Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

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Beingabeing
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Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Beingabeing » Sat May 06, 2017 9:06 pm

I've recently started reading a new earth and although I understand most of it so far, I'm struggling to grasp what it means by forgiving others for negative and or abusive behaviour because it is their ego. At the moment, to me, it sounds like an excuse, by blaming bad behaviour on the the ego and unconscious. Have I just interpreted it wrong? As I believe there is no excuse for abuse in any form, physical or emotional. I think I may be applying what was written to myself, having experienced domestic violence and the many excuses formed with it, I suppose this made me feel defensive. Can anyone help me understand what it means more?

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Webwanderer » Sat May 06, 2017 10:01 pm

Welcome to the forum Beingabeing.

It's a matter of context. Looking at the behavior of another through the eyes of our own beliefs about right and wrong can keep us in a state of judgment if we don't like how another is behaving. But this is the context of ego - that is seeing through the self identification of who we 'think' we are, and who we think they are. Most of what we 'think' we are is a matter of entrained and conditioned thinking from infancy to present. Different conditions create different perspectives. Most everyone thinks they are right in what they do.

In this context of thought identification, it's common to make judgments on the amount of pain we feel as a result of our own or another's actions.

But there is a larger context that is endemic of Spirit. Our greater nature, our true nature, is not so much of this world, but of Eternal Beingness. In this context there is no right or wrong but only an exploration of experiential possibilities for the evolution of Consciousness and Being. The persons that offend you in the human/egoic context are also your fellow travelers in Life in a far greater context. Even more, we are all extensions of a common Source - being life through us all.

You may find it helpful to see behavior of any kind through the context of an Eternal Being (which essentially you are) exploring experience in particular world of possibilities. Pain, pleasure, anger, joy, and all the other possible human sensations all mixing together to create a kaleidoscopic environment to experience. In the eternal nature of life, a few decades in the human experience is but a tiny fragment of what is possible.

Of course it's all about energy and vibration and the infinite ways it can be formed and experienced. It's all good if we perceive it so. Enjoy the journey.

WW

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sat May 06, 2017 11:51 pm

Excellent topic !

I know exactly what you mean. Several people I have discussed spirituality with ask the same question, and I understand why.

This question arises from the rather limited and superficial egoic perspective of morals/ethics, which supposedly tells us what is "right" or "wrong". What we fail to realize is that all those moral and ethical standards that we try to uphold, are mere guidelines, and that they only operate within the egoic realm. They are guidelines that *suggest*, not *enforce*, a certain code of conduct ... they are not absolute truths. How can they be absolute truths when they were artificially (and, to a certain extent, arbitrarily) created by human beings ? You don't see wild tigers going around the forest discussing ethical tiger behavior, do you ? We humans created a set of guidelines by which we (mistakenly) expect everyone to live. And, that expectation is a huge illusion that sets us up for great suffering because not everyone is going to obey those guidelines. Not everyone even agrees on what those guidelines should be, in the first place.

Every person is a puppet of his/her conditioning. People function in highly predictable ways, like a computer that has been programmed with a set of instructions. You could almost say that, as long as people are unconscious, they have no control over their behavior, because they are simply acting out their conditioning ... very predictably. You could say that the true culprit is the conditioning, not the hand that performs the resulting action of beating or raping someone. And, if you look at it from a deeper place, that is not far from the truth. In essence, the wrongdoing is not the perpetrator's personal fault ... every single event that occurred in that person's life up to this point drove that person to that action. However, most of humanity fails to see this. It is far easier to isolate that event, point a finger at and convict a single person in a courtroom. You can't bring the human condition to a courtroom and convict it. Right ?! This is a very superficial way of looking at things, and that is how the (unconscious) human race operates.

When a shooting in a school occurs, what does the resulting investigation tell you ? "He was evil." or "He was suffering from Bipolar disorder and had been seeing a psychiatrist." ... these are basically just coverups ... the collective ego's way of making sense of wrongdoing, because no one sees the deeper truth and no one wants to. It reflects a laziness to understand the root cause, and the convenience of pointing the finger at one person. No one wants to look at bullying in school, bad parenting, or the loneliness and anger felt by the kid (all symptoms of human unconsciousness). No one has the slightest bit of compassion to see the perpetrator as just another sufferer of the human condition. No ! "He was wrong ! He was evil !" and that's all there is to it ! We love to get on our moral high horse and condemn the other ... because, if the other is "wrong", that makes us "right" ! No one is going to publish an article that says that the cause of the Columbine school shooting is "Human unconsciousness". And so, most of the human race stays stuck in a superficial and illusory egocentric realm where it's "every man for himself". This promotes divisiveness and separateness, not the oneness or unity that results from seeing that we are all the same in essence and that we are all subjected to suffering by the same collective human insanity.

