The subject of forgiveness is an action that almost everyone in the entire world has engaged in at some point in his or her life. However the motive underlying the action of forgiveness is usually not totally understood, and thus, rarely heals the person who is doing the forgiving and the person who is being forgiven. Forgiveness must occur with right timing, right understanding, and right motive.
The Chapter says, "Forgiveness prevents things from going into the subconscious mind and sinking there. Before painful events become a part of the subconsciousness, forgiveness eliminates them.
"In the New Testament there is a very interesting story about a servant who owed many debts to his rich master. The rich man's other servants brought him the servant who owed him 10,000 talents. As he could not pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all that he had, so that he could pay. The servant then fell down, worshipped the rich master, and said, My Lord, have patience with me and I will pay you everything."
"The master of the servant had pity, so he released him and cancelled his debt. But the servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him 100 pennies, and he seized him and tried to choke him, saying to him, "Give me what you owe me."
"His fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will pay you.' But he would not wait and he had the fellow servant put into prison until he could pay him what he owed him.
"When the other servants saw what happened, they were sorry and came and informed their master of everything that had happened.
"Then the master called the servant and said to him, 'O wicked servant, I cancelled all your debts, because you begged me to. Was it not right for you to have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?'
"His master was angry and he delivered the servant to the scourgers until he pain everything that he owed…"(See Matthew XVIII:24-34)
In Challenge for Discipleship the story is explained in this way: "It is very interesting to note that the rich man did not foresee the future action of his servant when he forgave him, but karma caught the servant later. The mast did wrong in forgiving the servant without educating and disciplining him. One may also wonder why the master allowed the servant to accumulate such a huge debt. There was some weakness in the master, but he corrected himself by giving the servant over to the karmic scourgers.
"Here we see that forgiveness, punishment, and karma are related to each other. " (p. 463)
"Forgiveness has no intention of encouraging people to continue hurting others… The forgiving one must know intuitively that the debtor will not continue his former actions." (Ibid p. 464)
From experience, I finally learned this "truism." For three years I continued to forgive a member of the group who consistently engaged in inappropriate behaviors that led to inappropriate actions toward her co-workers. Each time she would come to me and ask for my forgiveness. Each time I forgave her. Finally, one day, after she took a most rotten action toward one of her co-workers in the group and like clockwork she came to me asking forgiveness, I told her, "No. I cannot no longer forgive you of your actions for you are not changing yourself. Your actions continue to harm your co-workers and your group. You must prove to me you are sincere in your forgiveness before I can forgive you this time." She left the group.
This Chapter is bringing us deeper insight into the law of forgiveness. It is telling us how important it is to forgive before the painful event becomes part of the subconsciousness. "That is why Christ said, 'Before sunset, make peace with your enemies.'"
"When people do not solve their problems before sleep, they take them into the Subtle World and involve many people with their problems. Also, since they did not solve their problems before sleep, the problems sink into the subconscious mind…' (The Subconscious Mind and the Chalice, p. 112)
"Like an iceberg, only the visible part of each problem stands in the conscious mind. This is also a problem because many other elements in the subconscious mind can come in contact with the conscious mind through the visible part of the iceberg. When you discover the problem and dissolve it, the iceberg comes to the surface and melts away. But if the problem is left for months, the iceberg increases in size and power.
"There is a method that you can use so that eventually you get rid of the iceberg. Let us say that the iceberg is connected or related to a man who seems ugly and criminal to you. Using your creative imagination, you change the image of that man in a gradient scale to an image of a man whom you can respect, relate to, love, and even adore.
"Your subconscious mind cannot guess what you are doing, and the ugly image changes in the subconscious mind which then accepts such a change and cooperates with you. When you are able to change the ugly image of the man into a grad image through our creative imagination, the corresponding ugly image dissolves." (p. 112)
"In another example, let us suppose that you have been afraid every night that someone will enter through the door and hurt you. This is an image in your subconscious mind. Try for a week to imagine yourself going to the door and finding an angel there instead of a thief. When you make this image strong enough, the computer of the subconscious mind will change the imagery and slowly dissolve it, and you will no longer fear that a thief will enter your room." (p. 113)
Your physical, emotional, and mental automatic reactions can be controlled through creative imagination. Creative imagination stops the leakage on the astral plane , which as you learned in last week's class: "The subconscious elements in our lower mental body affect our astral body as a whole through the etheric body. This is why most of the subconscious elements first appear in our emotional moods or emotional states before they are formulated into thought. If we closely follow the changes, fluctuations, stimulation, and excitement of our emotional body, we can have a fair idea about the contents of our subconscious mind.
"Our emotions reveal the secret of our subconscious mind, but we do not pay attention to them. The emotional body often acts as a safety valve to relax the pressure accumulating in the subconscious mind." (pp 89-90)
"But whatever you create through your creative imagination, decide to use the result for the service of others. When you are using your creative imagination, always build images with the elements of Beauty, Goodness, Righteousness, Joy, Freedom, gratitude, and service. If your creative imagination is based on these elements, you will never build subconscious glamors. (p. 113)
"Some people, instead of building beautiful images in their mind, do the contrary. They gossip, slander, and complicate the situation. Before you condemn and criticize, it will be helpful for you to discover why you are doing it. Most probably you are condemning, criticizing, and slandering people because you feel that it is the only way to feel secure, free, and pure. [We will also include in our discussion paragraph four on page 113.]
"Such a feeling is based on a wrong foundation because the more you criticize others, the more miserable you become; the more you condemn and slander others, the more fuel you add to your subconscious elements.
"The quickest way to lose yourself is to attack others because of your subconscious commands." (p. 114)