Aaron

Forgiving others and the Tao Teh Ching

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I've been thinking about this alot lately, what part forgiveness plays in my life and what part it should play. Since I like to think of myself as someone who tries to follow the Tao, I thought I might take a look at what the Tao Teh Ching says about this topic to see if I can undestand it more clearly. I would like to share this examination with you, so that if you have any insight, you might share it for the benefit of everyone else.

 

First off, there was a time when I thought Justice should prevale, that somehow, allowing the guilty to walk was not a part of the Tao. In that light it was quite a shock to me when I was rereading the Tao Teh Ching a few years back and ran across this passage at the end of Chapter 62 (tr. Wu),

 

"Why did the ancients prize the Tao?

Is it not because by virtue of it he who seeks finds,

And the guilty are forgiven?

That is why it is such a treasure to the world."

 

Before reading these lines, I can't honestly say I didn't believe that forgiveness wasn't implied, but the fact that having read the Tao Teh Ching for fifteen years, I had passed over something that seems directly relevant to the forgiving others caused me to pause, why did I pass over something that seemed so relevant, or at least seemed directly relevant, but at the same time was a bit vague.

 

Are the guilty forgiven by those who have found the Tao? Are the guilty forgiven by the Tao? Who are the guilty forgiven by? Puzzling questions indeed. After a bit of pondering I examined the sentence more clerely and I realize that what they're actually talking about is the first statement, that the guilty are forgiven by those who have found the Tao. Now this makes more sense when one examines other comments made regarding the idea of forgiveness, or more directly, mercy.

 

The Tao Teh Ching directly mentions mercy in only one place, Chapter 67. In that chapter it refers to it as the first jewel. Although it doesn't go into much discussion about mercy, we can look at the modern day definition and gather some understanding about the exact meaning of the word. Meriam-Webster defines mercy as the following:

 

1 a : compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy> b : imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder

2 a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion b : a fortunate circumstance <it was a mercy they found her before she froze>

3: compassionate treatment of those in distress <works of mercy among the poor>

 

The interesting definitions that seem relevant to the topic at hand are those that refer to showing compassion to those who are suffering or have done wrong. In that light, mercy is showing forgiveness to those who deserve it and don't. So if we know the Tao, one would assume that we would forgive others for the wrongs they've done.

 

Perhaps the most confusing part of all of this is that it never implicitly explains the purpose of forgiveness, there is never any exact reason, rather it's just assumed if one knows the Tao, they will be merciful. However, as I said at the beginning, most people who read the Tao Teh Ching, even if they skip those two chapters, still tend to believe that the Tao Teh Ching advocates forgiving others.

 

I think part of the reason why I passed over it for so long was that I didn't want to have to forgive those people who had hurt me in my past, it was easier to just keep on blaming them, or at least it seemed so. When I realized what the Tao Teh Ching had to say about this concept, a single thought came to my mind, if I know the Tao, then why am I not showing mercy or forgiving others? Why am I clinging to old bitterness and not allowing wounds to mend?

 

One thing the Tao talks about, perhaps indirectly is acceptance, that within every bad action there is some good, just as within every good action there is some bad. No one is a good man or bad man, rather we are all men, with the same frailities and capacity for good or bad. If someone does something wrong and we can see that we are just as capable of doing something wrong, then how can we honestly not forgive that person for doing that? On an even deeper level, one can look at the nature or man, those things that drive us to do what we do, those parts we are supposed to get to know as Taoists and realize we're not as good as we think we are, and even moreso, that there are people that are probably justified in not forgiving us, but that's the catch. The Tao isn't about justice or justification, but rather the natural way and perhaps Lao Tzu was more aware of the idea of mercy in nature than we are. Regardless, when one practices forgiveness, there is a burden that seems to be lifted from them, a freedom from that weight that holds on to them.

 

After all, if we are to diminish all desires, shouldn't the desire for revenge, or anger directed at another person be diminished as well?

 

Well I'm not sure what else there is to say. If you disagree please feel free to mention it. I look forward to hearing other people's insights.

 

Aaron

Edited by Twinner
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Hello Twinner/ Aaron!,

 

 

I would say you've had quite a breakthrough in understanding!

 

The desires we hold... are our Jailers!

 

We... the possessor's of the key!

 

In a fleeting glimpse ... Freedom is to be had!

