July 5, 2007

The Meaning of Forgiveness

Whatever happens to you is due to karma. In other words, good or bad — you’ve earned it, merited it.

So when someone wrongs you, you are reaping what you’ve sown from the causes of past lives. Not necessarily from the causes of this life, but from the agglomeration of past life causes. Perhaps you’ve wronged that person specifically in a past life, or perhaps they are just the innocent instrument of your karmic return.

You cannot complain — karma is perfectly fair. Cheat on your spouse in a past life and it will happen to you. Steal from others and it will happen to you. And so on for a thousand, a million, a billion types  of situations…ALL OF THEM. SHow prejudice to a certain peope, religion or race and in the future, you will be born into a situation where you receive that hatred or prejudice. You might even be born into the very group you so despise (go read Edgar Cayce to see how often this happend).

Sometimes what occurs to you will be an accident, which is a way of discharging karma when you committed an act innocently (perhaps accidentally without even knowing it) in the past. Still the karma must come back, but in a form such as  this. Many people who undergo operations are experiencing karma in a form where the blame cannot be attributed, as one such example of recompense.

The process of recompense is complicated….As my teacher said, not even the most gigantic supercomputer could be programmed up with all the rules. Tit for tat, sometimes endless cycles are birthed into being that keep playing themselves out over and over again. The rpoblem is, how to interrup thte process, how to escape it, how to change it for the better.

So what about forgiveness? If you hit me I’ll get angry. I’ll want to get even. Then I’ll want to hit you. Then you’ll want to hit me in return after I do it. The situation will escalate. Back and forth we’ll keep striking each other – maybe even life after life like creating a family blood feud which never ends. Even if we stop hitting each other, the thoughts of hatred are still there prompting the desire to get even and start the whole process up again. How do you get rid of the smoldering flame?

Because of the mental involvement of hate, this cycle can get locked in a  loop and go back and forth for countless lives. Churches talk about forgiveness but I say pooh-pooh to what I usually hear them say. Forgiveness means, "I accept what happens and will not prolong this cycle. I will not retaliate. I call an end to it. The buck stops here. I will not react in response. Furthemore, I will NOT think thoughts of getting even in any way, or strengthen such thoughts in any manner. I will pluck out the seed thought energy of this conflict, too. Let the karmic cycle be done. I will transform my reaction and therby transform the karma."

That’s forgiveness. To just say "I  forgive you" is baloney, meaningless. To break the cycle of tit for tat is what it really means. It means accepting the final blows at this level. Accepting karma, dealing with it peacefully, but skillfully with wisdom. Someone has to accept suffering without responding and getting their final licks in. The karmic dance for this mutual hurt cycle stops now.

That’s true forgiveness.

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