If forgiveness comes with a debt, you’ll never be able to pay it.
by Fred Van Doren
On the wings of love, the truth is known
Spiritual work, in the personal sense, is not a static environment. In truth, it is ongoing, alive and always new. For example, as soon as you think you arrived at some end point in your spiritual work you’ll notice that all kinds of issues continue to arrive. This is a big indicator that your involvement (and your real work) has just begun. To whom much is given, much is expected and let’s face it, no one expects the Spanish inquisition! In this light, our spiritual work is more about clarity of context than it is about attaining some enlightened state of awareness. Once we reGodnize a particular context we mostly are free from it. This is why our greatest spiritual teachers see the dilemmas of everyday life and point them out. What the ego doesn’t wish to hear the spirit rejoices in listening to. We call it “spiritual work” but perhaps “constant love” might be a better descriptor.
Within the context of our spiritual work, Is forgiveness needed? Yes or it wouldn’t be part of the consciousness of mankind. Is it useful? The answer to this question depends on ones own context. A better question might be: how are you using forgiveness? For example, if someone tells you that there are things you need to work on, perhaps not in a way that you find acceptable, do you immediately forgive them for their very wrong opinion of you? Or, do you look and try to see “with clarity” if what they are saying might be true about you? This is good spiritual and psychological work, looking first to yourself to see if it’s true. It is the basis for healing of erroneous thoughts and destructive patterns. Is it easy? No, not really, as evidenced by the world as it is right now. Many people use forgiveness as a way to NOT look with clarity at their very erroneous beliefs. They’ve got their comfy pajamas on and are sound asleep with their little forgiveness bedtime prayers.
Forgiveness does seem to come with a debt, unlike the Mary Chapin Carpenter song. That debt is the erroneous belief that error has occurred. When we step back from the context of ourselves and the world as we think it is, we begin to notice something. We begin to notice how perfect everything is happening. Synchronicity becomes revelatory. Once we distance ourselves from ourselves (the goal of almost all religions), the divisions disappear between you and the other. In this space we can see that error has not occurred, that everything is serving everything else in a wondrous and harmonious way. From this view no error has occurred and never could, therefore the idea of forgiveness doesn’t even show up.
So, how do we do this thing called clarity? YOU don’t. The you is not about clarity, it’s about holding on to it’s positions at all costs, don’t be fooled by it. The you will do whatever it can to keep it’s beliefs in place. The only way to see this is to accept the ego and it’s antics but move towards clarity. Clarity doesn’t have a function of opinion about it. Clarity is not a theory or fact for that matter. As soon as opinion and conjecture show up you’ve moved out of clarity. You’ve moved into the realm of egoic projection. You can’t do forgiveness, love, happiness or anything else, all you can do is have a thought about what those things look like which are based upon your own programming, projections and perceptions. And, as we know, all of those are temporary, what’s real is permanent and totally clear. Ponder this, where are you when your thoughts are not, what’s left over?