Common steps and sub-activities

Asking for forgiveness

This method is cross referenced within the activity Suppressing memory.

One of the biggest blocks to spiritual experience is our memory and what we have learnt or remembered as so called  ‘facts’ [database of facts].  If our memories are full of hurts done, they constantly resurface to activate the Will into activity and by doing so, by constantly dwelling on these hurts the composer never gets the chance to help or ‘come in.’

In effect, by having bad and troubling memories you can end up with so much input from the memory being generated and being input to the will that it blocks out the composer.  Bad memories whirl round and round in our mind filling it with images and impressions that flood the will with negative input that seems to require its attention, but of which it can do very little.

It is ironically, relatively easy to suppress on a temporary basis all the good memories, but bad memories are hard.  You can never still the chattering will, because the chattering memory is perpetually recalling bad stuff.

So what to do?  Memories are conscious so you know full well what you are remembering [unlike perceptions which require more work]. You have to face up to those memories.

Many bad memories are caused not by trauma or accident but by HURT.  HURT blocks spiritual experience and spiritual progress.

Long term you have to learn to love, - be caring, compassionate and tolerant. But if you have hurt, what do you do?

The answer is that you confess and seek forgiveness of the person you hurt.

This technique is a companion technique to that of Forgiving. We forgive others. 

But in this technique we ask to be forgiven and accept that we have hurt.  Hopefully those we may have hurt will be gracious enough to accept the apology, but even if they are not, the very act – the fact you tried can make all the difference. 

But you have to mean it, you do have to be sorry – accept the blame, accept that you have hurt someone else and be truly penitent.  And be prepared to act out anything you need to do to help the other person forget the hurt you have done – not money obviously  but recompense of yourself – acts of charity that help repair the damage you have done.

Background

The word ‘confession’ tends to immediately produce an image of the catholic confessional, but I actually believe that this form of confession – the catholic method -  is totally unhelpful as you never face those you have hurt. 

It has to be a personal and direct act. 

The burglar must face those he burgled, the mugger must stand in front of those he mugged, the murderer must stand in front of all the people affected by his act. The gossip must stand in front of those who she maligned and spread rumours about. The newspaper or television reporter must stand and face the person he invented a malicious story about.  And the man must face the woman he wronged or vice versa.

The Catholic confessional seems to be a left over from the days when the catholic church used to charge money for these things as a means of becoming powerful and wealthy.  It sold ‘tickets to heaven’ and it appears to have sold ‘forgiveness from God’. But ‘God’ does not hand out forgiveness – only people or our fellow creatures do. So we need to rethink the whole approach in this area.

Forget the institutionalised religions and go for direct action.

Method

The following all help with asking for forgiveness - steps on the way.

But it is worth saying that unless you truly love, nothing of any value will happen even after you have said you are sorry.  You will carry on, and if you get anything at all, it will simply be lessons from your composer on what you should be doing.  Dream after dream, vision after vision, hallucination after hallucination each with a story and each with a carrot or a stick.

It has to be a genuine confession with true feelings of guilt and the wish to be forgiven.  If you need the help of others as an intermediary because it is very hard to do then by all means, as long as they are in a position to be able to get you face to face and talking… 

Never underestimate the power of the word ‘sorry’ to heal.

The Cloud of Unknowing

If you ask me when a person should begin the contemplative work I would answer, not until he has first purified his conscience of all particular hurts……

After Confession the root and ground from which bad springs will still remain in his heart despite all his efforts, but the work of love will eventually heal them totally.

And so a person should first cleanse his conscience in Confession.

Observations

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