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The Power Of Healing Through Forgiveness Philosophy Essay

1820 words (7 pages) Essay in Philosophy

5/12/16 Philosophy Reference this

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Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” (APA, pg. 1). “She slumped against the wall clutching her knees and tried to concentrate on the pain of the old burn that had never healed,” (Piercy, pg.54) “When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others; we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness. “(Myss (mp3) 2004). Donna Fancourt argues that “In addition to the radical destabilization of the categories of “dream” and “reality,” the novel also represents further examples of altered states of consciousness.” (Francourt, pg.103). Although Boyd submits “I don’t have a clue about consciousness. It seems utterly mysterious to me. But it must be physical, as materialism must be true”. (Boyd, pg.15).

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” (APA, pg. 1). In Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy introduces us to Connie (Consuelo Ramos), a thirty-six year old, who is abused, misdiagnosed, tortured and appears to be a sociopath to her doctors. Connie’s been in a mental hospital for child abuse and, as a result, her daughter Angelina has been taken from her. When you get hurt by someone you care about a lot, normally brings about thoughts of anger and revenge and one can hold on to that anger for a very long time, and if anger and revenge is held onto then that individual is giving their power away.

In Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy uses a perfect illustration of Connie to portray this, power, or more specifically, the lack thereof. Being powerless, Connie had to make herself believe to be ill, accepting Anglo definitions of success, relationships, and sanity. “She slumped against the wall clutching her knees and tried to concentrate on the pain of the old burn that had never healed,” (Piercy, pg.54) Connie has to accept this reality and won’t be able to bloat out her memory, as she has plenty of regrets and anger. She is not sick nor is she suffering from any mental illness, Connie will have to gather up all her courage and will power to cooperate with the doctors to achieve a better reality elsewhere, and this could be through her subconscious mind. This internal power derived from a created reality is what Connie is attempting to achieve – a chance at regaining power. Marge Piercy talks about how the Mattapoisett are at war and learn that the residents have to volunteer to go and fight. Sound wave making weapons are used to knock out the enemy. Although, before firing each sound wave, Luciente prays, “Forgive me, if you are living and I kill you.” (Piercy, pg. 62) even though Luciente does not know if the enemies are robots or if they are controlled by human beings, he feels obligated to ask for forgiveness.

In 3 Levels of Power, Caroline Myss discusses the tribal, the individual, and the symbolic levels of power. Myss explains that the brain has the ability to create a distinct reality, one that you want to choose, “3rd is your mental level, the kind of power to see reality clearly. […] You have to have an incredible sense of internal power to withdraw your power from the tribal limits on your reality.” (Myss (pdf) pg. 2). Caroline Myss goes on to explain why forgiveness is so powerful and pissing it away is so negative, as she explains “When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources. The challenge is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness.”(Myss (mp3) 2004). Myss, states that forgiveness is what helps us disconnect from the tribe, maneuvering us into individual power, and getting us into the present time. Myss compares this level to the strength of cologne, “It’s stronger than eau d’ toilette, and will last longer” (Myss (mp3) 2004). Although Myss is very resolute to say that, “The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past,

what they’ve really done is they’ve shifted their relationship with time.”(Myss (mp3) 2004). When someone is content with one’s life, the negative energy is hard to affect someone, especially one who is ill, as that person who is sick is primarily focused on “dealing with what is ahead of you, instead of complaining and arguing” (Myss (mp3) 2004), Myss goes on to explain that if one learns how to love oneself, by appreciating life, the healing process within happens faster and better because of the inner belief that, one can fight this illness and not give away power.

