La Réconciliation Aujourd Hui

La Réconciliation Aujourd Hui

Reconciliation to be lived in the world today…

Thursday 29 June 2006

Aims of the session:

Reconciliation in the pluralism of cultures and religions

To show what is at stake in reconciliation in a society touched by such a grave trauma as the genocide in Cambodia.

To situate oneself as a witness to the Resurrection in the fracture of globalization

Asia is immense…Asia is above all plural

Asian cultures are not homogenous. Chinese culture is very different from Indian culture. One could even talk, not without reason, of Chinese cultures and Indian cultures. Nevertheless, certain common characteristics can be found in the Asian cultures as a whole and which differentiate them from the western culture.. What says “difference” does not say “inferiority” or “superiority”. It is not a question of knowing which is the better culture! Each presents riches and each has its limits. (Asie religieuse, 2005, Etudes et documents 21, Archives of the Missions Etrangères)

Asia is far away, not only geographically, but also morally. There exists in the West and the East two ways of approaching the Absolute, transcendence

So there exists a «decentralizing» between the West and the East

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Who was Buddha?

Boddha = The enlightened one

Cast:Ksatriya Aristocratic Clan Çâkya

Name:Gautama First name :Siddharta

Born towards the middle of the 6thcentury BCMarried at the age of 16 yrs.

The four meetings:

-Meeting with an old man

-Meeting with a sick person

-Meeting with a funeral cortège

-Meeting with a mendicant monk

The great renouncement: (at 29 yrs)

enlightenment at 37 yrs Buddha Çâkya + muni = the wise man of the Çâkya clan

Reaches Nirvana at 80 yrs

Buddha’s teaching: The Sermon of Bénarès

The 4 noble truths

1st noble truth:Universalityof suffering Dukkha = Impermanence,

2nd nobletruth:Origin of suffering desire - thirst

3rd nobletruth:Cessation of suffering Nirvana

4th nobletruth:the noble eight sided way or the middle way

1)the Sila = Ethical conduct

1the just word

2the just deed

3the just means of existence

2)The Samadhi = the mental discipline

4the just effort

5the just attention

6the just concentration

3)The Prajnâ = Wisdom

7the just conduct

8the just thought

The finiteness of man: man is made up of five aggregates

The 5 aggregates (skandas)

  1. Physical substance (rupa) designatingthe 4 elements: solids, liquids, heat and mobile
  2. Sensations: agreeable, disagreeable and neutral
  3. Perceptions
  4. Volition: the putting into order of sensations and perceptions
  5. Conscience

SymbolicRepresentation of the world for a buddhist

NirvanaPlan ofDetachment

Equanimity Upekkha

Sympathetic Joy Mudita

Compassion KarunaBenevolence Metta

Friendships Samakkhi

Individual LovePema

Sensual Love Karma

SamsaraPlan of attachment

Texts forthework in SLG and LLG – Thursday 29th June -

Allow yourself to be questioned by the text… Note all that shocks you…

How should we talk about reconciliation in this cultural context?

«…Here O monks, is the mystic truth about pain: birth is pain, sickness is pain, death is pain, union with what one hates is pain, separation from what one loves is pain, powerlessness to obtain what one desires is pain. To resume, the five aggregates of appropriation are pain. Here still O monk, the mystic truth about the origin of pain: it is thirst that leads from one birth to another, accompanied by pleasure and attraction, which seek satisfaction here and there: thirst for the pleasures of the senses, thirst for existence, thirst for becoming and thirst for non- becoming.

“Here again O monks, is the mystic truth about the suppression of pain: it is the complete cessation of this thirst, the non-attraction, renouncement, deliverance and detachment.

“Here again O monks is the mystic truth about the way that leads to the complete cessation of pain: it is the mystic way of the eight members that are called the just view, the just intention, the just word, the just action, the just way of life, the just effort, ardent and just vigilance and the just Samadhi.

“Such is the mystic truth about pain. Thus O monks have my eyes been opened on all the things unknown up until now and knowledge, wisdom, science and light have appeared.»

