1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Give ME the Money
Graham McPhee spells out some of the cold, hard facts about the dismal state of ME research and politics, and has some suggestions as to what we can do about it ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Suffering and spirituality 2

Discussion in 'Spirituality and ME/CFS' started by Nielk, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. K2 for Hope

    K2 for Hope ALways Hoping

    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    331
    Jacksonville, FL 32258
    Thanks to all for the very intersting viewpoints. I'm gald we are not all the same... :hug:

    1. Do you feel that suffering has made you a more spiritual person?
    - Can one be more spiritual than when one is born into this earth or when one is dying? I thought suffering was part of life, just different versions as we move through our existance. As debilitating as this illness is, there are those who suffer more or differently or more physically or more mentally or more emotionally, etc.

    2. Have you become more sensitive to other people's pain?
    - Always have been sensitive to other's pain whether I wanted to or not. Have always felt, heard, saw things that other people didn't. Was told in my 20's by a reputable psychic that I was also psychic and had to learn how to protect my own psyche. My experiences have been samewhat similar to those mentioned.

    3. Did your view on life change?
    - Absolutely. The cycle of life for me is always evolving. When I first discovered my other senses, I wanted to help people, but was negated. I then tried to disregard the ability. After some learning, I try to be careful as to what I say to whom.
    - I believe thoughts are actually made up of electro-magnetic impulses that we generate into the universe, thus, I remind myself continuously to make mine as positive as possible and need to constantly remind my conscious mind to tell my subconscious. (All sorts of critters get in there and I have to shoo them away!)

    4. Have your priorities in life changed?"
    - Definitely. Now that I am forced to "pace" my day, each moment counts and how I handle that moment means more than ever.
    - I no longer feel required to help others if they are emitting negative energy as each of us has our own lessons to learn in life. I have found that some people enjoy their suffering and nothing I could do would change it. (This doesn't mean I wouldn't try.)
    - I also am more than willing to send out whatever positive energy I can to those who are willing to receive it, whatever realm it manifests in.

    I truly appreciate all the thoughts that are in this dialog and thank you all sharing them.

    Peace to all...
     
  2. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,448
    Likes:
    5,881
    Queens, NY
    Thanks K2 for hope for sharing and your words of wisdom.

    I also celebrate the different point of views and learn from each.
    I am struck by the fact of the amount of people posting here who describe experiencing special spiritual powers.
    I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that we "were wired became ill"?
    Maybe it's just that the spiritual people are the ones who are posting on this thread.

    I am so thankful to everyone's input! :hug::victory::hug:
    Nielk
     
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,717
    Likes:
    758
    Hi, Neilk.

    This sounds a lot like Jesus's second great commandment: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

    Rich
     
  4. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes:
    3,398
    N. California
    Interesting talk. I like some of Ken Wilbur's thoughts about how contemplation has the capacity to "move you to higher stages of inner development." I would add that there are A LOT different ways to be contemplative. Some athletes find it when they are running--they access that "zone" in themselves, and go into a very meditative state. Natalie Goldberg is known for using writing as her Zen "practice" and that has worked for her. Many people (and I am one) access a contemplative place in themselves through Nature, or through process oriented creative expression. I don't think you necessarily have to sit in meditation, but that works for many as well.

    As for Father Thomas's part of the discussion, that is something I don't find myself in much agreement with. Early on he says that "faith precedes all belief systems." That's certainly not my truth, nor that of most of my close friends, for whom the personal EXPERIENCE of the "spirit" takes precedence over FAITH. In fact belief becomes irrelevant in the face of direct experience. The experiences I have had with spirit happen whether I believe them or not.

    Also... Father Thomas's statement that "the separate sense of self is what religions are trying to cure" does not bear out in reality at all. So many wars have been fought, so much violence perpetrated, and so many people murdered, because religion is often ENTRENCHED in the attitude of separateness and entitlement, e.g., Christians believing that theirs is "the one true religion," or the Jews believing they are "the chosen people," or Muslims condemning non Muslims as "infidels." The more liberal believers in each group don't usually take such a hard stance, and are less prone to self righteous acts, though in my personal experience with Sufis, and Kabbalists, and Buddhists (followers of Rinpoche Trungpa), and Unitarians, I have been witness to some rather ugly, and insanely egomaniacal, displays of "the separate sense of self..." which religion did not even remotely cure.

