The Miracle of Forgiveness [ACIM Series Part 1]

in #spirituality2 years ago

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I want to give you a warning before you read this article. Reading this, will cause many resistances come up, because the message is very radical.
It goes directly to the source of the Ego, and therefore it will experience this as a threat. You can of course stop reading or dismiss it, but if you go along with me on this ride, this article alone, can change your life forever.
It will take only 10 minutes to read and a whole lifetime to practice…

My journey with A Course in Miracles

That being said, this article is about Forgiveness as taught in A Course in Miracles. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is a book „channeled“ from Jesus and I have studied it on an off over the past 20 years.
Only recently I really got its core message and also the reasons, why I had issues with it for many years and put it away.
The first issue I had was due to it’s very „special“ language, it’s written like Shakespeare’s works and using many Christian words, but redefining all of them. I recently came across a translation in plain English, that changed everything for me.

The second issue was a way bigger one, because I was not aware of it all the time. It was, that there are many well known teachers of the Course out there, who mix up the Course with their special thought systems and therefore watering down or even contradicting the core message of the Course. These are people like Marianne Williamson, Gabriella Bernstein, Michael Mirdad and many more. I always thought, that they would teach the Course, but they teach their very special version of the Course and this confused me, because I felt the inconsistency in what they are doing, but didn’t know what it was. This changed when I started to listen to Ken Wapnick, who was closely related to Helen Schucmann, who has channeled the Course from Jesus. He was teaching only the Course in its pure message and suddenly everything became clear to me.

Forgiveness - How we normally see it

As everything, ACIM is redefining forgiveness from the ground up.
Normally when we talk about forgiveness, we think of something, someone has done to us, and then we try to forgive in a way that is „looking past“ the issue. We take a stance of „Ok, this happened, but because I’m a loving person, I will overlook or forget what happened, and I will love you again“.
Besides the fact, that this never worked out for me, there may be people who claim, that this is possible. To be honest, I know no-one whom I really believe this claim. What I sense instead is lots of repressed anger and hatred, that are covered up with a smile of pretense.
Most religions teach this form of forgiveness, and look where this has brought us. If you believe that an attack on you has happened and you are trying to forgive in this paradigm, you have to do a lot of suppression and substitution to make it seem to work - which it doesn’t in the end.
People are destined to fail and feel even more guilty for failing afterwards - needing more rituals to cover up their failure to forgive.

The ACIM Basics

Now, to explain one aspect of ACIM, also means to explain the whole thought system of the Course as Jesus taught it. This is no small feat for just one article, because the Course is hundreds of pages - but I’ll take the challenge anyway :-)
Again, what you are about to read, will challenge everything you may believe to this point and may sound totally crazy to you. This is most likely to happen, because your Ego is to be threatened.
Ok, enough of the warnings - let’s take this risk…

The Course basically says, that we are not a human body with a brain and a human mind, but that we are a universal Mind, that dreams to have a body.
So there is only one Mind and in this Mind, there appear bodies.
In this Mind there appeared „a tiny mad idea“, that we could be separate from God. Now, this idea is not the problem - the only problem is, that we took this idea serious.
If we wouldn’t have taken this idea serious, it would have canceled itself out the instant it appeared, because God is One and there can not be anything outside of God. It’s impossible.

So the belief in the idea of separation from God, was the beginning of the Universe and everything in it. Time, Space, Trees, Snakes, Apples and all the drama started with this belief. It’s called a dream, because of course this separation never really happened. It seems to go on now in time, but time is an illusion created out of this idea. In God and perfect Oneness, there is no time.
Basically with this, ACIM tells us, that God didn’t create the universe.
It says very clearly, that there is no Universe other than as a dream of separation.
God being perfect Peace, Love and Oneness, doesn’t even know about a world, because a separate world is impossible for „him“ (of course God is not a person).

The main issue with taking the „tiny mad idea“ serious is, that with it comes the guilt, that I, as a separate human being, have made the impossible possible. I have left God and surely he will be mad with me, when I return. The story of the prodigal son in the Bible tells exactly this.
With this guilt of having left Oneness/God comes a lot of fear.
So guilt and fear are the main emotions that keep our Ego in the Dream.

