The Original Sin

The scriptures are a rich source of wisdom. Predating legislation as we know it, they provided guidelines for decent conduct and common law at a time when penal codes and prisons had not been invented yet. The early religions took it upon themselves to conceptualize punishment for disorderly and anti-social conduct in the form of purgatory and hell. God was presented as an omniscient and mostly unforgiving father who would inflict judgment from above as punishment for transgressions against society. Fear of God was used to threaten and intimidate people into submission. Personal and interpersonal consequences in the form of shame, guilt, and blame became a readily available by-product to be used for further manipulation of children (and adults, too).
Bible tales are lovely for their symbolic content, but the concept of the original sin can be troubling unless it is understood within the only meaning that could possibly make sense – as the human condition of being born ignorant and flawed, and with instincts and impulses for aggressive and sexual behaviors, which can engender suffering. No matter how smart and kind we are, no matter how much we have learned, we make mistakes, we hurt others and ourselves.
Throughout life, all of us are subject to errors in thinking and free to learn from it or not. How could God have created us this way? The answer is to be understood within the larger context of life - we are alive and life means change. Everything in this universe is possible – the whole rainbow of possibilities, all in constant motion. There is no stagnation - subject to the linear progression of time, everything must grow or wither, evolve or deteriorate. Animals follow their survival instinct to sustain their own life and preserve their species, but humans are endowed with awareness and the power of choice – introducing complexity and ambiguity. Mental constructs and perceptions come into play on the basis of intelligence and experience. Priorities and consequences are to be considered. We are to make decisions without sufficient information, and then… we are held responsible.
On the other hand, if we would know the whole truth, our thinking process would be dispensable and freedom would be lost - we would have to do the right thing at all times without maturing and evolving toward a higher level of consciousness. If we were perfect and all-knowing… we would not be human. We would not learn, grow, change, improve understanding, and acquire wisdom through life’s struggles. As it is, we develop intuition and a sense of self through discernment, while navigating through the labyrinth of the unknown, unsure of the route taken. Basically, our imperfection is the perfect equipment for making this whole earthly journey exciting and worthwhile.
Some of us are born with a clear and astute mind, grow up in a loving and nurturing environment – and proceed to have good productive lives, giving back to the world what we were given. Others may be born with an emotional imbalance and/or addictive tendencies – and the urge to seek relief. Some people are subjected to abuse or neglect in childhood – and may go through life confused and in need of expressing the pain they had to endure.
Whatever the case may be, we are all doing our best with the cards we have been dealt. Nobody seeks failure. The creative force that created this amazing universe could not punish us forever in some afterlife for being as we were created. It makes no sense. We could call it the human condition instead of original sin. We could look at ourselves just like our children – with room to learn, grow, heal, and make some choices along the way. We are free to welcome and humbly accept human nature as is, even though humans may not be endearing on the whole, even when human behaviors are objectionable. Our lives may not all look pretty and our actions may not seem right all the time, but one could choose a good attitude and be grateful for some of the good stuff, while practicing forgiveness and compassion. What if judgment day never comes?