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Forgiveness: A spiritual reflection from an Auditor—Jonathan

Forgive everyone, and I mean everyone. First, forgive yourself. Because how can one forgive another if one cannot yet forgive oneself? This then leads to reconciling oneself with others, even our enemies; I have, personally, found that the hardest ones to forgive are those who I witnessed hurting others for little to no reason. For example, let's say someone treats you wrong for no reason at all, and the impact of their wrong treatment has tremendous consequences.

These are often the hardest to forgive, since the act of forgiving them will not erase the consequences which they have caused to us. Here it is most important to highlight, the **cost** of not forgiving them, actually brings far more suffering, pain, and provides a sense of longevity to the wrongs they committed towards you. If you truly wish to overcome all they have done towards you, allow your emotions to do whatever healthy methods of coping you have available, and when you are ready enough, you'll finally let go of what they did.

This is probably the hardest part of forgiveness. It is being able to forgive people who have hurt us so deeply. Reconciliation is the greatest healer. If we do not reconcile, then the darkness within will fester. Hurt feelings turn to bitternesses and hate, which only leads to more darkness. As Manichaeans, we are called to live a life of Spirit and Truth, to walk continually in the Light. Light is love, forgiving, and generous. Darkness, on the other hand, is hatred, jealously, and lust.

A good perspective to have, is to realize that everyone in life plays the role of a teacher. Every person we meet in life, both good and bad, can teach us profound truths. There are teachers of light and teachers of darkness. The majority of us are shades of gray. Every social interaction can have an essential role in shaping our spiritual life. The teachers of darkness play an important role because they show us what not to do, what is not okay, and how not to think or act. Occasionally, they can be the harshest lessons we have to learn. It is how we react to situations which shows our level of spiritual maturity. Jesus taught us that we are to forgive not just once, but 70 × 7, which ultimately means always being open to forgiving yourself and others. For who are we to judge?

The hardest lessons in life are fundamental to our spiritual development. We are called to be discerners of what is good and what is bad, which is clearly identified in the teachings of the two trees. We can never be perfect. But the light within us. We must strive to be less dependent on the flesh and more dependent on the Spirit, which is in all sentient life. Hard lessons teach us to walk in the way of truth and light. Moreover, they show us to be resilient in times of trial. We are called to love one another as God has loved us.

The Teachers of Light play an even more important role, since they provide us with the true gnosis, which will lead us eventually to liberate the soul. What is the true knowledge? It is that we are all sons and daughters of God. And that out of his Perfect love, he descended so that we can ascend back to Him: The All-Perfect and Loving Father, in whom no darkness resides at all.

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