The Philosophy of Forgiveness (continued)
Posted by J Russell
I had at least one reader yesterday *waves* so feel duty bound to finish what I started; even though I know that the reader in question will be concerning themselves with striped mini feline japery this evening and not a lot else.
So, yes, I listen to podcasts at bedtime, often on philosophy, although tonight I might treat myself to the excellent Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole which is book of the week on Radio 4 and set in Harvard Medical School’s Neurology Unit. I digress. Forgive me.
According to the philosopher Lucy Allais, forgiveness means a willingness to see someone who has transgressed against you, not in the light of their wrongdoing with all the associated feelings of hurt or anger. Rather to be prepared and able to see them, if not as you saw them before the transgression, as still a person worth something to you. In short, you do not let an action, colour your whole relation to them. Forgiveness is a letting go, but it is not words, it is an internal process related to feelings.
At least that’s what I think she said, before I fell asleep.
Which brings me to how it feels when someone does not forgive, or when one cannot forgive another.
I think, on balance, it feels worse to be unable to forgive than to be personally unforgiven.
On which note, I commend the rather excellent Metallica song to you, of the same name. Which rather makes this blog post feel like The Weekend News I had to write at primary school, and this paragraph the quick ending I bashed out to get the thing finished before going out to play. In this case however I am merely sloping off to watch House on Netflix.
Now there’s a chap whose friends and colleagues know a thing or two about forgiveness.
What I’ve felt,
What I’ve known
Never shined through in what I’ve shown.
Be warned, this song was so good the band went on to record Unforgiven II and Unforgiven III. You may want to swerve this blog for a while, until we move on.