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First Step Towards Complete Emancipation

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To forgive everybody for everything at all times, regardless of circumstances, is the first step towards complete emancipation. Heretofore, we have looked upon forgiveness as a virtue; now we know it to be a necessity. To those who possessed the spirit of forgiveness we have given our highest praise, and have thought of such people as being self-sacrificing in the truest sense of that term. We did not know that the act of forgiving is the simplest way to lighten one's own burdens. According to our former conception of this subject, the man who forgives denies himself a privilege, the privilege of indignation and revenge; for this reason we have looked upon him as a hero or as a saint, thinking that it could not be otherwise than heroic and saintly to give up the supposed pleasure of meting out revenge to those who seemed to deserve it.

According to the new view, however, the man who forgives is no more saintly than the one who insists upon keeping clean, because in reality the act of forgiving simply constitutes a complete mental bath. When you forgive everybody for everything you cleanse your mind completely of every wrong thought or adverse mental attitude that may exist in your consciousness. This explains why forgiveness is a necessity and why the man who forgives everything emancipates himself from all kinds of burdens. It is therefore profitable, most highly profitable, to forgive everybody, no matter what they have done, and this includes also ourselves. It is just as necessary to forgive ourselves as to forgive others, and the principal reason why forgiveness has seemed to be so difficult is because we have neglected to forgive ourselves.

We cannot let go of that which is not desired until we have acquired the mental art of letting go, and to acquire this art we must practice upon our own minds. That is, we must learn to let go from our own minds all those things that we do not wish to retain. When you forgive yourself completely you wash your mentality perfectly clean. You let go of everything in your mental system that is not good. You emancipate yourself completely. Whatever you held against yourself or others you now drop entirely out of your mind; in consequence, you are freed from your mental burdens, and when mental burdens disappear all other burdens will disappear also. The ills that we hold in mind are the only things that can actually burden our lives.

Therefore, when we forgive everybody for every ill we ever knew we no longer hold a single ill in our own minds; we thus throw off every burden and are perfectly free. This also includes disease, because disease is nothing but a temporary effect of a wrong that we mentally hold in the system. Forgive everybody, including yourself, for everything, and all disease will vanish from your system. This may at first sight appear to be a startling statement, but it is the truth, and anyone can prove it to be the truth. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." Therefore, when every wrong is eliminated from the heart of man there can be no wrong in the man himself, and every wrong is eliminated from that heart that forgives everything in everyone. Many persons, however, will state that they hold no ill against anyone yet suffer just the same.

So they may think, nevertheless they are mistaken and will see their mistakes when they learn the truth about mental laws. You may not hold direct ill against any person just now, but your mind has not always been absolutely pure and absolutely free from every wrong thought. You have had many wrong desires in your heart, and have had many mistaken ideas. To hold a mistaken idea is to hold a wrong in your heart. To have wrong desires is to hold ills against yourself, as well as others. To blame yourself, criticize yourself, feel provoked at yourself or condemn yourself for your shortcomings is to hold ills against yourself, and there are very few who are not doing this every day to some degree.

When we forgive all and still suffer we may not believe that forgiveness produces emancipation; but the fact is that suffering is impossible when forgiveness is absolute. When we forgive completely we shall also eliminate completely every trouble or ill that may exist in our world. When you have trouble forgive those who have caused the trouble; forgive yourself for permitting yourself to be troubled, and your troubles will pass away. When you have made a mistake do not condemn yourself or feel upset; simply forgive yourself, and resolve that you will never make the mistake again. As you make that resolution, desire more wisdom, and have the faith that you will secure the wisdom you require.

"According to your faith so shall it be." There are many who will think that the practice of forgiving everybody for everything will produce mental indifference and thus weaken character, but it is the very opposite that will take place. To forgive is to eliminate the useless, everything that is not good; and to free the mind from obstacles and adverse conditions is to enable that mind to be its best, to express itself fully and completely. This will not only strengthen the character and enlarge the mind, but will cause the greatness of the soul to come forth. There is many a character that appears to be strong on account of its open hostility to wrongs, but such a character is not always strong. Too often it is composed of a few borrowed ideas about morality backed up by mere animal force.

