An Admirable Life-39-Forgiveness, Part Two

   Some persons will not admit forgiveness. This seems odd, since most people will confess to their need of forgiveness. For some odd reason, for many the act of allowing in forgiveness is more difficult than confessing error.

   Consider the case of the former US Representative Anthony Weiner, D-NY. Congressman Weiner allegedly sent lewd photos of himself to various women, none of them his wife. After a few days of claiming someone hacked his accounts, Congressman Weiner admitted his error, called his actions a distraction and resigned from office.

   Congressman Weiner may be said to have failed at the matter of upeksha, the kind of equanimity that enables a person to deal with himself and other imparitally. In his acts of alleged sexual aggression with various women, some of whom may have been very young, he is revealed to have thought of himself with self-approval. When he denied his acts, he is shown to have considered himself protectively. Finally, when he admitted his "mistakes" and resigned from office (two separate statements at different times, he confessed his serious lapses in judgment with self-reproof. 

   Neither self-approval, self-protectionn or self-reproof actually culminate in forgiveness, or take steps to find forgiveness in others. Anyone may admit he is a sinner. Forgiveness is not the moment when others agree with our assessment of out own failures. Embarrassment, disgrace and loss of position do not expiate one's guilt.

   In the Jewish tradition, a condemned criminal was to stop fifteen cubits or so from the gallows and pronounce aloud, "May my sins be covered by the fact of my execution." He/she was to admit his sin, of course, and to appeal to the heavens for forgiveness in the World-to-Come (from God), understanding his crimes could not be expiated in this world for he could not restore his victims to life.

    How, then, may we come to forgiveness? One can say it is possible to reach real impartiality, so to cease plotting active revenge, if one can imagine forgiving (loving, admiring, respecting) oneself, the ones we love and ones you actively dislike.

Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

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