When I say “redemption” I mean this definition of the word:
I watched a movie the other night that featured a man who carried the shadow for his entire community. He was innocent, but chosen for this role. He accepted the situation. He was a nice guy who drew a bad card, basically.
At the end of the movie the man is redeemed. After twenty years of living in a cave, he’s brought into the light and that’s it – the movie ends.
It was a good story but I think it’s a fairy tale. I’ve not seen many enjoy redemption in my life. You know. Someone does a person wrong. That person’s life may be destroyed, and then decades later this person is redeemed. They’re apologized too and blah, blah blah. I think this is pretty rare.
Sometimes we hear a story of someone released from prison after being falsely accused and falsely convicted of some horrible crime. That’s some kind of redemption, but it’s pretty thin.
How the hell do you get back the 25 years you spent locked up, hmm? Never mind, anyone who has spent time in prison is going to remain a shadow figure. It’s a little late to start a family and where are you supposed to go to work when you’re 45 years old and you’ve been locked up since you were 20?
It got thinking about this in part, because of jana’s thread: Story Genre. She asked people to discuss the type of their personal life story.
I said that mine was a quest for redemption. I am pretty sure I’ll never get there. I’m not going to be redeemed.
I think this is a good thing to know. I don’t feel particularly disappointed by it. I see that I have a lot of company and the knowledge has opened me up to new ideas.
Is redemption (Neptune) a fairy tale?
I would like to think redemtion is possible. But I don’t think redemption is complete without release. The feeling of “what if things had been different?”, is one all if us have to deal with in one form or the other and I’m inclined to believe that letting to of the “what if’s” is our lives is key. Not in a glib way, and its easier said than done. It is an enormous a step and a continuous one. Being in the moment without a vestige of bitterness about your timeline in life is hard. But the romantic/spiritual side of me believes that it is worthwhile to try.
“Is redemption a fairy tale?”
It is certainly a dream, but dreams can come true.
I find solace in my belief that death is redemption. The final release from this life will be an opportunity to be freed of the tension that is vitality. Therefore, redemption is an inevitability and does not have anything to do with other people seeing your truth.
I agree, it is rare in this life. Because most people are too tied up in their own struggle to pay much attention to anyone else’s. Even the people that are capable of recognizing your struggle have their own weight they are carrying.
But, there is fun to be had in riding the tension. And communing with higher power in meditation gives me welcome glimpses of that bliss.
In my life, I have had to ask myself, ‘How did I get into this situation?’ so many times. There were a few times that it appeared as though I was a victim in some way, but if I examined my part in the series of events leading up to the victimization, I could usually see clearly what the lesson might be and therefore learn from it or at least change a behavior in the future. I guess I haven’t ever really experienced anything to the degree of being locked up in prison, falsely accused. Redemption is sweet, but may not always be the highest manifestation of coming to terms with being victimized.
“It is certainly a dream, but dreams can come true.”
That’s true. It’s a hell of a thing, isn’t it?
I see these people sitting in a gown in a hospital bed, nearing the end of their life. It’s got to be weird, seeing how you end up.
Or I think about myself or my husband. Who new our lives would take us to where we are now.
The Little Match Girl? (image)
@Eix – yes.
My husband associates me with her.
Being redeemed, to me, seems like being on the receiving end of forgiveness of a wrong or a debt or bad karma. What do you want to receive? Vindicated is being found right after a time of being punished wrongly, and in society, many feel that amends should be made.
I wouldn’t equate getting the lost 25 years back as redemption (or rather–as ‘the’ redemption). Redemption doesn’t take place on the physical plane–it merely sets the stage for what is beyond it.
If anything, reality is a trance (and one could say reality is it’s own fairy tale, too). I believe with every inch of my being that this (physical life) is an illusion–every last painful bit of it.
Makes me think of Mandela, who did go on to lead his country. Rare indeed. I’ve had a few people apologize to me out of nowhere in the past few weeks, pisces, for wrongs that are years old.. but it’s not quite the same thing.
