A Consciousness of Forgiveness
Remember the scene in the movie ‘The Matrix’ when Neo is being shot at and ‘Mr Smith’ couldn’t understand how he was missing him. As the perspective shifts to Neo’s reality, time slowed as the bullets head in his direction. Because of their highly retarded speed he can easily dodge them. There is one moment is this scene when a bullet is heading in his direction and he points his finger at it as it comes to a complete halt. When the bullet and his finger touches, the bullet falls to the ground. From Neo’s perspective life has stilled, from Mr Smith’s perspective life is at normal speed. This gives those of us unfamiliar with the concept of stillness a modern dramatisation of how it might appear.
This Hollywood version of stillness suggests that stillness is something that emanates from within and is projected outward, only being observed by the possessor and not necessarily by others. Although anyone else who is also ‘more aware’ might recognise the inner stillness this other person possesses. It has been said, ‘By their fruits, you will know them’. In other words, if stillness was a tree it would bear a certain fruit. The fruit on this tree is awareness, which contain the seeds of mindfulness. The skin of the fruit is forgiveness, and the flesh of the fruit is charity (unconditional love). This means that what this person presents to the world is a consciousness of forgiveness.
Forgiveness has been described as selective remembering, that is having the ability to see the gift in the injustice. In the case of self-forgiveness, it is recognising that any of your behaviours that resulted in shame, guilt or remorse were opportunities to become more clear about who you weren’t, meaning that you are now clearer about who you choose to be. Therein lies the gift. In the case of forgiving another, it’s realising that all behaviour has only two fundamental motives, it’s either behaviour that is extending love, or it’s a call for help. The gift in that awareness is if the behaviour is a call for help, you have been given an opportunity to serve. This is charity, the flesh of the fruit of the tree called stillness. Anyone who possesses stillness will have these approaches to forgiveness foremost in their mind. This is made easier by constantly asking how life’s experience serves and by not giving a meaning to life’s experiences.
This state of awareness represents the transition one makes from human consciousness to higher consciousness, sometimes referred to as Christ or Buddha Consciousness. An example of what this state of consciousness looks like is seen in the following situation. Pedophilia. What I am about to state does not condone the behaviour. I fully support the laws of the land regarding how convicted pedophiles are to be punished. I also believe that can be measured out with the understanding that their behaviour is a call for help. This would begin with asking the question, ‘What could this person tell me that would help me understand why they are the way they are?’
This would mean that instead of anger and hate being projected, our understanding and energy would possess the understanding that the pedophile is as much the wounded child as the child he or she hurt. With this understanding your empathy moves you to be as compassionate for each of the wounded children. The pedophile would still be punished! When you become angry or filled with hatred, you are no longer in stillness. When you are moved to compassion, you maintain your stillness. Of course compassion will always lead to benevolence, and you will do what you can to nurture children, even when they turn up in older bodies.
There is one more thing to understand about judgement and the meaning we give to the behaviour of pedophiles. We see the world as we are and not as it is. That would suggest that having a judgement of a pedophile means we would be a pedophile. Obviously that is not the case. This is where form and content comes in. The content of pedophilia is about an abuse of power. It might be that you abuse your power over others in different ways. You might be an ogre at work. You might be an excessively dominating parent, etc. Even though the form can be very different, the content could be very similar. This is why Ghandi said, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
When the Psalmist wrote, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ He was saying that when we can maintain stillness in our consciousness, we will be experiencing all that is Divine.
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