Lesson on Forgiveness:

Today, brothers and sisters, I will speak on forgiveness. This topic has been chosen by the teaching staff for you today because it is a special quality of our Creator Son, and to ready ourselves to appreciate His Divinity, goodness, beingness, light truth, beauty, and the miracle of His bestowal on Urantia. We will speak and discuss forgiveness, for truly MICHAEL of Nebadon is the mercy-God of this universe.

We will also speak on forgiveness because this is a trait, a practical trait, which you each may broaden in your life by actual doing. And - as you know - we have decided to tailor your lessons to more practical lessons instead of loftier spiritual concepts, for you have not learned as quickly. You perhaps have been more stimulated, but it is better for you to try more baby steps.

So, forgiveness. Next week you will read the sermon on Divine Forgiveness in the fourth section of The Urantia Book.

MICHAEL of Nebadon is the God of mercy and forgiveness. God The FATHER, one of his inherent attributes is forgiveness. I cannot even say instant forgiveness for God is infinite and not time bound, but to you humans it would be instant, it would exist before you even requested it. Forgiveness is not repentance, or justice, even. It is part of justice, but it is love in action. Forgiveness has not to do with the wrong that was done but to do with your individual capacity to love others. It matters not the injury to your selfhood. It matters not the level of wrongdoing - even if real on the part of your fellows. Even, yea, unto sin it matters not, for forgiveness has to with your own spiritual ability to love as The FATHER loves.

Forgiveness is a fruit of the Spirit and a Divine gift. It is true that The FATHER forgives you in fact, but your experience of this forgiveness, children, cannot be had by you until you forgive others. This is an important distinction, children: forgiveness exists, but you cannot know it until you forgive others. Thus, forgiveness may be thought of an actual muscle and as you exercise it, it grows stronger and you, then, take in more forgiveness for yourself.

MICHAEL and The FATHER and the Mother Spirit, our Divine parents, have more mercy and forgiveness for each of us than we can ever imagine; but there are limits to forgiveness, and these limits are set by the person, being, in error and not by the Divine.

When a human sins - and by sin I do not mean error, I mean a conscious rejection of the will of God, a rejection of Godliness, truth, beauty and goodness, a conscious decision to do one's own will, to hurt, etc., others - the four human problems of ego, deceit, and greed-anger, and fear, when one consciously decides to engage in these selfhood acts, and consciously rejects the will of God, that is a sin.

Intentionally planning.

When one becomes sinful it becomes a habit like eating chocolates, and the habit of sin is reinforced. There are material, often, rewards for this behavior, and one can go further and further away from higher values. Therefore, habitual sinners sometimes, sadly, become iniquitous. For these beings engaged in iniquity there is no forgiveness because they will not ask or receive it. Do you understand? An iniquitous being cannot, will not, ask The FATHER for forgiveness, nor will that being receive it. Truly it is: “ask and it shall be granted.” That statement was made by JESUS specifically about forgiveness. If these beings would ask they would be forgiven, but they cannot because they are unable to forgive. Life, the Universe, whatever their list of wrongs are, they cannot forgive, therefore can they not receive Divine forgiveness.

And Divine forgiveness, children, encompasses the concept of rehabilitation, not repentance - there is a difference - but rehabilitation, spiritual rehabilitation: the willingness on the part of the being to exercise higher values, to live more fully at the spiritual level, to change unevolved behaviors, to forgive and love others. That is spiritual rehabilitation. At the time of this rebellion, when the dastardly Caligastia and Daligastia entered into Satan and Lucifer's personal liberty iniquitous rebellion, many many beings followed. They were in error, not even in sin or evil. These beings were offered forgiveness by MICHAEL of Nebadon. And many accepted. They were sent to work until the adjudication of the rebellion. They were rehabilitated spiritually.

Repentance was not asked for. Repentance is a human and primitive concept which means self-sacrifice, animal sacrifice, money, good deeds, working off original sin, etcetera. Repentance is a not real or highly evolved spiritual concept. What is real is rehabilitation, is recognizing error and changing it. That is rehabilitation, growing more Godward.

