Nick_A wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:58 pm
Greta, you seem to have a strong emotional rejection of Christianity. This is normal because over time Christianity has devolved into sects of Christendom or man made Christianity into society producing mixed results. Many here have had bad experiences with these mixed results. However, St. Paul provides and elegant personal description of our dual nature and how far we are from “I Am.” Are you open to contemplating it and experiencing the same within you? This is the essential beginning. Can a person living as a plurality consciously evolve into inner unity? To “know thyself” means to experience this great contradiction within ourselves. Without it we just intensify our negativity through frustration producing the verbal abuse and cyber bullying this thread is about. We cannot solve a problem without first experiencing the problem and admitting it.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[d] a slave to the law of sin.
Nick, IMO all any of us do is is the best they know how at the time. The ideas of theists, atheists, pantheists, panentheists, deists, agnostics, pagans and so on have many commonalities due to our common biology and existential situation.
So, nowadays I try hard to understand what key points people are trying to get across rather than worrying about detail. To do that, sometimes I need to translate into my kind of language, and this is the case with your ideas.
To deal with the second part of your post first, I see "sin" as our atavistic animal nature - our greed, lust, aggression, anger, vengefulness, cruelty, and so forth. Freud called this base evolved nature the Id, Jung termed it the Shadow (Plato would have approved). It is a lifetime challenge to maintain control over one's more unhelpful base impulses.
It's true that we need to recognise the impulses that prevent us from being the kind of people we most want to be, but recognising the many activities of the animal within (many of them helpful) is only the first step in potentially domesticating ourselves. At this juncture many meditation masters will talk about the importance of mindfulness, of regulating oneself, of noticing those things we take for granted, and to grasp the nettle of needed but unwanted tasks and ideas. It's much harder than it sounds; self mastery is more than a lifetime's work.
My, and Kant's, understanding is that we cannot get in touch with actual reality. Consider what happens to people who return from NDEs - their filters are somewhat disabled and they tend to be overwhelmed by even dim light and gentle sounds. Without the buffer of our brain's filtering we could not function. That's life - you are born without a clue and struggle for a while until your inevitable destruction. One can only hope that when we die, rather than complete annihilation, that the actual reality we have been unable to touch becomes manifest. I suppose one can believe in that, but it's impossible to rationally justify.