“Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. 2 It does not pardon sins and make them real. 3 It sees there was no sin. 4 And in that view are all your sins forgiven. 5 What is sin, except a false idea about God’s Son? 6 Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. 7 What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.” – Workbook 1 – What is Forgiveness – A Course in Miracles
I consider the idea of “Forgiveness” as presented in A Course in Miracles one of the more difficult things for me to learn. I find it the most difficult because I seem to have such resistance to the idea that “nothing I thought happened has occurred”.
It seems like a seriously far-fetched idea. All evidence (that I choose to rely on) reports the contrary. My feelings are hurt. My body is responding to these emotions. I can see the injustice; the sarcasm; the insincerity.
What I have discovered with my study and practice of the Course (and several other spiritual paths) is that what I see is subject to the influence of many elements. That is important to realize because we can easily believe that everything I am thinking, feeling, and perceiving is true.
In all cases, this is simply not true.
When I have taken the time to honestly reflect on my personal goals and intentions, I discover a direct correlation between what I think I want and what I see. This is why Jesus, several times throughout the text, reminds us that everything we perceive is a product of our thoughts and beliefs (and that ultimately, what we believe and think, is erroneous).
We must learn to realize that our interior experience of the world, just as much as the perceived “outside” world, falls under the heading of FORM. Jesus contrasts form with CONTENT. The reason why we must unify inside and outside is that there, in fact, exists no separation between the two.
If we are to embrace a non-dualistic understanding of Spirit (and then by proxy, forgiveness) we must relinquish this causative error, the error that there is two. Two worlds; one physical, one spiritual. Two modes of being; Truth and Error.
My Brother has committed no sin BECAUSE sin of itself is impossible. My Brother does not require my forgiveness because its impossible he has done anything to justify it. The only application of forgiveness that is necessary in form, is the forgiveness of my own Mind, for accepting error as Truth and allowing my decisions to be made from this place of error.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”
This could easily be interpreted as Jesus seeking pardon for our ignorance. And perhaps it was in the moment. When I feel into this line, I get a definite sense that Jesus was not speaking of his Crucifixion in the way we originally thought.
Instead, Jesus is making a declaration. A centering prayer for the moment we thought we could resolve our conflict with error, through error.
A belief that form preceded (and stands above) content. That what is done in form can change content.
“How can a wise man sincerely believe that formeless existence can be effected by form” – The Song of the Avadhut
The Truth of our safety and peace will arise again in our minds when we relinquish error and erroneous thinking. By giving our minds over to Holy Spirit, we are making a decision to have our mind healed, so that we may join with our Father’s Will, and know his Love.