The ACIM Way of Forgiveness

Take a breath. I just told you, that the Universe does not really exist and with that, that you don’t exist either. With „you“ I mean „you“ as a separate human being in a body.
Now this doesn’t seem very helpful, because „you“ still have the impression to exist and that you experience all the ups and downs of daily life.
You (as the Ego) also feel guilty and fearful of the wrath of God.
This is exactly, where Forgiveness comes in.

There are basically 3 steps in Forgiveness as taught in ACIM - of which I’ll try to explain the first two (the third step will follow by its own):

The First Step of Forgiveness

We have to start where we are. ACIM is very practical. Where we are is, that we believe that we are separate human beings and that there are victims and victimizers. We believe, that someone else has done something to us and therefore this person is guilty of hurting us.
In the way forgiveness is taught in religions, we would see this guilt in another and then overlook it - as described in the first paragraph.
Not so in ACIM. Here we look at the guilt and see, that this guilt is a result of our belief in separation in general. The guilt we see in another, is only a copy of the guilt that results from the belief in separation itself.
It’s a projection of our guilt on another.
So in this first step we take back this projection and see, that it is our own guilt we have put on others. We project, because this guilt feels unbearable in us, and our Ego will do everything it can to avoid feeling guilty.
There is lots of resistance to that, associated with immense fear.
Taking back the projection of guilt, is the last thing the Ego wants to do.
Essentially, we end our judgement of others in this step! (because in the end there are no others)

The Second Step of Forgiveness

Now your Ego may say: „Damn, when I take back the guilt from others and see it in myself, then I’m doomed to run around in this world with this huge load of guilt for basically everything! It’s taking on the guilt of the world and the worst thing you could do! Screw this article! Screw this Course! Fuck you and Goodbye!!“
I hear you and I felt the same - but I forgot the second step in Forgiveness.
In the beginning of this second step we have the feeling that we deserve to be punished and go to hell.

The content of our mind is our guilt. We are looking outside for the causes of our unhappiness and that’s why we will never find them.
The Egos maxim is: „Seek and never find“ - we are looking at the wrong place. The answer is always in our Mind.
While in the first step we see, that the projection of our guilt onto others was our decision, in the second step we see, that even the guilt itself is our decision!
Please read this again. What ACIM is saying is, that it’s your decision and that therefore you can make another decision every instant.
You don’t have to go to therapy for many years and work through your guilt issues.

There are several realizations, that make this decision an easier one:
The first thing is, what I have described above, that the attack from another is as illusionary as the guilt of the separation of God itself.
Both never happened!
Neither was there an attack on you nor did you ever separate from God.
It was all in your Mind and because you took the „tiny mad idea“ of separation serious. It’s all a dream.

Another realization, that makes the decision easier is, that we have 2 teachers in our mind.
The Ego on the one side, that represents the thought system of separation, individuality and guilt - this is the teacher/voice in our mind, that we followed so far.
The good news is, that there is another teacher/voice in our mind!
YEAH! Time for a happy dance!!!
The other teacher/voice is called in ACIM the Holy Spirit or Jesus.
The Holy Spirit and Jesus are of course also only symbols for Truth/God.
They are not Truth or God itself, but they represent Truth in our Mind!
They are, what in ACIM is called „the correction“ of „the tiny mad idea“.

So when you followed me so far and understood these basics, then everything becomes very easy! Forgiveness becomes the easiest thing in the world - and also the only thing you have to do for the rest of your life.
All you have „to do“ every moment, is to watch, which voice in your mind you are following.
Are you following the voice of the Ego or the voice of the Holy Spirit?
That’s basically it. That’s the third step that follows automatically from the first two.

To sum it up:
Forgiveness is the realization, that it’s not you whom I forgive, but myself, for choosing the wrong teacher/voice.
In the end, Forgiveness is the realization, that there is nothing to forgive.
And Forgiveness is also not something you need to do - it’s just the realization, of how this dream works! That’s it.

Forgiveness is silent in nature.
There is a line in the Course, that sums it up perfectly:

Forgiveness merely looks and waits and judges not.

It’s patient, because it knows, that nothing really happened.
Forgiving is looking at the world with the eyes of Jesus/The Holy Spirit.

I want to end this wild ride with a quote of Ken Wapnick:

First you have to realize that there is nothing to forgive in another, because the other is not responsible for your unhappiness. Second you realize, that there is nothing to forgive in yourself either, because you didn’t do anything. It was only a dream and you are resting forever in the Peace of God.

