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Forgiveness: Good People Don’t Forgive by Apollo Pampallis

To prepare for this article, please read my previous posting, Why Gratitude, What You Haven’t Been Told.

Forgiveness is probably the most misunderstood concept of the last few thousand years, and thus the cause of endless suffering, from devastating wars to wretched lives and life destroying illnesses. If just this article alone were to be accepted by 1/10 of the population, the world would instantly, miraculously, literally become a ‘heaven on earth’.

Every one of us has been in situations where we feel that we have been wronged, whether by an individual, a group, a social system, or even by God.

And every one of us has been tempted to see ourselves as victims. Nearly all of us have then felt anger, and most of us have sought revenge, either directly or indirectly. Others have harboured the poisonous feelings within, often fantacizing or simply wishing ill on the other, or even deciding on behalf of some punishing God that that person will be punished.

Yet others of us decide that as ‘good’ people/Christians/Buddhists or whatever we believe is good, that we should forgive the thief, murderer, rapist or other perpetrator of their deed. After all, those are the teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as other great teachers throughout time and earth space.

Yes, forgiveness has been taught, but those that taught it did not intend forgiveness to be in any way linked with goodness, kindness or even love.  Not directly, in any case. In fact, the greatest teachers who taught forgiveness were beyond such judgmental polarities of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, warning of the dangers of judgment, regardless whether of self, another or companions.

Forgiveness is not to be linked to “Goodness”

Let’s see what happens when you try to be a good person, Christian, or ‘good’ whatever by ‘forgiving’. This ‘forgiving’ involves certain basic assumptions, the first that you are ‘good’, and the other, ‘bad’, The second, more fundamental one is that you are a victim, a victim of another, or of fate, ‘karma’ or some other victimizing force which has singled you out. Not, as you truly are, a co-creator of your Life Circumstances.

What then is forgiveness, its purpose, and its benefits?

Forgiveness, to put it simply, is the act of refusing to invest time and energy in a person or circumstance that you see as being outside of your-self. This frees your energy to focus instead on promoting your own joy unconditionally.

In order to do this requires, nay, demands one thing; the unremitting commitment to be fully powerful and self determining. Not giving any of your power away.

Many people foolishly think that revenge is the ‘manly/strong/honourable’ way of putting grievances right. In light of our path we can see it is the precise opposite. Revenge is the total delegation of power to another, to the extent of creating even further turbulence in your life, with con-sequences (con=with), whether legal, psycho-spiritual, counter revenge or all of these which could not only affect you, but your family and others who care for you.

Revenge is the Total Delegation of Power to Another

Road rage is a simple fast developing example, where many a traffic indiscretion has started a sequence from cursing to somebody being killed. How do you respond when someone commits a traffic indiscretion? Have you noticed the state of your body, your heartbeat, blood pressure your expression, your driving ability, your behaviour etc, when you react indignantly, as opposed to just driving on, retaining your peace and composure? Notice how you drive when you drive in a hurry or bad mood compared to when you feel serene.

If you have read the article on gratitude and are now reading this one, would it be fair to assume that you are by implication accepting that we are co responsible, in a conscious or unconscious way, for our life circumstances?

By this definition, when we find ourselves being challenged to forgive, is it not ourselves who we are finding it difficult to forgive? Just as we have projected enough self dislike to create someone that acts out our self punishment, is our issue with forgiveness not merely an unwillingness to forgive ourselves, again projected outwards? The Course of Miracles goes as far as to categorically state that All forgiveness is self forgiveness, and, at an even deeper level, if we are truly non judgmental, of ourselves in particular, there is nothing to forgive!

All Forgiveness is Self Forgiveness

Being forgiving and acknowledging that every incident in everybody’s life is a self created reflection does not mean that we remain passive when we see what we perceive to be an injustice to ourselves or another. At the ‘now’ moment of it occurring, we are entitled to do what we can, in relation to the perceived threat, to stop it. No more. (the principle of ‘justifiable force’)

It is not for us to punish if we choose to remain centered in our power (rather than externally reactive). Remember that re (en) activity goes on in perpetuity until you choose to stop it, and the earlier the easier, less painful and better. ‘Vendettas’, from an inter family dispute to a national and international level have self perpetuated long after the initial grievance has been forgotten even amongst total strangers on opposite sides of the earth!.

