How Real is Forgiveness?

This morning I am finding A Course in Miracles’ philosophy on forgiveness absolutely fascinating. Before I go into it, here is a little background on the basic principles of the Course as a matter of context.

According to the teachings, only love is real. The absence of love is fear. Fear is to love as darkness is to light. One exists only in the absence of the other. They are mutually exclusive.

God is love. As we are created in his image, we also are love. That is our deepest truth – we are love. As “Sons” of God, we are all the same, one, Love. There is no place where you end and I begin.

Based on these principles, anything that is not love is not created by God, and therefore is not real. In other words, pain and suffering are not real. Hatred and ill will, not real. Sins are not real. Only love is real. So what are these things then? The Course calls them illusions.

Hence, when we forgive, we are in the realm of untruth because the only things that need forgiving are not of love and therefore are not real. Lesson 134 says, “Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the illusions of the world.” In other words, forgiveness merely reminds us that what we believe requires forgiveness is actually not the truth. “By its ability to overlook what is not there, it opens up the way to truth, which has been blocked by dreams of guilt.”

The wise advice today is this: when we feel like accusing someone of something that is not of love, instead we challenge ourselves not to dwell on what we think this person did; instead ask ourselves, “would I accuse myself of doing this?” The hope is that this practice keeps us free from pain and guilt, keeps us in truth.

“He does not have to fight to protect himself. He does not have to kill the dragons which he thought pursued him. Nor need he erect the heavy walls of stone and iron doors he thought would make him safe. He can remove the ponderous and useless armor made to chain his mind to fear and misery. His step is light, and as he lifts his foot to stride ahead a star is left behind, to point the way to those who follow him.”

This lightens my load and brightens my day as I choose to “perceive forgiveness as it is.” I am experiencing the bliss of freedom from this well-described exhausting existence. I am immensely grateful today as I look out on the beautiful morning sun reflecting on the mountains surrounding me with Nature’s warm embrace.

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