“The Unpardonable Sin.,” or “…speaking against the Holy Spirit…” is unforgiveness. For many years I was puzzled about what “speaking against the Holy Spirit” meant. And many times I was very afraid I had committed it and was now unredeemable. What a terrible guilt trip is laid up the church because we didn’t see what was so simple. The answer was staring me in the face the entire time in the Lords prayer. Matthew 6.12 “Forgive us for doing wrong, as we forgive others.” Our forgiveness is inextricably tied to our forgiveness of others. It is the Holy Spirits job to bring us to this place so we can learn how to forgive. Learning to forgive makes us more like God who’s mercy endures forever, see Psalm 136.
All of the difficult situations we get ourselves into to are the karmic lessons on how to forgive, to love our neighbor as our self. Notice here too that loving our neighbor is also tied to loving ourselves. It is our “enemy” who has come into our lives to teach us this one lesson—we are not separate, as I treat you I will be treated, when I forgive you I will be forgiven. Not learning this is refusing to let the Holy Spirit rejuvenate us. What is left for us if we refuse to let the Holy Spirit do his work in us? What will happen is we will get ourselves into similar situations over and over again until we learn the continuous process of forgiveness. Until we learn the final lesson of radical forgiveness. This is where we forgive the entire world. Every single thing that upsets our peace will need to be forgiven. For more on this see A Course in Miracles and Disappearance of the Universe.
“Father forgive them for they no not what they do.” Jesus
Forgiveness is healing as Jesus demonstrated many times. If we want to heal the world we see we must forgive it and we too shall stand up and walk as humans once again.
So by the end of the mile your are so into helping this soldier carry his load that you actually volunteer for the second mile. Here is true freedom that you can now turn what your oppressor thought was punishment into a gift to him. This is the beginning of the application of love, compassion and understanding.
Yep, letting it go, surrender to the situation, surrender to God and let it go. Your probably saying “Easier for you to say.” Well yes it is easy to say but may take a life time to learn. I believe this is the only lesson we are here to learn. Forgiveness of the world—radical forgiveness—is leaving the kingdom of the world for the Kingdom of God. More on this in part three.
A HUGE caveat here. If you are in an abusive situation do all you can to get out as soon as possible. 70×77 does NOT mean you have to keep taking it. If you are not free to leave then you can still practice right where you are until the opportunity presents itself to get out. But do get out.
For most of us the practice of the 70×77 comes after getting out then, when you are in a safe place, every time the situation comes up in your mind let it go, and keep doing it. I have gone thru this more than once and even now when I remember the situation I let it go again, even years later.
In the Sutra on the full awareness of breathing, found in Tich Nhat Hanh’s book Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries the last four of the sixteen methods of fully aware breathing we find:
13. “Breathing in, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas. Breathing out, I observe the impermanent nature of all dharmas.”
14. “Breathing in, I observe the disappearance of desire. Breathing out, I observe the disappearance of desire.”
15. “Breathing in, I observe cessation. Breathing out, I observe cessation.”
16. “Breathing in, I observe letting go. Breathing out, I observe letting go.”
Hanh, Thich Nhat (2012-01-10). (p. 24). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.