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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Origin of Sin

Q: Researchers found that genes determine character. Therefore, how can a person be blamed for one’s sins; after all, they are committed without any freedom of choice?

A: One’s character is predetermined by nature, and it certainly has no relevance to the essence of man. It is the same for animals; they all have their unique predetermined characteristics. Anyone who works with animals knows that they have just as complex a character as humans.

The character is fixed and cannot be changed. It can be less or more conspicuous, depending on the circumstances, but it never changes.

However, the origin of sin is not found in the character, but in the lack of knowledge of the truth. If one would know, one would not sin!

Generally speaking, “sin” does not exist in the corporeal meaning we ascribe to this term. Man always works by the situation he is in: if the Creator is concealed, man only performs actions that are dictated by his nature - that is the only thing that motivates him. However, if we could see the Creator, to the extent that we could see Him and His Power, we would correct our actions, meaning that we would act out of a new motivation. That is why the revelation of the Creator is the one remedy for sin. That remedy can only be attained through the wisdom of Kabbalah – the method that reveals the Creator to man, for only then can we see how to operate correctly.

Before the revelation of the Creator, all of man’s actions are called sins and the punishment for them is the sensation that the act is negative and the recognition of the negativity of the act. Those sensations and recognitions help man exit his situation.

Cam we talk about freedom of choice with animals? And what about humans? If we knew all the components that comprise one’s mood, character, health, environment, the way it works on each person, etc, we could accurately predict one’s reactions in every situation. Where is our freedom of choice? Why does it exist, and why is it not sought in animals?

Freedom of choice becomes possible only if a person has the ability to work against one’s own nature. For that, we must be completely freed from ourselves. We must be able to observe ourselves from outside ourselves, and from that perspective decide and execute.

What does it mean to be “outside one’s own nature?” In spirituality, besides man, there is only the Creator. To the extent that we acquire the attributes of the Creator in addition to our own, we are freed from our own nature, and from the nature of the Creator.

Then, we become independent and free to choose whether to remain as we are, or to be like the Creator. There is no third possibility. From this we learn that in order to have freedom of choice a person must be a Kabbalist and attain the attributes of the Creator.

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