4. What is Sin?
Sin is not a word used very often in our lessons. We see the term, “sinlessness,” quite a bit but not the three-letter word, “sin,” as it is stated so boldly in our focus for the following passages. As one is on a spiritual journey, I have found there are certain words that have to be deconstructed or reframed. Three that come to mind are, God, hell, and sin. Often God has been taught to us as someone in the sky who holds a magnifying glass over us like little peons, waiting for the opportune moment to smite us. Also, some of us have experienced a God that can be corrupt, conniving, and judging. Luckily, as we have journeyed through our walk together, the thought of God has been corrected to that of Truth and Love: A Presence in which we are worthy of, as we were created in Her likeness.
Another word that needs reframing is “hell,” as many think this is a hot place we go if we have been a bad person in this life. Yet, as we have experienced in the Course, hell is merely a place we abide in our minds when we are in a state suffering. We are in hell when we believe we are separate from God, which we know is impossible.
Thirdly, the word “sin” requires a little tweaking. If you were ever around a religious sect, no doubt you were taught that sin sent you straight to hell. Sin is what happens when you do not obey the Ten Commandments or when you do not fear God. Yet have we not learned that we are “under no laws but God’s?” (ACIM Lesson 76). And how can we fear a loving God, in Whom we were created and Who only Wills our happiness?
We have studied in a previous lesson that the meaning of sin is simple, “to miss the mark.” It is of Greek origin and was referred to when one “missed the mark” of a bullseye. How we humans went from a definition so sensible to one of damnation, truly speaks to our level of mastery. We can deceive ourselves into almost anything, such as misconstruing God, hell, and sin.
“Sin is insanity. It is the means by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth. And being mad, it sees illusions where the truth should be, and where it really is” (ACIM 4. What is Sin? 1:1-3).
The Course, in its beauty, states, “Sin is insanity” (1:1). It brings to mind the words of Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We can deduct that the insanity in which we partake is constantly looking for God and the answers to life outside ourselves. In that we have not sinned, creating a sense of damnation, but rather we have just missed the mark. The bullseye is our hearts, not the world outside us. We have searched for happiness and truth in the place where we have created illusion. We have used it as a distraction to keep us from looking within. That, dear friends, is the mastery of it all. We are so powerful that we hid our unchanging, True Identity in plain sight, the mirror.
“There is no sin. Creation is unchanged” (ACIM 4. What is Sin? 5:5-6).
There is no such thing as sin as we have come to know it. It is something we have created to frighten us away from looking at the Truth. Sin has shielded our view, yet by walking in miracles we have deconstructed it and seen for what it is, an illusion, a cloud in the sky always alit by our Light. We can use our limitless energy to maintain this mad world or we can use that same force to recognize the Heaven that is us and around us. It all comes down to choice.
“Truth can be its aim as well as lies” (ACIM 4. What is Sin? 2:6).
In the former section, we focused on “the world,” and explored the meaning we put on it, while also experiencing the potential for Heaven that is in it. As sin follows in succession of our work on the world, it is easy to see how the body and our outer world contribute to the notion of guilt and wrongdoing. But as we look more closely, and slow down our pace to that of miracles, we see that, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII). At most, you or someone else has instigated a moment of Remembrance. We have done nothing wrong and have nothing to feel guilty about. We have been Teachers of the Light, albeit sometimes in odd or extreme ways, but in no way have we harmed the perfection that we are. God sees our little play called life, and is pleased. She knows we have never truly missed Her mark.
“The Son of God may play he has become a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death. But all the while his Father shines on him, and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all” (ACIM 4. What is Sin? 4:3-4).
There is a love ballad by Bon Jovi called Living in Sin where the lyrics state, “Is it you or me / Or just the world we live in / I say we’re living on love / They say we’re living in sin.” No doubt the song is about how the world judges the sinfulness of this particular couple in love. I feel this song, now almost 30 years old, portrays the changing nature of what is considered to be a sin on the world’s stage. History, and music, has repeatedly shown to us that humanity has pushed the boundaries of “sin” making it a moving mark. Often what once was considered to be a worldly sin now has become the norm in many cases. And if you consider the inspired lyrics, “living on love,” we are met with the truth of how living a life in such a vibration is innocent, timeless, and unchanging, although it may seem odd to the social norm. What once was considered a form of rebellion can actually turn out to be right all along. What does this say about the validity of “sin?” What does this also say about the importance of our role as Trail Blazers for the Light?
The journey in debunking “sin” is one of pure experience. Someone can tell you repeatedly, “You have done nothing wrong,” but until you know the Truth for yourself, it will only remain knowledge at the surface level. The Truth that you are is to be lived and fully realized. In the following lessons, turn to the bullseye that is your heart and let it show you the insanity of sin. Namaste.