My mid-twenties were some of the most destructive years of my life. My son’s mother and I had separated after years in a difficult relationship, our mutual friends were choosing sides, and I was severely depressed. Years have passed, and now people wonder how we remain so civil with one other. The answer is that we made the choice to forgive.
Forgiveness is a revolutionary act with the power to move mountains. Most of the samskaras we carry around can be usurped by simply choosing to forgive ourselves and others. Many of the vices that plague individuals and humanity can be resolved with this act. When we forgive, we unburden ourselves from the thoughts that keep us in perpetual cycles of suffering. Like Neo stopping bullets in The Matrix, forgiveness has an almost supernatural ability to effect radical change.
All the World’s a Stage: Media, Macrobes, and the Matrix
“All media are extensions of some human faculty - psychic or physical. The wheel is an extension of the foot. The book is an extension of the eye. Clothing, an extension of the skin. Electric circuitry, an extension of the central nervous system. Media, by altering the environment, evoke in its unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act - the way we perceive the world. When these ratios change, men change.”
-Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is The Massage
I didn’t cry until I heard my father weep. That sound was something I could never get used to. He stood ahead of me in line to the coffin, saying his final goodbyes to his father, William “Red.” My grief overcame me as I considered what it must be like to lose a parent. Both of my parents knew that pain, and Red was the last to go. I held onto my own son tight.
Death is one of our society’s greatest adversaries. We push it back as far as it can go. Discussing it makes us uncomfortable. When we lose loved ones, society expects us to grieve and move on. We are offered little in the way of definitive answers aboutthe afterlife. This is troublesome, especially considering that there are many answers to be had.