However, if you look at this question from a deeper place, you realize that ultimately, there is no right or wrong. You could say, there is conscious behavior and unconscious behavior. Actions either arise from a state of consciousness/awareness/presence or from a lack thereof.

Now, getting to the point. So, when the book asks us to "forgive" the terrible things that humans do to each other, it is not creating a justification or excuse for that behavior. It is simply trying to explain why such behavior occurs, and pointing us to the realization that the essence of a person is not their actions/behaviors ... "Forgive them for they know not what they do" means that no person, in his/her right mind (i.e. in a state of presence) would intentionally cause hurt to another being. So, forgive them because they are not conscious. Don't mistake their actions for who they are.

"Forgiveness" in the usual egoic sense is superficial and meaningless. It is analogous to burying something under the rug, in the hope that one can "move on" (another illusory notion). Saying, "Ok, I forgive you." provides the illusion of forgiveness, when, in reality, the hurt lives on in the wronged person and often resurfaces at a later time, because the issue was not dealt with at a deeper level, its root cause not understood. It was only dealt with superficially, to facilitate some sort of illusory closure. True forgiveness requires going deeper ... understanding why the wrongdoing occurred and seeing that it originated from a state of unconsciousness. Once that understanding has been reached, one can have true compassion for the other, when the other is seen as being the same as oneself in essence. From that oneness, true forgiveness comes naturally.

So, you don't have to excuse the hurtful actions of others, but understand why they engage in such behavior, and in doing so, "forgive" them ... for they "know not what they do".
Last edited by painBody on Sun May 07, 2017 5:22 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Webwanderer » Sun May 07, 2017 12:21 am

Great post painBody. I would add that forgiveness is primarily for the forgiver. Genuine forgiveness frees us from the limiting nature of our judgments.

WW

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sun May 07, 2017 12:28 am

Webwanderer wrote:Great post painBody. I would add that forgiveness is primarily for the forgiver. Genuine forgiveness frees us from the limiting nature of our judgments.

WW
Thanks WW. Yes, that's a good point to add ! It is mainly for the forgiver to be able to "move on" (don't like that expression, but it is a good pointer) from the wrongdoing and not be stuck with a grudge - an unconscious thought stream.

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sun May 07, 2017 1:43 am

One additional point I would like to make, that I think is relevant to your question:

When a perpetrator commits an unconscious act, it is often viewed as an isolated event and that the perpetrator has done it *with intent*. In the case of a crime, this "intent" forms the legal basis for a conviction. One fails to see the role of prior conditioning, and the unconscious state. The "normal" pervasive state of unconsciousness is considered a healthy state. So, when something bad is done, it is assumed that the perpetrator was fully "conscious" and "had intent" :) Then, when it is pointed out to the "victim" that "No, they were, in fact, unconscious when they did it.", they feel a kind of righteous anger. And, this is the "defensiveness" that the original poster here felt, I think. "What do you mean he was unconscious ? That's an excuse, a cop-out. He knew fully well what he was doing !" On the surface, it seems like he knew what he was doing, on the "normal" level of unconsciousness. If you go deeper, ... nope ... "they know not what they do" :)

In a courtroom, sometimes, a plea of "insanity" is used as a legal defense. This is ironic, because I don't think the lawyers and defendants realize that this plea, even if they think they're fooling the prosecution/jury, is in fact the absolute truth ! Any act of murder or rape is, by definition, insane or unconscious ! So, that means that every murderer or rapist can plead insanity :D If insanity/unconsciousness were realized as the root cause of all wrongdoing, there would be no prisoners and no prisons !

In the ideal world, ...

Judge: "The defendant is being charged with first degree murder. How do you wish to plead ?"
Defense lawyer: "Not guilty, your honor, by reason of insanity."
Judge: "I agree. "Forgive them for they know not what they do" ... The defendant will hereby be sentenced to a reading of The Power of Now and a lifetime of presence. He is free to go."
(gavel pounds)

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sun May 07, 2017 5:55 am

I apologize for flooding your thread with my posts, but it appears I have a lot to say on this subject. I rarely have this much to say about a thread here, so when I do, I feel compelled to share.

Einstein said, and this is often quoted by Eckhart Tolle, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created them." If there is any subject that this quote applies to, it's the one involving forgiveness.

