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11.19.2013

Sin and grace, sleep and being awake

An email:

I've been reading about an Indian, an American Indian, native American Indian, who lived in the 1700s, who converted to Christianity and was a Calvinist. His name was Samson Occum. He traveled to England and was very fluent in English. He was a Mohegan.

Well, one thing caught my attention. He wrote a sermon on the theme of being asleep and being awake. And what caught my attention was his identifying in a stark and obvious way sleep with sin, and being awake with grace.

I had just never connected those things like that. But you can see it. When asleep (and the biblical sense and the Work [Fourth Way] sense are the same) you are under the power of illusion and all the carnival of sin of the Devil's Kingdom and your own fallen inner nature. Once awake, though, that power is lessened if not defeated. And that is like a state of grace compared to the darkened state of bondage to sleep and sin. Once you come to be able to say, "I am here" (a phrase seen over and over in the Old Testament in various configurations) and you have that internal point of self-awareness that is called in the Work Observing I that is a new state. And by grace you are given it. - C.

ps- The book I've been reading is John Calvin's American Legacy, and one of the chapters is a long essay on Samson Occum.

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