The Cosmic Roots of Sin and Virtue
By Amber Flynn
The article appeared in Vision Magazine June 2004
The Cosmic Roots of Sin and Virtue
True, without falsehood, certain and most true, that which is above is as that which is below, and that which is below is as that which is above, for the performance of the miracles of the One Thing…
~The Emerald Tablet of Hermes
”Sin” originates from the Greek word hamartia, which means --- “missing the mark,” “not on target,” or “mistake.” The Greek philosopher Aristotle translated hamartia as the “tragic flaw” or “frailty” that is present in the hero’s journey of the Greek tragedies. The “mistake of the hero” is integral in the plot of every tragedy. Ultimately the hero’s fall into misfortune was determined by the nature of his or her specific type of hamartia. In Hinduism and other Ancient Teachings, the term “sin” is often used to describe actions that create negative karma or results. Considered similar to the Hindu concept of dharma or destiny, Hamartia – the “sin” or “tragic flaw” is the “missing of the mark” of the cosmic order.
The word “Virtue” originates from the Greek wordAreté. Areté means something closer to "being the best you can be," or "reaching your highest human potential."Areté, or Virtue is frequently associated with bravery, but more often, with effectiveness. The man or woman of virtue is a person of the highest effectiveness. They must use all their faculties: strength, bravery, wit, and excellence, to achieve real results. Virtue involves all of the abilities and potentialities available to us as humans.
The Universal understanding found in the two phrases, “On Earth as it is in Heaven,” and “As Above so Below” will help us to understand these two unique words. Sin and Virtue are both the results of specific types of human actions. This means that being human requires you must experience mistakes and difficulty, along with effectiveness and bravery. In essence the concepts of “sin” and “virtue” are the unifying principle in the human condition. To begin our search for human perfection, we must explore both our flaws and frailties along with our strength and excellence.
Each person is born on a specific day, in a particular place at an exact time. “Missing the mark” (Sin) and “being the best you can be” (Virtue) are both described in-depth in your Astrological Chart. The term “As Above, so Below” describes the layout of everyone’s Horoscope. The planets “Above” the earth are reflected in the chart, and you are “Below” on the earth with the ability to hold their potential energy in the greatest light. Your Astrological chart describes your potential in a very universal way. To be truly and individually effective we must discover whatever we can about ourselves, and our connection to the universe.
Each person is born with talents and “virtues” as well as the ability to “miss their mark.” Astrology does the job of helping you to understand the probable climate in which the “play of life” will be enacted. Our hero’s journey is the willingness to look at the psychological complexity that lies deep within each of us. This complexity is reflected in our individual “play of life,” our Astrological chart.
Some of the best movies I have seen include stories of injustice. I have also experienced many simple movies filled with virtue and kindness. But in the end, my heart was opened by the stories that revealed the depth of our human condition, the possible tragedies and the revelatory places that we can arrive if we are willing to use all of our potential in the midst of chaos and confusion.
Everyone lives a hero’s journey. By doing our best to face situations consciously where we “miss the mark” (sin) and using our innate talents to be “effective” in the world (virtue), we can become the triumphant hero’s we yearn to be.