| tadyatha om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Return of the Painful Gift
True Self, False Ego, Marriage, Marriage Conflict,
Relationships, Consciousness, and Mind
Mother of Buddha, Goddess of Compassion
Forgiveness is Power!
vocabulary for Forgiveness:
forgiveness literally means "to give forth".
In other words, forgiveness is the act of returning foreign energy.
Forgiveness is a psychic mechanical action to"give it back" to them from whom it came.
What is unsuitable, unnatural, foreign, toxic, or indigestible energy?
Each person has a unique nature, and each person is organically equipped to solve one's own problems. This is how karma "obligatory action" works: one lesson after the next is delivered on the dasha timeline(sometimes several at once!)
The native must scramble to apply all available intelligence toward solving the scheduled problems. But if the problem is one's own, then it feels appropriate to be working on it. Solving our naturally suited and personally chosen karmic problems is precisely our purpose here on Earth, and these appropriate challenges will ultimately be resolved via building intelligence, creating a great spiritual benefit.
Toxic 'foreign energy' problems by contrast are sickening. Problems rightly owned by others, and which others should rightly be pursuing, can be implicated or insinuated into one's psychic space (aura) by irresponsible or ignorant others who are trying to offload their own tasks upon unwitting partners, fellow congregants, and family members.
Typically the perpetrators use the twin paralyzers of guilt and grief as glue the toxic thoughts and feelings into one's space. Because one does in fact have the correct matching energy, foreign instructions can easily slide in, under protection of camouflage. The most common perpetrators are parents, siblings, spouse-partners, and work bosses. The English signal word for guilt-laden toxic foreign energy is should .
It is unsuitable because one does not want to do it or cannot do it; the unsuitability has been proven because one had tried (and tried) to manage the feeling or follow the instruction but it continuously fails materially or makes one feel physically or emotionally sick.
Forgiveness is a healing process of
Forgiveness is the single biggest gift one can ever give to oneself.
Forgiveness will release one from the psychic and emotional bondage that keeps one imprisoned in bitterness, resentment, anger, grief, and guilt.
Forgiveness is the key to creativity, positive energy, and spiritual freedom.
Forgiveness does not mean condoning or justifying the harmful acts done by others.
However the timing of redress is usually beyond any one individual's control, and the karmic system allows delayed paybacks - sometimes many lifetimes down the road.
Forgiveness is the end of hurt , for the forgiver. But for the perpetrator, their decision to harm others predicts a great deal of pain in their future.
~~ Ramayana Bala Kanda 33.7
"Forgiveness is an ornament of both men and women."
Social Justice and Its Limits
Many of us were raised to believe that we are personally responsible for making sure that justice gets done in our world.
We have an admirable ethic of social accountability that commands us to stay personally involved in civilization's progress toward greater justice, fairness, and humanistic opportunity for all. These are great and worthy ideals on the large group programming level (Shani).
There are many kinds of pain, misery, and grief which must remain deeply private.
So, due to either society's inability to recognize the crime or the inherently private nature of the damage, there are many ways for one person to be hurt by another person which may never be publicly redressed.
Karmic law works beautifully. But, because the karmic system is vastly bigger than any one person can even understand - let alone control - it is humanly impossible for any one person to control the timing of the payback.
Only the eye of the Divine can see the full scope of this huge process and only Divine Intelligence can set the perfect payback timing.
Holding onto resentment, guilt, anger, and sorrow from the past, is a psychic disaster. It takes a HUGE amount of creative energy to manage our detailed inventory of past hurts and grievances.
Each review of a small disappointment takes a little bit of energy. The catalog of life's normal losses, deaths, and separations takes time and initiative to supervise. Maintaining the very deepest memories of catastrophically horrible abuse - whether from war, or starvation, or vicious private crimes - also drains off a massive amount of psychic energy.
If one feels personally responsible for binding the perpetrator(s) to oneself using chains of angry blame to ensure that they cannot escape until they are properly punished - then one must find the energy to maintain those chains. The amount of psycho-emotional energy required to hold negative memories is similar to the amount of electricity needed to run a massive deep-freezer.
Psychically, one is always on duty, always on guard to ensure that the prisoner does not escape.
The energy needed to maintain the deep-freeze is taken out of reserves that could be used for attracting love, developing creativity, and building wealth. Those energy reserves could fund education, travel, and romance. But the more deeply one invests in the commitment to hold the perpetrator until they are properly punished, the less energy one has to do anything creative at all.
