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Thoughts on Forgiveness, "ACIM Style"

There is a lot of talk about forgiveness ACIM style, but I'm not too sure what people really mean when they say this. I often hear that we need to forgive with the Holy Spirit. We need to do this, we need to do that. I was even told from someone who actually wrote a book on the principles of ACIM, who admitted to never reading the course once all the way through and said doing the workbook lessons was optional, but instead wrote his book through the lens of DU tell me that to forgive ACIM style, we first must remember that this is an illusion.

     I find that statement interesting for a couple of reasons. One, is that this seems to be a top-down approach of trying to counteract error with “knowledge”, something that the author did not attempt to do, but instead had error corrected from the bottom up. It really seems to be a circular process, because if one could really “remember” that this is an illusion, then there would be no need for forgiveness and the Atonement. The very fact that one needs to forgive seems to demonstrate that this “knowledge” is not really in the person's awareness.

  As the course tells us, “You have a part to play in the Atonement, but the plan of the Atonement is beyond you.  You do not understand how to overlook errors, or you would not make them.”~ACIM

   Another reason, is that this seems to imply that in the forgiveness process, we are in charge instead of just having the little willingness that is asked of us so that we may see the situation/person a different way.

   As the course tells us, “To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection.”~ACIM

   In our little willingness, the course asks us, “I am not alone, and I would not intrude the past upon my Guest. I have invited Him, and He is here. I need do nothing except not to interfere.

   In fact, the course cautions us about trying to do more than be willing, when it states, “The holy instant does not come from your little willingness alone. It is always the result of your small willingness combined with the unlimited power of God's Will.  You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him.  It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace.  God has established them. They do not wait upon your willingness for what they are.  Your willingness is needed only to make it possible to teach you what they are.”

  The course is not asking us to make preparations or to try  and “remember absolute knowledge” for the Holy Spirit or the Atonement, which the course tells us the Holy Spirit is the Mind of. Instead, the course tells us, “The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure.  But it does require that you have none that you would keep.  Innocence is not of your making.  It is given you the instant you would have it. Atonement would not be if there were no need for it.~ACIM

   So how do I forgive “ACIM style?” It seems to me from what the course is saying, that “I” don't forgive at all. My part is only to be willing to not hold onto my private (impure) thoughts of the past and let the Holy Spirit show me another way. Forgiveness happens.  In this way, forgiveness isn't an “act” that “I” do, but becomes more of what Martin Luther King Jr. once said, when he said that forgiveness is not an occasional act, but a permanent attitude.

   The course tells us that peace and understanding go together and can never be found alone. The course also tells us that the only way to peace is through forgiveness.  The Buddha said, “To understand everything, is to forgive everything.”

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Comment by Eric G. on June 1, 2012 at 8:52am

Hey Ruby,


  Thanks for bringing this video up. I'll check it out when I get a chance to. I'm glad that others appreciated the post. I'm still learning over here and much is easier said than done at times.

Comment by Ruby on May 30, 2012 at 9:41pm

Hi Eric, Powerful Insights and quotes.  Yet fundamental.  I go by the way I feel .. the quote I cited** offers a sense of liberation and peace the minute I accept it ... **("I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or myself.  Yet in this learning is salvation born.  And what you are will tell you of Itself." (from "Self Concept versus Self", Text, ACIM)

The video I uploaded last week is powerful in its demonstration of God is within and transformation and healing in the stillness of God's Love.  As Jesus reminds us in one of the workbook lessons:  "The Kingdom of God is within and you cannot lose it."  Thanks for posting, btw I tagged post on my facebook wall and others have expressed appreciation for it.  Here is the video:

Comment by Eric G. on May 26, 2012 at 10:59am

Hiya Ruby, ans thank you. I think the quote you provided is absolutely essential for us to remember in the forgiving process, because when looked at with an honest mind while holding grievances, it becomes apparent just how true the statement is.


We think we know who we are and in this "knowing" does suffering arise, when we look upon the world in a way that we want it to be and it does not live up to our expectations.


 Interestingly, in the section, "The Fear of Redemption" it says this in the FIP Blue book, " In honesty, is it not harder for you to say "I love" than "I hate"?  You associate love with weakness and hatred with strength, and your own real power seems to you as your real weakness.  For you could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you heard it, and the whole world you thought you made would vanish.  The Holy Spirit, then, seems to be attacking your fortress, for you would shut out God, and He does not will to be excluded.~ACIM


Eric: In the UrText and Original Edition, there is a slight variation in the wording, but I think has a much deeper implication. "For you  could not control your joyous response to the call of love if you  heard it, and the whole world you think you control would  vanish."~UT-OE


Eric: Now we're looking at a world that not only we made, but think we can control. When we think we know who we are, we think we know what the world is and what it is for. Thus we make a world we think we can control, and what it does not conform to what we want it to be, we condemn it and unforgiveness arises.


  When we step back and honestly say, "I don't know who/what I am." Then is there room for a willingness to see the world a different way. As the course tells us that there is another maker of the world.....The Holy Spirit. This does not mean that the world is ultimately real, but seeing the world with the Holy Spirit, we can begin to understand that the world has only one purpose...forgiveness.


  Yet this also does not mean we just tell ourselves, "It doesn't matter, because it is an illusion." For one, this is denying the power of the mind, even if the mind is miscreating. This is the attempt to aleviate fear, but at the cost at making the mind impotent. For another reason, it is the attempt to counteract fear with "knowledge", yet as I mentioned before, if knowledge was in one's awareness, error would not have occured.


   If we are to take practical steps, the course gives us some very beneficial and practial steps in doing this, in the section, "Rules for Decision."


Comment by Ruby on May 25, 2012 at 12:20am

Good to hear from you Eric.  Love the quotes you cited.     In my meditation this morning, I found myself remembering "I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or myself.  Yet in this learning is salvation born.  And what you are will tell you of Itself." (from "Self Concept versus Self", Text, ACIM)

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