Originally published in ‘Crazy Wisdom’
The Journal of the Free Daist Communion
September/October 1986, Vol. 5, NO. 9
“You are poisoned by what you do not forgive or forget”
DA LOVE-ANANDA (Adi Da Samraj): There are two forms of forgiveness, or two options, that you may choose in relation to anyone. The greater option is to grant forgiveness in the form of great energy, love, regard, help, friendship, and upliftment. That is one option, and in certain relations and in certain moments it is an option you call upon yourself to exercise. The other option, which is really the fundamental motive or force of forgiveness, is to ignore the offense, to forget about it, to not give attention to it. Perhaps the fundamental definition of forgiveness is to just forget or ignore the offense. Such forgetting has the force of forgiveness because it gives no negative energy.
You may be troubling yourselves because you cannot forgive those who have negative feelings about you, in that you cannot love them and cannot just be happy about them. Perhaps in some moments every now and then you achieve such love, but you are struggling as if forgiveness and right relationship to these individuals means you must magnify radiant love toward them. You need not feel guilty because you cannot do that. If you can do it, fine—to do so is healing and the ultimate form of forgiveness. However, the form of forgiveness for which you are also responsible is forgetting, or ignoring, or non-attention
Therefore, give no attention to those who want to harm you. Do not give them any attention, and you will therefore not give them any negative energy, you will not curse them. Forget about them. Put your attention somewhere else.
Just so with your own difficulties or the difficulties of others with whom you are intimate—if you cannot give radiant, loving, blessing energy, that is all right. It is simply not your moment for such energy. You can ignore them, however. You can forget about the offense, you can not talk about it, you can be reticent, you can be silent, you can occupy yourself with your practice. You can do all those things, can you not? Then forget. That is forgiveness.
Forgiveness is to forget, to not make curses, to not hold others to account. You can always do that. Therefore, always do it. Then, in unique moments, grant great energy and attention, full of blessing and support and helpfulness. Do not feel guilty if you cannot. Do it when you are given the Grace to do it. But in all your moments forgive by ignoring and forgetting. Have nothing to do with the offense, and go about your own business.
To do this is not a curse, you see. In fact, it is the denial of curses. Therefore, at least forget. That you can do by meditating and by occupying yourself with service.
Do this practice in general and in relation to the most difficult moments of life. Do it with one another. Do not spend time in talking about your “case” or anyone else’s. You need not agitate yourself constantly with the difficulties of others. You have your own difficulties, anyway! You know the moments that are your charismatic moments of blessing and help and touching and laying on of hands. Those moments occur only at certain times, however. Most of the time the difficulties of others are their own business.
Fail to curse them by forgetting them. Occupy yourself with Divine Communion and your own real practice. Do not pass on bad thoughts, which are effective curses. Just forget about it. That is forgiveness. That is how even the forgiveness of God is described traditionally. God forgets. To forget is to forget to curse. To ignore is forgiveness. It is the principal form of forgiveness, and you can be responsible for it.
You need not feel guilt because you cannot bless and love and radiate to everyone who lives or who curses you. Ignore their curses, ignore their faults, ignore their person, and occupy yourself with God. Curse no one. Love them or forget them. Do not curse. You need not feel guilt, because you can always forget to curse. Simply put your attention somewhere else, and do not imagine that you are guilty because you have not magnified great blessing. Such blessing is virtue, but it is a special Grace for special moments. Do not curse.
All you need do to not curse is to forget about it and put your attention somewhere else: Go to the Communion Hall. Serve. Study. Overcome the thought. You can do that. You already know that you can do that, but do it rigorously, constantly, and be sensitive to those moments in which you can magnify great energy, great enthusiasm, great feeling. When the capacity for giving special attention to someone arises, give it. Do not fail to do so. You will not be able to help yourself in any case, so magnify your feelings in those moments. To do that is not forgiveness—it is blessing. Forgiveness is to forget about it and to go about your business.
Love all of your friends. Love all beings. Be liberated from all otherness, which is painful, a form of suffering. Otherness is something to be liberated from entirely. How can you be liberated from otherness? Only through love. Love in God. Don’t you know? Have we not discovered that?
I Call you to investigate, observe, “consider”, confess all the signs of your early life, your reaction to your mother and father, whatever happened. Work out the matter of forgiveness and love expression with them. By doing this you purify yourself and all your present and relations, and you purify your parents as well.
This is a necessary service, and a necessary part of growing in religious life. Without it, there is no growth in religious life, and there is no growing up in emotional-sexual terms. As long as you harbor your problems with your mother and father, you will never straighten out your emotional-sexual life. Mark My Words! Never!
Adi Da Samraj
PRACTITIONER: You gave a wonderful talk last year that was extremely helpful to me, about not having to put on a smiling face all the time, and about forgiving your enemies. You said forgiveness was really just forgetting.
ADI DA SAMRAJ: Right. Simply forget the offense. If you do not forgive another, you will be poisoned by him or her. You are poisoned by what you do not forgive or forget. If you cannot make the grand gesture of forgiveness, you can at least make the gesture of indifference, going into good company, going on with your practice. You can forget about it. But if you absorb it, if you mull over it, if you think about it day and night, if you change your way of life because of it, then you are poisoned. Forgiveness is in some sense a survival technique. Do not eat poison.