In the end, clinging to memories of injustice is so debilitating and exhausting that it not only drains off most of our creative, joyful potential -- this clinging also robs the body's life force and makes one physically sick. (See"The List" in Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life . )
The Book of Job * Iyov : 9:28
"I still dread all my sufferings,
for I know you will not hold me innocent."
Forgiveness breaks the chains of Guilt and liberates a huge amount of energy
It may very well take more than one lifetime to see the payback, or the payback may occur in ways that we do not have the consciousness to perceive. It is critically important to let go of the guilt that says,"I have to see this through. I have to make sure that the person who harmed me gets punished."
There was a fellow speaking in Nazareth who made this point some time ago...
It only makes sense. The price we pay for trying to micro-manage a system that is so much bigger than we are, is lifetime exhaustion and imprisonment in guilt and grief.
The cost to give up that misery? Totally free. Just"give forth" - let go and hand the job back to the One who is suited to do it. By design.
A wonderful, practical guide to step-by-step forgiveness = You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay (orig. 1984)
Louise Hay's instructions for unloading old fear and resentment are direct, loving, clear, and complete.
Louise explains how to heal even the most bitter, devastating, and severe childhood trauma -- and the diseases that this trauma will eventually cause.
Forgiveness seems so easy... but in practice - real practice - forgiveness is very difficult indeed...
In any relationship - but especially the queen of all relationships "marriage" - resolution of conflict requires dissolution of false ego.
Forgiveness is Enlightening
Once you embark on the path of authentic forgiveness (not to be confused with the false paths of suppression or denial!) the enlightenment - read: unburdenment - is so satisfying, so relaxing, and so liberating - one feels so light- that everyone who is truly ready To pursue forgiveness as their primary response to the Other in relationships , is a total cheerleader for the idea.
~~ A Course in Miracles
"What could you not accept,
if you but knew that everything that happens,
all events, past, present, and to come, are gently planned
by One Whose only purpose is your good?"
What to do with an unemployed citizen: the out-of-work mental narrative
The tricky part is how to reliably support one's instinctive sense of Self, once the crutch of ego-membrane is minimized or largely gone. What happens to the mental narrative when it has nothing to do? No values transactions (your way? my way? some compromise?) No negotiation. No discussions, agreements, or balance to strike? No conflicts to mediate? When there is no Self to represent Me at the arbitration table?
This situation is mentioned in scripture of all the world's religions because it is so essential to managing ongoing spiritual practice. We must know what to do with the mind and its attachment to ego-Self before embarking on the path of forgiveness.
Forgiveness means giving it back.
Psychically speaking, forgiveness means returning the harmful energy (hatred, anger, insult, physical force, etc.) back to the one from whom it came. Forgiveness means saying "I'm not going to hold on to what you just did or said. You can have that energy back. I don't want to have to manage that thing and my response to it."
Forgiveness is not natural; forgiveness is learned.
It is *not* normal and natural to forgive (although it can become habitual over time). It is normal and natural and rigorously socially enforced, to store up offenses and wait to get redress. (Christians will recall that Jesus has something very specific to say about payback.)
The false ego-membrane is an elaborate structure of moral and aesthetic convictions which determine life practice. Any adult who has different life practices (connected to underlying beliefs) is inherently a threat to the validity of our ego-membrane structure, because there just can't logically be two conflicting"right" ways of living. (Ask G.F. Hegel; he's thought about it.)
The various parts of ego-skeleton are connected with a thick, semi-rigid ligament of overarching conviction that, if I am a"good" person, then I must be right. My way of doing things, whether a result of my upbringing, my reaction to trauma, or my conscious choice, simply must be right. That's how ego-membrane works.
The ego-membrane survives like any other living entity, by refusing to negotiate its core validity. It allows adaptation via negotiation at its periphery but not at its core. All of God's creatures survive this way. It is simply not natural to allow foreign energy to penetrate one's core. The ego-membrane says: I am right, therefore I am good. I am good, therefore I am right.
Most folks can move on to another class, another job, without major ego collapse. The boss or the professor may live on in memory forever as "wrong". The mind diligently records their offense within the elaborate memory structure of the ego-membrane (it is like a giant filing cabinet), and life moves on.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen"
Marriage is the true testing ground for forgiveness
However very few people can blithely move on after severe ego conflict in marriage, because the pain of intimate wounding in marriage is almost unbearably deep.
