Forgive your worst enemies… The moment I forgave the Nazis, I felt free from Auschwitz and from all the tragedy that had occurred to meEva Kor 1934-2019
Are you hooked?
I saw on the news that a brave lady, Eva Kor, had just died. Quoted and emphasised was her remarks on forgiveness repeated above, so I recognised that she was free, and that gave rise to this post.
Practising forgiveness is hard for the false self. It holds onto every potential insult with a grip of death. And of course it does that — for the false self is sustained by the emotional energy it entrains, in part by maintaining resentments, grudges, hurts, in a long list of every single infraction incurred by every other apparent self it has ever failed to get what it wanted from.
If this is true for the ordinary false self and the ordinary apparent crossed circumstances of an unexceptional life, how much harder can it be to forgive terrible deeds done unto you? Should the perpetrators be forgiven for the awful things they have done? Why should they get away with it? Why not hate forever? Is it not impossibly difficult, utterly unthinkable, inhumanly hard to forgive?
It’s no harder at all.
Because the secret behind forgiveness is that forgiveness is nothing to do with the apparent other — the apparent infractor — the apparent author of the sin. It’s nothing at all to do with letting them off. It’s about letting you off.
Forgiveness is letting go of the hook that has been set in you. It is quite impossible to do — until it is done. Then the hook is gone.
And that is true heroism. If Eva Kor can do it — how can you — how can I — not?