This repetitiveness is exactly what happens when we do not take personal responsibility for our lives. When we give our power away. We will beat up (literally or figuratively) our perceived enemy, only to create another one. Or marry yet another abusive spouse after divorcing the previous one.

However, as soon as we truly for-give, we give for ourselves the freedom from this condition. We end the cycle of setting ourselves up in this way, having taken response-ability. We change. We change the people we attract. We change the way they relate (reflect) to us, the way we relate to them, and the way we respond. Always self centered. To quote Cyndi Krupp, forgiveness is the ultimate in selfishness.

When We Forgive, We Free Our-Selves. It is the Ultimate in Selfishness

You may now ask. ‘What about the law?’ Should I not challenge someone legally if I feel that I have been wronged? Should I not testify in court in a criminal case?

The answer to that is that legal consequences are part of the implied agreement of us living in a society, and have nothing to do with forgiveness.

Should you consider filing a suit against someone, consider the cost versus possible benefits and entrust the lawyer to fight the case. Separate your issue from the accused. The accused is merely the agent. Be selfish enough as to not disperse your energy to the accused. Be selfish enough to be forgiving, dispassionate. Be in the here and Now. Let go of all attachment to the outcome.

The example of the traumatized girls in the previous article is a perfect example. Their attitudinal healing and subsequent forgivingness led to a life far more powerful and joyful than before the traumatic event, to the extent that, given the choice, they categorically stated that, given the chance, they would not erase the event as part of their lives.

I am not promising you that you will find forgivingness easy. I am, however promising you that it is well worth the effort, and will result in life lived powerfully and joyfully, and (thus unavoidably) to the ultimate benefit of all.

The choice is yours….

——————————————————————
Another excerpt on the art of living from an upcoming book by Apollo (more to follow)

Apollo Pampallis, Therapist and Philosopher, can be contacted at apollo@discoveringthenow.com or by leaving him a comment below…

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16 Responses to “Forgiveness: Good People Don’t Forgive by Apollo Pampallis”

  1. Ruth Read says:

    Very nicely stated. I often asked about forgiveness. My idea was to forgive but remove myself from a person’s presence. Just choose to be elsewhere than where they are. My husband says that if you forgive someone that means that they continue to be as before. Your friend? I don’t think so. I asked “so if your bookkeeper stole lots of money and you found out would he/she stay your book keeper? Or friend? I think I could forgive, but I would not really want him/her counting my money anymore. This has been a disagreement of ours for years. I don’t shove a cold shoulder at the person or be rude; on the other hand I am not accepting a lunch invitation. Am I wrong about this? I think I really like how you stated this.

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  2. This guy is legendary. Both articles have come into my life at the most synchronistic moments.
    Gratitude vs Gratefulness – really set the mindset for this article. In having the cycle of outward blaming I had identified that I needed to forgive (intellectually decided) and now having read that it’s not a ‘SHOULD’ cause that’s what good people do… It’s allowed me to do this for myself. no one else.

    Thanks so much – APOLLO PAMPALLIS!!

    ~N

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  3. hi apollo. thank you. another incredibly insightful and well written contribution. i am totally with you on how the important thing is the unremitting commitment to be fully powerful and self determining. amen! its so darn easy to flip over into victim mentality and then think we need to forgive. thats all backwards. have you ever heard of or practiced hooponopono? its a native hawaiian cleansing method that is bizarrely simple and gives me back all my power by powerfully acknowledging that i am responsible for everything, literally. you can read about it in joe vitale’s zero limits book. keep sharing your writing and get that book out! i am doing a series of video interviews of teachers of the how to create consciously. are you in the states any time soon? regards cynthia savage

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  4. Excellent article. I not only agree fully, but have been teaching and writing basically the same thoughts for a long time. Each however will awaken in their own time. However we are now in a time of awakening for all, with great and massive energy changes over this Earth. The higher we vibrate, the higher we cause others to vibrate. The higher the vibrations, the more love. And love, is never lost. Even if you thihk it is not accepted or wasted, all love goes back to the source, and then is return to you, so you might love more :-)

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  5. Guni Hinchey says:

