Let me perceive forgiveness as it is

This post was written by DoctorJay on May 28, 2010
Posted Under: A Course In Miracles - workbook,forgiveness,sin

From the workbook lesson for today:

Let us review the meaning of “forgive,” for it is apt to be distorted and to be perceived as something that entails an unfair sacrifice of righteous wrath, a gift unjustified and undeserved, and a complete denial of the truth. In such a view, forgiveness must be seen as mere eccentric folly, and this course appear to rest salvation on a whim.

This twisted view of what forgiveness means is easily corrected, when you can accept the fact that pardon is not asked for what is true. It must be limited to what is false. It is irrelevant to everything except illusions. Truth is God’s creation, and to pardon that is meaningless. All truth belongs to Him, reflects His laws and radiates His Love. Does this need pardon? How can you forgive the sinless and eternally benign?

The major difficulty that you find in genuine forgiveness on your part is that you still believe you must forgive the truth, and not illusions. You conceive of pardon as a vain attempt to look past what is there; to overlook the truth, in an unfounded effort to deceive yourself by making an illusion true. This twisted viewpoint but reflects the hold that the idea of sin retains as yet upon your mind, as you regard yourself.

This is the thrust of the ACIM philosophy that all that is wrong with the universe is illusory.  I believe that sin exists but sin to me is the same as it meant in the original Greek of the New Testament. The Greek word translated as sin was a term derived from archery. It signified missing the mark. So when Jesus said, “Go and sin no more,” he meant do not miss the mark or at least do your best to not miss the mark.

Again keeping with the archery metaphor you can always improve and hit the target better…

[] Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the illusions of the world. It sees their nothingness, and looks straight through the thousand forms in which they may appear. It looks on lies, but it is not deceived. It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt. It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, “My brother, what you think is not the truth.”

[] There is a very simple way to find the door to true forgiveness, and perceive it open wide in welcome. When you feel that you are tempted to accuse someone of sin in any form, do not allow your mind to dwell on what you think he did, for that is self-deception. Ask instead, “Would I accuse myself of doing this?”

This is where I had a major challenge with. The point is not that i would accuse or not myself but that we cannot but help doing whatever we do.

Thus will you see alternatives for choice in terms that render choosing meaningful, and keep your mind as free of guilt and pain as God Himself intended it to be, and as it is in truth. It is but lies that would condemn. In truth is innocence the only thing there is. Forgiveness stands between illusions and the truth; between the world you see and that which lies beyond; between the hell of guilt and Heaven’s gate.

[] Today we practice true forgiveness, that the time of joining be no more delayed. For we would meet with our reality in freedom and in peace. Our practicing becomes the footsteps lighting up the way for all our brothers, who will follow us to the reality we share with them. That this may be accomplished, let us give a quarter of an hour twice today, and spend it with the Guide Who understands the meaning of forgiveness, and was sent to us to teach it. Let us ask of Him:

Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.

Then choose one brother as He will direct, and catalogue his “sins,” as one by one they cross your mind. Be certain not to dwell on any one of them, but realize that you are using his “offenses” but to save the world from all ideas of sin. Briefly consider all the evil things you thought of him, and each time ask yourself, “Would I condemn myself for doing this?”

Let him be freed from all the thoughts you had of sin in him. And now you are prepared for freedom. If you have been practicing thus far in willingness and honesty, you will begin to sense a lifting up, a lightening of weight across your chest, a deep and certain feeling of relief. The time remaining should be given to experiencing the escape from all the heavy chains you sought to lay upon your brother, but were laid upon yourself.

Forgiveness should be practiced through the day, for there will still be many times when you forget its meaning and attack yourself. When this occurs, allow your mind to see through this illusion as you tell yourself:

Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.
Would I accuse myself of doing this?
I will not lay this chain upon myself.

In everything you do remember this:

No one is crucified alone, and yet no one
can enter Heaven by himself.

Practice sessions – I ended up thinking about a brother who hurt me a huge amount when I was young and affected my life to a huge amount perhaps negatively (at least apparently) or perhaps positively (who knows until the universe ends):

  • First practice session:
    I actually did the meditation and forgiveness as a walking meditation. As I thought about the person who I had imagined had hurt me as a teenager and in my early twenties, I felt great love for this person. I saw that any apparent hurt he may have done was out of his own fear. As ACIM says there is only love or fear.
    So I sent this person love and asked for his forgiveness.
    I asked for his forgiveness not because I had harmed him but because I never appreciated his situation, his loneliness, his vulnerability.
    As I sent him love, the world around me looked better and more beautiful.
    I sent out love for about half an hour and then I remembered an appointment so that was the end of the first session.
  • Second practice session:
    I changed the target of the love and sent love to all sorts of people I imagined have harmed me. Forgiving may be easy but sending love to your “enemies” is much better.
    I suppose that’s what Jesus was talking about when he said, “Love your enemies.”
    I feel good. I feel the love I send out coming back to me, but that’s not why I’m doing it.
    It’s love or fear and I would rather love.
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