Why forgiveness is difficult

Saturday, Jan 07, 2017 2426 words 10 mins 46 secs
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2017 Paul West

Disassociation plays a big part in making your forgiveness seem much more difficult.

Disassociation means that you are "not associating your self" with something. You're trying to put distance between you and something.

The problem is that you use disassociation on your SELF. You split off a part of your own self, the content of your mind, by having an unforgiving attitude of judgement. Then you try to reject that part of yourself, label it, judge it, hate it. You try to think of it as something you don't want, that is not your self.

You use these tools of separation against it because this helps you to have the impression that it's got nothing to do with you. You want nothing to do with it, like you want nothing to do with an enemy.

It is possible with your mind, to so thoroughly disassociate yourself from this "part" of yourself that you've decided to hate, and to have such a strong sense of rejection against it, that you come to believe it is NOT YOU.

So now that this part of you seems like it is not you, you quite literally perceive, experience, and belief that this thing is 'someone else'. You believe it is "not me".

If you've ever had an enemy in the form of a person, someone who perhaps seemed to abuse or hurt you a lot or who you were really angry with, or who over time you built up a hate towards, it could be a family member or an old friend or lover or a politician etc... notice how you had this sense of wanting nothing to do with them. You did not want to associate yourself with them, didn't want to be near them, even wanted to "get rid of them" from your experience. Maybe you even wouldn't have minded if they were dead or something.

Well this is what happens with a part of yourself that you disassociate from. You attack this part of yourself so strongly and pull yourself away from it, split yourself off from it, and there is this seeming "rift" between you. A separation. You use denial and illusions to make it SEEM like it is not part of your "self". You dis-identify with it, and form a different sense of identity that shuts it out. And the way that you perceive this part - which now appears like an 'other', with an alien will - looks to you like someone completely separate from you.

So as you break off parts of yourself and reject them, you form an attitude of tremendous rejection and attack towards them, and this makes them change how they appear to you. They look like something you don't want, like an enemy. And your sense of 'self' is disconnected from it. You say it is not you. You perceive it not you. You isolate your sense of "self" from it so much that you really believe it is not you. And that means, it's not "inside you". It's not part of yourself. And therefore, it has to be NOT YOU. So... if it's not you, it must be someone else's stuff, right? It must belong to someone else.

So this is where you then perceive that this rejected part of yourself is in fact intimately tied into someone else. And as you walk around the planet and meet people, you will still continue to experience this condemned part of yourself, within yourself, but you will have disassociated from it so much that you will perceive it's part of other people. You will think it is theirs. And this is what we usually refer to as "projection". This is how you seem to project things onto other people. You overlay your disassociated self onto others.

So then when you're in this situation where it seems like someone is an enemy, and you hate their guts, they really have nothing to do with this. There is a portion of your mind that you hate the guts of, and you're seeing this on top of the person. And you're so dis-identified with that part of you, that you think it's not you, or yours.

Like, it seems like it the other person is quite literally the one who is doing this stuff to you, because you think that this hated part of yourself is attacking or enemy of what remains of your "self". And so is born the idea and perception that you are being victimized by "other" people, by "not me". And this also means, you are now completely irresponsible because you are allegedly not the one who is doing this to you. And simultaneously this paints whats left of you as "innocent" - the innocent victim who has nothing to do with this evil thing.

But you are not really in a victim/victimizer relationship with other people. You're in this relationship with this broken-off part of your own self, which you hate, which is STILL within the confines of your own mind. So the question arises, who are you? What is left of you, if you are not this part you rejected?

Well when you've broken off part of yourself and judged it and disowned it, the part that remains is what we call the ego persona. You think it is the part of you that you are identified with and which is your "self". You think it is all of your self, your whole self, because it's the only parts of you that you have accepted and allowed. It's the parts of you related to what you want to be, how you want to be seen, the good citizen, the successful achiever, the strong personality, whatever. The parts you "keep" are the parts that you have not disassociated from, so you think this is still you. You don't realize that the other parts you've cut off within yourself are also you.

So now within your total mind, there is this small portion that remains, the persona, which is who you THINK you are, and this persona self focuses on including what it wants and rejecting what it doesn't want. And what it doesn't want are the things that it judges and attacks, within you. So this persona attacks you. And it relegates part of you off as not worthy, not allowed, not acceptable, not lovable, not forgivable, not good enough, bad, evil, etc. All of those parts form this disassociated self, another word for which is the "shadow".

This shadow portion of your own self is still within your mind, and there is a war going on between it and your persona. The persona wants to get rid of it at all costs, and does so by continually refining and trimming down what's left of you, chopping off parts it doesn't like with goal of artificial perfection. If it were to succeed with that goal, there would be nothing left of you because it will have relegated so much of you to the hated shadow. The shadow part of you, the disassociated self, which you think is in other people, is really still within your mind, and there is a war waging between these two parts.