Someone hurts you, from their state of unconsciousness. If you, then, retaliate or hold a grudge, you are trying to solve the problem from the same level of consciousness that created the problem, i.e. unconsciousness. You are looking at the problem from a very limited perspective of "right" and "wrong". And, what happens ? You add fuel to the fire, propagating the problem, never really resolving it. The negative thoughts/emotions from the conflict stay with you, sometimes even getting magnified ... Eckhart calls this "pain body". There is no true resolution, even if hostilities have appeared to have ceased.

However, if you are able to step back from the problem, into a place of presence, you bring a different level of consciousness or energy to the problem. You then realize the futility of reacting egoically/unconsciously. Not just that, you no longer even feel the urge to react in such a way. You are able to see the true colors of the unconscious act, and yet, are able to distance yourself from it, essentially defusing the problem. You don't get caught up in the negative energy of unconsciousness. That is where forgiveness can emerge from.

Essentially, as long as two opposing egos are involved, the conflict continues. One needs to be removed or disconnected from the conflict ... by a change in level of consciousness. If you can take your ego out of the equation, you can solve the problem. It takes two to tango ... remove one dancer and the dance is over. It takes two walkie talkie handsets for communication to take place, a transmitting end and a receiving end ... remove one, and the communication ends. Analogies I like :)

Now, apply this to the Israel-Arab conflict or any other longstanding violent conflict. One side blows up a coffee shop, so the other feels justified in dropping "smart bombs" and their collective ego feels redeemed ... "Yes ! Justice has been served !" Or, perhaps a "ceasefire" is signed ... wow, problem solved ! ... at least till the next attack ! No change in the level of consciousness ... the problem cannot be solved :)

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Beingabeing » Sun May 07, 2017 5:46 pm

Thank you for such in depth answers. You have taken a lot of time in answering my question. On one level I understand but when I do begin to understand another part of me does resist, as you point out the defensiveness kicks in. Then I'm in a battle with myself. Its strange as I used to feel compassion towards the people that had caused harm, until I met someone who had had a perfectly good upbringing, there were no negative external factors to contribute to their behaviour or condition their thought process, yet they caused pain and suffering to others. It was hard then to feel compassion, it's hard to understand, especially when you yourself would never want to hurt anyone. If a person has had positive events and influences, what causes them to produce a negative one?

There have been many times where I've believed I had forgiven. Then i would feel at peace and happy but for some reason as time has gone on, a bitterness that seemed left behind has crept up. I start to wonder why the people who do these hurtful things get away with it so much and have good lives but cause destruction to everyone else. I think it also stems from the insecurities that I experience now as a result of the past events. I am aware of the thoughts and feelings and of the fact they are not me but almost like a ghost within me. But they are so hard to change and stop and just when you think they have gone, something triggers them and the "voices" thoughts start to fill you with doubt once more.

Sorry for going on a bit, I'm just trying to understand. I've been on what seems like an exhausting journey with my mind for years now. Always knowing their are two parts of myself, conscious and unconscious but didn't (until I started to read this book), know it was the ego. I've been desperate to "wake up" for so long and I know these thoughts are what hold me back.

Painbody, it is interesting in regards to what you say about two opposing egos resulting in continued conflict, one thing I have found is that when I have a bad experience, I feel compelled to help someone animal or human, ive had that all my life now . I have never seeked revenge or tried to get my comeuppance but then again it seems nor have I truly forgiven.

Thanks again for helping me understand, and apologies for being a bit slow on the take!

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by rachMiel » Sun May 07, 2017 6:24 pm

I have a somewhat different take on forgiveness.

It's considered to be a virtue. And yes, holding onto a grudge is clearly more destructive than forgiving and moving on.

But, at its root, isn't forgiveness a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing? It implies that someone is guilty of doing something wrong/bad and the forgiver (= arbiter of right/wrong) chooses to let them get away with it. It's an apparent act of enlightened kindness that is actually a divisive judgment: You are wrong (but I forgive you). You are bad (but I forgive you).

Forgiveness doesn't come from an understanding of the whole, it perpetuates division.

The deeper, whole-istic view would imo be to understand that there is nothing to forgive, because there are no actual entities performing actual acts. Stuff just happens.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Beingabeing » Sun May 07, 2017 6:51 pm

Thank you for your wonderful in depth comments. I have replied once already but for some reason it isn't showing up and I cannot remember what I wrote!
Hopefully it may show up later, if not i'll repost.

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sun May 07, 2017 10:29 pm

rachMiel wrote:I have a somewhat different take on forgiveness.

It's considered to be a virtue. And yes, holding onto a grudge is clearly more destructive than forgiving and moving on.

