Yasuhiko Genku Kimura (Writing on Facebook)
December 31, 2015

A conversation with someone on the subject of victimhood reminded me of an article I wrote in 2009 based on the lecture I had given on forgiveness. Before starting the new year, before starting a new chapter of your life and a new phase of our history, let us forgive and free ourselves from our past:

On Forgiveness

December 20, 2009 at 7:04am

Question: I understand the importance of forgiveness but I find it difficult to forgive some people and myself. How can I forgive?
Answer: 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 judgment 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-cum-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 unforgivingness 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 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 egological 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 unforgivingness 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.
For this reason, militant feminists have never forgiven and never want to forgive men-qua-victimizer and themselves—womanliness as such and womanhood-qua-victimhood. Race-conscious black people have never forgiven and never want to forgive white people-qua-victimizer and themselves—being black-qua-being a victim.
The other side of the story is that men are made to feel guilty or that white people are made to feel guilty. Thus the perceived victimizers become victimized by their victims, and out of their guilty consciousness they do things to appease their guilt and please their victims.
“Politicians” from all walks of life—governments, the media, the academe, the entertainment industry, and the religious/spiritual community—cleverly exploit this psychology of victimhood to achieve their self-serving goals in the name of “compassion,” “empathy,” “social justice,” “(racial or gender) equality,” “the rights,” or “altruism.” This is why I say that politics is “poly (many) ticks (small bloodsucking parasitic bugs, many of which transmit febrile disease).”
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 codependency 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. Forgiveness involves a transformative breaking of karmic patterns and breaking free of samsāra. On “karma” and “samsāra” the great Buddhist scholar Herbert Guenther writes in From Reductionism to Creativity: rDzogs-chen and the New Science of Mind:
In responding to a challenge, an individual not only reacts to, but also acts on, the given situation. This reacting-to and acting-on has been given the code name karma. There is reciprocity between karma and affective processes. The latter severely restrict an individual’s actions and any attempts to restructure his world view. They trap him in samsāra, a term that very aptly suggests running around in circles. Karma reinforces the affective processes, which then quickly decide which actions they will support and perpetuate. It is this combination of headlong actions and affective processes that makes us live out the program termed “a human existence.” It does not, however, leave room for the possibility of individual self-transcendence, which requires a radical change 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 egological human existence, which is condemned to the confines of samsāra and karmic repetitions, 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 your 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 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. Forgiving 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 kinds of negative external influences—and innerstanding that your higher truth is, untouched by any illusions or delusions.

Ultimately to forgive means to hold the whole of humanity within yourself as yourself. To forgive means to hold the whole world within yourself as yourself. To forgive means to hold nothing as external and uphold everything as internal to yourself. Therefore to forgive is to be free.
The world, it holds thee not;
thou art thyself the world that holds thee, in thee, with thee,
so strongly captive bound.
Angelus Silesius
“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” and another human being of whom “you” are the victim and 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 on which this dichotomy exists.
The “you” who is held in the world by the world will remain imprisoned in samsāra and condemned to circular karmic repetitions of unforgivingness and of incomplete and inauthentic forgivingness. It is when you experience real suffocation in merely subsisting in samsāra, utter boredom in your endless karmic repetitions, and total disillusionment with your egological existence that you will begin to self-initiate the development of a trans-egological will. Then, only then, you will begin to see Reality aright beyond your egological construct.
Reality is That Which Is. Reality is that which is eternal, immutable, and unchanging. Everything else is simply an appearance. To misconceive appearance as reality is delusion and the secondary universe that is created by and from delusion is illusion. Reality thus defined is another name for Heaven or Nirvana; illusion thus defined is another name for hell or samsāra.
Forgiveness becomes an issue only in the world of delusion-illusion—of samsāra. In Reality there exists no evil or sin, and therefore in Reality there exists no perpetrator or victim. In Reality there is absolutely no one whom you ever have to forgive. In Reality eternal Love-and-Light alone gives forth (fore-gives), which is the very Life of your authentic higher Self.
You are forgiven; all is forgiven, already and always. Wake up to Reality and rejoice in Life.

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