“Hamachidori“, by Ryutaro Hirota, played by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra & Kazumasa Watanabe, from the album “Konomichi―Favorite Japanese Melodies (Japanese Melody Series)” (2004)
In all seriousness, I understand that as soon as I am sincerely sorry for my sins, for having offended God, He forgets all my sins and malice and forgives me, for He is truly infinite goodness, infinite mercy.
And I understand that to look back in remorse for sins which have already been forgiven is to commit another sin, a sin of pride.
A sin of “Pride” because, as sure as God made little green apples, I am busy sinning away right now. Getting maudlin about the past, or even blaming the past, is just a distraction from dealing with the sins of right now.
Looking back on past sins is a sin of not trusting that I am in fact forgiven. Lack of trust is fraught with self reliance and self centeredness. Looking back is “Pride” in action, an absence of humility, rather than a practice of humility.
I have to apply myself first of all to humility of heart and continue to deepen the sincere recognition of my nothingness, my weakness. An important part of that recognition is a sincere acceptance of responsibility for my thoughts, words, and deeds.
One certainty abides, through all the stormy rhetoric, namely, that this “nothingness” which I contemplate with horror, is not the fault of any other creature and the mere attempt to “place blame” or “attribute responsibility” on or to another creature for the folly and beliefs I entertain about my self is abject knavery in action.
Only the truly, madly, deeply, cowardly, the quintessential poltroon makes the attempt to deflect responsibility onto another creature for thoughts, words and deeds which that bad actor inflicts on others. Down the path of deflection lies in wait a truly insidious trap, and also an accidental gift.
The trap is spiritual death for the deflector, but God permits the accidental gift to that poor creature which is receiving blame and humiliation because it is impossible to become humble without experiencing humiliation, and God wants us to be truly humble.
It is an even greater gift (“gift” raised to some power) when the humiliated are, by their hard work, making the humiliation possible, by providing every single tiny part of the sustenance needed for the poltroons, the bad actors, to exist.
And by their works shall you know them … It seems to me that this deflection of responsibility onto others is one of the most prominent identifiers, a true hallmark, of modernist self worshipers, the slaves of “This World”.
It seems that the less they know (especially of themselves), and the worse their behaviour, the more these actors blame it all on someone else, and excuse their own behaviour.
These actors seem to be willing to attempt any gymnastic contortion in their efforts to blame other creatures, or some event, or circumstances over which they have no control, literally ANYTHING will work for them as an object to blame.
They need a target of their wrath, a perpetual motion engine of hate, in order to avoid having to face the evidence of their own actions, their own sins, and in this avoiding of all responsibility for their thoughts, words, and deeds, these actors pretty much exclude the possibility of ever gaining anything remotely resembling wisdom, that is self-knowledge through experience.
Now, wisdom seems to encourage patience, patience with the foibles and eccentricities of other creatures, our neighbors, and more time encourages more patience, tending eternally until the someday heat death of the universe.
The older one gets (God willing) the more patience one develops, because one has a wider experience of foibles and eccentricities. Another word for the creature so enlightened by this wisdom of experience is, “Conservative.” Been there, done that.
“Kojo No Tsuki” (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album “Japanese Melodies” (1990)
As I have previously pointed out in random past posts, the more one knows about a subject, the longer one has studied a subject, the more detailed one’s understanding of any subject, the more sure one becomes about the reality of that subject, the more “Conservative” one becomes towards it.
On the other hand, the less one knows, the more liberal he or she becomes, and the more inclined he or she is to embrace “progress” and “reforms.” Socialism and Communism embody reform by the unknowing, and these socioeconomic systems are always imposed from above or from outside by those with no practical knowledge of that which they are reforming. But even a Communist may prove a very “conservative” hockey player, once he learns something about hockey.
As a Polish immigrant friend of mine once said, to answer my question about why he worked in a print shop when he had a Masters Degree in Economics: “It’s really very simple (Joe), Communists know nothing about economics, and my Masters Degree from the Warsaw School of Economics was granted under the Communists. My Masters degree in Economics is in an area which that school, at the time, knew nothing about.”
This seems a universal principle. Everyone knows something about something, and is very unwilling to embrace change in that which he knows much about. Quoting David Warren again: “The one exception may be journalists, who know nothing about anything, and are therefore liberal all round.”
So, because I have studied sin, and I have a lot of practical knowledge about sin, perhaps a virtual PhD in Sin gained in the “Work Term” of life. Ha, just imagine that, a Doctorate in Sin, because of my experience of sin I hold a “Conservative” view of sin.
There seems to be an iron law of bad behaviour, an iron law of sin, and it seems to have two manifestations … it seems to be that if the actor (the sinner) accepts responsibility for the self’s thoughts, words, and deeds, the sinner thereby internalizes these events and can move forward fruitfully to asking, nay, begging for forgiveness as the enormity of one’s sins wash over the self.
On the other hand, if the actor denies all responsibility and clings desperately to the fantasy that no forgiveness is needed because nothing is the actor’s fault, and because there is no fault, therefore no blame accrues, and no guilt is felt, and no repentance is required. It’s all a magic show … Wax on, Wax off … deflect and disarm, B.S. baffles brains, right?
