Perhaps I am wrong? Perhaps forgiveness is not the answer?

“Hi, I need some help understanding Tantra. This is not at all a sexual related question, and therefore, if you can’t help me, I am hoping that you can steer me in the right direction to find the answer. My question is based more emotionally on the history of Tantra, rather than the sexual side of it.

I am not Tantric, but I am very involved with a Tantric man. He lives and breathes Tantra. I am absolutely comfortable with that and have tried to learn as much as I can. Frankly, I would like to convert to Tantra in the near future.

The current situation is this: He was married in the past, she betrayed their marital bond with another man, he can’t find forgiveness for her in that. He says he is not angry at her, and sees part of the responsibility as his own shortcoming in that he apparently didn’t provide something she needed.

Although I have tremendous respect for her in that she is the mother of his children, and I know that they did have a good life together aside from that indiscretion, I am trying to find out why he cannot forgive her for that? His explanation is that his soul would burn in Hell for forgiving her for that. I don’t understand that and cannot find anything to substantiate that.

He and I have a very strong bond but he is troubled with much personal conflict in his life. I can’t help feeling that if he could forgive himself somehow, that perhaps he could find the other things he is searching for. I want to help him any way that I can to do that.

Perhaps I am wrong? Perhaps forgiveness is not the answer? Perhaps you could guide me or assist me in learning more the ways of Tantra so that I can help him?”

ANSWER

We don’t treat Tantra as a religion, but most definitely a spiritual practice. There is no need to convert to Tantra. We have people from almost every religious denomination attend our Tantra weekend retreats. There is nothing in Tantra that should conflict with whatever your religion is now.

Forgiveness is as much for the one doing the forgiving as it is for the one being forgiven. In the situation that you have described this is most strongly the case. When we hold onto the hurts and betrayals that we have experienced in the past, by harboring anger, resentment, vengeance, etc., we are hurting ourselves, and unfortunately, our closest loved ones. By holding onto the past incident(s) we continually relive it and each time re-open the old wound and re-inflict the old pain over again and again. This is a strange kind of self-punishment. Only forgiveness can stop this from continuing, including forgiveness of his former wife as well as forgiveness of himself for whatever was his contribution to the problems they had in their relationship.

Forgiveness most surely would heal the problem. By the way, forgiveness does not mean you don’t remember the past, but it does mean that you are finished with it (emotionally, energetically and spiritually). In other words the past would no longer have any influence on your present. In terms of affecting you now it is as if the incident never happened, even though you could remember it if you wanted to.

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