But, at its root, isn't forgiveness a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing? It implies that someone is guilty of doing something wrong/bad and the forgiver (= arbiter of right/wrong) chooses to let them get away with it. It's an apparent act of enlightened kindness that is actually a divisive judgment: You are wrong (but I forgive you). You are bad (but I forgive you).

Forgiveness doesn't come from an understanding of the whole, it perpetuates division.

The deeper, whole-istic view would imo be to understand that there is nothing to forgive, because there are no actual entities performing actual acts. Stuff just happens.
rachMiel - Yes, I see what you mean. But, I think there is some confusion here about the meaning of the word "forgiveness". I think you're taking it to mean its usual meaning, which means letting someone get away with an act that is deemed "wrong", without consequences.

I think, when Eckhart defines the word, he's talking about a different meaning altogether. His meaning of "forgiveness" is "don't judge". So, it's not really letting anyone get away with anything or disguising "wrong" as "right", but simply the compassionate act of understanding and not judging the "wrong"doer.

And, your last statement is a very good way to think about it ... there is, ultimately, nothing to forgive, because nothing is "right" or "wrong" ... it's all just part of the dance of phenomena.

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Sun May 07, 2017 10:51 pm

Beingabeing wrote:Thank you for such in depth answers. You have taken a lot of time in answering my question. On one level I understand but when I do begin to understand another part of me does resist, as you point out the defensiveness kicks in. Then I'm in a battle with myself. Its strange as I used to feel compassion towards the people that had caused harm, until I met someone who had had a perfectly good upbringing, there were no negative external factors to contribute to their behaviour or condition their thought process, yet they caused pain and suffering to others. It was hard then to feel compassion, it's hard to understand, especially when you yourself would never want to hurt anyone. If a person has had positive events and influences, what causes them to produce a negative one?

There have been many times where I've believed I had forgiven. Then i would feel at peace and happy but for some reason as time has gone on, a bitterness that seemed left behind has crept up. I start to wonder why the people who do these hurtful things get away with it so much and have good lives but cause destruction to everyone else. I think it also stems from the insecurities that I experience now as a result of the past events. I am aware of the thoughts and feelings and of the fact they are not me but almost like a ghost within me. But they are so hard to change and stop and just when you think they have gone, something triggers them and the "voices" thoughts start to fill you with doubt once more.

Sorry for going on a bit, I'm just trying to understand. I've been on what seems like an exhausting journey with my mind for years now. Always knowing their are two parts of myself, conscious and unconscious but didn't (until I started to read this book), know it was the ego. I've been desperate to "wake up" for so long and I know these thoughts are what hold me back.

Painbody, it is interesting in regards to what you say about two opposing egos resulting in continued conflict, one thing I have found is that when I have a bad experience, I feel compelled to help someone animal or human, ive had that all my life now . I have never seeked revenge or tried to get my comeuppance but then again it seems nor have I truly forgiven.

Thanks again for helping me understand, and apologies for being a bit slow on the take!
Beingabeing, you're most welcome. And, you're doing great. No need to apologize.

I understand what you say about people with seemingly happy pasts. I say seemingly, because what you see on the surface doesn't necessarily reflect how a person feels on the inside. People are adept at putting on appearances. Someone you see very "happy" may feel a deep emptiness or lack on the inside, which may compel them to do some pretty nasty things. Some serial killers had relatively peaceful or "normal" upbringings. Why do rich celebrities become drug addicts ? And yet, there are people serving life sentences in prison who appear to be totally at peace ? No amount of money or wealth or "positive" experiences can bring that inner fulfillment we all seek. So, don't let external appearances fool you.

As for your bitterness that stays and creeps up on you and the inner voices, that is something that Eckhart calls "pain body" - an accumulation of past psychological hurt/pain that emerges occasionally and takes you over. That is ok, it is normal. It is totally possible for you to really forgive someone but still feel the bitterness once in a while ... the key is to realize that the bitterness/resistance, when it comes up, is unconscious energy, and to watch it consciously. It being there is not, in itself, a bad thing ... it's only harmful when you get lost in it and it takes you over. I, myself, have had this experience with forgiveness and the pain body. Even though I have forgiven relatives for some terrible things they did to me, the residual bitterness comes up once in a while, and I try to watch it and let it be. I don't think that pain body will ever fully dissolve, nor do I think it needs to. So, don't consider the occasional bitterness coming up to be a setback/failure in your spiritual journey. Just let it be. When it comes up, watch it, and don't get lost in it.

I think another reason you're having all these doubts about whether you have truly forgiven is because of the usual meaning of the word "forgive". People think it's like an on-off switch that, once you have forgiven someone, stays off forever. No, it doesn't actually work like that ! It is a process. The pain body has a momentum, so it can't be destroyed completely.

