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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Self-forgiveness, an Act of Life


This section is extracted from Robert D. Waterman's book Self-

forgiveness, an Act of Life (1976). For a copy of the book, contact 

Dr. Waterman.

Though the temptation is there to think of self-forgiveness as a 
technique, it does not function so in practical application. The 
concept will be developed by elaborating on fifteen qualities of self-

1. The deepest tendency within humankind is toward balance and 
growth. All urges, needs, desires, and accomplishments somehow stem 
from our own archetype seeking to fulfill itself.

2. Whether the individual works with or against those deepest 
tendencies is a matter of choice. Humankind rules his life by choice 
and in experience man dramatizes who he is. Regardless of age he will 
meet situations and subdue or be subdued by them according to the 
meaning structure through which he perceives the events. He may alter 
what was already known in order to adapt, or move blindly in the face 
of his own darkness. The choice is an expression of love and will.

3. Situations in themselves are not unbalancing; our response, the 
meaning we impute, the choice we make, can imbalance. Any experience 
represents an opportunity for growth and any situation we encounter 
has the potential to integrate or dissociate our ability to live from 
our inner vitality.

4. Though we may not be able to change past situations, we can change 
the meaning we carry within us regarding those events. Although an 
experience is in the past, we can relive the experience in the 
present and change the meaning we made out of the experience. Recall, 
in itself, is not enough. The interrupting experience must be 
transformed. We can change our mind and as we do, the pain evoked 
reactivates the inducing mental-emotional judgment, releasing both as 
the pattern becomes conscious. As these patterns are systematically 
released, the natural flow of life-force through the body is 
reestablished, as well as mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

5. Choice always involves three components: thought, emotion, and 
action: symbol, energy, and direction: love, will, and consequence. 
We cannot avoid choice. Abdication of choice is a choice. As we 
cannot avoid choice, we cannot avoid responsibility. The 
understanding of the self is acquired through experience. The process 
of acquiring is perfect in the beginning and always will be. The step 
called mistake is in a sequence which is a perfect process of 
experimental discovery. If we attach our identity to the mistake, we 
are in effect a mistake. After a while our identification as mistake 
rather than a maker-of-mistakes leads us to the philosophical 
conclusion that we have no power to alter that conclusion. Our 
ability to create is blurred by identifying with the mistake. We lose 
the ability to recycle our mistakes through the "purifying fires" of 
the Higher Mind. To fear to act because we may be wrong is the 
greatest wrong because we abdicate our "dominion" and our "inward 
kingdom" which results in our outward domain falling to external 
forces and controls. We narrow our conscious awareness to a small 
realm of threatening shadows.

6. Cause and effect have in each life a historical pattern of 
connectedness and are woven and re-woven through individual 
understanding of its symbol, energy and direction.

7. The reference, or locus, for the natural tendency within humankind 
for balance and growth is within. It is hard to imagine the 
potential for creative human influence when individuals recognize the 
degree of inner authority that can be exercised. The locus of 
intellect and love within us is far deeper than we perform -- it is 
at the depth that we are a Being that is one with the Father-Mother 
principle, and yet still deeper, the un-manifested Source. In this 
Higher Self reference we so loved the possibility of ourselves that 
we created a begotten personality as an instrument of growth and 
change so that we might understand our eternality, and thus live 
consciously in our eternal perception as co-creators with the Divine.

8. Each choice, large or small, has an effect (a consequence) of 
either moving a personality closer to his or her deeper being or 
further away.

9. Self-forgiveness is a choice with an outcome of greater 
cooperation with the inherent, internal tendency toward balance and 
growth. When in response to circumstances we create self-pity, 
injury, fear, grudges, etc, we deny to ourselves the use of a great 
resource, presence intellect and power from within us. Divine love is 
unconditional and ever forgiving and is available to us directly 
through the Higher Consciousness. When we attach ourselves to an 
external reference through judgment, we block the consciousness of 
redeeming love and super-conscious wisdom from our use. When we 
relive the energy and symbol that blocked us and forgive ourselves, 
the Divine Balance is allowed to enter our personality and establish 
the same condition in our personality world that exists in our higher 
consciousness world. 

10. The activation of self-forgiveness is enhanced or impeded by 
group-process.

11. Self-forgiveness is as effective as it is sincere; yet, is 
activated according to the individual ability level. Sincerity is a 
skill. You may be at a level of sincerity and tell me that you will 
do this or that, yet in ten minutes you may have grown in sincerity 
and discover that in reference to now you lied, yet it seemed true 
then. If you take on guilt or try to justify the discrepancy you will 
lose the gain you made. However, if you confront your lie and take 
action to fully utilize the gain, the lie becomes a positive action 
and moves into a corrective law. We may re-experience a distorted 
moment and forgive ourselves and release much.

12. Self-forgiveness is a conscious choice, a subconscious 
realization and a higher -consciousness acceptance (It is not a 
belief). Self-forgiveness is not a belief -- it is a knowing and as 
such our choice and statement places it as an active element within 
us. When we re-experience the past and choose consciously to change, 
corollary patterns occur subconsciously and super-consciously. There 
is a realization of the impact of the conscious choice: the 
experience of release and change of meaning is recorded in place of 
the old interpretation. Super-consciously new vistas present 
themselves to the conscious mind. Reprogramming can change patterns 
in the subconscious mind through repetitious affirmation -- but self-
forgiveness changes the patters in the subconscious mind through 
direct intervention of the Higher Self. 

13. Self-forgiveness is spontaneous in people who have gained the 
ability to relate to the unity of life with the entirety of their 
being. Even though we may be self-realized beings and all our 
conscious levels are highly synthesized, we are still here, still 
growing, and still confronted with choices and mistaken choices. The 
difference is that when our growth is more progressive than 
evolutionary, realization of the mistakenly applied energy is 
sufficient to release it. Release and understanding, both act and 
consequence, become spontaneous.

14. Self-forgiveness carries the implication that all events are 
purposeful and ultimately worthwhile. If self-forgiveness allows us 
to claim an understanding that we did not possess before, then the 
purpose of difficulty is to solve that difficulty, to understand, to 
extend and expand the ability level of our Soul -- it seems that all 
souls are equal in their perfection but not in their ability level. 
In this context, we conceive that we have never done anything that 
was not worthwhile. We were always worthy in ourselves; it was the 
belief in attachment to error that created a sensation of 
unworthiness. When the sense of inherent worthiness returns, growth 
accelerates and balance is enhanced. Our quest is to learn to use our 
inherent worth to master life.

15. Self-forgiveness is economical - the best use of human energy 
that can be made out of any event, for experience is only wasteful 
when it is not used for growth, for greater understanding; we are 
wasteful to the degree we are ego-attached to our mistakes. There is 
a moral imperative in the understanding of energy and its exchange 
and perhaps the only moral imperative: "Unto thyself be true"; 
THYSELF -- not the belief patterns of the mind that masquerade as 
self. The personality is a garment, a vehicle by which our Being 
might enter the real of Earth to gain the wisdom thereof. It is to 
the Being that we are true. There is no dogma to re-alignment of the 
personality -- mind, emotion, and body -- with the Soul and Spirit, 
only self-forgiveness. We hold within us a vision of what we could be 
and an image of what we are -- how we handle this discrepancy is 
crucial.

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