So, MICHAEL, Himself, knew that the evil ones would never accept forgiveness, but his mercy extended, and they were given much time to ponder their situation. As you know, they are no longer. That is the result of evil: non existence. The result of forgiveness is spiritual growth, extended love, and a more Godlike behavior toward one's fellows.

God is your FATHER and He loves us the way a father, a good father, loves a child. So much of what you think needs forgiveness, in actuality brothers and sisters, does not for you are just children and like all children, make mistakes, The FATHER does not need to forgive you for your honest mistakes. He just gently guides the twig to grow in a healthy direction.

Truly evolved ascendant beings do not need to forgive others for they never take offense. Do you understand? Offense is an ego function. When JESUS said “resist not evil” this is what He meant: forgiveness. Not to condone evil or sin, no, never! But it is not up to us to judge. Our goodness and love should be so powerful, our Godliness should be so all-encompassing that neither sin nor evil can hurt us! For is not God more powerful than the force of darkness? Is not the Divine more powerful than the imperfect? Is not the light brighter than the darkness? Fill yourself with God's love and your forgiveness shall flow, for nothing can hurt or offend you.

This will not probably ever be accomplished consistently in any of your lives. But it should be consciously worked towards. Forgiveness is one of the highest qualities the human can attain here on this planet. It is attainable but one must fight one's human ego. This is a battle with self. I pray that you each work on this area. In each of your lives there are little thorns which need to be picked off. Select one thorn this week and actively work on forgiving the offense as you see an offense Spiritual beings do not hold grudges. They do not engage in the act of anger and prolonged anger which is such a spirit poison. We do not look towards revenge. We do not judge. We try only to love our fellows - even when they are unlovable to us.

Children, I want each of you - I request - to work on forgiving either a present hurt or past. Just one. And when you truly forgive you will feel The FATHER's forgiveness for your transgressions and mistakes flow into you and fill you with love, which leads to, children, inner peace! You are all so troubled in so many ways. And you look for peace. There is no Divine or mystical way to achieve peace. It comes through forgiveness, to love, to peace: the peace which surpasses all human understanding. And so my children I humbly ask that you work on this this week.

And so ends our lesson for today, and I invite questions from you, my friends. Student: Thank you RAYSON for a very inspiring lesson. It confirmed my study of the Bible which indicates that the only quality which JESUS said was qualified was the quality of forgiveness, because it was always reported as “forgive as you forgive others.”

RAYSON: Thank you.

Q: One of the questions last week bears on today's lesson about forgiveness. I asked about protecting ourselves from those who want to hurt us, and the second part of you answer hit on what I had in mind. It was about the one who looks at you and says “Oh you're too good, you're too nice, you're too honest I'm going to show that you're not really that good and therefore there is no God.” The hardest forgiveness job to me is to forgive those sorts. And some of them attain positions of high power and can do much to harm us, can even strip us of our ability to practice our professions, and its very very hard to let loose of -

RAYSON: What happens when "all things earthly crash?" I know this is not a consolation, but it is the truth, spiritually, that the important things are yours and can never be taken away.

Q: I've found that the most difficult person to forgive is myself I wonder if you might address self-forgiveness.

A: Self forgiveness is difficult for you humans for you do not put yourself in the place of The FATHER. You, ..., are a father and if your child nude a mistake would you not simply correct him and continue to love him and move on? You do not do this - humans - with yourselves. You continue to hurt yourselves for what you perceive as your mistakes or transgressions or errors. And this is not spiritually correct behavior because you must also forgive yourself. And you are also now capable of judging the severity or gravity of your actions. So you tend to overemphasize small growth problems which every ascendant being passes through, and hurt yourself about them.

These must be let go. A good father does not continue to re-remind the child of what that child did when they were one or two or three or four years old. A good father loves the child as they are now and encourages them to grow strong and healthy. This you must do - we must all do - with ourselves. We must not concentrate on what went before. That is for the Supreme. That is part of the Supreme: good, bad, indifferent.

We must use our spiritual, mindal, emotional, and physical energies in tandem now to become more evolved beings. We must use all of our energies now to live higher values. This use of energy in past events is retarding growth. You may pray - all of you - to experience self-forgiveness, and that might be your choice to work on this week if that is your stumbling block. And I tend to think that all of you here do have that characteristic in common.

