Identity’s Revenge!

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, I thought all the time about how my life came into existence. Just whose fault was it that my life sucked so bad, that I was so depressed? As you’d imagine, I didn’t really get to the bottom of any of it, but I certainly got pretty frustrated. One thing I did learn is that I hate violent or angry arguments, and I am pretty good at spotting where they begin to occur. I absolutely will not tolerate relationships where those kinds of things appear at all frequently. Not that anybody should, it’s just unhealthy. But, I can’t say that my siblings all learned the same lessons from our dysfunctional youth as I did.

The outcome of explosive arguments and confrontations are a bit like the outcome of revenge. The whole ordeal comes from the desire of one individual to make the other see things their way. Revenge is some desire to create equality of experiences between two parties, of which one feels unjustly wronged. The reason it is futile is simply because we have no ability to perceive the experiences of another. And the more one cares about the perceptions and experiences of another, the more unbalanced and unhappy one becomes.

Revenge works like this. Have you ever gone searching desperately for one thing, or one person? It is miserable and pathetic. While searching for one thing around you, you completely neglect the other things that are going on at the same time. Have you ever had a crush on someone for a while and then neglected the affections of someone else close to you? People want to make the object of revenge see how much pain they have felt or how much pain they have caused their victims. But this is something subjective. You can make them hate you the way you hate them, but this really doesn’t solve any of your problems. It actually makes them worse. If someone is legitimately sorry for something they have done, what can you do about it? Is the situation resolved?

I concluded at one point from my experiences in life that, relationships are not painful if one does not get involved in them. Any decent martial arts teacher will tell you not to get involved in a fight if at all possible. All of samsara, or existence, is like this. It’s something we’ve decided to get involved in, somehow. Our relationships with people are so painful because we identify with them, we get involved in them. When someone we are not involved with passes away, we’re not emotionally effected in a direct manner. We do not identify with them. It seems to me that everything we are attached to is something we identify with.

The worst part about revenge or arguments or anything of this ilk, is that we know we’re not supposed to let ourselves get carried away with them. Revenge is a bad idea, but the emotions involved are so palpable and strong. And doesn’t giving up on revenge make us a weak person? I don’t know, there’s a time and place for everything. But arguments and actions should only happen naturally. In other words, it is better not to run after them or attempt to create those circumstances, much as with romance or anything else.


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