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“Pollution” comes from the Latin for the desecration of a sacred space, spiritual or moral corruption, or general filth. In the middle ages it was adopted in French for nocturnal emissions of the kind that emanated from sleeping male sinners… but now there is no aspect of our environment that we are not intent on profaning.

Source: A different kind of emission: the religious roots of ‘pollution’ | Books | The Guardian

Opinion – The religious meaning of pollution and “uncleanliness” goes far deeper than prohibited foods, masturbation, nocturnal emissions or womens’ monthly flow.

For mystical Hindus, bad vibes “pollute” their psycho-spiritual environment. This, for them, is due to bad karma and its transfer from one person to another (or from a god or demon to a person). Likewise, some Christian saints speak of “taking the sins” of others. For St. Faustina, just being near souls “not in a state of grace” was incredibly painful. Her experiential space was assaulted by the crud of worldliness and sin.

However, most popular writers – also psychiatrists – overlook this deeper aspect probably because, well, they’re not mystics so would have a blind eye when it comes to understanding these subtle interpersonal and spiritual dynamics.

By way of analogy, frogs in frog pond most likely cannot appreciate the importance of wind speed, temperature and direction to birds in flight.