Narrated by Robert Simmons. Image by Anja.
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ—all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself—that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness—that I myself am the enemy who must be loved—what then?
—Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
To use the term “forgiveness” is very corny . . . I mean, what the heck? But the only way our current culture could clean itself up would be kind of a massive discovery of forgiveness.
—Joseph Chilton Pearce, The Biology of Transcendence
The goal of spiritual alchemy is to become whole, and to then unite the human self with the Divine Self in a spiritual partnership which can ultimately serve -- in the words of Paul Levy, to “redeem the entire cosmos.”
As we grow up, our egos become more complicated. We grow to resent (both consciously and unconsciously) the judgments we have suffered, and we try to avoid them. Our Inner Judge learns to project our resentment onto others and to denigrate them—whether openly or secretly. This toxic pattern is repeated endlessly at all levels of human social organization and interaction.
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Nations behave as irrationally as their fragmented citizens and leaders, often with catastrophically violent results. The projection of evil onto other nations (whether it is “deserved” or not) can lead to terrible consequences. And it comes out of the same inner fragmentation that makes us as individuals so sensitive to criticism and so ready to judge and condemn others.
What If "The Criminal" Is Ourselves?
We are taught that, ‘‘To err is human; to forgive, divine.” As Jung tells us in the quote above, this statement is correct, as far as it goes. But what if the “criminal” is ourselves? Jung is, of course, pointing to the fragmentation in our psyche and the need to treat ourselves compassionately and kindly.
This is a move toward wholeness, and the only move that will allow us to be authentically kind and forgiving of others. The inward gesture that Jung suggests is the same one that Pearce envisions as the only way for human culture to heal—through “a massive discovery of forgiveness.”
In my own healing, I have learned that forgiving is not something we nobly undertake as a magnanimous gesture to someone who has wronged us. It is something we do for ourselves, to heal the wounds inflicted within us by the Inner Judge. Whether we judge ourselves or someone else, the act of judgment wounds us.
Forgiveness works to release us from being tied to the fragmentation of our own identity that every act of judgment exacerbates. And, as the alchemists understood, healing within the self reverberates into the world and brings healing there as well.
To fully do the work of forgiveness is to withdraw all of the toxic energy from the Inner Judge. This means we are reminded not to condemn the Judge either, by viewing it in a bad light.
Recognize and Welcome Your Madness
As Jung has said, we would all do well to “recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner.” After all, the Inner Judge was created under events of great stress, in which our child selves were in a double bind. The Judge acted as a psychological survival strategy, and, in a certain sense, it saved us. We might be wise to offer gratitude to the Judge. This gratitude is closely related to forgiveness.
I could keep going for a long time, getting deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of our inner pathologies, individual and collective. But this building of concepts only takes us so far. Understanding how we have been broken does not, by itself, make us whole. What is needed is to go into the alchemical crucible of the heart and do the work.
The intention of this practice is to bring about an experience in which we feel and recognize the energy of forgiveness in us, and in which we discover that forgiveness can bring us into union with the Deep Self.
Each step we take toward our wholeness is a step towards permanent union of our conscious and unconscious aspects.
Opening The Gate of Forgiveness
In this practice, we are making a step toward reconciliation. We do this by working through the heart. The goal is to use True Imagination, Attention and Intention to create a Gate of Forgiveness in our hearts.
We could compare this to writing a software program for a computer. Software contains the programming, which is a set of rules for dealing with data. The program will say something like: “When this happens, do that with it.” It is organized to handle input according to the intentions of the programmer. In our case, we are choosing to set up a pattern of intent whereby we will open a space in our heart through which forgiveness happens, whenever the need for it arises. Of course, because human beings are not computers, we are likely to have to practice the program more than once to really get it running.
Our old patterns are bound to reappear. How can we return quickly to inner harmony when this occurs? One way is to set the intention of maintaining a Gate of Forgiveness in one’s heart. This “gate” is simply an image, and with the image we affirm the intention that all beings—whether they are exiled parts of ourselves, other people, souls of the deceased or other entities—are invited to pass through the gate of our heart to experience forgiveness. Offering this and feeling its effects can be a profound and healing experience. It cleanses us of negativity we might otherwise hold onto.
By making the offer to all beings who wish to be forgiven, we may even aid in healing processes needed by other souls—deceased or incarnated. If we hold our intention and make forgiveness a type of automatic response—instead of our usual default settings of judgment and blame—we will find new peace in ourselves and our relationships.
Forgiveness: Powerful and Deeply Needed
When I lead workshops, the Gate of Forgiveness is often one of the most moving and significant practices for those who attend. The stones we use, especially Celestite, Heartenite, Rosophia and Sauralite Azeztulite, readily draw people into a state of gentle receptivity and generosity of heart. The heart is activated, and the emotional body is calmed.