    Also, Father Thomas seems a bit confused and sloppy in his explanation when he clumps the personal unconscious and collective unconscious together and says these are "the FRUIT of the development of the separate self sense into energy centers like the first 3 chakras in the Hindu scheme, which are trying to find happiness in the wrong place." SAY WHAT??? Some clarification is definitely needed here. First of all, what Freud termed as the "personal unconscious" pertains to repressed and often traumatic memories within the psyche of a given individual. These traumas could possibly be associated with the lower three chakras, but not necessarily, and certainly not always. Psychological trauma is a complex issue, that I don't feel you can summarize in a sweeping (and confusing) statement like the one Father Thomas makes here. Furthermore, the collective unconscious, which Jung spent most of his life exploring, has NOTHING to do with the personal repressed contents of the psyche. This is where Jung broke with Freud, by coming up with his then considered "radical" theory (for which he was ostracized and condemned and nearly lost his career), that the unconscious is NOT ONLY a place of repressed memories. The collective unconscious, when it manifests in the individual psyche, appears as archetypal symbols in dreams; on a collective level, it manifests as myths. Jung often describes the material of the collective unconscious as "numinous." Dreams with archetypal contents have a powerful presence that is not about the "little self," as Father Thomas seems to imply. In my experience, I would say that the collective unconscious is consciousness itself, and comes very close to what others would probably call G-o-d.

    A good dream, for example, thats grace. The dream is in essence a gift. The collective unconscious, its not for you, or me, its the invisible world, its the great spirit. It makes little difference what I call it: God, Tao, the Great Voice, the Great Spirit. (C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters by William McGuire and R. F. C. Hull (Hardcover - Dec 1977)
     
  5. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    When Thomas Keating says faith precedes all belief systems, he's using the word precedes to mean to come before in order or rank; surpass or outrank. I don't know how he's using collective unconscious, but I wondered whether it could refer to what Eckhart Tolle calls the collective pain body.

    He certainly acknowledges other paths, such as nature and wonderful service of others, conjugal love, art in some degree, but he celebrates religion (whatever its faults are and they're numerous) as the only foreseeable path, holistic and concentrative, that leads most people to the experience of God. Saying "the separate sense of self is what religions are trying to cure" is different from claiming victory in solving what he calls the source of every human problem. He does stress love and humility.

    Here's Ken Wilber's description of three types of meditation: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RC40nC_Ccs
     
  6. K2 for Hope

    K2 for Hope ALways Hoping

    Messages:
    256
    Likes:
    331
    Jacksonville, FL 32258
    Neilk:

    Yes, I too am enjoying the personal stories.

    The things I mentioned are just for the moment that I am in. I recently went through almost a complete meltdown when I didn't really know if I wanted to stay in this body anymore. I had to make a decision as it was too much for me to keep contemplating what to do. Thinking takes ALOT of energy!

    This website helped me to reconsider what I wanted or needed out of life. I may be of use to someone, somewhere and the Chat rooms have helped me not feel so isolated, therefore I need to stay here for now. Maybe also led me to do more truthful "soul searching"...

    So, if I stay, I might as well try to make the best of it! :D
     
  7. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes:
    3,398
    N. California
    This is not even remotely a correct comparison. I've studied Jung since I was 15, and I read all the volumes of Jung's Collected Works back in my 20's, so Jung is something I have a pretty thorough understanding of. Father Thomas apparently has not read Jung.

    The PAIN BODY that Tolle refers to in his writing is much more akin to a sort of collectively accumulated trauma. "Any time we are swept away by intense negative emotion disproportionate to the actual situation, we can be pretty sure it is a "pain body attack."

    The COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS, is consciousness itself. Here's Jung's own words: My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.
     
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes:
    3,398
    N. California
    I hear you, K2 for Hope! Living with this illness is often much too challenging!

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am glad you decided to stick around. :hug:
     
  9. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,448
    Likes:
    5,881
    Queens, NY
    Hi Rich,

    Yes it does. It's also part of the ten commandments that Moses brought down.

    Thanks,
    Nielk
     
  10. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,448
    Likes:
    5,881
    Queens, NY
    I'm also very glad K2 for hope that you found this forum and decided to be part of it. Many of us go through time of despair with valid reason. Having a forum like this where we can try to help each other and be supportive is such a great asset.

