Steven Kalas on forgiveness

http://www.lvrj.com/view/anger-and-hurt-must-be-addressed-before-forgiveness-can-proceed-187841401.html

*

Anger and hurt must be addressed before forgiveness can proceed

*

Question:  

I’m reading (your article about forgiveness) over and over and over again, hoping it could “heal” my anger at my mother and my sibling. But I feel numb. NUMB. I’m hoping you could help me find the real meaning of FORGIVENESS and let things go. I want to start moving on, but I don’t know how. I’m seriously injured emotionally from the stuff my mother and my brother did to me. I want to forgive them, but it’s not so easy. It’s my mother’s birthday tomorrow. I am in front of my computer to buy her flowers online, like I used to do, but I can’t force myself to do it. – J.O., Florida

*

*

 

Answer:

It’s hard to know for sure, just reading your words. But, I tell myself there is a stridence, and urgency, some energy heading toward frantic or even desperate in these words. I picture you, sitting in front of your computer screen, trying to “will” forgiveness. Trying to figure out what muscle to flex. Chafing. Pushing. Pounding your heart and head like drums, hoping to break through whatever barrier there is between you and forgiveness.

*

Which must mean you have some strong ideas about forgiveness   I ought to forgive. I should forgive. Forgiveness is the right thing to do. God demands that I forgive. I demand that I forgive. Something like that?

*

Or perhaps you have some strong feelings about forgiveness   It hurts to feel this angry. I feel guilty for feeling so angry. I’d feel better if I could forgive. My inability to forgive makes me feel bad about myself. Maybe I’m an unforgiving person.

*

You’re caught in a meat grinder of internal dialogue. So you ask me if I could help you find the real meaning of forgiveness and “let things go.” All right. I’ll try. Keep in mind I have no idea what your mother and your brother did to you. But I believe you when you say it left an emotional injury.

*

The first and most important thing I want you to do is   stop trying to forgive. Do I surprise you? Trust me. This is important. It’s the same advice I’d give you had you written and said, “I’m dating this really nice guy, and I’m trying to fall in love with him.” I’d tell you that’s silly. I’d tell you to stop trying to fall in love with him.

*

The most important interpersonal transactions – forgiving, falling in love, chemistry, humor, intimacy, understanding – aren’t decisions. Strictly speaking, we don’t and can’t decide any of these things. These things are decisions or acts. They are happenings. They happen in us and to us. But they are not “done.”

*

Yes, there are things we can decide and things we can do to beckon, coax, elicit and woo the happening called forgiveness. That is, to make it more likely. To expedite the possibility. We can, for example, pray for our enemies, which at minimum is practicing and rehearsing an intention (a wish) for our enemy’s well-being. The ancients were wise to see that it is hard to harbor and nurture hatred and resentment while simultaneously rehearsing a wish for your enemy’s well-being. The latter pulls the energy out of the former.

*

Yes, we can decide to behave as if we have forgiven, even if in fact we have not yet forgiven. You can simply send the flowers, for example, even as you feel the weight of your anger and indignation. You can forswear vengeance, despite the vengeful fantasies.

*

But, whatever you decide to do, it’s important that you take your anger and hurt (your injury) seriously. When it’s healthy, anger is the name of the energy we mobilize to defend our boundaries. Healthy anger is the “no” to injustice. And “no” is the right response to injustice.

*

Do your mother and brother know they have injured you? If not, should you tell them?

*

Again, I don’t know how egregious their actions were toward you. But I do know that there are occasions when bearing our faithful witness to truth and justice must be a higher priority than forgiveness. Meaning, we “back burner” the work of forgiveness for the time being until we have given proper shrift to truth and justice.

*

Any authentic forgiveness first faces the injury. Meaning, forgiveness is not a sentiment. It is the fruit of faithful suffering, and truth-telling, and self-respect, and enduring in the work of love.

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

 

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/forgiving-is-forgetting/

*

*

*

We don’t aim at forgetting. Yet, when the power of forgiveness is asked for and given, the delightful paradox is that then we often do forget,  as Scripture’s Jesus intones.  Ephesians 4:32/Romans 3:23/Hebrews 8:12.

