In some earlier posts, I had compiled some lines on confession in terms of the views of the some sections of our society. This post is in the same direction.
Sometime, our religions provide for the procedures and sometime, we confess at our own when we feel that it won’t be possible to carry on the guilt and we wish to lead a peaceful life. It is however a personal matter to be considered by each of us according to our own circumstances and what our heart tells us.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that “Confession is a necessary requirement for complete forgiveness.” The sinner must confess both to those persons wronged by his sin and to God. Confession may also be required to an authorized Priesthood leader: “Those transgressions requiring confession to a bishop are adultery, fornication, other sexual transgressions and deviancies, and sins of a comparable seriousness.” The priesthood leader may counsel the sinner to submit to the authority of a disciplinary council, but does not have the authority to forgive sin. However, the confession must be held in strict confidence unless the sinner grants permission to disclose it to the disciplinary council.
In Buddhism, confessing one’s faults to a superior is an important part of Buddhist practice. In the various sutras, followers of the Buddha confessed their wrongdoing to the Buddha. Other sections of the earliest Buddhist writings (i.e., the Vinaya) required that monks confess their individual sins before their bi-weekly convening for the recitation of the Patimokkha.
The title “Buddhas of Confession” designates those “awakened ones” who profess or place their trust in certain religious principles, as in the Buddhist “Confession of Faith”: I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the light of his teachings; I take refuge in the company of the Holy Ones. With the Jains it is the tirthankaras, their teachings, and the company of Noble Ones who are “an island . . . of safe refuge” day and night. (Akaranga Sutra, I, 6, 3 3).
“Confession” is not used in the Christian sense of forgiveness of sin. Jains consistently reject the idea of a personal god who creates and destroys, forgives and damns. The nearest they come to this idea is when, upon reflection over the events of the day, a disciple discovers that he may have unintentionally hurt or inconvenienced someone, he to himself admits, confesses, to such an act and immediately attempts to assuage any ill feelings his act may have caused — in that other, or within his own psychological nature. If a young mendicant confesses to his guru some “sin” or personal hangup, he does not seek forgiveness, but insight, and strength to rid his soul “of the thorns . . . of deceit, misapplied austerities, and wrong belief, which obstruct the way to final liberation and cause an endless migration of the soul.” (Uttaradhyayana, xxix, 5)
In Islam, confession, or declaration to be more precise, of faith is one of the five pillars of Islam. The act of seeking forgiveness from God is called Istighfar. Like Judaism, confession of sins is made directly to God and not through man (except in asking for forgiveness of the victim of the sin).
In law, confession is the formal admission of criminal guilt, usually obtained in the course of examination by the police or prosecutor or at trial. For a confession to be admissible as evidence against an accused individual, it generally must have been procured voluntarily after the person was informed of his or her right to remain silent and right to consult an attorney.
If a confession is obtained through torture, threats, prolonged interrogation, or false promises of immunity from prosecution, it is inadmissible, but law enforcement officials may and do use psychological pressure, which can lead to false confessions. A signed confession is presumed to be voluntary, and the accused must introduce proof that it was extorted in order to prevent its introduction at the trial. Usually, a person who does not plead guilty cannot be convicted solely on the basis of his confession.
Whatsoever be the definitions of the confessions under different schools of thinking or in terms of practices in different religions/areas, everybody loves a sincere confession. Confessions free the soul and lighten the heart. Confessions free you of guilt, heartache and blame.
Generally, we do not make confessions easily unless there is some compulsion. We keep the sensational stuff bottled up! If you read autobiographies of some celebrities, they edit the juicy, sensational stuff. But, ordinary people carry on the confession movement. One sex-worker, Nalini Jameela, 53, from Kerala in India recently wrote her first book, “Autobiography of a Sex Worker”, reveals the intimate truth about her personal life, “I was always being judged harshly by people. Prostitution wasn’t my hobby, it was my job. I wrote about my body and what my profession did to my body. I wanted to tell women that I had feelings, but men used and abused us. Police officers would come to us at night and beat us up during the day. I wanted to tell wives, sex isn’t bad. It can be liberating,”. Her candid confessions stirred a storm. As did Britain’s Nell Fox’s confessions of a serial mistress, which were aired recently on UK’s Channel 4. She appeared in a TV programme and talked about being a mistress to all the men in her real life.
Why do we need to confess? Is it that we’ve become emotional exhibitionists, who love to display our secrets, our dirty tricks, and turmoil in public? Is confessing just another attention-seeking techniques? Fact is, we confess because we want solace, we want to be guilt-free, there’s a desire to flaunt the fact we survived despite the odds, so let’s get social acceptability now. There’s a desire to exhibit ourselves more than ever before. That makes us tell our stories. You don’t want to keep secrets and you want to talk about love, betrayal and wild sex lives, violence… everything.
Sometime, making confessions publicly seems, are the quickest way to fame and success. The rise of confessional books all over the world is perhaps in the same direction, a big trend. As we love to hear first-person stories, internally we wish to make our disclosures also to liberate ourselves but for the sake of humiliation by others or those concerned, we do not do it more frequently and carry on the burden over our minds.
It is true that everybody loves a sincere confession. Confessions free the soul and lighten the heart. Confessions free you of guilt, heartache and blame. If you believe, you may confess your guilt.
Be Happy – Confess Your Guilt.