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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %ROOTS SEED EVIL ALIENATION FALL ORIGINAL SIN MORAL 981204 It has often been said that the seeds and roots of modern depravity can be found in an original "fall" of human nature and is passed on through "original sin" in the birth of each individual human. These sayings would suggest that modern depravity is much like a mutation in a "good" genetic code, and that our problems are rooted in such a mutation in original human goodness. These sayings suggest that in some profound way we as individuals are flawed in ways which we cannot do anything about, suggesting that there is no point in trying to do anything about our depravity. It also suggests that we rely upon religious leaders who know without a doubt what the cure is for our depravity; that we should follow them without question. There are a few irregularities in these sayings: 1. There is nothing very original with modern sin or modern depravity. The use of the word "original" in the context of these strange sayings is misleading for this reason. 2. The sayings focus upon "sin" and "depravity" in individuals as individuals---and leads people to pass judgment upon individuals, to condemn individuals, to punish individuals, and to excommunicate individuals as individuals. The sayings rarely, if ever, focus upon dysfunctional, unhealthy, and dishonest relationships in which individuals are alienated from each other. The focus is rarely, if ever, on the quality of relationships and communities within which individuals are born, grow up, live, and die. The sayings are misleading for these reasons. 3. The sayings tend to concentrate power in the hands of the religious leaders who pass the sayings on from generation to generation. It is well known that power corrupts, and absolute (unchecked/unbalanced) power corrupts absolutely. To the extent that religious leaders are preoccupied with issues of control and the power to be in control, to that extent the sayings tend to promote religious corruption and degradation. The sayings tend to encourage people who are poor, dis-eased, weak, confused, ignorant, and prejudiced to place their trust in the people who promote the misleading statements about "original" sin. The sayings do not preach good news to the poor, release to the captives, or offer healing and reconciliation to the dis-eased. 4. The sayings lead us away from any focus upon promoting both personal and communal integrity in ways which are creative, growing, renewing, healing --- by transcending preoccupations with issues of control and conformity. The sayings undermine human creativity, growth, renewal and healing --- and empower people who are preoccupied with power, issues of control and conformity. The fruits of the sayings are manipulations, dishonesty, coercion, collusive games of mutual self deception, violence, tension, contention, violence and war. In order to deal with evil and sin in ways which preach good news to the poor, release to the captives, and offer healing and reconciliation to the dis-eased --- we must shift a significant amount of our attention to the nature and quality of our inter-personal RELATIONSHIPS; and focus less attention upon individuals as isolated individuals who are regarded as: fallen, flawed, imperfect, corrupted, soiled, dangerous, evil, sin-full, etc. --- as isolated individuals. Much attention has been focused by would-be- controllers upon sexual irregularities; suggesting that goodness must be inherent in sexual regularities and conformities. The suggestion seems to be that sexual goodness will flow from the proper control of human sexuality; control dictated by people who are preoccupied with power and issues of control. They have often suggested that human sexuality is inherently corrupt, evil, sin-full, and hopeless --- because of the original fall and because of original sin. They rarely, if ever, describe in any detail the nature of healthy human relationships, love, or sexuality. They rarely, if ever, focus upon their own contributions to the disintegration of personal and communal integrity through: arrogance, self-righteousness, dishonesty, violence, pretentiousness, conformalism, judgmentalism and excommunications. Only fools honor, obey, and support such controllers. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================