I have often wondered about the word Sin as we know it and what if anything makes us sin against the creator. Since being awakened and renouncing Christianity, I have had conversations with myself on this very topic. My concept of sin or sinful acts was based upon what I learned in Sunday School and through preaching pastors, it being a word synonymous with religion abi?
What really is sin, and do we sin against God as the bible teaches? Regardless of my beliefs, I know that many things that human beings do in this life which is bad, killing, rape, stealing, and more are wicked acts, but have they sinned against God the almighty creator or have they sinned against themselves, therefore making their spirit lag behind in its evolution and acquiring karmic debts. Is Karmic Debts an entirely different thing? Is Sin the law of man or of God? If it is the law of man, then who determines what is sin or not? According to the Christian bible, the Ten commandments were given to Moses by God so that we may know Gods laws and live by them. Learned people will know that the commandments were apart of the Ma’at which were the 147 negative confessions of the Egyptians, formerly known as Kemetians, and these were laws for which the people of the land should observe, more in this at another time.
While writing this post I asked my Babalawo husband about the concept of sin in the tradition of the Yourba people and he told me this;
The concept of sin as it exists in Christianity and other religions is not so in our traditional practice, however, there is the payment of wicked deeds done by human beings while in the physical body and living in earth after they have made their transition. These payments is made to the spirit of the human being whose spirit can never die, but lives to pay for what it had done when it had a body, here is one of the story;
He said that his Grandfather taught him that according to the teachings of our wonderful deity Ifa Orunmila is that any person who comes into this life and do bad, evil or wicked things, it is in this world they would suffer upon their spirit returning. There was no place beyond this world which would burn people with fire, like the Bible’s description of hell, fire and brimstone. He said that when a person dies, the spirit as we know lives on, but when the spirit goes to the realm of spirit in time and space it is sent back to the world to pay for its sin, this cannot be escaped. For example, a man kills a family or person from a particular family,when that man is returned to face his sins which he had done while he lived, the elders will throw his spirit into that of a goat or a sheep.
I interrupted him and told him that human beings did not incarnate within the body of any animal, this is according to what I was taught by my elders during my spiritual initiations (not traditional), to which he replied, that this is what Orunmila teaches, in our tradition Orunmilas word is law as there is none wiser than him when it comes to cosmology, everything within the Universe and outside of it.
He said perhaps doing them like this is a part of the punishment. Their spirits are thrown into the body of a pregnant goat or sheep, the goat (after its born and growing) or sheep then goes to the home of the dead persons (the person who he killed) family. The goat will linger in front of the house or perhaps in the community, when the goat bothers (as in eating the shrubs from the home or even their garbage) or becomes bothersome to the family members of the murdered person or the one killed because of this spirit while he lived, they perhaps will see it throughout the day as a nuisance and will flog it often.
The goat who is the evil person encased in a goat body cannot say anything or defend itself, it just has to take its beating and suffering. The defenseless goat will suffer until someone decides to kill and cook it, when it is killed its spirit remains on earth, it will not leave. It is here within our conversation that my husband tells me that the spirit of Goats and Sheeps always remain on earth ( I did not know that). It stays until it is thrown into another pregnant Goat or Sheep to suffer all over again. This is one of the ways a wicked person is punished. I asked my husband what of us in America are those in countries where Goats or Sheeps are not seen bothering anyone or even roaming the streets carelessly, he said then it may be a Dog (homeless dogs perhaps), a cat or roaches and rats, annoying and mistreated. He said this is not the case with all evil spirits (wicked human beings who have gone on to another world but have to come back to earth to pay for their sins), because their fate is determined by their crimes and how they lived their lives. He said some come back as humans but their suffering is still with them, or they may come as a tree in the woods, where they will be cut down all at once or piece by piece, the spirit of the person is within the tree and he or she feels it every time a woodsman chops it, but it cannot speak or voice out or even defend itself. It made sense to me. To think about the many Goats I have eaten in my life time, the story made me nauseaus!
He also told me the story of Ireke (E-reh -keh) the sugar cane;
The sugarcane came about from people who gossips a lot, these people just love to talk, they really mean no harm, but they cannot help themselves. When people like these die, it is said that they are buried in the earth of course and the wood that they are buried in beneath the earth begins to spring up sugarcane. During the times when this thing first came about, it is said that the Yoruba deity Esu is the one to tell people who were afraid of this strange thing they saw growing, that they could eat it, it was sweet, but this was the profit (repercussion) of persons who walked about while they lived, telling peoples business, though their intentions were not to harm anyone, but people were harmed by their gossiping. I am still trying to figure out, why the repercussion would come in the form of the very lovely, sweet and tasty sugar cane, perhaps the bitterness of a gossiper provides sweetness for human beings after their demise but I digress.
