Quite often while reading the ACIM text I am blown away by Jesus's crystal-clear clarity on various topics. It's like, there couldn't possibly be any way to explain MORE clearly. Last night as I read about forgiveness it was no exception. Immediately I knew I had been misunderstanding parts of it all this time.
The ego's version of forgiveness has you taking a good, clear look at an 'error' and then attempting to overlook it, but you can't overlook it because you've made it real. Looking AT the error is not looking PAST the error. It is not overlooking, it's just looking. Once the error is firmly in our sights, we are holding onto it and maintaining it, so cannot simultaneously transcend it.
What the Course then says is that once we've made errors real - which is the situation we find ourselves in almost all the time and usually this is the state that compels us to want to forgive - we will be tempted to believe that we have to "UNDO what we have MADE in order to be forgiven". We made the illusion, we invented it, we believed in it, we have faith in it, and if it is real then we have to undo what we made in order to forgive. So then we start to set about trying to UNDO the thing that seems to be upsetting us. But we can't undo it that way because our belief in it holds it firmly in place.
The Course goes onto to describe Holy Spirit's forgiveness. It says simply and clearly, that Holy Spirit is ALWAYS overlooking all errors, and DOES NOT SEE ERRORS, in a pro-active manner - fore-giving, SO THAT errors will not ARISE, and so that they therefore do not need to be later 'undone'. The Holy Spirit does not make errors real in the first place. He does not `make` illusions. And so to Him, there IS no error. This is where it becomes paradoxical. The Holy Spirit forgives constantly in order that there is nothing to forgive. He fore-gives, ahead of the need to address an error, so that no errors arise whatsoever. He therefore has a 'forgiving attitude' which is incapable of registering error whatsoever. This is why HIS forgiveness is "quiet, still, looks and does not judge, and does nothing".
So the Course is describing these two types of forgiveness. Ego forgiveness which tries to undo things it's made real and cannot, vs Holy Spirit's forgiveness which HAS NOT made things real and so is permanently overlooking all errors in the knowledge that NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. The Course also says that the ego attempts to take over control of all activities, and this is why the ego thinks IT is the one who has to do forgiveness. But the Course also says, Forgiveness is the HOLY SPIRIT's function. Holy Spirit constantly is forgiving in order not to have anything to forgive. OUR function is different.
The error I have made is in thinking that I am the one that forgives - as the ego - who has made errors real and now attempts to do something to/about them in order to make them go away. Holy Spirit is the light which actually shines so brightly that there is nothing to forgive.
So, then I found myself asking, how then does one transition from being in the ego and `needing to forgive` or `needing to undo` due to seeing something that seems real, to aligning with Holy Spirit's viewpoint which is that ALL IS FORGIVEN already in a pro-active, preventative way. How do I go from maintenance and cleanup after observing a mess, to proactive preventative measures. How do I go from 'attack it with the course' to 'nothing happened'.
Somehow I have to get my mind to ALIGN with Holy Spirit's way of looking at things, so that I can see that all is forgiven. But while I'm believing that something has gone wrong and I need to do something, THOSE beliefs are actually preventing forgiveness. The truth is that nothing has really happened and nothing has gone wrong, and its my believing in the reality of the error that IS the error. Its an error in my forgiveness. I have to get my mind to change its viewpoint away from 'I need to forgive this because it's happened', to, 'I am forgiven because this HAS NOT HAPPENED'.
This is kind of along the same lines as "I recognize we are both forgiven for what we HAVE NOT done", which is the viewpoint of Holy Spirit. The ego's version of forgiveness is very misleading and distracting. I see them now as two wavelengths, the lower wavelength of ego mired in illusions of illusions, and the higher wavelength of Holy Spirit floating above everything knowing there are no real illusions.
The process of 'transitioning' from an ego viewpoint to the Holy Spirit's viewpoint seems to what we call 'applying forgiveness'. We try to 'not do' (undo) the WAY OF SEEING that was producing a view of error, recognizing we must be mistaken if we believe there even IS a real error. Holy Spirit said to me we need to "withdraw" our conviction and belief that the error is real in every way, so that we can move towards the atonement viewpoint, which says nothing happened. Holy Spirit sees WITH the atonement.
One thing I always was mistaken about is when I heard that Holy Spirit perceives, I always thought it meant he perceives illusions, therefore he can see all of our errors etc. But the Course has clarified that Holy Spirit only sees clearly by OVERLOOKING all errors and NOT seeing them. He perceives, but he perceives with total right-mindedness, proactively forgiving and looking pass all errors to The Face of Christ. Sort of, `in` the world but not of it. This was my mistake because I thought he saw the errors as well. The EGO is the one that sees errors, and the ego is IN the world. This separation of roles and perspectives has really clarified things for me as to WHO is doing the forgiving and WHO is holding the appropriate perspective.
The only area now where I have some questions, and I'm sure continued reading of the Text will reveal more... is in.... through what seeming 'process' or 'steps' do we transition our mind away from the ego's version of forgiveness to the Holy Spirit's. When I'm in the ego I do not understand forgiveness and I apply 'something' but it isn't Holy Spirit's version. When illusions are particularly strong I believe heavily that the problem is separate and that IT needs to be changed by throwing Course at it. That's totally ego. But that's the starting point. That's not HOW I need to forgive, it's the KIND of forgiveness that I need to learn NOT to do. If I see a house on fire, my forgiveness should be - there is no house on fire, 'how can I forgive this burning house'.
I'd always thought that the process of 'undoing' and of 'correcting' and of trying to shift toward Holy Spirit WAS forgiveness... even the goodie-two-shoes student approach of APPLYING the Course ... but that apparent 'process' is not forgiveness itself. Forgiveness is the Holy Spirit's view which is always the same. Whether I JOIN Holy Spirit in His view is the question/decision. And if it takes time TO join with Him, it seems like that 'journey' toward Holy Spirit is a forgiveness process, but it's more of a ... 'realization that nothing needs to be forgiven' process. A process of correction. Holy Spirit IS the source of correction because He sees CORRECTLY. My (ego) attempt to `do` the forgiving and to become forgiven and to get to where I see that it IS forgiven, is really my struggle between allegiance to ego and allegiance to truth. That's where the 'work' seems to be needed and surrender needs to happen, SO THAT I can get to where I can SEE clearly that 'all is forgiven' already - ie that all is looked upon WITH forgiving eyes and sees only Christ.
(I'm not sure if I'm explaining clearly what exactly has become clearer for me 'overnight'. .. more to follow)
There is no world - one of the hardest things to accept. There is no error, there is no problem, there is no ego.
Thank you Jesus for your unceasingly clarity and for sharing it with us!