Within A Course in Miracles the practice of forgiveness is mentioned frequently, and is certainly a critical concept — perhaps the most critical concept in the Course. But the definition of forgiveness, how to actually practice it, is not clearly stated. How does one “do” it? In truth the practice of forgiveness is like A Course in Miracles: it has a reputation for being complex, seems complex when it is considered initially, but is actually very simple.
The Simple Truth Of Forgiveness
Forgiveness can be easily defined. Forgiveness is to not accept as true that God’s will has been overturned. Please take a moment to read again, and to process, the definition of forgiveness.
The definition of forgiveness, naturally, raises the question of what God’s will is. God’s will is that His creation, which is you, shall be one with God in Heaven, an immortal spirit who knows only peace and joy. And this creates an immediate dilemma…
We do not know ourselves according to God’s will. We do not know an ongoing experience of Heaven, immortality that exists in eternal peace and joy. We know ourselves as mortal physical beings existing in a material world, who are vulnerable and needy, who are in an endless effort to survive, who are amongst other beings and in competition with them. We know some joy but also know lack, loss, and suffering. And death is the final experience we all face within the world, and it is completely inevitable.
Lack, loss, suffering, death. Peace and joy for eternity. Why is there such a discrepancy between God’s will, what we’re meant to experience, and what we actually experience?
The Cycle Of Perception
We’ve all heard the expression ‘I’ll believe it when I see it‘. And we certainly do believe in what we see, what we perceive, what we experience of the world (and also our judgments that give meaning to these perceptions). But before we believe in what we see, we see what we believe. We see (and experience) what we believe, and then we believe what we see (and experience). We see what we believe, and then we believe what we see. We see what we believe, and then we believe what we see.
Your perceptions of and experiences within the world are a projection of your belief that you are different than, and separate from, God. The world is your belief about who and what you are, projected out; and then you see this projection and believe in the truth of it, which reinforces your initial belief. It’s a cycle.
I believe this of myself, this belief causes a projection, I see the projection and believe in the truth of it, which acts as proof of my belief about myself. Look! See, it’s true! Told ya.
Now if you think that you do not have the capacity to create visions by your believing, this is because you do not accept the truth of yourself at all. You believe you are a weak physical being that dies, instead of the truth: that you are the holy Son of God; so powerful the son that he creates visions of a virtual world by his believing.
The Importance Of Forgiveness
When you consider that, perhaps, you are in fact God’s creation, with this incredible capacity to mentally create, you see the importance of forgiveness. Forgiveness breaks the pattern of your believing in something false, because your believing in an illusion maintains your perception of it. Remember the definition of forgiveness:
Forgiveness is to not accept as true that God’s will has been overturned.
The fact that you see yourself as a physical being within a material world is absolute evidence that you believe God’s will is not the truth; and you certainly do believe this. If you stop accepting your false beliefs, that you are separate from God and His will, as truth, the perception these beliefs maintain will ultimately disappear. And the truth these perceptions now block, the truth of the experience of Heaven, will come into your awareness.
How To Practice Forgiveness
It’s very simple to practice forgiveness. It is not easy, but it is simple. To practice forgiveness requires these steps:
1. Tuning into your thinking. Develop the habit of listening to your internal voice and hearing what it says to you.
2. Identify thinking that denies God’s will. Ask yourself this: ‘If God’s will were the truth, what would my experience be like?‘ Look back again at the earlier description of what God’s will for you is. If that were true, what kind of experiences would you be having?
Would you be having money problems? Would you be having relationship problems, or health problems? Would you be in a lousy job or unhappily unemployed? Would your life be generally miserable, or simply tolerable — or would it be magnificent?
3. Stop accepting separation thoughts as true. The term ‘separation’ is used often within A Course in Miracles. Separation means that God’s will has been overturned, and God’s creation — you — is now separate from God and His will. Separation thoughts are thoughts that say, in one way or another, God’s will is not the truth. God’s will is not reality; something else is reality.
Most people do not, not ever, question the validity of separation thoughts. On the contrary, they accept them as completely true. By this point you should see the problem with this…
It maintains perceptions of separation, and these perceptions block the experience of Heaven. We cannot experience not Heaven and Heaven both. One or the other. So…
When separation thoughts come up stop making them valid, which empowers them to create false perceptions. Rather than going along with them as usual, rather than accepting the truth of them, mentally interrupt them.
This denies God’s will.
On another page, which is not directed at those experienced with A Course in Miracles, I suggest using this mental interruption: This is an investment.
A separation thought certainly is an investment, isn’t it? It maintains a perception different from, and much worse than, an experience of Heaven.
Here is a summary of how to practice forgiveness: Hear your separation thinking and interrupt it so as to not automatically accept it as truth and so empower it. Use this interruption technique for unhappy emotions as well, which are always caused by separation thinking.
And that’s all there is to it…
Be vigilant in your forgiveness, because you will get out of it what you put in. If you are using less than thirty interruptions per day you are allowing many separation thoughts, and also emotions, to pass. Practicing forgiveness casually is easy. Practicing forgiveness with commitment is difficult, especially at first.
As previously stated, I’ve written another help page for people unfamiliar with A Course in Miracles, but which offers the same principles I’ve discussed here. This page may give you additional insights into practicing forgiveness, and life help in general. If you’re interested you can visit that page Here.
Essence Of Change
I’ve described a method of forgiveness here, a way to go about it, but not the only way to go about it. It is open, as you can see if you consider again the definition of forgiveness:
Forgiveness is to not accept as true that God’s will has been overturned.
How many different ways are there to carry out forgiveness, according to the definition above? I believe there are many. I believe as well that methods can be effectively combined. If you’re looking for help method examples to incorporate into your practice, prayer (read about prayer Here) and allowing (read about allowing Here) are powerful and effective.
The single solution, really, to the hardships of life is this: stop denying the truth of yourself; accept yourself as God created you. An experience of Heaven is our truth, joy and peace and abundance are our genuine experiences. But our thinking incessantly denies this lineage and insists that we are much less than God intended. We must, then, work with our thinking — diligently — and mentally reclaim our truth. When we do this, Heaven will first shine into our perceptions; and then, eventually, we will fully return, joyously, to our Heavenly home.
Questions And Answers
Questions and answers help everyone to get clear. Do you have questions about what you’ve read here, and how to apply it? Ask them Here.
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