Section 4. What is 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. Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there the sinless would behold? What need have they of sights or sounds or touch? What would they hear or reach to grasp? What would they sense at all? To sense is not to know. And truth can be but filled with knowledge, and with nothing else.
The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself. Its purpose is to strive. Yet can the goal of striving change. And now the body serves a different aim for striving. What it seeks for now is chosen by the aim the mind has taken as replacement for the goal of self-deception. Truth can be its aim as well as lies. The senses then will seek instead for witnesses to what is true.
Sin is the home of all illusions, which but stand for things imagined, issuing from thoughts that are untrue. They are the “proof” that what has no reality is real. Sin “proves” God’s Son is evil; timelessness must have an end; eternal life must die. And God Himself has lost the Son He loves, with but corruption to complete Himself, His Will forever overcome by death, love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.
A madman’s dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify. And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game. 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.
How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children’s toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?
“Sin is insanity. 2 It is the means by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth.”
How we have been wrong about sin! We decided that our game of separation was real and we were guilty for it. Jesus refers to it as the detour into guilt and fear. Here is how Merriam-Webster defines detour: a deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure especially : a roundabout way temporarily replacing part of a route. Guilt is a deviation, not an intention. Our guilt was such that we even established religions devoted to guilt, and invented rules when broken would be sins. And yet, it is not true at all, just a deviation from our intended purpose.
“The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself. 2 Its purpose is to strive. 3 Yet can the goal of striving change.”
We made a body as the way we would convince ourselves our error was a sin and deserving of punishment. Everything about the body proves that we are not what we are. We are eternal formless Love. The body seems to prove otherwise, and in so doing seems to mock God. No wonder we have so much unconscious guilt.
But the Bible says that God will not be mocked and so we have actually done nothing, which proves our sinlessness. It is a game we play, a game of striving. For a long time now, we have strived to make this virtual world work in our favor, but many of us, and eventually all of us, have changed the purpose of the striving. Now we strive to return our minds to sanity and remember who we are.
“A madman’s dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify.”
“But all the while his Father shines on him, and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all.”
We will, of course, succeed. We must succeed because nothing has actually happened. God’s love has not ceased to be and how can we outrun His love? How could anything harm what God loves? So why is it if we are loved and safe, this last paragraph pleads with us to end the game?
“How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? 2 Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children’s toys? 3 How soon will you be ready to come home? 4 Perhaps today? 5 There is no sin. 6 Creation is unchanged. 7 Would you still hold return to Heaven back? 8 How long, O holy Son of God, how long?”
Jesus has told us that what we believe is true for us. He has acknowledged that illusions or not we suffer in our belief in them. This is why we want to end the dream. It is a dream of suffering. Let us turn our striving toward the truth that there is no sin and no reason to continue to believe in it. Or better yet, let us just drop the pretense. Perhaps today?
If one reads this special theme with the judgmental mind of the ego, one might perceive that s/he is a sinner because s/he experiences a body. That is not what this lesson intends to teach.
Pretend like you had never heard the word “sin” before. This is the first time the sound of s—i—n has ever reached your ears. Someone uses that word, and you ask, “What is ‘sin’?” The answer is, “Sin is insanity.”
“Oh,” you say, because you know what insanity is. And as the person continues to talk using the word “sin,” your mind naturally substitutes “insanity” every time “sin” is heard.
Therefore, you hear, “Insanity 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. Insanity gave the body eyes, for what is there the lucid would behold? …”
Or said another way, the perceived world is not true. Those who choose to believe it without questioning it are deluded. Anyone who has awakened to truth, and therefore knows the unreality of the world, has no interest in it. They are drawn only to reality.
In NTI, instead of the word insanity, ignorance is used. It says this:
“To listen to these thoughts and believe them is ignorance, for you are listening to what is not true, but believing what you hear. Any action you take based on these thoughts is ignorant action, for it is action based on untruth in an unreal world.
Ignorance is not guilt. It is a call for knowledge. It is the Holy Spirit that leads you through corrected perception to the right-knowledge that you seek. Right-knowledge is true knowledge, and true knowledge is the knowledge of truth.”
I like this explanation better because it moves us even further from the idea of guilt. If we look at our errors as simply ignorance rather than seeing them as proof of guilt, we will achieve our purpose much faster and with less suffering. This is what I mostly do. The ego is determined to find guilt and will do so in the smallest of errors.
Twice yesterday I noticed I was making two different people guilty. I kept letting it go and then I would notice I was doing it again. Finally, I stopped what I was doing at the time and talked to the Holy Spirit about it. I said that I could see what was happening and that I didn’t want guilt in my mind. I wanted to be done with these thoughts.
