Sin Boldly

When we speak of the ‘eternal’ and the ‘spiritual,’ the most important component of these conditions is the intellect. For one, the intellect is embedded in the human soul, and the growth of the human soul is intertwined with the growth of the intellect. In turn, the human soul is a “tripartite soul” according to the likes of Plato and Aristotle, in the sense that the human soul has three components or dimensions, namely, anger, appetite, and intellect. Thus, barriers to education, combined with consumerism, are not merely aimed at profits. Rather, the barriers to education and consumerism are also means of control over the populace.

Also, as Kierkegaard noted, the more “pristine” a soul, the more acutely it senses anxiety and guilt. The same goes for a soul with a refined and well-developed intellect, otherwise known as a genius. What is characteristic of a religious genius is that: “The first thing he does is to turn toward himself.” And as Kierkegaard wrote:

“The greater the genius, the more profoundly is guilt discovered. The fact that for the spiritless this should be folly is for me a delight and a joyful sign. The genius is not like most people, and is not content with being so. The reason is not that he disdains people; it is because primitively he has to do with himself, while other people and their explanations are of no help one way or the other.”

Yet, it is also the case that “sin makes perfection.” Why “sin makes perfection” is because without sin, a human being would not be a human being. Without sin, a human being would either be an angel, beast, or a God. Kierkegaard also suggested that “sensuousness is not sinfulness” as long as it meets the following criteria: “What distinguishes all love from lust is the fact that it bears an impression of eternity.” Moreover, “once spirit is posited,” it follows that “the erotic is over,” although sensuousness can still exist without fault.

In turn, the eternal and spiritual – and thus the intellect – become part of an augmented reality that many people may not be able to comprehend immediately. As Blaise Pascal wrote:

“Nature is an infinite sphere whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere. In short it is the greatest perceptible mark of God’s omnipotence that our imagination should lose itself in that thought.”

And as another writer put it, reality is “more slippery than a pocketful of pudding.” Another issue is that one’s reality is largely shaped by normative thoughts and subjectivity. Hence:

“Part of the problem stems from the fact that facts, even a lot of facts, do not constitute reality. Reality is what forms after we filter, arrange, and prioritize those facts and marinate them in our values and traditions. Reality is personal.”

But despite the multiplicity of realities, there is also the underlying concept or idea of unity when it comes to the human mind. Essentially, multiplicity is brought together by one single intellect, and it is through this singular intellect that certain individuals are granted access to “universal knowledge.” Thus, the most sacred prayer in the Islamic tradition is: “O Lord, increase me in knowledge.” And as Carl Jung argued, in addition to the immediate sense of consciousness in the human mind, there exists “a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals.” Jung added: “This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited.” As a result, the commonalities between people outweigh the differences. What makes a person cognizant of the fact that the commonalities between human beings outweigh the differences is a painstaking process of ‘individuation’ which in turn submerges the conscious mind into this unconscious reality or state of mind.

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