The idea of forgiveness can be a somewhat “slippery” subject in terms of what it actually means and how to do it. Many can put on the façade of appearing to forgive on the outside while still harboring the feelings that led to the perceived need to forgive on the inside. In order to honestly forgive as an internal process of realization that dissolves ill will and incorrect perceptions and instills a sense of inner peace, you have to learn to look at it from a different perspective where you realize there’s no need to forgive because no harm has been caused to you. All ‘perceived’ harm caused to us by another is the result of an incorrect perception on our part that comes by looking at it within the same plane or level of reality, or is due to the fact that we share the same ‘mental and emotional dynamic’ and so participate in living it out with them as though it’s real.
Whenever we reside in or are conditioned to the same dynamics and story-line as another, we ‘resonate with them’ and are effected by them in terms of ‘feeling hurt by them’ somehow due to their actions towards us. They say or do something that hurts us, makes us angry, or creates an intense sense of losing something we value, and we not only react to it in a like manner, playing a role in the drama that ensues, but we continue to dwell in vicious, condemning, criticizing, and hateful thoughts long after the fact, playing them over and over in our mind letting them eat at us, and ultimately come to define us.
We engage in the act of judging and cursing the other in a compulsive and seemingly uncontrollable fashion, while simultaneously perceiving the need to forgive because we’ve been hurt, damaged, suffered a severe loss, or have been reduced and diminished somehow. Yet as long as we stay in the same ‘shared mindset’ as a drama and behavioral dynamic, we can’t ever really forgive them because we continue to use our will and mental power to keep the perceived offense alive by continuing to think about it and relive it while revolting and attacking back, or somehow getting even by hurting them in the same way we imagine we’ve been hurt.
Yet the part of this equation we often fail to recognize, is that what we’re calling ‘being hurt’ is actually something that we are willingly doing to ourselves with our own mind and body by readily taking in the energy being projected at us by the behavior of another, letting it take hold inside of us, and giving it life by letting it completely run our emotions and imagined thoughts. We are in reality choosing to let another use our will to continue hurting us over and over by continuing to harbor and think about it while replaying it in our mind in a constant and compulsive manner. We are in fact cooperating and fully participating in co-creating the reality of the shared drama.
The strange truth of all of life that we often fail to realize in the most fundamental sense is that no one is ever doing anything ‘to us’ in terms of how we ‘experience’ the events of our life. While someone can certainly hurt us physically, behave in a way that causes us to feel pain, take away something we value, or lash out and attack us with the intention of hurting and diminishing us by captivating us under their spell, how we ‘form the experience’ of whatever happens is something we completely create with our mind and emotions. Only we form our own thoughts and tell ourselves a story about things that give them the meaning they have and what they mean about us, the other person, and the way the world is, as a result. The meaning we give things that forms our story about it is usually based on the emotional charge of the actual event, or is what acts to invoke that ‘state of mind’ that we start using to create in other areas of our life as well. A story we begin telling ourselves about being betrayed, not wanted, used, etc., can become a life theme that begins shaping us in all areas of our life.
We can just as easily choose not to let the emotions and actions of others in, not give them life inside of us, and deflect them back to them by remaining steadfast in the realization of what’s actually happening. As another person lives out their drama as a theme of some kind that’s actualized through their perceptions, emotional states, and behaviors, is simply showing us in very immediate and direct terms who they are as a person and what their model of the world is. Their actions only reveal ‘who they are’ in unmistakable terms. They’re showing us the delusion they’re conditioned with and the story they’re acting to tell with their life. It says nothing about us, unless we let it. We have to agree to play out the same drama in order to enter into a reactive state and respond in a like manner, which is the only thing that makes it real.
The problem that we have in life is that it’s difficult to stay conscious, especially through extreme experiences of emotional intensity or where we feel like a lot is at stake and we stand to lose a lot. It’s the emotions that are at play that are very magnetic and draw us into things in a completely unconscious manner because they create an internal experience that makes them seem real. Emotions are the energetic language of the material plane that ‘infect’ us, stimulate us internally, activating and causing us to take on the same emotion, which amplifies it. Emotions serve as ‘themes’ that have whole realities in them as the type of experience that naturally produces, increases, and gives us more of that emotion.
When infected with an emotional charge, feeling a pronounced and often overwhelming internal sensation, we tend to automatically take it on and allow it to run our mind producing the illusion of the emotion as a shared reality and control our behavior as an equivalent response to that reality. It literally renders us unconscious and we go into an automatic mode. We’re being completely controlled and determined by the other person through a shared and agreed upon illusion as the story we act out together with them. This is the most basic form of choice and free will that’s engaged in at a purely unconscious level. We feel as if we have no control over it and are subject to it as a form of victim. We give our power over to the same natural forces that are governing the other person’s behavior.
