ACIM and Forgiveness - Some notes on letting it happen.
Some related lessons:121: Forgiveness is the key to happiness.
122: Forgiveness offers everything I want.
134: Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.
247: Without forgiveness I will still be blind.
249: Forgiveness ends all suffering and loss.
297: Forgiveness is the only gift I give.
321: All things I think I see reflect ideas.
332: Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.
333: Forgiveness ends the dream of conflict here.
334: Today I claim the gifts forgiveness gives.
336: Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.
342: I let forgiveness rest upon all things, For thus forgiveness will be given me.
361-365: This holy instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace.
- The various ways in which ‘forgiveness’ can be achieved may give the impression that it is a process done by the student and under his/her control. Some 'teachers' of ACIM also give this impression in books and seminars by offering their own thought-processes whereby a student can supposedly perform forgiveness in a given situation. One such 'teacher' advises to see all as per a dream or illusion, and to keep reminding oneself of this fact. Unfortunately, such self-initiated approaches simply end up as exercises in imagination and stay limited to the intellectual/mind plane, and are usually dumped after a while by the ego out of either boredom or ineffectual results. Similar can be said for Neo-Advaita type intellectual perspectives.
- In fact, true ‘forgiveness’ isn’t a process under the student’s control or direction. How could the student have the power to remove what he himself has made and believes is true? It is completely the task of the Holy Spirit to provide the means, place, and conditions necessary for forgiveness to take place naturally. The job of the student is that of having a 'little willingness'. The student merely places him/herself in a receptive mode. This mode would be second nature, after having performed it many times during the Workbook lessons, especially from Lesson 200 onwards. The student tunes in, listens, and opens their awareness to the still, silent, ever-present background wherein the Holy Spirit can communicate and enable what needs to be done through our little willingness and surrender. Through the Power beyond our selves, the Holy Instant takes place. Perceptions are transformed, beliefs dropped, and the universe, including what we thought we were, is allowed to be exactly as it is.
Quotes from A Course in Miracles (Text) related to the process of forgiveness as a function of the Holy Spirit through out 'little willingness':
Ch.16 The Forgiveness of Illusions
“No needs will long be left unmet if you leave them all to Him Whose function is to meet them. That is His function and not yours. He will not meet them secretly, for
He would share everything you give through Him. And that is why He gives it.
9 What you give through Him is for the whole Sonship, not for part of it.
Leave Him His function, for He will fulfill it if you but ask Him to enter your
relationships and bless them for you.”
Ch.18 The Dream and the Reality: IV.
“Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit’s help. That is His function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred and to be forgiven. On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily.”
“44 Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. And so they must be loving. Their message is, “Thy Will be done,” and not, “I want it otherwise.” The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit’s purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.”
v. The Little Willingness
“32 The holy instant is the result of your determination to be holy. It is the answer. The desire and the willingness to let it come precedes its coming. You prepare your minds for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more. Do not attempt to give the Holy Spirit what He does not ask, or you will add the ego unto Him and confuse the two. He asks but little. It is He who adds the greatness and the might. He joins with you to make the holy instant far greater than you can understand. It is your realization that you need do so little that enables Him to give so much.”