December 21, 2009

The Basis of Sin

I recently read the book, Plum Wine, by Angela Davis-Gardner, which was a beautiful exposition on two people, one American and one Japanese, coming to terms with themselves against the canvas of the aftermath of Hiroshima as the Vietnam War was ramping up. One question asked was how western and eastern religions saw the essential nature of humankind. One young Japanese student explained how the west explained the human condition by the concept of original sin whereas in the east, humans did not start out in the state of sin.

Though I do not have personal memory of bombing my family and city and fellow people are affected in most horrible way to befall humans and other creatures since beginning of time on our planet. Yes, Japan to her shame was aggressor in war both in China and America and this ending was brought upon us for this reason. But I think worst thing is use of split atom, human discovery of nature's secret, to destroy. Perhaps Japan would have dropped same type of bomb on Washington if possible. You asked me, what is Japanese idea of sin. For Japanese there is no original sin. In Buddhism, belief is that human in original state is pure and our effort should be to return to pure nature. Wrongdoings are committed through ignorance and lack of compassion. We are all brothers, ne? There is the saying, that dog could be your mother. This suffering woman could be yourself.

However there is some interesting point in your Adam and Eve myth of human curiosity which I have been thinking of. Maybe we can say that split of atom caused by human curiosity is the original sin of mankind. Other things may be done or learned from same curiosity for good or bad reason. But Adam is like atom, do you agree? The tragic result of split atom will affect all people from now until end of time.

So, what is the basis of sin? It seems to me to that the Buddhist explanation of ignorance and a lack of empathy and compassion and also a lack of awe for the world in which we live are the roots that best explain sin. Curiosity in itself is not bad, it is when the actions that arise from curiosity are made without regards to others that it becomes dangerous.

Posted by Mary at December 21, 2009 10:56 AM | Philosophy | Technorati links |
Comments

Philly sounds pretty dangerous from your story

Posted by: waverlyweightloss at December 31, 2009 09:09 PM