Thank you for reading this article and please forgive me (pun intended ;)) that I challenged your deeply routed Ego believes.
If you are getting the main points in this article, it can truly change your life forever and I’m totally aware, that this will need lots of practice.
The good news is, that you have every moment of your life to do so.
As long as you believe you are a body, there are endless possibilities to practice Forgiveness.
This is the real purpose of this dream, but this is a whole other article….

Love and Blessings,
Atmos


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From the day I joined Steemit, I decided my first article was going to be on Love and Forgiveness. The trigger was an article I read on a very abused horse and how it healed under the care of a loving entity (who was the writer of the article. her name/handle is @whitedolphin ). The miraclulous transformation of the horse just touched me so deeply for it was obvious to me that this beautiful creature has had to forgive the people who abused her in order for her to have moved on the way she did. I too was going through a difficult time and wanted to be able to forgive, and I knew instantly deep within my soul that this beautiful being was in a space of "Nowness" and "No Separation", and has Forgiven her perpetrators. Through her I was jolted into a beautiful space. I had an urge to convey this to others and writing this article was a journey in itself. I had wanted to get this same point across, about "no separation", for I knew in a "knowingness" kind of way that this horse knew and was truly in a space of "No Separation".

It was a real struggle to try to get this concept across without the influence of "religion" or the "new teachers". You have summed it up beautifully and I must say when I saw this article I was literally "blown away". The way you have put such a difficult concept into words and got the point across.

So ...after weeks of struggling to get my very first post here on Steemit I managed to do it a only few hours ago. It is my intention to write more on the subject of forgiveness, for I want to share some scientific data on the effects of "forgiveness" on the human body mainly the brain.
Thank you, Great One for this article. And I hope I did not bore you, and you found the time to read this comment which is quite long.

I was not bored, but blown away by your comment @gabbingster!
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your story with forgiveness.
I'm glad, that I could find ways to put into words, what resonated with you.
In deep gratitude ❤️

This went down seamlessly, so much this is exactly my viewpoint! :)

When we realize that all is a dream, or that the dream of Separation is merely a temporary dream within the perpetual dream of Oneness (a dream within a dream), there is ultimately truly nothing to forgive, because there are no consequences once we wake up ;)

Truly amazing how much inner Peace this lends us the more we embody it practically.

Yes!! Peace is the result of this - indeed.
There is one quote from the Course that says: "There is no hierarchy of illusions."
I think I'll write about this in my next article, because this is a game changer once understood. For a long time in my life I knew, that everything is a dream, but in my daily life I acted though as there would be some things that are "more illusion" and some "less illusion". Of course my transparent believes of what is "the right way" to do things were in the "less illusion" category. 😀
ACIM says: It's all on the same level and there is not only no hierarchy of illusions, but therefore also no hierarchy of difficulties in miracles! (a miracle is simply a change of perception from illusion to truth).
So whatever your problem in the world is - if it's cancer, an ending of a relationship or simply a parking ticket you just got - it's all on the same level.
That's why the course is so easy, once you got it, because then you see, that whatever the seeming problem is, in reality there is only one problem (the tiny mad idea) and one solution (the choice for the Holy Spirit/Jesus/"insert random symbol of God")
What could be simpler? 😀

Exactly! Even though I would say that there is NO problem, because we wouldn't have embarked on this "mad" journey in the first place, hadn't we known that the return is granted. More so, being able to make up such a bizar idea is THE proof of how much freedom we have beyond any limitations of the word ;)

Wohooo! Even Jesus couldn't have said it better! 😀

This course seems amazing!

I practiced radical forgiveness for and it absolutely change my life. I felt lighter being able to let go of the pain that others had caused me. Even more so, I was able to accept what I had done to others. It is not surprising to me after reading your article that in order to experience radical forgiveness, I had to have a HUGE ego death.

Thank you for sharing this 💜

Awesome! I wouldn't say ego death, because the decision between the egos thought system and the one of the Holy Spirit is intact for every instant in our lives - as long as we seem to have a body (which is a symbol for separation from God, and makes it look like it would be real) and there to practice Forgiveness. I know what you mean though - in forgiveness we very soon find out, where we still decided for the ego. This way it's a perfect tool to teach us along our path!
Thank you! 🙏

I like how you explain the ACIM I will apply the three steps of forgiveness, I really like the way you explain this, we believe it is complicated forgiveness I want to discover the third step of this.

