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The Heart of Forgiveness

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” ~ Luke 23:34

There is a difference between spirit and Holy Spirit. Spirit is the vital principle or animating force within all living things. Holy Spirit is the universal nature of this animating force which exists as the unifying and creative force. As an individual, we are born with presence and a reactive emotional system. Through stimulus and response, we gain learn what we like and don’t like and then begin to assert our personal power to get what we like. We can only learn through experience. So, if we experience love, we learn about love. If we experience chaos, abuse, or privilege, we learn about them. These experiences form our sense of self and shape our spirit, the motivating force of our lives.

By nature, as a child our experiences begin with an exploration of relationship with self, family, and home environment. As we get older, we begin to form beliefs and understanding about life through our personal experiences. We learn how to function in life outside of family and home in order to get what we want. Self-actualization is actually the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potential shaped by our life experiences.

In reference to spirit, it is common to refer to our personal spirit within form with a lower case “s” and universal spirit with an upper case “S.” We can apply this same method to all references to personal and universal qualities. We can have a sense of personal self and we can have an awareness of a universal “Self.” And, in that same sense, we can gain a self-actualization and a Self-Actualization. The former being the actualization of our own talents and potential, and the later being the actualization of universal talents and potential.

In regards to our relationship with God, you could use the same concept. We can form a personal relationship with god, or a personal relationship with God. A relationship with god is shaped by our personal experiences while our relationship with God is shaped by relationship with a Universal experience of God in all people, places, and things.

If we are interested in Self-Actualization, there is a need to learn to be present, not only to self, but to the Self in all other. This is always the result of opening to a Love greater than a self-love. Self-love (with an “s”) is experienced through our mind and emotions. Universal Love, Self-Love, is experienced through our awareness of an all-inclusive Presence.

Within Presence is Forgiveness.

Jesus was able to ask the Father to forgive because of his Father’s Presence. He was Present beyond himself to the condition of others. And, through his Experience of others, he was able to understand the reasons for their actions. They just didn’t know of a reality beyond their greed, judgement, and fear. He also saw how their reality was shaped by their suffering. They simply did not know another way of being. It hadn't been a part of their life experience.

This is the reality of life. We would all behave differently if we truly knew what we were doing. We live within a Universally connected reality. Every action has an effect within the whole that shapes our experience and our sense of self. Call it karma. When we gain the ability to be present to Presence, the Universal connectedness, we begin to learn about Loving Action. We learn that Loving Action is not based in emotions. It is based in the Presence of Being - of connectedness much different from a self-absorbed emotional love. Connected Love is Compassionate, Freeing, and Fulfilling.

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