I’ve been thinking lately about something similar, the things that just don’t get resolved, don’t get worked out, and about the finality of death. Great Post!
Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.
Maybe our redemption comes, paid for, coin by little coin, as a result of our persisting in love. Especially when there seems to be nothing worth the amount of suffering that we all are born to experience.
Difficult to answer your question, Elsa, as redemption takes many different forms. I like this Buddhist classic, where the message is: if you can rise above things, by the time redemption comes, you don’t even need it.
Monk Daxing was a compassionate and generous man. Throughout his life, he endured a lot of hardships and was very diligent in the Buddhist cultivation practice. The following story illustrates his exceptional level of forbearance.
At the foot of Mount Jiuhua, there lived a wealthy family. The family had a daughter named Xiao Hui. She was promised for marriage at a tender age to another rich family’s son.
Three years before the proposed wedding date, Xiao Hui gave birth to a baby boy. Her parents were in great shock and disappointment. They demanded to know the truth. Xiao Hui finally told her parents, “I once went to worship Buddha at the Buddhist monastery on Mount Jiuhua and was raped by Monk Daxing. Afterwards, I became pregnant and gave birth to this baby.” Her father was furious. He brought his servants, hurried to Mount Jiuhua and stormed into the monastery. He condemned Monk Daxing for his alleged crime. Together with his servants, he cursed and beat up Monk Daxing. Finally he presented the newborn baby to him and demanded Daxing to take it. Monk Daxing was silent throughout the process. He accepted the baby boy and said peacefully in prayer, “Buddha Amitabha!”
Monk Daxing’s reputation was immediately ruined. He was once a highly respected monk, but now he became a scandalous rapist in the disguise of a monk. Everywhere he went, people laughed at him, condemned him and cursed him. However, Monk Daxing seemed indifferent to all the insults. He went down Mount Jiuhua every day to solicit alms to buy milk for the baby. Under his attentive care, the small baby grew increasingly strong, plump and smart.
Three years passed quickly.
Despite the alleged rape, the wedding took place as scheduled. On the wedding night, her husband demanded to know what became of her baby, so she told him everything in tears. The next day, the groom told his parents the truth: the two of them had had a secret rendezvous and that was the true reason why Xiao Hui had become pregnant and given birth to a baby three years before. That was why he had insisted on marrying Xiao Hui despite the scandal. In order to protect her future husband’s reputation, Xiao Hui made up a lie and framed Monk Daxing.
On the third day after the wedding when Xiao Hui visited her parents according to the Chinese tradition, she took the opportunity to tell her parents the truth. Her parents were even more astonished than when she had suddenly given birth to a boy. They regretted doing wrong to an innocent monk and abandoning their own grandson.
The two families hurried to the monastery. They knelt down in front of Monk Daxing, begging for his forgiveness and asking to take the baby back. Monk Daxing produced the baby boy with a big smile on his face and brought him to Xiao Hui’s arms in a respectful manner. He looked as if nothing had happened and told them with a grin, “Take the baby back! Buddha Amitabha!” He put his hands up in front of his chest to bid farewell to them and returned to the meditation chamber with a big smile on his face.
From then on, all the monks in the monastery and the local residents admired Monk Daxing even more.
Mostly I’ve had a Fairytale life..much like a Cinderella scenario; and all the “princes” being frogs, or snakes in the grass. So I entered, deep into the woods, hopefully, not to be discovered by a bunch of dwarfs, druids or any other, whatsoevers. As I saw in one of these posts, one day, recently…some are meant to remain single or unmarried…and it’s a great day when we discover that’s it…and we’ve been pushing against the wind, or the tides, or other resistance, when we should’ve turned; and, become a part of the flow, instead.
I think like anything neptunian… reality is so fluid… belief makes it so.
the person can be surrounded by gore, wire, explosions, walls, smoke and shouting… but if they believe themselves redeemed, they are.
the magic is the shift in perception. my 2 cents.
Really interesting, Satori. And true. 🙂
I can see that association. Love that illustration–totally captures the story.