Donna Fancourt argues that “In addition to the radical destabilization of the categories of “dream” and “reality,” also represents further examples of altered states of consciousness” (Francourt, pg.103), furthermore she said, “that the drugs given to Connie may have facilitated her hallucinations.” (Fancourt, pg. 108). Achieving the 3rd level of power is not something everyone can do, unless you have trained yourself to go-to that state through meditation, and now you are an expert in doing so. Myss and Piercy, both show that it is achieved through the aide of illness to tap into that power. “The tribe says this illness you have can’t be healed quickly but someone with a strong sense of eye, can look at the other side and say, it may be true for you but not for me, you can choose a different path of healing, you’re using other thought processes” (Myss (mp3) 2004). Very similar to Piercy, as Luciente comments, “We can only know what we can truly imagine [because] what we see comes from ourselves” (Piercy, pg. 328). If making connections with one another and nature, both mental and physical, then these connections can only be aided by altering states of consciousness. Connie enters Mattapoisett through her ability to reach different states of consciousness; her first alertness of an alternative reality is of hazy memories of dreams with the mysterious Luciente, and she awakens one morning with “the sense […] that there was more she had not remembered, a sensation of return, blurred but convincing” (Piercy, pg. 33). In Accessing Utopia through Altered States of Consciousness, Fancourt tries to show how Piercy tries to blur the states of consciousness, “These cloudy memories and dreams soon overlap into daydreams and increasingly longer states of unconsciousness: by the end of the novel, Connie is spending up to twelve hours at a time in Mattapoisett. ” (Fancourt, pg. 105). In Accessing Utopia through Altered States of Consciousness, Fancourt discusses, how one may access this power, “…accessing utopia takes place through a specific process of altering states of consciousness. These altered states range widely from dreaming and meditation to psychic healing,” (Fancourt, pg. 95). Although being able to switch from “dream” to “reality” in Connie’s case, was something she could achieve very easily and that is one of the main reasons Luciente chose Connie as the experimental contact.

Although Boyd submits “I don’t have a clue about consciousness. It seems utterly mysterious to me. But it must be physical, as materialism must be true”. (Boyd, pg.15). Worthington’ idea In Forgiveness: A Sampling of Research Results, can be used to understand how Luciente’s act of prayer gives him a chance to regain power, “Forgiveness is fostered by acknowledgment from harm doers of their actions, empathy with those they have harmed, expressions of regret and apology” (APA, pg. 31). The ‘states of consciousness’, In Woman on the Edge of Time by Piercy points to the Mattapoisett people who turn to violence are advised to consult a healer. A second offence, however, causes execution since the community “aren’t willing to live with people who choose to use violence” (Piercy, pg. 209). The people of Mattapoisett, recognize that the people who turn to violence are giving away their power and should seek forgiveness by visiting a healer to begin their healing process and to remove any illness within. Asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness, is the greatest ways of showing love, and in doing so will not only heal your relationship with the other person but also bring bliss and inner peace.

Power and forgiveness, is the main themes of Myss’ stories, “The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time. And that’s why when one has become a forgiving person, and has managed to let go of the past, what they’ve really done is they’ve shifted their relationship with time.” (Myss (mp3) 2004) and in the story of Connie (Woman on the Edge of Time) by Piercy, gives an example of how [t]hanksgiving in the Mattapoisett traditional religious conformism is replaced with a new set of rituals intended to promote individuality, with “[t]hanksmaking” (Piercy, pg. 174) where they would fast for the whole day (twenty four hours) before they “go around asking forgiveness from everyone [they] have offended in the year” (Piercy, pg. 174). Whether it is in your sub conscious or couscous state of mind, Boyd uses the example of what David Chalmers, said in The Conscious Mind, “I don’t have a clue about consciousness. It seems utterly mysterious to me. But it must be physical, as materialism must be true”.(Boyd, pg.15). In Forgiveness: A Sampling of Research Results, Mullet et al, discovered that, “Most (58%) of participants agreed that forgiveness could be an intergroup process, 28% were neutral, and only 14% thought that it was not possible for a group of people to ask another group for forgiveness.” (APA, pg. 35). What does this mean to us you may ask? Well, Every individual has a reaction to the illness that they are encompassed by and the energy released from that illness, gives one’s mind the power and ability of forgiveness, “Every illness is a power response…when your body mind or spirit is going through any kind of reshaping it automatically presumes that a rebalancing of power is taking place” (Myss (mp3) 2004) to leave the physical world and enter into a world where the transcendent mind is present, “We can only know what we can truly imagine. Finally what we see comes from ourselves.” (Piercy, pg. 332).

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