I would like at the very beginning of this project to begin by looking at the practice of many spiritual seekers of viewing themselves as sinners and the probable consequence of feeling unworthy. I don’t wish to be unnecessarily dramatic; what I mean by “sinners” is the habit of viewing ourselves as being flawed, as being posessed of unhealthy and unlikeable charachteristics and of viewing ourselves in this way alone, being stuck in this way of thinking. For some the problem will be compounded by the belief that God cannot possibly look favourably on them while they are like this.
I would like to question this view of self and indeed world view. My own belief is that we are, to put it in biblical terms, made in the image and likeness of God. If this is so, how can it be reconciled with the notion that we are sinners. ( I am merely using this biblical term for the purpose of convenience and brevity ). How did we get to where we are if we started off in such a high place? It is here that we need to look at the phenomenon of Free Will.
In the beginning we maintained our Godliness for a time but eventually, maybe out of a desire to experience something new, we experimented with an alternative state of consciousness. Only when we did it turned out to be more “self-containing” than we anticipated and gradually the Godliness became less and less. It should be pointed out here that this application by us of our Free Will was not God’s doing and it wouldn’t be Free Will if God intervened and prevented our indiscretion. Many times we hear God being blamed for misfortune and described as anything but a loving God but did God not pay us the ultimate compliment when he gave us the freedom to be and do whatever we wished? It is important to understand these points on Free Will to ensure that God is blameless in our current situation and that we are responsible for our own status and our own upliftment from here on and that given the correct tools we can indeed aspire to and attain that higher state.
So, how should we view ourselves especially for the purpose of spiritual advancement? I find it helpful to view myself as being a continuum. ( You can view the line of the continuum as being vertical if it helps ). At one end I am the very human being with faults and failings and at the other I am, simultaneously, that which God created in his image and likeness and that now has experience as well, a lower self and a Higher Self. Now you can see the continuum but which end of it should we “look” from, if any? Which end of it is “the truth”?
Maybe the question could be which end of it brings the most benefit? Consider that we started off in Godliness and we now desire to be closer to that or maybe even merged with it again. This points to the end that we need to view ourselves and the world from as being the Godliness end. If we work from this end it will gradually raise our consciousness, even to the point of complete identification with our Godliness, and allow us to see ourselves and the world in an altogether different light. Gradually our unworthiness will fade, our problems and the problems of the world will be seen in a wider context and we will see that we now have something new and powerful to bring to bear on ourselves ( lower ) and the world. In terms of “truth” it is that which is at the Godliness end that has created everything else, albeit through the filters of the lower consciousness, so to look from the lower end makes no sense.
So, in terms of the title of this post, are we saints or sinners? I hope I have demonstrated that we are the saints, the Higher Selves and that we can now raise our consciousness by identifying with our Higher Selves and using the various tools that are in our spiritual tool box. It has only been possible to give an outline of the subject matter in this post and I’m sure the issue will be touched on again in future posts.
I would like to finish this very first post by thanking you for reading and I hope that you found something of use here for your spiritual journey. If there is some point that you would like clarified you can send your question from the contact page and I will try to reply either privately or on the website.