Sin has been with us as an idea for far too long for many of us to even take a good guess at how or where it developed or evolved from. It is, though, known that the concept of sin originated in Judaism. Until the time of its emergence, the world literally was without sin. The idea of an act, though now passed, sticks with you and which can be used to judge you later by the divine, was not in existence before Judaism or in other regions of the world. The closest idea of sin might be the Indian concept of karma, but even karma diverges in its main tenets from sin and constitutes a wholly unique take on how our actions affect our future. We have kept it or it has kept us for as long as it has because of how it has occupied our minds and helped to be the influence that it has for as long as it has. I am not going to say that it is all good or all bad, but I certainly think that there were some much better ways we could have gone about illuminating our behavior that didn’t bring up the concept of sin.

With the birth of Christianity in the first century A.D. and its subsequent acceptance of sin, the idea of what you do as having an affect on your future spiritual life in some heavenly realm was given a huge boost. While Judaism asserted that all people were born in sin from the Garden of Eden, Christianity offered a way out of that sin….in a manner of speaking, with Christ letting you off the hook. While it was an advance, it was not without its failings. The tenets of sin have said that we each will be judged for what we have done, and that there is a heaven or a hell waiting for us.

With advances in medical technology, though, people are being pulled back from the brink of physical death more and more. Since many life-saving measures have developed, so too has the incidence of near death experiences (NDE) risen. Now, we have tens of thousands of accounts of peoples’ experiences, and there is one very interesting pattern that emerges despite the variety of cases, and that is no one is sent to a Hell where they stay throughout their NDE. People can in some cases wind up in a dark place, but they are always pulled out of it, or the experience manages to unfold so that the soul winds up back in the light. Further, there is not a single case where a person has been judged by any outside agency. Every account describes how the person, after their life review, is asked how they felt about it, after which the person is able to reflect and explain themselves. While many in the scientific community want to suggest that NDE’s as experienced are little more than a kind of fever dream of the brain shutting down. Doctors point out that normally under conditions of low oxygen levels, the person isn’t peaceful and doesn’t experience anything that remotely approximates the classic NDE.

Dannion Brinkley who had multiple NDE’s explains that in all of his experiences there was never any judgment of him. The judgment was always done within himself. All of this, he explains, is an inside job. That jives with what Jesus said, as well as many other teachers (Buddha for one) down through time regardless of culture of institution. In one case, a person described seeing their past lives as well as their own life review, and the sense was all of this was one very long and involved process of development.

I know that in my own experience that I had what could be termed a kind of life review while I was still alive, courtesy of the dream state. Others have described these “reviews” of their lives also who have had kundalini awakenings (not all though). It happened not long after I found myself suffused in a brilliant white light during meditation. Not long after that, I had a full-blown kundalini awakening, and in a dream I experienced a shortened version of my life review through all of the main issues in my life that had served to snag me emotionally. I had never had a dream that lasted all night. I hadn’t awakened from sleep drenched in sweat either, but there I was, feeling like I had run a marathon. Did I go to Hell? I did descend into shadow lands within myself in order to acknowledge stuck emotional energy in order to free it. Nowhere have I seen evidence of a desire on the part of the divine presence, the Source, to punish us for what we have done in this life. Even the concept of karma, which is often bent by humans into meaning that the universe is somehow “getting back” at them, is itself merely the result of what we put out setting up conditions for future events….unless we heal and become more aware of how a given energy in our consciousness (often with a powerful emotional component and thus tied very closely to beliefs of all kinds) is creating a given condition for us ongoing. I am reminded of the scene in Jesus Christ Superstar where Judas says, “Just don’t say that I’m damned for all time…” In this world, not even you, Judas (much to the chagrin of many devout Christians).

It seems that when we reach a place in our development when we can really see our stuff, we tend to see it and the inner compass which exists in all of us helps us to know how to feel about our lives and our actions. It is true that people do terrible things, but the compass I mention still exists within all of us. In many cases, our access to this divine conscience is buried, covered over. It is also buried behind tons of false beliefs about what we think is good and what we are told is bad. It is never so simple as that, nor black and white.

One of the great prisons for us concerns sin and what we think sin is. Our beliefs about our sexuality and our nature as bliss has somehow managed to become distorted and wounded. There is, though, the bliss body “beneath” the pain body, and when you can dispense with focusing on pain you can begin to experience bliss. The advantage of this is that bliss can help pain to drop away. At the end of the day, you are either going to let it go or you aren’t. i spent a few years trying to manage or wrest my junk out of me. No. There is a way and it is through radical forgiveness. If you can practice that in an honest way, you can in short order, release the stored emotion that causes you to feel reactive to a host of issues in your day to day life. One of the most curious connections between the bliss body and our trauma is how physical bliss is so closely tied to our sexuality. Sexuality is itself a minefield for all of us, and it requires healing to be able to experience bliss ongoing.

Sin was seen as anything that served to distance us from God. In early Christianity the mystics whose history was largely swept from the stage (the Gnostics) describe this as a state of life or a state of death. Sin made us like “dead” and waking up was what restored us to a new glorious life, freed from the burden of sin in each person. In that sense, this is the best description for sin because how we act and how those actions coarsen our soft insides so that we grow dull and can no longer feel the delight that is the divine, then the idea of sin has a place I suppose…I just wish we hadn’t used it as a tool for control.