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Suffering, and....Love

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by halbhh, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    Many know of this iconic photo from the Vietnam War of the young girl fleeing the horror of a fire bomb attack on her village, naked, burned some on her back, in agony that wasn't only physical.

    Suffering, of a major intensity.

    Many ask, what use is suffering in a world that God made.

    Of course, if God exists there is a next life after this one.... That's one thing.

    But there is also this life here, now...

    Her she is, that girl, and her life:


    (Yes, that was our nation dropping those napalm bombs on non-combatants.... May God forgive our evil. But there is more than only that, among the bigger issues here. Something much bigger than only the typical evil of a nation at a moment in time.)
     
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  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

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    Forgiveness is not as important for those we forgive as it is for ourselves.

    One: Understand what forgiveness is and what it is not. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not condoning, it’s not a papering over, it’s not for the other person, it’s not sentimental.

    Two: Sense the suffering in yourself, of still holding onto this lack of forgiveness for yourself or for another. Start to feel that it’s not compassionate; that you have this great suffering that’s not in your own best interest. So you actually sense the weight of not forgiving.

    Three: Reflect on the benefits of a loving heart. [Buddhist texts say]: Your dreams become sweeter, you waken more easily, men and women will love you, angels and devils will love you. If you lose things they will be returned. People will welcome you everywhere when you are forgiving and loving. Your thoughts become pleasant. Animals will sense this and love you. Elephants will bow as you go by—try it at the zoo!

    Four: Discover that it is not necessary to be loyal to your suffering. This is a big one. W are so loyal to our suffering, focusing on the trauma and the betrayal of “what happened to me.” OK, it happened. It was horrible. But is that what defines you? “Live in joy” says the Buddha. Look at the Dali Lama, who bears the weight of the oppression in Tibet and the loss of his culture, and yet he’s also a very happy and joyful person. He says, ‘They have taken so much. They have destroyed temples, burned our texts, disrobed our monks and nuns, limited our culture and destroyed it in so many ways. Why should I also let them take my joy and peace of mind?’

    Five: Understand that forgiveness is a process. There’s a story of a man who wrote to the IRS, “I haven’t been able to sleep knowing that I cheated on my taxes. Since I failed to fully disclose my earnings last year on my return, I’ve enclosed a bank check for $2,000 dollars. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest.” It’s a training, it’s a process, layer by layer—that is how the body and the psyche work.

    Six: Set your intention. There is a whole complex and profound teaching in Buddhist psychology about the power of both short-term and long-term intention. When you set your intention, it sets the compass of your heart and your psyche. By having that intention, you make obstacles become surmountable because you know where you are going. whether it is in business, a relationship, a love affair, a creative activity, or in the work of the heart. Setting your intention is really important and powerful.

    Seven: Learn the inner and outer forms of forgiveness. There are meditation practices for the inner forms, but for the outer forms, there are also certain kinds of confessions and making amends.

    Eight: Start the easiest way, with whatever opens your heart. Maybe it’s your dog and maybe it’s the Dali Lama and maybe it’s your child which is the thing or person that you most love and can forgive. Then you bring in someone who is a little more difficult to forgive. Only when the heart is all the way open do you take on something difficult.

    Nine: Be willing to grieve. And grief, as Elizabeth Kubler-Ross has spelled out, consists of bargaining, loss, fear, and anger. You have to be willing to go through this process in some honorable way, as I’m sure Nelson Mandela did. Indeed, he has described how [before he could forgive his captors] he was outraged and angry and hurt and all the things that anyone would feel. So be willing to grieve, and then to let go.

    Ten: Forgiveness includes all the dimensions of our life. Forgiveness is work of the body. It’s work of the emotions. It’s work of the mind. And it’s interpersonal work done through our relationships.

    Eleven: Forgiveness involves a shift of identity. There is in us an undying capacity for love and freedom that is untouched by what happens to you. To come back to this true nature is the work of forgiveness.

    Twelve: Forgiveness involves perspective. We are in this drama in life that is so much bigger than our ‘little stories.’ When we can open this perspective, we see it is not just your hurt, but the hurt of humanity. Everyone who loves is hurt in some way. Everyone who enters the marketplace gets betrayed. The loss is not just your pain, it is the pain of being alive. Then you feel connected to everyone in this vastness.
    The Ancient Heart of Forgiveness
     
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  3. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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  4. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    My family was in Hong Kong
    when the Japanese dropped by for
    a visit and among other things,
    announced to the troops that all
    women are prostitutes and let them
    do as they will to them.
    The screams could be heard all the way
    across the harbour when they took Kowloon
    and had not started in to reduce Victoria yet.

    I grew up feeling like they didnt drop
    near enough bombs on the Japanese.

    Since then..I saw a Japanese girl in a
    college class, and at an impulse, went
    to sit beside her.
    We have been friends ever since, she
    is such a dear and wonderful person,
    there was no way I could hate
    "Japanese".

    At the time, though, there was hardly
    anything enough that could be done
    to either Germany or Japan, to put
    an end to those evil regimes.
     
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  5. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    I really like that.

    It's practically all I read and learned about forgiveness from multiple articles (and not just 2 or 3!), and books, and evening lectures over a few years (on many topics, but including about forgiveness, among those topics) back in my 20s and early 30s. (an aside: I also even ended up at times in something like free dance or a sweat lodge where the goal of the moment was forgiving people in the past, sometimes (those things tend to be on-the-fly, where the organizer will just ad-lib a topic))

    And indeed I did forgive people, both before I learned these better techniques, and even better afterwards.

    But there was still a little, especially older things, I hadn't yet, and also one neighbor later on that was especially an offender, where even with a lot of good technique and focus, it was hard to forgive past just the mind level, in the heart. To forgive fully (in a total way) in the heart.

    For that, prayer did it -- aid from above. To make my heart completely forgive those deeper levels of forgiveness. Subtle stuff, that most people wouldn't even notice in their 20s or 30s, or at least the majority would not. Stuff like people usually don't really get to until mid-life, and they realize the more subtle stuff.
     
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  6. halbhh

    halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things".

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    Yes.

    "Truman saw little difference between atomic bombing Hiroshima and FIRE BOMBING Dresden or Tokyo." --- That seems right. Those firebombings of huge cities meant to generally decimate and destroy, where not truly different from an atomic bomb in intent and not really much different in numbers killed either(!).

    War isn't the answer.

    Eisenhower wised up to that, interestingly.

    The Supreme Allied Commander, and the one who ended the Korean War, and who served 2 terms as president also.

    He said, to paraphrase, that war resolves nothing.

    This is sorta deep. War can end one big evil that's ongoing, like a genocide for instance -- very worth putting an end to! -- but....... ....just the fighting itself...doesn't resolve or end the origination of the evil, but only is like trimming back a fast growing bush. You have to address the real roots of the problems. And that root is very often Injustices.

     
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