Lesson 46

Lesson 46

God is the Love in which I forgive.

God does not forgive because He has never condemned. And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them. As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.

Yet although God does not forgive, His Love is nevertheless the basis of forgiveness. Fear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God. For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation. It is the means by which illusions disappear.

Today’s exercises require at least three full five-minute practice periods, and as many shorter ones as possible. Begin the longer practice periods by repeating today’s idea to yourself, as usual. Close your eyes as you do so, and spend a minute or two in searching your mind for those whom you have not forgiven. It does not matter “how much” you have not forgiven them. You have forgiven them entirely or not at all.

If you are doing the exercises well you should have no difficulty in finding a number of people you have not forgiven. It is a safe rule that anyone you do not like is a suitable subject. Mention each one by name, and say:

God is the Love in which I forgive you, [name].

The purpose of the first phase of today’s practice periods is to put you in a position to forgive yourself. After you have applied the idea to all those who have come to mind, tell yourself:

God is the Love in which I forgive myself.

Then devote the remainder of the practice period to adding related ideas such as:

God is the Love with which I love myself.

 God is the Love in which I am blessed.

The form of the application may vary considerably, but the central idea should not be lost sight of. You might say, for example:

I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.
I have already been forgiven.
No fear is possible in a mind beloved of God.
There is no need to attack because love has forgiven me.

The practice period should end, however, with a repetition of today’s idea as originally stated. 

The shorter practice periods may consist either of a repetition of the idea for today in the original or in a related form, as you prefer. Be sure, however, to make more specific applications if they are needed. They will be needed at any time during the day when you become aware of any kind of negative reaction to anyone, present or not. In that event, tell him silently:

God is the Love in which I forgive you.

 

Journal

What a remarkable lesson this is! First, we are reassured that God does not forgive because God does not condemn. But no matter that; it is His Love that is the basis of all forgiveness. This means that even if I have something difficult to forgive, I can do it because I am not forgiving with my ego self, but with the Love of God, which is always available to me because what is of God is also of me.

I am also told that all forgiveness is forgiveness of self. I have learned to think of it this way; I never forgive the other person, I only forgive my projections onto them. We condemn ourselves with the fear thoughts that we choose to believe, and, seeking relief, we then project those thoughts onto others and see them as guilty.

So when we forgive the other we are really forgiving ourselves and in forgiving we are released from fear and so no longer condemn. “Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them. As you condemn only yourself, so do you forgive only yourself.” As we forgive, we are literally undoing the ego and releasing ourselves from the illusion.

I thought I would not be able to find anyone to forgive, but immediately someone I know came into my mind. It is a “small” thing, and by that I mean it is not something that impacts my life in such a way that I think of it much. But if there is unforgiveness of any kind in my heart, I am still bound to the world. So how could I say that it is a small thing or a large thing? This morning, I am eager to forgive.

Regina’s Tip

The human idea of love is typically very different from the love of God. Since our ideas about love can be mistaken, we can also misunderstand a lesson that uses the word ‘love.’ So, let’s take a minute to look at ‘love.’

Love may be best defined as openness. Other words that help us grasp the meaning of love are allowance, non-judgment, non-interference. An example of love is the space in the room where you are sitting now (or the space outside, if you are outside now). If you contemplate the space around you, notice it is open, allowing, non-judgmental, and non-interfering. For example, if two lovers decide to make love in the space around you, the space does not get in the way of that. Its openness naturally allows that. Likewise, if one person violently murders another person in the space around you, the space does not get in the way of that. Its openness is as equally open to murder as it is to making love. The openness of space is so naturally open, it can’t be anything but open. Judgment and interference are impossibilities for the space around you.

God (our true nature) is exactly the same. It is completely open and it cannot be anything but completely open.
Love = openness.

My Thoughts

This was very interesting to me. It is another way altogether to see love. I wondered how I could see my own true nature as openness and Regina talked about that, too. She says that our natural openness is not the mind that judges, rejects and condemns, etc. She says this about our intrinsic openness.

You might notice that your intrinsic openness allows all sounds and all sensations. Notice there is no block to anything in your openness. It is simply openness. If the mind begins to chatter, look to see the openness that allows the chatter. This openness is completely natural for you. It’s an openness you cannot close.