Q: I do have one other aspect of forgiveness, and that is when we ask someone else to forgive us sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. I wonder how you might comment on that phenomenon.

A: We cannot ask for - we may ask but we cannot control another's forgiveness. All you can do when you perceive that you have hurt another is to not engage - to change your behavior. Part of that is for your own growth. Whether a person forgives you or not is between that person and God. You may humbly ask for forgiveness. You may apologize and correct your behavior to a more loving style.

Q: Could you comment on the relevancy of any of the confessional styles of dealing with remorse and guilt. Some of us have been through 12-step programs which instruct us to examine ourselves and admit the exact nature of our sins to God, ourselves, and another human being and humbly ask for forgiveness. That's also the style of the psychotherapeutic technique that's currently used. I have to admit it seemed at the time I went through it that it was very helpful to me, although maybe primitive compared to other …..

A: It is a useful emotional and psychological technique to be self-reflective and aware of one's life-actions in a spiritual light. It often helps one to recognize patterns of negativity and areas that need improvement. It is also emotionally a release from the past - guilt cleansing - to discuss this with another human who is non-judgmental and unconditionally accepting - loving of the present self. Confession is a more psychological tool than spiritual. Confession is not part of prayer. No, prayer - pure prayer - does not involve a request for the self, nor even a request for one's fellows. Pure prayer as you border on to worship involves consciousness of the Divine which becomes worship. So, confession is not a spiritually pure tool, but it does lead to more spiritual growth. It is not harmful, it is helpful for the human psyche and often leads to great periods of spiritual growth, but it is not a purely spiritual tool in and of itself.

Q: I'm a very forgiving person, but when driving I find sometimes I get irritated. I have taken a real look, I really think that my irritation is the other driver's irritation that my sensitivity is picking up. I may be wrong on that, but many times that's really the only forgiveness that I work on. I attempt to be a mirror and return love to them instead of the regular highway hate (laughter) that the crowded conditions seem to promote. Could you comment on that? What is the best way to return something like that?

A: First, I do not agree with your assessment that you are merely reflecting other's irritation for you are not a pond, you are a free-will creature, (S), and you are reflecting your own irritation, not that of others. Perhaps other's irritation sets off your own, but you are responsible for your own responses, for you have free will, brother, and should not so easily throw your negative emotions to others. You must realize that they are part of your personality, albeit a part which you would like to erase or move beyond. If you had no negatives, emotions or imperfections, just humorously you would fuse, so there would be no need for forgiveness. (laughter)

(Turned over tape. Long pause)

Actually (T/R) interfered, which she has been pretty disciplined about, her own emotions, but could not control them, so it was better for me to depart for a moment.

Student: It was better for us, too, because we got to repair the recording machine that we wouldn't have repaired otherwise. (laughter)

RAYSON: The material world is dimly still in my memory and it is often frustrating. Now to continue. Your imperfections are part of your gift of creation. This universe, Grand Universe, of evolution is designed that through creature experience and ascension you will become perfect. So your imperfections are a part of your gift from The FATHER. To pretend that they are not “you” is a disservice to your creator and to your own growth. Better, for yourself and for your spiritual growth to say “Yes, something in this situation annoys me, irritates me, makes me short-tempered or edgy. What can I do with these emotions? How may I constructively use self-mastery?” Read the lecture on self mastery in the JESUS section of The Urantia Book, for this is what your true soul question consists of. I think that there is pain in you and the pain remains because forgiveness has not been fully achieved. So you should - perhaps, although it is not pleasant examine some of your inner pain because a sore that still hurts is open and to close this sore one needs the Divine waters of forgiveness. You are not seeing clearly events in your own life which continue to hurt you because you have not fully understood them and forgiven yourself or another. Does that suffice? (Affirmative response.)

Q: I was meditating earlier today on forgiveness, and it's interesting that you should choose that as a topic. I was going to ask for a spiritual exercise for our forgiveness muscle and it has come to me that the prayer that JESUS, Christ MICHAEL, taught us to pray is that exercise. Can you confirm that?

