Friday, January 25, 2013

Learing to Love. Reparation

L´earning to  Love

Gloria Ornelas Hall

Lesson 24: Reparation

Man has always punished vice, crime and sin, be it as retaliation from he who was wronged, as correction from the family, as justice from the State, or as penance from the Church. However, underlying excessive punishment is always vengeance and retrieval.

With the New testament, the old Mosaic injunction “thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” was reverted with a new law, the law of forgiveness. In His sermon on the mount Christ said, “Ye shall resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also”. The new law is about loving and forgiving our enemies. Princess Mary says to Prince Andrew in War and Peace, “Forget it and forgive! We have no right to punish”.

Saint Augustine said that God rightly punished the sins he committed for “every disorder in the soul is its own punishment”. Hobbes describes it with a theory that “intemperance is naturally punished with dis-ease; injustice with the violence on enemies; cowardice with oppression”. Freud said that seeking punishment was the psyche´s way to find relief from guilt.

In an unjust society, we may have to bear the injustice of punishment for resisting the state, in refusing to obey laws that go against our conscience as did Socrates, Gandhi, Thoreau, Oscar Wilde and so many self-governing leaders.

My plight with sin, whether real, fancied, or karmic, lead me to the Monastery, a sinner in penance; to becoming a social fighter, for meritorious indulgence; to co-dependent relationships, for joint reparation. This self-assigned injunction from love, held me restrained from inner joy. Here, the underlying wrong was the pride of making my sin larger that God´s forgiveness and rejecting Love. With the recent avowal of love from my fiancé 30 years ago, I vindicated my innocence and my right to accept love and for the first time experienced inner joy. It took me almost 60 years!

Reparation (from the Latin re-parare- standing up again) is not only for the wrong-doer but for he who allowed it. It is about conscious awareness of wrong-doing and the conscious decision to re-dignify our Higher Selves. We have to repair the damage done, not to benefit others, but to get ourselves back on our feet and hold our heads up high.

When I was young one of my teachers slapped me in front of the class. Smugly, I turned the other cheek and she hit me again!!!! My classmates were shocked and called me ‘stupid’ for my reaction and for letting it go without sanction. Forty years later, out of the blue, she contacted me and after exchanging life experiences, she said she was sorry.
What other way of loving is there?

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