A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is the Path of Forgiveness; if the Course is properly studied and its teachings applied in daily life it enables the student to be a much more forgiving and loving person than he was before he started the Course. So many of the lessons of the Workbook deal with forgiveness, which is seen as being the gateway to Heaven. But it is important to understand the reason why the world of the ego is a world of chaos and conflict, and why forgiveness seems quite difficult to practice.
The process of projection is where it all starts. The ego projects all its fears, guilt and inadequacies onto others to make it feel better about itself. The Course tells us that the ego is carrying around a huge amount of guilt and fear, which can be traced back to the initial moment of separation from Heaven aeons ago; this was when the mind split in two, the ego came into being and tried to take the place of God. It, therefore, created the physical body and the world of form as a place of refuge. But this engendered guilt in the ego, as well as fear of the revenge of God. Fear and guilt are then projected onto others so that the ego actually believes that others are to blame. Furthermore, all the fear and mistrust that we observe in the world actually stem from the initial moment of separation.
Something important to bear in mind is that non-duality is at the very heart of the teachings of ACIM. We were created as part of God, one with Him and one with each other, and although in the ego’s illusory world we appear to be many, we are, in fact, just one and our minds are joined. So in forgiving others, we are actually doing ourselves a favour and releasing fear and guilt from our own minds. Similarly, when we refrain from judging others, we are refraining from judging ourselves. Forgiving others helps us overcome the ego, and eventually to achieve the goal of liberation. Forgiveness involves living in the present and not remembering the negative things about others. It really implies wiping the slate clean every time we meet somebody. If we do remember anything about them from the past, it should only be their positive words and deeds. “To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection. For the shadow figures you would make immortal are 'enemies' of reality. Be willing to forgive the Son of God (i.e., all others) for what he did not do.” Text, p. 354. This last sentence refers both to the process of projection and to the fact that the world of the ego is an illusion.
Firstly, a perceived enemy is only an enemy because we have projected our own fear and guilt onto him. Secondly, this life we are living is as real as a dream. The ego made it up and so whatever seems to happen here is not really happening at all. This may seem hard to believe because everything seems so real and so tangible. But in dreams things seem equally real, until you wake up. “Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did; to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality.” Text, p. 635. And on page 401 of the Workbook we read, “Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven.” This is where forgiveness, as taught by ACIM, differs quite significantly from the traditional view of forgiveness, whereby we forgive someone for performing a terrible deed, for instance.
For more on this topic please visit: http://allanillusion.com/forgiveness/
Submit Your Own Article