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Forgiveness not Buddhist

Some may disagree but this I think is useful.
https://tricycle.org/magazine/forgiveness-not-buddhist/

"These various interpretations of forgiveness all overlook the fact that the meaning of forgiveness is grounded in the language of debt. In days of yore (and, in some cultures, not so yore), when I impugned your honor, I incurred an obligation to you, a debt that had to be paid somehow. From there, the notion developed that when I do any kind of wrong, to you or anyone else, I have incurred a debt, to you or to society or to God. When we view interactions with others in terms of debt, we are, wittingly or unwittingly, reducing our relationships with others to transactions. Human feeling, human understanding, human empathy all go out the door. "

"Karma is not based in transactions. It is based in evolution. Patterns of behavior set in motion by our actions in the world continue to evolve and shape our perception and predispositions. That process does not stop until we change our relationship with those patterns."

ShoshinBuddhalotustom_hitt

Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I don't know if this view is related, but when I am able to gain a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions leading to an individual or action I either don't feel as much anger, thus less need to forgive or the forgiveness comes automatically.

    ShoshinBuddhalotus
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I will have to read the article more thoroughly and digest the implications, but there is an element there, skimming the page as I have, which currently leaves me uneasy.
    I will have to give it a complete perusal...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes... I was right, but the further link contained within the page, gave me the other side of the coin, which pacified my unease.

    tom_hitt
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited December 2018

    We are all living in Samsara and we all have dealing with Dukkha & Karma ....which can lead one to do some unwholesome things to others ....

    We all suffer the sufferers...
    No body in/with their/a 'right' mind would cause deliberate harm to others, and in order for any perpetrator to do so, they too must also be suffering in one way or another... .

    Karma is karma and each to their own...

    It's true when the deed is done the karmic seed is sown, no amount of forgiveness on my part will balance out the karmic impact of the other person's unwholesome actions...

    Yes true forgiveness on my part will free 'me' of any mental burdens of eg resentment, retaliation and so fourth....but will do little to soften the impact of the karmic debt incurred by the 'perpetrator' AKA Debtor...

    My normal way of letting things/situations go is to say ( with sincerity) "No Worries" and or "It doesn't matter" ....( which to my mind means that I'm less likely to become stuck/bogged down with any unwholesome thoughts...doesn't matter =doesn't take shape= form>>> things flow)

    And I always bearing in mind that.....

    Buddhalotus
  • BuddhalotusBuddhalotus Here and now Explorer
    edited December 2018

    More related to my own life than to the article, I feel rather restless around the notion of forgiveness and apologising.

    I have never needed my friends to apologise nor to forgive them, and for some reason, they felt the same way too.

    Either things went back to the way they were because we are all human and bound to mess up, or the deed was so serious that resuming would have been enabling.

    On the one hand, life is too short to carry a grudge, but on the other, we may need to release the grudge without taking the person back into our lives.

    Shoshinperson
  • tom_hitttom_hitt Fairview PA New

    Very much enjoying this thread. An aspect of my studies as a "western thinker" is to keep my guard up when it comes to translations and subsequent interpretations. It seems to me that anything you translate from one language to another will contain some misleading new language, sometimes even be rife with "errors". As elegant as the english language may be from a broad perspective, I think it often falls short in the refined details when translating texts. This problem is compounded whenever texts are translated, then re-translated again.

    It reminds me of the classic children's game 'telephone'. The players are not even translating text, and the language still gets screwed up by the time we get to the last player.

    -- That point is brought to bear in the first paragraph of the article. Thank you for the link! ~Tom~

    personShoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @tom_hitt said:
    Very much enjoying this thread. An aspect of my studies as a "western thinker" is to keep my guard up when it comes to translations and subsequent interpretations. It seems to me that anything you translate from one language to another will contain some misleading new language, sometimes even be rife with "errors". As elegant as the english language may be from a broad perspective, I think it often falls short in the refined details when translating texts. This problem is compounded whenever texts are translated, then re-translated again.

    It reminds me of the classic children's game 'telephone'. The players are not even translating text, and the language still gets screwed up by the time we get to the last player.

    -- That point is brought to bear in the first paragraph of the article. Thank you for the link! ~Tom~

    Hi Tom, thanks for commenting... I see you have the link facility well worked out already! Well done.

