Friday, August 26, 2016

Nothing Special: Justice

"An appropriate and compassionate response does not come from the fight for justice..."  --Charlotte Joko Beck

Joko Beck in her book, Nothing Special, Living Zen, observes "When someone insists, 'I am never angry,' I am incredulous. Since anger, and its subsets, depression, anxiety, resentment, jealousy, gossip and backbiting and so on-- dominate our lives, we need to investigate the whole problem of anger with care... For the psychologically mature person, the ills and injustices of life are handled by counter-aggression, in which one makes an effort to eliminate the injustice and create justice. Often such efforts are dictatorial, full of anger and self-righteousness. In spiritual maturity, the opposite of injustice is not justice, but compassion... All anger is based upon judgements..."

The best answer to injustice is compassion, or love.  Joko Beck writes, "An appropriate and compassionate response does not come from the fight for justice, but from that radical dimension of practice that "passes all understanding," love.
As the Christ taught, "love your enemies," and Gandhi and Blessed Mother Teresea of Calcutta both knew, injustice is highlighted and resolved by means of love, of peaceful protest. It's not easy. We must go through the darkness, the pain and grief before coming to the lightness that will ultimately be our guide, and our justice.

"Let us not adopt some facile, narrowly psychological view of our lives. The radical dimension that I speak of demands everything that we are and have. Joy, not happiness, is its fruit."

No comments: