Introduction by Brian Coyne: I remember a priest saying to a group of us around the time I was leaving school and going to university that even under the most orthodox interpretation of Catholic Church teaching it was difficult for any person to commit a mortal sin. I've pondered on those words many times over my lifetime and they came back to me as I was preparing today's commentary from Francis Brown. Francis challenges today the concepts of death and sin. I'm not sure that I wholly agree with him. While I do think there are few people who run around deliberately being sinful. I do think we all make plenty of bloody stupid decisions in our lives, or think stupid things, that bring disharmony into our lives — or the lives of our families, neighbours and communities. What Francis seems to be arguing here is a way of thinking that helps restore harmony and wholeness into our lives. This is another beautiful reflection worth sitting with quietly for a lengthy period of time.
It's Life I Choose...
As a pre-school child I had no thought of death but as I progressed in school-learning death became something to prepare for as a sort of gateway to either damnation or salvation. However, as I enter into the state of awakening to which I commit myself, I dedicate myself to Life without end as Jesus' resurrection shows and undoing the apparently prevalent thinking that confirms separation from God and consequent guilt and death.
Jesus and of my Created-Self pervades the world to bring me to awakening. The Holy Spirit fills my heart, and inspires in me the Love and Oneness that is mine from creation. The Holy Spirit knows both the Creator and what goes on in the world of my fragmented Self. It is my willingness to perceive the Holy Spirit's purpose for my life and accepting it that I come to renounce death and dedicate myself to Life.
The recovery from my school-learning years reveals that I had allowed a mind in me that believes itself separate from the Creator and persistently promotes guilt in me for supporting the idea of separation.
Through a lifetime of a frequently floundering search for truth in the cause rather than the effects, I have, in recent years, been given a somewhat healed perception. A tendency from early childhood towards awareness of an embracing Presence and to seek a spiritual sense in my perceptions of daily events and of words (especially those used in Sacred Scripture) also had a healing effect. Perhaps the units of philosophy, including philosophy, epistemology, cosmology, metaphysics and logic (undertaken prior to theological studies) fostered in me a mind seeking deeper meaning.
Excluding the concepts of sin and death...
My dedication to Life, Innocence, and the Will of the Creator, excludes the concepts of sin and death. One thing I know for sure is that God, who created neither sin nor death, wills not that I be bound by them. For me the Creator does not know of sin and its results. God only knows the Godhead and God's Creation. Were I to mourn a death, believing it to be what God created, I would not be honoring my Creator. Were I a supporter of the idea of death, I would not be following God's Will but opposing it.
Would it not be arrogant of me to condemn the Child of the Creator to be a body dedicated to death? Death is a symbol of corruption and of the sacrifice of the Child of the Creator to the idea of sin. How is it possible that I could see myself as a body-thing, condemned and damned by my way of thinking? Lamentation over death can only be if body were my true reality.
I see my body as a mad idea of corruption that can be and will be corrected; in fact, is corrected. Of itself my body is neither corruptible nor incorruptible; it is nothing, it does nothing of itself. Whatever the origin of the insane idea I have of separation (and it is the cause of the corruption effect), God's appeal must have rung out: Remember My Creation is eternal. A mind that does not hear this answer must think itself asleep. According to the degree of my awakening to God's answer and the purpose I give to the body, so will my perception be. The body will serve my purpose, either for enlightenment or for what seems like darkness. If I were to accept that body and death is real, death would be the disintegration of all communication. Such unhealed thinking in me would signal absolute separation and declare a remaking of God's creation. The idea of absence of life would win above the reality which is Life Itself. On the contrary I am dedicated to Life. I release the Child of the Creator and return that Child to the Will of the Creator. In doing so, I honour the Creator. Accordingly I renounce in me the concepts of sin, guilt and separation in favour of the Will of the Creator.
Seeing the Imprint of Christ in all I meet...
I dedicate my life here in another way as well. Although I see that death is but a dream, I do not ask release from the somber rites and possible blame my body leads me to. I have mercy on my body and forgive it the burdens my unhealed thinking put on it. I wish to keep the body intact and functioning well as long as it is useful to my holy purpose of personally seeing an end of the idea of separation, of seeing beyond the effects of the idea of sin to the Cause of all that is, effecting innocence, and seeing the Imprint of Christ in all I meet and (in such holy company) to regain the memory of God. Beyond that my purpose is that, blessed by the innocence and holiness of all I meet, I will allow my holiness to bless the world and bring about mankind's awakening to reality of oneness.
My fear of death recedes according to the measure that death's appeal yields to Love's real attraction. I see the end of sin is very near. That end nestles with and is protected by my loving union with all I perceive as my brothers and sisters, being the Child of the Creator. This, I know will grow in me as a mighty force for God.
I have confidence to ask: What danger can assail the wholly innocent? What can attack the guiltless? What fear can enter and disturb the peace of sinlessness? The miracle of my life is ageless, born in time but nourished in eternity. My seeing but innocence (the real meaning of forgiveness), gives a resting place for this infant, my newborn Self. I see this awakening as the Will of my Creator for me, innocent in creation and innocent eternally. Anyone who gives me shelter to grow will follow me, not to the cross, but to the resurrection and the life.
With this eternally created freedom, life in this world is enjoyable. I love the freshness of the air after a night of refreshing rain. I love the clear blue sky and its cloud dappled sister. I love the warmth of the sun on my skin and the cool breeze that sooths my overheated body. I love the grand beauty of the gum tree against the sky. I love the birds that gracefully soar and charmingly sing. They easily keep me to the present moment and allow my mind to be still. I love the feelings of my body that wishes to express some of the joy within. I love a glass of red wine as I chew into a succulent steak. I love the flow of water over and caressing my skin as I swim in the sea. I love to bathe in the beauty and handsomeness of the women and men of so many races and cultures I see on Sydney streets and in shopping centres. I love the present mindedness of my grandchildren who cavort and play around me. This world has so much that I have enjoyed recently. No doubt there is much more I will enjoy.
Whilst enjoying the loveliness of this world, if anything presents itself to be a source of fear (as are bombings and threat of war), when a situation is set to strike terror in the mind and trembling in the body, my mind is called to remember that the delusional part of my mind has perceived the situation as a symbol of fear and death. Fear and death are effects of the world's insistence on the idea of separation. I reject that cause. The Cause I have chosen is perfect and eternal. When effects contradict the Original Cause, they are made by my mind based on a mistaken idea. So they are unreal for me and cannot cancel the peace that God created. In that way I am assured that my thoughts and words are not a subtle ploy of the ego. The ego knows nothing of the present moment, the eternal now, and peace. Continued peace is my safeguard. If confronted with uncertainty regarding what seems to be going on around me, I do not judge what goes on (as Jesus taught me) but give the uncertainty over to the Holy Spirit. Under the Holy Spirit's guidance, I will see what effects relate to the Cause that is the Creator and what do not. My choice is obvious and cannot be mistaken. I choose neither to see what goes on as a sign of sin or death nor use it for destruction. What comes of this is peace, eternal peace. March 2003
From Pain to Healing
Glaring eyes and clenched teeth express the anger
What are your thoughts on this commentary?