Never forget that to forgive yourself is to release trapped energy that could be doing good work in the world.
I think the fear of being seen as childish or crazy severely limits our enjoyment of the world around us, thus inducing a state of boredom that in turn gives rise to much of the stupidity and meanness that oftem seem to epitomize the human condtion. In fact, these ills merely signify that the dues we pay for adult respectability are far too high, and bring some ‘benefits’ of questionable value.
Forgiveness feels most dramatic when some ancient pattern of self-punishment collapses in a torrent of tears. But it is just as effective when practiced daily in tiny doses – relinquishing a pointless worry, getting wise to a self-destructive habit, serving notice on a cruel notion about yourself that has previously seemed justified. The beginning of forgiveness is alertness to false ideas.
How to forgive a murderer? First, by differentiating his sufferings from his exploitation of death to ease them. For his sufferings – greed, jealousy, frustration – he will need reeducation, support and, compassion. For our outrage about murder, we need to examine deeply our faith in death. As long as we collectively believe that death has power over life, we will spawn deluded, self-appointed little gods who want that power.
Religion is a set of social and political institutions and spirituality is a private pursuit which may or may not take place in a church setting.
Religion has become the blind spot of American journalism.