The Compassion Gained Through Forgiveness Binds
Q(1): There is a subtle level of violence that people use against each other.
R: Verbal violence?
Q(1): In particular in a couple in a relationship.
R: You are not necessarily referring only to mainstream society are you? You are meeting people who are supposedly ‘working on themselves’ ... doing workshops, therapies, engaged in the spiritual search and so on?
Q(1): ‘Supposedly’, yes. I just think there hasn’t been ... there’s no depth to their search. I think there is a level of therapy and working on yourself that is very superficial. It is usually accompanied by lots of emotional highs, breath work and massage – ‘feel-good’ sort of stuff – and the main exercise in it is the ‘feel-good’ therapy. There is very little depth in what people are looking at. Very little self-appraisal, for essentially the main emphasis on that sort of work is to gain an instant sort of ... you’re going to have a ‘hit’ for the weekend – or something or another. To devote real time and energy into changing yourself ... I know from myself that there was very little learned and applied in my relationships when it got down to the nitty-gritty of actually doing something.
R: In that twelve years – or fifteen years – that you were engaged in the whole spiritual search?
Q(1): Yes. I ended up having terrible relationships ... not being able to talk, to share, to discuss sex, for example, to dig into things, to understand ...
R: Why do you consider that is what happens in those circles? Because is it not intensive stuff, those encounter groups? They would put themselves through the hoops, would they not?
Q(2): Everybody would only go as far as they would want to go. The method can be still all right, but if I don’t want to go further ...
R: The method could be all right?
Q(2): Yes, the method could be that I learn not to blame the other for what I do to myself – and I get the tool but I don’t use it.
R: And everybody who has done these groups is like that? They don’t use the tool properly?
Q(2): No, but most people don’t.
Q(1): So who ...
Q(2): But then I know people who are really looking for a challenge, who really apply it ... and that works. But that means, that if I don’t blame the other I have to look for what mistake did I make that it doesn’t work.
R: So, do you know anybody, personally, in all the people you have associated with over the years, who has penetrated into what love is made up of, what compassion is made up of, what surrender is made up of, what trust is made up of, what loyalty is made up of, what gratitude is ... none of those things are ever questioned in these groups are they? They are accepted, without thought, as being ...
Q(2): Love is kind of looked at, but in levels of love ...
R: But love itself is never questioned.
Q(2): No, there is called a higher love.
R: ‘Higher Love’. This ‘Higher Love’ is never questioned? And compassion, gratitude, trust, loyalty ...
Q(2): Loyalty is because there is the loyalty to family to cut ...
R: What about loyalty itself?
Q(2): Mmm ... I don’t know if it ever came up.
R: I remember you and I having a conversation about loyalty the second or third time you came here. You were realising that you had loyalty to hold you back
Q(2): Yes, it took a while for me to work through. It is a feeling of belonging, and when I dismantled what loyalty is made up of then it loses its virtue.
R: It is connected with belonging? To a particular group? So all these group therapies that people do, they would not question that loyalty, would they? Because they belong to that very group that is running the therapies. The whole thing of the commune.
Q(2): It’s a new loyalty – away from the family and toward the commune.
R: Whereas I am only interested in being rid of loyalty altogether – however strange that may initially seem.
Q(2): But still I would say that therapies take the outer-most layers off ... to even start questioning is good ... to start questioning patterns, to start questioning relationship ... or to start questioning your loyalty to something else. So it does take some armour off. For me, I would still call it being a process of dis-armouring the ego or the identity.
Q(1): As it is a spiritual therapy it must be only looking at the ego. It wouldn’t touch the heart; examine love or compassion or whatever. They are held in high esteem in the spiritual world.
Q(2): Yes, but I still say it’s looking at the identity, except it’s the ego, not the soul.
Q(1): If you dissolve the ego, you get trapped in feelings, in love and compassion and bliss and awe ... so the therapy of the spiritual path will actually lead you into being trapped. The therapy that I did only gave me bliss through meditation, breath-work and ...
Q(2): But you only did the nice groups; you didn’t do the hell groups.
Q(1): So what did they do for you?
Q(2): Well, one in particular took me back into my childhood; into my relationship to my parents – especially into what makes you behave in the same way as them – or a contradictory way.
Q(1): Okay. Now my ex-wife did that course years ago – and to this day she is doing to her son what her mother did with her.