Life as we all know is a difficult path, and we have to go through it with our boot straps pulled up. Many religions and tradition do not accept the concept of sin as Christianity and others, nor do they equate it with Karma or Karmic debt. Sin or whatever is considered as sin is caused by human emotions, there is not sin committed without some emotion tied into it, but what exactly is sin?
What counts as sin? I am Jamaican and in our culture (more Christian than Jesus who by the way was not a Christian) repeating a particular word like “Bloodclaat” (Blood Cloth) is a bad word and will have Christians beating the hell out of you with their bible (their sword) if they hear you say it. It is a sin against God says the Jamaican Christians, but who the hell told them that, where in the bible does it say “thou shalt not cuss Bloodclaat?”
Ok, I must admit that this is indeed a word used in an expressive way to show a persons, anger, annoyance or even joy, it is a badword in our culture a a child dare not say it in front of the it parents or elders, it use to be a favorite word of mine especially when I am shocked and wanted to express how I was feeling then I would holler out ‘Mi Bloodclaat!”, lol, and my mother loved this word so much she even invented other words from it and made it very colorful.
Jamaicans will answer to this and say it is indecent language not fit to be heard by anyone. Ok, I do understand that socially it may not be an appropriate according to certain societal standing, but how dis cussing a so called “bad word” make its way into becoming a sin?
I have a senior sister, the first child for my mother, a very beautiful girl or lady I should say. While growing up I use to admire her. She worked in the bank and would be nicely dressed and her nails painted red wearing her beautifully tailor made outfits, hair and make up well done. She was gorgeous, her father was Jamaican Chinese. She was the talk of the town, to how beautiful she was. She met a man after a while and began having children for him, he was a Christian and she also became one. Over time we watched our beautiful sister become a dowdy looking old woman although her age paper did not reflect someone age-able. My mother looked younger than her. She wore no make up, no jewelry, she stopped doing her hair and would have them in some awful plaits, her dresses looked like house dresses the ones that Madea wears, wearing the ugly church hats which church people wear. The person who invented those hats needs to be drawn and quartered. She just looked like a shadow of her former self. She was very shapely, only that remained, but she dressed to hide her figure.
I once asked her why did she do this to herself, she said the pastor said that a good Christian should not dress themselves up into the fandangles of the world do this was sinful, no jewelry, hair or make up, they should forfeit all of those things and come before the presence of God as natural as they can. I was tempted to ask then why the Ugly hats, but I remained quiet, not wanting to offend this sister who is actually the nicest of them all to me.
In Jamaica, it is a sin for Christians to do their hair, wear make up jewelery and wear certain clothes, but a sin for who? Is it the pastor removing temptation from his front or from the other members front, who makes these things up?
I personally do not believe in any sin. I know that there exists Good and bad, and they walk together hand in hand. I believe that the Universe has laws and we innately know the laws, because we know right from wrong unless, the brain is not performing properly as in a mad person or someone who is ill with some mental incapacity.
Whatever we do wrong in this life, it is us that have to pay or our future generations depending on the crime. This evil that is done, although it may hurt another person the greater damage is done to ones self. Also some “Sin” that is done by others although society my grimace at the horror, out of it comes a lesson for the world, we are taught by and through the actions of each other.
Your Sin is your wicked action toward your fellow human for which you will pay one way or the other. It is not in what you wear, what you eat, where you sleep or even in sex unless it is in the act of rape, pedophilia, bestiality or any violent actions against a living being. Whenever a person has wronged another, they will never escape while they live their conscience, everyone has a conscience, regardless of how cold they seem.
Embrace your life, live good, think twice before you move into action especially if you are upset, because it is when you are upset or impatient that foolish regrettable decisions are made, some of them irreparable. Mistakes can be corrected most of the time and things that seems hard is not as difficult as you imagine, face your problem head on, confront them, if you do not, then fear (an opportunist) moves in and fear is crippling and damaging to the spirit.
Enjoy your life as long as you are not hurting, impeding or disturbing anybody’s life, Live for you, live your life for you and for what suits you, but be selfless in your actions, always reminding yourself that things you do in life may affect another, so be mindful of that and be respectful of everyone’s feelings. A soft answer turneth away wrath, exercise patience, you health will improve with this. Be respectful of every ones feelings, be respectful! Treat people as you want to be treated, It is not every fight that is worth the energy, somethings are better left for time to deal with, Choose your battles well, choose you battles well, a short temper brings about a short life, Live!
I LOVE YOU ALL
Afọgbọ́nọlọ́gbọ́n ṣọgbọ́n kì í ṣìṣe. /
Those who adopt the wisdom of others seldom trip……Yoruba Proverb!
[Be open and quick to learn from others]
Everything comes when it must, and everything happens for a reason, do not hurry your life, what is destined for you, cannot escape you, just keep the faith, be patient and be prayerful, filled with compassion, kindness and respect for all, let these qualities be among your name, God will fill in the rest…..Obara Meji!
All religions are valid as long as it teaches peace and love….Obara Meji
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.