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-kamen-gredinger-edd/forgiveness_b_2006882.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS%20for%20the%20Soul

*

*

The Power of Forgiveness

*

Forgiveness transforms anger and hurt into healing and peace. Forgiveness can help you overcome feelings of depression, anxiety, and rage, as well as personal and relational conflicts. It is about making the conscious decision to let go of a grudge. Why would anyone want to forgive someone who has wronged her in the past? It is not about letting someone off the hook for a wrongdoing, or forgetting about the past, or forgetting about the pain. It certainly does not mean that you stick around for future maltreatment from a boss, a partner, parent, or friend. It is about setting yourself free so that you can move forward in your own life. Joan Borysenko said in an interview, “You can forgive someone who wronged you and still call the police and testify in court.” Forgiveness requires a deep inquiry within ourselves about “our story.”

Forgiveness means giving up the suffering of the past and being willing to forge ahead with far greater potential for inner freedom. Anne Lamott famously declared, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a different past.” Besides the reward of letting go of a painful past, there are powerful health benefits that go hand-in-hand with the practice of forgiveness. In the physical domain, forgiveness is associated with lower heart rate and blood pressure as well as overall stress relief. It is also associated with improving physical symptoms, reducing fatigue in some patient populations, and improving sleep quality. In the psychological domain, forgiveness has been shown to diminish the experience of stress and inner conflict while simultaneously restoring positive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

The problem for many of us is that sometimes we can choose to forgive another, but still in our heart of hearts, the anger or resentment lingers. However, it is in fact possible to forgive and truly let go of past disappointments, hurts, or blatant acts of abuse. Although at times this may seem implausible, forgiveness is a teachable and learnable skill that can dramatically improve with practice over time.

Harvard researcher and physician George Vaillant describes forgiveness as one of the eight positive emotions that keep us connected with our deepest selves and with others. He considers these positive emotions to be key ingredients that bind us together in our humanity and they include love, hope, joy, compassion, faith, awe, and gratitude. Whether you have a spiritual bent or not, the research supports the notion that developing stronger positive emotions supports us in leading healthier, happier, and more connected lives. When we forgive and develop these other positive emotions we become less encumbered by the scars of the past.

The question remains: How do we give up a grudge and forgive someone who has hurt, disappointed, or betrayed us? Fred Luskin talks about the way we develop our grievance story in his book Forgive For Good. Your grievance story is the one you tell over and over to yourself, and possibly to others, about the way you were maltreated and the way you became the victimized. Luskin teaches us to cast our story in such a way that we become a survivor of difficult times, or — better yet — the hero of our story.

The following strategy model for learning forgiveness is derived from an amalgam of work by several researchers and my own work as a psychologist:

1. Inquire deeply about the root of your anger or grudge. Look at the situation honestly, without embellishing or rearranging the details. Pay attention to how this anger is holding you back and keeping you hostage in your own day-to-day existence.

2. Review your grievance story and reengineer that story so you see yourself in a more empowered way. Perhaps you chose to disengage or limit your time spent with a friend or family member that has consistently been hurtful to you. Perhaps you left a toxic partner. You had the fortitude to leave a bad situation. You were indeed the survivor and hero in your own story. Look at the strengths that you developed as a result of this situation. Being hurt or compromised can be your invitation to a transformative new path and a more fulfilling life.

3. Develop your capacity for empathy and compassion for yourself for landing in a painful situation. Blaming yourself for not seeing the signs sooner doesn’t help, and slows down the process of making change. Also, in my professional experience, usually abusers have been abused themselves, and they are operating at a deficit. Without accepting their hostile behaviors, try to understand the pain and suffering that he or she must be enduring. You can understand and forgive without accepting bad or abusive behavior.

4. Create new associations with your old story of neglect or abuse. Perhaps you can practice a ritual that signifies the end of things as they were and say goodbye to the past as you once experienced it. Welcome the good, the support, and the love that you now invite into your life. Light a candle, for example, to symbolize the brightness of the moment and the days ahead, or gather some friend to celebrate the end of an era and the beginning of a new phase of life.

