For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
2 Cor 5:21
Thanks to the above scripture, the topic of sin came up in yesterday’s gathering of the Authentic Freedom Contemplative Community. The concensus of the group was that they did not like the word, “sin” because of all the images that surface connected with guilt, punishment, retribution, etc. I will share with you here today what I shared with the group that came to me through a commitment to contemplation.
Through my own prayer and contemplation (and with the help of other spiritual writers), I have come to understand sin to be merely a symptom of a deeper unhealed wound. For a reason that cannot be explained, each of us comes into this world with what I have come to call the “unhealed core wound.” This “wound” arises out of the false perception of separation from God and creates within us a state of anxiety, longing and fear. This fear and longing then compels us to seek its remedy. We usually begin this search outside of ourselves which then creates the behaviors and compulsions that we have come to understand as “sin.”
When we understand sin in this way, we are able to stand in a place of compassion rather than judgment. Sin is no longer something to be condemned or punished, but is seen as a cry for help. When we act out of our fears and false perceptions it is the deeper wound within calling for healing. While we may condemn the sin, we no longer feel compelled to condemn the sinner (including ourselves!).
Healing the wound that causes our sinful and compulsive behaviors is the purpose and intention of our spiritual journey. Contemplation is one vehicle through which this journey of healing can take place. In contemplation, we allow ourselves to be open to the truth of Oneness and are able to set aside the false perception of separation. This transformation takes place when we allow ourselves to be transformed by the healing power of God within. Whether we embark upon this journey through movement disciplines such as yoga or tai chi, or through meditation, journalling, creative endeavors, the process is the same. We are healed of that core wound so that we can step more freely into our original nature as men and women of peace, compassion and joy. It is in this state that we will finally find ourselves free from “sin.”