    Nielk:thumbsup:
     
  11. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    Fr. Thomas Keating graciously opens himself to correction. But it's hard to imagine a well-read author on the psychology of the spiritual journey being ignorant of Jung. He writes, "God and our true Self are not separate. Though we are not God, God and our true Self are the same thing."

    Here he is on the question of oneness (with a take on reincarnation): Oneness The Heart of the World http://www.seekeraftertruth.com/father-thomas-keating-oneness-the-heart-of-the-world/.
     
  12. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes:
    3,398
    N. California
    I am wondering if anyone here has read any good books on the Tarot?

    I have been drawn to the some of the images of the major Arcana, and want to learn more about them.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    Your inspiring post has echoes for me of the developmental Theory of Positive Disintegration. It celebrates what it calls the third factor, a dynamism of conscious choice...of valuation.

    Dabrowski writes, Suffering, aloneness, self-doubt, sadness, inner conflict; these are our feelings that we have not learned to live with, that we have failed to appreciate, that we reject as destructive and completely negative, but in fact they are symptoms of an expanding consciousness.

    In this theory, growth is driven by overexcitability based in the nervous system: The most apparent and perhaps most fundamental aspect of developmental potential is overexcitability, a heightened physiological experience of sensory stimuli resulting from increased neuronal sensitivities. The greater the OE, the more intense the neurological, sensory experience of life, or in other words, the more sensitive the individual is to the experience of life. Dabrowski presented five forms of OE: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual and emotional. These overexcitabilities, especially the latter three, cause a person to experience day-to-day life more intensely and to feel the extremes of the joys and sorrows of life profoundly (thus Dabrowski's reference to OE as 'the tragic gift').

    Positive disintegration is a theory of giftedness and of moral development: Developmental potential is a constellation of genetic features, expressed through environmental interaction that consists of three major aspects: overexcitability (OE), specific abilities and talents, and a strong drive toward autonomous growth, a feature that Dabrowski called the third factor. (http://positivedisintegration.com/; http://positivedisintegration.com/brief.htm).

    Be sure to read the Poem...next link to the bottom left!
     
  14. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,448
    Likes:
    5,881
    Queens, NY
    Would like to hear comments on this article:

    9/11: Forgive and Forget?
    by Rabbi Benjamin Blech
    We are not the ones who have the right to make that decision.

    God, I need your guidance. I continue to grieve for all the victims of 9/11 even after a decade has passed. My heart is filled with pain, and with anger at the terrorists responsible for the horrible deaths on that day of infamy in which 3,000 innocents perished. But I know that you teach us to forgive those who sin. In the Bible you often tell us that you are a God who is slow to anger, merciful and forgiving. We are supposed to imitate you and adopt Your behavior as guidelines for our own personal conduct.

    Does that really mean that no matter how difficult it is, I have to now tell myself to forgive all those who intentionally and with callous premeditation committed these unspeakable crimes? Am I guilty of failing my spiritual obligations if I'm not willing to respond to barbaric acts with love and forgiveness? God, how far does clemency go? In the name of religion, must I today be prepared to pardon even those who committed murder?

    Forgiveness is a divine trait. It defines the goodness of God. Without it, human beings probably couldn't survive. Because God forgives, there's still hope for sinners. When we do wrong, God reassures us that He won't abandon us as a result of our transgressions. Divine forgiveness is the quality that most clearly proves God's love for us.

    That is why the many passages in the Bible that affirm God's willingness to forgive our sins are so important. They comfort us and they fill us with confidence. We know none of us are perfect. If we would be judged solely on our actions, we would surely fall short. Thank God, the heavenly court isn't that strict. We can rest assured, as the prophet Isaiah told us, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

    It makes perfect sense, then, for us to understand that if we expect God to forgive us for our failings, we have to be prepared to forgive others as well. What we need when we're being judged from above certainly deserves to be granted to those we are judging. We are guided by the profound words of Alexander Pope: "To err is human; to forgive, divine."

