Beliefs stemming from participation in this paradigm include the understanding that we are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depending on whether or not we make the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices. Evidence of whether or not we made the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice is often identified by whether or not those choices caused an ‘injury’ to self or others. We learn this quickly and early on in life because the voices of authority that surround us; our primary caregivers, teachers, ministers, politicians, and the media, are quick to point out when the choices we make are considered either ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. As a result, we learn in the earliest stages of development, through these projections and their subsequent imprinting, how to judge ourselves and others which includes the need to say “I’m sorry” and to ask for forgiveness from 'the other' for our perceived, injurious actions.
These beliefs continue to reinforce the self-judgements that are at the root of all of our dis-ease expressions and subsequent suffering. Much of the focus in the initial sessions I facilitate for my clients is about ‘unlearning’ all of this conditioning in order to begin the healing process of integrating those aspects of the self that are separate from and in opposition to each other as a result of these projections and subsequent, self-imposed judgments.
When we move beyond the dualistic paradigm and its inherent conditioning, there no longer exists the duality of right/wrong, good/bad, or the need for punishment/redemption. Beyond dualism is a very different understanding of what we refer to as forgiveness. To further explore these concepts and help increase our understanding and awareness on this subject; I have transcribed the following article entitled, On Forgiveness. It was written by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura who is a philosopher, cosmologist, Buddhist priest and scholar, and is an author in the fields of philosophy, ethics, science, and business:
“The spiritual action that is forgiving is a transformational movement of human consciousness. Forgiveness ultimately means to attain to the state of consciousness in which the act of forgiving as such is rendered unnecessary.
When you are unforgiving you are simultaneously playing the victim and the judge. You feel convinced that you are right about your judgement and justified about your victimhood. When you feel convinced that you are righteous and justified, it is well-nigh impossible to give up your position of a victim and judge, for you do not see any compelling reason or feel any impelling desire to give it up.
The only problem is that you are bound to experience suffering. Although you feel self-righteous and self-justified, suffering is inherent in unforgiveness because it contains emotional pollutants such as anger, resentment, and sorrow, which beget unceasing internal friction, conflict, and disharmony.
When the victim is the righteous judge who decides the verdict, the verdict is a foregone conclusion -- that the perceived perpetrator is guilty and to be condemned. When you are unforgiving of yourself, you feel victimized by your own victimhood and therefore the real perpetrator exists ultimately elsewhere outside of you and is other than you.
Victim consciousness is the default mode of human consciousness while ego-logical consciousness is the default program. The human ego thrives on being self-righteous. Hence forgiveness is for many people extremely difficult. They would rather continue to suffer from anger, resentment, or sorrow so long as they can derive an ego-logical pleasure from feeling self-righteous and self-justified.
You have not yet forgiven yourself or others because in your subjective scale the pleasure that you derive from the state of unforgiveness outweighs the suffering that you experience. In fact, as G.I. Gurdjieff used to say, suffering is the last thing that people are willing to give up, for the human ego subsists on generated internal friction and no human experience generates internal friction more than, and as surely as, suffering.
What does it mean to forgive? To forgive means to give up your self-righteousness for what is truly right. To forgive means to give up your victimhood for self-responsibility and authenticity. To forgive means to give up your psychological dependency or co-dependency for spiritual independence and sovereignty. To forgive means to give up the negative pleasure of your suffering for the positive joy of living.
Forgiveness requires a transformational shift in attitude. We say that we want to forgive but in truth we don’t want to forgive, for with forgiving we have to give up the presumption as well as the pleasure of moral self-righteousness and existential self-justification – two of the primary pillars that support the evanescent edifice of the human ego.
Therefore, unless you self-generate a will to transcend an ego-logical human existence, you will stay unforgiving for the rest of your life to the degree to which your ego demands for its subsistence.
Forgiveness does not imply condonation or consent. When someone commits an unjust action upon you or loved ones, in forgiving him, you are not condoning or overlooking his responsibility nor are you consenting or acquiescing to his action.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with the thoughts and actions of others but only with yourself – your authentic, higher self which is the seat of love and is your inner heaven. Forgiveness arises when you gain the light of insight that so long as you remain unforgiving, you are bound to condemn yourself to the inner hell of your own making.
The spiritual act of forgiveness comes from the state of spiritual independence, sovereignty, and freedom. Forgiveness implies knowing that your authentic self is independent of, and free from, thoughts and actions of others – understanding that your inner well-being is uncontaminated by, and immune from, any kind of negative external influences.
“How can I forgive?” This very question reveals a division, a dichotomy, a distance, between a ‘you’ who wants to forgive and another ‘you’ who does not, and between ‘you’ who is the victim and another human being against whose action ‘you’ are the judge. No resolution, no forgiveness is possible for the ‘you’ who asks this question from the level of consciousness in which this dichotomy exists.
Ultimately to forgive means to hold the whole of humanity within yourself as yourself. Forgiveness means to give light for darkness, to give love for hatred, and to give awareness for ignorance. To forgive means to hold nothing as external and uphold everything as internal to yourself. Therefore, to forgive is to be free."