There’s no faster way to end suffering in myself and others then by forgiving the world for what it is not. It’s not true what needs to be forgiven, it’s only an illusion. Unreality taken for real is the cause of all suffering, and forgiveness takes care of that. By letting go of the illusion of guilt, forgiveness helps restore the mind to its natural state of peace, which is the condition of enlightenment.
Suffering, pain, and ultimately death, are used by the ego as the final proof that separation is real, but the only thing it proves is that I’m still buying it and thereby lending it my power of mind.
Forgiveness is the act of giving up any thought of separation, overlooking whatever seems to have happened in the past, and seeing only one purpose present in every mind: to experience the total peace of our immortal innocence and wholeness.
Our immortal reality is always perfectly happy and changeless. If I had not created my own crazy version of ‘reality’, there wouldn’t be any experience of suffering whatsoever, neither would I seem to be caught in an endless reincarnation cycle of bodily appearances.
It’s never the body
It’s never the body that feels tired, energetic, sick, strong, or full of pain – being a projection it can only reflect the content of the mind. Projections are totally without consciousness, they’re nothing. It’s only the mind experiencing a dream of its own making.
When the mind lets go of its identification with a separate body, shifting from the perception of ego to the vision of Spirit, then from one moment to the next an experience of excruciating pain may change to one of exhilarating bliss. For me, experiences like this have eventually been the most convincing proof of the practical value of forgiveness.
Only the mind can be restored to its wholeness. The body may, or may not, show the reflection of that healing. The body, being an illusion, cannot be made whole and is of no significance to real happiness, neither is anything else that seems to happen in this dream we call the world. What counts, is how I experience everything in the dream, and my experience is determined by what I consciously and unconsciously believe to be true.
The projection of a split mind
The world is a projection in my mind.
You, as a separate being, are a projection in my mind, like I’m in yours.
Also, as a separate being, I am a projection in my own mind.
In fact, there’s only one mind seemingly split into different minds, to maximize the illusion of separation.
Projection is an illusion caused by denying the existence of a terribly fearful thought in my own mind and making it seemingly real as an outward existence. In reality, of course, it’s still a thought which never leaves the mind that made it. Projection only locks the door to my own mind and throws the key away; it doesn’t remove the cause of suffering, only obscures it in my consciousness, making the unknown a source of fear. Although the whole process of projection is unconscious, it’s still my responsibility. It’s no use blaming God for a world He didn’t create.
In reality there’s only undivided Oneness, and separation is nothing but a dream of a tiny little aspect of the whole mind. In reality the tiny dream was over and forgiven before it could even start, but in the illusion of the dream it seems to last for eons and eons of unforgiveness.
Unconscious guilt is the source of projection
When I forgive another being in the dream, or when I forgive the world in general, I’m really forgiving the murderous content of my own mind, my unforgiving thoughts of separation and attack, made under the spell of the ego.
Every thought of separation is an attack on our true reality of Oneness. Of course, the changeless truth cannot be threatened by anything, as there’s nothing real outside it. But the intent of the attack is murderous: it’s always aimed at taking over the power of God, and getting rid of Him altogether.
The attack has no effect whatsoever on God. He doesn’t even know my petty dream thoughts, He only knows me as a perfect and dearly beloved extension of Himself. However, the attack has a tremendous effect on my own mind, creating the fearful illusion of original guilt, which is so unbearable that I can only handle it by denying and immediately projecting it, seemingly throwing it out of my mind, but still suffering its effects: the inevitable loss of peace, innocence, freedom, safety, and happiness. So, I’m the only one to suffer from an attack that I’ve been dreaming up.
The suffering I see around me and the suffering that my body seems to be subjected to are all in my mind. People suffering on the other side of the world from disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hunger, diseases, and war, are the unconscious projection of my own original guilt and fear of punishment.
This world is built on condemnation. It represents the judgment that I’ve passed on myself and projected as an outside world. Condemnation keeps this crazy circus going. That’s why the world needs to be forgiven for what it has not done,
God has nothing to forgive, because Love does not condemn. But for me forgiveness is a necessary illusion, securely founded on the Love of God, to bridge the gap between my perception and the truth.
When I feel hurt or harmed by somebody else, it’s really my own projection that’s doing what it’s supposed to do: making my unconscious guilt real in the form of aggression coming from outside, not from my own mind. When I recognize this mechanism as a trick played on me by ego to regain domination over me, it’s a reason for celebration and gratitude, for darkness has been brought to light and can now finally dissolve.
This makes it easy to forgive the other person for what (s)he has not done. Seeing someone else as innocent means I accept innocence as reality, instead of guilt. When innocence is seen as real, there is joyous communication from mind to mind, instead of bleak separation, and this will lovingly show me my own innocence as well. I simply cannot stay apart from it. That’s why forgiving another enables me to accept forgiveness for myself, which is the undoing of my unconscious guilt and restores peace to my mind.