Remember that you cannot control others, but you can control your own choices. As you continue to reshape your grievance story — becoming the hero of that story, developing empathy, and compassion for the abuser and celebrating your strengths — you will undoubtedly begin to notice a shift in your consciousness. Your feelings of anger and sadness are likely to quiet down and your self-esteem is likely to blossom, as will your relationships.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/25749444.html

*

*

How do you forgive someone who won’t commit to us? Someone who decides to move on in the journey of life and does not return? You’re going to hate this, but, here’s how:

By realizing there is nothing to forgive. There is only your heart to heal. That, and your ego, rent asunder by the answer “no.” But this “no” is not a moral wrong. You can be (and are) anguished, but you have no moral claim. The only work before you is grief. Which is hard work. Which is why we put it off by thinking about whether we can ever forgive.

It would be so much easier to deal with the “no” if we could mobilize righteous anger. And people do commonly mobilize anger when they love someone who doesn’t choose them, but it’s not righteous anger. It’s more like an ego tantrum. Predictable. Understandable. Very human. But hardly righteous.

There is nothing to forgive,  any more than the Beatles need to forgive the record companies that said no — and no and no and no. Why did they say “no”? Because they didn’t say “yes.” Because they decided not to commit to the Beatles. Because they didn’t take the risk. Because they signed other bands instead.

I’m saying it does not, in the end, matter why they said “no.” The only thing that matters is that they said “no.”

And the Four Lads from Liverpool grieved. They felt the pain of “no.” They were tempted to despair. But what they did instead was remarkable. They somehow held on to their commitment to themselves. They would not relinquish their grasp on their beauty, their talent, their worthiness of a recording contract.

Like a mantra, John Lennon would say, “Where we going mates?” And the other three would say: “To the top! To the very top!”

And in 1962, Parlophone Records signed them. Why? Because they did. And the rest is history.

See, “no” doesn’t make us not beautiful. And “yes” doesn’t make us beautiful.

It’s for you to decide, S., whether to take the risk that you are beautiful. Then the rest of the world can decide for itself whether it wants to recognize and value the self you have decided to admire and respect.

The Beatles don’t need to forgive those other record companies. Though it would have been delicious fun, certainly, to see the expressions on the faces of those same executives when, on Feb. 9, 1964, they watched Ed Sullivan say, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!”

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/30860474.html

*

But more and more these days I resist the temptation to try to make the great mysteries of the human condition less mysterious.

*

“I think you are going to die not understanding why you and (name) didn’t make it.”

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*
The National Enquirer says, “For inquiring minds.” But they mean prurient minds, and in some cases sadistic curiosity.
*
I mean that, once the unlovely story is told, I find that I don’t keep track of the unlovely story. When, by chance, I should cross paths with former acquaintances years later, I’m not focused on the mistakes and failures. I often don’t remember them. What I celebrate is the courageous way patients have embraced those unlovely events and turned them into redemption, humility, creativity, gratitude, and commitments to live with integrity and meaning.
*
*
*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/by-accepting-i-m-sorry-we-show-our-sublime-humanity-136899918.html

*

Mercy is a sublime human virtue. Becoming human means putting a bridle on the animal instinct to attack vulnerability. It means that, when our antagonist has dropped his sword and shield, bows before us and asks for another chance, we give a “thumbs up.” We allow sincere remorse to gentle us instead of provoke us to increased aggression.

*

In the Hebrew creation myth, Adam and Eve disobey God and realize, much to their humiliation, that they are naked. They cover their nakedness with itchy, coarse fig leaves and then hide from God in a tree. They are ridiculous.

God shows up. And, yes, there are consequences for the disobedience. Difficult consequences. But even the consequences are wrapped in mercy. The last thing God does is give Adam and Eve soft animal skins to wear. In compassion, he lets them cover their nakedness. He probably even averts his eyes while they are changing out of their fig leaves.

That was nice of God.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

The word “Sublime”  especially refers to a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation.     Luke 18:31 -19:10

*

*

*

*

*

*

One should  not  feel worthless for being forsaken by another  –

*

The words were a powerful intervention and hapless.    Like stepping out in your front yard to shout down a tornado. The pathos of helplessness.