My Venus/Neptune sextile fantasizes that you’re already winning. You’re a trustworthy and legitimate astrologer, got the ONE back after 25 years, a great son…
Yes. There’s the stack of WTF between those points…
I think when you get to the land, you’ll feel it. If there is a gully or a creek bend or some such spot, maybe a big rock…will you consider naming it Redemption Junction?
I think that would be hilarious. The more remote/isolated, the better. 🙂
I don’t think so. It happens all the time. The opportunity is always there. It depends if I am open to it or not. I can get off balance (libra neptune) about this and get swept up into external societal demands that can be very distracting.
I did however find the underbelly of someone. I was in close contact for a long long time family wise. I could not understand the motis operandis and it brought much hardship and pain for me. The mystery was revealed and if I had done what she had done when so very young, I don’t know that I could face it. I ended up pitying her. And I hate that. And it did not stop the behavior. She pays pays pays to maintain the facade. In her case, a hard case, I do not know that she will find redemption.
Perhaps the man in the story could have changed his geographical location and the astro effects of that. But he chose to go cave man. Living with adversity I do slip out sometimes and go other places in my mind. It’s a great escape.
I have no idea but I have the impression that true redemption (or the reality shift thereof that satori mentioned) is divinely inspired – God, angels, Holy Spirit, deus ex machina, grace, whatever.
I absolutely agree with your assessment of people who are wrongly accused and sent to prison…actually even people who are sent to prison and they are not wrongly accused.
Their life potential is so restricted that sometimes I wonder if death would be preferable.
About redemption, well…we both know all kinds of bad things happen to people and they recover from the most horrific of situations. Think of concentration camp survivors.
Or people who were once famous who suddenly can’t navigate the fact that they are not anymore.
Or…well, loss in general.
You can’t have your whole life back, or all of your potential back, ever. In my perspective this is karma and fate at work. What you are allowed to keep and rebuild; the twists of fate that send you in a different direction because everything behind you is ashes– that *is* your redemption.
I’m with Satori and Alicia on this one. We create our reality. Fairytales can turn into reality if we make the most of our intent; thought is the most powerful force in our hands. We can be our redeemers.
I like what Satori and aeterna said. I think we are redeemed by doing what’s right and what’s true to our souls..I think that is divine. Although at this time in my life its hard for me to tell the difference between martyrdom type selflessness and true redemption. Which like aeterna said, comes from following your souls and really taking responsibility for your own life.
I’m a Buddhist. So Redemption doesn’t have the same expectation/concept. The four noble truths in Buddhism are about Suffering, and when you understand that concept and how it plays out in life, it fits nicely into Samsara, Dharma, Karma and Astrology.
The biggest thing Buddhists struggle with, like everyone else, is the concept of balance, karma, to know that it all balances out in fairness in the end. That there is Justice and Redemption.
It’s tough to get you’re head around the fuzzy logic, but once you do, you understand/see sentinent beings differently. You view suffering, the cause and effect in a much wider view. It may seem thats of little use to a person, who as you say, has lost so much and can never be given back what was taken.
It’s so hard to explain. Buddhism isn’t an easy concept to study, and i’m not the best at explaining it. There is a miriad of ways to perceive it. For example..if a business partner stole all you’re life savings and ruined the business. The victim would gain, by not being at work for all those hours and instead spending it with loving family. Or perhaps, you lose you’re house in a fire someone lit; the community may come to help you and you improve you’re life by helping others. You lose you’re sight, but you’re hearing becomes extra perceptive and you notice things you never knew before, smells, tones in peoples voices, the musical sound of birds. There are trillions of examples. You’re in a terrorist kidnapping, when you get out everything in life, every moment is a gift, a joy of untold wealth because you took it for granted before.
