Truth is not something I can think about. To think, is to miss the Truth. Truth is beyond intellectual rationalizing, beyond concepts, beyond words. Ironically without all these, Truth cannot be conveyed. Here lies the heresy – when Truth is being conveyed, like the finger pointing to the moon, whoever takes the Truth, takes it by the letter, out of ignorance, thus making the pointing finger, the moon. Throughout my own personal journey of knowing myself, I came across many imitations of Truth. Many are just understatements. All the wholesome mental qualities the world is seeking to advocate are simply imitations of Truth. Truth is, Truth can’t be created. When Truth is seen, wholesome qualities naturally follow, not the other way round.
Take for instance, forgiveness. We are told to forgive. We encourage our friends to forgive whatever bitterness they hold on to, but yet I am not sure whether we ourselves can handle forgiveness when it is our turn to be in the shoe. But the point is not about our ability to forgive, it is about forgiveness that does not have a “to” preceding or attached to it. When we try to forgive, we miss the point of this lofty quality. We think we can just pull out this thing called “forgiveness” from our closet and close the chapter of what we are bitter with. Talk is cheap, as the saying goes. Actually, it is free! We tend to imagine the mind to be like a magician hat where we can simply pull anything out of it to put out whatever we are experiencing. If it was so damn easy the world would have been a great loving place to live in as whenever we are sad we can pull happiness out from the mind and become happy! Isn’t that what we are doing and yet failing? I would say the mind is more like a Pandora box giving us unexpected surprises, simply because we are not aware what we have hidden in it!
We are taught to be good, to forgive, to accept, to be patient, to be resilient, to be courageous, to be detached – a long list of do’s and don’ts – and we pass on the same messages to others. At the same time we struggle with all these lofty qualities, failing again and again, never questioning our inability to arrive at those saintly states. Instead, each time we fail, we beat ourselves up mentally by thinking we are not good enough to be so, and we never stop at there. We keep trying again. To stop means to fail, and probably a cause for depression too. So we put up a front of nice faces or go to a quiet place to cry our hearts and souls out, or worst, bang our heads on the wall or stand at the edge of the building, unsure whether we ought to leap or not. There are many strange and dangerous things we do except to inquire why we need to be this or that or why we are still who we are.
What is the cause of it? The price of ignorance – the inability to differentiate between the pointing finger and the moon; and instead make the pointing finger, the moon. Our ignorance to the unfolding nature of cause and effect – actions and results – taking place in the mind. We have not been educated to recognize that to every experience there must be a cause to it. The experience cannot be created but can be caused by it. In other words we cannot make to forgive, as forgiveness is a result of something else prior to it. We are always taught to focus on the qualities rather than the mechanics that arrive at these qualities. We are, in other words, imitating what can’t be imitated. The result is disastrous as we force to take on what is impossible when the root cause is not programmed for such. Putting the horse before the cart is a silly thing to do but yet our mind is constantly working towards that direction.
Our inability to forgive is due to a certain idea etched in our mind that we are reluctant to address. Our idea is the cause, the unforgiveness is the effect. Instead, we see the outside world as wrong. We may paint a hundred pictures of self-righteousness, from betrayals to errors in others, but so long as our idea is deeply ingrained within us, we can never and ever be able to arrive to forgiveness. And the painful truth is this, on one hand we wish to get out from that mental pain, but on the other hand, we are holding on to what prevents us from releasing the pain. Indeed a queer scenario. And that’s what ignorance always does.
It is not about who is right or wrong as that is out of the equation. In fact the problem occurs when we bring this equation into the picture and for that, block ourselves from seeing the law of nature of cause and effect taking place within us. Our right and wrong are ideas that we do not question which haunts us when a situation arises. So when we finally “force” ourselves to forgive, either due to pain, resignation or peer pressure, without releasing the tenacious righteous idea held strongly by us, the result is obviously irresolvable, probably resulting in us, just deeper pain.
Obviously the key to address here is ignorance – ignorance to the fact of how the mind works, and to do that, the first step is personal mental hygiene – redirecting attention to what wrong views we are holding on which are costing us our joy and freedom. We may not see the views as wrong in the beginning, but through clear comprehension and prolonged observations, we will recognize the web of ideas that led to our bondage, similar to the insects stuck in the web of the spider. This is a journey of Truth realization, unblocking what blocks the Truth – falseness.
2 Replies to “A Web Larger than the World Wide Web”
Based on my observation, my take on this unforgiveness is that when I was hurt by others in the past, I’d use all possible forgiveness tools that I knew but deep within I hang onto the hurt because I want those people to be punished (and has been secretly hoping and waiting for the judgment day to come!) Question: What am I at this moment?
Allow me to copy what shows up on the other concurrent tab and paste into this tab, as both window tabs on my computer screen has one commonality – forgiveness.
Forgiveness by William Frank Diedrich
I listened to a radio interview the other day on BBC Radio. A woman told how she had forgiven her daughter’s killer. I can think of no worse thing to happen in the world than for someone to take away your child. How could she forgive that? What does it mean to actually forgive? As I listened to her I learned that she had to forgive. She had to move on.