Here is a process she recommends.

Forgiveness is open-allowance-without-clinging. It might look like this:

~ Someone insults me. (Happening)
~ I get angry. (Effect of believing the mind’s judgment of the previous happening.)
~ I see my anger. (Awareness)
~ I remember my purpose. (Heart)
~ I practice Rest – Accept – Trust. (Open-allowance-without-clinging)
~ The temporary event ends as all temporary events do.

Past Entries

Jesus says those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions. I love that he used the word release because I can relate to that easier than I can to the word forgive. Forgive has such convoluted meaning for most of us. For the longest time,  I thought of forgiveness as letting some guilty person off the hook. It took a long time for me to understand that I am not forgiving what has been done but forgiving because nothing has been done. But if I say I release you or I release myself, that feels like a short-cut to true forgiveness.

I cannot forgive through the ego mind. Just as I can see only in the light of God, and I can think only with the Mind of God, I can forgive only with the Love that is God. I think of someone I am projecting my fear thoughts onto, and I want to stop because I want to be free of the fear. If I attempt to forgive in the old way,  I try to stop making this person guilty. I “forgive” them for what they did, and it only gets worse. Now that I have made the whole thing real, I can’t find my way to forgiveness.

God is the Love in which I forgive. As I forgive through this Love that is available to me because, as His creation, it is in me, I lose interest in the story of his sins. Through the Love that is God, I experience the effects of forgiveness as I withdraw my projections. I don’t sit around obsessing over the story. I don’t try to repress the resentment and anger. I release the belief that anything was done to me. The Love that is in my heart forgives the whole thing as if it had never occurred because, in truth, it never did.

When I fail to forgive, I think I am angry, I think I am resentful, I think that I have been unfairly treated. But when I fail to forgive, I am actually afraid. I am afraid because I have made guilt real in my mind, and so I believe in my own guilt. I am afraid because I know something is wrong with this, even though I may not understand what it is. In fact, if I have failed to forgive, then I am probably busy judging the person or situation in order to justify my unforgiveness.

If I don’t release the judgments, my fear will insist on defense and attack strategies. I will have no peace. When I fail to forgive, I am afraid because there is a place in my mind that knows I have just added another obstacle to the awareness of Love’s presence. I have just moved further from that awareness, and that is very frightening. I may have buried this knowledge so deeply into the unconscious mind that I have successfully avoided it all my life, but I still know it.

The thinking mind cannot bring me to the solution, but God’s Love, which resides in the heart, knows the way. All I have to do is release the judgmental thoughts in the mind to the Holy Spirit Who will take care of them, and then turn to the heart. Without the ego mind distracting and stirring up fear, I will allow the heart to lead me into Love. As Jesus says in this lesson: “Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced, returning the mind to the awareness of God. For this reason, forgiveness can truly be called salvation. It is the means by which illusions disappear.”

Having been through a recent descent into ego thinking, this Lesson is very helpful to me. What sometimes happens is that I release the fearful ego thoughts to the Holy Spirit. I turn to the Love within and allow it to soothe my mind and lead me to true forgiveness. I feel uplifted and joyful. Then as I sit around minding my own business, suddenly the fear surfaces again and I am blindsided by it. I thought it was gone!

The ego mind knows only guilt and fear and that part of my mind sees peace as a threat. It is understandable in an insane way. If guilt and fear are an integral part of the ego, then allowing guilt and fear to fall away is actually ending the ego, and the ego mind recognizes this. It fights back as its very survival is at stake. The ego mind wants to obsess over the injustice of it all, the threat that this guilty party presents, and the fearful outcomes I can expect. It wants to bring me back into its fold; it wants to keep me believing in it.

The solution is simple but does at first require practice and, persistence and determination. As soon as I notice the mind slipping back into some form of fear, and anger, resentment and guilt are some of those forms, I repeat my desire for freedom. I release the painful thoughts to the Holy Spirit and then I allow myself to become aware of the thoughts I think with God.

I remind myself that my mind is part of God’s and I am very holy. I remind myself that my holiness envelopes this situation. I remind myself that my holiness can do anything. I give my attention to what is true in my mind, rather than the false ego thoughts that bind me to the world. The one remaining freedom I have left myself in this dream of separation is choice, and I use it to gain my complete freedom. I choose God.

