To Forgive is to Set Yourself Free
Much has been said, written and recorded about this thing that we blithely call forgiveness. I have yet to find a coherent explanation of the meaning of the concept described by this concoction of alphabet letters. The question begs; what is forgiveness?
Most of us White Anglo-Saxon or Caucasian people who were raised in some iteration of Christianity will have first encountered the word in what is referred to as “The Lord’s Prayer”. You know, the bit towards the end where it goes “. . . and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us . . . ” and so on and so forth. Sort of a tit-for-tat deal with the Lord of Creation. Pretty presumptuous of us, don’t you think? In my experience this paint-by-numbers approach to “forgiveness” is just pure doctrinal bullshit of the first order!
Really! How can we expect results from this repetitious doctrinal nonsense when we have not even been able to satisfactorily define and explain the meaning of the word, “Forgive”. The Concise Oxford Dictionary explains thus: ‘to remit or let off a debt’ ‘cease to resent’ ‘pardon an offence or crime; pardon the offender’ and goes on to define “Forgiveness” as ‘act of forgiving; state of being forgiven’.
All well and good in an ideal World populated by ideal people. But, the truth is that forgiving is contrary to human nature. You know when someone really lets you down in a big way. Then says to you; “Hey Man, please forgive me; I’m sorry.” What do most of us do? We counter with something trite like; “Hey, yeah; it’s no biggie.” and then proceed to nurture a growing resentment against the perpetrator. And who gets hurt in this scenario? Not the perpetrator. He’s just gotten off Scot free after taking you for a fool. And you? You nurse your resentment like a growing cancer.
The possible permutations of future developments of and final outcomes to, this type of scenario are legion. I’m sure that every one us in this crazy World can relate to being embroiled in a similar situation. But, that’s the problem with words. They have limitations that the human mind finds laughable. We humans FEEL things. And, in my experience, many, if not most, of that which we FEEL we cannot find vocabulary to express. This is quite simply because all language is the product of conscious human creative endeavour. And none of us is able to speak a language of spiritual concept which inhabits the psyche.
All of this leads me to the principle of words in a conceptual, spiritual context. Like the word “Love”. . . . no, NOT the tennis score equal to zero . . . the Human Emotion which we call “Love”. Since the beginnings of Time itself poets and other gifted wordsmiths have wrestled with Love. The best of them have given us beautiful metaphors and that’s about all. So, who am I to suppose that I can define or explain the verb Forgive or for that matter its associated noun Forgiveness? For, as I have learnt on my journey of sixty-two years; Forgiveness and her related words are also words with a conceptual meaning. And, like Love, Forgiveness lives in my psyche on the Spiritual plane. It is when I let go of the limitations of language and vocabulary whilst simultaneously embracing the spiritual concept of these words that I fly FREE!
Once again, as always . . . Thank you so much for dropping by. I return tomorrow with an explanation. See you then 😉
Peter Mark Wells-Garnett © 25 March 2017