Ajahn Brahm tells a story about a man who was a mass-murderer. He converted to Buddhism and found self-forgiveness, compassion, and true enlightenment. The teaching was that if someone like a mass murderer can come to meditation and true loving-kindness for themselves and find enlightenment, anyone can.
But this gave me a question... this mass murderer in the story has found enlightenment which is all good, but he has left a trail of devastation in his wake. So while he has now become enlightened and peaceful, others are very likely still suffering the effects of his past hurtful deeds.
How is this reconciled? It is one thing to never be able to act in hurtful ways going forward, but what about others who are still and will continue to be affected by past hurtful actions? I know the ideal answer is forgiveness on all sides but it is also highly unlikely that everyone is going to get to that point in the current affected lifetime. It probably doesn't help them much to know he forgave himself for causing such immense hurt to others.
So how does a person come to peaceful self-forgiveness while knowing others are still suffering because of their past actions?
Thanks for your thoughts.