You're right everything becomes easier to read you I get to understand a lot of thanks for this today

Thank you! I'm glad this helps. The third step is to be experienced and comes on its own, once you get used to decide for the Holy Spirit instead of the Egos thought system.
Blessings! ❤️

I have ACIM sitting on my virtual shelf but haven't managed yet to commit to taking the time required to study it thoroughly!

Your piece here elucidates the concept of forgiveness in the context of ACIM succinctly and fires me up to jump in virtually.

In life we each can choose how we process an event and react or not ~ the understanding that we are all one great big buzzy energetic soup certainly helps me to be kinder on myself and others.

xox

Thank you! 🙏
I would recommend to start reading and listening to some stuff of Ken Wapnick. Also the ACIM in Plain Language translation from Liz Cronkite really helped me - as well as the comic version called "The Universe is a Dream" from Alexander Marchand.
As I said, I won't recommend many other stuff by more popular authors, since they are teaching their version of the Course and that caused me to be stuck for many years.
That doesn't mean that it is wrong what they are doing - it's just not the Course the way I came to understand it. ❤️

WoW! Just wow..

Oh, thank you! blush 😊

I read Shakespeare and I can only think of his best phrase in my opinion

It is better to be king of your silence than slave of your words

It was wonderful to read this post, it made me feel in another world for a moment, I congratulate you for your excellent gift of the word

Thank you so much for your kind words! ❤️

Whether you are religious or not or if religious it doesn't matter which one, forgiveness is a release from self-inflicted personal bondage. When you meet someone for the first time you can tell within a few minutes of conversation whether or not they forgive others for their transgressions against them. The attitude of forgivers is refreshing and joyful instead of bitter and vengeful. Great post! I hope others find this great self-help action to radically improve their lives.

Thank you for your compliments and taking the time to read! 🙏

Sometimes its hard to forgive though. Depending how hurt you are. But i believe time heals every injury. Thanks for sharing bro

Well, time is an illusion - but a merciful one. In the end, it's not time that heals, but the change of perception occurring. 🙏

You are great at what you do, writing many people do not take the time to read as you say only takes 10 minutes but those ten minutes are the best invested since they give us so much learning and teaching.

It is very difficult to forgive we are filled with pride or anger we must learn to do we are human and we make mistakes

Yeah, I know. Most people won't take the 10 minutes to read, because their ego already senses, that this information is dangerous for it. Thank you for seeing it as an investment in the true you! Blessings! 🙏

Really interest post! what I copy for me to not loose is: "The content of our mind is our guilt. We are looking outside for the causes of our unhappiness and that’s why we will never find them.
The Egos maxim is: „Seek and never find“ - we are looking at the wrong place. The answer is always in our Mind."
Thank you!

Thank you!
Just be aware, that in ACIM the word "mind" is in this case not used as in "personal mind", but means Universal Mind as in: there is only one Mind.
There is the "real you" as the decision maker, who can each moment decide between the thought system of the ego or that of the Holy Spirit. 🙏

Thank you for this piece. Forgiveness may sometimes be difficult, but according to the lords prayer, we have to forgive those who offend us so we too can be forgiven.

Forgiveness is a hards pill to swallow but a sweet result awaits. It is the opposite of pride. Thanks for s refreshing reminder

Forgiveness is really a miracle, it relives one and changes ones view of life (for the better of course), just that it takes time to master the act. Great post

Indeed! Thank you! 🙏

You're welcome!

nice informations friend
I am a new follwer for you

resteem

Very nice selection of passages Atmos.

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Hi, how are you today? I love reading the truth, it fills me a lot.

You make us see that the poerdon is something so facail and that we human beings make it so complicated and so difficult sometimes not even we allow ourselves to forgive ourselves, thanks for writing this you make me see things differently

Amazing. I have struggled to forgive. Has it been in vain?

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the projection of our guilt onto others was our decision, in the second step we see, that even the guilt itself is our decision!

Really like this, I feel it sums it up nicely. All of our guilt and blame is coming from our thoughts about how things should be. WE can change which thoughts we subscribe to instantly.

I have a question, in the book do they say Jesus is equal to the holy spirit or Christ, or do they differentiate between the two? I don't know that it truly matters, but the Selig books make a differentiation between Jesus the man and his uniting with the Christ or what I would think of as the Holy Spirit.

Great write-up, I'm looking forward to more of these while I continue my series to look for similarities and differences!

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