Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

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Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

Postby Ervin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:51 am

I was just wandering. Can you say(and actually do) that you have forgiven someone but then go to the police or other authority and make a complaint against them for something that they have done to you or someone else.

I would say that the only way you can achieve that is if you do it for the reasons of helping them and you. If you do it purely out if revenge then you have not forgiven. Then you are just trying to hurt in return. By helping others, I would say is helping your self, also you might free yourself from some sort of injustice that's ongoing.

Thoughts?

Thanks
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Re: Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

Postby Indrajala » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:11 am

That depends on the circumstances.

If the individual who committed the evil deed has done something reprehensible and is likely to do it again (such as rape, serious theft, assault or worse), then pursuing legal action is important as it will prevent and/or deter them from doing the same evil again.

If, on the other hand, some immoral fellow screws you over in a business deal or something to that effect, then pursuing legal action, such as a lawsuit, will probably be done out of a sense of personal revenge. Moreover, it probably won't deter them from committing the the same misdeed in the future as they're probably already well prepared to get sued if they're screwing people over.

If some irresponsible driver ran me over and showed genuine remorse and asked for forgiveness, I simply could not bring myself to sue them or pursue some other legal action.

That's just my opinion though.
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Re: Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:56 am

:smile:
I agree with Huseng completely.
Here's a story I recall from something I once read.
I believe it's a Zen story...but I can't remember where or when I first heard it.
Perhaps someone else on this forum can help me with the details.
Anyway here's the story.

A monk was meditating when a robber broke into his room.
The monk continued on with his meditation, ignoring the robber, until the robber began ransack the monk's meager possesions.
Then, interrupting his meditation, he said to the robber, "I am a poor monk. so I have litle of value here. But what money I have is in that small table there. It is not locked, so you can open it easily...there is now need for you to destroy it in your search. Take what you need and leave, but please do not disturb my meditation. Just one thing however...please leave me enough money to pay my taxes...because tomorrow I must pay them. Take the rest and go"
So the robber took the rest of the money, leaving what he thought the monk would need for his taxes, and left.
Now it happened that the robber was caught, and he confessed to many robberies, including that of the monk.
But when the police came tp the monk, asking if he had been robbed, the monk told them, "Oh,that guy. No he nver robbed me. He did visit my room one night while I was meditating. He seemed to be poor. so I let him borrow some money I happened to have laying about as a loan. I am sure that one day he will return it when he feels he should. But he never robbed me."
After he served his sentence for his crimes, the robber returned to that monk's room.
Prostrating himself before the monk, he said to the monk, "Please accept me as your student".

I don't think I could do such a thing, myself.
Anyone who can provide me with details of this story and where and who...please do so.
I could probably look it up....but right now I just don't remeber them myself.
:smile:
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From What Book, 1998, p. 52
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Re: Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

Postby Konchog1 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:37 am

Ervin wrote:I was just wandering. Can you say(and actually do) that you have forgiven someone but then go to the police or other authority and make a complaint against them for something that they have done to you or someone else.

I would say that the only way you can achieve that is if you do it for the reasons of helping them and you. If you do it purely out if revenge then you have not forgiven. Then you are just trying to hurt in return. By helping others, I would say is helping your self, also you might free yourself from some sort of injustice that's ongoing.

Thoughts?

Thanks
Yep, if it's for the other person or future victims it's okay. If fact, one could make the argument that not preventing future crimes is a fault.

There's a famous Jakata Tale: Once the Buddha was a ship's captain, and he learned that one of the passengers planned to kill and rob all the other passengers. He figured that if he warned the other passengers, they would get angry and kill the would be murderer in fear and anger, and this would create negative karma. So he killed the would-be murderer himself. Preventing anyone from gaining negative karma.
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Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
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Re: Can you forgive someone yet seek justice against them?

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:57 am

:shrug:
Just a quick hunt on the nternet and I found this version of the story I remebered.
I suspect there are many viriations...but this one is close enough.

The Thief Who Became a Disciple

One evening as Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding either money or his life.
Shichiri told him: "Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer." Then he resumed his recitation.
A little while afterwards he stopped and called: "Don't take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow."
The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. "Thank a person when you receive a gift," Shichiri added. The man thanked him and made off.
A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offence against Shichiri. When Shichiri was called as a witness he said: "This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him money and he thanked me for it."
After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.

I expect that story has been told in many variations many times.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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