I’ve been on this regime since October 2010. In Buddhist or cognitive therapy terms, it is thought-switching. Two gigantic miracles have taken place, not explicitly the ones I was asserting, but ones which substantially changed my life for the better.

Lately, in what can only be described as decathexis, an almost photographic recall of my entire life has passed before my eyes, including some very bad days. I seem to have been dreaming about that last night.

And I woke up this morning sad but certain that it is part of the answer to my prayer, of release from all the obstacles of bitterness so my forgiveness work can continue. I’ve been working on it for 15 years, and had an epiphany, regarding my worst enemy, Nemesis, the other day. Seeing him, rather than not seeing him, is the forgiveness work.

One of the great liberating ideas in forgiveness work is that you don’t have to like, or hang out with, or step up for more injury, from the people you have forgiven. I think that’s Forgiveness 202. Forgiveness 301, is, they cannot injure you. Forgiveness 401 is this, which I am still struggling with.

Forgiveness is important. My one criterion in all the spiritual trudging I’ve done in the last 25 years is what’s in this for me? I’m not here to be good, it’s way too late for that. I’m not here to be respectable, because respectable kills. After several years of asking that question, Emmet Fox answered: If your prayers are not being answered, search your consciousness and see if there is not someone whom you have yet to forgive.
— Fox, “The Lord’s Prayer”, Power Through Constructive Thinking

Fox’s little essay on Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us may be his greatest work. Very much in the Fox tradition of a.) you don’t need clean hands to ask to borrow the soap and b.) either God means what he says, or he doesn’t: ie., forgiveness is the vestibule of heaven. You can’t chose. Sometimes I think atheists are the people for whom resentment is form-conferring. I’m willing to die so I can be angry at Nemesis.

My two other great experiential spiritual insights in this long jornada, were basically Hindu, I think. Although I’m also a big old Jew, on account of the pine coffin in the ground within 24 hours thing. Dayenu. And a Baptist. When nothing else can move me, a little touch of The Swan Silvertones’ Saviour Pass Me Not or Hezekiah Walker’s Faithful Is Our God can turn this stone into a human being again.

My Hindu insights took place in the early 1990s. They were, as bad as what this person has done to me is — it was a rip-off by a trusted mentor —  it has not harmed the real me, as far away as that real me is. It has to do with this passage from the Bhagavad Gita:

I say to thee weapons reach not the Life;
Flame burns it not, waters cannot o’erwhelm,
Nor dry winds wither it. Impenetrable,
Unentered, unassailed, unharmed, untouched,
Immortal, all-arriving, stable, sure,
Invisible, ineffable, by word
And thought uncompassed, ever all itself,
Thus is the Soul declared! How wilt thou, then,—
Knowing it so,—grieve when thou shouldst not grieve?

— Edwin Arnold, Song Celestial

The other was a deep sense that this is all a dream, in the sense that the material world is only conformed to my vision. It’s a sad insight, in a way, but the prize is a glimpse of the eternal goodness — chi, if you like — that everything is made of, and the world of spirits who love us and are here, just beyond my mortal power to see them. If they forgive me, and I forgive them, we can get to a very good place.

Krishna takes the reins of Arjuna’s war chariot, Bhagavad Gita.