 

This incredibly liberating Idea of not holding onto our feelings what ever they may be,

to me is the key to leaving the blasted ego in the dust.

 

Feel the lightness of being...

 

Acceptance to just BE who you are ... as natural and nonjudgmental as an infant.

 

This to me is the true Way....

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Excellent topic and even better examination! I have only a small thought to add, but as your post deals with something I've been struggling with recently, it seems appropriate.

 

Forgiving all people, without regard to guilt/fault, the act in question, our disposition toward the transgressor, or any other quality, is a must. Letting go of our attachment to anger is, as you mentioned, a necessity for those who wish to remain in equanimity. This is especially true of hurts incurred by our closest loved ones.

 

But an often overlooked factor in mercy is our own forgiveness. When we do something that upsets another or ourselves, it's easy to get trapped in a cycle of negative emotions and thought patterns. At each moment, we must take stock, realize that the negative is heavy and detrimental for us to keep carrying, and only weighs us down for as long as we shoulder the burden. Once freed, we can go about our business lightly once more, remaining clear and free to flow whichever way life takes us.

Edited by unmike

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I do forgiveness work with clients in the deepest levels of hypnosis, where they hallucinate being the offender. Basically a Fritz Pearlz style chair therapy in trance. This unlocks some knowledge about the situation they didn't realize they had. Some keys that make it doable:

 

A wise person once said holding onto anger is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick.

 

An adult kind of forgiveness is forgiving but not forgetting. Forgetting = ignorance.

 

The person who forgives after scrutinizing the worst of the offense is the 100% benefactor of the forgiveness, they get their energy back: The energy of the anger is theirs, plus the equal or greater amount of energy it took to hold it below the conscious level.

 

The offender doesn't have to know or in some cases shouldn't know they have been forgiven.

 

The offender may have experienced pain, regret, or the intent was not to harm. Or the harm was beyond the actual intent. In some cases the intent of harm was to protect, e.g., Johnny Cash - Boy Named Sue.

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Hi Twinner,

 

This is a rather sensitive topic for me even though I agree with what has been said to this point.

 

And I do agree that forgiving does release us from carrying around all the weight of remembering the wrong that was done, I somehow feel that there is somewhat of a requirement for the wrong-doer to show regret for having done wrong.

 

Another factor that concerns me is whether or not the wrong was done accidentally or intentionally.

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Hello SeriesofTubes,

 

I've never heard of that form of therapy before, but it's an interesting approach. I agree with you regarding the need for forgiveness, but I think in the same way mercy applies.

 

Marblehead,

 

As SoT pointed out, there's nothing that says one needs to forget, just forgive. I think the reasons that SoT gave are an excellent example of why. I'm not sure what the whole idea was, but I get the general idea that it involves forgiving, regardless of the other persons regret or guilt.

 

Aaron

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Hm, forgiveness... yes, tough topic for me as well!

 

Sometimes I wonder, if you had absolute power, and could get revenge, would you forgive?

 

How much of forgiveness stems from the realization that revenge, or anger, is pointless?

 

Because sometimes I think, "I hate that person, I want to beat the crap out of them!"

 

But then I think, "someone will call the police, I'll get convicted of some kind of assault, people will think I have anger problems since I beat someone up over some words or actions, people will think I have a problem with authority of living with others, I'll have a criminal record and won't get a job, that person's friends/family will just retaliate against me or my friends or family, and an endless cycle of violence will ensue..... it's much better to forgive."

 

But then I think, "what if I could get revenge on them, and no one would know? What if I could beat them up, or remove them from my life, and the lives of those I knew, without it ever being traced back to me- no risk for societal judgments, no impact on my career, no risk to those I care about.... if I could just make them... go away. If I could handle the problem, and no one would know but the person I hate."

 

I wonder, how many people would say, "fuck forgiveness!"

 

How many people forgive because they truly forgive the person, and how many people forgive because they are powerless to do anything BUT forgive?

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yeah we have the client beat the crap out of a pillow if necessary to bleed off some of the anger before we can even begin to apply reason to the situation. I then go after the hallucinated offender on behalf of the client. The client then defends themselves in the role of the offender, which ultimately brings more understanding to the situation and increases probability that forgiveness will be accomplished. But yeah the idea often has to be conveyed and accepted that forgiving this offender will get them this part of their life back.

