Every night, I set an intention that life be forgiving to all who are learning and trying to move in this world.
My younger son, who hears me pray this intention, asks why I don’t pray for myself. My son has love for Jesus and reads a Bible-quote book he got somewhere on his own, although we are not a Christian household. My son reminds me of when I started talking about meditation and enlightenment (prior to the Internet), and my family was not an Eastern-philosophy or Eastern-religion household. Something in my son drew him to his beliefs. I support my son in his discovery process.
We had a conversation about how we are all “pieces” of this Divine, regardless of religion. I do not call myself by any religion, but this quote from the Bible seemed pertinent:
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
We honor our true nature by seeing the Divine in ourselves and by attempting to understand our human experience. My son and I get past words by exchanging direct experience of what we feel (not just emotionally, but in terms if awareness). In our conversations we just share with each other. We calibrate our experiences and thoughts directly. And we learn about where each of us is.
Teachings, such as those of Jesus or Buddha, help us to realize the love and compassion of which we are capable. Life is challenging, no doubt, and negativity, sarcasm, vein-slitting wit, and blatant attacks have come to be seen as normal in our society (and for centuries). We are often looking at the “trees,” but there is a “forest” after all.
Back to the question – why do I pray, or intend, or invoke forgiveness of life processes toward humanity? Everyone makes mistakes, often unconsciously at first. Our culture is typically unforgiving toward mistakes. Most mistakes (and I am not talking about crimes that violate or harm others) are about people not knowing how to navigate life situations and relationships.
For mistakes, our culture wills harm and ill-will toward those who are unskilled at life-surfing. Then, the “perpetrators” are hurt emotionally when they are ostracized, marginalized, put down, and laughed at – all of which leads an individual to feel “down” (and, perhaps, “out”).
Forgiveness requires understanding at ever-deepening levels of someone else. Empathy, which has nothing to do with sympathy, must be cultivated for us to be able to naturally relate to the lives of others. Contrary to most scientific views of empathy as a combination of astute observation skills and mental processing to project another’s experiences, there are more efficient ways to be empathic. For example, it is possible to attune oneself to signals another is transmitting (and not just on the physical, emotional, and mental planes), and project those signals onto oneself – to experience another’s experience directly.
Those who are born at a young age with the tendency toward this level of empathy become quickly overwhelmed and may even lose sanity as the result of exposure to the energy of others. Adults who do not know about this phenomenon will not know how to support these children.
I was one of such children. My younger son is another. My older – not so much. All three of us are very close. As a child, I had to work hard to deal with constant “noise.” Movies and shows, which portray the phenomenon of being inundated with “people,” often illustrate this accurately. No, it is not necessarily schizophrenia, although one should be evaluated by a doctor if “hearing” and “seeing” without sound and “light” is happening.
Empath children must be supported in learning how to navigate the turbulent waters of the Astral plane, which is what they are learning to surf. For some, gateways should be temporarily closed, at least, so that they don’t lose connection with the physical plane.
Empaths who are flexible in reflecting others onto themselves, and without invading the fields of others or “digging” within others uninvited, are balanced. They know, first-hand, the pain of making mistakes, the pain of those disappointed or hurt, and the pain experienced by the ones who took the missteps – during the lash-back. From this perspective, it becomes truly impossible to want life to be anything but forgiving for all who are trying to make things right. When someone realizes what they have done to upset another, there can only be forgiveness. But, if a person who feels wronged has limited capacity to understand another, they bite back like threatened animals, or to hammer the nail into the proverbial coffin.
It is true that a person may have to experience repeated setbacks to start reflecting upon oneself. Otherwise, if there are no consequences, people just do whatever.
Our society is a natural symphony of checks and balances, and this is good. People should speak up to advocate for their birthright to be treated as valuable individuals with potential to be developed. People must stand up for what feels right or wrong to them and get feedback from others. However, we – as the human race – are not very skilled at doing this productively and with a woven-in element of forgiveness. Most people do not even know their own value.
Forgiveness is an ancient teaching, and volumes could be written today on what a personal experience of forgiveness could be like, in the face of also holding true to oneself. The common adage that “we all have truth within ourselves” is only partly true – when the gateway to this truth is closed, our “inner” truth is useless or distorted. We must open up first, open to who we are and our possibilities, our individuality, and our lives together with others. I pray for this opening to occur when the time is right, and give energy to the energy “bank” that will be used for catalyzing this opening, so to speak.
My prayers are the intentioned and conscious giving of energy to the evolution and growth of the humane race. It is not a willed forcing of events. I know that universal processes (as seen from this level) must have a critical mass of elements in place to occur (just like enlightenment), including the energy needed to enact these processes. For me, prayer is about paying it forward and giving back.
I’ve interacted with people long enough to see that I can help individual lives press through obstacles, and I also know when to let them be. Universal processes? Well, I may not live in this form long enough to see them occur…. That makes no difference to me.