"If we can forgive what’s been done to us . . .
If we can forgive what we’ve done to others . . . If we can leave all of our stories behind. Our being villains or victims. Only then can we maybe rescue the world." ~ Chuck Palahniuk
Forgiveness is to recognize that whatever I think you did to me or whatever I think I did to you, in Truth had no effect on who you are or who I am. Our essence is unchangeable. No healing can take place as long as that Truth is challenged. No healing can take place as long as the idea of victim still has the slightest appeal.
“The world is like a sheet of paper on which something is typed. The reading and the meaning will vary with the reader, but the paper is the common factor, always present, rarely perceived. When the ribbon is removed, typing leaves no trace on the paper. So is my mind – the impressions keep on coming, but no trace is left.” ~ Nisargadatta
Over and over I am presented with the Truth: there is no ‘I’ to defend, validate, love or despise anymore than that there is a ‘you’ to adore or hate. There is no ‘I’ with which to surrender to this teaching. And, in the mean time, I can pretend and make up stories that I either enjoy or suffer from.
"The Self says ‘I AM’–as in the very grand sayings of Christ, especially in the Gospel of John, in which he says in the state of onenenss with Yahweh (which in Hebrew means ‘I AM’), I AM is the way and the truth and the life–but the ego says ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that,’ thus attaching itself only to a small portion of the Vastness. “ ~ Ravi Ravindra
I love this. To the ego “I am” is a terrifying statement. The ego, the ‘self’ I think I am, is incapable of grasping the unlimited, the eternal and so it rushes in to add, to embellish, to embroider. Each of these is the opposite of what the ego claims it to be: these are not embellishments or important characteristics, these are limitations. The simple, clean, all-encompassing “I am” scares the shit out of me ... I am that.
“Most everyone is lousy at math and does that to God –
dissect the Indivisible One, by thinking, by saying,
“This is my Beloved, he looks like this and acts like that,
how could that moron over there really be God?” ~ Hafiz
This is a lesson I am shown hundreds of time each day. My ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ deny Truth and serve only one purpose: to keep me in solitary confinement. It is really astonishing that I ‘know’ this and yet insist on going back behind bars time after time.
“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Ah yes, that pesky file. A position that I have adopted in my life when feeling inspired to do something but caught up in the ‘what if’ folder is leaving the worries to ‘Future Dave’--he may be screwed, but fortunately I have yet to meet him.
"Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?" ~ Tolkien
All of the above? How about you and I decide that today we will look upon everything with total acceptance? How about if you and I, just for today, ask continuously if we could see this ‘upset’ differently? How about if for the next twelve hours we choose not to believe our thoughts? OK? Now that will make for a great day!
"I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something." ~ Dostoyevsky
If Dostoyevsky is saying that he could not ‘become anything’ because whatever he ‘became’ would inherently be meaningless, then I wholeheartedly agree. But if that is in fact what he is saying then why the ‘entirely useless consolation’, did he not really believe that? I can become virtually anything I choose to become (you should see me doing pirouettes with the Bolshoi) and I am also keenly aware that whatever I choose to become ultimately has no meaning. In other words: only a fool can become something and believe it has any meaning at all. My worth is established by God, it is unchangeable. Now go have some fun.
"On soft spring nights I'll stand in the yard under the stars - Something good will come out of all things yet - And it will be golden and eternal just like that - There's no need to say another word." ~ Jack Kerouac
Everything is always for the best. There will be many times that idea will be experienced as a very challenging, faith-based, position. And, yet, I have found that within the container of this vision, all is well.
"The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. " ~ A.W.Tozer
Tozer is clearly talking about me. I am still interfering with God’s work within; I still have the amusing idea that I have some idea of how this little life should be run ... time to surrender!
"Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore." ~ Cheryl Strayed
That idea never was true. There is no truth in the self I chose to be; there is no joy, lasting joy, in the self I invented. As I relinquish my attachment to an idea of an ‘i’, I make room for Truth to smile and say: “Well, well, there you are...” Piece of cake.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again