Thursday, April 21, 2005

How the past matters

In an early post, I commented that “the past is basically irrellevant.” It is important for you to understand the context of that statement given what I have said about responsibility in the interim, and in light of the last two posts. When it comes to taking up the path of service and self mastery, and getting off the victim consciousness treadmill/train-to-nowhere, the past is irrelevant in the following sense: no matter what you’ve done, no matter how poor or unconscious your choices have been in the past, no matter how long you have buried your talents under a rock, betrayed your self, hurt others, feared the truth, avoided honesty, conjured false selves and worshipped false gods, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO WAKE UP! How many times shall I forgive my brother, Lord? Seven times? “I say not seven times, but 70 times 7 times,” said Jesus. That’s bible numerology for “perfectly” or “infinitely,” for you literalist bean-counters out there who might be tempted to do the math and stop forgiving/practicing archery after a mere 490 misses-of-the-mark! Just ask Thomas Edison how many times he and his lab team blew it before they came up with a working lightbulb, and you’ll know that 490 misses is barely getting going in the learning/innovating/development arena, which is also the stuff of growth and self mastery.

So the past should never be considered an impetus for remaining in the victim consciousness. Many use the past as their excuse for not moving forward, along the lines of claiming “I was so naughty, I’m unforgiveable, so I’ll just keep wallowing in guilt here (as opposed to doing the work of introspection to reveal my patterns to myself, become conscious of my choices, and practice new habits which are coherent with universal law, the divine will, and my own nascent consciousness of self mastery and service.) In this sense, for sure, the past is no excuse for not taking up the cause of self mastery in the present. In that sense, it is irrelevant.

Another way that people use the past as an excuse for not moving forward is via the strategy of unforgiveness. This strategy is self-defeating at best, and another fine example of victim-consciousness strategizing. The Greek word aphiaymi (roughly transliterated) is one of my favorites in scripture because of the multiple English meanings which it simultaneously carries, including to let go, to forgive, to cancel a debt, to permit, to allow. When you hold on to something someone else did to you, when you refuse forgiveness, when you hold someone indebted, it’s you who is stuck holding on. Unforgiveness is a ball and chain, but as opposed to the kind which is shackled to you, the unforgiving one willingly, consciously or unconsciously, grips the chain hi/rself, drags the heavy ball about while moaning and retelling the story over and over again about what happened and how wrong it was and how it made me suffer so, and on and on. While I fully recognize the real hurtful experiences that people endure at the receiving end of bad choices, stupid mistakes, and wicked doings, forgiveness is still the most powerful strategy for moving beyond these experiences.

People often cling to unforgiveness either because they feel obliged to hold someone accountable for actions commited by another, or because they want to punish that person themselves, or because they believe they simply “can’t let go,” along the lines of: “I tried to forgive him, but I just can’t!” Or they hold on to unforgiveness because it is a way of maintaining their own innocence while leaving their own role in the events uninspected.

As far as holding others accountable, this is a waste of time given the active corrective nature of universal law. The laws of attraction and balance guarantee that each and every one of us will be held accountable for our every thought and action. It is an unnecessary duplication of efforts to play the judge, and to mete out punishment, a role from the victim consciousness’s dramatic repertoire. Furthermore, such role playing also represents an attempt on the part of the unforgiving one to control how another person should experience the ultimate outcome of their actions, and this is simply not for us to control or decide. It is not in our sphere of intelligence, frankly. So judge not, lest you be judged, for the measure which you measure out will be measured back to you. That attempt to control the outcomes through unforgiveness actually represents a breach of the law of allowance on the part of the one who does not forgive. Generating elementals of punishment merely attracts more punishment to oneself. This is the manner in which our universe is structured. If you don’t like it, move out! But since the grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the universe, it pays to play by the rules, and forgive, let go, allow. It may be easier to do so when you become aware of how destructive the state of unforgiveness is to your own self, and of how universal structure will take care of matters with far more art and grace then you ever could have according to your own vengeful design. “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” in these terms means that your vengeance is unnecessary, as the source of all has made the repercussions of our thoughts and actions to be certainties of universal law. The “vengeance” of the Lord is victim-consciousness poetry reiterating this fact of structural necessity.

So the belief that one simply can’t forgive is nothing more than a false belief. Unforgiveness is an act of control contrary to universal law. It is a choice in a certain direction, which itself carries it’s own miserable repercussions. When you recognize the choice involved in unforgiveness, and the strategies you undertake consciously or unconsciously through unforgiveness, you empower yourself to construct new thought-emotions with respect to the experience at issue which enable you to build up the pattern of letting go in your system. When you practice letting go (and I mean PRACTICE! One act of letting go will not constitute a habit of letting go, or a permanent experience of having let go. For events that you experienced with an intense charge, you must practice letting go until the habit of letting go is fully formed and in place as a habit itself powerfully charged, and ultimately capable of dissipating the charge of the other experience.

You may have noticed that none of this discussion of unforgiveness revolves around the plot or story of the experience in question. It frankly doesn’t matter in the slightest what she said or what he did. All that matters is what have you done with it, and how does unforgiveness represent a negative pattern in your life, and how are you going to heal yourself of it. Every time you go back to the past in order to charge up with emotion your version of the events in question and your status as innocent victim, and claim for yourself the power to forgive, and hold that over another person as a club with which to beat them or as some sort of dispensation which they need to beg for like a dog or which you may grant them today but maybe not tommorrow depending upon whether they live up to your most recent standards of perfection, when you do these things, you imprison yourself, you wallow in the victim consciousness, you drag around a ball and chain which you could be free of by simply releasing your grip upon it, again and again, every time you experience the temptation to grab hold of it again.

When you return to the past, return instead with an intent to witness it from the eyes of the other person. Return to it with an intent to witness your own strategies and choices. Return to it with a view to recognizing the false beliefs which were operative in your life at the time, and which may or may not remain operative now. Return to it as a reality to check, so that you might reduce a mountain back to a molehill. Return to it to exercise your power to move a mountain and cast it into the sea, if in fact the event was of epic proportions. Whether it turns out to have been a molehill, or a mountain indeed, in either event your responsibility is to forgive, to let go, to move on. When you do, you will ultimately be able to look back dispassionately upon the past experience, for having established the habit of letting go of it, and for having discharged the pattern of holding on to it.

So, the past is highly relevant! It is the meat upon which one needs to chew in order to move to a higher level of consciousness. Anyone who dismisses the past as irrelevenat in order to avoid inspecting their responsibility for their thoughts, choices and actions is no better off than the person who dwells upon the past in order to reiterate a version of events which justify their unforgiveness. Both represent strategies of the victim consciousness weighing in to maintain its innocence based upon the false belief that taking responsibility for your life experience represents a bad thing rather than a good thing. The path of self mastery willing looks back through the pages of past events to study them, to identify places that still hold a lot of charge, and to call forth new intentions to rectify destructive and unhelpful patterns, false beliefs and the like, with a view to cultivating a life experience coherent with the will pleasure of the source of all.


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