The way to overcome the laws and events of the lower material plane, is to rise above them to the higher plane governed by complementary laws, and use those laws to counteract the lower ones. The higher plane that’s parallel to this one as the subtle plane of higher consciousness, where the “Higher Self” resides, looking over and guiding us on the lower plane, does so through a form of total detachment from the illusions (emotions) of the lower plane. This higher consciousness, which is also a part of us, operates through what’s called the ‘witnessing’ faculty of the mind, and when employed by perceiving something from a detached perspective that doesn’t make it personal or internalize it, we can ‘see the illusion’ of the situation that the other person is caught up in and perceiving as being real.
When we move into a position and perspective of detachment and look at everything in a non-personal way, we can not only see it clearly as an illusion (because we don’t share it, which is what makes it real for us), but it doesn’t act to produce an effect in us. We’re not stimulated emotionally by it. The emotional charge of it doesn’t enter our mind and body because we don’t resonate with it (we only absorb what we resonate with). We can see it from their perspective in an unemotional and dissociated manner. It doesn’t enter into our mind and body and produce a ‘like’ effect. Once we can view it in a neutral manner without participating in it, we don’t form an emotional reaction to it. It’s only in the emotional reaction that we feel hurt and suffer pain of some kind that causes hatred, resentment, animosity, pain, and the desire for revenge by hurting them back in the same way and to the same degree that they hurt us.
When we can learn how to exercise full control over our own mind and don’t allow it to be controlled by others and natural forces by engaging in emotional dramas that are delusional in nature (made up), we can stay fully conscious and self-aware in even the most intense situations. If we cultivate a constant perception of being detached from the world around us (in it but not of it), realizing that nothing anybody else does has anything to do with us unless we let it, we begin cultivating peace of mind that comes from residing in the truth rather than delusions. When we don’t take things personal, they don’t continue living in us long after the event has past. We don’t harbor ill will against the person and continue to constantly think bad thoughts as a form of retaliation and wanting to strike back, and it doesn’t become a part of our life or serve to define us in any way.
When we’re not hurt by the actions of others because we don’t live in the same reality or personal illusion as they do, there’s no need to forgive because no damage was done. We don’t poison ourselves with the negative thoughts as judgment over another, that’s actually only hurting us. As we imagine we’re judging another through criticizing, hurtful, vindictive thoughts, we are programming ourselves with those thoughts, saturating our body with the chemistry of those thoughts, and proceed to continue creating more experiences of the same nature. We use the reality produced by those thoughts as a perceptual filter to see ‘all’ people through, and we become the “type of person” indicated by our judgments as emotional thoughts. We perceive ourselves through our own judgments as being the complementary polar opposite as the victim (subject to) of another person’s behavior. We become subject to our own judgments as a constant thought process and emotional state produced by those thoughts. We become by way of our own thoughts and emotions as our state of mind (vibratory frequency).
As we program ourselves with our own emotional states, we vibrate at that frequency, and become a magnet for more of “those type of people” who will willingly cooperate in acting out more of the same type of dynamics, giving us more of the same type of feelings, emotions, and experiences. We perceive everyone and everything (including ourselves) out of our perceptual lens and filters created by our thoughts, judgments, and the meaning we give things. We become the mental, emotional, and physical equivalent of our perceptions.
When we detach ourselves from the reality of others, seeing ourselves as not being a part of the same delusion (conditioning), and realize in absolute terms that their behavior says nothing about us but only reveals who they are and what type of issues they’re living out of that they’re mistaken for being real, we remain unaffected by them, and we never form hurtful, negative reactions to them. We never engage in, agree with, and act to cooperatively participate in playing a key role in their imaginary dramas. By realizing they’re only caught up in their own delusions and those of mass consciousness (what they’ve been taught by society), and don’t really have an actual awareness of what they’re doing in the sense that it’s their own creation, not only will you not form any ill will towards them, you can still feel a sense of love for them. Not a personal or romantic love, but the type of love you feel for a child that’s still learning and doesn’t realize what it’s doing in the real sense of things. As Jesus said in the midst of being tormented to death, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. People honestly don’t realize they’re caught up in an illusion of their own making or subject to a form of mass hypnosis.
The perceived need to forgive simply shows you that you’re invested in, and affected by the same delusion as an emotional drama and behavioral dynamic. It can help you to realize things about yourself that may be difficult to see in the light of day. It’ll show you what your own ‘issues’ are that you’re not fully aware of and so still get “taken in” by. And of course it’s easy to see that whenever we harbor and keep alive negative thoughts about another that run through our mind in a compulsive manner, that it keeps us in that “emotional state” and “diminishes” us with the same ideas as the thoughts. We literally ‘become’ the same as our thoughts. When we hate someone, and dwell in the thoughts and emotions of hate, we lend our will to create hate and become hate itself in mind and body. We become a hateful person. We represent hate, and channel our life-force into the reality of hate. We simultaneously hate ourselves by becoming the channel for that reality, and use our will unconsciously to create it as our experience of life.
Integrative Mind-Body Medicine Consultant and Spiritual Mentor