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05:49 PM on 05/04/2011
Judith - I am so pleased to see someone write a post such as you have and to see the comments here. I am in Canada and so a little removed from the response fully noted on the streets of Washington and NYC. Here, our Prime Minister announced Bin Laden's passing very briefly using the words 'sober satisfaction'... full stop. I wish he had simply said 'sober acknowledgment'. Thankfully, we had no revelling in the street, perhaps understandably so, as the earth space we inhabit was not so directly affected as yours. Still, I found the response disconcerting. I comprehend the action taken and all the rationale for it. That has not made a difference to my experience which I can only describe as 'knotted' something is calling to be disentangled. So, for my part, I will live that question and invite anyone else who wants to inquire with me: 'In my own life, what wants to be disentangled?'
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03:36 PM on 05/04/2011
Exactly: 'forgiveness distinguishes the behavior from the person'.

In tandem with the golden rule, it is nothing less than the rationale for renewal of the law. It asks us to become keen observers and to explain what we know, but against the backdrop that the future shall not resemble the past, precisely BECAUSE we separated the behaviour from the person and learn how to do better as a result.

'Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day.'

We have good reason to employ our brains in the face of damaging and anti-social behaviour. And taking a roll of a book has always been a better lightning rod than gut reactions.

In fact, it has been argued that this is the basis for the success of writing, in the larger scheme of things.
Anne Naylor
Celebrant, Weddings and Other Blessings
03:21 PM on 05/04/2011
Hello Judith,

What important questions you raise. My view of the bin Ladens of the world are that they come to serve a purpose. I do not have much of an emotional response to his death but understand how others do.

However, my experiences of forgiving are extremely profound and powerful. In an article i read recently in O magazine I read about the simplicity of forgiving as being stage one, to grieve - the hurt, anger etc, and stage two, to let go. Simple yes. Easy often not at all. But the rewards are so extraordinary.

The bottom line forgiveness statement for me is: I forgive myself for forgetting that I am divine. In my divinity I have understanding and wisdom for everything that takes place.

I think we may yet have plenty to learn about events of this week.

With love and blessings to you,
My micro-bio is empty.
02:20 PM on 05/04/2011
I'm really beginning to wonder about all this soul-searching and agonizing. This is getting ridiculous.
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03:26 PM on 05/04/2011
No. It wasn't even ridiculous in 'The life of Brian'.
Dr. Cara Barker
author, artist, and Jungian Analyst,
01:50 PM on 05/04/2011
I guess the best way to answer your question, Judith, is by a reference to my blog today, when it comes up, although it seems to be late. I do believe that each of these happenings give us a splendid, and eye-opening opportunity to notice whether we react, or quietly respond with an open heart to what is before us. Life is impermanence. I find that I have a difficult time celebrating any death of any creature, for we are One, be it the good, the bad, the ugly. Our choice, and mine, is how to we wish to live more consciously, how can I awaken today to make a difference in this moment? This is what I ask myself, along with how can I forgive myself for judgments, for what I have done and failed to do that would have brought more loving to my heart.
Have a splendid day on that beach. I know you will!
Ed and Deb Shapiro
12:31 PM on 05/04/2011
The Dalai Lama said:

The Dalai Lama seems to suggest the United States was justified in killing Osama bin Laden.
12:24 PM on 05/04/2011
Thank you for expressing the complicated feelings I've experienced about this event. On the spiritual path, everything becomes part of our opening to the divine, even the death of a mass murderer. In the end, it all is as it is, a mystery. I find I'm holding both satisfaction and grief in my heart right now, plus a wish for it all to have been different. We certainly can't forgive from our human consciousness but must go deeper to find the common Oneness within each of us.
reality has already (w)on(e), surrender!
12:20 PM on 05/04/2011
another winner here, except that the king quote probably wasn't from him, it seems to be a hoax, but it is true anyway no matter who said it, buddha said something similar, and roy the replicant said it well also (slightly paraphrased), it is painful to live in fear/unforgivness/hatred/blindness, that what it is to be a slave to your ego. forgivness is about deciding you are no longer a slave to hatred, that you love yourself more than you hate your "enemy", it is a decision that takes tremendous courage, for it means listening to yourself not your fear, it takes wisdom to see the differance. rejoicing in "anothers" suffering reinforces suffering, for as the mind goes reality follows, as love it will give you what you ask for until you learn not to ask for more suffering and start the work of healing suffering, even the suffering of your "enemy". this is reconciliation and resoration, this is why the marshall plan produced our best allies, unlike the revenge oriented wwi aftermath that created hitler. for me personaly i have no big emotional stake in 9-11, on that day i was at shambhala mountain center packing up the tent city for the winter, and so i was held in an enviroment of love and forgiveness so much so that i was able to forgive right off, i never harbored hatred over that, thank reality,so i hold no hatred for bin laudin,his death is a sad waste.
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03:11 PM on 05/04/2011
same with me. The only reason I suffered is because I lost hours upon hours in airport security check-ins.

