V. Beyond Perception, P 9
9 Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation. Correct perception of your brother is necessary, because minds have chosen to see themselves as separate. Spirit knows God completely. That is its miraculous power. The fact that each one has this power completely is a condition entirely alien to the world’s thinking. The world believes that if anyone has everything, there is nothing left. But God’s miracles are as total as His Thoughts because they are His Thoughts.
I need to underline this first sentence and commit it to memory. “Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation.” I have said before myself, and have heard many people say, “I don’t really understand forgiveness.” That is why when I hear the word forgiveness, I automatically translate it to “undo.” I chose the perception of separation, and now I need to undo this choice or to choose again. Thus, I forgive my perception of what is happening to me, or what someone is doing.
In order to undo the perception of separation, I must forgive it everywhere I see it. I cannot pick and choose the perceptions I want to undo and those I want to keep. If I keep any perception of separation, I have not forgiven the perception of separation. Because we see each perception as if it is something different from another perception, there is the temptation to believe that one is more meaningful and thus more valuable than another. But if it is a perception of separation it has no meaning and therefore no value.
Guilt is a separation perception. We are all innocent and this has no exceptions, but it can be hard to believe this sometimes. If someone breaks my heart, or steals something I treasure, or hurts someone I love, the temptation is to believe that person is guilty. If I don’t forgive that perception, then I have kept the whole separation perception in place.
Suffering is a separation perception. Many times I have felt like my suffering was justified. When my son was very sick, I suffered. Yesterday when I felt guilty for something I did to my mother, I suffered. When I have been sick or in pain, I have suffered. When I am suffering and I tell myself that I am a victim to the circumstances and there is nothing I can do about it, I am keeping the whole separation perception in place.
Separation perception seems to take many forms. It might appear as fear, anger, jealousy, depression, shame, grief, or envy, suffering, pain or death. It might appear as a behavior such as an addiction. It might appear as distracting behaviors like eating, shopping, reading, watching TV, when these things are done in order to avoid the work of forgiveness.
No matter the form they take, or how different they seem, our separation perceptions are really all the same. This is hard to hear and even harder to believe, but the death of a loved one is no different than the fear of losing a job. It is part of our separation strategy to put everything into categories and give them levels of “truth” and levels of importance. But just as zero times one equals zero and zero times a million also equals zero, separation perceptions are meaningless no matter what importance we give them.
Spirit knows God completely and Spirit is in our minds, so each of us has this power in exactly the same way and to the same degree. No one is holier than another and no one is condemned or less than another. The world doesn’t understand this because the world is based on separation perception.
There are the obvious examples of this as you listen to people talk about the Boston bombers, or politicians they really despise, or even whole groups of people they hate. But terrorists and murders and rapists, and even the politicians people love to hate, all have the same power of knowledge in their minds. The Spirit is in them as He is in all of us, so how can they be separate? If I see them as separate or different, if I see them as outside Love, then I am holding the separation perception in place.
How about the ones I see as holier than me, further advanced than me, more special than me? I know that some people are more advanced in time, but that is just temporary and not a real difference. But if I place anyone, even Jesus, above myself and make him special, then I am keeping the separation perception in place.
Who we really are, not the story of our bodies, which is just another separation perception, but our true Self, is exactly the same and is One. There is not one of us that is better or higher placed or more beloved or holier than another. We are each a miracle of God in exactly the same way. Give devotion where devotion is due, but reserve awe only for God.