I am convinced in a time like this, penitence of the suffering is next to impossible. But penitence is essential, even for the non-religious. There is a form of guilt that is real, not pathological.
It is the guilt that exists because suffering is a portion of life. And our typical reactions are anger and an alienation from life itself.
This morning as I did my mandatory walking, I tried to remember parts of my Job project, something I did at the close of the 1970s. The massive conclusion of this is Job’s penitence at the very end. It is to my mind an authentic repentance. It is the result of his actual confrontation with the deity.
I no longer subscribe to the notion of a deity separate from our capacity to imagine and embody him/her in what we might call our higher selves. From there the reality of G-d becomes experiential. We do not force it on anyone else. We do, however, share our experience.
My experience today is an urge to share this work. The sense I have is that G-d suffers as a creator even as the creation is defaced by our massive inversion of the values we are called, I believe, to embody. The link above goes to the first part of my “demo” of this.
The link below is to the conclusion of this. It leads to Job’s penitential motion.