The Saint & The Sinner: Who Is The Wise One? 圣人和罪人：谁是智者？
The first person: a Saint. He is someone who served God right from the beginning, possibly since a young child when he first heard the call of God. From then onwards, his sole purpose in life is to serve God and celebrate His magnificence through his own humble existence. He only knew a life of absolute goodness, purity, austerity and service; and lived this holy life well he did. His life was dedicated entirely to God – his one True Love and the only being that matters.
Love, kindness, compassion, charity are the very essence of his existence as he performs God’s miracles every day in every way possible. Worshipping and praising His miracles, inspiring others in recognizing His magnificent role as The Savior, unconditionally loving Him as He loves us back would be as natural as taking a breath. Thus, his holiness, goodness, immense peace, clarity, inner joy and love for God humble the average person with outmost sincerity and respect.
The lost soul seeks solace from the saint, hoping to be heard, understood or forgiven by God through his angelic presence. Regardless of whether he is understood, forgiven or given an answer to his woes, let alone redemption, just the mere presence of someone godly, of such purity and goodness is comforting enough. When the lost soul feels safe and not judged, hopefully a realization naturally occurs, which then assists the healing of the soul.
The second person: a Sinner, once upon a time. A person who has experienced much worldly affairs – drug abuse, addictions, violence, theft, murder and all the horrors of the human nature. He is someone who has suffered much pain, fear, anxiety, loss, hatred, confusion, jealously, vengeance, guilt. He lived a life of absolute wrong, a hell on earth almost. A sad, sorry, condemned misfit of society he was indeed.
Once he was a sinner. Then once day, he managed to rise above from the madness and woke up. As if asleep from a continuous, deep and long nightmare, his slumber broke to a brand new energy full of light. This energy was similar to the sun – bright, positive, promising, encompassing. He imagined himself standing in the warmth of the sun, allowing the heat to melt his entire being: melting his sins, regrets, loss, fear, heart and finally, his ego.
He realized there is no need to carry on living the life that he did, and nothing else really matters anymore. It is meaningless trying to make sense out of a life so completely absurd. Haunted by woeful regrets from the past, toxic guilt will only serve to poison him to a slow, painful death. Trying all his might to put wrong things right, at times even sacrificing the cost of his life, alas somehow his efforts seem completely futile.
There will always be endless matters to be done, people to attend to, events will happen if it’s meant to happen. Whatever the outcome, he is there living the experience. Hiding is useless, hence it is not wiser to just surrender and accept it all? He decided to let (this part of) himself die. Somehow he knew that without death and destruction, there would not be birth, creation and therefore renewal. He was convinced that this was the only way to find himself, as certain as the sun would rise from the east.
For once, he surrendered to his emotions and allowed himself the luxury of feeling and then releasing them. Within moments, the burden of stagnant, repressed emotions over the years rained upon him like a fierce thunderstorm. He decided to let go completely, abandoning himself to the mercy of this emotional thunderstorm. Feeling all too fragile and frightened, yet he knew this was what he had to do, this was all too perfect for him at this moment.
Amidst despaired screams, muffled prayers, angry wails, silent sobs and heavy breathing, he could feel his whole existence being cleansed, purged, purified, rearranged. He asked for forgiveness, redemption, acceptance. He dared himself to ask for love. He was willing to sacrifice everything to have love, peace, joy.
Perhaps it was just a vivid imagination or indeed by the true grace of God, he began to feel a sense of great freedom stirring within him. Whether this is enlightenment didn’t matter at all, for what mattered was that he is finally awake. He is now awake to see the world as it is, how it could be, and how he could be a part of it, rather than feeling alienated from it all this while. Furthermore, he could learn how to be just himself, he could learn how to just be here, living from moment to moment as he truly is. To be able to see the world in this newfound freshness is his gift from God, a miracle that would help him rebuild his life once more.
Hence the old version of himself dies an absolute death, as definite as the past; a new version of him is borne, untainted by all the attachments, burden, regret, guilt and fear from the past and possibly the future. When he begins to integrate the old and new version of himself, thereby maintaining a neutral being that acknowledge and accept these two very different aspects of himself, he is enlightened. Does it matter whether he has become a saint then? Even if he did, does his past of being a sinner once diminish his holiness as a saint? Indeed not.
