ACBE37D2-FA6B-4292-92F9-CD27DFF5958CSpring Waters’ – Vilhelms Purvitis, 1910 – WikiArt

Isn’t it wonderful to discover that you cannot be destroyed? No matter the magnitude of your heartbreaks. No matter the betrayals and the dishonesties — all that is unforgivable in others or in yourself. No matter the untold suffering inflicted to your body or to your self. Isn’t it a blessing to notice that you cannot be broken no matter what? You can believe to be broken, sullied, doomed and punished for your sins. But in reality you are not and cannot be. You are as beautiful as you ever wished to be. Worse even. No quantity of imagination, no originality of a mind will ever prepare you to comprehend the pure and unsullied nature of your self, which equals to nothing but the beauty of your heart.

The only thing that can ever be hurt or sullied is a thought or a belief. You will be hurt in proportion to the extent of your identifications. The greater your illusion, and the sharper will be the pain when it is challenged, or diminished, or trampled. A belief is a living thing. It is not just a dead abstraction that can be easily ignored or overcome. A belief is as alive and sensitive as a self can be. We are made of that belief, we have clothed ourself with it and have become vulnerable to all that can undermine it. That’s how you become a sufferer. That’s how you can imagine to be sullied, diminished, destroyed. It is all contained in one single belief about yourself. And it can be released in one single act of contemplation: Seeing yourself as you are, and not as you imagine yourself to be.

Your body-mind is constantly affected by the weather of conditioning, ignorance, unconsciousness. To believe that you are your body and mind is to subscribe to an old conditioning; it is to be yourself a particular weather. As a result, you will spend your life bumping into other weather conditions, out of which lightning is bound to be produced, along with frequent showers of suffering and heavy clouds of separation. In order to be washed clean of your suffering and limitation, to be impenetrable to the weather of life, immune to the power of your thoughts and feelings, your only avenue is the noticing of your unsullied, incorruptible nature. This noticing is in fact nothing but god’s forgiveness. It is in the nature of god’s being to forgive, for being is an eternal and natural act of forgiveness.

To forgive is never something that you do, but is rather the expression of an understanding. Forgiveness is your natural state of affairs. For in truth, you have been conceived immaculate. This is your eternal identity. It is interesting to notice that the etymology of the word ‘forgiveness’ comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘fragebaną’, which means to ‘give away, give up, release’, in other words to give completely. It means the offering of your illusory self, in the forms of beliefs and identifications, to the altar of your essential being. Your true nature becomes the place of sacrifice where you release, give up, give away, everything that is not completely you, until that fire has left nothing but that part in you which cannot be destroyed, reduced, sullied, and is therefore never in any need to be forgiven, arranged, completed, or aggrandised.

I was visiting a church recently, and came to pass by a beautiful wooden confessional. I was arrested by a notice that had been nailed on the door with that single phrase: “Here we resuscitate.” It was not written “Here we forgive or are forgiven”, or even “Here we confess our faults”, but “Here we resuscitate”. Here we are raised up again. We are called to remember, or are waking up to, our true nature. This is the etymology of the word ‘resuscitate’, to ‘be raised again’, or to ‘recall under’, to ‘wake up’ — which is nothing but to recognise, or be reminded of our essential being hidden under the layer of conditioning and identifications — that layer is nothing but a form of death. To confess our sins is therefore to put at bay all these unhealthy, illusory identifications with objects and receive the absolution of our true identity as pure being. Our confession is in that sense a form of recognition. It is a living recognition that contains in itself its own forgiveness, and the noticing of the communion of our being with god’s eternal and all-forgiving being. That pure, inalterable being is in no need to be forgiven, and in no capacity to forgive. How is one to forgive or be forgiven who is forgiveness itself?


7130A224-0ABC-44F8-A4D8-4035F40FAB0E‘Untitled’ – Vilhelms Purvitis – WikiArt


Don’t forget that when you truly forgive, there is no one inside you who could be the forgiver. No one who does the forgiving. For the simple reason that there is no actual self present here who could be in capacity to forgive. Anymore that there could ever be a person who is actually in need to be forgiven. This is all a play between images, or illusions. Forgiveness is in fact already acted, because it is all there is. Forgiveness is an intrinsic and natural quality of love; and love is the very nature of god’s being or reality — which we are too, in essence. With this simple realisation, it is understood that only acts and behaviours are reprehensible, but never the doer of them, for the simple reason that there is no such entity. The apparent doer is only a mistaken identification of our essential self and being with thoughts, feelings, and the limitations and contours of our body and sense perceptions. From this original sin is derived a sense of separation that breeds in its wake such feelings as fear, sorrow, anger, hatred, and opens the door to all winds of conditioning. This wrong identification is doing nothing but veiling our true nature as shared, indestructible, unsullied being — hence the advent of all manners of unloving, ignorant actions and behaviours — while in the meantime love and forgiveness always prevails in the background and always will. To forgive somebody who has acted wrongly is not to forgive the deeds, but to recognise his or her essential being as our own, and as god’s infinite being. The simple but clear understanding of this fact will suppress in the egg all our impulses at judging or condemning.

Now imagine any old man or woman who is likely to have known countless losses, to have experienced suffering in any possible way, who has gone through griefs and accidents, despairs and disillusions, weaknesses and transgressions, and is heading towards his or her final end as death. Go to such people and many of them will tell you that they haven’t been broken in spite of these constant afflictions. They have gone through it all and now find themselves as whole as they have ever been. Why so? Well, they have learnt to release and forgive, they have passed over mountains of illusions, and they have landed to where they finally belong, which is their self. They have the intuition of their true nature, and the nearing of death gives them a hint of their eternal self. They often have acquired a strange transparency, and their heart is showing as shining just underneath their frail skin. They are about to espouse the invulnerability of their essential being. And even death is discovered to be powerless in diminishing it.

Forgiveness and strength are forever associated. For to be in need to be forgiven, or in position to forgive, is to be weak, uncertain, separate, confused, forgetful of our essential being. Forgiveness has no such prerogatives. It is alone, certain, peaceful, at ease with itself and knowing no apparent other. Therefore it cannot be destroyed or diminished in any way, which would be a proof of separation and an occasion for suffering. It is just itself, one all-knowing, all-loving, all-forgiving being; never in position to be tarnished or sullied, and at once incorruptible and indestructible. In fact, the place of forgiveness or absolution in ourself is this very place of inalterability and deathlessness.

To be absolved is to be washed clean from all our attempts to flee into objectivity. It is to take apart our experience, and separate all that can be dispensed with, from that which cannot be dispensed with. It is to be released of all that doesn’t truly belong to us, and to be left alone with the unbreakable essence of who we are. It is then to be dissolved within that essence until we cannot be taken apart or away from it. This dissolution is our return into completeness, and the absolution which we have been looking for in our desperate search for happiness. This is the final say of god, the return of the prodigal son or daughter to his or her father’s home. A notice at his front door reads: ‘Here we are set free and know peace as our own being’. This can bring tears in our eyes, to be finally brought back home, to return, be saved at last, have all our greatest wishes granted, and be cleansed of everything that takes us away from our true, unmistakable, and beloved self. This indeed is ultimate absolution.



Text by Alain Joly

Paintings by Vilhelms Purvītis (1872-1945)



Vilhelms Purvītis (Wikipedia)

– Other ‘Essays’ from the blog…


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