Mahavagga, 1, 6, 19

Dialogue between Purna (a disciple) and Buddha – taken from Divyâdâna (Sanskrit text)

-They areviolent, O Purna, the men of Sronaparanta, they are carried away, choleric hot-tempered, insolent. When the men of Sronaparanta, O Purna, address you to your face with nasty, coarse and insolent words, when they are angry with you and abuse you, what will you think about that?

-If the men of Sronaparanta, O Lord face me with nasty, coarse and insolent words, if they get angry with me and abuse me, this is what I will think:these are certainly good these men of Sronaparanta. They are gentle men who address me to my face with nasty, coarse and abusive words, those who are angry with me, but who do not hit me either with their hands or with stones.

-And if they hit you with their hands and with stones, what will you think then?

-If they hit me with their hands or with stones, this is what I will think of it: they are gentle men who hit me with their hands or with stones but do not hit me with a stick or the sword.

-And if they hit you with a stick or a sword, what will you think of that?

-If they hit me with a stick or a sword, I will think thus: these are good men, these are gentle men, who hit me with a stick and a sword, but do not completely deprive me of life.

-And if they deprive you completely of life, what will you think of that?

-If these men, O Lord, deprive me completely of life, this is what I will think of that; they are assuredly good men the men of Sronaparanta, they are gentle men, those who deliver me with so little pain from this body filled with filth.

-Good, good, Purna, with the perfection of patience with which you have been gifted, you can fix your stay in the country of the Sronaparanta. Go, Purna, freed, free! Arrived at the other side, bring others there. O consoled, console. Come to complete Nirvana, bring others there.

Reconciliation to be lived in the world today…

Friday, 30th June 2006

It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing though us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God.(2 Co 5 18-20)

  1. Interior peace as plenitude of the being in the Buddhist tradition
  2. Non attachment

Man is constructed by his acts. He is the result of them.

The act is accomplished by three means: body, word and spirit

The act can be a fault (murder, theft, lust, lies, drunkenness)

The fault or the state of fault supposes three things:

- a mental act, an evil intention (decision to kill, to lie)

- a corporalor vocal act (murderous gesture or lying word)

- its impact on others

We do not speak of «forgiveness» but of “absolving the fault»

1.2.Non Duality

No longer make a distinction between the subject and the object


Nature of the Buddha


  1. Interior peace as Presence…

My personal experience: The meeting with the God of the Westerners

This meeting was the outcome of a rather inglorious road, a road of hatred and vengeance.

The fruits of this meeting:

- acceptance of my weakness (I no longer seek tobe an exceptional woman…

- a peace of heart experienced as a gift received from an Other…

whom I have great difficulty in naming, in situating

Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient, O Beauty so new. Too late have I loved you! You were within me but I was outside myself, and there I sought you! In my weakness I ran after the beauty of the things you have made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The things you have made kept me from you - the things which would have no being unless they existed in you! You have called, you have cried, and you have pierced my deafness. You have radiated forth, you have shined out brightly, and you have dispelled my blindness. You have sent forth your fragrance, and I have breathed it in, and I long for you. I have tasted you, and I hunger and thirst for you. You have touched me, and I ardently desire your peace.

Saint Augustine – Confessions, Bk X

  1. There is no peace without justice, there is no justice without forgiveness

Message de Jean-Paul II: Journée de la Paix 1er Janvier 2002

Forgiveness targets rather this plenitude of justice that leads to the tranquility of the order, this being more than a fragile and temporary cessation of hostilities: it is the deep healing of the wounds that bathe spirits in blood. For this healing, justice and forgiveness are both essential.

  1. Can forgiveness heal?(Paul Ricoeur – Revue Esprit march april 1995)
  2. Forgiveness is linked to the «work of remembering»

- To remember is not to repeat,

- the work of remembering is done through the telling

- to learn to tell a story from the other’s point of view

- use the memory critically

2.2.Forgiveness is linked to the «work of grieving»

- do a work of detachment

- a work of detachment that facilitates reconciliation

2.3.Forgiveness is not summed up by the addition of these two works

- forgiveness is not a work, but precisely a gift

-forgiveness is first of all something that is asked of the other, and first of all from the victim

- forgiveness asked for is not forgiveness due

- forgiveness falls within what is poetic in existence

  1. Forgiveness and Karma
  1. Mypersonalexperience …

Text for the work in SLG and LLG: “There is no peace without justice, there is no justice without forgiveness” on sheet attached

Reconciliation to be lived in the world today…

Saturday 1st July 2006

A smile …

Forgive you? It’s not easy.

