Quality

by Frank Dobner

Forgiveness

Actually, what you are going to read about now is forgiveness. You might think that the above title “Quality” is misleading, but you will understand how quality relates to forgiveness within a few paragraphs. You might not understand what I mean by forgiveness if all you know is a “church” definition of forgiveness. The “church” tends to promote the concept that you CAN do wrong and tries to mitigate this by pardoning your offense once the guilty verdict is reached. This does not work.

You can’t be pardoned for a crime and be innocent any more. This never made sense to me as a boy and now I know why. As I have come to know now from “A Course In Miracles,” that you are actually incapable of ever doing anything such as a “sin” because the truth of who you are is spirit. Think about it…how or why would God ever create anything capable of “wrong.” It doesn’t even make sense. Drop it. Your body, the world and the universe don’t exist in God’s eyes. You made them up.

When I speak of your perfect nature, I refer to the perfection of your reality, that is experienced as the awareness of oneness. At this moment, you are in perfect safety, but dreaming of sin and death. In this momentary distraction from the truth of your eternal nature, the entire universe was constellated by you. The power of who you are is so vast that even your foolish self is capable of building civilizations and planets. So, as I use the term forgiveness here, it means a total dismissal, dissolving, releasing and forgetting of anything that could be foolish enough to be considered a stain or blemish of who you are. You have believed a lie told by yourself that you can be harmed in any way. Therefore forgiveness is only a change in mind that re-witnesses the truth of who you are.

Quality & The Process of Forgiveness

This is where I want to talk about quality. I am going to talk about quality in two respects. The first is talking about the quality of the practice of forgiveness. Ken Wapnick teaches a 3 step process of forgiveness that I think is very powerful. I would like to build on it and include the elements of quality that I find very useful to knowing that it is done well. So here is Ken’s process with my additions.

Step 1 – Recognize that you are upset. It does not matter how big the upset is. It could be as small as a hangnail to as large as a world war. It doesn’t matter, because there is nothing out there that is causing your upset. Your upset is a product of your mind alone. In this and all steps of forgiveness, you will be invoking the Holy Spirit, Jesus, or whatever you like to call the universal intelligence of which you are part. And Jesus can only deal with you when you are very quiet. You need to isolate the “hurt” in your head so that you can bring in the big guy. You can’t hear or talk to Jesus when your head is full of shit. I do this behind the wheel of a car though.

The quality aspect that I would like to contribute to this is to make sure that when you recognize this upset that you not only name it, but feel it completely. Do not try to calm yourself or minimize your emotions about it. It is OK to be upset. If you weren’t upset there wouldn’t be a problem to begin with. This upset is a gift to you, so that you look at it and begin undoing the thoughts that created it. Explain to your higher self how you feel about it. This is really important for the next two steps to come. This is the essence of all psychotherapy….that you have complete healing already built in. It may feel funny or contrived at first, to explain to Jesus the upset, but it works.

Step 2 – Ask that Jesus help you see your attack thoughts differently. Notice that you are not asking for the removal of an external condition (or person or thing), because that contributes to the existing situation in which you already think that that the problem is “out there.” It’s not out there. It’s in your mind.

The aspect of this that I have incorporated into my routine is to be very specific. If I can isolate one single feeling or thought and ask that it be removed, it helps in shining the light in the dark corners of the mind. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the thought that is causing a runaway emotion. Sometimes, I cannot even identify the emotion. Maybe I will just have a racing heart. I will say, “I don’t know why I feel bad, but I feel bad and I ask that you help tell me why.” So the best case situation is to identify and name the thought. You might know the thought, and you might not. Remember that you are looking to be shown the right way. You don’t need to know everything. You already don’t know everything. Let Jesus or the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting now. The next best thing is state the emotion. At the least, say you are uncomfortable, you have pains, you ache, you feel uneasy.

At the end of this step, I say “thank you” because I now know that something is going to be done with this. This is a gratefulness for what I know I already have. I know I have the answer. This aspect is important, because without this you might not have the confidence or belief that things will be worked on in your behalf.

Step 3 – Your guilt is removed by Jesus. There is nothing you need to do except remain still and know that it is coming. I had a hard time with this stage originally, because to me, I was waiting for a flash of light, a booming voice or a street car to show up. The fact is that it is very subtle and gentle and you need to stay very alert for the answer. Be in receipt of the answer. That is all you need to do. But wait for the answer. Sometimes, the answer doesn’t come immediately, but it may take minutes or hours. But it will come.

As strange as it sounds, I never felt much of a kinship with Jesus in my earlier days, but it helps me talk to him because it is a real name. I like talking to someone or something that has a real name. Holy Spirit doesn’t quite do it for me. But you can use anything that works for you. It is the source of knowledge that everyone has. Call it what you like. It doesn’t matter. I assure you, that it won’t be offended by any name you use, since you created the name anyway. Call him”Curly” if you like.

Quality with a Capital Q
I want to talk about the second aspect of Quality. In the book “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” Robert Pirsig talks about Quality. He talks about what distinguishes good art from bad art, good poetry from bad poetry, music, literature, etc. After trying to get his hands around a definition of Quality, he runs into a brick wall. Then he debates for a long time whether the concept of Quality is objective or subjective. In other words, can Quality be an externally measured thing or is it simply an internal impression that happens as a result of something.

Finally, he concludes in the book that Quality (note the capital Q) is the source of all that is. It is actually the source of both the objective and the subjective. It is Tao, It is God. It is the awareness to loves presence that is talked about in the Course. Think about it, when you experience something that is really fine or exquisite, there is no way of applying reason, intellect or measurements to why it is so exquisite. It is actually the source of all that exists in truth.

The reason I talk about Quality is because, when I am doing forgiveness (and I do it all day long), there is an opening that occurs that allows me to start seeing things like they really are. There is a lightness, humor and insight that happens when you are starting to lighten your load through forgiveness. The Tao Te Ching says it best:

  • The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
  • The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
  • The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
  • The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
  • Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
  • Every desiring, one can see the manifestations.
  • These two spring from the same source but different in name; this appears as darkness.
  • Darkness within darkness
  • The gate to all mystery.

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