Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.
With certainty, can we all agree that we have mastered the art of pretending we are not God, created like Herself. We have mastered thinking we are not Masters. This shows how brilliant and creative we truly are. We have perfected the act of unawareness as we tied ourselves in the knots of uncertainty and chaos, thus creating havoc in the minds and hearts of others and ourselves, all in the name of searching for what already lies within. We have come this far in recognition that we are tired of the game of suffering and now desire to put down our old toys used for this game. As we release what is valueless and that which does not serve us, we come with an open mind to be shown the light of forgiveness as it leads from the master of nothing to the Master of Everything.
Forgiveness is the main focus of the Course, particularly since Review III, as it is our function in the world and is the key to our salvation, happiness, and everything that we truly want. Most recently in Lesson 122, “Forgiveness offers everything I want,” we practiced seeing those who hurt us in light. This reinforced our experience that what we give, we also receive, as we became much lighter beings by extending the light to another. We continue on our journey in forgiveness today as we let it be a means to show us where we still harness any thought of sin or guilt. The purpose is to get so keen in our awareness that it is impossible to leave any pinky out of heaven.
“No one is crucified alone, and yet no one can net Heaven by himself” (ACIM Lesson 143 17:7).
There is a song by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, entitled Hunter of Invisible Game, where Bruce explores hunting for a particular invisible human essence. I liken it to hunting for the harmless game we play pretending we are not God. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, The Boss said the following about his lyrics and the video he made for the song,
“One of the few songs on High Hopes that was never previewed live, Springsteen said “Hunter of Invisible Game” came from a title he wrote down years ago and later grew into a full song after he dabbled in some post-apocalyptic reading. The idea of these travellers in the wasteland, and what’s the guy trying to do? He’s trying to hold onto their humanness, their humanity in all of this ruin,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone. “That was the idea. That’s who this guy is, the guy who is hunting out remnants of what makes the spirit.”
This song speaks to the hunt we are on today. We are hunting for those human games we played in order to maintain our smallness. We come to recognize that the games are invisible and that they hold no power, no real outcome, and no value. Forgiveness is our guide as she sheds a light on those areas in our minds where we are still holding another and ourselves captive by human law rather than the eternal law of love. Nothing about our hunt today is solo. Although our steps appear singular, they are for us all. As we experienced yesterday, the only real choice is that for love, we find a parallel idea with forgiveness as how can one forgive another who is, in truth, sinless? Thus, does forgiveness become the way but not the means.
“This twisted view of what forgiveness mans is elastic corrected, when you can accept the fact that pardon is not asked for what is true” (ACIM Lesson 134 2:1).
Forgiveness as the world understands it, is a power lured over another, it is a sense of greater than less than, and harnesses a sense of debt. As we come to a deeper understanding of the Course we find that forgiveness is a means of releasing the chains that bind another, which are the same chains that bind ourselves.
“Those who are forgiven from the view their sins are real are pitifully mocked and twice condemned; first, by themselves for what they think they did, and once again by those who pardon them” (ACIM Lesson 134 5:5).
Today, we understand more deeply that what has appeared to happen to us or what we have appeared to do to another, was truly harmless, if we look through the eyes of Christ. Can we see the game we have been playing? Can we see that we are just God pretending not to be God? Can we see beyond the soul in front of us to the eternal light that abides in each of our brothers and sisters, regardless of the scary masks we might wear? Can we see with the innocence of a child?
“In truth is innocence the only thing there is” (ACIM Lesson 134 10:3).
This is the intention of forgiveness as it points towards the innocence in all. There is a disclaimer here, and that is not everyone is ready to put down the game. We are all at different points in the journey. The only point you must be concerned with is your own. You cannot give another your journey or your revelations, you can only show the way by the means of your actions in choosing for love. Thus, this does not mean that we stay in harmful and unhealthy relationships or situations until all have agreed to wake up. It may be that one chooses to stop playing the game while the rest continue. That is our free will. When it comes to awakening, all contracts we believe we have with another become null and void. Like Smokey The Bear says about forest fires, “ONLY YOU! can prevent forest fires.” The Course would probably say this, “ONLY YOU! can awaken to the Light within YOU!” It takes courage to evaluate this disclaimer but it is the most loving act we can do for ourselves.
In our practice periods, similar to Lesson 122, we choose a brother or sister that has appeared to “sin against” us. As we review this instance, we ask ourselves, “Would I condemn myself for doing this?” We do not ask this as a means of forgiveness since we may have done something similar. Not at all. We ask this question as we build on Lesson 122 and do so as a means to free ourselves from any forms of bondage. We desire to be happy and free but to be in that natural state, we must release others so as to release ourselves. The point of today is to choose to no longer condemn ourselves and to see the innocence in all, including ourselves.
Once more the body can also be a tool used in our practice periods and throughout the day as we notice when we see the innocence and light in another, we feel much more at ease, peaceful, and light. This is a manner in which we can feel our freedom.
“If you have been processing thus far in willingness and honesty you will begin to sense a lifting up, a lightening of weight across your chest, a deep and certain feeling of relief” (ACIM Lesson 134 16:3).
Forgiveness is merely the bridge we use to cross over to claim our liberation. We do not have to take part in any battles or fortify ourselves as we journey to this new land where we no longer play the invisible game. The way has been prepared, all we do is just show up. It is that easy. As we put down the toys needed to play the invisible game, we, too, give our playmates the option to look around and see that there is another way, the way of love and innocence. Although it may appear that we leave our brothers and sisters who continue to play the game, we do not. We gift them our steps as they are lit with Love as we Walk in Miracles towards that which has eternal value, just as we followed the steps of those before. This is a journey we do not make alone but rather where we are all Miracle Trailblazers for one another as we realize we were once the gods who used to pretend they were not God. Namaste.
Previous Course Lessons on Forgiveness: