Real Forgiveness

September 3, 2009

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And Love is reflected in love;

Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy

"Jesus and Mrs. Eddy both said we must forgive."

"Fine, but who actually does? You hear people say 'I've forgiven him or her', but I wonder."

"Why malpractice them? You don't know."

"I just know it's tough for mortals to forgive."

"Sure, but I'd help them by seeing their divinity."

"Thanks — you're right. Who am I to sit in judgment on the quality of someone else's feelings?"

"Let's get into what forgiveness requires."

"You know in 'A Course in Miracles' they talk about not confusing the levels. If you're in the ego — what we'd call mortal mind—forgiveness is impossible because it's itself the sum and substance of the problem. It's only when we get in league with divine Mind that the sour feelings and the underlying problem are wiped out."

"And of course that's almost an exact description of what we see and do in Christian Science."

"This topic came up because we were interested to see if it was possible to forgive the Lockerbie bomber. It's an excellent case to work with."

"Very few people would be able to forgive him or the whole Libyan establishment that came out to welcome him home."

"What helped me was realizing I wasn't doing anyone any favors by maintaining animosity towards him or them. I'm not a politician—I don't need to curry popularity I'm a Christian Scientist and my duty is to lessen evil. Even those who died in the crash deserve my highest spiritual vision — not my sorrow and disgust. But let's be clear — it all has to be handled from the absolute standpoint of perfect God and perfect man. No half way rationalizations could possibly do the work."

"Right. It's a quantum leap. The word of God is sharper than any two edged sword . Whap!"

"I'll read something from Unity of Good: 'There are two English words, often used as if they were synonyms, which really have a shade of difference between them. An egotist is one who talks much of himself. Egotism implies vanity and self-conceit. Egoism is a more philosophical word, signifying a passionate love of self, which doubts all existence except its own. An egoist, therefore, is one uncertain of everything except his own existence. Applying these distinctions to evil and God, we shall find that evil is egotistic, - boastful, but fleeing like a shadow at daybreak; while God is egoistic, knowing only His own all-presence, all-knowledge, all-power.' (Un 27: 3-15) I'd say true forgiveness needs to come from the egoist standpoint, not the egotist.""It might be easier to forgive someone as remote in time and space as the Lockerbie bomber, but what about someone who's just offended or hurt me?"

"Or take that situation in Iraq right now. The Shiites have murdered over 700 Gay people since Sadaam fell. How'd we handle that?"

"Uh — that! Of course it makes my blood boil!"

"Good — we've got the juices flowing!"

"Okay — in belief. But what can I do — what can I contribute to healing? Can I see man in Science instead of a bunch of victims and perpetrators?"

"Whew! This is just too much to ask."

"Let's go straight to God — and reflect '…only His own all-presence, all-knowledge, all-power.' "

"Muslims seem to have trouble with everybody. Jews, Christians, Hindus, even poor Buddhists. And there's that deadly rift between Sunnis and Shiites. What's going on?"

"Maybe it's just the new kids on the block and the fact they're way behind all the others in working through their reptilian phase."

"I'm so glad the rest of us have matured — like Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia or deeply Catholic Rwanda."

"Don't leave out Georgie Bush's amazing adventure in Iraq."

"I can easily drop into reptilian behavior myself. Maybe I wouldn't be a mass murderer, but at some level of lack or humiliation or deprivation — who knows?"

"Thanks for the warning."

"It takes two to tango. Keep seeing my divinity and I'll let you survive.""That's an excellent point. People say don't blame the victim — but we have some responsibility for what comes at us. How am I evaluating others? If I see their real being, I'll get along fine, but if I conceive of them as matter-based, what do I expect?"

"Do you suppose it's too much to say every so-called victim is totally responsible?"

"Probably it's an overstatement — but I feel really empowered seeing it that way. It's up to me to live my divinity — which means I evaluate everyone from that standpoint, no matter what."

"You're saying all those people on the Pan Am flight were guilty?"

"All you need is belief in matter — duality."

"Keep it impersonal. There's no victim, only a belief in one—and really no one to believe such foolishness, because we're divine idea."

"Not everything I call negative turns out that way. I look back on some of the jobs or love affairs that didn't work out and I just say 'Thank you God'."

"Well yes — and even if there were things that continue to look like they'd have been wonderful, still the work in Science to get over them was very helpful, strengthening."

"I'm just sitting here now wondering if there's anyone ever to forgive. If I did it all, then all I need to do is forgive myself."

"But then it'd be the belief in yourself forgiving the belief in yourself. "

"Sounds like a pretty flimsy concoction."

"Right. So snap out of it!"

"Leaving what?"

"I can't see any of us snapping out of anything all that quickly."

"We should be around next week — so we need a topic."

"Before we shut the book on this one, can I just say something? I feel we've established the point that forgiveness, as generally understood, is old theology for recourse to one absolute God."

"And I'd like to read something: 'Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause, — wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory' (S&H 323: 6-12)."

"Okay. Topics."

"How about Practice? We've come up with some fine ideas, but Mrs. Eddy emphasized practice. Here: 'Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings' (S&H 15: 28-30)."

"Okay eveyone? Fine. Practice is our topic."

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