Either someone once told me, or I had the psychotic delusion that they had told me: “Revenge is divine.” Indeed, there are people who firmly believe that holding grudges is a virtue, and that lifelong hostility to someone who has done you wrong is a requirement for a righteous life. To such people, taking lifelong revenge is expressing yourself as someone created in the Maker’s image. Still other people believe that you should forgive all wrongs done to you because it’s God’s job to take revenge on your behalf. They, too, believe that revenge is divine, and just approach the concept from a different angle, with different ethical implications.
You already know, from having read this recent post, that I am of exactly the opposite view from those people. I am far closer to the view of pagans, who think in terms of karma. But I also disagree with pagans about the ethical implications of both karma and revenge, as well as some cosmological ones. If we really do have souls that are ruled by their need to discharge karma, then revenge is motivated by that specific spiritual concern. That would mean that revenge is something of the soul and not of the living. You’ve probably read in this very old post that I consider our souls to be something separate and different from our living selves, often with interests inimical to our living interests. The fact that souls infect us with a pre-birth greed for revenge in the guise of their own enslavement to karma would only serve to make both revenge and karma utterly repugnant to me, and make me get as far away from them as I can.
So that’s what I do. I actively avoid both taking revenge and discharging karma (if karma exists). I live the life of a purely living man, with no spiritual or religious accoutrements or limitations, seeking the only thing that all living beings truly seek of our own accord, which is happiness. My search for happiness is more limited than that of most people, because I seek happiness only in the present moment. That proves to be an incessant, ongoing exercise of detoxification. If I ingest something toxic through my eyes or ears, I rush to purge it same as if I had ingested it through my gullet. It’s not the same procedure, because no one can truly purge what has entered his mind. It stays in the deep recesses of the mind forever. So the proper procedure is to quarantine that toxic experience so it has minimal impact on the rest of the consciousness, unconsciousness and nonconsciousness around it. You know I believe one way to do that is to discontinue any experience that brings it to mind or draws upon it in any way. Another way is to reformulate it in terms of its essence, because explanation is inherently destructive of the thing being explained and robs it of all of its power (as per the critical realism described in this post),
And it works! As I find myself immersed deeper and deeper in the life I’ve always wanted to lead, in a community in which I always belonged, I find myself steadily approaching happiness, partly because I can quarantine and thereby detoxify the toxic moments of my existence. Gone are the lingering hurts that would wound me over and over again like demented revenants. For the first time in ages, I have cause for optimism.
The future looks bright.