The true character does not express hostility and does not resist or antagonize, but overcomes evil by giving all its power to the building of the good. A strong character meets evil with a silent indifference; that is, indifference in appearance only. The true character does not pass evil by because he does not care, but because he does care. He cares so much that he will not waste one single moment in prolonging the life of the wrong; therefore gives his whole time and attention to the making of good so strong that evil becomes absolutely powerless in the presence of that good. No intelligent person would antagonize darkness. By giving his time to the production of light he causes the darkness to disappear of itself.

When we apply the same principle to the elimination of evil a marvelous change for the better will come over the world. No person can forgive everybody for everything until he desires the best from every person and from every source. In other words, we cannot forgive the wrong until we desire the right. Therefore, the letting go of the inferior and the appropriation of the superior constitutes one and the same single mental process. We cannot eliminate darkness until we proceed to produce light, and it requires only the one act for removing the one and bringing forth the other.

From these facts it is evident that when we let go of the wrong we gain more of that power that is right, and we thus increase the strength of character. To eliminate diseased conditions from the body will increase the strength of the body and will place the body in a position for further development, if we desire to promote such development. Likewise, to eliminate all ill feelings, all hatred, all wrong thoughts and all false beliefs from the mind will increase the power of the mind and place every mental faculty in proper condition for higher development. The same effect will be produced in the character, and all awakened minds know that the greatness of the soul can begin to come forth only when we have completely forgiven everybody for everything.

The man who finds it easier to forgive than to condemn is on the verge of superior wisdom and higher spiritual power. He has entered the path to real greatness and may rapidly rise in the scale by applying the laws of true human development. Instead of producing weakness and indifference the act of absolute forgiveness will produce a more powerful character, a more brilliant mind and a greater soul. Try this method for a year. Forgive everybody for everything, no matter what happens, and do not forget to forgive yourself.

You will then conclude that forgiveness, absolute forgiveness, is not only the path to complete emancipation, but is also the "gates ajar" to a better life, a larger life, a richer life, a more beautiful life than you ever knew before. You will find that you can instantaneously remove disease from the body, perversion and wrong from the mind by complete and unrestricted forgiveness; and you can in the same way steadily recreate yourself into a new and better being. Forgive the imperfect, and with heart and soul desire constantly the realization of the perfect; the imperfect will thus pass away and the more perfect will be realized in a greater and greater abundance.

Whatever our place in life may be, we must eliminate every burden of mind or body, if we wish to rise in the scale, and the first step in this direction is to forgive everybody for everything. When you begin to practice forgiveness on this extensive scale you will find obstacles disappearing one after the other. Those things that held you down will vanish and that which was constantly in your way will trouble you no more; your pathway will be cleared. You will have nothing more to contend with, and everything in your life will move smoothly and harmoniously towards greater and greater things.

This is perfectly natural, because by forgiving everybody and everything you have let every form of evil go. You have invited all the good, and have therefore populated your own world with persons and things after your own heart. Through perpetual and complete forgiveness your mind will be kept perfectly clean. Not a single weed will ever appear in the beautiful garden of your mind, and so long as the mind is clean neither sickness nor adversity can exist in human life. This may be a strong statement, but those who will try the principle and continue to live it will find it to be the truth.

Since forgiveness is a necessity to all who wish to eliminate the lesser and retain the greater, or in other words make real the ideal, it will be highly important to present the simplest methods through which anyone may learn to practice this great art. It has been said that to know all is to forgive all; but it is not possible for anyone to know all. Therefore, if we wish to forgive absolutely, we must proceed along a different line. When we ask ourselves why people live, think and act as they do we meet the great law of cause and effect. In our study of this law we find that every cause is an effect of a previous cause, and that that previous cause is also an effect of a cause still more remote.

We may continue to trace these causes and effects far back along the chain of events until we are lost in the dimness of the past; but what do we learn by such a process of analysis, nothing whatever. We fail to find anything definite about anybody, and consequently cannot fix the blame for anything; but it is not possible to justly blame anybody when we cannot fix the blame for anything. Therefore, we have only one alternative, and that is to forgive. We can never find the real cause of a single thing. We may first blame the individual, but when we discover the influence of environment, heredity and early training we cannot wholly blame the individual. If we blame the parents, we must find the reason why those parents were not different, also why previous generations were not different.

