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Sunday October 10, 2004: Forgiving: Part Four

        After you have forgiven the outer world and the people in it, forgive yourself.  Divine love is unconditional. Oh yah, I knew that. Everybody knows that. Yet it was quite another issue for me to accept unconditional love.  My acceptance of divine forgiveness was not unconditional. I could only accept small blessings after I had worked enough to feel I deserved it.  I kicked myself every time I thought of a better way to handle a previous situation.

        There is definitely a humbleness and surrender to a higher power that is essential to spiritual growth. You have to be willing to see and admit your mistakes. How far do you carry that? Too often I see people chained to the shame and guilt of their shortcomings and flaws, afraid that somehow they'll never be worthy of divine approval. They reach towards the divine not with the open heart of a child but with the fears of a child approaching some unknown authority figure. They spend their time trying to gain the approval of that authority figure rather than seeking to understand Its lessons. 

        You know, there are people today who still believe in the Old Testament version of God - a god of judgment and punishment who expects absolute and unquestioning obedience to rules set down thousands of years ago.  I'm not sure this was ever an accurate portrayal, even of the Old Testament.

        Yes, there are spiritual laws that are constant and unchanging. Yet from all my encounters with God-forms and within higher states of consciousness, I see nothing of a God who demands absolute unquestioning obedience to Its laws.  I have never encountered a petty godform who wants things done only his or her way.

         I do see unwavering demand for personal responsibility.  There are consequences for all our thoughts, emotions and actions.  The divine is unyielding in Its expectations that we be responsible for what we set in motion. That means facing the consequences of our mistakes.  In earlier times was this interpreted as punishment for not following "the letter of the Law?"  Would religious history have been different if Adam and Eve's original sin was seen, not as disobeying God's rules, but as a failure to acknowledge and accept personal responsibility when they made a conflicting choice?

        If we must be responsible for all our mistakes, then what about grace?  What about someone taking our sins or karma away? Can't we overcome karma and past deeds by totally surrendering to the divine?  We really should be looking at mind states. To open one's heart to an image of God, master, or guru, to be able to honestly see our own past actions, acknowledge the thought forms that created these actions, and open towards divine love, does create its own miracle. We may still need to work through the consequence but -- free of past entanglements -- we enter into a state of peace and understanding that transforms our future.

              I tried to deny gifts from a godform once and was asked, "Do you believe in my wisdom?"  (What was I to say -- "I think you're making a bad judgment call?")  If I was to accept that God's judgment is far beyond mine, then I had to be willing to accept God's love and blessings, despite my own doubts of what I had or had not earned.

            When we work past our own fears of being unworthy, we begin to understand that the divine and its godforms have never expected perfection in our daily actions. The divine does not hold back blessings because of our inner flaws. We are not denied the love of the divine because we have not yet balanced every part of our karma.  The divine is content with an open heart that continually works to improve thoughts, words and deeds.  It's the journey that carries us toward perfection. It's an attitude that leads us on that journey.

 

Posted on Sunday, October 10, 2004 at 10:42AM by Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic | Comments2 Comments

Reader Comments (2)

Many people do cite the old testament as source for their anger and repulsion of a judgemental, angry,unreasonable God who would demand unquestioning obedience to the letter of the law. But I think you are right when you say that this was never an accurate portrayal. I sure can't make sense of a lot of the actions found there, but I can certainly resonate with a God who time and again (in the old testament)says, "come let us reason together." Seems to me to invite questions, discussion and dialogue.
Man this is an important topic on forgiveness that you are tackling. Keep digging.
October 11, 2004 | Unregistered CommenterRod
Thanks. I think it's an important issue, too. However, I've been on the subject for some time now. Hopefully, I've hit most of the high points. Let me know if there are specific areas you want to explore.
October 11, 2004 | Registered CommenterThe Skeptical Mystic

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