My selection for this week's "Highlights of the Highlights" is from Issue #4366, which Mark Otter edited on September 11, 2011:
Last week's issue about forgiveness inspired one of our readers to write in response. If I understood this reader correctly, he appeared to object to the idea that forgiveness could be a tangible thing to someone who is awake. His point was well-taken, especially when the question of forgiveness is considered in the context of radical nonduality: indeed, who really is there to forgive, or to be forgiven?
Those of us who do not yet feel entrenched in that awakened reality still may feel the need to to reconcile with their past, however. Especially if that past included trauma or maltreatment of any discernible measure.
I think of forgiveness as a close companion with acceptance. And I've observed that most, if not all, of my own personal suffering has tended to arise out of my own lack of acceptance of what is happening in any given moment. And by suffering, I don't mean the pain that can arise as a result of something that's actually happening at the moment; I really mean the anxiety-provoking thoughts and worries about things that MIGHT happen in the future, or else the dread-inducing memories about painful events that have already occurred long in my past.
To be sure, with the dawning of deep self-realization comes a natural falling away of those anxieties, those worries, and those memories. The realization that these so-called events are not happening to "a separate entity" makes it difficult to believe that those worries could hold any significant meaning anymore.
But I strongly suspect that many of us need to find forgiveness or acceptance towards our own selves before we can release our internal, emotional, and psychological hold on those selves.
What say you, I wonder?
A close friend and musical mentor to me recently posted this video on his Facebook page. In this short piece (to which many fascinating longer ones are linked), Dr. Fred Luskin discusses the importance of gratitude and compassion in enabling forgiveness:
From the opening of the video comes these thoughts: "If we practiced every single day, 'Thank you' and 'I appreciate you' and 'This is beautiful' and 'I am blessed' and 'Let me see what good I can do to the world,' you'd have almost no grudges, and it wouldn't have mattered so much if you were loved at 19 or 26 or 31 or whatever, because you'd be creating a mind-body experience that's healthy, and a healthy mind-body very rarely wants to strike out at anything."
I suppose that strictly speaking, this topic is not terribly nondual, especially in the most radical and raw sense of the term "nondual." But the "small I" in me seems to be drawn closely to it right now, because I feel like it's a key to resolving a great deal of suffering I've personally experienced, or perhaps more importantly, a key to resolving my own personal suffering story.
And maybe in the end it's the dropping of that suffering story that ultimately makes this nondual. Dropping the entire story, that is.
PS: Please accept our apologies for yesterday's missed issue and today's late delivery. Our delays were unfortunately unavoidable. Thank you.