When I lead the gate of forgiveness practice, I ask participants to attune to one or more of the stones I've just mentioned, or other stones that support the spiritual heart, and to hold them over the heart chakra while meditating. Then I invite them to create an inner image of themselves within their own hearts standing next to a gate. If the gate is not already open, I ask them to open it. and to stand beside it, inwardly inviting all beings who wish to experience forgiveness to come through the gate of the heart.
The meditation lasts about 10 minutes and soft heartful music is played in the background. Afterwards I ask people to write down what they saw and who came through the gate.
The envisioning of the Gate of Forgiveness is one that people seem to do quite readily. Even those who tend to have trouble visualizing quickly find their image of themselves standing beside their gate. Often they are surprised by the how the gate looks. This is a good thing, because such surprises mean that the Deep Self is paying attention and is participating in the practice. The same holds true when the process really begins and beings begin to come forward and pass through your gate.
It is amazing what a powerful and deeply needed thing forgiveness is. In my workshops, people have often reported seeing themselves come forward to go through the gate. Also frequently seen are family members, friends, spouses and others with deep emotional ties. Once an aborted fetus came through for a woman, asking her forgiveness for not becoming her child. Several times people have reported friends or family members who committed suicide coming to their gates to be forgiven. It is amazing to be present for some of the powerful healings that occur through this practice.
Another type of occurrence which has happened with some of the workshop participants is the phenomenon of people unknown to them coming through their gates to be forgiven. In some cases, only a few figures come through, but more frequently there are long lines of beings—hundreds or even thousands. In some people, the procession is deliberate and relatively slow-moving, but other people report a rush of figures literally pouring through their gates.
What is happening here? One possibility is that the many fragments of oneself which were cast into exile through countless incidents in one’s life are all coming back into the heart. I believe this is sometimes the case, and in those instances, the participants display strong emotions of relief and joy.
In the majority of cases, people who experience many beings whom they do not recognize pouring through their hearts do not report powerful emotions. They usually seem to be primarily witnessing an event which is of great importance to the beings pouring through their gates, but which is not personal to them.
The impression I have, and which many participants have expressed, is that these multitudes of beings are the souls of people who have died, and who need to experience forgiveness in order to move forward spiritually. Because this type of thing has happened every single time I have facilitated this process, my conclusion is that there is a huge need for forgiveness among the souls of a great many people who have died, and that an offering such as we make in the Gate of Forgiveness practice is of major importance to those souls.
It is clear that all of us still living also need forgiveness in some area or another, and that we all need to forgive ourselves in order to become whole. Perhaps there is something similar going on in the soul realm. There is no doubt in my mind that the recurrent floods of souls coming through the hearts of participants who make the generous offer of unrestricted forgiveness indicates that such practices offer healing beyond what I had anticipated. Apparently, forgiveness is a great and transformative energy, and its effects are more profound than we may have imagined. I feel that more work should be done in this area, and I hope some readers of this book will get involved with it.
This train of thought takes me back again to spiritual alchemy and its precepts. As I keep emphasizing, it was believed by many alchemists that if the Great Work of the transformation and perfection of the prima materia (oneself, and the outer world, simultaneously) could be accomplished by even a single alchemist, it could redeem the whole world and the entire cosmos.
When one realizes how much aid may be provided to beings in the afterlife by such simple practices as the Gate of Forgiveness, one begins to comprehend how enormous the potential may be, and one can glimpse that the vision of cosmic redemption held by the alchemists could actually be true.
For the Gate of Forgiveness meditation, click here.
Copyright 2020 by Robert Simmons. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher
Destiny Books, an imprint of Inner Traditions Int,l
The Alchemy of Stones: Co-creating with Crystals, Minerals, and Gemstones for Healing and Transformation
by Robert Simmons
The Alchemy of Stones presents an inspired breakthrough in Robert Simmons’ thirty-five year career of exploring and revealing the spiritual qualities and potentials of minerals, crystals, and gemstones. This holistic, Earth-based framework for understanding stones and their energies initiates readers into an alchemical worldview that leads to spiritual healing, transformation, and transcendence.
Lavishly illustrated, The Alchemy of Stones is an invitation to a journey of enlightenment, transformation, and spiritual metamorphosis aligned with the path of our living, conscious Earth.
About the Author
Robert Simmons has been working with crystals and stones for over 35 years. He is the cofounder of Heaven and Earth, a company offering gem and jewelry creations for self-healing and spiritual and emotional development. The author of several books, including The Book of Stones and Stones of the New Consciousness, he lives in New Zealand.
Visit his website at https://HeavenAndEarthJewelry.com/