*

To live well in our grief, we have to forgive ourselves for what was not in our power to do.  

*   

“The luck of the draw.”      — Steven Kalas

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/relationship-important-part-of-effective-therapy-127085853.html

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Great religious figures invoke the most important precepts, especially amid our trials & tribulations.   As tremendous observer Steven Kalas born 1957 chastens,  we bear with suffering by finding meaning in it, as we turn suffering into transformative good in the world.   Sublime Grace [for religious folks   —  uplift from God].

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/appropriate-self-respect-can-lift-all-areas-of-life-118320899.html

*

My passion also is theological. In my religious heritage, the baptismal vows come to this crescendo: Celebrant: “Will you respect the dignity of every human being?” People: “I will, with God’s help.” It always nails my soul to the floor. Respect, from the Latin respectus, meaning “to see again.” Dignity, from the Latin digne, meaning “the breath of God.” In other words, if you’re breathing, that’s the only credential you need to rightly claim that I treat you respectfully.

*

Self-respect fundamentally changes our motives for living our values. Take fidelity in marriage, for example. There are a wide variety of motives we might deploy as we live out the promise of not having sex with folks other than our spouse. We might want to be “good.” We might see fidelity as the necessary sacrifice required to derive the benefits of marriage. Commonly, we understand fidelity as a promise made to our spouse, and therefore a gift to the spouse: “Isn’t this nice of me, honey, not to have sex with other people?”

*

But, watch what happens when you take your motives for fidelity and “rewire” them to self-respect. Suddenly, fidelity is not first a promise made to your mate; rather, a promise made to yourself. It’s not first a gift to your mate, but a gift to oneself.

*

It makes you into the husband/wife you most respect. Suddenly, living your values becomes strangely mercenary, and, I would argue, eminently more powerful.

*

A warning:   there’s a downside, a real tricky balance in the work of self-respect. I have learned to nurture a healthy suspicion when I become too strident, too righteous about that value.

*

There’s a line between self-respect and self-important/arrogant pride. It’s a fine line. Easy to cross. Way too easy for me, anyway. And I cross it at my own peril.

*

When the human ego conscripts the language, the work and the mantle of self-respect, you start to feel really good and right about discarding people from your life.

*

And then you can know that you were right, because you don’t have any friends at all.

*

Self-respect and self-importance — not the same at all. But they can feel the same.

*

Why can’t I be like you or in sync with you?    Because then there would be no need for a me, just you and you alone.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://www.lvrj.com/living/lifes-journey-includes-pain-of-suffering-69506497.html

*

*

*

Authentic introspection doesn’t explain suffering. It courageously acknowledges it. “Life is suffering,” said the Buddha (The Four Noble Truths). “Pick up your cross and follow me,” said Jesus. “If I make my bed in hell, thou art there,” said the Hebrew psalmist. And once acknowledged, introspection encounters  suffering in a way that leads to hope and meaning.

The Romans gave us two words for suffering: patior, which means “to endure, to allow,” and suffero, or “to bear up.” The Greeks gave us pascho, or “to experience.” It intrigues me that none of these three words bespeak of pain, per se. All three words have in common an intention and willingness to be radically open and present to life as life is — joyous or sorrowful, delightful or painful.

The central thing we suffer is not physical or emotional pain, but loss.   In the midst of illness, tragedy, death — in the midst of life! — meaning is threatened, along with our sense of hope, safety and security. Our belief in a well-ordered and benevolent universe is challenged by deadly weather, accidents, evil and DNA molecules run amok. Saints and scoundrels alike experience absurd, chaotic, inexplicable suffering.

We don’t get to choose whether we suffer, or always what we must suffer. But, thankfully, we do have some freedom to choose how we suffer, and to what end.

Ego suffering refers to the pain and problems resulting from the ego’s refusal to acknowledge pain and problems. We cannot encounter suffering creatively, precisely because the ego will not encounter suffering at all. Oh, the ego will bemoan it. Wail and dramatize. But not encounter.

