"Go around and perfect yourself
before you start judging everybody else."
From: FORGIVENESS: The Key to the Kingdom by John-Roger
Q: I know it feels good to forgive, but sometimes feeling good isn't enough reason for me to want to forgive someone. So why forgive?
J-R: It's really important to realize that the attitude you hold is the attitude that brings to you what's present in your life.
If things in your life are not coming down the way you want them to, change your attitude.
Q: What is the true meaning of forgiveness? When I say I forgive, what am I really saying?
J-R: If you ever had your feelings hurt and you forgave the person for it, and, inside of you, you allowed them the chance to hurt your feelings again, then you really did forgive them.
You entered into real, true forgiveness because you allowed them the opportunity to come back to you again. That's forgiveness. But if you remember who they were and what they said and what they did and the time they did it, and if you say you forgave them, you didn't. We don't really forgive when we still have the feeling of the memory of the hurt.
Q: Are there signs that I have really forgiven someone?
J-R: When we have really forgiven somebody, we enter into original innocence. And that original innocence is like new snow. It's like fresh rain that cleans the air.
Q: Why do people say to forgive and forget?
J-R: You don't get forgiveness until you forget what it is that is blocking you.
A lot of things we choose to keep remembering keep us stuck here on earth. Another option is for us to stay in a state of forgiveness, which is a state of grace.
Q: The title of the book is Forgiveness: The Key to the Kingdom. Why did you choose that name? What does it mean?
J-R: The moment inside of you where you forgive what's happened is the moment when you are enlightening yourself. When you really forgive, you clear the levels of thought, feeling, imagination, the unconscious, and you even clear the physical evidence.
Do you know what happens when those levels clear themselves? We automatically move very deep inside ourselves, into the Soul, wherein the Christ and God, the divine spiritual energy... resides and lives.
There's also the element of self-forgiveness. That's really the key to the kingdom. It not only opens the door, it's the hinges on the door, it's the key to the door, and it's also the little bell that rings and lets you know the door opened.
Q: How do you forgive people who hurt you time and again?
J-R: If people hit you, forgive them. If they hit you again, forgive them again. If they do it again, don't be stupid--get out of reach. And forgive them again.
Q: When I see some things people do, I find it really hard not to judge them. Isn't there sometimes a reason to judge?
J-R: When we judge something we find ways to justify it. And we justify it through all the right reasons that seem so reasonable, except that they're all wrong. The only real reason for being is for the loving and the caring and to keep cleaning up what gets dumped inside of you. And it's not easy. It's a daily task.
Q: What is forgiveness all about?
J-R: It's not about you forgiving me anything. It's about me forgiving me for giving myself over to the exterior senses and selling myself out and not having a wonderful, joyful life inside. That's the greater forgiveness.
Q: Why is it such a big no-no to judge?
J-R: Judgements are one of the most unhealthy things we can do... If we were to ask what is the big reason that we're all back here on the planet, I'd say it was because of a judgement we placed somewhere, because our judgements are held against us, and they're held in the place where we judged.
So, if we judge physically, the judgements are held physically, and we have to come back to clear them. But what do we do instead? We do more judgements.
Q: Is there a way I can avoid judging?
J-R: Eternal vigilance is the password for forgiveness: the constant state of awareness where no harm is meant or intended for anything.
Q: Is forgiveness really necessary for spiritual growth?
J-R: You can look at it this way; Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
How do you become pure of heart? ... There are two ways, and in both you need to forgive.
The first way is in your heart, where you forgive whatever you did that caused the upset.
And the second way is "out there," where you forgive the other person for whatever they did...
Then there's a third thing you have to do, and that's to forget it. The forgetting of it is the indicator of the forgiveness of it, and that is the indicator of the pureness of the heart.