Occupy Wall-street, or in Canada’s case Occupy Ottawa which Capital City owes it’s very existence to the hard work of all those creatures who are being blamed for what is wrong by other creatures who contribute nothing but only suck, and suck, and suck, yup … life really sucks.
Responsibility, or no responsibility, That is the question— Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And, by opposing, end them? To die, to sleep— No more—and by a sleep to say we end The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause. There’s the respect That makes calamity of so long life.
We are such victims of other’s delusions as to sometimes wish for death … This delusional behaviour can even go so far as to target entire groups of creatures (individuals unknown to the deluded) in an arbitrary category of scapegoat, the blame-game targets. A blatant example of this was brought up by David Warren in his blog a small portion of which I quote as a teaser:
“Among the signs of our time is a poster mounted by a local “educational” institution. (One must use this term very loosely, these days.) The headline reads: “Check Your Privilege,” and in case you don’t know what the long word means, a definition is offered:
“Privilege: Unearned access to social power based on membership in a dominant social group.” (ed. Ooooooooo … that’s just so spine-tingling clever I about wet myself in the thrill of the moment)
Naturally, one then wonders what the author means by “unearned,” “access,” “social,” “power,” “membership,” “dominant,” and “group.” But that’s only a beginning. The graphic design is professional, slick, expensive. Underneath this frankly Orwellian statement, we have a “black list” (quite literally, white type reversed from a black rectangle) resembling a Canadian election ballot. There are nine entries, which the viewer is invited to mentally check off: … ” (go read the rest at David’s blog post, it is really quite amusing)
It seems obvious that the local “educational” institution in question must be a publicly funded institution.
And it is equally obvious that the institutionalized inhabitants of this “academy”, both academics and students, belong to that perennially vocal class of creatures who are always blaming others, entire groups of other creatures, for what are provably their own failings, inadequacies, and disappointments.
Sigh … ever was it so, at least in living memory.
All of the above is the articulation of an observation of a phenomenon, of something “real”, in the “real” world, which observation raises an obvious question. Is the articulation of the observation a “sin” in the sense that we are talking about? Is it a sin to write about observed behaviour of other creatures?
Or is the “sin” actualized in thoughts about the motives and actions of those other creatures who would organize and present this propagandized interpretation of “Privilege” at the expense of other creatures.
“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)
Now, I looked it up on Google, and as we know we can find everything on Google and Google has this to say about Privilege:
Privilege may refer to:
- Privilege (law), a permission granted by law or other rules.
- Privilege (evidence), rules excluding certain confidential communication from being admissible as evidence in court
- Executive privilege, the claim by the President of the United States and other executives to immunity from legal process
- Privilege (sociology), a term in sociology describing any special status granted to one group and usually portrayed as default
- Privilege (canon law)
- Privilege (Ivor Cutler album)
- Privilege (Television Personalities album)
- Privilege (film), a 1967 film directed by Peter Watkins
- “Privilege (Set Me Free)“, a 1978 song covered by the Patti Smith Group that is featured in the above film
- “Privilege” (short story), a short story by Frederick Forsyth
- Privilege (computing), the level of access granted in computer security
- Privilege (insurance company), a division of the Royal Bank of Scotland
- Privilege (frequent flyer program), a frequent flyer program of Aserca Airlines
- “Privilege” (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), an episode of the TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent
- Privilege Creek, a river in Texas
- Privilege Ibiza, a nightclub in Ibiza
But not a damned thing related to this “Privilege” thing, as “Unearned access” anywhere. I am thinking that in fact what this is all about is “Envy”, another great sin as old as man. Pride and Envy, two of the seven deadly sins …Everyone knows of the seven deadly sins.
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. Behaviors or habits are classified under this category if they directly give birth to other immoralities. According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth, which are also contrary to the seven virtues.
These sins are often thought to be abuses or excessive versions of one’s natural faculties or passions (for example, gluttony abuses one’s desire to eat). This classification originated with the desert fathers, especially Evagrius Ponticus, who identified seven or eight evil thoughts or spirits that one needed to overcome.
The idea of “Privilege” does raise another thought, it is interesting to note that, by inference, all of us creatures, both the blamers and the blamed, are indeed “privileged” by ANY definition of the word, because any impartial judge could not help but find that none of us are worthy of existence simply on our own merits. We are all privileged to come into and remain in existence solely through the goodness and mercy of God.
And every second of every living day we commit sins against our creator by continually failing to follow the manufacturers instructions. We are indeed guilty, we are indeed to blame, for all the evil that we think and say and do. We desperately need to be forgiven and the only path to forgiveness is acceptance of responsibility, repentance, to be sincerely sorry for our sins, and to affect a conversion to a new way of living, thinking and acting.
Being forgiven doesn’t balance the scales, in fact I am never able to balance the scales of justice. That is made up for by God’s own mercy, but I have to work out my penance, with fear and trembling, by mortification, prayer and exercising humility.
We are all sinners, or so I am told, but the only sinner I am sure of is myself. Of course the are numerous scriptural reference to salutary examples of bad behaviour and the conduct of ancient sinners. Sometimes it is good to remind oneself of sinners long gone to their reward … and there is nothing new under the sun.
A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him
1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
4Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
6Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
14Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.