Hello, my name is Eric Putkonen. Thank
you for joining me. Today I want to talk about repentance.
I think repentance is an interesting topic. Many faiths and religions talk
about it…touted as this great thing that we should all be doing, but I think a
great deal of misunderstanding exists around repentance. So many people focus
on the we should feel bad. There should be a regret, remorse, sorrow for what we
did. We should beat ourselves up for it. And that’s not what repentance is at all…
or…if…relatedly…it’s like when people say they’re sorry…often it’s done absent-
mindedly. It’s kind of a politeness. Or, as I sometimes see, someone will say
I’m sorry, but what they’re really meaning is I’m sorry you have a problem
with what I did or I’m sorry you feel bad about it.
Not that what they did was wrong. Not that they don’t ever plan on doing it
again. It’s just they’re sorry you have a
problem with it and that’s not what feeling sorry is…that’s not repentance.
Repentance is not about just saying I’m sorry or feeling bad or beating yourself
up about what you did. True repentance is about understanding.
Now whatever was done…wrongdoing…sin… whatever…when you repent,
what you’re…what repentance really means is that you understand deeply what you
did…to such a degree that it is very obvious and clear that that was the
wrong action. This understanding is so deep and clear that you could not do it
again. If the circumstances were to rise again, you would simply just not be able
to act the same way. You would have to act differently. You’re turning away from
that action forevermore. Not that the new action would be better
or superior or correct, but…because, you know, there’s always trial and error.
There’s a lot of error in the trial and error as we’re learning. But it’s
understanding that – oh yeah, that was the wrong way to go – and so you don’t do that
anymore. And that’s what true repentance is. True repentance is a fundamental
change in understanding. Now, that means you can understand clearly, deeply, and
never do it again… and not feel bad about it. You don’t have
to create suffering for yourself. You don’t have to whip yourself for what you
did. Self-punish. You don’t need to feel bad about it and regret and everything
else. Again, that’s emotional baggage we do to
try to make ourselves pay for what we did. We don’t need to pay for anything. We
simply need to understand what was done, what we did, why, and understand that that
was not the correct or best action we could do. I think that is important…to
understand that it comes down to understanding. Because based on our
understanding, action and reaction arises. Be it understanding or misunderstanding,
but we do what we do based on our own current understanding at the time. And so,
if that understanding changes, then the actions and reactions too will change. It
is a…they go together. So you don’t need to… to beat yourself up for it, because…you
know…you understood what… what you should have done differently,
then you would act differently. And that’s called…basically…growing and
gaining wisdom and understanding. So, yeah, I don’t suggest beating yourself up for
it. It’s kind of like if somebody or let’s say an infant had the
intelligence and mind of an adult…and as you’re learning to walk you fall down
many, many times…sometimes painfully… are you going to regret and beat yourself up
for every time you fell? It…I mean you could have fell a hundred times…a
thousand times…and when you finally were able to stand and walk those past falls
built and helped get you to where you are, which is standing up and walking.
You can’t…I think it’s wrong to begrudge past errors because that’s what trial
and error is. You’re learning and there’s lots of error in learning. If you’re not
making mistakes and you’re not erroring, then you’re not really pushing yourself
very far to grow. And this is my two cents. Something think about. Ponder it.
Think about it. If you want to comment, I appreciate it.
But, thank you much.