 

@Sloppy Zhang I would say most of the anger people carry around well beyond it's usefulness as internal stress has to do with situations in the past. The offender might have moved away, be in another state/country, or even dead but the pain is still there internalized and hurting us in the present. So yeah in that case we are basically powerless to do anything but forgive.

 

If the situation is current, then the anger, as I was trained, is there to motivate us to make the situation more fair. Without the motivational force of anger this would be difficult. I view anger as not necessarily bad in itself but perhaps an evolutionary motivational force to increase fairness and therefore safety. Its what we do with it that is either good, bad, or ineffective. People tend to store it and i think modern society reinforces this.

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yeah we have the client beat the crap out of a pillow if necessary to bleed off some of the anger before we can even begin to apply reason to the situation. I then go after the hallucinated offender on behalf of the client. The client then defends themselves in the role of the offender, which ultimately brings more understanding to the situation and increases probability that forgiveness will be accomplished. But yeah the idea often has to be conveyed and accepted that forgiving this offender will get them this part of their life back.

 

@Sloppy Zhang I would say most of the anger people carry around well beyond it's usefulness as internal stress has to do with situations in the past. The offender might have moved away, be in another state/country, or even dead but the pain is still there internalized and hurting us in the present. So yeah in that case we are basically powerless to do anything but forgive.

 

If the situation is current, then the anger, as I was trained, is there to motivate us to make the situation more fair. Without the motivational force of anger this would be difficult. I view anger as not necessarily bad in itself but perhaps an evolutionary motivational force to increase fairness and therefore safety. Its what we do with it that is either good, bad, or ineffective. People tend to store it and i think modern society reinforces this.

 

Interesting stuff!

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When nine years old my mother doped my grape juice with vodka in order to make me pass out so that she could draw puss from an infected wound on my knee and inject it into a vein in my arm so that I would become sick and need to go to the emergency room at the hospital so that she could have some "alone time" with her lesbian lover, my 3rd grade catholic school teacher. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks before "emergency" exploratory abdominal surgery was done to elininate a "staff infection the size of a grapefruit". Thirty years later, hospital records showed that during those 6 weeks I was administered a myriad of experimental drugs and that the "staff infection the size of a grapefruit" was a fabrication by the doctors that wanted an excuse to cut me open in order to harvest biopsies of my organs in order to ascertain the effect of the experiemntal drugs on human tissue. The surgery lasted 16 hours, my heart stopped for 73 seconds somewhere along the line...I am lucky to have survived it. My mom authorized the testing and surgery (pre HMO days) so that she could have additional "alone time" with her lesbian lover/my 3rd grade catholic school teacher.

 

Seven years later as a sophomore in high school, while going for a midnight snack I would accidentally discover my mom and that same woman, now my catholic high school math teacher, having sex in the family room. From the next day forward, I was never taught another day of math in high school...for 2.5 years during every math class I went to the principal's office and discussed politics, greek mythology, norse mythology, current events, whatever with her. I was graduated from this prestigious college prepatory high school with a a 3.85 GPA and a 1480 SAT (then out of 1600)...but couldn't get into a single college for the lack of high school math.

 

Suffice it to say, my Life has been made more difficult than it needed to be by my mom. I've forgiven her in my heart but I've not told her so. Out of compassion for her I want to tell her. My biggest hurdle to doing so is that I really am happier without her in my Life...I truly believe that she is evil...and don't want her in my Life, but I don't want her to suffer in any way because of me...I think knowing that I have forgiven her might alleviate suffering on her part, but I don't want her in my Life and I don't want to have to tell her that...for the reason of not wanting to cause her suffering...HELP!!!

 

Please advise friendly bums. And please don't steal my story for your publication benefit...I am writing my story...working title is 'Momster:Surviving Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome'.

 

Much thanks friends,

 

xeno

Edited by xenolith

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When nine years old my mother doped my grape juice with vodka in order to make me pass out so that she could draw puss from an infected wound on my knee and inject it into a vein in my arm so that I would become sick and need to go to the emergency room at the hospital so that she could have some "alone time" with her lesbian lover, my 3rd grade catholic school teacher. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks before "emergency" exploratory abdominal surgery was done to elininate a "staff infection the size of a grapefruit". Thirty years later, hospital records showed that during those 6 weeks I was administered a myriad of experimental drugs and that the "staff infection the size of a grapefruit" was a fabrication by the doctors that wanted an excuse to cut me open in order to harvest biopsies of my organs in order to ascertain the effect of the experiemntal drugs on human tissue. The surgery lasted 16 hours, my heart stopped for 73 seconds somewhere along the line...I am lucky to have survived it. My mom authorized the testing and surgery (pre HMO days) so that she could have additional "alone time" with her lesbian lover/my 3rd grade catholic school teacher.