If I’d ever need to confess my sins and ask for guidance, I will naturally go seek the help of the second person, the Sinner. As wise and peaceful the Saint is, I doubt he would ever know the real pain and suffering of our worldly affairs. Would he know how it’s like to have the heart being broken by another? Would he understand the frustration of being deceived and bound by guilt, pressured into making fatal decisions and forced to live a life one has not chosen? Would he know how it feels to have one’s precious freedom taken away? Can he even imagine having all the people and things that mattered most to us today, and losing it all in a matter of seconds?
Apart from the relationships with his family members, subjects/disciples, how would this person be able to help me if the only relationship he focused on was the one with God? Without a doubt, having a relationship with God can only be a joyful, successful relationship. Regardless of how we are and of what we become, He will continue to love, accept and be there for us. It is His nature to love all beings unconditionally. Hence, where is the opportunity for us to grow when we are asleep in His loving, protective cocoon? We won’t even have the slightest desire to learn, let alone be challenged, would we? It is only too natural as it is indeed human nature to want to be comfortable and be contended with having everything as easy as possible. There is no fault, blame or excuse here at all.
Loving and living with God is undoubtedly beautiful and rewarding on so many levels. However, it seems to be very much a one-way relationship that involves just us, as the person living on the earthly plane to pursue and make the relationship work. A relationship between two real, living, earthly individuals will naturally depend on the interaction between them and the effort they are willing to share, becoming a two-way relationship that can also be equally fulfilling and enlightening.
All relationships will have its challenges, advantages and disadvantages. In a two-way relationship, two individuals will have better opportunities to understand and grow as they both learn and reflect upon each other through their experiences; whereas a one-way relationship with God is definitely a much more challenging way, least to say one-sided, to learn and grow as we can only depend on our own discipline, patience and understanding. There is also much danger of being misinformed or misunderstood from the messages one receives from Him, especially when the seeker is expecting salvation and fast results just through his dedication to God. It is easy to go astray especially when one places so much faith and hold (false) expectations from an imagined entity. I imagine this may be even more so for someone who may suffer from an overly active imagination heavily influenced by paranoia and anxiety, quite possibly bordering on Schizophrenia.
On the contrary, I imagine the Sinner would know all about the worldly pain and suffering man experiences. He understands and knows what it’s like to live with anxiety, fear, deceit, frustration, hatred, failure and all the ugly aspects of man. He is able to offer support and valuable insights being someone who has personally lived through it all. The Saint however is isolated from the rest of society and the world, uninvolved and therefore unaware of real contact and experiences with other individuals. On the contrary, the Sinner would have much first-hand experience in sharing and being in contact with another soul, real persons, other minds. Quite possibly, he would be able to imagine and feel my pain as real as his own. Thus, the Sinner would be able to connect with my emotions and the healing would be most genuine and natural; whereas the Saint could only rely on pure imagination and a strong faith to console and offer support. The Sinner’s victory and achievement is the mere triumph of surviving all the difficulties, rising above it and continue living his (new) life. I imagine he would have such worldly wisdom, personal experiences and insights to share that would help make a great difference to someone in need.
Indeed, only when we are challenged and pushed to our limit can we grow and live to our full potential. Hopefully we emerge a little bit older, a little wiser and become a lot more understanding and accepting of ourselves.
There is a time, place and person for every single event in the course of the Universe. The Saint and the Sinner have their roles in the grand scheme of things, and they live their lives as they are meant to. They are perfect in every way as they are, as do you and me, as we are.
Being a freethinker, perhaps it is all too prejudiced and judgmental of me to say all I have said. My views are based on personal understanding of this matter, be it originating from a strong imagination or a romantic, dramatized version of these roles. At the end of day, both the Sinner and the Saint are really the same person, just like how the two sides of the coins are one. They are merely aspects of ourselves that we need to acknowledge, understand and accept in order to gain true peace and freedom.
And yet, I (still) wonder: what is the difference between a Saint and a Sinner? Who do you think will be the wiser one amongst them?
All words & images remain the copyright of Shantih Shala Holistic Arts
一切文字于图片属于 Shantih Shala Holistic Arts 版权所有