Spontaneous Forgiveness

Here’s a passage from my book The Translucent Revolution.

 

jumpWith the willingness to be less defined comes a loosening of our grip on the past. The past is of little use when you have no case to defend. If the trial is dismissed as boring and irrelevant, you can send the witnesses home to get on with their lives and dump the bulging dossier of carefully crafted case notes into the trash. Translucents have a natural interest in forgiving and moving on. Forgiveness is no longer a moral virtue, or something we need to practice, but the effortless by-product of no longer needing to protect anidentity with a story attached to it. The past is not healed; it simply ceases to be useful.

I know a woman named Sarah who had memories of abuse as a child. She was never quite sure which of the events she remembered actually happened, but they certainly all seemed real. She saw a number of therapists over many years. She visited her family from time to time; she tried to sit down with her father to find out what had really happened. She joined a support group. This identity, as a survivor of abuse, was one of the first things she would tell you about herself. Some years ago, Sarah came to a gathering I offered. She had an awakening; she discovered reality without the filters of her mind.

Recently, I tentatively asked her again about her memories. I knew it was a sensitive subject. “I don’t really know if that stuff happened or not,” she laughed. “Maybe it did. I don’t think about it anymore. It’s not interesting. It doesn’t feel like I healed the past.” She stopped and looked surprised. “It’s more like I don’t really have a past. I’d need to think a lot to create one.” Sarah has been to visit her father on several occasions since her shift but feels no need to talk about the past. They discuss sports results and gardening and have a good time. Sarah discovered forgiveness as a by-product of releasing a part of her identity. It was the death of a part of herself and, apparently, a great relief.

A survivor of abuse has every reason in the world to be angry, to have strong feelings. A translucent’s forgiveness is neither a moral quality nor a cultivated virtue, but the natural and inevitable consequence of knowing oneself as something more than the past. When we disidentify with the story, there’s no need to hold onto it with regret. We forgive as an act of allegiance to the present moment; it becomes choicelesshat

Instead of clinging to our familiar identity, as we grow in translucence, we discover a thirst for death and rebirth while still alive. Many of us have experienced several different lives all in one lifetime. Translucents welcome this death of identity with a sense of play and adventure. David Deida describes the process like this: “Once I feel complete with something, it’s over for me as a gift, and it drops, letting a new gift evolve. If I meet someone who could do what I can do better, I stand aside and let them do it, and develop a service that is missing in the world.”

At one time Deida was considered one of the world’s top neuroscientists. He worked at Ecole Polytechnique and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. When that career was complete, he knew it. Neuroscience held no more interest or attraction. He then co-invented a new form of calculus, publishing articles about it in mathematics journals. Then, when he knew that life was over, he moved to Hawaii and taught Hatha yoga for many years. In the mid-1990s he started to write about sex, relationship, and spirit, since he didn’t see anyone else doing that in the way he wanted to see it done. “I’ll be moving on from the whole sex/relationship/spirit thing,” he says, “as soon as someone gets up to speed. The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned.”

Translucents enjoy creating and letting go of identities.

To read more, purchase my book The Translucent Revolution HERE.

Photos credits: Jomphong, africa

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2 Responses to “Spontaneous Forgiveness”

  1. Robert Mykland August 5, 2011 at 11:46 am // Reply

    I am right with you, and want to emphasize that I have found uncovering the past to be useful as long as I don’t wrap it around myself, and only to the degree it allows me to forgive it. For example, I have maintained a healthy weight for some years now, but I have struggled with my weight for most of my life, both in the direction of overeating and in the direction of starving myself at times. A few months ago, my girlfriend broke up with me, and I was absolutely devastated. I had felt down to my bones that I was going to spend the rest of my life with this woman. Since I am now in the habit of noticing my behavior, I noticed after a while that I wasn’t going shopping and that I was trying to make the food in the house last as long as possible. “That’s odd behavior!” I said to myself. I figured it must be connected to the breakup, but how? Suddenly, I clearly and for the first time remembered when I was six years old when my mother started drinking heavily and overtly for the first time. She had been a doting mother before this, lots of hugs and kisses, always fixing food for me. Suddenly this physical affection and feeding disappeared from my life, replaced by a woman who was gone from the house, or who shouted at me to leave her alone, or who was asleep. At the age of six, although of course I wasn’t responsible for the love going away, I felt responsible for the love going away, because kids, being powerful beings, naturally take 100% responsibility for everything. The hunger of going without food that would have been offered to me must have seemed an apt punishment to my six year old self. So here I was at the age of 50 starving myself, still atoning for the imagined crime of losing that love and physical affection. The instant I realized this, I went shopping, and I spoke to my inner child and said, “we can shop any time we want — you don’t have to worry about the food running out.” I felt so free. Uncovering this episode of my past shed light on so many areas of my life: aspects of my relationships with women, my aversion to having food fixed for me, my eating for comfort, my starving myself in certain situations, just so many areas. I forgave myself, I forgave my mother, I forgave my ex-girlfriend. From this foundation I am much more free to be loved unconditionally by women, and food has lost much of its magical sway over my emotions — I now simply eat to eat.

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  2. Beth August 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm // Reply

    it’s only by uncovering the past that i have been able to move into life

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