That was the end of them, not because of the words I used, but because I was certain. My striving has become much easier now and I move through my errors faster. One reason this is so is that I don’t feel guilty for my errors anymore. The other reason is that I am convinced that this change of mind is my purpose and that I want it more than I want anything else. I make a decision and even in this upside-down world, decision has power.
Webster defines sin as an offense against God; a weakened state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God. Here, Jesus is redefining sin as the ego. Sin made the body to experience an illusory world, to sense (or to perceive) rather than to know. Sin is the ego belief in illusions of evil, hate, and death. Untrue thoughts create illusions that seem to prove God’s Son is not like God. This leaves God with only sin to complete himself, and so God Himself is overcome.
But sin is only a game played by the Son as he frightens himself with stories that portray him as evil and guilty. I think of movies that are created to prove the worst that man can do to man, created to titillate and frighten. I remember when I saw Silence of the Lambs, a story of a man living the worst illusory experience imaginable.
I became so involved in the story that I forgot all else. When the movie ended it was as if I were slowly awakening from a dream and I had to pull myself back to “reality” or at least reality as I understood it. Now I think that movie experience mimics life in more ways than was portrayed on the screen.
Just as it was created to frighten us with stories of man as evil and guilty, stories that catch our attention and hold us riveted for a while, the movie experience itself mimics life as the ego made it. In our lives, we pretend to be varying degrees of evil and guilty and become so riveted by our own stories that we have come to believe they are the truth and are having trouble awakening from the dream of illusions.
But the Son remains as he was created and God loves him as He always has. It is possible to use the body to seek truth rather than illusions. This is what I do when I look at the seeming proof of sin and guilt and ask the Holy Spirit to show me the truth instead. This reminds me of movies that seek to show man facing the life he made through believing his ego stories and then overcoming them through love.
I was watching a short movie from Spiritual Cinema last night in which a young girl is very miserable because she thinks that because her father (who has Alzheimer’s) doesn’t remember her he doesn’t love her. She found some old pictures and home movies of them together and his evident joy in being with her cause her to question her beliefs. She sets off on a quest to find a way to reconnect with her father.
This movie reminds me of my life as it is now. I am learning to question the beliefs which seem to prove guilt and sin. New beliefs are creating a different life as these beliefs bring to my attention the truth rather than more illusions. I remember one time when a customer called out of the blue and asked me to come by and talk to him. Because I had recently lost a customer I became immediately nervous and afraid that he was unhappy with the service or the product and was going to tell me that he was buying from someone else.
Because I had recently lost a customer I became immediately nervous and afraid that he was unhappy with the service or the product and was going to tell me that he was buying from someone else. I worried the whole day and spent my time proving that this was the truth. It wasn’t hard to do. The ego mind thought up all sorts of possible reasons he was unhappy and reminded me of past incidences that supported this version of the truth.
Pretty soon I was mulling over every wrong thing I had ever done, all the ways in which I was guilty and deserving of bad news. Then I began to project and to see this as the customer’s fault. I couldn’t believe he would buy from someone else after all the things I had done to help him. I was imagining the scathing remarks I would make to him when I got there.
When I have been so caught up in the ego story for hours at a time it is sometimes hard to get back to the truth. The ego has brought me so much proof of its story that it is not easy to look away. But I remembered my purpose and knew that whatever happens the only sane response is love. This was enough to snap me out of my illusion.
By the time I got to my customer, I knew that all I wanted to do was to be helpful. I surrendered the idea that I was there to keep him as a customer. I stepped back and waited to be guided. And as it turned out all he wanted was to ask my advice about a problem. I wonder how different the story might have been if I had continued to allow the ego to write the script. Who knows what I might have done or said differently if I continued to believe the ego story which called for anger and vengeance?
What if I had followed my fear and anger and decided I didn’t want him as a customer anyway and never went by? He might then have found someone who could help him and I would really have lost him as a customer, and all the time believed the proof that the ego brought me that my belief that someone was guilty was true.
In last night’s movie, the young girl started out thinking she was miserable because of her father but then discovered that it was an untrue belief that was making her miserable. With that discovery, she began to believe something else and this belief showed her something entirely different than she had seen before.
In the movie of my life, I began by believing the untrue thought that someone was guilty and punishment was imminent. When I became open to being wrong about that belief and opened my mind to another belief I began to see things differently. Whatever I believe will create proof to support that belief.
Now the only question that remains is how long will I continue to play this game of suffering before I set aside all my stories of guilt and fear, sin and punishment. There is no sin, and pretending that sin is real has not changed anything. There is nothing to prevent God’s Son from returning to Heaven. It is up to each of us to look at our beliefs and, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, question them. It is up to us to decide to seek proof of the truth rather than illusions.