One of my favorite contemplative quotes is, “love will heal you from the roots of sin,” from The Cloud of Unknowing. It is short and to the point, written by an anonymous Medieval Christian mystic. I think of sin less as my personal foibles and follies and more as that which harms and causes suffering — pain inflected on myself, others, or the world. I think it helps to view sin this way because it makes sin less about a showdown between myself and an angry god and more about the core of the issue: addressing the suffering and exploitation in the world. When I take sin too personally, I tend to become (ironically) a bit narcissistic, too self centered. When I view sin more holistically, more in terms of suffering and inflicting pain, then I am inspired by the antidote: love. Love is healing. Healing repairs suffering and seeks to end oppression, domination, and violent exploitation. Love heals us from the roots of sin. Love is a lifestyle and Way-of-Being that we slowly cultivate. It takes work but it brings healing.
Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability. View all posts by Jonathan Erdman