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Know all, forgive all

Last post 11-03-2006, 9:28 PM by adastra. 19 replies.
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  •  08-29-2006, 2:49 AM 5768 in reply to 5677

    Re: Know all, forgive all

    Davidd:

     I think that its important to do justice to the 'include' part of that formula as well as the 'transcend' part.   In other words, not try to leave the anger behind but to integrate it - as you say, use the energy which it can give us rather than deny it.  ... So: in regard to the process of forgiveness, I'd conclude that we shouldn't try to suppress any just anger we might feel, we must be alive to what we are experiencing, and also that we should try to integrate that feeling into our whole experience of understanding the situation, compassion we might also feel for the other, and also for our own need to express our anger appropriately, which is likely to involve assertiveness rather than aggression....    And all this would be an example of honoring the place of Red meme in our consciousness.   Does any of this ring true?

    Collinwolf.  Being included, the red meme emotion isn't alone, so it's why you feel it from another place?

     

    You look at an idea for many years. You see it of the corner of one's eyes. You know the idea from many sides, but you didn't dare embrace it fully. In one shot.

    The foundation of forgiveness is to accept to know "know all", isn't it?  The stories of the Forgiveness project are exemples of that.

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  •  08-29-2006, 1:12 PM 5816 in reply to 5747

    Re: Know all, forgive all

    Colin, PP, IAMisHome

    Great points.  Smile [:)]   Sure making me think....

    Colin:  

    'Anger is not ipso facto red meme emotion'.  I'd say that your intuition is spot on.  Red meme is egocentric and impulsive.   We all know about that, because we've all been Red meme, most likely in our teens, right...  So all the emotions may be impulsively acted out in the service of the ego. Anger being just one of them, but very noticeable in its uninhibited storminess.....  (I speak as a parent of four - yes, four - young adults.... Angry [:@])   At Blue or Green, say, the very same anger may well be more controlled, or sometimes repressed, and manifest differently....

    Which links nicely to the reflections of IAMisHome and PP:

    Consciousness evolution, says Wilber, following on from Robert Kegan, proceeds as we dis-identify with our experience.  First, I have to own what I'm experiencing, then I have to disidentify with it.  In this way, what was previously 'me' becomes an object of my experience.  (I've just realised that Wilber actually uses anger as an example of this process in Integral Spirituality).   I move from 'being angry' (identified with anger) to 'having angry feelings' (disidentified with anger).   The feelings are still there, and I mustn't disown them, as this will simply increase my Shadow.  But now I have a certain distance from them and I no longer act blindly or impulsively, those Red meme characteristics.   

    In the process, I am inevitably moving up the Spiral of Consciousness.   Blue meme, for example, is only  arrived at when Red impulsivity is integrated into more ethnocentric rather than egocentric concerns, consideration for others in society, resulting in an awareness of the need for order to contain impulsive acting out....   As IAMisHome suggests, the characteristics of Red are not lost in this process: they are integrated.

    And PP:  does the word 'impulsive' shed any further light on your fascinating account?   I love what you say about anger perhaps being just but not being wise.  One could express one's anger constructively:  I'm thinking of the Victorian social reformers, who were so incensed about poverty and sickness that they were energised to take constructive action resulting in social reform, where others may have just sat and passively wrung their hands.   I'd call that 'responsible assertiveness', a higher level use of anger than the aggression characteristic of Red meme.

    Then, reflecting on your relationship, could it be that you and your partner were constructively expressing your anger in the way I've described, then one day a momentary impulsiveness took over - technically, a brief regression to Red (to which we're all prone, are we not?).

    If so, that seems highly relevant to the theme of forgiveness.  You sure don't need my advice, but if I were you I'd say:  I should forgive my partner and forgive myself. Why and how?   Why, because we're both human just like all of us, and we're all on the journey.  How?   By understanding what happened, accepting that life is often two steps back for one step forward, regression as well as progression....  Know and forgive.

