Posted by Roberta Grimes • April 12, 2015 • 11 Comments
Afterlife Research, Human Nature, The Teachings of Jesus
Afterlife studies is a genuine science, which means that it has much to tell us beyond the fact that human minds are eternal. One of its most important revelations is the final answer to that age-old question: What is the purpose of human life? Here the dead agree with most major religions. We are here to learn to love perfectly and learn to forgive completely. Helping us learn to better love and forgive seems to be the reason why the universe exists.
Loving is the easy part. It seems to be innate in people, beginning with the love between mother and child and continuing through making friends and pair-bonding and building families to grandparenthood, the most intense love of all. That we need to love and be loved is a central characteristic of the human condition, and love of all kinds is so vastly rewarding in myriad ways that it is self-reinforcing. Loving is easy. And once we really are doing love well, we need then only to spread our love to all.
But to paraphrase William Shakespeare, there is one big rub. Universal love is impossible to practice until we have learned the art of radical forgiveness. We need to learn to forgive automatically, as if nothing ever even happened. And radical forgiveness is neither easy nor innate. From ISIS and your Ex to your sullen boss and the jerk who cuts you off in traffic, for most of us every day is full of reminders that some acts are unforgivable. Yet not only must all these perpetrators be forgiven, but once they are forgiven, they must be loved!
Whenever I mention forgiveness, I get emails. Some of the stories people tell are tragic. And the challenge always is, “How could anyone forgive that?”
I used to have the same problem. Only say a nasty word in a store or show me your middle finger on the highway and you could ruin my entire day. But once I understood how essential it is that we practice radical forgiveness, I worked out the process for myself. I will give you my methods below. I want to assure you not only that they work, but that radical forgiveness will change your life! The best thing about learning to forgive to the point where you don’t even notice people’s wrongs is that it makes you feel peaceful and happy as really nothing else ever could. I don’t even have an anger reflex anymore. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful that feels!
Here is my method for learning radical forgiveness:
1) Study forgiveness as a discipline. A Course in Miracles is a Ph.D.-level course in radical forgiveness. It is the best way to approach the task, but for most of us it takes years of attendance at a study group before we grasp the Course. I did some of that, but I found that simply buying a red-letter New International Version of the Bible and reading the red letters in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John until I had them internalized was sufficient. When you read enough Jesus, you start thinking like Jesus. And whatever your religion might be, that is a good thing.
2) Practice forgiveness when driving. I have a suspicion that God invented cars as the easiest way for us to learn to forgive! When someone cuts you off in traffic, think, “The poor man! I hope he gets to the hospital in time!” And really believe that. Smile and wave. If someone flips you the bird, think, “The poor man! He has only one finger!” Sometimes I’ll add, “He must have the others in a bucket! I hope they can reattach them!” Wave and smile. I felt foolish the first few times I reinvented reality this way, but now I firmly believe it all. No more traffic-stress. And I drive like a saint.
3) Learn the truth about the powers of our minds. Our minds are part of the same eternal Mind that continuously brings forth the universe, and as such they are infinitely creative, for good or ill. Especially in a world still held in the thrall of disastrously erroneous beliefs, people can seize on a religious dogma or some other nonsense and seek to apply it. Every mind is an infinitely creative part of a perfect God, but in their ignorance some creative minds can be led to do terrible things.
4) Understand that this whole lifetime is nothing more than a bad day in school. It is barely a blip in our eternal lives. Very soon those who are doing harm here will be going home to face a life-review in which they will be made to feel every bit of the harm that they have done to others. Whenever I see another ghastly story about ISIS, I keep that fact in mind. The most important reason to learn radical forgiveness is that soon you will face your own life-review, and you will be asked to forgive yourself.
Following these steps worked for me. And it didn’t even take very long. Jesus says so many things that helped me stay centered on my goal of learning radical forgiveness:
“Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” (MT 5:39-41)
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (LK 6:41-42)
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (LK 6:35-36)
And of course,
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (MT 7:1-2).
What I learned in mastering radical forgiveness is that it isn’t for the other person. He doesn’t care whether you forgive him or not! And forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning bad behavior; it only means accepting what you cannot change. Learning to forgive others automatically is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself.
11 thoughts on “Radical Forgiveness”
great post Roberta- forgiveness has to come from the heart not the intellect and must be emotionally felt and having no conditions attached.
being human is not easy but the divine is absolute. love you article’s keep up the good endeavours. Danny
Thank you for commenting, Danny! Forgiveness does indeed come from the heart, and it must be unconditional – what a wonderful insight. I only wish that more people realized that when forgiveness is lived that way, it doesn’t feel like surrender or loss at all; instead, it feels terrific!
