Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sin, I suppose, is a literary term, meaning it is a complex issue.  There is the discovery of a garden variety sin, like drinking too much or "jerking off"after a stressful shift, soothing at the time, but leaving one feeling strange and unhappy afterward, thus realizing the sinful nature in the excesses of the activity.  Along with sin, there is attached to it the question of dignity.  Sin compromises dignity.  One thinks less of himself, people think less of him.

But before complete condemnation, there is scale.  People like my old departed Polish neighbor, lady of the Warsaw Underground, understood things about human dignity, in the face of regime, Nazi, Soviet.  They would have a broader, or more direct, view on the issue's manifestation.  Did one, through youthful indiscretions, lose dignity, in the eye of others?  Or would judgment be a little more forgiving in a more encompassing historical view taking in the breadth of atrocities that deprive dignity from both subject and object?  Do people fall, irrevocably, for small things like momentary lapses and bad habits?  Or are the smaller more common garden variety daily excesses more forgivable given who and what we are, by nature, imperfect creatures, and also given the scale of crimes against humanity any century sees?

Such are literary matters, delving into the mistakes of life.  Twain brings to us Huck and Jim, searching for, and largely finding, a dignity that is not easily afforded them in slave-holding economic society.

Some of us are obliged to test others.  A young woman notes how a young man treats himself, to see if he carries himself with dignity or whether he sells him short and falls in with evil companions.  An important matter in choosing a mate.  To judge, too, is human nature.

But is all that hard to figure, sometimes at least?  Might we find a certain Zen in the recognition of the egotism in thoughts that take us out of the moment present before us?   As in cooking something in the kitchen would we not be able to rely on some form of intuition, as in sensing through smell that something is done, the nature of an act.

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