Mysteries of John, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
THERE ARE SINS of omission and sins of commission. This text illustrates a sin of omission. The man born blind had not sinned, neither had his parents sinned.
In this whole chapter the Christ is declaring, "I am the light of the world." When our blind, stumbling thoughts awaken to the reality of the Christ, darkness falls away and we see clearly.
The inquiry "Who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?" indicates a previous incarnation of the man in the fleshly body, in which he might have sinned. Belief in successive incarnations of man was accepted by all the scriptural writers who were spiritually wise. The tents and tabernacles in which the Children of Israel lived in the wilderness are symbols of the fleshly body that men put on and off, again and again. Solomon's Temple is a symbol of the regenerated body of man; when man attains this body he will cease to die and
reincarnate. In order to build this indestructible body we must make manifest in ourselves the works of God. The Pharisees were very strict in their observance of the external ritual but had no knowledge of the inner spiritual law that expressed its perfection in health of body.
The sin of omission is even greater than the sin of commission. There is some hope for the one who is an active sinner; but what can we expect of one who makes no effort to do anything for himself, who simply drifts with the tide, or looks to others to do all things? Before he was healed, the blind man was a sinner of omission. He was a blind beggar, a person who had no perception of his own capacity, or no confidence in his power to rise superior to conditions in the material realm. When man fails to apprehend his mission and to do the work of bringing forth the good that is allotted to him, he remains in darkness. His blindness is that sin of omission which is present in every man who does not realize his place in the Godhead. If a man fails to do that which he is told from within is the right thing to do, he is sinning, and he will remain in darkness to just the degree that he sins.
The works of God that we are to make manifest are the perfect ideas of a perfect-man idea in Divine Mind. "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are to bring forth in ourselves the perfection of Being. If through neglect, laziness, or belief in inability we fail to do this, we fall under the judgment of the constantly operating law of life, which is inwardly urging us and in all the
visible and invisible forms of nature is commanding: "Go forward."
The world is full of people who are in this beggarly blind state. They sit by the wayside and wait for the workers to give them pennies and crusts, when they themselves might be the producers of their own good. The remedy for their situation is for them to deny material darkness, ignorance, and inability in themselves. By putting the clay upon the blind man's eyes Jesus illustrated how man makes opaque his understanding by affirming the power of material conditions to hamper and impede his spiritual and material growth. The washing away of this clay by the man himself shows that by our own volition and our own efforts we must deny away these seeming mountains of environing conditions.
The starting point of man's reformation is in the mind. He must begin to handle situations mentally at first; as he proceeds to do away with thought limitations, surrounding conditions will gradually change, and he will find himself "seeing" as a result of his efforts to do the will of the one supreme Mind.
When we begin to deny away the limitations of old material race thoughts and to affirm illumination from the Christ within us, we are sure to arouse the "Jews" and the "Pharisees" in our mental realm. They are our tendencies to cling to the letter of the word, to the forms of religion, and to deny the power of Spirit actually to illumine our mind and transform our entire being. If after we are awakened we are bold in the declaration of Truth, as this man
was when he was healed, we may experience much opposition from our old formal religious ideas. If we listen to them all, we may feel as though we were no longer in spiritual favor. But we need not fear; we shall become conscious of the Christ again, and He will reveal Himself to us. Then we shall worship Him truly.