    That all makes it seem like we have no choice in the matter. Forgiveness appears to be our only moral option. But the more we study the Bible, the more we recognize a peculiar paradox. The same God who preaches forgiveness very often doesn't forgive. Instead, He punishes sinners. He holds people responsible. He criticizes, He condemns, and afflicts those who committed crimes. Adam and Eve sinned, and they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Cain sinned and was condemned to become a wanderer over the face of the earth. The generation of Noah sinned and a flood destroyed them. The builders of the Tower of Babel sinned and their speech was turned into babble. In one story after another, from the Five Books of Moses through the works of the prophets, we read of retribution, of accountability, of divine punishment, and the withholding of automatic forgiveness.

    Isn't this an innate contradiction in the Bible? The same book in which God identifies himself as merciful and forgiving, repeatedly shows us a God of justice who withholds undeserved pardons. There must be something we're missing. There can't be such an obvious contradiction in the Bible. And sure enough, just a little reflection makes clear why there are times when God forgives people for their sins, and why at other times He refuses.

    The Price for Forgiveness

    Heavenly pardon is predicated on a condition. Before God grants forgiveness, He asks us to acknowledge that we were wrong and renounce the sinful behavior.

    God is willing to overlook the sins of the past for the sake of an altered future. He is ready to pardon the most terrible wrongs for the price of remorse, regret and the desire for a new beginning. But the one thing God's forgiveness is unwilling to do is to condone vicious crimes by simply accepting them. An unrepentant sinner mistakes God's mercy for permission to continue his ways. To forgive such a person isn't kindness; its cruelty to all those who'll be hurt by the evil that wasn't stopped before it could do more harm.

    Yes, it was the same God who drowned the wicked generation of Noah and who saved the evil people of Ninveh. Those who were destroyed by the Flood were given plenty of warning. They watched Noah build his ark for many years. Noah told them what God planned to do if they didn't repent. But they didn't believe him even when it started to rain and pour like never before. So of course people who didn't see the need to ask for forgiveness weren't forgiven.

    But when Jonah told the residents of the city of Ninveh that they were doomed due to their evil behavior, they took the message to heart and committed themselves to a new way of life. The people who changed were immediately forgiven. God wasn't going to hold their past against them because it was really a thing of the past.

    Don't Forgive Them Unless

    Forgiving people who don't personally atone for the sins makes a statement: Repentance isn't really necessary. Can anything be more immoral than encouraging evil by refraining from any condemnation of those who commit it?

    The day after the Columbine High School massacre, a group of students announced that they forgave the killers. A short while after the Oklahoma bombing, some people put out a call to forgive Timothy McVeigh. And on September 12th, on several American campuses, colleges groups pleaded for forgiveness for the terrorists responsible for the horrific events of the previous day.

    These weren't just misguided gestures of compassion. They were serious sins with potentially tragic consequences. Evil unchallenged is evil condoned. To forgive and forget, as Arthur Schopenhauer so well put it, "means to throw valuable experience out the window." And without the benefit of experience's lessons, we are almost certain to be doomed to repeat them.

    The terrorists who piloted the planes into the Twin Towers never asked to be forgiven. They expressed not the slightest remorse as they went to their deaths together with their victims. Those who sent them, those who financed them, and those who applauded their mission never for a moment regretted what happened. Forgiving them is no less than granting license to murder thousands of more innocent people.

    To speak of forgiveness as if it were the automatic entitlement of every criminal is to pervert a noble sentiment into a carte blanche for mayhem and chaos. We might as well open the doors of every jail and release all the thieves, rapists and murderers. Our wonderful act of compassion wouldn't take too long to be followed by the cries of the victims of our folly! To forgive those who remain unrepentant is to become an accomplice to future crimes.

    What If A Nazi Asked For Forgiveness?

    What if a Nazi asked for forgiveness at some later date? What if a brutal murderer realizes the enormity of his crimes and honestly regrets his past deeds? What if the plea for forgiveness is accompanied by sincere remorse? Can the crimes of the past be forgotten? Is a troubled conscience sufficient to secure automatic forgiveness?

    This is not just a theoretical question. Something exactly like that happened toward the end of the Holocaust. And the man who had to decide what to do in such a situation, a concentration camp victim who had suffered indescribable mistreatment and torture, wrote a remarkable book about his experience.