If we accept the theory that the individual has lived before and that he came into his present environments because he was what he was in a previous state of existence, we must explain why be did not live a different life in that other existence; why did he act in such a manner in the past that he should merit adversity and weakness in the present. If he knew no better in the past., what is the reason that he did not know any better? If we accept the belief that we have all inherited our perverted tendencies from Adam and Eve, we must explain why those two souls were not strong enough to rise above temptation. If they were tempted, we must explain why; we must explain why the original man who was created in the image and likeness of God did not express his divine nature in the midst of temptation. But there is no way in which we can explain these things; therefore, to fix the blame for anything is absolutely impossible.

The more we try to find the original cause of anything the more convinced we become that to look for sin or the cause of sin is nothing but a waste of time. Every individual is himself a cause, and his life comes constantly in touch with a number of other causes; therefore, it is never possible to say which one of these causes or combination of these causes produced the original action. Back of every action we find other actions that lead us to the one that we may now consider, but we do not know how those other actions were produced.

To trace them back to their original source simply leads us into what appears to be a beginningless beginning. For this reason it is the height of wisdom to let the "dead bury its dead," to let the past go, to forgive every sinner and forget every sin, and to use our time, talent and power for the building of more lofty mansions in the great eternal now. To look for the blame is to find that we are all more or less to blame, and also to find that there is no real fixed blame anywhere. We may then ask what we are to do with this great subject; are we to talk, theorize, speculate, condemn and punish? We know too well that all of that is but a waste of time. The sensible course to pursue is to forgive everybody for everything, to drop ills, mistakes, wrongs, disagreeable memories and proceed to use those laws of life that we understand now in making life better for everybody now.

The man who is habitually doing wrong is mentally or morally sick. Punishment is a waste of time; besides, it is absolutely wrong, and one wrong cannot remove another. Such a person should be taken where he can be healed and kept there until he is well. We should not hate him or condemn him any more than those who are physically sick. Sickness is sickness whether it appears in the body, the mind or the character, and he who is sick does not need a prison; he needs a physician.

To absolutely remove this hatred for the wrongdoers in the world we must cultivate a higher order of love, that love that loves every living creature with the true love of the soul, and such a love is readily attained when we train ourselves to look for the ideal soul of life that exists in everything everywhere in the world. This idea may cause many to come to the conclusion that the act of forgiving the wrongdoer will have an undesirable effect upon society, because we may be liable to let people in general do as they please; but in this they are wholly mistaken. Reason declares that you cannot justly blame anyone, and love does not wish to blame anyone; forgiveness must therefore inevitably follow when reason and love are truly combined; but reason and love will never permit man in general to do as he pleases. When we love people we are not indifferent about their future: We do not wish them to go down grade. We want them to improve, to do the right and the best and we will do everything in our power to emancipate and elevate the entire race.

Reason understands how the laws of life can be applied in producing those results we may have in view; therefore, the desires of love can be carried out through the understanding of reason, and thus every high purpose may be promoted by the right spirit and the proper methods. Others may declare that these methods are in advance of our time and cannot be carried out at present; therefore, it is useless to even talk about it. However, be that as it may, the fact remains that forgiveness is a necessity to the true life, the emancipated life, the superior life, the ideal life. For that reason every person who desires to make real the ideal in his world must begin to practice absolute forgiveness at once. If we can forgive everybody for everything now, we should do so, whether the world in general can do so or not. The man who wishes to move forward must not wait for the race. It is his privilege to go in advance of the race; thus he prepares the way for millions.

When he has demonstrated by example that there are better ways of living, the race will follow. What the few can do today the many will do tomorrow, but if the few should wait until tomorrow, the many would have to wait until the day following, or possibly longer still. Be what you can be now. Do what you can do now, no matter how far in advance of this age such actions may be. If you are capable of greater things today, you owe it to the race to demonstrate those greater things now.

You sprung from the race. You are composed of the finer elements that exist in the race, and should consider it a privilege to cause those elements to shine as brilliantly as possible; and one of the greatest of all demonstrations in this age is that of absolute forgiveness, to demonstrate the power of forgiving everybody for everything at all times and under every possible circumstance. We therefore conclude that complete emancipation from everything that is not desired in life can be realized only when we forgive absolutely in this great universal sense; and when we have forgiven everybody for everything, then we can say with the great Master Mind, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

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