Recently, I had a chance to see forgiveness differently than I had before. There is a gynecologist in town who was arrested because his patient turned him in for taking pictures (with his cell phone) of… well, let’s just say he wasn’t taking pictures of anyone’s face. When I read the article in the paper I was titillated by the story and immediately judged the guy as both stupid for risking his medical practice like this, and sick for wanting to do it. It was such an automatic judgment that I didn’t think anything about it. I didn’t feel strongly about it one way or the other.
Later that day I spoke to someone who knows him and his family personally. As they talked about it I realized that I was not thinking about anyone involved as real people. I suppose this is because they are not “special” to me. They are not related and are not good friends so I just, without thought, dismissed them as unimportant in my life. I made them separate from me. In doing this I have to think that what happens to them does not affect me. I can forgive this man if I want to, or not.
As ego, it is handy to have these faceless people to project onto. It makes it really easy to convince myself that I am a separate individual, in no way connected to the vast majority of people. It makes it easy to project my guilt onto them. If they are meaningless to me I don’t have to look at any of this too closely.
Of course, the problem is that I am kidding myself. They are all part of my self. If I discount them, I discount myself. They are unimportant? Then I am unimportant. By putting this distance between us it makes it easier for me to keep the ego separation deception going. But as soon as my friend started talking about this doctor and his family in a personal way, they were brought closer into my sphere and they became real to me. I could not think of them as completely unimportant to me anymore. Then I realized what I was doing, and how I was making separate.
I also realized how I was misusing forgiveness so that it became a way to keep others guilty. What a great opportunity to see someone else as guilty and me as innocent. I would never do what he did. It was so far out of the realm of possibility that it made it easier to justify my lack of forgiveness. Sure I could justify my judgment of his guilt with lots of facts. But all of that is on the level of behavior and does not change the fact he was created perfect love and that cannot change. His ego is guilty, but he is not, and he is not his ego.
Does it matter that I offer him true forgiveness; the absolute certainty of his innocence regardless of what he seemed to do in the illusion? After all, I probably won’t be on his jury and I don’t know him so I cannot even offer friendship. But all that is on the level of form as well, and may or may not be an issue. Forgiveness is done at the level of mind.
Forgiveness is a thought and so is far more powerful than any action I could choose to take or not take. It is very important that I choose forgiveness because in choosing forgiveness for him, I am choosing it for myself. What I give is given to myself and to all of the Sonship. Something that started out being a mildly interesting article in the paper and people who I originally thought of as being different from me, became a great forgiveness lesson.
My message from Holy Spirit
Me: Thank you, Holy Spirit, for helping me see this all more clearly. Having a concrete example makes it easier to understand.
Holy Spirit: Myron, you can see how guilt placed on others helps to keep the separation in place. You feel guilty and so you project the guilt outward and think it is gone. Now you are learning that this doesn’t work because there is nothing out there to receive your guilt. Everything is you. But as you continue this practice in a vain attempt to rid yourself of guilt, you are actually reinforcing the mistaken idea that you are guilty.
Projection of guilt is the basis for the form of forgiveness everyone is so fond of; “forgiveness to destroy”. In seeing others as guilty and in need of your pardon, you are destroying the unity of God’s Son. You are not doing this in actuality, but in your mind, this is what has happened. Your “forgiveness” of your brother affirms the lie that he must be separate from you if he is guilty and you are not. In that moment of “forgiveness to destroy” you seem to have undone the oneness that is God. Thus you reinforce guilt in your mind.
What you seem to feel guilty about is irrelevant. There is only one problem and that is the separation from God. It is the ego strategy to make it seem there are a million things to feel guilty about. The ego knows that if you have to deal with each one you will be here forever. And to be really certain of its continued existence the ego not only makes one problem seem like many, it places the problem outside your mind by projecting onto “others”.
As you do these lessons you are becoming aware of these deceptions and are choosing against them. As you withdraw your projections, you are bringing the one problem back into the mind where the solution lies. When you find your mind wandering to justifications (which you will want to do) ask Me to look at it with you. In this way, we join in the undoing of the ego. Indeed, you must resign as your own teacher. Allow Me to be your teacher and I will teach you well.