As humans we tend to confuse forgiving with pardoning. To pardon is to let someone off the hook. Pardoning says: “You hurt me or you did bad things, but I’m going to let you off for that.” Sub consciously we are saying: “I am better than you, a higher quality human being than you. I’m going to give you a break, even though you don’t necessarily deserve it.” This is a subtle form of attack justified by our self righteous indignation toward the person in question. If we are still attacking, and thinking someone is bad or thinking that we are better, it is not forgiving.
Forgiveness is to let go completely. It is to live as if the bad stuff never happened. It is to be free of it. Therefore, forgiveness is not something we do for another person. It is something we do for ourselves. Forgiveness is a decision to move on and to be free. Once we make the decision, our emotions may not be ready to follow. That’s okay. Make the decision and keep moving toward your goal of freedom.
For example, if you were hurt by others in your childhood, you can hang on to that hurt. We hang onto the hurt because we want those people to be punished. We want them to suffer for what they did. The problem is, we are the ones who are suffering, and we are punishing ourselves. The decision is ours to make: Will you live as an eternal victim still waiting for those people to pay, still waiting for them to make it up to you—or will you choose to be a free and responsible adult? Will you choose to be someone who sets his/her own course? What do you want?
As long as we hold on to hurt and anger, we cripple ourselves. We prevent ourselves from expressing what greatness may be within us. The path of unforgiveness is cluttered with unattainable goals. To wish the past to be different is unattainable. To wish someone else to be different is unattainable. The only way to change the past is to change the way you perceive it. Unforgiveness creates stress, pain, victimization, and feelings of powerlessness. These emotions wear down our physical systems making us more susceptible to disease and injury. The question is: “Would you rather have pain/stress/powerlessness, or would rather be free? It’s a simple question. Let’s say you choose freedom. How do you get there?
Forgiveness is often a process. We allow ourselves to be angry or to feel hurt for a period of time. We let it run its course. At some point we make the decision. We choose freedom. When we choose freedom we begin to choose different thoughts. When we find ourselves caught up in pain, we think about other things. Tell yourself, “I’m done with this and I am moving on.” Stand up and walk away. Consciously choose other thoughts. Consciously involve yourself in different actions and refocus your mind. This is discipline. All new goals require discipline. Forgiveness needs to be practiced.
This is where your spiritual path, whatever it may be, will help you. you can offer up your unforgiving thoughts to a Higher Power and ask for new perceptions–to see things differently. Do this a thousand times if necessary. By doing this you transcend ego thoughts and begin to think with your higher mind. If your intention is true, you will forgive. You will move on and be the free person you desire to be.
Forgiveness is not a “should”. Forgiveness is a “want”. There are times when I am angry when I don’t want to forgive. I want to be right. I want the payoff I get from being the person who has been wronged. Usually I wake up in the middle of this emotion and realize that I’m not getting what I really want. I really want peace. I really want to live joyfully and powerfully. I want to live as an adult taking full responsibility for my thoughts and emotions. I don’t want to be a victim. My emotions may still be in anger, but I decide to forgive, to move on. My intention is true and my focus becomes relentless.
Anger and hurt are emotions that pass quickly if you do not feed them. Usually, when I get angry, it flashes through my body for about ninety seconds. When I decide to forgive, I stop feeding the emotion with my thoughts. I can’t help it that I feel angry or hurt instantaneously. I can help it whether or not I prolong it. I let the emotion move through me and I let it go. Next, I decide what I will do.
Persistent unforgiveness is the result of feeding the hurt and anger with thoughts–constantly replaying the story. If you do this, you may want to ask yourself: “Wasn’t it painful enough when it happened? Is there a good reason to hold on to this story and the pain that it causes?” When you tell yourself your stories of sadness or of pain, who do you become?
The story of your life is being written right now. The past is only as relevant as you choose to make it. The thoughts you nurture today become the basis of your experience tomorrow. You can choose to nurture your hurts, or you can choose forgiveness. You can wallow in victimhood, or you can envision and work toward a joyous and productive life.
To choose forgiveness you must live consciously. To live consciously is to practice awareness of your thoughts and emotions, and to intentionally direct them. This requires mental discipline. It requires that you notice when your thoughts are painful and that you consciously decide what to do with them.
Joy and freedom are available to you. These positive states are only a thought away. The decision to forgive often must be made hundreds of times per day. Each time you forgive you experience a victory. Each time you forgive you reshape your story. The woman I heard on BBC lost her daughter and her own life as she knew it. She decided to start again and to create a new life. She decided to be grateful for the years she had with her daughter and for the love they shared. She let go of thinking about the years she had lost. Those years were nonexistent and unattainable. There is no limitation in this life to the number of times you can start again. As long as you can think, you can forgive–you can begin again–you can envision what you want and take steps toward achieving it.
Appreciate the article you are sharing.