So listen everybody: I forgive him, even though he's no doubt to blame for that.
Bios? We don't need no stinking Bios!
12:16 PM on 05/04/2011
I am not enlightened enough.
Grendl Jones
12:12 PM on 05/04/2011
Are you asking us to forgive a mass murderer?

Why not just open all the jails and let all the murderers, pedophiles out and forgive them too.

That will make us feel better.

Wrong. When someone attacks you for no good reason, and kills thousands of people who simply showed up for a flight, or for work at the Pentagon and WTC, they deserve to die. That is a fitting punishment for the crime.

Forgiveness can come from the relatives of that rat who lies at the bottom of the ocean now. Let them be big about it. Vengeance is ours.
01:32 PM on 05/04/2011
Bravo! These people act like there should be some air of solemn reverance surrounding the death of an enemy. In truth, they wouldn't know an enemy if he flew a plane into their home.
03:06 PM on 05/04/2011
Amazing how one article can be understood in two completely different ways.
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03:07 PM on 05/04/2011
I guess you don't need the old testament for the 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth' retribution.

In case you do, notice that you would be wrong:

Even the old testament has arrived at the innovation that it's a good idea to separate the sin from the sinner. That's because it's quite obvious that retribution according to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is a symbolic act. Nobody truly believes that you can chew gum again after somebody knocked out your teeth just because you knock out his.
Christian, liberal lawyer
04:10 PM on 05/04/2011
"Are you asking us to forgive a mass murderer?"
Yes, I believe that's exactly what she and many other spiritual leaders ask people to do.  Please note, however, that there's a difference between the relationships between people and the consequences of committing a crime.  For example, I could forgive my brother if he were to assault me in a drunken rage, but that doesn't mean that the state isn't going to punish him for committing a crime.
 "Love thine enemy" is perhaps the hardest lesson to live, but thirsting for revenge doesn't do your spirit any good.
Just as a caveat, the fact that the author admits to her mixed emotions about the death of bin Laden shows that she isn't perfect in practicing what she is preaching.  I doubt that anyone living today is perfect in the way Jesus Christ commanded people to live.
Subersive in all the best ways!
12:03 PM on 05/04/2011
Thank you, Judith...:)

I'm one of the people horrified by the rejoicing. We weren't victorious, and the rejoicing felt unseemly. I was so bothered that I wrote a post about it on Monday afternoon; the following seems appropriate to share here:

"Retaliation and revenge—even clothed as justice—are born out of human emotion. I know that. But I can’t imagine that, when we get quiet and centered in our hearts, any of what we’re seeing today is what we want to model or have modeled for our children, and the generations of people to come after us.

I know what I want—and maybe it’s too much. Maybe it’s far too much, in fact, to want people, in receiving news like this, to get quiet and prayerful…wishing love and peace for us all, instead of riding a noisy adrenaline high fueled by fear, aggression, and the need for revenge. But I do wish it. I genuinely wish the response to Bin Laden’s death had been a moment of silence… a quiet “Oh, wow,” rather than a wildly shouted “Hell yeah.. 'bout damn time!!”

Mother Teresa wisely offered one of my all-time fav quotations: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

As much as we think people “out there” need to learn that, based on the response I’m seeing to the events, I think “in here” we have an awful lot to learn, too."

Much love,
01:33 PM on 05/04/2011
I think I'm going to vomit.
03:07 PM on 05/04/2011
That's your subconcious telling you that it doesn't like having to assimilate new ideas. It's a defense mechanism, and it's OK.
06:32 PM on 05/04/2011
Well said, AnastaciaBrice. Appreciation of your articulation and sentiment.