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Forgive others, if you seek forgiveness for yourself

April 22
20:41 2011

Paul Brunton

The law of recompense (karma) is not a vindictive one. It does not, as some believe, express the Hebraic “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”. If it did there would be no hope that humanity could expiate its dark karma or escape from the tangled web which it wove around itself in the past.

The actuality is that as soon as it comes to the full understanding and deep conviction that wrong-doing must be abandoned and as soon as its character, conscience, intelligence and balance are sufficiently developed, it frees itself from the consequences of its mistaken past.

In other words by changing itself, its mentality and its feelings it creates a new and powerful cause, while the law itself produces the new effect of that cause, which is to bring an end to the dark karma inherited from its ignorant past.

In this sense there is a forgiveness of its sins, which is a different sense from the merely sentimental form of wishful thinking that, in religious circles, misuses the idea of forgiveness.

The past cannot be totally wiped out, even when its legacy can be modified. With the aspirant, forgiveness applies only to a specific sin or a specific group of sins. With the adept, it applies to the totality of all his sins.

For the first is still carrying his unfulfilled self-earned recompense entwined round his neck, because he is still carrying his ego. But the second is liberated from the burden because he is liberated from its hidden core, the ego.

In dealing with those people who have fallen victims to the suggestion of malevolent forces; whether continuously or intermittently, we must remember not to condemn, resent or hate.

We all carry a load of wrong-doing out of the far past yet we are always ready to seek forgiveness of this heavy recompense. If we are not ourselves prepared to forgive those who wrong us, we have no right to expect the remission of our own sins.

This in fact is a spiritual law. All those who seek forgiveness for themselves, should follow the rule of forgiveness in their dealing with others. Every time they have to endure hatred from men, they are given the chance to learn goodwill towards men. Where others find only poison, they are to find its antidote.

But these are not the only grounds for such an attitude. There is another and one not less solid. Each man’s thought contributes its little mite to the world’s store, makes it better or worse. He is responsible for his own thoughts and if he is on the spiritual path he must try to keep them constructive, positive and harmonious, not destructive, negative and discordant. Darkness has no positive existence in itself. It is simply the lack of light.

Just so, ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge and evil is simply the lack of good. And just as the only way to get rid of darkness is to bring a light into it, whether by switching on a lamp or opening a window, so the only way to remove evil from the world’s thinking and eliminate the ignorance that promotes it, is to bring more good thought and spread more spiritual knowledge in the world.

As man unfolds his diviner characteristics, he sheds his grosser ones. By his own labors in self-improvement, he prepares the way for the entry of God’s redemptive grace.

Paul Brunton

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