January 2019

I recently watched a film based on a true story about a man whose teenage daughter had been assaulted and killed by her step-father. He spent 30 years trying to bring the perpetrator to justice, and he finally succeeded. As I was watching, I was dismayed to notice that I was taking the side of the man. I thought it was a terrible crime and the man’s revenge was justified. But I also remembered the teachings of A Course in Miracles on forgiveness. I wondered what I would have done if I had been in his place, and I realised that although it is quite easy to forgive little things, some things in life are, indeed, really hard to forgive. Yet we must.

So I called upon Jesus to show me how to look upon that film with Christ’s vision, and then I opened ACIM at random. This was the first thing I read: “Each day, each hour and minute, even each second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit the choice for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is yours…” T275. So taking revenge and being determined to see the perpetrator punished for his crime is what the ego would have chosen. The Holy Spirit sees it differently. He sees that there is nothing to forgive in this world, which is simply the out-picturing of what is going on in our minds.

Then came Jesus’ advice: “…Guiltlessness is invulnerability. Therefore, make your invulnerability manifest to everyone. Teach him that, whatever he may try to do to you, your perfect freedom from the belief that you can be harmed shows him that he is guiltless…There is nothing to forgive. No one can hurt the Son of God…” T276. And that was the message of the resurrection.

That last sentence, “No one can hurt the Son of God,” is the key to understanding forgiveness. Yes, we can hurt each other’s bodies, but this does not mean that we really hurt them at all because the body is not who we are. It is very difficult when you love someone to see them as eternal spirit rather than as a human being with a physical body but that is what Christ’s vision is all about. Christ’s vision does not look at the illusory world of form but sees, instead, the divine spark within every human being.

Nevertheless, it must take a huge amount of faith and practising of forgiveness to be able to accept the violent death of a relative and see only the divine spark in the perpetrator. But Jesus told us to forgive 70 x 7.

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