Excerpts from the Online Conferences
Forgiveness is such a powerful tool; it is only recently that I have come to realize that it is far more powerful than I thought. We often think of forgiveness as the proper thing to do and we have all heard the clichés about the importance and beauty of it. It's the Christian thing to do or the spiritual thing to do. And it is. I mean, those thoughts are correct.
But it is more than that, too. It truly is a powerful technique that can profoundly and instantly change our reality. That is why the title tonight is The Dynamism of Forgiveness. Dynamism describes a process whereby the nature of reality -- of our illusion -- is a function of force and energy rather than of movement and mass. The velocity and mass are quantitative measurements but the true building blocks are energy and force. It takes very little energy and force to generate a change in mass. So it is the force and energy of forgiveness that I thought we could talk about tonight.
Q: Why is it so much easier to forgive others but so difficult to forgive ourselves?
You know, the answer to that does vary so much with each of us. However, at this point in our growth, when this happens to me I look at why I don't want to forgive myself. I mean, for someone who knows little about forgiveness the answers may vary, but most of us here know a great deal about it. So I ask myself why don't I want to forgive myself. Sure, the obvious answer is that I still want to punish myself. That could be true. I also look at this: Am I still wanting to keep others on the hook? What I mean is this: If I forgive myself now, then all is well and the changes can happen and the freedom can come and all is well. But if I refuse to forgive myself, then I am in a less-than-adult place. I am being less than my true self. I am being less than my "more." Why would I do that? Why would I do that to me? And why would I do that to others?
This is what helps me get off the difficulty of forgiving myself. Beyond that, I suppose it has to do with belief structures that say it is better to forgive others and better to punish self. [g] Anyway, this is the way I approach it.
Q: How to know if I really forgave myself, or just went through the motions?
Well, reality is a nifty feedback mechanism. [g] If any of us have just gone through the motions (motion without emotion, as Lazaris would say), our reality will reflect that soon enough. And if we did do the forgiveness, reality will show that.
See, the force of forgiveness has not speed. It is not mass and it is not motion. Forgiveness has not speed. It is or it isn't. It is a quanta phenomenon. Forgiveness, like change, may not have speed, but it does have size, the size of the change we make, the size of the forgiveness we allow. There are things that can make the forgiveness smaller in size or larger in size. I think that reality reflects and expresses that nicely. I have found it so. Also, when the forgiveness is real, it feels freeing. There is an exhilaration and an exuberance -- there is a breath, a breath of release or of healing or of something. Perhaps it is called knowing.
As a quick aside, knowing is something that we think is a big mystery. It is mysterious and it can be mystical, but I think knowing is probably a lot easier than we sometimes think or allow it to be. When we know, we know. When we don't, we don't. It seems to me that the mystery is not about knowing as much as it is about why we will not tell ourselves the truth about knowing. [g]
Q: How do I know when I've forgiven "enough" (i.e., when I'm done with forgiveness)?
Again, reality, though an illusion, is a great feedback mechanism. It is the best biofeedback machine we have. [g] And again, I think the freedom that we feel and the sense of knowing is a big part of it. Perhaps we have forgiven ourselves enough when we feel that release.
Also, there are stages of forgiveness. I think once we have honestly and consciously moved through those stages, the forgiveness will be enough. I also think that when we do not go through the specific stages of forgiveness we risk falling short of our goal.
The stages for those who are not familiar with them are:
Stage 1: Denial -- denying the need to forgive ourselves or others or denying the value of forgiveness.
Stage 2: Then comes the blame stage. We know that blaming does not work, but that does not stop us from doing it in life. [g] And it is the second stage of forgiveness. Once we really own that there is something to forgive and that there is value in forgiving, then we hit the blame stage. This can be blaming others or it can be self blame. But it is a stage, as Lazaris points out, and we need to deal with it. I think if we ignore this stage for example, the forgiveness risks not being complete.
Stage 3: Self-Pity. Yeah, need I say more. [g]
Stage 4: Indignation. This is such a powerful stage. And we, spiritual people that we are, often deny this stage or want to say we don't have this stage, but it is there. I have found that it is essential to respect this stage.