Indeed, most of what we call suffering comes into our lives as a consequence of our refusal to suffer. We suffer estrangement and isolation because we refuse to suffer the joys and the pains of intimacy. We suffer addictions to avoid suffering the pain within our souls. We suffer depression because we cannot suffer our anger or grief. We suffer guilt because we will not suffer the humility of asking for and accepting forgiveness.

We suffer because we refuse to suffer.

Transformative suffering refers to a conscious encounter with pain powered by the hope of emerging meaning and human transformation. It must be emphasized that the difference between ego suffering and transformative suffering is not found in the suffering itself, but in our relationship to the suffering. In how we suffer. In and of itself, pain is neither a moral good nor moral evil. That we are in pain does not necessarily indicate anything about us. At all. What we do with and in our pain: This may point to character.

Do you have some suffering to do? Here are a few things to remember:

Let the mystery of suffering be the mystery.

Our temptation is to reduce the suffering to something less chaotic and more intellectually manageable. “There must be a reason,” we protest. And so we construct reasons. Often the reasons make us even more miserable.

Share the suffering.

The opportunity to tell the story of our suffering to a compassionate and skillful listener is helpful beyond measure. Simply in the telling and retelling, we begin to shift perspective, to put a healing distance between us and the pain.

Turn to the wisdom of symbol and ritual.

Medals of honor, funerals, statues and monuments, ritual mourning, legacy, keepsakes — we are symbolic creatures, and our symbols help us to embrace and transcend our suffering.

Discover redemptive mission.

Many people discover meaning in suffering as they work to redeem their suffering in service to the world. And so the alcoholic becomes an AA sponsor. The mother whose child is killed by a drunken driver becomes an activist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The mercenary becomes a naturalist. The victim of child abuse becomes a marriage and family counselor. And so it goes.

Turn suffering to witness.

Sometimes we suffer as a testimony against injustice. We decide to suffer as a way of absorbing the cost of hatred and bearing witness against the insanity of revenge. Or sometimes we willingly suffer for the sake of endurance alone. That is, as a witness to the goodness of life.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Redemptive suffering means to grace/forgive a plight/fate/person for your self-sufferance which averts another person from suffering, typified by Scripture’s Hath No Greater Love than to Lay Down One’s Life for Another. John 15:13

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Traditional Catholicism’s redemptive suffering about punishment and more punishment wholly is off the mark. This is the Vatican’s spool to rope you in for indulgences/money. Its golden rule is whoever has the gold rules, straight from our Pontiff’s pulpit.

*

Dostoevsky dives into the dual nature of suffering — orthodox Catholic punishment, and Dostoevsky’s Sonya as the whore/saint who suffers because of and for others, and thus becomes most Christ-like as Sonya Grows in His Holiness, no matter her social standing/economic status on our mortal plane.

*

Magnanimous Viktor Frankl’s exemplar of the old man who finally realizes that his suffering the loss of his lifelong dearest companion wife allows her not to suffer if her husband had died before her — releases this husband from his misery and pain of losing his wife. He suffers because of and for his departed wife, and such suffering finally is accepted with tremendous equanimity by the heretofore tormented husband.     Redemptive suffering.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

To address the question of redemptive suffering,  here is great teacher Viktor Frankl,  Holocaust survivor and the genesis of the pschotherapy/philosophical school of  “The Will to Meaning in Life.”   –

*

According to Frankl, “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways:  (1) by creating a work or doing a deed;  (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering,”  and that “everything can be taken from a person but one thing:   The last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”   On the meaning of suffering, Frankl gives the following example:

Once, an elderly general practitioner consulted me because of his severe depression. He could not overcome the loss of his wife who had died two years before and whom he had loved above all else. Now how could I help him? What should I tell him? I refrained from telling him anything, but instead confronted him with a question, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh,” he said, “for her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!” Whereupon I replied, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it is you who have spared her this suffering; but now, you have to pay for it by surviving and mourning her.” He said no word but shook my hand and calmly left the office.

— Viktor Frankl

*

*

Frankl emphasized that realizing the value of suffering is meaningful only when the first two creative possibilities are not available [for example, in a concentration camp] and only when such suffering is inevitable – he was not proposing that people suffer unnecessarily.