    Simon Wiesenthal was a prisoner of the Nazis, confined to slave labor in a German hospital. One day he was suddenly pulled away from his work and brought into a room where an SS soldier lay dying. The German officer, Karl, confessed to Wiesenthal that he had committed atrocious crimes. Although raised as a good Catholic and in his youth God-fearing, Karl had allowed himself to become a sadistic accomplice to Nazi ideology. Now that he knew his end was near and he would soon be facing his Maker, Karl was overcome by the enormity of his sins.

    More than anything else, Karl knew that he needed atonement. He wanted to die with a clear conscience. So he asked that a Jew be brought to him. And from this Jew, Simon Wiesenthal, the killer asked for absolution.



    Wiesenthal has been haunted by this scene his entire life. When it happened, he was in such shock that he didn't know how to respond. His emotions pulled him in different directions. Anger mixed with pity, hatred with compassion, and revulsion with mercy. His conclusion was to leave in utter silence. He didn't grant Karl the forgiveness the German desperately sought.

    Years later, Wiesenthal shared the story with a number of prominent intellectuals, theologians and religious leaders. How would they have reacted? he asked them. In the light of religious teachings and ethical ideals, what should have been the proper response? Was there a more suitable reply than silence?

    Wiesenthal collected the answers and had them published as a book entitled, The Sunflower. The range of responses offers a fascinating insight into different views on forgiveness. Some, like the British journalist Christopher Hollis, believe that the law of God is the law of love, no matter what the situation. We have an obligation to forgive our fellow human beings even when they have caused us the greatest harm. A remorseful murderer deserved compassion.

    And Who Are You To Forgive?

    One rabbi offered a different perspective. No one can forgive crimes not committed against him or her personally. What Karl sought could only come from his victims. It is preposterous to think that one solitary Jew can presume to speak for 6 million.

    This rabbi had been invited to address a group of prominent business executives. Among them were some of the most important CEOs in the country. His lecture dealt with the Holocaust and its lessons for us. He stressed the importance of memory and the need to continue to bear witness to the crime of genocide.

    When he finished, one of the very famous names in American corporate life angrily rebutted the essence of his talk. "I'm tired," he said," of hearing about the Holocaust. You claim that you're speaking in the name of morality. Why can't you demonstrate true morality by learning to forgive and forget?"

    To a stunned audience, the rabbi replied by asking them for permission to tell a story about Rabbi Israel Kagan, commonly known as the Chafetz Chaim. In the history of the Jewish people, he explained, there has hardly ever been someone considered as saintly as the Chafetz Chaim. A Polish rabbi and scholar of the late 19th and early 20th century, he was universally revered not just for his piety but more importantly for his extreme concern for the feelings of his fellow man.

    Rabbi Kagan was traveling on a train, immersed in a religious book he was studying. Alongside him sat three Jews anxious to while away the time by playing cards. The game required a fourth hand so they asked the unrecognized stranger to join them. Rabbi Kagan politely refused, explaining that he preferred to continue his reading. The frustrated card players refused to take no for an answer. They began to beat the poor Rabbi until they left him bleeding.

    Hours later, the train pulled into the station. Hundreds of people swarmed the platform waiting to greet the great sage. Posters bore signs of Welcome to the Chafetz Chaim. As the rabbi, embarrassed by all the adulation, walked off the train with his bruises, the crowd lifted him up and carried him off on their shoulders. Watching with horror were the three Jews who had not long before accosted the simple Jew sitting in their cabin, now revealed as one of the spiritual giants of their generation. Profoundly ashamed and plagued by their guilt, they managed to make their way through the crowd and reached their unwilling card player partner.

    With tears, they poured out their feelings of shame and remorse. How could they possibly have assaulted this great Rabbi? They begged for forgiveness. And incredibly enough, the rabbi said no. The man who spent his life preaching love now refused to extend it to people who harmed him and regretted their actions. It seemed incomprehensible. So the three Jews attributed it to a momentary lapse. Perhaps, they thought, it was just too soon for the rabbi to forgive them. He probably needed some time to get over the hurt. They would wait a while and ask again at a more propitious moment.

    Several weeks passed and it was now close to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Even the simplest Jews knew that they had to gain forgiveness from their friends if they wanted to be pardoned by God. With trepidation, the wicked three wrangled an appointment and once again were able to speak to the Rabbi. They pleaded their case. Still the Rabbi said no. He would not forgive them.

