Answer: Sin is using the ego to harm others, but it is possible to explain the use of the ego in different ways. For example, I can cut down a tree that is still growing and according to the definition in our world, it is not a sin even though on the spiritual level it is a sin.
If a person in our world uses more than is necessary for his normal, respectable existence, all usage above this level is called a “sin.”
This is talking about regular physical existence on a normal material level. Every beast automatically strives for this. If you give a cake to a cow or champagne to a horse, they will not touch them and they will not lie down on a feather bed. They require only what is necessary for their bodies.
Even a person needs only what is required for his physical body and no more than this. Everything else should be directed toward spiritual attainment, going out to the spiritual world. This entire life is given to a person to discover the soul in order to attain the upper world, to exit to the upper world during his lifetime. A sin is when a person is not engaged with this.
Question: For a person involved with art, writing books, painting, music, accumulating money in the bank, earning interest, and so forth, is all of this sin?
Answer: No, but he is not carrying out his mission. All of the inclinations a person has for all the various arts and sciences are given to him only for spiritual expression, directing the world toward unity. Everything else only confuses him.
From KabTV’s “News with Michael Laitman” 1/9/16