From my book, “Hey, Holy Spirit, It’s Me Again.”

This is a message from Spirit I received when I was still new at my forgiveness practice.

Holy Spirit: You are correct that everyone you forgive is but a symbol for yourself, and so you have been forgiving yourself all along. You have noticed that your life is more peaceful and that you are much happier. These forgiveness practices are the reason for this. Have you also noticed that the more you do it, the easier it becomes? With practice you will feel even more motivated to continue it.

Me: I do notice that this is much easier now. I remember an early forgiveness lesson in which I was holding onto my grievance even though I knew I wanted to release it. I said, “Holy Spirit, I know I need to let this go, but I am just not ready to right now. I am going to stay mad for just a little longer.” It is funny now that I think about it. It was kind of funny even then, but I recognized the truth in it. I still hold onto some grievances more than others, and it is not always very important, just something little. I don’t understand that.

Holy Spirit: Myron, these “unimportant” grievances are symbols for something else. It seems you are trying to forgive a small thing, but beneath that small thing is a belief you are not yet ready to give up. That is why it seems so hard. All forgiveness lessons are equal in value. Do each one as if it were your salvation for truly it is.

Now, after years of practicing forgiveness, I seldom let fear drive my actions. I release myself and release my brothers as quickly as I can. How can I see someone guilty when I know that beneath the ego construct of body and personality, there is our true self and that essence is exactly the same in all of us. We are one, and so there is only one to forgive. As I forgive you, I forgive myself and that is simply a fact.

One thought on “Lesson 46

  1. This lesson is great for me because I never truly figured out the forgiveness theory to the point where I was 100% certain. I know I still have work to do when I am thinking I forgive so and so for this or that because that only means I make their “offense” real. Later in studying the course I learned that forgiveness means it never happened….let it go. That meant there was no wrong, there was no offense and if I don’t don’t make it real, that is forgiveness. But this lesson saying God is the love in which I forgive melted the word forgiveness into love. Now I see that forgiveness would be fully loving “that” person warts and all. I think that humans are a species kind of like the animal kingdom. They are all called animals but some are mammals and some are bugs and some are birds etc. Through God’s love I can love them all equally no matter if they are a striped zebra or a mare with a foal or a gator. I don’t “love” zebra’s, but I feel lots of love for a mare with a foal and I find gators scary because they kill mammals. These different animals represent the animal kingdom… warts and all. From humans I expect everyone to fit MY idea of what they should be like. But some humans, to me, are like mares with foals and others are like zebras and some are like gators…in my mind. Yet the course says we do not see the big picture so that is why a gator who kills seems fearful to me. But the food chain proves we knew very little until recently about the animal kingdom so my judgment is based on incomplete information. My little dog can have a surgery and on the way home in the car he is jumping around with joy to see me. If I had a surgery I would probably moan and groan for days but he would be willing to lay on my bed and comfort me so I love him more than others. There are so many varieties of species and types of humans that I cannot figure it all out…that is God’s “job.” Maybe the gators are here to teach me how to forgive an animal that would eat my little dog. My little dog is my special relationship the gator is not. I have gators in a pond right next to my house. Right now I have two doves making a nest on my porch to lay their eggs in. I feel affection for them but not the gators. I think humans are like this. We are all vibrating at our own wavelength and that serial killer is like the gator and my best friend is like my little dog for whom I feel so much affection. God is the love in which I forgive means the gator and my little dog are equally loved in God’s eyes. The crabby narcissistic boss is a gator and the lovable old dude in accounting is my little poodle. I pick and choose who I want to love and who I do not want to love. I pick and choose who I want to forgive and who I do not like forgiving because some are gators to me and some are like zebras, cute but I feel no special relationship to them. If I try to figure out how to forgive different species of animals, or different species of humans…I can’t. But this lesson…says God is the love in which I forgive the whole “kingdom” that includes gators, zebras and mares with a foal and the narcissistic person and the gentle old soul. I can choose again and i choose to love the way God loves the whole kingdom. That love is the “goal,” that love is my choice. Thank you Holy Spirit for showing me the complexity of this kingdom with all our stripes and our special relationships. I will practice this all day today to learn how to love equally without my labels. Thank you Myron for your sharing and caring. 🙂

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