My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

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snowheight
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My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by snowheight » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:04 am

This is long, rambling and in places perhaps a bit harsh, but it is about awakening and contains a tale of such. It was motivated by ‘trails post on her recent challenges as in response I reviewed an example of slapping myself awake, so to speak, in a situation in which the Samsaric demand load was high at the time.

It is one of life’s ironies that the intellect that I suppress in order to meditate and feel Presence is intensely fascinated by the experience (more accurate than "suppresss" would be to say passively let dissolve, as active suppression is, as discussed in several threads here, futile). Such is the result with this fascination.

That intellect, by the way, is almost as intensely curious about any reactions to the ideas stimulated by these experiences as the experiences themselves. As always, a twang of cool inner peace is strummed on the string of my consciousness when the board fails to indulge such cravings. :lol:

Namaste

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My reconciliation with the concept of Original Sin.

I was allowed to beat my own spiritual path in this life, so when I was first introduced to and later repeatedly re-encountered the idea that Eve caused the downfall of the human race by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge my reaction was one of a violent, visceral contempt. My cultural context demanded this as it was my study of math and science which was my spiritual lens. How could the cure for ignorance be bad? What was I to make of this seeming attack on what I perceived to be the most noble pursuit of truth and understanding? Surely this was just a misogynistic and ultimately pathetic attempt at control on the part of those who ran the churches … sure, blame it all on your wife and muzzle anyone with an I.Q. a few points higher than yours and never, never EVER let anyone question the basis of your authority!

Flash forward several decades later to my watching the thinker as I stood, hungry, sleep-deprived and vice-ridden, back screaming in aching pain, waiting to fill the outrageous morphine prescription that my mother’s primary care doctor had so mercifully prescribed and which I was filling as both a backstop to the stingy and puritanical pain-med distribution policy of my mother’s keepers and as a precaution should Hospice delay in helping me move her from their home to hers.

It was easy to brush away the annoyance with the slow, very cautious and seemingly suspicious pharmacist and the anxiety about the idea that they might call the cops on both me and the doctor at any second. A bit harder to set aside my resentment and spite toward the institution which was currently housing and caring for mom and hardest of all to accept the fact that the morphine was the best I could do for her at this point (other than reading to her from SP). There was definitely more than a high enough level of suffering at that particular moment to cause my mind to stop dead in its tracks.

The blessed silence of no-mind was welcome by body and false-self alike and my subjective experience was gradually suffused by a warm, gentle, targetless joy. Suddenly, as I casually turned my head left and back from the right-hand corner in which the pharmacists counter was situated and gazed out into the wide space of the well-appointed store, this euphoria of simple being took the shape of a complete bemusement at the riot of form that was laid out before me. WOW!, have you ever thought about the simple NUMBER of different products on sale at a drugstore ? Aspirin, mouthwash, socks, mops, candy bars, beer, soda, cigarettes (“damn! I could use one now!”), batteries, paper towels, paper plates, sheets of paper, wallets, alarm clocks and paper clips… this list goes on and on!

Anyway, I didn’t follow that thread completely and was able to stay in an open, conscious state as my gaze fell on a shopper. As is often the happening in that mode the visage of another human being, even, as in this case, a complete stranger, can and did cause an upwelling feeling of love and affection. He was a gray, older guy in loose, light-colored clothes and a round cloth fishing hat and big-eyed, dark sunglasses through which he was peering (scowling actually) with a great intensity upward at one of those many products on the shelf.

Again and suddenly, the mini-kensho was shattered by an interesting revelation (as they often, woefully are!): how much drama it takes to both arrive and depart from this place where the mere potentiality of the Infinite is ultimately collapsed down into our perceived “reality”? At that point I envisioned both the instant of birth, which causes so much physical pain for the mother, and the instant of death, which is more often than not in most cases also accompanied by great physical pain, and imagined them both as a brief flash of light and a gust of wind.

Why all this sturm and drang, why all this bother, why all this drama at all? Can’t we simply let the potential embodied in What Is hang as an unrealized possibility? Why does such a place as this Universe actually have to burst itself into form and spin out the long complicated process laden with suffering and beauty alike that results in us? Why can’t it just be let lie that this COULD be and let it rest at that?

You see, (and here I intrude upon the more metaphysical implications of WW’s recent persistent post) there can be nothing to have perspective on if there is no perspective. In our case, that perspective includes the illusion of separation, a distinct identity (our “little me”) from all that Is.

Christians would refer to this, our time on earth, as our separation from God. I didn’t realize it at the time, but later it dawned on me that this is what the story of the serpent really is all about: our identification with form that is the consequence of our very existence, our very lives … or of course, vice-versa: our physical lives which are the consequence of our identification with form. Sure we can realize conceptually that we are not REALLY separate from all that is but we still have to find food and pay the rent. We can, if we practice self-inquiry and meditation and a watchful eye on the thinker, gain an indescribable insight into this unified underlying reality. But while we are alive this perspective persists. There are examples of and other claims made as to an ability to stay completely in the moment upon Awakening, but ET himself could not have produced PON and ANE and changed all of those lives without a face and a name being pasted on the covers.

