Saturday, February 1, 2014

Forgiveness (is not impunity)

To forgive someone, or oneself, is not the same thing as to absolve someone, or oneself, from having committed a fault: it does not eliminate the responsibility attached to its consequences. Forgiveness is to free oneself from the captivity of judging and condemning another, or oneself. Who are we to judge and condemn another, or oneself? There is one Fair Judge, and He is All-Merciful. Or would one equate His Mercy with injustice? God forgives all faults. But forgiveness has nothing to do with impunity. The punishment is one with the fault, inseparable from it; the punishment arises simultaneously with the fault. If I hurt someone, I separate myself from so much of my own soul, in which is my only hope for happiness, on earth as in the Hereafter. God’s wrath is commensurate with my distance from my own soul, and hence from Him, who is in Himself All-Merciful. The more impure I am in thoughts, words and actions, the more I am estranged from the root of my own God-created nature, and from my very being. The eschatological punishment comes as my soul divests itself from the body at the time of death, and comes to see its own true state, reflected through every single action it has done in life, and the full awareness of all the ramifications of their consequences, whether beneficial or detrimental to oneself and others. If that is not perfect justice, I don’t know what else is. And in this justice, God holds no grudge and points no accusing finger. Although in its embodied life the soul may have been able to run away and hide for a time from its own self and from the consequences of its actions, the soul will not be able to turn its face away on the Day of Eternity. There will be no wall to hide behind, no one else to blame, no excuse to justify the truth of who I have become and what I have done. How alienated from, or how attuned with, the truth of its own nature my soul is, determines whether on the Day of Eternity I am in torment or in bliss. The more dissonance and disharmony between how I have lived and how I am created to be, the more torment I experience. To see my own revolting ugliness in the mirror of the pure beauty God created my soul to manifest, to see how far I have strayed from my soul’s fulfillment, that is the torment of the Fire. What I have become and what I am created to be are like two strings that will be plucked in unison, on the Day. If they are in tune, they will resonate splendid music, flowing like a cool stream under the shade of trees. If they are out of tune, they will emit an unbearable noise that will shatter my being. This life is the moment, just before the music starts, when we are directed to tune our instruments for the Great Concert that is to come.

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