Forgive? I have never known how to set about it. No evangelical precept has caused me so much embarrassment.

When someone tries to harm me, if it is someone I’m indifferent to, I don’t notice it. If it is someone I love, I am very hurt, but I love them. So, I don’t need to forgive. How to get out of that one? I have tried to be merciful many times and still try with great difficulty! But I’m not gifted…

When I was three or four years old, my grandmother guided me in virtue. She explained the great commandment: “Forgive one’s enemies, pray for them”… I really wanted to do it, but “to pray for enemies”, is difficult … when one does not have any!

Finally one evening, I was sitting on my mother’s knee saying my childish prayers: “Bless daddy, mummy”, and so on to the end of the list of family members. Arriving at the last cousin, I stopped, I gave a great sigh, I gathered all my strength and I threw two supplementary invocations up to heaven: “My God bless Amat and Monsieur Droin!”

Amat was my grandfather’s servant, a singular, grimacing elderly figure, who frightened me. Monsieur Droin was even more terrible: the man who in the days of misfortune came to look down my throat with a spoon.

I had found my enemies, I prayed for them. I was very happy.

So, I will pray for you.

Marie Noël, Notes intimes, Ed Stock, p. 59

Reconciliation and inter-religiousdialogue

The Asian continent is marked by religious pluralism. For the FABC (Federation of Episcopal conferences of Asia) pluralism must not be experienced as something negative, but a source of richness and strength.

The peace and harmony in Asian societies, composed as they are of numerous cultural, ethnic and linguistic groups, requires recognition of legitimate pluralism and respect towards all the groups. Unity, peace and harmony must be achieved in diversity. Diversity is not something to be regretted because it represents richness and strength. Harmony is not simply the absence of conflict, described as “live and let live”. The test of true harmony lies in the acceptance of diversity as richness.

The Asian bishops consider religious pluralisms like a grace and a call to be co-pilgrims in the same way as the believers of the other religions seeking the Truth in love.

Eglise d’Asie N° 415 – 16 mars 2005

Prayer at the Kandal Pagoda (Battambang)

O, God, our Father, in this pagoda, scorned by the wickedness of men, I have no desire to play at being proud …I feel wounded, Father, in my whole being, by so much violence, so many injustices…I experience change as an indefinable “fiasco”… The Buddhist then takes me by the hand; and with great gentleness, says to me: “Like a dirty mirror, emotion deforms…You must learn to draw away from your joys, your pains…The evil ones are simply ignorant; like fish, they are caught up in the nets of their insatiable desires, of their evil sentiments…” Father, I thank you for this wisdom of Gautama…But, in my heart, another voice echoes, the voice of someone unloved, someone misunderstood, the voice of someone condemned to death that shouts out: “Father, forgive them, they know not what the do…” The voice of Jesus of Nazareth…,this Master, crucified by men’s’ ignorance, resurrected by the power of Your Love…Yes, Father, faced with the compassion of the Buddhists, the life of Jesus Christ reminds me of the necessity of Christian forgiveness. I know by experience just how far violence can throw me. I recognize the spiritual greatness of the Buddhists, when they class executioners, torturers as ignorant, victims themselves of their Karma. But Your Forgiveness is in another domain…It questions me at the deepest level of my being: am I really capable of forgiving those who massacred all those dear to me? Could I truly say in truth that I forgive those responsible for the Khmer rouge genocide, for the two million dead?

The traces of the torture on the body of the risen Jesus tell me, Father, just how much men’s violence wounds Your heart Merciful Heart. Yes, Father, the tearing apart of our being can find refuge in You. Because You too, You are wounded by our stupidity, our blasphemies… I welcome Your Forgiveness, as the flower welcomes the dew of the night. It is truly a gratuitous gift beyond my resentments, my fears, my failures, my weakness…It is a gift of Your heart in order to teach me the way of grieving, an indispensable way in order to open my graves…

Claire Ly

Enseignante à ISTR de Marseille.

Auteur de Revenue de l’enfer, Quatre ans dans les camps khmers rouges, Éd. de l’Atelier, 2002.

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