When considering an untrained mind, the idea of accountability is confusing. If a person isn’t in control of their own mind how can we hold them accountable for their actions? If I’m not in control of my own mind, how do I hold myself accountable? It might be that reaching a stage of mental control through meditation where a person could be held accountable is quite an accomplishment.
Accepting that people have varying levels of control of their minds is a double-edged sword. This understanding has allowed me to forgive myself for harming others in the past and to forgive others for harming me. So many bottled up feelings of anger, frustration, confusion, and disappointment have slowly disappeared which has helped all of my relationships to become more loving.
But are we letting people off the hook for reckless behaviors by chalking it up to mental impurities? Don’t rewards, punishments, and expectations help people to focus and overcome these impurities? Should we be accountable for our own mental impurities? It seems that either I’m missing a big piece of this puzzle or the paradigm of our schools, employers, and judicial system are fundamentally flawed. Maybe time will help clarify which is true. Time to meditate.