This is our main ticket out of the dream
True Forgiveness (as defined below) abolishes the entire illusion of this world and gently places us into that exquisite World Beyond Our Senses. In fact, if everyone exercised True Forgiveness, the world's problems would vanish in an instant. No more anger, trauma, sickness, war, hunger or death. Only Love and an uninterrupted blissful existence.
So why bother with Optimal EFT? Who needs to study articles and perform practices? Why not just forgive everything and be done with it? It would sure save a lot of time and, Lord knows, this world surely needs it. I would love for it to be that easy. But, alas, we need to understand True Forgiveness before we can proceed.
But first, let's look at everyday forgiveness ... the standard definition
Let's use a common forgiveness example. Suppose your brother had the habit of stealing things from you and, over the years, has stolen your money, cars, jewelry, etc. You, of course, harbor anger and mistrust regarding your brother and that has decimated your relationship. Now suppose that a few years go by and your brother comes to you, apologetically, and asks for your forgiveness. He claims he has undergone treatment for his theft problem and is a new man. He even pays you back partially for the things he stole. You are touched by this and say, "I forgive you." Thereafter, you enjoy your brother on many levels and even partner with him on some projects.
This is an often told tale of forgiveness. Heartwarming, Loving. It's the sort of story that deserves a movie. It is an example of what we commonly mean when we discuss forgiveness.
But let's look beneath these circumstances and explore what happens if your brother steals from you once again. Does your forgiveness remain in place or do you resume your previous wariness and become on guard or alert to his thieving ways. Even if you are benevolently open to this "slip," don't the old angers and mistrusts show up again? And if he steals from you a second or third time might not your emotions take over and your former forgiveness be compromised or fly out the window?
If your former forgiveness has wavered under these circumstances then you have not exercised True Forgiveness. You may have temporarily swept the issue under the rug but, in the background...
...you have been keeping score.
Your forgiveness has not been True Forgiveness. It has been partial, incomplete. You have been subtly judging, awaiting the day when you eventually say, "See, you did it again!!"
While the above standard example of forgiveness is useful, it will not get us out of the dream. It may make the dream more tolerable for awhile, but that is all.
What we need is True Forgiveness and that involves the recognition that both you and your brother are living in a dream and, as a result...
...the thefts never really happened.
They were simply part of a dream and, when you awaken from it, you simply say, "Oh, that was just a dream."
Therein lies the definition of True Forgiveness. It is a deep understanding that we really are experiencing a dream. There is only One of us and our seeming separation into individual bodies is a mirage. Seen in this way, we actually forget about the misdeed.
We can only exercise True Forgiveness if we recognize that we are dreaming. And I don't mean just academically. We must stand apart from our senses and "see" the Loving Light in everyone by using an "inner vision" rather than our eyes. This includes our enemies and those who have betrayed us. No exceptions because Love has no exceptions. This is our challenge. This is why Optimal EFT is a process and not something you "get" from a movie, book or workshop.
A monumental shift
True Forgiveness is massively more powerful than standard forgiveness because it completely wipes the slate clean. As long as we truly recognize everything that happens as part of a dream, then we have no traumas, betrayals, disease or enemies. All such happenings become fictions and have no effect on us. They seem very real within the dream, of course, but if we awaken we recognize them for the non-events they really are. This is a monumental shift in perception that is hundreds of times more effective than standard forgiveness.
Is this realistic?
Can we really exercise this true form of forgiveness and completely abolish all remnants of the negative side of this world? And if we did this, wouldn't that drop all our defenses and subject us to being blindsided by all those thieves, betrayers and irresponsible people in the world?
Probably so, at least for now.
Doing so would mean giving up every caution we think we need to keep us safe, sane and financially sound. The World Within Our Senses gives us constant reminders of the dangers lurking all around us even though, as Quantum Physics tells us, it is all imaginary. There is no out there out there.
This World Within Our Senses is no place for Pollyanna. She would be homeless and destitute in short order ... or at least so our cautions tell us.
The World Beyond Our Senses, however, is quite different. As you know by now, I have briefly been in that world and, from that vantage point, the World Within Our Senses becomes absurd. It causes us to ask why we would want to hold a grudge or resentment against anyone? Doing so blots out the endless Love that is our true birthright. Why would we ever trade THAT for a bunch of useless cautions? Only in a dream could we give any weight to this nonsense.
But, again, this is not nonsense within the dream. This illusion appears convincingly real and, in that context, True Forgiveness appears to be our enemy. In this dream, we must hold on to our cautions, fears, resentments and the like or, it seems, we will surely perish.
Here are two ways that A Course In Miracles puts it (it uses the term forgiveness in the same way that I describe True Forgiveness above):
There is nothing to forgive. (ACIM Text: Chapter 14,Section III, Paragraph 7)
What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
All this forgiveness offers you, and more. It sparkles on your eyes as you awake, and gives you joy with which to meet the day. It soothes your forehead while you sleep, and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams of fear and evil, malice and attack. And when you wake again, it offers you another day of happiness and peace. All this forgiveness offers you, and more. (ACIM Workbook: Lesson 122)
So, we have a challenge before us. True forgiveness is our ticket out of here but it is likely to take time and a gradual shift in our beliefs. We will, of course, need tools and ideas to pull this off. That's what Optimal EFT is all about.
© Gary Craig
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