“The Original Sin”
The Original Sin is a part of the Catholic Christian “Doctrine of the Fall” wherein it is believed that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they fell from a state of perfection and brought evil into a perfect world. The sin per se was disobedience to God when they ate a forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. It is from that time that the human race continues to suffer the consequences of the first ever sinful act.
The concept is in a way a rationalisation of why there is so much wrong in what should should have been an ideal & perfect world, devoid of any imperfection since it had been created by God. So essentially, it absolves God of its responsibility for the evils of the world and in a way, shifts it to the human beings for messing it up so royally.
The Original Sin is also sometimes interpreted as a logic for temptation and why most of us find it so hard to resist. Though we know what is right and good, yet we ‘give in’ to exactly what is the opposite. Temptation has probably thus got transmitted over the ages through our DNA. The Bible puts it simply: I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…..
A point of debate which is often raised is that since evil did not exist before Adam sinned, how would he have known that he was sinning? Of course, there are other modernists as well who find the very idea of being punished for someone else’s crime as unethical and unfair.
Quite frankly, the Original Sin is a rather complex and difficult doctrine to understand and does appear rather dark and pessimistic at first glance. Yet it has been kept alive for centuries as part of Christian teaching for its theological benefits.
Also, many Christians widely believe that the only way to be saved from the consequences of the Original Sin is by receiving the grace of God by accepting his love, seeking forgiveness by confession, by believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem their sins and lastly by getting baptized.
Even the innocent newly-born who haven’t had any opportunity to sin so far are also not kept away from the impact of the Original Sin. That is how the ritual of baptism continues, presumably to cleanse the baby of the Original Sin and be adopted as the son/daughter of God by admittance into the faith.
My Christian friends, please feel free to set me right if I have erred in any way in relating the concept. However, I move away from Christianity at this point for it is in almost every other religion as well, that some kind of ceremony is conducted to welcome the infant into the faith and the larger religious community.
Thus almost every baby born free, pure and nude, shorn of all ‘evil, vile and immorality’ is hurriedly claimed by one or the other religious institution to be its very own or rather its exclusive own. And all his life, he (or she) is made to believe through a well-oiled indoctrination process that he has to practice and defend what has been imposed on him.
Akin to joining a political party, where you accept the party’s entire package of convictions, religion imposes the same compulsions on you in a very subtle and unsuspectingly gentle way. Undoubtedly, the majority of the institutional convictions may appeal to you. But along with, you also unquestioningly accept all its ills and inadequacies, some of which may be against your deep-rooted value system.
Over time, the in-house proselytization gets irrevocably completed in thought and spirit. Any contemplation of variance is eradicated by tradition, custom and rituals. Seized with a mentality of righteousness, reflection goes out of the window. What follows is a polarised world of “us versus they”.
Today, it is saddening to see the vitriolic social media posts which have become a true embodiment of this parochial mindset. Shutting our eyes to the beautiful possibilities we were born with, which are way beyond our imposed religious mindsets, we keep peddling and forwarding dangerous half-truths and half-lies without a thought.
So has our Original Sin been being born in a certain faith or a community? Well so it appears. Although we all have the power to cleanse ourselves, but weak and scared are we. Underconfident and unsure like the school bully-gang, we are fearful of revealing our inner selves and stick to the like-minded for we seek security in numbers.
While it is possible to recover many things in life, the fabric of trust and harmony once lost can never be restored. Non-return valves by definition do exactly what they say.
I genuinely wanted to forgive you for you know not what you are doing.
However, although vengeful it may sound, but my singular prayer for all my good friends trying to dominate the narrative is that they should have a rebirth in a family following a faith or religion they have learnt to totally despise in this birth.
First published at seekmediation.com on 01/04/22
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- which part of Earth were we born in,
- what is the colour of our skin and eyes
- who do we attribute our existence too,
- who do we call upon to answer our prayers,
- whether we were born on the ‘better’ side of an imagined political border,
- should they not go to the other side of the border because of how they identify themselves .. The list can be ‘ye’ long and yet not be complete.
― Christopher Hitchens in