 

Seven years later as a sophomore in high school, while going for a midnight snack I would accidentally discover my mom and that same woman, now my catholic high school math teacher, having sex in the family room. From the next day forward, I was never taught another day of math in high school...for 2.5 years during every math class I went to the principal's office and discussed politics, greek mythology, norse mythology, current events, whatever with her. I was graduated from this prestigious college prepatory high school with a a 3.85 GPA and a 1480 SAT (then out of 1600)...but couldn't get into a single college for the lack of high school math.

 

Suffice it to say, my Life has been made more difficult than it needed to be by my mom. I've forgiven her in my heart but I've not told her so. Out of compassion for her I want to tell her. My biggest hurdle to doing so is that I really am happier without her in my Life...I truly believe that she is evil...and don't want her in my Life, but I don't want her to suffer in any way because of me...I think knowing that I have forgiven her might alleviate suffering on her part, but I don't want her in my Life and I don't want to have to tell her that...for the reason of not wanting to cause her suffering...HELP!!!

 

Please advise friendly bums. And please don't steal my story for your publication benefit...I am writing my story...working title is 'Momster:Surviving Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome'.

 

Much thanks friends,

 

xeno

 

Words cannot express how I feel from reading this post. I can't even begin to imagine going through that.....

 

 

 

The only thing I'm thinking of that could be remotely extracted from this is the conditions of homosexual lovers and their status, and the lengths some decide to go through to hide their relationship, but that's still just pointing the finger, and in no way excuses such horrendous behavior.

 

I'm going to stop talking now, but I just want to let you know that I saw what you read and.... I dunno what to say, just, I read what you wrote.

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When nine years old my mother doped my grape juice with vodka in order to make me pass out so that she could draw puss from an infected wound on my knee and inject it into a vein in my arm so that I would become sick and need to go to the emergency room at the hospital so that she could have some "alone time" with her lesbian lover, my 3rd grade catholic school teacher. I was in the hospital for 6 weeks before "emergency" exploratory abdominal surgery was done to elininate a "staff infection the size of a grapefruit". Thirty years later, hospital records showed that during those 6 weeks I was administered a myriad of experimental drugs and that the "staff infection the size of a grapefruit" was a fabrication by the doctors that wanted an excuse to cut me open in order to harvest biopsies of my organs in order to ascertain the effect of the experiemntal drugs on human tissue. The surgery lasted 16 hours, my heart stopped for 73 seconds somewhere along the line...I am lucky to have survived it. My mom authorized the testing and surgery (pre HMO days) so that she could have additional "alone time" with her lesbian lover/my 3rd grade catholic school teacher.

 

Seven years later as a sophomore in high school, while going for a midnight snack I would accidentally discover my mom and that same woman, now my catholic high school math teacher, having sex in the family room. From the next day forward, I was never taught another day of math in high school...for 2.5 years during every math class I went to the principal's office and discussed politics, greek mythology, norse mythology, current events, whatever with her. I was graduated from this prestigious college prepatory high school with a a 3.85 GPA and a 1480 SAT (then out of 1600)...but couldn't get into a single college for the lack of high school math.

 

Suffice it to say, my Life has been made more difficult than it needed to be by my mom. I've forgiven her in my heart but I've not told her so. Out of compassion for her I want to tell her. My biggest hurdle to doing so is that I really am happier without her in my Life...I truly believe that she is evil...and don't want her in my Life, but I don't want her to suffer in any way because of me...I think knowing that I have forgiven her might alleviate suffering on her part, but I don't want her in my Life and I don't want to have to tell her that...for the reason of not wanting to cause her suffering...HELP!!!

 

Please advise friendly bums. And please don't steal my story for your publication benefit...I am writing my story...working title is 'Momster:Surviving Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome'.

 

Much thanks friends,

 

xeno

 

 

Wow!

 

I would definitely hire a good lawyer and go after that hospital. And on top of munchausen by proxy / child abuse.