So the fruit of “knowledge” as written in ancient Hebrew scripture I now understand as actually to be the ignorance of identification with form. Our “separation from God”. I’ve since engaged in a liberal bout of Christian forgiveness for mine and all of our Original Sin. It’s o.k. to be here. It’s o.k to be alive. For all we know, it might even be excruciatingly essential in the grand scheme of things.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

enigma
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by enigma » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:40 am

So the fruit of “knowledge” as written in ancient Hebrew scripture I now understand as actually to be the ignorance of identification with form. Our “separation from God”. I’ve since engaged in a liberal bout of Christian forgiveness for mine and all of our Original Sin. It’s o.k. to be here. It’s o.k to be alive. For all we know, it might even be excruciatingly essential in the grand scheme of things.
There ya go. Knowledge is ignorance, and leads to suffering. Naming, identifying, and ultimately judging. The 'fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'. This is the banishment from 'paradise' and it didn't happen once a long time ago, but rather happens in every human form beginning around age 2. Transcending those concepts is what spirituality is all about. The root of the tree is the concept of 'me'.

Yes, it is essential. There cannot be transcendence of ignorance without the ignorance.

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Natalie
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by Natalie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:10 am

Snowheight,
Thank you for writing and sharing this beautiful essay about your mom’s passing and so many more things.

You wrote:
Why all this sturm and drang, why all this bother, why all this drama at all? Can’t we simply let the potential embodied in What Is hang as an unrealized possibility? Why does such a place as this Universe actually have to burst itself into form and spin out the long complicated process laden with suffering and beauty alike that results in us? Why can’t it just be let lie that this COULD be and let it rest at that?
I ask myself something similar sometimes. I wonder what could an awaken person ever say to a mother whose 3 year old has just been kidnapped. Why would the Universe have a need or desire to burst itself into this kind of play, as you put it.
Thanks again for sharing your experience during your difficult time.

snowheight
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by snowheight » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:22 pm

Natalie,

Thank you for reading this stuff. :D

As you know from both sides of the equation the bond between a mother and a child is an extraordinary attachment, and as you have implied in other posts, one that can be a challenge to our sense of inner-peace gained by recognizing our true nature as both free of any specific attachments and simultaneously enriched with an infinity of connections.

Because the experience of my mom's bedside was such a "challenge to staying present" so to speak, there were several memorable anecdotes like the one above that I intend to share. She was quite an extraordinary woman who had a great impact on those around her during her life for the better, so going through that transition was turbulent.

As to the question you raise, that does provoke some reaction.
Natalie wrote:I wonder what could an awaken person ever say to a mother whose 3 year old has just been kidnapped. Why would the Universe have a need or desire to burst itself into this kind of play, as you put it.
Does EVERYTHING happen for a reason?

In my particular experience, opening up to the idea of the supernatural has heightened awareness of the odd synchronistic occurrence and the stray eerie coincidence (example below). That being said, there is the notion of randomness, which is at the very heart of physical "reality" that we have to consider in answering my question.

Another way to explore the concept is to compare the notion that God created the Earth and Man with the idea that the Earth formed from a spinning disk of dust and set in motion the process of evolution which resulted in us. Either perspective is equally valid given What Is (the means are unimportant to the end) and can be reconciled with the idea that gravity, DNA, radiation and evolution were simply means to God's end. God can be either in or out of the picture. That is just a question of belief, and belief is just another form.

Coming back to the question at hand, perhaps conscious life was the inevitable result of this process when set in motion, but even if it was, that didn't have to wind up being us. A few different turns in the road and we'd all have been talking geico lizards. That is where randomness comes into play: there is no evolution without change, and luck, chance and unpredictability are at the root of the non-static nature of our Universe. Without randomness there is only stasis.

So I answer my question as "No, not EVERYTHING happens for a reason". Sometimes our "little-me's" just get unlucky.

Of course, you wouldn't want to start talking about "little-me's" to your hypothetical mother. Not that this isn't true, but there is the notion of timing and context to consider. You would be dealing with a person in crisis. No, I think I'd go with the following:

"Sometimes you just have to accept that there are things that you cannot accept". Telling her that she was certainly unlucky (as opposed to pointing out what she should or could have done to prevent it) would probably help as well.

Any mother in such a situation would take a step closer to Love by initially raising an Amber alert and making as much noise with as many law enforcement agency's as possible. Expecting her to get a good nights sleep after the first day would be a stretch, but if she was able to get into a state of acceptance then she'd be able to post that many more flier's the next day and give that much more a lucid and detailed account of any relevant facts to the investigators.