So the stuff you hate about you, projected onto others, is believed to be attacking the stuff you exalt about you, which now sees itself as under attack and needing to defend itself. But the hilariously ridiculous, insane thing is, both of these perspectives, these two identities, are both inside of YOU. You have a split mind. Everything you think is inside you, inside your body, you have kept, and now the surface of your body shows this 'mask' of the persona to represent where you stop and where "otherness" starts. And anything outside your body that you think of as "not you" is where you DUMP all of the parts of you that you cannot love. And by relegating all these parts to "not me", "other", "external", it is very easy to perceive that this stuff belongs to someone else.

So now it's someone else'e fault that you nice tidy ego persona is being attacked. Or someone else is doing it to you. Or there is a cause outside of you - so you think. Or you are being affected and upset by something, some separate self, some alien will, that is outside of what you think is 'you', attacking you and trying to destroy you. But it's really part of you. It wants to be integrated and it wants to be unified and it wants to actually cancel out the persona so that your IDENTITY can become WHOLE.

The separation between these two parts of you is the problem. The fact that the persona attacks you by saying only a part of you is acceptable, and the rest is not, creates a split in your mind and therefore creates the shadow. So now the persona has become the defender of a false idea of self, and the shadow that it ITSELF has created, now becomes its apparent enemy.

This makes forgiveness difficult at first because you walk around this planet constantly perceiving that everything to do with "other people" has nothing to do with you, is not your stuff, is not your problem, is not in your mind, is not something you put there, you can do nothing about, you are a victim of it, and you want nothing to do with it. This is disassociation. It IS your stuff. It IS your self. It IS your content. So you have to see that your upset about so-called "other people" has NOTHING to do with them. It's your upset about a part of your own self. It's your persona being upset about the shadow. Part A being upset about Part B, of you.

So you are at war with yourself. And you are attacking yourself. And both sides of yourself are attacking each other. And there is a separation between them. And you hallucinate that the separated-off you is not yourself. So this has to be healed somehow. The separateness of these two split parts needs to be undone.

The only way this can be achieved is when you become willing and able to see, and recognize, that this whole drama is taking place WITHIN YOU. It's really not outside of you. It's got absolutely nothing to do with other people. The problem you see in them is YOUR STUFF. It's your power. It's your attack. So there's this victimizer that you think is out there, and this victim that you think is in here, and BOTH of these characters are inside the whole of your own mind. Both of them are being PLAYED BY YOU. You are simultaneously being the victim and the victimizer. The part of you that you think remains - your persona self, is being animated by your mind. And the part of you you think is not you, the projected shadow, is also being animated by your mind - like a remote puppet on a string.

Now, when you see this, it is very powerful because no longer are you paralyzed by believing in disassociation. No longer are you locked in from being able to do anything about this as a result of believing it's totally under someone else's control, is not within the realm of your mind and is not something you can wield control over. By seeing that you are the actor who is playing BOTH SIDES, the person and the shadow, the wanted and the unwanted, the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the innocent and the guilty, the attacker and the attackee, you will see this war going on INSIDE YOURSELF.... and recognizing that YOU are the one who is playing both parts, that must snap you out of falling for this ILLUSION that it's got something to do with someone else. You must see that your identity, your actual identity, is "behind" both of these split characters, and therefore YOU are doing this, YOU are creating this 'performance', and YOU are the one who is having a war with yourself.

So if you can see this, that you're doing this to yourself, that you're playing both roles, and nobody else is involved, then this AWARENESS unmasks both characters, because it is so utterly ridiculously that you can no longer be deceived by it, and you recognize that they're both you. So now you have become INCLUSIVE, instead of exclusive. Inclusivity is healing, unifying. The awareness in which you see both characters simultaneously shows you that it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to have been one and not the other. It's impossible for you to be maintaining this position of "I'm the victim who isn't doing this to myself". And it's impossible to also maintain the position of "I'm the victimizer who is doing it to the persona". The cover is blown. The illusion is broken. They're both you. And you're doing it to yourself. It can be shocking to see this. But it is liberating. It sets you free to see the truth of what's going on.

Anyone who sees this, that they are doing this to themselves, will be set free. The persona and the shadow both will be undone, and an awareness will take their place. This awareness is your real self. Or in other words, your WHOLE SELF, which does not have these parts disassociated from each other. Your whole self is not stuck inside the illusion of victim/victimizer roles. It is not deluded that someone is doing something to it, or that it is doing something to someone. So now you are set free by the light of truth.

This also then means, automatically, that you will stop believing that this has got anything to do with other people, and that they're not really your enemies, and they really had nothing to do with this from the start. You thought it was to do with them because you were projecting your shadow self onto them and accusing it, attacking it, trying to get rid of it. Jesus describes this completely clearly in the course, that we project our own sin onto others and then attack it in attempting to destroy it. But other people are all innocent. This war was never with anyone else, it was with yourself.

This is the secret to salvation. You are doing this to yourself. You are your own enemy - but not just the receiver of attack, but also the one who attacks. You are both parties. And its you that needs healing and forgiveness between what has become two parts of you.

Link to:


Add your comment...

For updates, subscribe to RSS using: ©2021 Paul West