FORGIVENESS – ONE MORE TIME
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of writing on my current book, tentatively titled – ‘THE WISE OLD MAN & THE KID, A Guide to Living a Positive Life’, a semi-autobiographical account of an elderly man sharing what he has learned from his life with a 12 year-old boy. Over the past week I have been focusing on the practice of true forgiveness.
Here is an extract of a conversation about forgiveness between the old man and the kid.
“So, if you’re genuinely sorry after you hurt someone, or you totally forgive someone who’s hurt you, it makes you feel good?” said Noah.
“Well put, kid. But there is more to it than ‘feeling good’”. Davey replied.
“According to my spiritual guide – the book, ‘A Course In Miracles’ – forgiveness is the key to happiness.”
“How does that work?”
“Forgiveness holds the key to awakening from the dream, or the nightmare, we think we’re in. According to the Course, practicing true forgiveness is the only way out. Furthermore, it says that, whether we realize it or not, we’re all moving towards, or along, this spiritual path of awakening. Some are more advanced on this journey than others, but inevitably, when we find the pain of living in this hell we made up is too much to bear, each one of us will look for better way of living our lives and our search for the truth begins”
“I find that a bit hard to believe,” said Noah. “Apart from you, I don’t know anyone else who is following a spiritual path. Come to think of it, I didn’t even know about spiritual paths until I met you.”
“Ha! Ha! I understand your skepticism. Unless people walk around with a sign on them – ‘I’M ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH’- I guess there’s no way of knowing. However, I’m sure there are many people who follow one of the organized religions – be it Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist and so on – who have ventured beyond the conventional limitations of these teachings into deeper and more mystical realms. I’m sure there are vast numbers, who are truly following a spiritual path.”
“So, you reckon some religious people are on the path?”
“Definitely. But not only people who have religious beliefs. I’m certain many people who don’t subscribe to the teachings of organized religions, have also found their way to walking the path.”
“You mean those like you, who’ve had wake up calls and turning points?”
“Right on! Then again, I’m sure there are lots of others seeking the truth about themselves, their reason for being etc., who are also on their spiritual path.
“However, I think it’s fair to say the majority of people on the planet are walking around in a fog and have no idea of the concept that they’re living a dream. Even if they were told, they wouldn’t believe it anyway.”
“What happens to them, then?”
“Maybe it will take some more challenging and painful lifetimes before they’re ready to open up their minds enough to start looking differently at things.”
“I still don’t understand how forgiveness gets us out of our nightmare.”
“When we choose to overlook the ‘bad behavior’ of others who’ve hurt or offended us and we whole-heartedly forgive them – no strings attached – we also forgive our own ego-driven mistakes, where we’ve hurt or offended others. In other words, what we give out is what we receive back.”
“The law of rec-ip-roc-ity?” said Noah, laboring over the word.
“Yes. Great memory, kid! When we acknowledge that the offending person has just made a mistake, and his behavior doesn’t truly reflect who he is – a holy Son of God – then we are open to the truth that, we too, are holy Sons of God. It might take a lot of genuine forgiving before we push our ego-influenced thoughts aside, correct our past mistakes and truly believe Who we really are. However, the here-and-now benefits of practicing true forgiveness – the lifting of our guilt; the release of our grievances, resentment and hate; the positive response from those we forgive – bring us a sense of joy and happiness that none of the pleasures of the world can go close to matching.”
“What happens after we’re done forgiving?”
“This where it gets metaphysical and beyond our capability to understand, while we are dreaming we are bodies on Planet Earth. The final step is when God, our Father, sweeps us up in His arms, metaphorically speaking, and we waken from our dream to find we never really left our heavenly state.”
“Whew! This a bit of a stretch, to say the least,” said Noah. “How far away from awakening are you then?”
“Hey, I’m still on baby training wheels. I’ve barely made a start along the path to the light and freedom from the ego. Practicing true forgiveness has been a hard ask for me, given my well-entrenched ego-resistance. However, I think I’m moving in the right direction.”
End of extract from my book.
My concept of ‘forgiveness’ comes from my patchy study and imperfect practice of ‘A Course In Miracles’. However, the truth of its teachings resonate deeply within my heart and mind.