Stage 5: Becoming conscious of the why of the situation or circumstance of forgiveness; learning the lesson that is there; and giving meaning and significance to the constricting and the expanding potentials of the situation before forgiving it.
Stage 6: Freedom. See, that is why I think we know when we are done: freedom.
And the final stage that Lazaris talks of is Integration, the actual forgiving of self and then of others and moving on. He stresses the moving on,
let it go and move on. It is part of the intensity of the force and energy that is the dynamism of forgiveness.
Q: How does indebtedness play into this dynamism?
I think this is an important question and I think it goes back to the size (not the speed) of forgiveness. We can each do the same meditation and process of forgiveness, and it can be around the same kind of issue, yet for one of us the size of that forgiveness may be much larger than it is for the other.
What influences the size of forgiveness is the energy and force that we muster. What influences the size of forgiveness alters the impact of the dynamism. Lazaris points out certain things that can influence the impact of the force and energy. This is an important point, I think. The dynamism: it takes very little force and energy to change reality. It is the force and energy not the movement and mass. Okay. It takes very little energy. I use a little energy and force. You use a little energy and force. The dynamics or dynamism for each of us is the same. What then makes the size of the forgiveness different? It is how we let that dynamism impact us. See, forgiveness is not a reward. It is not something we earn. It is an energy. It is non-discriminatory. It does not discriminate; we do. It does not set boundaries of its size; we do.
The things that can influence the size of forgiveness:
1. The source of the pain: who did it to us.
2. The dimensions of the pain: length, width, depth, and the "space-time" of the pain.
3. What is our reaction pattern to being wronged? How much do we hurt ourselves and punish others when we are wronged?
4. Our resistance to the concepts and ideas of forgiveness. Our reluctance to entertain and follow through upon the concepts and ideas of forgiveness.
5. Stuck in one or another stage of forgiveness, stuck in pity or in blame or in indignation, and often denying that there is any indignation. [g]
6. The dimensions of our love also are key. If those dimensions of love are shallow, forgiveness will probably be shallow.
7. Relationship with the future. If we do not have a working rapport with the future, the size of forgiveness can be severely affected.
So all of this ties into indebtedness, which also dampens and can stop the energy and force of forgiveness totally. Even more energy and more force (Binford style) is not the answer when it comes to indebtedness.
Q: Jach, could you expand more about forgiveness as a letting go of old ideas and images such as illness and malady? Do you feel there is any limit to this?
Well, I am not sure that forgiveness is a letting go of old ideas and images. [g] I think that we can use forgiveness to accomplish this end result, but I don't think the letting go is forgiveness. Often the forgiveness aspect is to forgive ourselves for holding onto the old ideas and images. When we come to finally admit that that is what we have been doing, we can feel pretty foolish. We can feel indebted to our Higher Self for indulging us our indulgences for so long. In this case, once we forgive ourselves, then we can let go. I see them as separate activities that call us to separate tasks.
Beyond this, forgiving others may be a critical link. I mean, if we are holding onto those old ideas or old images to maintain a hidden agenda or to maintain a function of blaming them, then that forgiveness would probably have to come first. But even so, then the letting go would follow.
With illness sometimes we blame our bodies for getting ill, sometimes we blame ourselves. Sadly, in the New Age, there are those who hold severe better thans about themselves (who are well) and severe less thans about others (who are ill). We often buy into that New Age arrogance, sometimes consciously, most often unconsciously. If we do blame our bodies or ourselves, as well as changing the belief about illness, forgiveness would be in order, wouldn't it?
I refer back to the stages of forgiveness: if we are in a state of denial or one of blame or pity or one of indignation, then forgiveness seems to be an answer and an issue, our issue and part of our answer. So around illness or another malady, around anything that we sense as failure, there is a role for forgiveness.
Is there a limit? Sure there is. But that limit is not inherent in the forgiveness. I think its power is unlimited.The limits are not inherent in us, either. But they are within the beliefs we choose to hold. I don't even say within our beliefs, but within the beliefs that we choose to hold. And more and more the limits are contained in the choices -- the quality of the choices-- we choose to make. Or, at least that is how it seems to me. [vbg] Thanks for asking.
