Sunday, December 18, 2005

Immolation Is the Sincerest Form of Tragedy

Immolation means sacrifice from in-molare. Latin mola was ground spelt mixed with salt that was sprinkled on the corpse. The Final Cut, not to be confused with Final Cut, illuminates the practice when Alan Hakman (Robin Williams) tells Fletcher (James Caviezel) about sin eaters. These were outcast on the fringes of society. Bread would be placed on the body and and coins on the eyes. The sin eater would then eat the bread, taking the deceased's sin, and take the coins for payment.

In the context of the film, Hakman deletes the sins of individuals while preparing the videos of their lives for a "rememory." While he deletes the sins for others, these sins are still carried with him. He feels he deserves this task because he thinks he let a childhood friend fall to his death. So to serve penance for his negligence, he adds to his guilt that of others.

I don't want to get into the soteriological implications of this. But it is very tragic that an individual feels they deserve to carry the sins of others when their own sins are quite enough. So in this season, whose reason is the tilt of the earth's axis, don't let guilt rest on your soul, and especially don't let the sins of others rest on you.

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