Reposting “The Dangers of Unforgiveness”

(The following is a repost of one of our early blogs published in 2011. The blog received several appreciative comments back then, for which we think it deserves a repost seven years after its original publication.)

I was listening last night to a popular late night radio program on the local AM-band, “Coast to Coast AM.”  At one point, the program host adamantly asserted (and declared repeatedly during that segment of a guest interview) that he would be totally unforgiving to any offender who happens to kill a member of his family, providing as an example the particular scenario where the victim were to be one of his grandchildren.

I shuddered to hear him publicly proclaim over the air waves how resolutely unforgiving he would be, even as I recalled how he had said the exact same thing in several past episodes of his radio program, almost like a recurring theme in his mind.  I thought to myself: This man does not know what he is doing to himself, to his family, and to his life. This man does not realize the dark energies he is unleashing from the shadows that populate the human mind.

We may not mean something we say, but the mirror mind of life does not know this to be so and the mind does not distinguish or discriminate, just like the way a reflecting mirror does not discriminate or select the images to reflect on its surface. Whatever forms are placed before the mirror, the mirror will dutifully and faithfully reflect. The mind only knows how to reflect into our life experience the thought-forms we entertain in awareness and correspondingly plant in the mind, whether wittingly or unwittingly. Knowing this, we can only dread the dire consequences which that radio program host is bringing into his life.

Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?   But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.   For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.   These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.  (Yeshua, The Gospel according to Matthew 15:17-20, NKJV)

Many times we unconsciously or unintentionally bring into our personal experience of reality the bad things and awful situations we end up dumping in our mirror mind. This is especially true in the instances where the learning of a spiritual lesson is lacking or missing. In the particular case of our radio host, this might as well be the lesson of forgiveness and of being forgiving.  We do not know when the table of life will reverse itself and thereby find ourselves at the needing and receiving end — for forgiveness. So, let us not be so doggedly determined in our ability to be unforgiving even in our imagined worst scenarios.  Why not learn from the example of the Amish in the Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Amish school shooting incident?

In one of his parables, Yeshua (Jesus) taught the danger of unforgiveness in his story about the unforgiving servant.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.  Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.  The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’  Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.  But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’  So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’  And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.  Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.  Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’  And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses. (Yeshua, The Gospel according to Matthew 18:21-35, NKJV)

Illustration for Matthew 28: Parable of the Unforgiving ServantAcknowledgements to Share Faith Magazine for the above illustration.

So, he cautions us against the state of an unforgiving human consciousness.

You can review your own life experiences and that of other people you know, and you can find instances in life where one has been forced to swallow a painful or bitter pill as the result of the spoken word uttered in spiritual ignorance (or worse, out of spite or hubris). Proverbial wisdom tells us to be careful with our speech lest we are forced to retract or swallow our own words. In fact, forgiveness is one of those major lessons in life which we are required to learn in the school of our humanity.  Not necessarily for the benefit of absolving the offender, but more importantly to release and free ourselves from our own mental malpractice and wrongdoing or error in consciousness.

It is likely that we cannot really foresee how we shall be responding to a given situation (or if we shall only be reacting to it), until the very situation arises actually in our life experience.  But before then, we do not have to predispose ourselves to unforgiveness with a hardened unforgiving attitude.  Such a mindset is dangerous: It makes us vulnerable to negative psychic, mental, and other inflictive energy attacks that will only outpicture or manifest in our lives as harm, loss or disaster.  The attitude places us in an anticipatory state of victim consciousness.  That is one of the greatest dangers of dualism in our belief system.  We are without protection from the so-called “evil” in the world if we function outside of the consciousness of God-presence and oneness. (This is precisely the message of the 3rd chapter on “Protection,” which has been the subject of our recent discussions in class.)

It is very easy in our human nature to harden our hearts and to become cold and unforgiving when our life experience brings us to the point at which the lesson of forgiveness is to be learned.  Often times emotions of hurt, pain, resentment, hatred or anger will readily fuel unforgiveness in the heart.  Knowing this, let us not court and invite the dark forces of unforgiveness into our lives and fool around with the toxicity of an unforgiving mind and heart.

Equally important, let us not endanger our loved ones by using them as a backdrop for our foolhardy willfulness to be unforgiving in imagined situations.  The mind’s imagination can be a powerful force, and we certainly do not want to harm them by beginning a chain of events that we will only regret in the end.   Life can make our imagined worst scenarios come to life and become a reality in our human experience, if only to teach us the lesson to be mindfully aware of what we are thinking and how we are feeling (to “honor the father and the mother” in our mind).

It is said that practice makes perfect.   If so, then what we practice becomes our performance one day, perfected or not.  Let us not engage in dry runs and rehearsals for being unforgiving and hardened of heart, because one day we shall end up doing an actual “live” performance on life’s stage of what we rehearse time and time again in the backstage of our mind.

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Marc teaches contemplative meditation in the context of "contemporary mysticism" under the style of "Contemplative Pathways." His spiritual work is backed by a profound understanding of mystical teachings and the mystical life, that is rooted in fifty (50) years of personal study, practice and spiritual unfoldment (inner realization and spiritual experience).  In the course of his spiritual journey, he has received the gifts of mystical discernment and spiritual transmission. Marc has been conducting classes and meetings on contemporary mysticism and meditation at the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years, usually in a classroom, lecture, seminar, workshop, online meeting, or group practice setting. He has facilitated study groups and workshops for centering/contemplative meditation practice meetings since the 1980s. Marc's teaching work meaningfully shifts consciousness in students through the process of spiritual transmission and mystical transformation.  He enables others to embark on the spiritual journey by understanding the Truth teaching and by living its principles in their daily lives. His methodology of instruction is divinely inspired and firmly rooted in pure, authentic mysticism.  Marc's approach to the subject of contemporary mysticism is essentially nondenominational, nonsectarian, culturally interfaith, transreligious, definitively unitive, and unequivocally nondualistic. Within the context of the great shift in consciousness presently occurring all over the planet, Marc’s work focuses on individual and collective spiritual instruction and transformation. He promotes the practice of contemplation or meditation as the vehicle for spiritual transcendence and ascension to the higher dimensions of mystical consciousness. His other contributions to worldwide spiritual awakening and the global contemplative movement include spiritual mentoring, spiritual direction, and spiritual healing work. Marc is firmly committed to the vision of a global spiritual awakening and the divine promise of humanity’s mystical illumination. His brand of mysticism is the only true contemporary mysticism born of 21st century illumination and spirituality.  
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