Unreal Nature

April 20, 2019

Champions of Forgiving

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:23 am

… We would do him a small favor by slapping him.

This is from Forgiveness by Vladimir Jankélévitch, translated by Andrew Kelley (1967, 2005):

… The egoist knows the art of turning the insults that he receives to his advantage and turns snubs and humiliations into profitable lessons. Injuries themselves serve to enrich his experience. He knows how to use snubs in the way ascetics know how to use temptations and trials with an eye to spiritual formation. Who knows, for such champions of forgiving, maybe a snub that is received is an occasion for becoming more perfect!

[line break added] The one who turns the other cheek, not out of love of man as Jesus demanded, but in order to exercise his will and resistance to vindictive temptation, in order to soften his faculties of adaptation, in order to diversify the synthesis, and in order to integrate food that is particularly difficult to stomach into a totality that is always richer is a cunning and voracious man. This is not a generous man. We would do him a small favor by slapping him.

[line break added] His project is to exploit everything, to devour everything, and to lose nothing, not even the windfall of a slap in the face. Is this forgiving? No, this captivating and annexationist synthesis is not opened toward the other. Here, it is only a matter of me, of my profit, of my beautiful soul. Hypocrisy and complaisance, philauty and pleonexy are the true ulterior motives of closed forgiveness.

-Julie

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