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Hello Xenolith,

 

Whenever someone close to us hurts us, it's very hard, I know. But in the same sense, forgiveness isn't about calling someone up and saying, 'I forgive you' or 'I'm sorry', it's about allowing those things that are harboured inside of you to be set free, to give you freedom from those emotions that keep you chained to something that happened so many years ago.

 

There have been people I've forgiven, that I've never said 'I've forgiven you' too and I doubt I ever will. What we need to do in these instances is what's best, and sometimes what's best is letting it go, allowing the past to be the past, so that the future can be the future.

 

I know that it's hard to understand everything that your mother did or why she did it. To say she was selfish would be an understatement, but this really isn't about her, it's about you and your ability to grow as a person without the emotional baggage of the past holding you down so you can't swim. Forgiveness is dropping those bags, so that you can, not only swim, but you don't end up drowning because of them. I'm not so sure how well you'll be able to do that by writing a book.

 

I hope that you find peace with what happened and I am very sorry that it happened to you.

 

Aaron

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I'm not so sure how well you'll be able to do that by writing a book.

 

Getting it all out can be a powerful form of letting go.

 

As in, getting it all OUT of you.

 

Ever write a letter to someone then not send it?

 

Or, perhaps for us here, every write a post but then not post it?

 

Sometimes you get to the end of a post, and realize there's no need to post what it is you are saying. The energy dissipated. The reason you felt a need to post was not to convey any particular meaning or response to someone, but to dissipate the energy you had stirring inside you.

Edited by Sloppy Zhang

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Friends,

 

You're misunderstanding me. Please understand, I've moved on from the hurt done to me. I've transformed (with SIGNIFICANT help from my Love) the damaged person that my mother left me into a loving, self-realized person full of compassion...there's no need to worry about me.

 

What I'm asking for help with is: should I tell my mother that I've forgiven her?

 

Thank you,

 

xeno

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Friends,

 

You're misunderstanding me. Please understand, I've moved on from the hurt done to me. I've transformed (with SIGNIFICANT help from my Love) the damaged person that my mother left me into a loving, self-realized person full of compassion...there's no need to worry about me.

 

What I'm asking for help with is: should I tell my mother that I've forgiven her?

 

Thank you,

 

xeno

 

Hello Xeno,

 

That's for you to decide. I would say that no one has the right to tell you to do this, because, despite hearing your story, we don't have the entire perspective, you do. If you need to do it, then do it, but if you don't, then don't. Just keep in mind this is about you. If your hopes are that you might be able to have a relationship with you mother, then I would seriously keep in mind the track record she's had in the past. Your mother had your entire childhood to make these things right and she made her choices. This shouldn't be about her in the least, so my word of caution would be, do what you KNOW in your heart is right and correct, but don't allow someone else to make that decision for you.

 

Aaron

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Hello Xeno,

 

That's for you to decide. I would say that no one has the right to tell you to do this, because, despite hearing your story, we don't have the entire perspective, you do. If you need to do it, then do it, but if you don't, then don't. Just keep in mind this is about you. If your hopes are that you might be able to have a relationship with you mother, then I would seriously keep in mind the track record she's had in the past. Your mother had your entire childhood to make these things right and she made her choices. This shouldn't be about her in the least, so my word of caution would be, do what you KNOW in your heart is right and correct, but don't allow someone else to make that decision for you.

 

Aaron

 

well said

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I agree with Twinner, that's for you to decide. If you dont know in your heart what's right FOR YOU, then flip a coin and pay attention to your first-gut reaction when you see the result.

 

Best wishes.

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Thanks Aaron. That's essentially been my determination thus far...based primarily on my belief that what she did to me is "unforgivable"...but the fact is, for the reasons that you've very well articulated and as a result of simply my nature, I have forgiven her. Given that reality and my compassion for all, including even the evil, I don't want anyone, including even the evil, to suffer for any reason that I can prevent, including thinking that they are unforgiven when in fact they are forgiven.

 

I'm 45 years old now. I've been contemplating this for about 5 years now and more and more as my compassion grows. Very perplexed at the conundrum I am. My Love of the last 25 years, who has always advised me well beyond my own wisdom tells me to not communicate with my mother (it's been 22 years since I have...best years of my Life too!)...I trust my Love to be right, but my desire to alleviate suffering if I can advises me to tell my mother that I've forgiven her.

