Thursday, November 6, 2014

Love and sin

Last night, I was speaking with one of my best friends from college, and I mentioned that I am, in the course of my inner work, expected to keep my sin for myself and give my love to others.

Instead, I do the opposite: I keep my love for myself and give my sin to others.

Keeping my love for myself is called ego in most circles. It means that that force which ought to go outward and govern my relationships with generosity is instead turned inward with greed. Love is a good thing; I want it for myself, and thus try to retain as much of it as I can. But this inward-turning is exactly the wrong thing for love, which does not thrive in isolation. It cannot even know itself in isolation; it depends on others for its manifestation, but I don't see that, inwardly. In my paranoia, I feel unloved; and I try to keep my love—that sacred portion of God which is instilled into each man and woman when they are born—within me in order to have it and be "safe."

In the same way, I thrust my sin outward. Sin consists in this instance of a lack of consideration for the other person; I don't see that my own security and happiness depends on theirs. This is the odd thing, isn't it?—that I don't see how I can't really be secure or loved if others aren't also secure and loved.

My sin turns outward; and this worst part of me, the part that does not know what good intention is, thus becomes my outward face to the world, even though I may be quite clever at hiding it.

To be sure, sin is inevitable—any careful self-examination of intentions will ultimately reveal this snake that lies close to the ground, concealed in the grass next to my own essence. This property ought to be one I suffer myself, within myself—not placing the burden of it on others. In order to do that, though, I need to see how this is within me—and that is quite difficult, because sin within each person is in its natural element—sin inhabits the ego quite naturally, in the same way that a snake inhabits the grass.

The two have a love for one another; and between them they understand their own love for one another better than I understand the greater love which I am called to by a right inner practice.

To keep my sin for myself is to suffer it inwardly.


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