Marriage often forces the reluctant ego-membrane to at least *try* the possibility of forgiveness. The pain of ego-membrane invalidation, coming from the person closest to us in this life - the life-partner - is often unmanageable.
Some souls are driven to the final extreme - forgiveness - in an effort to free themselves from a huge accumulation of toxic anger, humiliation, and grief acquired during failed identity negotiations with this most significant Other.
What is the purpose of this searing emotional pain and ego-membrane invalidation, , in the context of marriage and partnership?
In each life, certain intimate partners are permitted access to the soft, childlike, sensitive ego-membrane core - or very close to the core.
The ego-self is established by the parents and upbringing, but our understanding of the Self is not fully valid until it is tested against another Self. Thus, we make arrangement to invite a (series of) testers who have permission to enter the Inner Sanctum of our personal truth.
These are our intimate partners. Most vividly, our marital spouse.
~~ Portia's speech, Merchant of Venice, AcAct 4, Scene 1
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.
The ego -identity testing ground is marriage.
Professional identity? Important, but not essential. Most people live their whole lives without a profession. Intellectual identity? It seems important to educated people, but very few will be emotionally destroyed by intellectual critique. But attack my love, the way I love, my right to be loved.
The pain of ego-damage and the terrible anxiety caused by threat of ego-collapse is enough, for some people, to force consideration of forgiveness as a survival strategy in marriage.
If this is happening to you, you may be blessed to look back upon your troubled marriage and your hurtful partner as the best problem you ever had in your life.
Because, skillfully handled, the anger (ego-threat), pain, anxiety, and sorrow caused by marital conflict can force the spirit who is ready into a much broader campaign of forgiveness which encompasses not only the spouse but all the usual suspects who have harmed us in this life.
Once you build a strong habit of forgiveness, very little"sticks " to the ego-structure and one can go about one's earthly business unmolested.
Ironically this specific type of pain, pain of ego-conflict in marriage, can call attention to a historic spiritual problem which needs addressing anyway. One way or another, by hook or by crook, all spiritual paths lead toward the goal of ego-dissolution and union with the Divine.
Forgiveness is for a little bit later, when you are saturated with toxic anger, exhausted by chronic reactivity, and bored or frustrated with reciting a liturgy of self-justification.
When you're ready.
How to get started - slowly and carefully
And before releasing my attachment to a particular defining attribute of my ego-self, so that when my partner (especially but not only in marriage) claims that "I" am wrong,
Why? Because the ego-membrane functions as our social self-definition. All those little grievances, self-justifications and entitlements
What is *not* wanted is sudden ego-collapse caused by pulling out all the scaffolding at once. This is why a normal, functioning person with a robust ego-membrane will need high levels of consciousness and very probably spiritual mentor support before engaging in"forgiveness " with any depth of commitment to the process.
When attributes of the spouse's identity complex conflict with attributes of my complex, I must defend my beliefs or lose my Self.
Or, so it seems. And definitely, so we have been trained.
There is a way out of this marriage-killing ego-membrane conflict which destroys happiness for so many. Not only the 50% who seek legal divorces but the countless millions living in sustained marital misery. Anyone can do it but it will help to see the ego-resistance patterns in yuvati bhava and navamsha in order to know where to target one's efforts.
forgiveness should not be confused with suppression or denial. Forgiveness does not erase the memory of the transgression.
On the other hand, unconscious marriage is relatively easy, although often extremely painful and oppressive,
Forgiveness is not noble.
If the motivation is to impress other people with one's nobility of spirit, forget it.
It's a common mistake.
The motive to do the right thing -- by forgiving one's adversary, turning the other cheek etc., following the rules of the holy book in order to prove oneself a good person, to earn social validation - will always backfire, because unfortunately this approach will deepens the ego's attachment to being morally correct.
The only useful motive for forgiveness is utter desperation .
We only do this in complete desperation , when all negotiation with the partner has failed.
Only then is forgiveness the obvious Way Out of suffering.
~~ Oscar Wilde
"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them as much."
|Forgiveness and Ecology
14th Dalai Lama 1935- Policy of Kindness Tenzing Gyatso. (1997).
"The modern economy has no national boundaries.
When we talk about ecology, the environment, when we are concerned about the ozone layer, one individual, one society, one country cannot solve these problems. We must work together.
The foundation for the development of good relations with one another is altruism, compassion, and forgiveness.
Then no conflict, no matter how serious, will go beyond the bounds of what is truly human."
| updated:27 February 2018 |
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