    Smile [:)]

     

     

     


    'This is all the time you'll ever have'.
    ~ Dr Hannibal Lecter
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  •  08-31-2006, 12:45 PM 6176 in reply to 5816

    Re: Know all, forgive all

    David:  "does the word 'impulsive' shed any further light on your fascinating account?"

    Yes, I think that's a good way of putting it.  Frequently when people impulsively act of of anger, they do something they will later come to regret.  On the other hand, if one looks at one's anger and decides to do something in a responsible way (as in the example you cited), this can be very beneficial.  But my question is, is the anger necessary?  It seems to me that someone who has the presence of mind to do something constructive about whatever was causing their anger is probably not exactly angry anymore, but something else.  I don't know.  I don't get angry very often, I probably don't know what I'm talking about.

    "Then, reflecting on your relationship, could it be that you and your partner were constructively expressing your anger in the way I've described, then one day a momentary impulsiveness took over - technically, a brief regression to Red (to which we're all prone, are we not?)."

    Yes, I think so.  The story is quite a bit more complicated than I described it, but that sounds about right.  It probably wasn't that there wasn't anger between us before, it's just that we were dealing with it in constructive ways.  Yeah, I think that's true.


    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
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  •  11-03-2006, 1:09 PM 13608 in reply to 4944

    Re: Know all, forgive all

    The essay Taking Care of Our Opposition has some relevance to this topic.

    spirals,

    arthur


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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  •  11-03-2006, 9:28 PM 13678 in reply to 13608

    Re: Know all, forgive all

    Here is a relevant essay by Robert Augustus Masters - “Forgiveness: Sacred Closure,” from his book Divine Dynamite: Entering Awakening's Heartland, posted here with his permission.

    Fun fact: I wrote the index for the new edition of Divine Dynamite, which will be out shortly. Index writing is a new line of work I'm exploring lately; in 2007 I will be doing the index for a new edition of Darkness Shining Wild (also by Robert), and in the near future I'll be working on the index of a book for Integral Books. I'm looking for additional assignments; I prefer payment in money but I am willing to work for trade in some cases.


    FORGIVENESS: SACRED CLOSURE


    Forgiveness is the greatest weapon.

    — Neem Karoli Baba

    Forgiveness is the heart’s pardon. Sacred closure.

    To forgive doesn’t mean to excuse or condone, but rather to cease dehumanizing and excluding from our heart our offending other or others.

    When we forgive, we neither bypass nor gloss over injury, but instead embrace and embody a perspective in which injury is not given the power to obscure or diminish our compassion.

    Although forgiveness might seem to some to be an act of acquiescence or weakness, it is actually an act of great power, for it not only retrieves us from the past, where we’re emotionally bound to those whom we won’t forgive, but also from the future — where we’re similarly bound — thereby bringing us present, undividedly and wholeheartedly present.

    Forgiveness is a radical act of love not only for the offending other, but also for oneself. In forgiving someone, we are, in so many words, telling that person, “I no longer am interested or invested in having anything damaging happen to you. No longer am I going to turn the hurt you have done me into an excuse to dehumanize or violate you. Although I may never again have or make contact with you, no longer will I keep you out of my heart, however difficult that might be.”

    Thus do we disconnect in order to connect at a deeper level.

    We then stop feeding our resentment, realizing as we do so that it was actually feeding on us, consuming our energy and attention. Our appetite for vengeance naturally shrinks, like any other shadow, in the light of our forgiveness. Then the courtrooms of our mind are not so readily populated by us — wanting to be right no longer so easily recruits and centers us. We may still get angry, but will be far less likely to infuse it with ill-will or hatred, or let it transmute into aggression. Caring for the other becomes more important than getting even, regardless of the consequences that may be deemed fitting for whatever harm may have been done.