Q: Why does forgiving often feel like giving in or wimping out?
Well, I know what you mean. I have felt that and I have felt waves and waves of anger when I have approached forgiveness from that point of view. We are conditioned to think that. Chauvinism with its twists teaches us that the only acceptable way to be is to be on top of the heap, to be the best and to be number one, to be king of the mountain in the hierarchy of competition and comparison. Forgiveness, on this battleground, is tantamount to defeat. Forgiveness, on that turf, is utter failure. "Cry uncle." "I give." We are conditioned. Until we face and deny that conditioning -- until we start defining what forgiveness is for us -- we are often bound by that conditioning. That conditioning is an avenue of least effort. It is easy to feel that it is wimpy to forgive.
It is a strange irony isn't it that the consensus society in America holds Christian values. Paramount in such values is the value of forgiveness, yet it is held as weak and giving in. I wonder how a good Christian holds it when Jesus talked of forgiveness and forgave? Jesus, the wimp? Jesus, the loser who gave up? I doubt it. [g]
Beyond that conditioning, I think we each need to look at why we would want to continue feeling that way. As I said before, for someone who is naive, who has not been engaged and involved in spiritual pursuits, following the conditioning would continue to make sense. But once we are free of that conditioning, then we have to ask ourselves why we persist. It doesn't mean we are bad or wrong. We may have other agendas. Maybe we have other agendas for which we need to -- that's right -- forgive ourselves. [g]
Q: Jach, it seems permission and authority are involved in self-forgiveness. Can you speak about this?
LOL . . . thanks . . . the $5.00 will be in the mail tomorrow. Because the question was so appropriate, people might think I put you up to it. [g]
Anyway, Lazaris has talked so much already this year about the new kind of empowerment that involves finding and creating permission inside us, finding and creating authority (authorship, originality, innovation, inventiveness) inside ourselves. But you know, even as we come to understand and know this, some of us will still look outside ourselves. Some of us will still consider any permission we might grant or authority we might have is tainted or spoiled, as we are tainted and spoiled. When we are caught in the unresolved stages of forgiveness we will find it more difficult to empower ourselves.
The explanations and reasons, all valid and legitimate, may be many, but the answer or the solution can come down to forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a panacea; it is not the one prescription that is going to solve all our ills. But forgiveness can be -- CAN BE -- a phenomenal tool toward that end. It can, likewise, play a critical and phenomenal role in empowerment. And why do we forgive others more easily than ourselves? Empowerment: we lack the permission, we lack the authority, to forgive ourselves. When do we know we feel empowered? Ha! I am discovering my own answers as I am typing along. [g]
Q: When you say it takes very little energy and force to change a mass, are you saying that forgiveness is such a force that can change a "mass," that can change a lot of issues for us by forgiving ourselves around one issue, and then that change translates into changes perhaps in other areas where we weren't even working on forgiving ourselves?
And another $5.00 is on its way. [g] What a fun question. Yes, that is how it seems to me. That is also my experience. Forgiveness *used* to work one way. It did not have that dynamism that it seems to have now. I would find an issue, forgive myself, and move on. The forgiveness would reflect in my world and it was wonderful. It was magical and I discovered a bit more of who I really am. But everything is different now.
Forgiveness has always had a dynamism. Always. But that dynamism is now more available to all of us. It was embedded, I suppose, in those seemingly dormant or redundant parts of our brain that Lazaris talks about, lost in the "garbage" of our DNA, but now it is out there and present.
Now the "same" forgiveness (as though it really were the same) can generate more profound (far reaching) results. The dynamism is active and available more than ever before.
And when we:
1. release our resistance to forgiveness in general;
2. release our resistance to the specific forgiveness;
3. move through the stages of forgiveness in a conscious way;
4. and forgive the "why" of the situation whether it is self-forgiveness or forgiving another we will set that dynamism in action.
As you say, it will change the mass and the movement of that mass in our reality. It will begin a resonance action (more than a Newtonian chain reaction). The resonance of the energy and force is more powerful than the forgiveness that we do.It is more powerful than us (and our limitations) and it can change us and our reality surrounding us. It can do it in ways that we cannot yet imagine.