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  • #139440
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    I felt it appopriate to put this topic in this forum because after my readings I believe it is VERY essential to the Jedi Way.  That is, if we are to grow as Jedi, we must learn about forgiveness.

    Whether you’ve been reading my daily training journal or not, I’m recently working on a book in order to grow more deeply in my Spirituality.  My next challenge, exercise, what have you, has asked me to look at all the people in my life that have gone AGAINST my life purpose(which I had to previously determined by talking to my five year old…which was interesting….)

    So in order for me to continue, I have to be PREPARED to forgive these select people.  Yet, as motivated and inspired as I am, I know that if I don’t take this exercise seriously and really work it, I will just end up repeating it.

    So I pose the question for you fellow jedi:

    What does forgiveness mean to you? (And I don’t just mean the dictionary definition)  What are some ways you have learned to forgive others? Have you been able to let go of the past and these past issues?  Finally, for those who can or want to answer it: There are probably many people who trampled on your life purpose.  Looking back, was it easier or harder to forgive them?

    Thanks in advanced for answering these or any other questions related to forgiveness
    Phoenix

    #151360
    inari
    Participant

    I have found it easier to practice forgiveness as I’ve gotten older. Up until young adulthood I used to really hold grudges against people. Not only could I not forgive, I could not forget, either. If a person lied to me or (as I saw it) betrayed me even once, then I would not fully trust them again. People being people, this was at that point starting to mean that I didn’t really trust anyone. Eveyone had let me down at some point or another, as they do.

    I am sitting here trying to recall exactly what it was that motivated me to try to drop these grudges and forgive people for the way they treated me in the past. I’m pretty sure it was before I was actively working on such matters, so it must have been something else. Either way, at some point I decided that I didn’t want to be the sort of person who held grudges and began to go over my past, thinking about events I found particularly hurtful and then trying to see the event through the perspective of the other participants. This helped a lot, I think I did it this way because I once read somewhere that no one ever does anything that they think is ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, there is always some way for them to justify it. By working to see how the other people may have justified their actions to themselves, it made it easier to forgive because I could relate more to it.

    Since I have actively started working on my spirituality, another thing that has made it easier to forgive people is looking at their actions, my actions and the subsequent consequences as a learning opportunity, and practicing detachment from those consequences. I cannot emphasise enough how that little bit of emotional space has helped. It changes the nature of events, it is hard to forgive when you have an emotional investment in the outcome, but having less of an investment or no investment is key. It is also hard to forgive when you perceive an event (something that you might have to forgive) as really screwing up your life, whereas if you can remain more relaxed about it and have faith in the Force (Christians might say let go and let God) that helps too.

    I think that forgiveness is one of the hardest things to practice. Being able to forgive, really forgive in your heart is immensely liberating, but because it is so hard I think it is one of the more ‘advanced’ spiritual practices. It’s just not something you can genuinely do until you’ve reached a certain stage in your practice and self-understanding. For myself, I’ve actually reached a level of gratitude for the difficulties and pain that I have experienced up until now in my life. I think that they helped to force me to some degree of emotional and spiritual maturity at a younger age than I have observed occurs with most people (sometimes it doesn’t occur at all), and now being in my early thirties I get the opportunity to enjoy these insights and serve the Force for that much longer. I’m really very lucky in that regard.

    #151372
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    Forgiveness is a tricky thing in my opinion.

    First, you have to realize why you must ‘forgive’ in the first place.

    YOU had expectations that someone didnt meet.

    Whether or not these were considered by most to be ‘reasonable’ is conjecture at best, but I am not saying that you should not have them.

    What I am saying is: YOU have them.  SOMEONE ELSE didn’t live up to them.

    Any hurt, anger, any negative feeling you may have is generated within YOU, not communicated from others.

    This is an important lesson because when you come to ‘forgive’ someone… you are really having to do two things.
    One, you need to understand you are really forgiving yourself as a way to remove the negative issue from within.
    Two, you will need to modify your expectation or you will be hurt again.

    Im on my lunch hour here at work so this isn’t the full on lesson of expectations, but it is a glimpse of the true nature of forgiveness as I understand it.

    #151373
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    Thank you Inari and Beral for your sharings! They have really helped me look more deeply into this issue.  I knew that I couldn’t just continue until I had addressed this issue; and I knew it was deeper than just saying I forgive so and so. 

    Thank you for your wisdom and look forward to see what others have to share.

