On Atonement

ImageReligious concept in which obstacles to reconciliation with God are removed, usually through sacrifice.

Most religions have rituals of purification and expiation by which the relation of the individual to the divine is strengthened.

In Christianity, atonement is achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

In Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and some Protestant churches, penance is a sacrament that allows for personal atonement (see confession).

In Judaism the annual Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is the culmination of 10 days centered on repentance. – From MerriamWebster.com


How do you atone?

For what do you atone?

Who or what is the “God” with which you would like to be reconciled?

4 thoughts on “On Atonement

  1. I don’t really believe in god or, for that matter, guilt that must be atoned for. I do however, understand the concept. If there is anything I have to atone for it is not truly grasping my value, and by consequence, not living my life as fully as I am capable. That, to me, is the most heinous of all ‘sins’. We come here for a purpose, and not fulfilling that purpose is a sad misuse of our divinity.

    I think you are an incredible woman Jesica. Strong, brave, courageous and above all moral. I have a great deal of respect for you and I appreciate your presence in my life. I hope to have more of it. :) In the spirit of Yom Kippur, I would like to offer up my sin of being human. For that I do not apologize, but I would like to atone for it by living my life with as much joy as possible. I pray that all of humanity will one day do the same.

    1. Thanks Aubrey. I’m fasting for Yom Kippur for the first time today and will check back in once I’ve come to my own conclusion (for the moment at least) about what it is I am repenting for and what it is I do to separate myself from the divine and the world.

  2. Great question, Jesi. I’ll make a stab at it!

    Since atonement means (to me) at-one-ment or being “at one.” The only “sin” (i.e. “error”) is not being aligned in consciousness (“one with”) the All in All. The human condition (as opposed to animals, for example) stems from our awareness of a “separation” between divinity and self. Some have called this “the fall.” The first couple became aware of shame — that they were naked before their creator — that they had something to hide.

    Some of us are more aware than others of this rift. Those who are hyper aware tend to be “guilt-ridden,” while those who are less aware tend to be arrogant — in the sense that they don’t buy all that “religion stuff,” and therefore simply don’t see the need, and/or are “unconscious.”

    To “rectify” this — to the extent that one is aware of it, that is — one may undertake a variety of “remedies.” Personally, as a student of A Course in Miracles, what works for me is to comprehend that the “fall from grace” never “happened” in reality. That is, it never happened in God’s or Spirit’s Reality. It only “happened” in relativity, or in the ego’s reality. Therefore, to be reconciled with the True Self is simple, although it is not always easy.

    The first step is to admit that I am feeling “out of joint,” and to know that this is not “God’s” doing. It is mine. Then to find a way to bring forgiveness into the equation: either by forgiving myself, or by forgiving another — whether requested or not — or by asking forgiveness of another. By the way, in my case forgiving the self has been by far the hardest! The easiest is forgiving others.

    I love the way the Jews handle this in their rituals and customs. They are bound to call or visit all whom they may have offended — to the best of their knowledge, and also come to terms with all who may have offended them. Incidentally, I am very glad that nobody seems to practice animal sacrifice or scapegoating (literally) any more as a remedy. However, admitting that one has offended can often seem like a sacrifice, since the ego is very loathe to do it.

    Thanks for bring up the issue. This has been a valuable inquiry for me. Love,

    P.S. I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me. Thank you.

  3. It’s a New Age commonplace that “atonement” contains within it “at-one-ment.” I used to think this specious until I tried it. Atonement for me are the processes I use and others use to create no-separation anymore between what I cut off from myself–people, emotions, events, actions, for example. I bless atonement and do this gratefully. Thank you so much for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s