 

What I've settled on so far, in my ~5 years of considering this, is that in the post-human experience I'll tell her. Maybe that is best.

 

Thank you friends,

 

Warmly,

 

xeno

Edited by xenolith

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Excellent topic and even better examination! I have only a small thought to add, but as your post deals with something I've been struggling with recently, it seems appropriate.

 

Forgiving all people, without regard to guilt/fault, the act in question, our disposition toward the transgressor, or any other quality, is a must. Letting go of our attachment to anger is, as you mentioned, a necessity for those who wish to remain in equanimity. This is especially true of hurts incurred by our closest loved ones.

 

But an often overlooked factor in mercy is our own forgiveness. When we do something that upsets another or ourselves, it's easy to get trapped in a cycle of negative emotions and thought patterns. At each moment, we must take stock, realize that the negative is heavy and detrimental for us to keep carrying, and only weighs us down for as long as we shoulder the burden. Once freed, we can go about our business lightly once more, remaining clear and free to flow whichever way life takes us.

 

Hello Unmike,

 

I'm sorry about taking so long to get back to you. I think there's no reason why mercy and forgiveness shouldn't be applied to oneself. I think in a way this is implied, that if one knows the Tao then they will be doing this anyways. I think it's a good practice to keep in mind that even if one forgives, they still should not forget. Treat yourself like you do anyone else, that's what I believe anyways.

 

Aaron

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a sad and very difficult situation, I feel sorry for both you and your mother :(

 

in my ~5 years of considering this

 

then I don't think you need to hear from my 5 min of quick reflection.

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One thing the Tao talks about, perhaps indirectly is acceptance, that within every bad action there is some good, just as within every good action there is some bad. No one is a good man or bad man, rather we are all men, with the same frailities and capacity for good or bad. If someone does something wrong and we can see that we are just as capable of doing something wrong, then how can we honestly not forgive that person for doing that? On an even deeper level, one can look at the nature or man, those things that drive us to do what we do, those parts we are supposed to get to know as Taoists and realize we're not as good as we think we are, and even moreso, that there are people that are probably justified in not forgiving us, but that's the catch. The Tao isn't about justice or justification, but rather the natural way and perhaps Lao Tzu was more aware of the idea of mercy in nature than we are. Regardless, when one practices forgiveness, there is a burden that seems to be lifted from them, a freedom from that weight that holds on to them.

I think Wu's translation takes some liberty.

 

Here is what I think is a proper rendering by Rudolf Wagner's study of Wang Bi:

"If [the good ones] strive by means of it, they achieve what they strive for.

If [the not good ones] avoid [punishment] by means of it [the Way], they manage to avoid it."

 

Wang Bi says: "There is nothing that is [this Way] does not bring about. That is why it is [most] valued in All Under Heaven."

 

This is a picture of the 'impartiality' of the Way. No favoritism. If there is a word, maybe I say what "is". There is neither good nor bad; neither praise nor punishment; neither acceptance nor forgiveness;

 

What does that really mean???

 

THAT WHAT MANIFESTS IS: good and bad; praise and punishment; acceptance and forgiveness.

 

I have never taken notice of this chapter section but I will say that it fits well with the general theme of the book and is quite profound.

 

What is the process of the Great Way? How do we came into this world and how will we go out? In-between, how will this existence of the ten thousand things treat us and make us feel?

 

That is each person's journey of 1,000 miles which begins with a single step. Lao Zi did not mention obstacles along the way but the mere mention of this journey may be all he could muster to tell us.

Edited by dawei

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Marblehead,

 

As SoT pointed out, there's nothing that says one needs to forget, just forgive. I think the reasons that SoT gave are an excellent example of why. I'm not sure what the whole idea was, but I get the general idea that it involves forgiving, regardless of the other persons regret or guilt.

 

Aaron

 

Yes, that is basically my opinion on the subject. We need learn from our and others mistakes. Don't hold to the event but hold to the lesson. Really, we don't want to live our entire life being other people's fool.

 

I don't really even see the need to forgive as long as we do not hold to the memory of the harm that has been done. We respond by doing what needs be done and then let it go. But remember the lesson!

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What I'm asking for help with is: should I tell my mother that I've forgiven her?

 

Thank you,

 

xeno

 

Does she honestly want forgiveness? If not, I wouldn't bother.

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