Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet gives to the heel that has trampled it. (Mark Twain)
Forgiveness is a conscious, liberating act of love that begins in one’s own being and gives deep peace. The secret of healing and redemption through forgiveness can only be truly unlocked and finally experienced when we have matured to the awareness that we carry two souls within our bosom, one of which is earthbound, the other heavenly in nature. We are not material beings having spiritual experiences, but spiritual beings finding self-knowledge on the material plane.
The heavenly Self waits in infinite patience for the earthly human being to open up to it in order to recognise his true, soul-spiritual identity. At the same time it awakens in him the memory of that task to which he agreed before his birth and which he often completely forgot in his physical existence. In deluded ignorance, our earth ego daily crucifies his eternal self in a spiritual sense. And this forgives him, as Jesus Christ forgave his executioners on Golgotha with the words: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
Forgiveness also means surrender. This refers to the voluntary surrender of our earthly personality to our indwelling eternal soul core, in which and through which the cosmic Christ impulse can become liberatingly effective. Our lower self still lives in the Old Testament Mosaic laws, our heavenly self, awakened in Christ, gives itself in freedom to the perfection of humanity and the healing of its world.
“Forgive before the sun sets” (Hawaiian proverb)
One must begin forgiving in the here and now so that one can receive forgiveness and liberation oneself. Forgiveness as a liberating and all the lowly transforming force flows from the love stream of the Christ Spirit. Only when we recognise this Christ impulse, the only-begotten Son, and are prepared to hand over the guidance of our destinies to Him, can the transformation to the only good also take place through us.
The greatest power in the universe is love. It rejects all complaint, all guilt, all inferiority and hostility. Love sees what is common and purifies what is divisive. The highest commandment on the way to being accepted in the matrix of all-embracing love is: Hurt no one! Forgiveness is also able to liberate our self from the supposed victim role that constantly torments us and with which our ego likes to clothe itself. This requires deep insight from our higher, transpersonal consciousness. Only when we have recognised that people from our personal environment, such as parents or siblings, partners or friends, have not deliberately hurt us, but acted according to their current state of consciousness with all its individual limitations, can we overcome victimhood within ourselves by accomplishing a fundamental forgiveness within ourselves. The healing impulses are liberating and lasting both for ourselves and for all those affected.
Forgiveness resolves all conflicts
The human being is a social being, and without the healing power of forgiveness, the individual human being and the human family cannot maintain themselves capable of living and developing. Judging or bearing grudges has a creeping poisonous effect on the individual and the community. Forgiveness is, as it were, a purification ritual in which one’s own destructive behaviour patterns, misunderstandings and outdated beliefs are dissolved. In true forgiveness, an act of self-overcoming takes place, which only makes a reserve-free reconciliation possible. In this self-surrender to the higher person in us, we allow the Christ-power to become effective in and through us. Only there do we draw from the source of all mercy and unlimited forgiveness.
True forgiveness always has a sacrificial character. It is borne by alert inner activity. Along with the decision to forget the wrongs done to us, we at the same time take upon ourselves the obligation to make amends for the objective damage that has arisen in dissonances caused by us and which has caused harm not only to us but also to the matrix of life. We return to the world in forgiveness the powers that were robbed from it by the strife in which they were bound.
“Love your enemies!”
In the awakened soul-man, the word forgive encompasses the constant willingness, borne of love, to pour oneself into the world in a general absolution. The preliminary stage of this ability, which grows out of the Christ impulse in us, is expressed in the word forgive, which is related in essence to renounce and which means a voluntary rejection of all endeavours that emanate from our lower, opportunistic ego. In forgiveness, we are also given the potion of forgetfulness, which means a lasting liberation from all karmic fetters of mutually burdening disagreements.
Problems are raised before us on our life’s journey so that we may grow from them. People we see as our enemies through conflict are actually our friends because they give us an impetus to expose the shadows still hidden within ourselves that have contributed to the creation of disharmony. If we are prepared to clean up, our outer life situation will also change. Therefore, Christ’s word: “Love your enemies” is a sure signpost into a higher octave of life in which we can merge into pure soul consciousness.
With every forgiveness, man unleashes a part of the world’s karma field, which permeates our cosmos with a dense network of iron necessities. He thus opens the door to the higher Christocentric field of force from which flows the grace that transforms necessity into freedom.
The “only-begotten Son”, the immortal soul, can break through even the most fatal, self-deprived fate if we entrust ourselves to it. This is the forgiveness of guilt that can erase karma through love.
To understand everything is to forgive everything
Each of us is a part of this world. When we change, the world changes as a result. The first step to forgiveness is to develop understanding, a non-judgemental acceptance that allows all diversity to come together in a higher octave of being, beyond the separation consciousness of our ego nature.
In this way we grow towards the experience that everything is connected with everything else in a common matrix of unlimited possibilities, and the understanding for all different expressions of consciousness and individual life tasks grows. From this realisation arises the readiness for tolerance and forgiveness. The reach of forgiveness, however, is unlimited and permeates all cosmic and microcosmic levels, as it works from a transpersonal, Christ-centred consciousness.
The highest level of forgiveness is fulfilled when a soul entity awakened in spirit takes upon itself the karma of a human being or group of human beings, as exemplified by Jesus Christ in the Mystery of Golgotha. Carrying the karma of all humanity in its evolution is a never-ending gesture of forgiveness, which – according to Rudolf Steiner – the liberated being of Christian Rosenkreuz also took upon himself to keep open for us the path to the realisation of the transfiguration into a spirit-soul-man in our turn of time.
The inexhaustible power of love of the cosmic Christ-Spirit is also able to reconcile the cosmic opposing powers Lucifer and Ahriman from their division and finally lead them out of their fatal imprisonment into redemption. Lucifer and Ahriman cannot free themselves by their own power: Lucifer, the “beautiful appearance”, the earth-volatile seducer to phantasms and imitations, and Ahriman, the earth-addict, who reveals himself in the forces of matter, in material science and its technology.
When man recognises the Christ impulse in himself and engages in its universal wisdom, then the great miracle occurs that all Luciferic forces in his own microcosm and in due time also in the macrocosm can be redeemed in the act of love of forgiveness and Lucifer as a light bearer rises to become the servant of Christ. The redemption of Ahriman becomes possible through a human community that lives and works in harmony with the redeeming Christ power.
Thus we understand that forgiveness is a spiritual-moral force that serves the realisation of the Christ Impulse in our present humanity. In the living confession, “Not I, but the Christ in me”, the sacrificial walk is transformed into a humanity-liberating walk of joy.
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Prokofieff, S. O.: The Occult Meaning of Forgiveness, Verlag Freies Geistesleben
Tipping , C. C.: I forgive, the radical farewell to victimhood, Kamphausen Media GmbH
Van Rijckenborgh, J.: The Egyptian Urgnosis, Volume IV, Rozekruis Pers, Haarleem