“Any story about revenge is ultimately a story about forgiveness, redemption, or the futility of revenge.”
Since ages, humanity has delved into the nuances of human emotions which produce intense and surreal reaction. The idea of sinning and sinful existence of humans had propelled the individual and society at large in pursuit of path to realize the condonation from sin, error, or evil, even when it endures sufferings and pain to them. As Patti Smith puts it, “The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times”. The complexity of human existence and the individual and social actions associated with it has propelled injustices committed both to other humans as well as on the nature itself. It has led to bloodshed and gory wars with the ultimate desire of establishment of coveted power structures in place in the society.
But the ensued labyrinth of death, destruction and sufferings generated in the process has also stirred the human consciousness to seek atonement and redemption for their acts. The search of happiness and inner peace has galvanized mankind to seek redemption for themselves. This is echoed by Walter Benjamin as “Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption. The same applies to our view of the past, which is the concern of history… There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one.”
But the moot point is; is seeking redemption enough? Does it salvage our pride in judgment of human race and the principles it represents? Humans tend to seek redemption but loath on the idea of seeking forgiveness for the errands committed. Indeed, the conscience of the one seeking restitution of the self has indelible impact on the process in achieving the desired objectives. Between the radiance of a clear conscience and the darkness of a conscience defiled by sin lie many shades of gray where blemished humanity subsists. This may not be an impeccable position but not beyond redemption.
Indeed, some even delve on other unexpendable factors which are a prerequisite to attain salvation. As sermonized by Pope Francis, “The fragility of our era is this too: we don’t believe that there is a chance for redemption; for a hand to raise you up; for an embrace to save you, forgive you, pick you up, flood you with infinite, patient, indulgent love; to put you back on your feet. We need mercy.” Any efforts of redemption cannot replace the inculcation of sense of pity and kindness in the actions of the mankind. Death and destruction can only be suffered and at most forgotten, but their indelible scabs do have the potential to arouse the sense of retribution in the generations to come. Human history has indeed established that the trails of scars they leave behind are the crux of all the tensions and conflict throughout the ages.
“When you destroy somebody, you are destroying yourself meanwhile. Maybe right now you are not alert, but one day you will find that the same ditch that you have dug for others has proved your own grave. So it is always very very essential to feel, to know, to be certain”, pronounces Osho. Indeed, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us. But then it is upon the individuals not to allow these to scar them for life. Sufferings cannot be allowed to mark us, alter us forever and strangulate the humanity within us. But then it requires a level of emotional and philosophical grounding to be inculcated in the society which is sensitive to the ultimate goal of mankind to attain happiness and contentment for all.
In the postmodern society where we owe our existence, this may seem a far flanged goal. The constant ups and downs of everyday life do indeed fade the prospect of distinguishing between sinning and surviving. The idea of redemption therefore seems a distant dream which is way down the list of human priority, both in the realms of individual and society. Even if the relevant idea exists in any corner of public discourse, it is full of cynicism and greeted mostly with sense of dilemma. “Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.” exclaims Clive Barker. The ultimate goals of search of happiness in modern times do have a twisted inference in our minds and conscience. In common parlance redemption implies rescue, being saved from the ugliness of societal flux.
Clearly, redemption as a tool of proscription of our acts is a welcome indication in this world where your status is mostly judged by your material possessions and the moral values are given a pass. But the awareness of being watched by someone and answerable for ones act does sits in the corner of human conscience. A noble act does not wash out the bad, nor does a bad act the good. Each has its own ramifications, its own consequences. It is arguably sense of delineation to assume redemption as a personal goal, seeking it while meandering through the dusty lanes called life, in search of human spirit that defines our existence. To sum up Evinda Lepins pens down a beautiful quote “Your current circumstances are part of your redemption story He is writing.”