The perpetrator pays also. They are ignorant and so their behaviour doesn’t change. If they reach an enlightenment, they must carry the knowledge of the shadow they cast upon their soul forever. The more aware of the victims impact, the worse the pain for the wrong doer, and even if they apologize, they can never be redeemed. So if they remain blissfully ignorant they continue to harm others, and themselves. If they become aware, you need do nothing to them, they carry that understanding and will pay redemption to all everyday of their life till their death in this life. You may never hear about a person who did you wrong coming to the understanding. Perhaps they know there is nothing they could say to you to make up for it. Perhaps they feel it best not to bother you as it would cause you pain. Perhaps they refuse to allow themselves forgiveness and so do not attempt to right the wrong. They just harm themselves with hateful thoughts and actions. As for those who have done wrong and never understand what they took from another.. We have all done this. It is not until we grow and mature and have been hurt ourselves we begin to understand, and so then we never again harm another as we once did. Moments of enlightenment bring depth and great meaning to a person’s life. It’s why i like scars. I think scars are beautiful. I wish i could explain to ease you’re pain Elsa. It does work out in the end. Justice is served. True redemption can only come from within, but we must take into account our sense of justice is skewed. We too are ignorant, and so while we may believe we lost much and we are righteous.. a wider point of view may see us as guilty of certain wrongs also. If you cannot forgive and release the pain, you will hurt yourself more and unintentionally or intentionally you will hurt others. And so it goes.. the never ending cycle. The only way off the merry go round is to understand samsara. The only way to forgive and release, is to understand the four noble truths and how karma works. There is justice Elsa. It’s just not in the concept most people view it.
Satori is correct. It is the perception, that shifts, and so the reality alters. When you become self less. When you’re compassion for others outweighs that for yourself, the gift is, you don’t feel sorry for yourself, you feel at one with everyone, all you’re brothers and sisters and nature. When you live in the moment. The past nor the future exists, and so neither does the suffering. When you change you’re perception of what is right and wrong, what is fortune and what is loss, everything changes. One man may feel hard done and miserably wronged, another feels grateful and wealthy. Yet the miserable one may have a great deal more than the other man.
You will find pity for those ignorant people who harm others. The most painfull thing you can wish on those who have wronged you, is enlightenment. Yet you grow to understand that you are actually wishing them a gift by doing so.
I’m not a christian, but that statement has always stuck with me since childhood.
‘Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do’.
I think the biggest thing Buddhists struggle with, is sitting.
It is certainly a dream, but dreams can come true. – I completely agree with this, alicia.
Also, Omie, you mentioned Nelson Mandela as an example. His name was in my head after reading this post the other day, and then just yesterday, I saw his name again and learned that Mandela was a Cancer, like me. A fighter, an endurer, and yes a dreamer.
Perhaps its not only that dreams can come true, but that they can come true for those who believe in them.
I think most of the time people redeem themselves. But I believe in this concept very very deeply. I feel I have redeemed myself in many ways. So no I do not think its a fairy tale.
I still believe deeply in this concept. I think redemption ususally happens internally though, through some kind of spiritual understanding. It moght not happen to the “small mind” but the deeper levels of our being know that loss is only a figment of our imagination. So i guess its like realizing that you never really lost anything in the first place. Which isnt really redemption but i dont know what else to call it.
Not that the feeling of loss isnt felt intensely or intimately.
As far as people learning their lesson, well i dont think thats what karma is necessarily about. In my understanding karma is just about generating cause and effect. Vindication is effect. Karma doesnt make sure things are fair, only balanced. The location scale is hard to find. I guess in the soul.
Ultimately wishing for “justice” will just further entangle you in karma. Its a misguided focus on the events that happen as opposed to a deeper truth. Even if life was fair it would be painful to attach yourself to the ephemeral things in life. They balance themselves out of their own accord. Its not the responsibility of the human to say what should happen, or make sense of it.
Vindication is *one* effect.
Yes. The people who reviled you will never, ever, actually change their view. On learning they were wrong about you, they’ll continue to hate you, with different reasoning behind it. ::sigh::
On second thought, I should have said, never, ever, ever.. Not ever, no way, never. 😉
Many wishes for courage, to whomever is unjustly reviled.
Learning to see life in low definition can have its own beauty. This is where reincarnation belief shifts a lot of misery for the folks.