New Day Herald

Seventy Times Seven


This article by John-Roger was originally published in the New Day Herald in May/June 1991. 

“One of the hardest things we have to do as people who are following Christ, following God, following love, is to be forgiving.  It’s the most important thing we have to do.” – John-Roger

Here we are today, in 1991, and it seems like there are more terrible things occurring on this planet than there have ever been before. We have had 2000 years of the Christ energy, influence, and information, and there are all these terrible things happening. Is being Christian a failure? Some people might look at it that way, but let’s look at another point of view.

Have you ever taken a bucket that’s been sitting outside, turned on the hose to fill it with water, and had the water gush out of the hose really fast and, as it hits the bucket, all the dirt and debris that’s in the bottom shoots up and all over you? You jump back and say, “Oh, my God, I’ve got junk all over me!” And it looks like there’s more junk on you than there ever could have been in the bottom of that bucket.

What we are seeing on the planet right now appears to be more junk than ever could have been in the bottom of the bucket. That’s because Spirit is being shot into an area that is bringing it all up. The action of Spirit is bringing up all the junk and crud that’s been sitting in the bottom of that bucket for centuries. It’s being brought up to be dealt with. How do you deal with it? Skim it off. Then you put more water in the bottom of the bucket; you fill it until the junk floats up to the surface and falls away, and then the water flows up naturally clean and pure. Sending the Light for the highest good—often and neutrally—helps the bucket get clean.

We can apply this analogy to some of the global situations that exist in our world right now. You can also apply it to things that happen in your own life. Sometimes people have the experience of doing meditation or spiritual exercises, or they go to church and hear an uplifting sermon or listen to a seminar or gather together for satsang, and then later on that day or the next day, they experience a lot of anger. They get so upset, so angry, that they want to slug someone. They interpret that as being “not spiritual.” They judge themselves as being “not spiritual,” so they experience failure. But is it failure? Or is it, again, an action of Spirit that is surfacing and cleaning up the anger that has always been there? Has the Spirit been activated by the meditation, spiritual exercises, or satsang, and the person is now in the process of cleansing? That’s another possibility.

Do you think you can be angry and be spiritual? Do you think you can do something “bad” and still be a good person? Do you think that you have the freedom to feel what you feel and still be on the path home to God? Do you think that you can believe what you believe, regardless of what other people believe, and still be loved by God? I do.

In some organizations, you have to believe what they tell you to believe. You have to have faith according to how they set out faith principles. You have to take someone else’s authority over your own. The beingness in you is the same beingness that is in them, but they are claiming their right to develop and exercise their beingness yet denying you the same right. You have to decide whether or not that is all right with you. If it’s not, you develop your own beingness. You search for your own faith. You discover your own answers to questions. Will you be able to do a perfect job? Probably not. Why not? Because you are not going to be able to look at the totality of your beingness from this level. Your body, mind, emotions, and imagination are finite. That is part of the frustration, and it’s also part of the mystery and the magic. When you realize that there is more happening here than appears on the surface, you will start being able to perceive some of the answers that reflect the presence of Spirit.

Have you ever had the experience of knowing something you couldn’t really know if you were relying simply on your physical senses? Have you ever thought of an old friend and within a short time, the phone rings, and it’s that friend? How does that happen? Have you ever gone a different way to work, changed your mind at the last minute and eaten at a restaurant you didn’t plan to, or stopped at the store on a spur-of-the-moment whim, and then you ran into a friend who really needed to see a friendly face or needed a shoulder to cry on for a few moments? What is this? It appears to be random. Is this physical level being influenced by a spiritual state? Is there something in you that is communicating with something in them? Are we connected? I believe we are, but it’s not the body and it’s not the mind or imagination or even the unconscious. It’s the Soul. It’s the beingness that is the same in each of us. It’s the spark of Divinity.