A: That is absolutely correct, (S) That IS the prayer of forgiveness: “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive the trespasses of others.” That is forgiveness in one sentence, the fact, and then the experience - as we forgive others.

Q: And that in praying that prayer, we experience it. (Yes.) And feel like working out physically (Yes, that is correct.) in praying that prayer (that is correct) will help, because sometimes we just need something and that ….

RAYSON: - to focus our being on the act of forgiveness. It involves the two steps: asking for The FATHER to forgive us, and our simultaneous forgiveness of others. To join the kingdom, to enter the kingdom, takes only one decision. But to make continued progress takes much much continuous action. An important part of this is forgiveness.

Q: I am beginning to see that with forgiveness is the beginning of freedom. I've been beginning to experience that in some small ways, probably, universal realities that speak to me and I can begin to see that and hold on to that.

A: Yes, sometimes small illuminations are fleeting. And we have a hard time holding on the truth of the Divine, and this must be constantly striven for. But yes, forgiveness is freedom, it is spiritual freedom.

Q: Along the line of forgiveness, there are times when people have done some very mean and cruel things, for instance, to a child over a long sustained period of time. Such a person doesn't really have any desire to change, has more or less you might say “gotten by with the crime.” What would be your advice to an individual who has been victimized by such a cruel and inhuman person?

A: This is my advice. Forgiveness does not entail continued interaction with an unchanging, sinful, mean, evil human. You may forgive but may choose not to interact with this human at all. Forgiveness also does not impinge on the societal right of justice. As JESUS was on the cross and two convicted criminals hung at His side, He said “My son, indeed you have committed the action for which our society has put you to death. or will put you to death, or is in the process of taking your physical life from you. But my son, I see in your heart that you did not intend to do this crime, but indeed you have committed it and the rules of your fellows must be enforced. This does not mean that The FATHER has not already forgiven you.” So, societal justice - even to physical death – is allowable, concurrent with Divine and human forgiveness. Does that answer?

Student: Yes, it does.

RAYSON: Then I will pray for you.

Student: I was not asking the question for myself, because -.

RAYSON: I understand, but it is someone, I think, who you feel for.

Student: Yes, that's true.

Q: Yes. In the light of what you were just discussing, does that mean that - having forgiven our brother who continues to do distressing things - we can still go ahead and love this being without having to be in continual contact. We don't have to go and try to force our love upon them in an effort to change them. Is that -

A: That is correct. For only The FATHER, the Indwelling Adjuster, the Angels, the Spirit of Truth, and other celestial ministers can sometimes reach a human in error. All you can do is inspire through your own life and make your choice. Some people are capable of continuing to love and not be hurt by another less-evolved human. Some are not. Each situation is different. But it is spiritually acceptable and correct to discontinue relations with a human who is hurtful and still forgive them and love them and know that someday - perhaps not on Urantia but perhaps far along, certainly by the (?robe) of personality - these hurts will no longer exist between personalities.

Q: Then does that mean that if one can receive from that person rejection and not feel hurt that its okay then to continue to reach out to that person?

A: That decision-action should be based upon personal prayer, guidance, and your free-will choice.

Q: I have a question about a process or progression toward forgiveness. I think I know who that thorn is going to be for me. There is still a lot of anger in the way, so that - is it correct to say that its important to go through the psychological process of getting that out before jumping to forgiveness? It just seems like I would get ahead of myself and not be real - if I don't get out the human selfish stuff first.

A: That is correct, (S). Anger is a spirit poison and you have much on this issue. Perhaps you can work on forgiveness with a (?smaller ?reach ?date?) or other human while you go through the psychological-emotional purging which will take you quite some time on this other issue.

Q: Back in the middle ages the Popes used to sell indulgences. After they did, it was alright for a person who bought an indulgence to sin. (laughter) I just wondered

RAYSON: This is quite humorous. (more laughter.)

Student: Maybe God is giving them away. (more laughter.)

RAYSON: This is not spiritually evolved, (S), (more laughter.)

Student: I didn't think so. (more laughter.)

RAYSON: - and they will have quite a surprise when they are resurrected. (more laughter.) (08/09/92)


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