Kudos to you Roberta. Radical forgiveness is something that I really need to learn, to forgive others unconditionally. I now catch myself if I react to rudeness. Sometimes after the fact but I realize that it is something we must do at the time. I am full of love but unless I keep practicing radical forgiveness and accepting things I cannot change. I thank you so much. Where have you been all my life? I have been waiting for something like you for a long time. I have ordered your two books on death and am looking forward to them. Have heard you on the radio and podcasts etc. You make total sense and my ideas about the afterlife are very much the same. Blessings to you.Namaste
Oh Robert, you have made my week! Thank you for such a beautiful comment and such wonderful insights. The fight against reacting negatively – the fight to always feel just perfect love – is one that all of us share. Each of us has our moments! For me it isn’t so much outsiders anymore, but my husband of 42 years took a capital gain last fall of which I had not been aware, and thereby he considerably increased our federal tax bill. I discovered this only when it was time to write the check… today! What a great forgiveness opportunity that was ;-). Please always let me know how I can help you, Robert, as you progress on your beautiful journey. Spiritual growth is something that all of us are doing together – none of us could do it alone!
All I can say is that you make perfect sense…I cannot wait for upcoming insights from you…the Coasttocoast show was great also
Thank you, Kathleen! What’s beautiful is that we really are enlightening one another, and as that process goes on we are finding that the consciousness of the planet is beginning to raise. Many of the things that people complain about – religious extremism, cultural craziness – seem actually to be the reaction of darkness against the onslaught of the light. At first we only suspected this, but today I am feeling more and more confident of it. And one beautiful piece of evidence I see is how many people I am hearing from now who – as Jesus exhorts us to do – “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Every commenter here is filled with that hunger, and the emails that I am getting daily now are full of it, too. It’s glorious to see! And – as Jesus promises – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” We do indeed live in exciting times!
A friend with whom I am sharing the journey of this life sent me your post on radical forgiveness. I found it to be in total alignment with what I have learned and realized in this lifetime. However, to be honest I still need some good practice and discipline to get truly radical in forgiveness. That is ok and at least I am better than I was.
As I read on with some of your other post, I was stunned to find you articulating with simplicity and love what I have come to find as the Truth as well. As a retired Methodist pastor I left the church early because I could no longer try to bend the reality of Jesus’ life and teachings around the erroneous developed dogma and doctrine that lies at the eroding foundation of the Christian religion. In my heart and soul I know that Jesus never intended to be seen as a saviour because (as you have so eloquently written in your posts) there is no judgmental angry God to be saved from. I have a Master of Divinity degree and while studying church history and the development of the early Christian movement saw the imposition of the Messianic tradition and Sacramental theology overshadow the radically opposite teachings of Jesus himself. YOU are a breath of fresh air in my life and I am struggling for my voice to join your chorus. I need to know more about your experience with the dead, and am purchasing your book. Peace and Love, Mike
What a beautiful testimony, dear wonderful Mike! Our beloved Wayshower and Best Friend must be smiling! I know what a difficult journey it is out of that “erroneous developed dogma and doctrine,” and I know how wonderful it feels when you finally are free and you take the hand that Jesus has for two thousand years been extending with infinite patience to us all.
To share a quick story, I never set out to write The Fun of Dying, but I simply gave my life to God in May of 2009 (it was my time to do that), and by August I was writing this book. Couldn’t stop. In October a psychic friend called out of the blue and said, “You do know you’ve got five dead clergymen working with you, don’t you?” I had no clue. I am not remotely psychic. She told me a bit about them, and one of the five is famous. When I heard his name I blurted, “Why would he work with me?” She said, “He wants to set the record straight. They all do.” It was my five dead clergymen friends who then set about using that book to show how closely the Gospels agree with the afterlife evidence (it’s amazing!). And the fact that you also have been called to give your life now to proclaiming the truth that Jesus has for two thousand years been trying to tell us is beautiful! If you will email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) we can talk more about what seems to be meant to be our role… but I am figuring it out at the same time that you are!
Thank you for the kind reply. I will be in touch tomorrow via email. I have so much going on in my mind and spirit that reflects what I know that others are struggling with in the fundamental and conservative church. You speak so bluntly (and correctly so) about how the Christian religion is based in an archaic belief system that is rapidly being out grown by so many – with seemingly nothing to replace it. And yet sitting in the midst of some of the greatest teachings in the world.
And there is our task, dear friend. We’ve got to be ready to save that precious baby when disgruntled former believers throw out the bathwater. Christianity might soon be going down, because once communication with the dead is easy – and that could be in just a few years’ time – everyone will know that sacrificial redemption is not needed and never happens. Those Christian denominations that have been trumpeting that they sell the only get-out-of-hell-free card – and that’s not all of them, but it’s many of them – are going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do. If before that time sufficient people have come to know Jesus as the glorious teacher of the truth that he himself tells us in the Gospels that he is, then at last his perfect teachings can shine!
Hi Roberta – I’ve just got (or “gotten”, as you might say) around to seeing this post, having been away in New Zealand for a while and having found it (by chance?) in my Junk folder. So, I’ve read it and all the responses above. Fantastic stuff. The mention of an emerging consciousness towards the light (paraphrased) prompted me to send you this video link which I picked up on Facebook this morning: youtube.com/watch?v=NX4O6smZrLE It’s shows a little boy’s reaction to eating animals, and reveals great wisdom in this kid. (I’m not a vegetarian by the way, but I do respect its values, and that’s why this kid’s words impressed me so much.)