The main business of the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness is Soul Transcendence. That means that we are, first and foremost, recognizing the spark of Divinity that resides in all people. We recognize that we may well be more than our physical body, more than our mind, more than our emotions, more than the imagination, and so on. We recognize that there is more going on than we can perceive with our physical senses. We recognize that we are part of a larger picture. We are seeking to transcend the limitations of the finite and become increasingly aware of the infinite. This means we have to constantly exercise those “muscles” that are somewhat out of our general pattern of awareness. That means we have to keep looking beyond the easy explanations, the obvious connections, the snap judgments. We have to keep stretching into possibilities that may seem uncertain or imprecise at first, and we have to keep exercising forgiveness for ourselves and for everyone else.

If we work from the premise that each body walking around here is a reflection of and a vehicle for the Soul to express and experience this level, then we become more thoughtful in what we do and also in what we think. If you recognize that the beingness in you is the same as the beingness in others, you treat the other person with a little more kindness, and you are less likely to hold againstness towards them. If someone comes up and hits you verbally, emotionally, or mentally, you may be able to transcend the reactive response of hitting back at them and realize that they must be in some kind of inner or outer pain to be acting like that. You may protect yourself and get out of their way, and you may also forgive them because something in you perceives the Soul that lies behind their actions. This doesn’t mean that you allow yourself to be abused or misused. It does mean that you don’t react and set up a negative condition in yourself by judgment and revenge. One of the hardest things we have to do as people who are living a spiritual life, people who are following Christ, following God, following love, is to be forgiving. It’s the most important thing we have to do.

People come up and start running the law at you, the rules, the limitations, and what do you do? If you forgive them, they may hit you again. What do you do? Forgive them. What if they do it again? Don’t be stupid; get out of reach. And then forgive them again. Someone asked Jesus, “How many times do I forgive my neighbor?” He said, “Seventy times seven.” Did he really mean 490 times—and then you get to beat up on them? I don’t think so. I think he meant that the process of forgiveness is an ongoing one.

One time I was talking with some people who believed in healing by the laying on of hands. In the course of the conversation, I asked them what they believed about the biblical statement “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” They said, “Well, that’s the Lord’s justice to be dispensed.”  I said, “But if you don’t know what the Lord’s justice might be, maybe you should just give it up and be forgiving. Jesus said ‘forgive them seventy times seven.’”  They said, “And when that runs out, we believe in ‘laying on of hands’ differently.”  We all laughed, but in the midst of that was the reality that they somehow believed in violence.  They believed that at some point, they had the right to enforce the Lord’s justice (which they also believed they could perceive).

An interesting thing happens to us as people when we engage in “revenge,” when we would like to retaliate for what we think was done to us.  We say, “They deserve it.”  We become righteous.  It’s a dangerous position.  Have you ever seen someone do terrible rotten things and then walk away with seeming impunity?  You say, “How can they get away with that?”  Did you ever hear of karma?  They are helping you fulfill yours.  Transcend your karma.  Forgive them.  Forgive them because you can’t do anything about it and to do less than forgive them imprisons you.  To hold revenge in your heart limits you.  It restricts you.  If you want to know Soul transcendence, forgive them.  This doesn’t mean that you become stupid and you don’t see the injustice or you don’t see the negativity of the situation.  It means that you walk toward a Light consciousness, a transcendent consciousness. You walk toward God.  And as you do that, you perhaps see more clearly what is actually happening.  You see that you do not have to be restricted and bound by what others do on the planet.  You see that you have a greater reality. You see that there are greater things to focus on and to give your attention and energy to, things that bring you greater joy, things that enhance your attunement to Spirit and to God.

As you rise up in your consciousness, the actions of this person and that person in the world have less and less consequence in your life—and it becomes easier to let them go, to forgive them, to walk away from them—because you are walking toward the Light and toward the Spirit.  You are experiencing and living Soul transcendence and the fullness and the joy of that will overshadow all the things of this world.  My wish for you is that you always walk toward the Light and experience the joy of the Lord.

Baruch Bashan.

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