    Phoenix

    #151396
    wolvex
    Participant

    I find it hard to  forgive people but then I go back to what I’ve learned from my Master Jesus Christ and I then put into motion, Jesus was betrayed by one of His closet Followers and then mocked by others which then led to crucifixion and death but what did He say on the Cross before He died?
    “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
    Jesus did not hold a grudge even after all the things done to Him, instead He died on the Cross and arose again and many once again turned to Him.
    Thanks and sorry if its hard to read.  :yoda

    #151401
    Beral Khan
    Participant

    Shawn,
    Living by anothers example is certainly one way to live. I do have to ask, though, if you merely forgive others because someone else did. If mirroring the life of another is how you choose to live, I dont judge you for that.

    I don’t pretend to understand why within the chronicle of the life of Jesus he is written to be so forgiving. What I do see missing is WHY a person should fogive another one within the Christian writings. What is the motivation for it?

    As you seem to be very much involved within this movement, I ask for your help in understanding, if you can and are willing to have an honest dialog on the Forgiveness based on the act of another doing so.

    #151405
    Jax
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    First, you have to realize why you must ‘forgive’ in the first place.

    YOU had expectations that someone didnt meet.

    Whether or not these were considered by most to be ‘reasonable’ is conjecture at best, but I am not saying that you should not have them.

    What I am saying is: YOU have them.  SOMEONE ELSE didn’t live up to them.

    Any hurt, anger, any negative feeling you may have is generated within YOU, not communicated from others.

    Wow, so well said.  That’s really the key, realizing that the hurt comes from within.  When we realize that our expectations create situations which can be viewed as needing forgiveness we not only forgive fully, but we find we have no need for forgiveness.  You are able to see what is instead of what you expected

    You can go another level with this by reaching the soul level.  Our souls are always connected to the infinite wisdom of the Force, God, whatever you choose to call it (and I know this isn’t new to Phoenix, so my explanation is for others and not just him).  There is one real ‘rule’ when it comes to our souls – that everything happens with its permission.  Every experience in our life is coordinated at the soul level, and is allowed at that level.  Of course, most of the time we may not agree with it at the normal human level of consciousness, but that’s why our souls are in charge of life – they know better than we do. ;-)  What this has to do with forgiveness is that, at the soul level, there is truly nothing to forgive, for no one can ‘wrong’ you.  Everything is allowed and honored for the experience it brings into our life.  The best example of this is through the story The Little Soul and the Sun (part 2) which is shared in the library.  For Phoenix this is a reminder.  For some this may be new.  If you haven’t read it recently, I recommend it. 

    In the end, for me I know I have forgiven someone when I don’t think about past wrongs around them.  Basically, I have let it go.  This usually results in me forgetting the whole situation so that it truly doesn’t come to mind.  But that’s the way my mind works.  That doesn’t mean I necessarily trust someone, because if they have proven themselves to not be trustworthy in some areas, that’s the reality of the situation.  I allow for growth and change, but I’d be a fool to blindly trust everyone.  Hell, I have been a ‘fool’ many times for this reason.  It’s all a matter of seeing people for who they are whenever possible and not creating unrealistic expectations (or ideally not making expectations at all).

    Good luck with this, it will be interesting.

    #151408
    wolvex
    Participant

    Indeed you are right and forgive me for not clarifying my messenge, love is my motivation for forgiveness and not just love but my concious is also what moves me to forgive. I cannot live my life with hate/anger in it, so in a lot of ways my mentor is Jesus Christ. Without Him I do not know where I would be.
    I am not good at explaining things sorry.

    #151409
    Jax
    Keymaster

    No worries Shawn, it comes with practice.  We all had to learn to be good communicators, and we all fall short at some point (some of us more than others lol).  Don’t worry about it, just keep doing your best.  :-)

    #151411
    RedHeron
    Participant

    My two cents:

    Forgiveness is a decision, and nothing more. It doesn’t erase the emotions which surround an action. What it does do is to release someone from a debt of honor. With honor being core to the Jedi way, such a release is necessary for people to progress. Even if they don’t recognize it, honor is a part of all people. Even the Dark Side has its own sense of honor in practicing survival of the fittest. This concept is difficult to grasp in a culture which seeks to place honor only in those who walk in the light.

    This was the lesson of Darth Vader: honor, dignity and respect create the path for forgiveness to take hold. It isn’t a demand; it’s merely the practice in which success can take hold.

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