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Henry Bates

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The Way to a Wonderful Life Message for September 20, 2015

           From ReformJudaism.org -  Yom Kippur is the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves. We are commanded to turn to those whom we have wronged first, acknowledging our sins and the pain we might have caused.  At the same time, we must be willing to forgive and to let go of certain offenses and the feelings of resentment they provoked in us. On this journey we are both seekers and givers of pardon. Only then can we turn to God and ask for forgiveness:  “And for all these, God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”

Yom Kippur is the  holiest day of the year for those of the Jewish faith.  For many years I have felt that those who are not Jewish have missed out on one of the most soul-satisfying observances of religion.  In fact, I don't know of any other religious observance that is more spiritual than Yom Kippur; the Day of Atonement.  The very word atonement reveals the true meaning of this observance ... at-one-ment ... at-one with G-d and at-one with all the people we have come into contact with in the past year.  The truth of One-ness never escapes the spiritual mind only that which has fallen short of realizing that there is only One; One Life, One Spirit, One Intelligence, expressing through the mind of all living things.

          To forgive means to "give-up" that is to give up that which troubles the mind so that the mind is clear and open and receptive to the Intelligence of the Spirit.  I have known people who have carried their resentments and bitterness towards others for years and have never figured out that they have been bringing a misery into their own life experience.  Unforgiveness, like fear, is always "caused" by thoughts of the past.  Some might say "we don't live in the past" yet if that is where are thoughts are, that is where we are living.

           The American Mystic Ernest Holmes gives us some excellent wisdom in regards to forgiveness intermingling his thoughts with the words of the Master Mind Jesus:  "... Jesus clearly explains the meaning of "divine forgiveness."  He says that we should forgive until seventy times seven.  This is but another way of saying that forgiveness is eternal and ever available.  What a load is dropped from the shoulders of personal responsibility, when we realize that the Eternal Mind holds naught against anyone!  But, to those who feel that this is unfair, it will be a hard saying.  "What," says one, "are not my virtues to be rewarded above those who have none?"  O, foolish one and blind, what do you know about virtue?  Has your life always been beyond reproach?  Have you never fallen short of the divine calling?  Who are you to point the finger of scorn at your others?  The one who feels self-righteousness rise from their petty virtues, lives a life of self-delusion."

           As we realize that forgive means to "give-up" one might think of what is it that we give up?  We give up the obstructions, the blocks and the darkness in our mind that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of joy and peace and happiness and love.  It is like we have a blind spot in our mind that never allows us to fully become aware of the good that is available to us.  To say what we think of others is truly what we think of ourselves is a mental stretch, but we must have at least a fragment of what we hold against someone else in our mind or otherwise we would lose the awareness of it.  We can only know that which is within our own soul (consciousness).  And so we realize that the most important person to forgive is first and always, ourselves.  To realize the genuine joy of life our mind must always be clear of any negativity so that the true nature of our soul can realize the freedom to be fully expressed in the nature of the Divine; joy, peace, happiness, harmony, love, intelligence and power. 
            A simple quote containing profound truth is "to err is human to forgive divine" ... and this is the truth for everyone.


Keep the faith!
. Henry Bates

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