Monday, November 26, 2012

The good man's meditation

In the past, morality has oftentimes been tied to meditation.  It makes good sense.  Freed from internal conflict a person can more speedily get into a sound meditative mold or frame of mind.  But the unfortunate thing is, people seek the help of meditation precisely because they have internal conflicts, or inter-civil war!  How can we solve this dilemma of chicken or egg in meditation?

Many years ago a friend of mine confided with me her inner conflict arising from a traumatic event at childhood, which according to personal confessions to psychologists and reported in the news or on social media, all with hidden personal identities, proved to be affecting quite a number of people (such events being physically real or otherwise doesn't matter, at least, as I believe, most being psychological realities, i.e. people were not lying). My friend told me that she had forgiven the person and didn't bear a grudge then. Yet, the memory was still there. The problem was that the imprint of her memory was rather strong, and she afraid that some of her irrational fear in other quite normal situation bore a connection with this conscious memory of hers (that might also have an unconscious root too, but being unconscious, by definition, she wouldn't know), though episodes of her irrational fear had not come to a stage that warranted her seeking the help of a clinical psychologist. For this reason, she turned to meditation for help.

I think she had the right analysis and took the right choice. In order that one can get help from meditation (or from the spiritual, if one is so inclined into spirituality), one must first forgive rationally and truthfully. If one still bears a grudge and wants to level the playing field, one has a physical problem to solve and it should solved in a physical way, for good or for bad. To seek spirituality, one must first follow the advice of Jesus: Love thy neighbor as thyself. No truly spiritual leader (or for that matter psychologist) should hinder (or advice against) people seeking lawful redress.

Another scenario. We did something wrong, we went to the victim, perhaps years later and asked for forgiveness. And he or she responded: Did you say that? I didn't remember and it never bothered me. No memory and therefore no forgiveness. But we remember, or can't forget, we did something wrong and there was a human being that get hurt! We forgive ourselves (after all, what more can I do if the guy said "it never bothered me"), but the memory hanged on. In this situation, a good help may come from meditation. Meditation (or spirituality for that matter) doesn't redeem our physical wrong, that had to be redeemed physically (the limiting case is "face the law"). But after that, it is the realm of spirituality and religion. And it is the possible realm of mediation. Not the other way round. The other way round will be superstition or even black magic.

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