Forgiveness Is the Key but Who Can Use a Key when He Has Lost the Door for Which the Key Was Made?

“Forgiveness is the key but who can use a key when he has lost the door for which the key was made, and where alone it fits? Therefore we make distinctions, so that prayer can be released from darkness into light. (S-2.I.9)”

1 – Different Types of Forgiveness

This section of Song of Prayer confirms what the rest of the treatise says about prayer. This section identifies the various types of forgiveness, giving their distinctions. Jesus would have us release forgiveness from the shadows (“darkness”) into light.

2 – Most Insidious Form of Forgiveness

The most insidious form of forgiveness, the ego’s form of forgiveness is described in the following passage:

“Forgiveness-to-destroy has many forms, being a weapon of the world of form. Not all of them are obvious, and some are carefully concealed beneath what seems like charity. Yet all the forms that it may seem to take have but this single goal; their purpose is to separate and make what God created equal, different. (S-2.II.1)”

We are actually all the same; we are One, and therefore there are ultimately no differences among us. But forgiveness-to-destroy, being the ego’s brand of forgiveness, does—as all things of the ego—seek to divide, to separate. And God would not have it so.

3 – Free Will

But as a part of our belief about ourselves, our egos have a will of their own. And God gave us free will, never to be denied. He also sought to preserve that will in active ways. Cause-and-effect is one such effect with which Jesus himself will not tamper. It is a primary device of the mind, and Jesus will not interfere with our minds. So we must willingly give up our egos, and we have surely learned by now that this cannot be done alone. We need, desperately, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit will never have us pretend to forgive offenses that we think do not deserve forgiveness. He wants all or nothing—forgiveness of the misdeeds (misdeeds at least as we perceive them) and a will to forget as well. Then we are home free. We have given up judgment, and with the giving up of judgment, the way to awake is near (from the Text of ACIM).

4 – “Better” vs. “Baser”

“In this group, first, there are the forms in which a ‘better’ person deigns to stoop to save a ‘baser’ one from what he is truly. (S-2.II.2)”

This is more elucidation of the “forgiveness-to-destroy.” When we think that we are better than another, we always think awry. And this is patently obvious to all who have studied A Course in Miracles.

Let us leave such foolishness behind forever, today. May we see that the equality of our brothers and sisters with us is a given. With that given, forgiveness is easy, because we wish that they too will forgive us when we have made mistakes. What we wish to receive, we must first give.


Dear Father/Mother,

May I practice only genuine forms of forgiveness. May I know that all individuals deserve forgiveness, total and complete, and that to deny this is to fail to receive forgiveness myself. Would I allow myself to receive forgiveness? This I must ask. Thank You for letting me understand that forgiveness has a sound basis, that it is always justified, and that when we recognize that we live in an illusory world, we know that misdeeds have not really happened at all.

Be with us today, as we seek to forgive genuinely.



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