About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Deadly Sins

“What is your definition of sin?” I was asked while being examined by the room full of church officers of the New York City Presbytery before being allowed to joining this presbytery.
    I told them the story of my previous upstate New York home. I served a church in Binghamton, but we lived in a nearby city called Endicott. It had been a cradle of a famous and powerful computer company. Most of the first American computers were made right there. Before soldering their circuit boards, they needed to be degreased. The firm was a recipient of generous military and government contracts and thus could afford only the “best” and strongest solvents and did not need to reuse them. Solvents were dumped to the ground around the factory, a practice which continued for decades. Then the town children started to get sick with otherwise rare cancers. A study was done, and a cluster of serious illnesses was discovered even among adults. The company kept these first studies secret and quietly attempted to camouflage some of their poisonous tracks in a vain hope that the problem would go away. It did not. Eventually the ugly truth came out. But by that time, the company had moved all their business away from Endicott. They are all but gone from there, leaving behind an underground toxic plume, a large ecological and environmental disaster. Thankfully local activists and New York State laws forced them to shoulder at least some of the clean-up cost.
    But why am I telling you this long story? Because this is what modern industrial large-scale sin looks like. It often starts with the arrogance of wealth and power, it is fueled by negligence and disrespect for the environment and people. It is prolonged by conspiracy to hide disastrous consequences and by the avoidance of taking responsibility. It finally leads to serious harm to the innocent and is very difficult to clean up or at least mitigate. Our modern pollution is unfortunately quite a fitting modern parable of any sin large and small; it can persist underground for long periods of time, has serious harmful consequences, more often than not for those who did not cause it.
    This Sunday opens a series of sermons inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Deadly Sins (also known as Seven Blunders of the World) first published in 1925. (We will depart from this theme only for few special days like MLK or Evolution Sunday) but this Sunday we start with the first Blunder of the World - “Wealth without Work” and we will also ask “Why is it that manual work heals?” In hope we can also find some antidotes.

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