    The other problem with translations is that early texts were subject to preliminary translations by people who were essentially interested and at times, dedicated Christians, so it's likely a personal critical slant may have been applied subconsciously, altering the finesse of the Suttas to accommodate their own personal PoV's and prejudices.
    I'm not suggesting early texts were purposely sabotaged. But I think they did the best they could, under the influences prevalent at the time.

    it's a bit like the naturalists of old intervening and affecting the lives and outcomes of animals they used to study, to the eventual detriment and disadvantage of the native species. All very well-intentioned and humane, but disastrously misguided and ignorant....
    Naturalists now - no matter how much they might wish to rescue, protect or interfere - are honour-bound to observe and record only, even in the most heart-breaking situations... They absolutely do not step in to any situation, even if it means watching an animal of a group or herd they've been following for perhaps years, get torn to pieces and slaughtered by other animals....

    Thus, the translators of a bygone era, put their own slant upon the texts with every honourable intention, and made a mess of it, whereas modern translators stick to the very words and do not divert.

    (In a perfect world, I suppose.....?)

    tom_hitt
  • tom_hitttom_hitt Fairview PA New

    Thanks for the additional comments regarding the translations of yore. My time as an agnostic, then atheist taught me to be skeptical. Meditation in the traditional Buddhist teachings (whatever that means ;-) )_ has taught me that if it helps, keep doing it! ~Tom~

    ShoshinlobsterBuddhalotus
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited January 1

    It would be nice to be able to simply not take any offense over anything but I know I am not there yet.

    I understand the sentiment and logic of it but if for example, somebody tried to hurt my child, I would take offense. Forgiving them then, is more for my well being than theirs.

    Ultimately, there is no transgression for any intentionally harmful act is done out of ignorance and all things being equal, there can be no slight. This is one of those rafty deals where it's useful until it no longer serves the purpose however.

    I've forgiven people that weren't even sorry for crying out softly.

    Buddhalotus
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @tom_hitt said:
    Very much enjoying this thread. An aspect of my studies as a "western thinker" is to keep my guard up when it comes to translations and subsequent interpretations. It seems to me that anything you translate from one language to another will contain some misleading new language, sometimes even be rife with "errors". As elegant as the english language may be from a broad perspective, I think it often falls short in the refined details when translating texts. This problem is compounded whenever texts are translated, then re-translated again.

    It reminds me of the classic children's game 'telephone'. The players are not even translating text, and the language still gets screwed up by the time we get to the last player.

    -- That point is brought to bear in the first paragraph of the article. Thank you for the link! ~Tom~

    Welcome @tom_hitt
    I don't put all my trust a translator's translation...I'm more inclined to see for myself if the translator's personal take makes sense...and if after a while of seeing for myself my intellectual understanding then evolves into grounded experiential understanding then I'm somewhat satisfied...

    I'm not a wordsmith so my vocabulary is somewhat limited but intuition tends to make up for any lack of intellectual understanding... I guess the individual words and their meanings are not as important to me as what the whole sentence conjurers up ie, patterns and parts of the puzzle...

    It's hard to put into words what it is that happens when I read or hear a translation of the Dharma and then put it into practice...

    lobsterBuddhalotusyagr
  • SE25WallSE25Wall London Explorer

    @person said:
    I don't know if this view is related, but when I am able to gain a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions leading to an individual or action I either don't feel as much anger, thus less need to forgive or the forgiveness comes automatically.

    yes, and to me there is a nondual element too. forgiveness, i.e one human forgiving another implies separateness

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @David said:.... Forgiving them then, is more for my well being than theirs.

    Indeed...I have heard it said that "Forgiving others doesn't let them off the hook; it lets you off the hook."

    Rather like the saying "Be kind whenever possible. It is ALWAYS possible" ... maybe we could modify that well known 'Proverb' and amend it to -

    "Be magnanimous when possible.
    It is ALWAYS possible."

    But maybe manifesting kindness, includes being forgiving...

    lobster
  • SE25WallSE25Wall London Explorer

    some, times i don't think it is particularly skillful to forgive people. the greedy, sociopathic sweat shop owner, grinding starving kids into the ground for the price of a few nylon t shirts.

    that guy perhaps should be understood and his behaviour investigated and wisdom to smash that sweat shop into the ground and turn it into a nice co-op or something that cares and loves its workers and shares its wealth etc...but forgiveness? nah, he should be sent to jail first. we can forgive him then. or to rephrase, forgiveness should never let someone off the hook. justice is an important, wise human impulse that moves humanity forward. forgive but forgiveness should not stop justice running its course.

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    A very worthwhile read on forgiveness: https://buddhanet.net/e-learning/forgiveness.htm

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks @Lee82 <3

    Forgiving, unfolding, letting go is a form of generosity. When having picnics in the hell realms, I like to bring myself as a food item.

    Of course we should not dwell with bad behavour, bad company, or mad monks unless we have the capacity.

    Picnics in the Purelands for the time being ...
    Iz plan ...

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