Atonement

At one ment and atonement.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

It isn’t as simple as ‘just confessing’. People make the joke that a Catholic could sin everyday of their life and all they would have to do is ask for forgiveness at the moment of death to get into Heaven. Its easy to see how the message was watered down enough to the point where a mysterious guy in a booth, four ‘Our Fathers’, and 10 ‘Hail Marys’ could relieve someone of a lifetime of debt. “When was the last time you went to confess?” Its one of the first things you say, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been 7 days since my last confession.” Maybe that’s just a human thing: to try to keep score, but atonement sinks much deeper than this surface level performance.

Atonment is observing your life through the lens of the “I know better than that”. I was listening to Robert Edward Grant on The Aubrey Marcus podcast when they mentioned that we should all be aware of the fact that we are ‘little rascals’. We all are sometimes ‘up to no good’. When we think we are hidden from being observed or when we think we’ve snuck something, in reality, we know what we did. When we do something we ought not to do, we know. We are aware of our bad deeds. This is what atonement means: looking at that observer, the one who sees, the one who judges, and agreeing. Leaving behind denial to say “Yes I did fuck up” “Yes I do have a problem” “Yes I can do better”. This is why its the first step of 12-Step Program. Being honest is becoming ‘at one’ with The Observer.

“We are our own worst critic.” Particularly when we are acting in a way of which we are critical. The question to ask: “Is this criticism justified?”Before we become ‘at one’ with The Observer, we must first be sure The Observer is reasonable. Unless I plan on entertaining a tyrannical observer for the rest of my life, I should not continue to try to impress the critical mind I can take on. Instead, I should attempt to rouse the benevolent, charismatic observer. The one that guides me with symbols and synchronicities.

To access this Observer, I become at one in meditation. Its most important to continue the practice so that The Known remains constant. Each day, I know I can return to this space within me; this temple. My pause is a moment and my body a location. These coordinates orient me. The timeline collapses and signs appear to light up the path on which I am to go down. I never know what to expect. If I become frightened, I recall that I can step to the side where the path is illuminated, but limited. I can work up my confidence in a comfortable space that I can return to within my body. Each new frontier infuses into my experience and I become familiar with it while, like tea, I steep in it and its essence becomes me.

Atoning (At one-ing lol). Being engaged into a state of oneness. Is it active? It seems like it takes a lot of effort to do what appears to be nothing. Awareness of the self, while also being the not self by embodying the not-self. Which ultimately tells you the not-self you don’t want to be; living the paradox.

Originally written in Collective Journaling at The Stoa

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