The only potential that I could see for her to get into a state of acceptance would be to accept that what happened happened and to keep in mind that it is not necessary to accept some implied consequence such as the death of her child (no reason to accept some imagined future), no matter how likely that would be. Acceptance of that isn't necessary until later in psychological time. But here again, saying the phrase "psychological time" to her then and there would just be an act of cruelty.

To close the loop however, in a nod to the supernatural implications underlying non-duality, while there is randomness there is of course underlying order. If one looks around, one will notice that things happen that are unrelated that seem to have odd connections. I can give you an example: I recently bought a foreclosed property and as part of the process reviewed the court file -- you don't want to buy one of these in which the defendant had years of equity in the home, both for ethical reasons and to mitigate future litigation risk. In any event I used to be a software consultant in the financial industry, and the lender in this case was the first Bank to ever have offered me a job in the industry. I worked for several banks over many years, and it turns out that the only 2nd mortgage lien on the property was the last Bank that I ever performed a contract for.

I smiled at this odd coincidence and just as quickly brushed it aside. Was it a signal that I was destined to buy the place or a warning to run away? Ultimately there is no meaning to such synchronicities other than perhaps some sort of proximity in terms of a measure that science has yet to identify. The "Law of Attraction" may or not be bulls**t, but who is to say with any certainty that would not be a charlatan? Such proximity can ALWAYS be random, depending on the initial conditions of the model describing it.

So "bad things happen to good people, but that doesn't mean that God doesn't love you" might also help our poor Mom. Perhaps that idea can be translated by those here with more experience with non-duality.

Natalie, did that happen to you?
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

enigma
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by enigma » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:45 pm

Nothing is random, nor does anything happen for a reason. Random implies everything is not intimately interconnected and therefore influenced by everything, and purpose implies an overarching cognizant planner, neither of which is the case. Creation happens NOW and is unfolding from within creation itself. It doesn't unfold with anybody's particular desires in 'mind', though it IS inherently supportive of the needs of life itself.

Approaching someone who states that this is how it works, with some tragic scenario of suffering is to place an unfair expectation that 'how it works' should somehow coincide with one's personal wants or justify one's personal suffering.

snowheight
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by snowheight » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:20 pm

enigma wrote:Nothing is random, nor does anything happen for a reason.
HA! I will not disagree with you but will say just the opposite and illustrate the self-consistency of my assertion! Such is the limitation of language and seemingly our very existence ... except, what are we to make of the concepts of zero, infinity or equality?

A pin will fall because it is hit by a bowling ball.

Schrodinger's cat is both alive and dead at the half-life.
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

enigma
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by enigma » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:41 pm

snowheight wrote:
enigma wrote:Nothing is random, nor does anything happen for a reason.
HA! I will not disagree with you but will say just the opposite and illustrate the self-consistency of my assertion!
I said eggzakly the same thing here a day or two ago. There are various smaller contexts in which we can say randomness and reasons exist, but this discussion is clearly in a nondual context.


A pin will fall because it is hit by a bowling ball.

Schrodinger's cat is both alive and dead at the half-life.
Consciousness rolls a bowling ball. Consciousness makes a pin fall. The bowling ball does not cause the pin to fall.
If Schrody's kitty tells us anything, it is that the cause of everything is not in some box, but in the consciousness that observes the contents.

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Natalie
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by Natalie » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:13 pm

"Sometimes you just have to accept that there are things that you cannot accept."

Thanks for this suggestion snowheight. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable saying something like this
It sounds appropriate and to a certain degree, compassionate.

No, that has not happened to me, but while making a lousy attempt at explaining what I've realized concerning the illusion of the dream world and how we are not who we appear to be, to my dear sister in law who is in extreme emotional pain, she said: yeah, try telling that to a mother whose 3 year old has been kidnapped.

I could not utter another word after she said this. I was totally unprepared for something like that, and knew deep inside that she was right.

That night, I had the first and only doubt about what I have experienced concerning my realization that I am not my life story and asked myself is this awareness or witness that we speak about is nothing but a product of some chemicals in our brains. This question has since then been answered and my gratitude is immense.

snowheight
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Re: My Reconciliation with the Concept of Original Sin.

Post by snowheight » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Natalie wrote:No, that has not happened to me, but while making a lousy attempt at explaining what I've realized concerning the illusion of the dream world and how we are not who we appear to be, to my dear sister in law who is in extreme emotional pain, she said: yeah, try telling that to a mother whose 3 year old has been kidnapped.

I could not utter another word after she said this. I was totally unprepared for something like that, and knew deep inside that she was right.
Do you recognized what happened? Your sister-in-law identified with her (excuse the Tolle-babbel here) mind-projected imagining of that woman in crisis.

Not to belittle what your kin is going through but is it really as bad as our hypothetical?
Stop talking. Hear every sound as background. Look straight ahead and focus. Take one deep breath. This is you. This is Now.

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