    The rabbi's son was present as this strange scene played itself out. Puzzled by his father's peculiar behavior, he couldn't contain himself. It was so unlike anything he had ever witnessed before. Why did his father suddenly act so cruelly? Why would he persist in tormenting people who only asked for a simple expression of forgiveness?

    The son dared to ask. His father explained. "Do you really think I don't want to forgive these poor Jews before the High Holy days? If it were only in my power to do so, don't you know that I would have forgiven them when they stood before me at the railroad station? Of course I, Rabbi Kagan, forgive them for what they did to me. When they learned who I was, they were mortified and filled with shame for what they had done. But the man they beat up was the one they presumed to be a simple, unassuming poor person with no crowd of well-wishers waiting to greet him. He was the victim and only he is the one capable of granting them forgiveness. Let them go find that person. I am incapable of releasing them from their guilt."

    Upon completing the story, the rabbi turned to the executive who suggested that it was time for us to move on after the Holocaust and to forgive and forget. "I would be more than happy to do so if I only could. But I was not the one who was sealed in the gas chambers to die a horrible death. I didn't have my child pulled from my breast and shot it in front of my eyes. I was not among the tortured, the beaten, the whipped, and the murdered. It is they and they alone who can offer forgiveness. Go and find those 6 million and ask them if they are prepared to forgive and forget."

    A decade after 9/11 there are those who raise the question: Should we forgive those who murdered the thousands of innocents?

    Perhaps the most appropriate response is simply this: We are not the ones who have the right to make that decision. Though 10 years have passed, we may not forgive and we dare not forget.
     
  15. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    In another sense, each of us is a victim in a crime against humanity.
     
  16. madietodd

    madietodd Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes:
    1,741
    East Coast, USA
    What I saw in both stories was a desire for forgiveness to avoid punishment from God. None of the perpetrators showed remorse for the harm done - in the sense of being moved to atone for their deeds through positive acts, and a deep shift in how they relate to others.

    The first story says that the Nazi felt awful about his deeds, but I'm not convinced that this was true remorse. Did he use his final time on earth to save anybody? No, he demanded that a prisoner come to him and fix his problem with God.

    I get it now! Asking for forgiveness without a lasting change in behavior is just narcissism.
     
  17. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,128
    Likes:
    3,398
    N. California
    madietodd--Touche! What a great perception. It rings so true.

    Usually narcissists are not capable of genuine empathy or remorse. Their attitude of entitlement can lead them to think that others "owe them" forgiveness. I have seen instances where narcissists resent those who don't forgive them, and attempt to "punish" them for it.
     
  18. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    There's also that different order of forgiveness embedded in the statement, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
     
  19. Nielk

    Nielk

    Messages:
    5,448
    Likes:
    5,881
    Queens, NY
    I think in addition what I have learned from these two stories is that we don't have the power to forgive anyone unless we personally were the victims.
    For example, i have heard of families of murder victims "forgive" the murderer for his deed. They do not have the power to do that. It's only the victim who has that power and the victim is dead- no forgiveness possible. The only thing that the family can forgive for is for their own pain of loss but not for the actual murder.

    In other words, it's only the direct victim who can forgive and only if there is true remorse.
    Furthermore, if someone wants to forgive but they are not the direct victims, i question their motive. Is it true forgiveness or is it to appease their own sense of righteousness and they selfishly "feel good" in doing so but, it is not up to them.

    With the story about Elie Wiesel, I totally agree with him. It's not up to one victim to give the murderer of many absolution. He gets to skip "paying for his crime" by demanding forgiveness? Would he have done that if he wasn't dying? For Elie Wiesel to have forgiven him would have been a traitor to all the other victims who were murdered or tortured by this Nazi.

    What caught my interest about this article is with the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 (funny how we call it by a date and not terrorist attack), after ten years, the vivid memory of it is starting to fade. Human nature is such that we want to forgive because it makes it easier to go on and forget. But, we can never forgive nor forget in the name of all who have been killed.

    I was a witness to the attack. I live in NY and I was on my way to the city on a bus and saw both planes go into the buildings. This is something I can never forget.
     
  20. Ember

    Ember Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes:
    1,814
    Haven't we then lost our capacity for unconditional love?
     

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page