We have a lot of time on our hands now, floating on the wide ocean; waiting, hoping, and doing everything we can for ourselves and others to keep up our health. Physically, we're well provided for. But mentally and spiritually it's a daily battle to keep morale high, smooth over petty squabbles, and deal with serious conflicts. Everyone's nerves are strained to some extent, but a few are often near the breaking point, and we as a group work to keep things calm and cool as much as possible.
Still, nights are the toughest to get through. In the daytime we're acutely aware how small and insignificant we are under the vast expanse of blue. Cumulus clouds liven things up with their everchanging forms, sometimes an animal, or a fairytale mountain fortress. Many planes fly right over us, but they're at 32,000 feet and going 450 mph. We're a bare speck to them. When the sun goes down, the moon isn't up, and everyone's asleep or trying to fall asleep, the sense of our nothingness is overwhelming. We're just memories to our loved ones back home. At any time a storm could sink us, a definite possibility; or a ship might slice us in two and not be aware that they'd struck anything. We have battery powered red and green marker lights on, but the ocean these days is largely populated with monster container or passenger ships. Human eyes aren't focused on the blank sea. The officers at the helm and on the bridge are watching and glued to the radar, GPS, and engine room data. They're looking down from the equivalent of a 40 story building.
Fears of death and oblivion are hard to ignore or suppress. Often one of us will scream in fright because of a dream, and a lot of us are awakened. Anger at our Fate, or God, or the spinning roulette wheel of accident, afflicts us all at times.
Forgiveness is the key. It's much too easy to begin blaming the captain and crew of our magnificent ship that now lies on the ocean's bottom. Who screwed up? How can we punish them? And the shipping company; there must be some gross mismanagement at the top. Then there are the ship's builders. Why did the vessel go down so fast? Weren't lessons learned from the Titanic? And the Andrea Doria? Stewing in these thoughts leads nowhere, and they're damaging us if left unchecked. How can we forgive? Must we forgive?
There are three kinds of forgiveness. The first is exoneration. If someone harms us but then sincerely admits it, apologizes, and wants to make amends, we must exonerate them. We, too, are imperfect, and have made mistakes. If we want exoneration for ourselves, we must grant it to others. It's good for everyone in the short and long run, especially if a child caused the harm.
The second kind of forgiveness is forbearance. If the gulty person is insincere, blames us in part, or blames someone or something else for the harm, we should consider forgiving them, with reservations. They should be informed of their guilt, and held responsible. If we need the relationship, it's incumbent on us to be forbearing.
The third kind of forgiveness is release. If the guilty party denies all responsibility, blames us or another person or thing, they've placed themselves beyond forgiveness. But we must release our thoughts of vengeance and not let anger fester. If we don't, we're giving the guilty person or group an invitation to set up house in our heads and hearts, rent free.
Speaking in cosmic and religious terms, it's important to note that all sins against God are forgivable, except one. The Third Commandment says, literally, "Do not carry God's name in vain", that is, commit evil or murder in the name of God. This harms Him, and He says, "This will not be forgiven":
"Pope" Francis has tried to deny this, promising "mercy for all sinners". This is insane. Stalin, Mao, Bin Laden, and millions of other cold-blooded mass murderers cannot be given a dwelling place with us who faithfully love life and our Creator.