Q(2): That only means that it doesn’t work all the time.
R: I would like to meet somebody in whom it has worked. I have spoken with several people who have done that particular therapy and what I get from them as I ask what it is about; what is it that they get out of it; what is the therapy’s main thrust – one thing stands out: The end result is that one understands the reasons fro their parent’s behaviour and that one now feels compassion for them.
Q(1): Well, that’s what you do: you love them through forgiveness.
Q(2): And for me, forgiving means I’m finishing with that hate ... and the opposite of it.
Q(1): You’re finished with love?
Q(2): Hate and forgiveness is the same thing ... the opposite of hate ... with a parent it is forgiving them and having compassion. And to do both – first you emphasise the hate, then you emphasise the forgiveness. And for me that was a complete way of getting rid of both. Getting rid of the relationship to the parent – they’re not ‘The Parents’ any more. I’m not a ‘Child’ of my parents. I’m a free human being and I can actually decide what to do with my life and I’m not ... I can see this and this and this is a conditioning I got from them – and they didn’t know better – so I don’t need to hate them for it and I don’t need to forgive them for it ...
R: Good. For if you do forgive you are still trapped because forgiveness gives rise to ...
Q(2): No. Forgiveness is just there to balance the hate – because when you end up with just hating them you’re still trapped from the relationship.
R: Of course – trapped by hate. But the people who forgive have compassion. It is inevitable. Then one is trapped by the very compassion that seeks to cure the hate. There is still a relationship because compassion is but an antidote won through the act of forgiveness.
Q(2): For me it’s a completion. For me it eliminates the hate and the forgiveness. For if there is no hate, where is there forgiveness anymore? There is just an understanding that they live their life and I live my life.
R: Well, that is excellent then. Look at the parent’s situation and see that it is not their fault that they are as they are for they are the result of their parent’s conditioning and so on back into the mists of time. Everybody is a victim.
Q(2): It took me some time to integrate it – I had to do the group eight times!
R: Do you know of anyone else who has come to this understanding of absolutely no need for forgiveness of their parents? You are the first person I have met who has done this course who has said there is no need for forgiveness.
Q(2): I don’t know ... I would have to ask. I know there is no forgiveness because I’ve just visited my parents and there is nothing there.
R: Mmm ... because most people get trapped in the forgiveness – and the compassion which is the inevitable outcome. Therefore there is still a relationship, there is still a link, a connection. It is a heart connection. With this connection they still remain ‘parents’. They do not become what they actually are, which is fellow human beings.
Q(2): Well, if they were totally ‘fellow human beings’ for me, then I wouldn’t have gone to visit them. So there is still something there that I ...
R: So what is this connection?
Q(2): I don’t know ... well they spent twenty years bringing me up ... and ... and now they are in their seventies ...
R: Is there a loyalty?
Q(2): Yes. There is something there where I think I wouldn’t let them just ... you know ...
Q(1): Wouldn’t abandon them?
Q(2): No. The thing is, if I could see that they need help – and there is really no other way – then I would try to do something to help.
R: What is the nature of the loyalty to these two human beings who just happen to be your biological progenitors?
Q(2): That they took care of me ... in a way that I can be thankful to them about.
R: So is there a debt? I am the genetic parent of four human beings – and they do not owe me anything. If I need help in my old age, there are hospitals, social workers and so on. And if I would need emotional support – which I do not – then if I had not made friends of my own age and ilk who could come and stand by my bedside, then what manner of a person am I? To impose the burden of support upon my ‘children’ is abominable. There is something wrong with me in that I am dependent upon family loyalties – kinship – for my salvation. Yet it was I who decided to bring them into the world ... why would they owe me anything? They do not.
Q(2): Yes, that’s true, but my parents don’t have that understanding.
R: But you can have that understanding. The human beings who think and feel that they are my parents do not have this understanding and see me as their ‘son’, not as a fellow human being. But I do. Therefore my association with them is a free association – just like with yourself or anyone else. The same with my children – they are free agents whether they realise it or not. In fact, if I were to be ill and they came – with a bunch of flowers – and stood beside my hospital bed, I would wonder whether they have come to see me – or their ‘Father’. I am not their ‘Father’, I am me. Being a ‘father’ is a role and if I were silly enough to believe in that role and present that image, then they would be coming to connect with an image. I am not that role, nor do I present that image. I am me. Why would they want to see me? I am not of their generation, their ilk, their interests and so on. We have nothing in common whatsoever ... unless there is this family tie. And it is a tie that binds. Family loyalties lead to clan loyalties; tribal loyalties lead to national loyalties – and nationalism inevitably means war.
