Central to the inner peace that we gain in studying and applying A Course in Miracles to our lives is forgiveness. To forgive is to see right because we are asking Jesus or the Holy Spirit – interchangeable symbols of the right mind – to join with us and lend their vision. Forgiveness is a choice, a decision that we make in every moment.
The more I study the course, the more it strikes me how empowering it is. There’s a bit of a conundrum in this. On the one hand, this body and this narrative attached to it are not real – and neither is anything else in the world.
On the other hand, denying their existence – as opposed to slowly seeing through them with Jesus’ help – is not helpful.
Forgiveness is what mediates that tension, that bridges the gap between our experience as particular bodies in a particular vector of the space-time continuum and our reality as thoughts in the mind of a deeply abstract God.
We cannot force ourselves to know God. We cannot force ourselves to give up the blocks that stand between us and a vision of Christ. Why not? Because we made them – we believe in them. You cannot ask your egoic thought system to prove itself unreal and undo itself. Help has to come from some other place. It has to come from our right mind which is as foreign to our thinking – our current belief system – as breathing air is to a trout.
Forgiveness – of cheese cake, greedy neighbors, loud kids, the death of beloved grandparents, politicians on the television, paychecks, good health, all of it – is the way out. It is the choice we make to say to Jesus, I can’t do this and I need a hand. Just that little willingness, that barely perceptible movement in the direction of change . . . it is enough. The hand is given us.
We choose forgiveness and in return the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven open wide to welcome us. It is a small gift to give for such a large bounty. But that’s the nature of our power of our choosing.