As we grow up and become fully adult, which takes a lifetime or more, one of the last areas we need to release is our relationship to justice.
In our human life much is going to be experienced as unfair. Bad things happen to really good people, to innocents..This is the way of it. It feels wrong. It hurts. Its confusing. It can’t be explained using our rational mind.
In the Christian text, as in many other spiritual texts, “Justice is mine” sayeth the Lord. We are advised that justice lives in the realm of the divine. The Lord of Karma, or God the Father or whatever Universal field you ascribe to, is responsible for ensuring justice prevails. Divine justice is rarely dispensed on our time cycle, and in the way we would like it.
Wise, methinks, for if humans were really allowed to decide exactly what is justified, all of the time, and according to our schedule, we would have a very nasty place to live. Even now, with our ‘justice system” evil so often prevails at the level of human existence. Justice is often awarded to the side with the biggest bank account to hire the brightest lawyers, or to the person with the most overt or covert influence.
To be at peace with divine justice is not an easy progression in our development. There is a lot of letting go, acceptance, forgiveness. It requires quite an evolved human being.
The Dalai Lama was questioned… “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?” The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know ” Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back…but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”
The Christian story of Easter provides a powerful metaphor for our human experience around justice. It also carries a strong archetypal pattern of our pathway to finding peace with divine justice. This pathway, similar to the hero’s journey, has several critical components. They all need to be walked, to be lived, if we are to really find our peace with divine justice. There are no shortcuts.
It starts when Jesus goes into the garden of Gethsemane after the last supper.
1. Jesus beseeches God to release him from this task.
You are not going to want to do what it is you have to do. When you appeal to the heavens for help, you will hear nothing. Silence. Plus there is no escape route. You feel trapped.
2. Jesus was betrayed by one of the 12 apostles, Judas Iscariot, for 30 pieces of silver.
Your friends will betray you. Or some force will betray you. This will really sting, and feel very unjust.
3. Jesus accepts his fate after repeated appeals.
You did make an agreement, and like it or not, you do accept it. Some peace is attained.
4. Pontius Pilate tells Jesus that he has the power to let him go. He appeals to Jesus to say something so he can be released. Jesus says nothing…he has made an agreement. Jesus resists the temptation to deny his path. The easy out (sell out) is ignored.
You will be tempted. It will require staying true to your self. Probably against all odds. This is an extreme test. If you fail, you go back into the cycle, and often remain in the cycle for a lifetime.
5. When Jesus is hanging on the cross he feels abandoned. “Why have you forsaken me?”
Abandonment is essential for this archetypal pattern to be released. Feeling completely isolated, alone, forgotten, rejected, unloved…when this sets in deeply, you are moments from release…keep your nerve. The light is coming.
6. Finally, Jesus remembers that justice is not his to give. It is for the Divine to give. He finds forgiveness and is released.
You will find ultimate surrender and peace. Not always by dying physically, but by dying to your attachment to righteousness.
The metaphor of the Christian Easter may be applied no matter who your God, or what your religion. The journey of justice transcends dogma.
Knowing the journey, and the steps on the journey may provide solace to you. In my own recent life I have felt the pain of the 5th step so many times. Moving from step 5 into step 6 has been one of my hardest lessons.
This article is inspired by the work of Caroline Myss and was originally published April 10th, 2012
Photo taken April 12th, 2020