I’ve recently started looking for ways in which I can find deeper truths about the nature of reality using all three of the following: religion, spirituality and science. As part of this quest, I’m looking for commonalities between them.
I’ve encountered the phrase, “repent from your sins” a few times in the last few days and it’s prompted me to wonder…
What’s a more scientific way to say “repent from your sins”?
Well, let’s get a little blurry here…
Sins implies morality – good vs evil. Often sins in religion equate to a specific physical act, such as cheating on your partner.
But what if we consider sins to be synonymous with the slightly wider concept of “mistakes”?
So… “repent from your sins”, if rendered in more scientific language, might mean something like, “admit to your mistakes.”
So, this includes many types of intellectual/thinking errors (e.g. making erroneous assumptions), as well as physical acts.
The phrase “admit your mistakes” feels far more modern and secular than anything sin-related. We can all (hopefully) see the wisdom in admitting to our mistakes.
In a similar way to the above, I have a hunch that many lessons of religion might actually be quite pragmatic and sensible, if only we can interpret them the right way.
That opens up the question of how you know you’re choosing the correct interpretation. My only answer to that might be something like, “Whichever one feels most meaningful and useful to you personally.”
There’s one big thing which gets in the way of admitting our mistakes though… our ego. It takes real self-knowledge and courage to be able to put your hand up and say, “I was wrong, I’m sorry.”
But people are scared of appearing weak or incompetent in front of each other, so their ego attempts to cover up their (perceived) inadequacies.
Do you know anyone who seems to be trying just a little bit too hard to appear like a “good/nice” person? Chances are, they are a little insecure (like most of us), so they attempt to project a stronger image of themselves to others so they can feel protected and safe.
But here’s the thing… admitting your mistakes, being vulnerable, allowing the world to see you as you really are (warts’n’all)… that is not weakness, it is Courage! Dr Brene Brown taught me this via her two excellent TED Talks.
So… do you know anyone who seems to find it hard to ever admit their mistakes or offer an apology? Do they seem like they are convinced they are always right? Do they lack humility?
Often these people may actually (incorrectly) believe themselves to be humble, even if their behaviour proves otherwise. In other words, no-one likes to believe they’re arrogant or closed-minded!
Part of the 12 Step process for addicts is to get into the habit of noticing and correcting your mistakes ASAP. You must admit when you’re wrong and make amends quickly.
Doing so keeps you closer to the Truth, and it keeps you humble.
Let’s shrink that over-protective ego, you don’t need it! Don’t get prideful and arrogant! No matter how clever you are or how often you’re right, you must always be ready to admit the possibility that you might be wrong. Doing so is the true essence of science.
The above is all just my intuition mixed with some (hopefully sound) reasoning.
But am I stretching out the concept of sin too far? Am I fudging the meaning too much in my quest to unify science and religion?
I’d love to hear what you think – please help me be humble.