Nous -'knack' in scouse? Nous: Greek 'mind' some use? Nous: we -French- oui? Oooh. Life -don't talk to me about life: me with this pain down the diodes in my left side ... Here's not-nearly-random-enough loggings of what feeds my promiscuous curiosity. Your pay-off is some useful[?] links and provocative thoughts but also more insight than you may care on my thought-processes.

06 July 2013

Evil is suffering passed along

In the series of posts the lattermost of which is on forgiveness-centred atonement, I propose that we understand forgiveness in terms of "to refuse counter-mimesis, to deny the recirculation of detriment into human affairs". And I'm interested to note that in a Quora piece by Diane Meriwether, Why do certain people derive pleasure from doing cruel things...- Quora:  there is, by implication, a congruent proposal about suffering and human response to it.
 When suffering is upon us we have two options. We can process and digest it or we can pass it on. Processing emotional pain can be as silent as pressing our hands to our chest and rocking back and forth, or it can be as loud as a scream that starts in your throat and tunnels down through your gut, through your knees, and tears a channel into the earth. Working through pain can happen in an instant, when you finally stop running, drop your hands and invite what's been chasing you to kill you if it must. Or the process can last years, playing hide and seek with the sweetness of a memory. In time, the processed suffering may transform into wisdom or compassion. My definition of evil is suffering passed along to someone else. In the process, whatever started the pain is lost and the energy moves as revenge or cruelty until someone else can bring it to ground.
For me, the thing to take away is is explitising the corollary of the proposition tha forgiveness is forbearing to pass on suffering, that is that to pass on suffering is a definition of evil. Now it's not all you would want to say and it leaves unexplored what internal mechanisms might be involved (which I try to do in the earlier posts to the one I link to), but it is a helpful starting point, not least because  it gives a way into consideration of forgiveness and therefore of God and atonement. interestingly, of course, it also relates to the idea of karma in south Asian thinking and perhaps the intriguing thought here is that speaking of karma and speaking of atonement become plausibly compatible language games.

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