Forgiveness, just like God, is a term. It is a term that represents an idea. If one says "God" and thinks of a mythological Greek God, then this will be very far from the Christian Science understanding of God as infinite presence (without a beard:-). Same with forgiveness. If forgiveness means basically: see evil as real, and then make an effort to forget it, then this is not forgiveness as I understand that Jesus taught it and as Christian Science explains it.
Sometime ago a friend borrowed my car. When my dad passed on I inherited his fancy sports car. I keep it immaculate and cherish it as a souvenir from my dad who liked his car very much. When my friend returned the car, it was damaged in such a way that it could not be driven safely anymore. When I asked him about it, he denied it and said that he did not do anything to it and had no idea what happened! This friend, lovely in many ways, has a history of lying as a means of self-defense. I felt resentful towards him. We had planned an activity together and I told him that in the end I would not go (I did not want to spend any time with him) and said that I had unexpected work to do. This was true! I had to work to forgive him. I knew I could not stay in this mental place of negativity and resentment.
So how does one forgive? We forgive by knowing, realizing, affirming, understanding, feeling, that evil (in whatever form) was never true. What a minute! What does that mean! It means that forgiveness, in a way, is not a human effort. It is not naive denial. It is an inspiration. Something bigger than us that we yield to. Let me explain more: forgiveness is not about accepting that we have been wronged and try hard by whatever mental mechanism to be ok with it. It is also not about letting time go by, so we kind of forget about the wrong done to us. Forgiveness is a change of perspective. It it our change of perspective. It is to be willing to let go of the human picture (always misleading) to adopt the divine, spiritual perspective. From a divine perspective only good is real, only harmony is present. To forgive is to make that perspective real to us. Anyway, enough theory... let's go back to the car situation:
Working to forgive meant that I had to unsee a lying human but know that he was and is always the expression of Truth, God. There is no room for a liar in God's kingdom (present harmony, here, now). Seeing the whole car accident as an illusion was important too --a misleading perspective. From a spiritual perspective (the only actual and real perspective), all was well. All was and is harmony. When I concluded thinking and praying, the only thing left was love. If evil is truly unreal --as it is-- then from a spiritual perspective my car was never damaged, in other words, we can never lose anything valuable. We express God's allness and wholeness at all times. Then I could love him. How could I blame him for something that never happened? I could not.
The next day, I took the car to the garage. They could see me right away which never happened before (you have to book at least a week in advance). They took the car and called me a few hours later to let me know that it was fixed. When I went to pay, they said that there was no charge for it. The car was fixed and is in its previous state. No charge. As if nothing happened which is exactly the truth from a spiritual perspective! Later that day, I let my friend drive the car again.
We never discussed this episode. But I feel a stronger sense of love and compassion for this friend
Jesus said that evil is a lie. Jesus did not say that evil was something big and real. He said that it was a lie: Something that appears to be true but is not. This is why when Jesus was asked if we should forgive someone who offends us as much as seven times, he responded forgive "seventy times seven" --as evil will never be real so we are always whole, untouched.
We don't forgive real evil. Forgiveness acknowledges that evil was never real. And this is what brings release and true peace.
You can go deeper on this topic by looking at this excellent article by Louise Wheatley where she explains for example : "To hold a post-mortem over error is tacitly to admit that it once had life." And you can go in full depth by reading the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy which offers a unique perspective on the Bible.
Purpose and origin of this blog:
Sharing inspiring & practical spiritual ideas.