    This article is the missing link to my understanding of being ruthless with ‘forgiving myself for judging myself for…….’(whatever the case may be in the situation)
    A true eye opener and antidote for beating myself up, injuring and hurting myself in various different ways.
    I never really understood when to defend myself or when to ‘shut up’. The principle of ‘justifiable force’ allows me to stand up for myself at that point in time, this is so much more acceptable to me.
    Thank you Apollo, I will read this again and again. With much love G

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  6. Jill says:

    Thanks for the article. I like to think about the concept of self forgiveness. My belief is that it is never necessary to forgive ourselves for perceived wrongdoings in the past. To do this implies that we were knowingly putting negative thoughts into action. I know that at all times we are just simply doing whatever we can to deal with the immediate situation at hand, in the best way we have available to us, in accordance with our level of awareness. This is true even when our actions could be viewed as wrong by another person.
    When we accept that if we had had other options we would have acted differently, we can then find peace in the knowledge that we are always expanding, always becoming more as we experience life, and that we are always perfect as we are.
    Its a powerful tool in trusting that life is unfolding exactly as it should, and removes the need to “work” on ourselves.

    Thanks
    Jill M

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  7. Melissa says:

    Thank you, Apollo, and thank you for hearing me.
    I am truly anxious to read your book.
    I have been digesting this since yesterday, this has been a very confusing subject…as is the gratitude thing, Frankl is an inspiration, I should read that again.
    It is so true that by focusing on the wrong it zaps you of your power.. and sense of freedom. And it can return and return. End up wallowing in self disgust. Not good. Selfless drivel.
    There is still a “core” ingredient I am not getting. Maybe that is none of my business. Parasites do exist, and quite frankly thrive. Yes, the choice not to be a host is ours, or is it?

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  8. Apollo Pampallis says:

    we can find a mirror
    RESPONSE FROM APOLLO
    Thank you all for your responses. As this is an open forum, please keep in mind that while I may be responding to individual people, the answers are for everyone.

    RUTH
    Hi Ruth! Yes, you understand the principle of forgiveness. By refusing to react or respond in any way to a ‘perpetrator’, whether being ‘horrible’/vindictive/angy, or ‘nice’ (such as responding to invitations), you are regaining your power.
    It is not for us to try to influence the behaviour of another. Your husband does not understand the principle of forgiveness, by placing the power for a situation he created (or at least co-created) on another individual. By so doing, while the same individual may not be the agent that hurts you again, by not taking responsibility or response-ability, you are setting yourself up again for repeating the scenario with somebody else, in much the same way that a woman, having divorced a ‘wife beater’ tends to create another wife beater in subsequent relationships.
    Forgiveness is about (personal) awareness. Accepting what we attracted in a previous state, letting it go and shifting our awareness to attract different circumstances and people.
    Teach what you know, for those ‘who have ears to hear’.

    NADENE
    Thank you Nadine. I honour your courage and creative power to manifest my writings at this auspicious time for you. As the saying goes, when the student is ready…

    CYNTHIA
    Hi Cynthia!I have heard of hooponopono.It is indeed most inspired. There are many traditions to self realization. We adopt the system that flows best with us. The ancient Greeks, too, had an understanding of which we are only starting to scratch the surface, as is also the case with other ancient Sources. I am recommitting to getting my books out. While I have had no plans to visit the USA it appears that the possibility is becoming stronger, and would be delighted to work with you on your series. I am confident that your work as Messenger will have a profound impact on humanity. I invite you to email me….

    ERNIE
    Hi Ernie! Love is indeed the Primal Essence, but in my understanding the most misunderstood. I feel that there is a lot that we as a robotically conditioned race ‘have’, to unlearn before we get there, otherwise our understanding of Love is tainted and compromised from the outset.

    GUNI
    Hi Guni! Yes to standing up to what is ‘right’ according to your understanding of the moment. The principle of ‘justifiable force’ is a spontaneous response which has not had the time to be contaminated by ‘default robotic programming’ (victimhood/anger/right/wrong, good/bad etc) which kick in immediately thereafter. It applies only in that particular moment of the Now. That requires Presence.

    JILL
    Hi Jill. The very fact that you have perceived your past actions as ‘wrongdoings’ is a judgment. Forgiving involves a retraction of this judgment and your entrapment in the past. Letting them go. In order to let something go we need to accept its presence first. Accepting is not dwelling on. It is the opposite. Denying is a form of dwelling on and energizing. The only way we can get anywhere, whether geographically or ‘spiritually’ is to accept where we are at any point in time. At a deeper level, yes, we get to the point where as I wrote, there is nothing to forgive.