The word ‘mother’ and the word ‘father’ indicate a genetic progenitation, that is all. There is no such thing as ‘My Mother and Father’ as is commonly understood. Only fellow human beings. When I stop being a ‘father’ I set those human beings free of me whether they realise it or not. When I stop being a ‘son’ I set those human beings free of me also ... whether they realise it or not.
Q(2): I’ve been checking my relationship with my parents as you were talking and I can not get past their expectations.
R: Their expectations?
Q(2): Yes. In a way I have been trapped in that ... I don’t know ... ...
R: Like a dutiful daughter? Does that expression suggest anything?
Q(2): Am I acting? What am I doing?
R: Shall we put it this way: What is your investment in keeping these human beings your ‘Parents’? What is in it for you? What did you get out of your recent visit?
Q(2): I pacified them!
R: Yet you do not owe them anything.
Q(2): Yes, I have to look at why I feel I have to pacify them. They put out strong expectations ... and even though I am here on the other side of the world I still feel connected with them, with their life.
Q(1): Is that loyalty?
R: This is why I said ‘dutiful daughter’. I am exploring, I am not saying it is that.
Q(2): In a way it is that. I haven’t fulfilled many of their expectations.
R: What are these expectations? I have a pretty good notion, but I am interested in what you feel.
Q(2): That I keep connection, that I tell them what I am doing, that I am alive and fine.
R: Why did they bring you into the world?
Q(2): I don’t think they would know.
R: Mostly it is to become fulfilled – to attain to satisfaction. What better way than childbirth to get what is perceived to be ‘unconditional love’ than from a baby? If they are no longer ‘in love’? Or if they are ‘in love’ then the baby is an ‘expression of our love for each other’. The baby is felt to ‘cement our relationship’. This is all their words, not mine.
Q(2): I am to fulfil their unfulfilled live – their unfulfilled life?
R: This is the expectations that your parents have of you. Can you meet those expectations? Ever? Can you grant them fulfilment? It is impossible, is it not?
Q(1): It is an endless demand.
Q(2): As a baby I did.
R: No! You never did. It still was not enough for them. Only a person’s own freedom is the ultimate satisfaction and fulfilment. One can never get it from another – or from some god.
One can give unconditional love to another for twenty four hours a day – I have done this myself, years ago – and the other is still not satisfied. Initially thrilled, yes, but eventually it is not enough. Total acceptance, total appreciation, total love ... that is what I provided for another, once upon a time ... and it was not what she needed. She only felt that that would satisfy, that that was what would settle the gnawing ache, the gaping wound, the longing void. It was not.
Q(2): Oh yes, I know that from myself. It turns it back onto me, doesn’t it?
R: Not only does another person not have to provide you with fulfilment, the fact is they can not. Once one realises this, one is free from the other. And not only are you free from them, but you free them from your demands, your expectations that you put upon them – like your parents do.
It is a two-way thing. If, as you say, you go around the world to visit your parents to ‘pacify them’ – to fulfil their expectations – you, too, are looking for fulfilment. Which is why I asked you: ‘What is your investment?’
Q(2): I want their approval.
R: Yet you feel compassion for them. Do you see that the connection of love – which is so cherished – causes more problems than it solves?
Q(1): The price paid for family connections is high – too high.
R: It is so delicious to be freed from those family ties, family loyalties – to be finally able to meet this other human being who was your ‘father’, who was your ‘mother’, who was your ‘brother’, who was your ‘sister’, who was your ‘son’, who was your ‘daughter’, who was your ‘aunt’, who was your ‘uncle’ and so on. To be able to see them as a fellow human being ... as I see you or you see Q(1) ... or you can see me. It is then a case of: ‘Hi! Is it not great to be alive? How are you going? What have you discovered? I have discovered this – or that – whatever’. This is freedom indeed ... and this freedom is fantastic.
The compassion gained through forgiveness binds.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.
Richard's Text ©The Actual Freedom Trust: 1997-. All Rights Reserved.