Experience is a choice of vision put into practice
The way I see others is the way I see myself. If I only see bodies, I cannot escape the illusion of being a mortal body, too. This means I’m practicing the thought system of separation, or ego. It’s a choice I made, and still keep making whenever I’m not aware of what I really want.
Spirit is love and can see nothing but love in everything and everyone. This is a vision I can choose to adopt, but the choice alone is not enough to convince the dreamer thoroughly of the unreality of everything (s)he seems to perceive. The vision of Spirit has to be put into practice in the form of true forgiveness on a daily, hourly, momentary basis.
That’s why repetition is such a blessing. It’s only the attitude of forgiveness that’s being repeated. Although the present situation may look the same as one that went before it’s always a bit different, because this time the one who forgives has already learned more through earlier moments of forgiveness.
When the dreamer experiences the peace that always results from forgiveness, no further proof of its value and efficiency is necessary anymore.
Ego is undone through forgiveness
Ignoring the thought system of ego does not undo it, nor remove it from my mind. Practicing non-judgment may seem an improvement in terms of peace, but it’s still leaving the ego fully intact. The ego doesn’t just die from ostensible neglect, because unconsciously I’m still feeding and supporting what I supposedly have dissociated myself from. This whole dream is based upon ego. Every aspect of the dream taken seriously daily reinforces the thought system of ego in my mind.
As long as there isn’t a deeply ingrained sense of totality, inner peace can be easily lost in a fit of anger or a bout of fear. That means the ego, unconsciously, has been allowed to take control of the mind again and is now running the show. Therefore the ego needs to be actively recognized and countered at every step, and every time again replaced by the thought system of Spirit, practiced as forgiveness.
To bring a journey to its end I cannot skip a single step. Every step, no matter how inconspicuous, counts. It represents the maximal experiential effect possible at that moment in consciousness. In reality it’s always a perfect expression of Love, and nothing else is real. Since time does not exist, it’s happening all at once, making all steps equal in their result, and joined in purpose. It’s the totality, only the totality, that bestows the real meaning on anything in existence. Parts are meaningless unrealities.
The unforgivable always seems to be very special and unique in its wickedness, but in the dream we have been doing this kind of thing to each other for thousands of incarnations taking turns at playing the roles of victim and victimizer, and all of this has never really happened.
I cannot lose what I do not own, can I? I have to recognize every thought of separation, every projection of guilt, as the content of my own mind, in order to be able to give it up as a thing I do not want. As long as it remains hidden through denial and projection, it will keep ruling my mind, making it impossible to get rid of.
Only by forgiving another can I forgive myself. This is the flip side of unconscious projection. If I can see your innocence then I must be innocent, too, because I can only see what I believe to be true. By reversing the content of projection the unconscious guilt is being replaced by a deep sense of innocence, which takes out the basis for the ego thought system.
Forgiveness is still not enough, though, to awaken me fully from the dream, but it’s all I can and need do to prove my willingness to myself, and to experience the healing power of gratitude and inner peace.
I do not have to prove my holiness to God, Who knows me as the wholly One, but I do need to be convinced myself of my total innocence. This ends my interference with the restoration of my awareness of perfect Oneness, which is Heaven. Peace is what it takes to return to Heaven and my willingness saves me from eons of illusory time spent in hell.
Even awakening is an illusion, being the final moment of the dream, but by then it has become a happy dream, and from there the transition to wholeness is wholly without effort.
A quite different experience
It’s not the dreamer who can end the dream, it’s always Spirit reclaiming the mind as lost property, when I’m willing to let go of the dream and embrace the total vision of Spirit.
A dream is not a matter of free will, and its content no coincidence. But whatever the ego has scripted to be shown on the projection screen of my dream life, I do not have to see it in the fearful way it’s been intended. This is the freedom of choice I still have as a dreamer. Spirit always has a vision available that makes perfect sense in a peaceful way. Peace knows no fear, and not even courage is needed when there’s nothing to fear. No matter what appears to be happening
in any situation, the way I choose to see the projection is the way I will experience it.
My experiences will tell me if I’m on the right path towards liberation. It may show in unexpected moments of inner peace, and the ease of being grateful for the smallest gifts, even grateful for simply being able to feel grateful.
The experience of inner peace is the natural result of forgiveness. That’s why forgiveness is really a gift to myself. I do not become less through forgiving what never happened anyway, and being free from the self-limiting thoughts that we call the past is pure joy. Forgiveness simply is the closest thing to heaven that I know.
- A Course in Miracles (ISBN 0-9606388-8-1). More information about this wonderful book for self-study can be found at the website: http://www.acim.org/
- Gary Renard’s The Disappearance of the Universe : Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness.
- Gary Renard’s Your Immortal Reality : How to Break the Cycle of Birth and Death.
- The books by Gary Renard are a great help in understanding the teaching of A Course in Miracles.