misdirection at its finest, similar to the Catholic nuns who showed up this past week on Washington's Capitol Hill to share their insights and expertise on how to truly overcome hunger and poverty. At which point, one of the senators said something like, "Well if you are so good at it, why are you asking the Federal Government to help?" Yea, Jesus! Jesus Saves!