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Speak on Forgiveness
Questioner: Can you talk about forgiveness? Whatever you feel inspired to share on that topic would be wonderful.

Speaker: Yes. It’s a topic that is the central teaching of A Course in Miracles. You might say that to forgive is to release the ego. The distinction between the world’s view of forgiveness, which is to forgive what happened, versus the course and Jesus’ teaching, is that you forgive your brother for what he did not do. This is quite a radical dive into the true experience of forgiveness. In the workbook of a Course in Miracles Jesus says, ‘your major problem with forgiveness is that you believe you must forgive what is true’.

At first when you read it you think “what is he talking about?” But what he is saying is that the thoughts and the beliefs and the perceptions that you seem to see and hear and feel and touch everyday are part of this hallucination that in truth, or in reality, has not occurred. The biggest frustration that people feel with forgiveness is that they say or feel things like, “well so and so were cussing or shouting, they did steal the money, or they did murder the person or whatever. Now what are we supposed to do… bless them as if they are white as lilies and pure as snow when they did it?” In some cases they will say, “I’ve got the evidence on video tape and DVD. What do you mean they didn’t do it? Its down on DVD preserved for posterity.” But in Truth it did not occur in the sense that it’s only this linear belief in time that seems to string together these persons, places, things and events. That makes it seem as if you’ve got a real movie going on there when actually it’s just a bunch of shadows dancing on the screen that has no reality whatsoever.

I teach people, that to forgive, the first thing that is important is to be attentive to your feelings. Your feelings are inroads to your thoughts and your thoughts are inroads to the beliefs. This is important to be attentive to all of these things because in the end you have to empty your mind of everything you think you think and think you know as well as all of these beliefs that are underneath those thoughts as well. It’s like lesson 189 with that famous passage, ‘simply do this, be still and lay aside all thoughts about what you are and what God is.’ That passage ends with ‘come to God with open arms’ and that is an invitation into divine silence in which you rest in the present moment and let go of this past/future collage of images and just sink into this light within your mind. So to me it’s important to distinguish true forgiveness, as Jesus really intended it, which is releasing illusions, from a sense of false forgiveness which says, ‘this really happened… now how am I going to deal with it?’ For once you have established the reality of error, the reality of images, you are stuck trying to figure out how you are going to dispel ‘reality’. This is an impossible thing. The teaching is basically to learn to recognize that this world is an impossible situation and that by not judging it or trying to analyze it or figure it out or fix it, but just by resting deep within and watching it and seeing it for what it is, you can see the false as false and then let it go. That’s kind of the summary of forgiveness as I’ve experienced it with ACIM.

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