And as for the question of why people who do "wrong" to others lead "good" lives, again, see that you're trying to assign meaning along the lines of "right"/"wrong" and "good"/"bad". This is, as I mentioned in my first response, arbitrary. We have been conditioned to think along those lines and assign those semantics/connotations. So, don't get caught up in the anger behind the seeming injustice of "bad" people leading "good" lives. It's not all as it seems to be :)

These are all important questions to ask and understand. You're doing great !

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by Beingabeing » Mon May 08, 2017 12:42 am

Painbody after reading your last comment I feel such relief! For so long I have felt angry at my self for letting the negative emotions get the better of me, for not be able to let go of them and get rid of them. It felt like such a burden upon me, I did, as you say, feel it was a setback spiritually. Now I can actually see I don't need to try and eliminate it all together but just let it be. When I started to understand your comment it felt as though a weight was lifted and a great sense of relief washed over me.
Thank you so much, I know this is probably just the beginning but my understanding is increasing everyday.

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Mon May 08, 2017 5:24 am

Beingabeing wrote:Painbody after reading your last comment I feel such relief! For so long I have felt angry at my self for letting the negative emotions get the better of me, for not be able to let go of them and get rid of them. It felt like such a burden upon me, I did, as you say, feel it was a setback spiritually. Now I can actually see I don't need to try and eliminate it all together but just let it be. When I started to understand your comment it felt as though a weight was lifted and a great sense of relief washed over me.
Thank you so much, I know this is probably just the beginning but my understanding is increasing everyday.
Great to hear that my comments helped you ! :)

Yes, the spiritual journey is like trekking through the mountains ... ups and downs, it's not always linear. I think that most people would be content with reaching a state where, despite the ups and downs of daily life, the joys and upsets, they are able to always return to a peaceful place deep down. It's like the ripples on the surface of the pond of life come and fade away, never disturbing the underlying peace deep down. If you are able to do that, that's great. There isn't much more. Of course, this "goal" is not to be taken literally. This is just my way of describing progress on the spiritual path. It's going to be different for everyone.

I did want to respond to one more thing you said ... "I start to wonder why the people who do these hurtful things get away with it so much and have good lives but cause destruction to everyone else."

Sadly, despite the spiritual awakening that people like Eckhart and others are stimulating, the world still remains almost completely dominated by egocentric/unconscious insanity. That is the short answer to your question about why "bad" people get away with so much. Their insanity is not seen as insanity by the masses because the masses are insane themselves ! We are able to see it because sanity is emerging and blossoming within us. It takes sanity to see insanity. If we were insane like most, we wouldn't be able to see the insanity ... we would just think it's "normal" as do most others. So, all said and done, the world remains largely insane today. It's kind of up to us to figure out how we can fit in and "adapt", while keeping our sanity and not getting caught up in the omnipresent insanity :)

BTW, welcome to the forum ! This is a great topic, and it's been a pleasure talking to you so far. I look forward to more conversations with you. Feel free to send me a private message any time, if you want :) Oh, and we have an "Introductions" subforum. If you feel like it, you can write an introduction telling us a bit about yourself (totally optional).

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Re: Is it excusing negative\abusive behaviour

Post by painBody » Mon May 08, 2017 6:13 am

Of course, forgiveness and presence do not imply that you need to be passive in a dangerous situation (physical or emotional). You brought up domestic violence. Forgiveness does not mean you stand there and tolerate violence from your partner. It simply means you don't get caught up in unconscious energy that might provoke a response from you that aggravates the problem - shouting or hitting back. Alternatively, if you create some story in your head that you deserve this violence because you're a "bad person", you might decide to stay and further endanger yourself ... that is equally unconscious, despite the fact that you're not retaliating ! So, forgiveness does not equate to being passive.

Once you enter into a place of presence/forgiveness, in that situation, you may calmly decide that exiting the relationship/house is the best thing to do, and that is perfectly fine ... in fact, that sounds like the best solution. You don't judge your partner ... you accept that he/she is deeply unconscious and is a threat to you, and that you need to remove yourself from further harm. Perfectly conscious response.

In my own life, I've had to "cut out" some people that I considered highly "toxic" ... i.e. highly unconscious. And, I simply removed them from my life. While it brings me some sadness, I realize that people cannot be changed and that my sanity (level of consciousness) is ultimately the most important thing. I walked out of a very well paying job two years ago, to keep my sanity.

So, the difference between "forgiveness" and unconsciousness when dealing with a challenging situation is simply the quality of your response to the situation.

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