I know how some of you react when you hear fingernails being drawn along a blackboard. The sensation is immediate and leaves you shuddering. If I were capable of having such a reaction, which of course I’m not, it would be triggered every time somebody said the word should. The answer to any question that begins with should is no. There is nothing that anybody should be doing. We would want to rephrase today’s question into something that allows me some scope of answers. You could say, “Sanhia, you haven’t talked about forgiveness for a while. You’ve been speaking of I Am, that we don’t know anything, and searching for untruth. We were just kind of wondering if it is still a valuable thing to be focusing on forgiveness as a healing technique.” That is phrased in such a better way, that is, if I believed in better or worse, that would definitely be better. Underneath it all with this question – and I am not singling out the person asking the question, it is simply a human ego thing – is the desire to check to see if you are doing it right. This is looking outside of yourself for validation. I want you to know that if your intention is to awaken, there is no wrong way to go about it. If your intention is not to awaken, it matters not what spiritual path you follow, you will not get there. The road that you will be traveling is already tough enough. Without intention, you will stop somewhere along the way and call it a day (or a life). Now, coming back to the question, the short answer is “of course”. Forgiveness is always a good idea. Forgiveness is based on the truth that you are not a victim of anyone, including yourself. Since nothing has happened to you from the outside, who do you have to forgive? The only true forgiveness comes from the realization that there is absolutely nothing to forgive. If you think there is something to forgive, it doesn’t matter how hard you work at it, you’ll never reach forgiveness. The thought deep down inside is that they are guilty, guilty, guilty, and in need of punishment. That is your deepest thought about yourself. You are guilty and need to be punished. Yes, forgiveness is always an excellent choice, and would you like fries with that?
Having said this, forgiveness is a very hard thing to do because most of you, no matter how hard you try to convince yourselves otherwise, don’t buy the truth of non-victimhood. A little inner voice whispers “bullshit” every time you claim you are not a victim. There are few satisfactions within the prison of the illusion that can equal that of seeing the “guilty” punished. It is so nice to see it happen to somebody else instead of to you. That’s a lot to give up. It takes a lot of courage to accept that you can only be doing these things to yourself and that it is all about your imagined separation from Divinity. So again, the shorter answer is of course, keep on keeping on. But there is a longer answer. There might be an easier way to be successful than working directly with forgiveness. I am not saying to forget forgiveness and seek vengeance for all of your “enemies”. I’m not suggesting you start your own little inquisition. It’s not time to reinstitute the rack and the thumbscrews. When you find yourself judging, being a victim, or lacking forgiveness, it is always a good idea to notice that and to choose differently. What I am saying is that if you think that truly forgiving is a hard thing to do, I am here to say that it is even harder than you think it is. Absolute forgiveness is a very advanced thought. You can repeat over and over to yourself that everyone is innocent, but that won’t make you believe it or quiet the little inner “bullshit” voice.
It might be an easier and a more direct route for you to take the happy idiot approach. By that I mean that you acknowledge that you don’t know anything. If your mind is going in a direction of judgment, the questions become: “Is my judgment really true? Am I really a victim of that person? Does that person really have power over me? Where did they get that power? How did that happen? Can I take it back? Did I give it to them? Were they just born holding power over me? Is all of this really true? Is that person as selfish as my mind is saying? What does selfish mean? If I give up everything in the world to pursue truth, is that selfish?” If you follow your lines of thinking, as I am modeling here, when you are in the judgmental process – rather than jumping to the end of the line and pretending that you know there is nothing to judge – you have a chance of changing your mind. Right now you haven’t earned that. You still believe in guilt and punishment, right and wrong.
Rather than sticking your head in the sand and pretending you are judgment free, look hard and deep at your thoughts. Is there anything wrong with affirming innocence and freedom from guilt? Of course there isn’t. But is it really true for you? Spoiler alert: if you are even having these thoughts it is not true for you. Are they absolutely innocent? Are you not a victim? Don’t look away. Keep investigating the truth in these thoughts. How enormous is it to give up victimhood? You will have looked at all the places where you feel yourself to be a victim, whether of another person, of nature, of your own body, of disease, of governments, or of the economy. You will have to follow many of these threads before you can unravel the untruth of victimhood. And this is just one aspect of judgment. Perhaps you are judging yourself and others for one of the “seven deadly sins“. This is an enormous work and it is one you must do if you wish to wake up. Hearing me say it or reading it in A Course in Miracles isn’t enough. You have to do the heavy lifting. You have to analyze every last thought that comes into your mind for its veracity. Let your mind follow these thoughts wherever they might take you. Wherever your mind finally rests, is it resting on the truth or do you need to go deeper? You may be wondering if your mind will ever get to rest. When you reach the truth you will be able to rest in the truth forever. At a certain point of following your thoughts, the remainder may just tumble of their own weight to join the debris of untruth you have realized. As we mentioned in the last message, you arrive at truth by eliminating all of the untruths until only truth remains.
It might not be easy for you to follow your mind, to stay with it, when you have been acting as if and believing that an untruth was true. What you will find if you stay with the process is that you know less and less every day. Getting smarter means unlearning untruths. Knowing more requires knowing less. Piling up more untruths cannot lead to wisdom. It is said that you shouldn’t believe half of what you read or hear. The wise person knows which half is which. The wisest person knows that the true half is infinitely smaller than the untruth portion. When you reach the point of absolutely knowing that a thought of judgment or victimhood is not true, how could you possibly still hold on to that thinking? So maybe the quickest and most direct way to release judgments is to go directly into the untrue beliefs you are holding. Then the judgment will fall away of its own weight. Without untruths there is nothing left to support judgment. The lack of forgiveness has been propped up by false beliefs.
A “should” question will never lead you to truth. Chase it down and find what isn’t true about it. As you are following the strands you may realize that you don’t do some things because you should, but because you want to. There is no “should” about breathing, you desperately want that next breath. Check out your “shoulds” and see if they are actually desires. Forgiveness is a wonderful concept and to whatever degree you are able to embrace it this is a great guide for you. However, if you desire to be fully successful at forgiving, look at the untruths you are holding. This includes any beliefs you have that you do things because you should do them rather than because you want to do them. Untruth realization is the easy way to forgiveness. You have enough of a challenge without making it any harder on yourself. You have your work cut out for you. If you haven’t arrived at the place where you realize the untruth of any belief or thought, you have another think coming. Have fun with that!