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The Myth of Salvation and Redemption

“In light of today’s current events: significant religious controversies, terror attacks, etal, the question of sin and forgiveness is more relevant as society continues its downward spiral into oblivion that will seemingly culminate in a totalitarian form unless a new consciousness evolves. A new consciousness, not one with a goodie two-shoes mentality. My article was originally published in January, 2013.”
I have long pondered the ideas of redemption and salvation: sin and forgiveness. In spite of the vast amount of religious ideals and other faith-based ideologies, it is significantly rare that there has ever been a substantial and realistic result other than asking and begging forgiveness from the Almighty, who mercifully and automatically forgives regardless of personal perspective but, of course, with a price. When asking for a cleansing of my soul, I would anxiously await a form of pardon for the errors of my ways, which, when granted, would not curtail my immediate return to my sinning cycle all over again. Experience has shown me that redemption, salvation, sin and forgiveness is based on my own acceptance of announcing to myself that I am guilt free. Heaven forbid the concept of blind faith!

Pondering the many ideas of sin leads us to certain forms of uselessness and, in many more instances, a sense of hopelessness. We begin to think that we will never be able to overcome our evil inclinations. And that is exactly what religion strives to cultivate in our minds. As well, even without piety, a large populace still thinks that they only have to ask themselves for pardon, even to the extent of donning a hair shirt or some other form of self-deprecation and abasement. Guilt runs rampant when we determine for ourselves (or, for that matter, being caught in the act of a nefarious deed) that we must make a decision to rationalize the injustices we have meted out to others and getting to the point of honoring the actual deed by exclusion of ourselves as the guilty party.

The whole notion of sinning has a unique psychology to it, and it probably began when someone came up with rules and regulations for conduct in society. No doubt it was long before the Ten Commandments were prescribed by the Jewish Torah, which, incidentally, lists 613 specific sins that Jews must ask God’s forgiveness for. In general, no-nos have been in place throughout history, when different societies frowned upon certain behaviors that those in charge of that society considered uncool. To cover yourself with an antithetical illusion, try Zen, which does not acknowledge the idea of a God. Zen, too, is also its own game. And forget about karma, which is in itself a profound hype. Every orthodoxy is its own heresy.

Whenever the notion of a sin comes into play, it is almost immediately recognized as something that should not be done, assuming, of course, that we know of its violation of a societal rule and we are not dysfunctional. The problem becomes exacerbated when we try to figure out a way to do the dastardly deed without recrimination. The cycle become endless, and we will all probably end up in hell anyway, assuming there is such a thing. Ah, the joys of self-righteousness!

Considering all the horrors that mankind has suffered and perpetrated on each other through the ages, it seems to me that He would have gotten a message by this point in humanity’s plight that it is virtually impossible not to sin and that we, as mere mortals, cannot or should not be held to such heavenly standards regardless of His intention with the angels. That, along with our self-absorbing consternation that rains down on humanity because of devotion to an Absolute that is entirely without evidence. All of this eventually evolves into the encumbrance of living in guilt, with an untoward fear of offending the Divine Light.

Now, let me be abundantly clear. I believe there is a Creative Power of the Universe. For whatever reasons that I choose to harbor this belief, it is because I cannot accept the idea that all of “this” came out of nowhere. In my estimation there must be some sort of consciousness that started the whole thing off. At the same time, I insist in my own mind that I am directing this consciousness to manifest whatever it is that I desire in physical, mental, or spiritual form. It is essentially what I generally misconstrue in my own mind as my own mind. Nonetheless, I adjure that this “thing” that is, is as well “no-thing,” and I work within myself to alleviate It of Its own mental illness, brave soul that I am.

When it comes to running the show, I will readily admit that there are certain things that no matter how intensely I implore the Creative Power of the Universe, these “certain things” simply don’t come to be until I use the proper words in correct connection to my own particular reasons for being. I readily accept the blame for an absence of a specific manifestation due to my own inability to resolve into elements of a clear and concise sentence my demand in the proper words. Yes, words … coupled with desire on a conscious level for something. There are, however, some things that happen irrespective of my immediate desire and that can only be attributed to past inclinations that have produced current results.

Perhaps a quantum leap in consciousness will alleviate the torment. Maybe God should ask OUR forgiveness, or perhaps we should demand that It, He, or She beg forgiveness for the sins emanating from that source, which acts like a parent demanding subservience and absolute obedience while foisting a concept of enshrouding us in divine love.

Redemption and salvation can only come from within. Purging oneself of sin and guilt can only be divined by an individual who truly seeks to clear any obstacles from interfering with the pleasure of living a life of joy and freedom. Personal behavior is something that must be monitored to coexist within the constraints of the society that it is relevant to. I do not have to consider excuses to act in ways that will empower me to protect my tranquility.

© Stephen F. Kaufman 2013

For more info on the author, visit www.hanshi.com

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