    Love your enemies.” This may be the most practical (and marginalized) of all of the teachings of Jesus. Rooted as it is in our capacity to forgive, it cuts through the rigidly dualistic “I” versus “you” or “us” versus “them” mentality that so easily infects and aberrates us. Loving — not necessarily liking, but loving — our enemies is a kind of radical sanity, for in loving them, in wholeheartedly wishing for their freedom from delusion, we are not only ceasing to demonize them, but are also aligning ourselves with their healing. Their healing — our healing.

    If our enemies were to find and embody their innate happiness, if they were freed from their suffering, if they were to heal, then they would no longer be motivated or driven to harm us. Is there a more potent and user-friendly catalyst for disarmament than forgiveness?

    Implicit in the practice of forgiveness is the willingness to place ourselves — and not just intellectually! — in our offending others’ shoes and skin, to the point where they are no longer “other,” but rather only us in our less appealing facets.

    Forgiveness does not depend upon what the offending other does.

    That is, we don’t have to wait for that person to make amends. (And, at the same time, it is essential to realize that we do not have to forgive until we are truly ready to do so — to forgive prematurely is of no more use than putting off the forgiveness of which we are capable.) Sometimes we may be so righteously caught up in waiting for and expecting our offending others to make amends or to say that they’re sorry, that we don’t notice we are being held hostage by our expectations of them.

    If I refuse to forgive you until you “deserve” it, then I am simply punishing you, keeping myself negatively bound to you, or to the storyline with which I associate you.

    If I won’t forgive you until you have “earned” it, then I am keeping myself, however subtly, a victim of what you’ve done to me. And, if I am getting something out of staying in my “wounded” role — such as having a “valid” reason for not taking more responsibility for where I’m at in my life — I am likely going to continue to postpone forgiving you.

    In the process of forgiving, we may have to, at least some of the time, reframe the harm-doing we have suffered. Perhaps the pain inflicted on us by our offending others has actually been of genuine benefit to us; perhaps we needed to be hurt, disappointed, betrayed, or left; perhaps we needed to learn something that could not be learned without being treated as we were treated by our offending others. This, of course, does not mean that their actions should therefore be condoned or praised, but that they be viewed from a perspective that’s not rooted in an eye-for-an-eye morality.

    Then we can clearly recognize such harm-doing as part of us. What I condemn in you also exists in me (and in everyone else), and there’s no way that it’s going to be healed if I persist in treating it as something alien to me.

    None of this is to say that forgiveness is an easy practice. For example, the path to forgiveness may initially be — and may need to be — paved with hatred. We may need to feel and fully express our hate for another before we can even approach forgiving that person (as is often the case with those who have been raped). This, however, doesn’t mean that we have to literally act out, or even share, such dark feeling with our offending other or others. If we can give our hate sufficiently free rein and voice, and just the space to be, in a safe environment — like that of good psychotherapy — we’re not only going to feel, through our rage-releasing, a much needed sense of empowerment, but we’re also bound to get to what underlies our hate, so that we can fully feel our hurt and thereby move through it.

    And at the heart of that hurt is not more hurt, but a love that cannot help but forgive.

    This love is self-radiant, effortlessly ego-transcending, simultaneously innocent and wise. It forgives us our trespasses, our forgettings of the Sacred, our stupidities large and small, and it does so instantaneously. It does not make a problem out of our mistakes. When we allow ourselves to house — and ultimately to be — such love, we do not see errors, but only incarnation’s fleshdance in sacred transparency. Which is but the shortest of steps to remembering with our whole being What-Matters-Most.

    Sometimes the process of forgiveness may seem to break our heart, but it is only the armoring around our heart that breaks. Or melts. Forgiveness brings us in out of the cold, potently reminding us of who we really are.

    When we choose to forgive, we are entering the morality of the Divine. In choosing to forgive, we deepen our intimacy with the Beloved.

    Forgiveness is not only the essence of true kindness, but also an act of genuine power.

    May we all embody it.


    I am seeking meaningful work.

    bio: http://aqalicious.gaia.com/

    I spend most of my "forum time" these days on The Integral Pod: http://pods.gaia.com/ii/

    "You've never seen everything." - Bruce Cockburn
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