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Most people, even if they’re not steeped in traditional religion know traditional definitions of terms like devil, sin and evil. Metaphysical, New Thought meanings of these words differ from how traditional religious institutions use them.
In New Thought, or metaphysics, the terms devil, sin, evil and hell may be used, but, as you’d guess, in a different sense. New Thought teaches that we all have free will, and are Divinely guided.
Christ-Consciousness: Jesus did not have the last name of Christ. He was given the title, Jesus the Christ because of his crystal clear consciousness. The “anointed” one. In Hebrew, “Messiah.” In Greek, “Khristos.” New Thought teachings talk about Christ-consciousness when they are talking about crystal clear knowingness, our solid connection with the Divine. (Not to be confused with the Divine’s connection with us, because that never changes. It is us who move, or cloud over, not the Divine.) Meditation is one of the many ways to help us in our clear, or Christ-consciousness.
The devil made me do it: The devil did not make you do anything. He does not exist, and gets a bad rap from people not willing to take responsibility for their own actions.
Ever gone to heaven and found hell? Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, not destinations. You can be in a beautiful place with someone you love and be in hell. You can also be in ugly surroundings with no one you know and find heaven. If you think about heaven and hell being in your mind, rather than when you die, you may free yourself from living out of obligation and guilt, and just might truly begin to live, and finding you do more from love because the self-imposed pressure is off you.
To sin is to miss the mark: Sin is an ancient archery term with the origin of Hebrew and Greek. It literally means “to miss the mark.” “Mark” is the “bull’s eye” at which the marksman takes aim. When we’re off balance, or off-center, we have “missed the mark.” When we’ve “missed the mark” we’re not consciously aligned with our Christ-consciousness, and some would say we’re “sinning.” “Go and sin no more.” Rough translation: Get your act together. Take better aim of the bull’s eye in life. Pay attention and do your part to live as high-minded and consciously as you can.
Negative thinking and talking is “missing the mark.” When we’re off center, we’re not hitting the bull’s eye. Fasting is to “turn the other cheek” (to look the other way) from negative thoughts and practices. Prayer is the affirmation of good. Negative thoughts, words and actions can be considered sin, and to take it a step further, some would say this is blasphemy because to think and talk in less than glorifying ways is to denigrate God, the Creator of all, the image and energy which we are made from.
Evil is a mistaken idea: Evil is a belief in separation that will remain as long as we believe in it. “No matter how powerful the dark seems it has no power to stop the light that comes from either a searchlight or tiny candle” (Starcke, It’s All Good). New Thought teachings don’t deny the appearance of darkness, but deny it has power over Light.