Missing The Target

Missing The Target


I heard an interview the other day on NPR while standing in line at Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t really listen in the car, I was too busy trying to secure a highly unattainable parking space, so I came to it late. I searched for and inserted my earphones in order to avoid the impulse to go postal on the slow bagger in front of me.
I know…OMMMMMM back to a loving place.

It was about Sin. How apropos.

Anywho, the guy being interviewed had studied at a prestigious Divinity school in the UK, and he reported, with great authority, that the Aramaic meaning for the word SIN was to miss the target.
That implies that you tried to hit the bullseye, you took careful aim, it was your intention…but then you missed.
You didn’t intentionally do something wrong, as I always had been taught as a child. I liked the sound of that except
As a “retired” Catholic, that stopped me in my tracks. That can’t be right; that sounds like it’s saying sin is a – mistake.

All those years of shame and guilt. I feel so bamboozled Catholic Church.

Of course the minute I got home I looked it up because that meaning was news to me.

Below is a portion of just one of the MANY articles I found on the meanings of SIN. I love when I learn something new, so I wanted to pass it along-

The Original Hebrew word for “sin” has been wrongly translated… Its true meaning will pleasantly surprise you!

The original word sin means – to miss.
It doesn’t mean to commit something wrong; it simply means to miss, to be absent.

The Hebrew root for the word sin, means to miss the target.(!!!)

That exists in a few English words: misconduct, misbehavior.
To miss means not to be there, doing something without being present there — this is the only sin. And the only virtue: while you are doing something you are fully alert — what Gurdjieff calls selfremembering, what Buddha calls being rightly mindful, what Krishnamurti calls awareness, what Kabir has called SURATI. To be there! — that’s all that is needed, nothing more.
You need not change anything, and even if you try to change you cannot”

The original Hebrew word for sin is very beautiful. By translating it as “sin,” Christians have missed the very message of Jesus. The original Hebrew word for sin is so totally different from your idea of sin that it will be a surprise to you.
The root word means forgetfulness; it has nothing to do with what you are doing.

The whole thing is whether you are doing it with conscious being or out of unconsciousness.

Are you doing it with a self-remembering or have you completely forgotten yourself? (LOVE that)

Any action of unconsciousness is sin.

The action may look virtuous, but it cannot be. You may create a beautiful façade, a character, a certain virtuousness; you may speak the truth, you may avoid lies; you may try to be moral, and so on and so forth. But if all this is coming from unconsciousness, it is all sin.


Now, this is no “get out of jail free” card by any means, but it does open the conversation and it jives so much better with the way I’ve always felt about religion, and words and their meanings.

“Bless me Father for I have sinned”

  • Dominator says:

    This reminds me of a Latin saying from my youth: “Errare humanum est, sed in errare perseverare diabolicum”
    (To err is human, but to persist in error is the work of the Devil). Thank you Jesuit education!
    Sin is but an error but to compound it, as you said “consciously”, is evil.
    Guilt disappears as soon as you, again consciously, decide never to repeat it.
    Thank you for a great observation!

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