From reading around this forum, it appears there does not appear to be much in the way of forgiveness in the suttas. From what I understand, the buddha ascribed metta for one's enemy, but didn't talk of forgiveness as such. This may make sense intuitively, as forgiveness isn't exactly an emotion as such (a bit like patience).
I am currently working on a book by Jack Kornfield entitled Forgiveness. It is okay, but so far, doesn't seem too substantial. I am also working through the Dalai Lama's autobio. It is interesting to see how he related to the Chinese.
It's my belief that there are different levels of wrongdoing. The Dalai Lama puts it aptly when he says that the worst kind of violence is that which is dressed with a smile. Harmful actions, which are deliberately thought out and plotted, imo, are much worse than heat of the moment actions. Harmful actions that are plotted, but disguised as help or in the form of a smile, has to be the worse.
So, my question is, how does one related to such happenings, where one is subject to quite calculated and thought out ill willed action?
I am capable of putting it to one side, but that is almost forgetting about it. Which doesn't really strike me as what the buddha might prescribe? Even the Dalai Lama is quite frank about his experiences. He makes fun of the Chinese subtly too. It did question my idea of compassion as not saying bad about anyone - I am still not sure about this. Does this also mean that the past is worth recollecting and 'understanding'? Sometimes this can be a very painful and emotive process.
If I do think about the past wrong that have happened to me, I am occasionally shocked by someone's (only explicable) motives to their actions. And this arouses such an intense anger it is scary.
So I think the question is... is forgiving and not-forgetting perhaps the wisest thing to do? And how does one do that? Is there any literature or suttas out there that point to this?
I guess this also relates to the question of whether you can really understand someone's motives? I am thinking of a particular case here where a person consistently went to great lengths of deception and ill will, and caused me a great deal of pain. I can see their damaged and traumatic past, but the person in question is of extremely high intelligence, and some of their methods seemed shockingly thought out and self centred. I'd love to believe that they were not aware, but the facts and their actions consistently seem to point otherwise..