    MELISSA
    Dear Melissa, I recommit to getting the book out soon! For now, accept yourself unconditionally, Knowing that, despite appearances, it is all very simple, and that it is that ego pat of us that wants us confused. Accept that, too, and it will lose its power
    The ‘core’ that you are not getting is like looking for your nose. The more you look out, the more you look right past it! However, being aware of how we reflect in our life circumstances (the things that we literally ‘stand around us’) without prejudice (pre judgment)

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  9. Melissa says:

    You are something, so clear. I am grateful, yes, I meant grateful :) .
    The ego is relentless, so it is that nasty little voice that has me confused… begone you meddler.
    I hope your book discusses that one and love and the ancients….
    I sense that it does, we need you. For now, you are making me smile.
    Thank you.

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  10. Apollo Pampallis says:

    ;-)

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  11. Dee says:

    Thanks Apollo; you are AWESOME! The line that particularly resonates with me is “we have projected enough self dislike to create someone that acts out our self punishment”. I’ve added you to my Council Table, so if you get an eerie feeling of participating in a Napoleon Hill style brainstorming session, it might be me.

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  12. Shankar says:

    Hey Apollo,
    Thanks for the article. Every time I read about Forgiveness, it reinforces my determination to forgive. I do not remember when I started forgiving others (or self, as you explain it), but what I observe is that it gets easier to forgive people once you start doing it. What I mean to say is that if you have a long list of people to be forgiven, It is difficult to forgive the first person in the list – there is always a resistence – and this resistence starts clearing as you go down the list. It can mean only one thing: the names on the list are immaterial, but our attitude towards resistence is all that matters.
    I have only one name in my list now. God has helped me this far in forgiving all others. I feel stuck here. Can you guide me here?

    Thanks again.

    Shankar, India

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  13. Sounds like surrender to me!! Thanks Apollo!

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  14. Patricia says:

    sharing something I read,

    We all have a lot of baggage to unload, especially from early childhood. It would be great if we were taught empowering relationship skills, but that usually isn’t the case. So we find ourselves struggling.

    Unfortunately a quick fix approach isn’t enough to create lasting change. We have to go deeper inside and deal with the limiting beliefs and negative programming that were installed long ago. We have to transform ourselves from the inside-out. This isn’t easy, but it does produce positive results over time

    It’s the main issue humanity is facing. Most people do not even realize how much baggage they have to unload. Depending on their environment, for example ,I was raised in Canada, the government, supports the people, education, health, and social issues, (not alot of baggage) only what is family environment. However, living in Greece, after the age of 30, finding people with alot of baggage, no support from the government, and alot of family issues. It took me a long time to try to figure out how and why they think in a negative way, after my own personal issues, and looking for answers, (read alot, Secret, Hill, Haanle, etc, which I have great results!!) I am now at the point of understanding the why’s, and am at peace.

    Loved your article
    Keep up the great work!!!
    Patricia

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  15. delly says:

    Hi Apollo,
    I find your articles really stimulate my thinking. I am going through an extremely challenging time in my life, and am becoming really conscious of how I react, behave, think and so on. I have been ashamed at some of my past behaviour towards my partner and sought his forgiveness. He is full of anger at the moment, and I feel he is judging me on who I was then, rather than who I am now. I suppose my question is this, in your article you said ‘if we are truly non judgmental, of ourselves in particular, there is nothing to forgive!’ Does not this oppose the purpose of forgiving yourself? (and in turn forgiving and accepting that other people (such as partners) will not open up and forgive both us and themselves?)
    Regards, Delly

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  16. SUNNY says:

    self forgiveness most tough issue on earth,lot off issues are there
    ,for every part off life needed forgiveness, opposite off society belief, which program or hammer through education and media, off non forgiveness, god forgive us, why society or mass people not learned importance off forgiveness.issue is very big thanks god or our soul decided to learn self forgiveness lesson.it not easy in this judgemental world.to forgive and accept us as we are.we are being
    our journey is temporary on earth,in this materialistic society who should tell them only god is answer let pray and ask to heal us.

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