*

*

*

*

And on redemptive suffering as Irony, note the understandable sentient self-lamentation of Earl Dean Edmoundson born 1945 .

*

Need I mutter exemplar ergo impossible irony???  — Patton’s feared foe Rommel orders dossier on Patton — Rommel’s aide spills nonsense [schooling/creds/awards] – Rommel exclaims, “The Man — who is Patton!!??”  Aide meekly recounts, “Well, Patton swears all the time — but he prays to God at night.”   Rommel convulses, “Oh my God, such a conflicted man!!  He has nothing to lose!!  I must destroy Patton before he destroys me!!”    Macho males would revulse at a prayin’ man, dismissing a prayin’ man as a pussy/panty-arse.   Not so amid the deepest unction of irony!!   As to “turn the other cheek” & “when you give, it is given to you???”

*

Biblical pundit Dean Edmoundson of Honomu [Ishigo Bakery] painted for free his brethren’s church in Puna — didn’t even get a common courtesy thank you from its pastor — and subsequently Dean fumed and steamed for a week over such idiotic disregard of Dean’s “giving”  — well, as Jesus would have it, Dean’s wife June [the strength in the household] comforted Dean & intoned that God works in mysterious ways  — “turn the other cheek” by forgiving the so-called insolent pastor, and Dean’s “giving” is not in vain because Jesus rejoices at Dean’s unction/giving spirit, as do the Puna congregation members [Dean is a head deacon at the Honomu Living Waters Church 40 miles northbound]  — and as June so lovingly evokes, maybe God meant for Dean not to get a thank you from the Puna pastor — to test Dean’s strength of belief in God — that when you give, don’t “be of this world,” i.e,. the blessing is that you give for your love of God, not to get a thank you “of this earth.”   And maybe, even maybe, the Puna pastor tested Dean’s strength by looking “to see”  if Dean would end up sore & hurt incessantly.   Maybe?!   Only God knows.   Children of God — innocent in Jesus’ eyes.    See how irony cuts “right to the chase,” so to speak??

*

*

*

Reprise 1 Corinthians 1:26-27  —  Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.   Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.   And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful, so the same God chose those who reside in the forsaken social margins.   In Dean Edmoundson’s case, those who reside in the forsaken social margins in Puna might benefit from Dean’s painting of their church!

*

Second Timothy 1:7,   “For God has not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Life boils down to attitude     –

*

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2010/aug/26/300-foot-tall-statue-in-san-diegos-future/

*

*

*

*

*

Artist Gary Lee Price works on a prototype of “The Statue of Responsibility.”  - Kenneth Linge

Artist Gary Lee Price works on a 13-foot-tall clay prototype of the Statue of Responsibility, which he designed.

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

“I wanted to give credence to Viktor E. Frankl’s idea by creating two human elements coming together,  assisting in the shared responsibility of maintaining freedom,” said sculptor Price.

*

“We are accountable, and the bottom line boils down to us.”      — Gary Lee Price

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety#Existential_anxiety

*

*

*

*

*

*

The theologian Paul Tillich characterized existential anxiety as “the state in which a being is aware of its possible nonbeing” and he listed three categories for the nonbeing and resulting anxiety:    Ontic (fate and death), moral (guilt and condemnation), and spiritual (emptiness and meaninglessness).

*

According to Tillich, the last of these three types of existential anxiety, i.e. spiritual anxiety, is predominant in modern times while the others were predominant in earlier periods.

*

Tillich argues that this anxiety can be accepted as part of the human condition or it can be resisted but with negative consequences.

*

In its pathological form, spiritual anxiety may tend to “drive the person toward the creation of certitude in systems of meaning which are supported by tradition and authority” even though such “undoubted certitude is not built on the rock of reality.”

[witness our myriad proselytizing despots/authoritarian tyrants of all faiths]

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Steven Kalas on forgiveness

  1. Pingback: The quality of irony is not strained — like Portia in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, irony or mercy must flow freely or not flow at all | Curtis Narimatsu

  2. Pingback: topic: irony | Curtis Narimatsu

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s