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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Forgiveness

I like this way of looking at our human situation (from a website by Colin Tipping). I found it interesting but somewhat dogmatic. I am one who, though no saint, does not find it hard to forgive. Or rather, I don't hold grudges easily. Neither do I for a moment believe that "God is angry with me and will punish me severely one day". Not because I am exceptional, but because God is never going to punish anyone. A punishing God is an absurd notion.


"Radical Forgiveness
by Colin Tipping, M.Ed

Notwithstanding our need to have revenge and restitution whenever we perceive ourselves to be victimized, the power and importance of forgiveness is central to every religion. It has even entered the annals of psychology and is now seen as essential to mental health. In the world of recovery and 12 step programs the forgiveness step is considered to be the most transformational. We also know that forgiveness is a highly effective adjunct treatment for cancer and other immune deficiency diseases and that lack of forgiveness is a reliable predictor of who is most likely to get cancer.

Yet forgiveness always seems so difficult – almost super-human. We know we should forgive, but somehow we simply can’t do it. We consider people who forgive as verging on sainthood. Why is this? What makes it so arduous? Why do we find it so hard to let go of toxic emotional baggage?

The answer lies in our powerful attachment to the victim archetype. We have lived out of this archetype for eons. It pervades our mass consciousness at every level and we have come to believe that victim consciousness is absolutely fundamental to the human condition. Jesus was the embodiment of forgiveness, yet we have even made him a victim – the ultimate victim in fact. We will not give it up. Why?

Because the victim, archetype is sustained by the Ego, that wholly false belief system that holds that we are separated from God and that God is angry with us and will one day punish us.

Yet, herein lies the clue to why, deep down, we feel that forgiveness is the key to our salvation. As we recognize that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, we realize that we are NOT separate from God after all. We never have been. It was simply a dream. We are all here expressing the ever expanding consciousness of God. This is what’s driving this ‘campaign’ for forgiveness as we approach the next millennium. Deep down we know it is the key to our spiritual evolution.

What follows from this is even more interesting. Gregg Braden, in his book, Walking Between the Worlds, shows that underlying all our problems, anxieties, neuroses, unhappiness and loneliness, are just three basis fears:

(a) fear of abandonment.
(b) fear of not being enough.
(c) fear of trusting.

These all come from our core belief that we are separate from God and that He is angry with us and will punish us severely one day. They play out in a myriad of ways – child abuse, spousal abuse, addictive behavior, family dysfunction, relationship problems, and so on – but the core issues underlying all these things are the same: those three basic fears. As we let go of our belief in separation, we see that these fears have no foundation whatsoever.

But how to let go? Ordinary forgiveness won’t help us because it is firmly tied to the victim archetype. “Letting bygones be bygones,” means I will let you off the hook, but I still believe you did something to me. I am still a victim. No, to break free we must do better than that. We must replace ordinary forgiveness with something so compelling and spiritually liberating that it magnetizes us away from our commitment to the victim consciousness. That something is Radical Forgiveness.

Radical Forgiveness literally obliterates the belief in separation. It takes us beyond the drama and the illusion of the many ‘stories’ we create around the three basic fears and enables us to see the truth that we have NEVER been abandoned, we ARE enough right now and that it is SAFE to surrender to Spirit. When we awaken to that truth, we are able to understand the true meaning of our suffering and transform it immediately, thereby releasing the victim archetype.

When we recognize that everything that happens is simply an outplaying of our three basic fears and that we needed the experience in order to heal those fears, our life changes immediately. We understand then that, because we chose it, there is nothing to forgive. We are no longer victims. We can then live our life knowing that, without exception, everything that happens to us is divinely guided, entirely purposeful, and for our spiritual growth. That is the essence of Radical Forgiveness.

That doesn’t mean we won’t often slip back into victim consciousness. We will. As soon as someone or something upsets us, we will almost certainly revert back. And that’s OK. That’s what being human is actually about. But we won’t need to hang out in victim consciousness for very long. A day or two perhaps, a week maybe – but not years or lifetimes – which has been the norm until now! ..."


5 comments:

  1. Thanks Malcolm! Great article.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found it interesting but somewhat dogmatic. I am one who, though no saint, does not find it hard to forgive. Or rather, I don't waste time and energy holding grudges. Neither do I for a moment believe that "God is angry with me and will punish me severely one day". Not because I am exceptional, but because God is never going to punish anyone. A punishing God is an absurd notion. (I'm adding this comment to the body of the post)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Malcolm, it's been a while I didn't come here, but I am so happy I have read that tonight... Yes... even with all the formal believes, it is stil very interesting... and probably very true... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Malcolm! This article was just the thing I needed! :)

    ReplyDelete

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