Excerpts from "The Grand Design — IV".
ForgivenessAccording to some of your religious beliefs, all human beings are born in sin and are only cleansed of their sins and forgiven by God through the sacrament of baptism. Religious ceremonies invariably incorporate prayers for God's forgiveness of sins.
If you feel that somebody has hurt you, rejected you, done you an injustice of some kind, does that mean that at some stage you must forgive that person? Is it, indeed, open to you to forgive? Is there, in fact, anything to forgive?
Everybody in the human condition has felt hurt or abandoned or rejected or betrayed, many times perhaps, in their evolution. Occasions of hurt, etc., are present in daily human interaction - a perceived critical word or look, for example, can be a source of considerable hurt to a highly sensitive person. The more sensitive one is, the more likely one is to be open to hurt. Often the person who is deemed to be responsible for causing hurt is quite unconscious of that.
Emotional hurt in its different manifestations - rejection, abandonment, etc., - is subjective. What causes hurt to one person will have no effect on another. It follows, then, that people are hurt according to their capacity to receive hurt - or, put another way, to the extent that they allow it.
Physical cruelty, of course, causes emotional as well as physical hurt. An obvious example of that is sexual abuse. For instance, how can a child avoid being hurt, or not allow itself to be hurt, by an abusing parent or adult?
I think it's a reasonable conclusion that in some instances hurt is unavoidable in the human condition. The more a person reaches self-acceptance and a feeling of oneness with God in him, the less possibility there is of his being hurt - his capacity to receive hurt is diminishing in accordance with his increasing feeling of oneness with God.
Even though it's true, then, that he is only hurt who allows that to happen, it is humanly a fact that nobody who has ever come on earth, no matter how evolved, has avoided being hurt. So consideration of the question of forgiveness is relevant.
In summary, what I'm saying is that forgiveness of yourself for whatever you may have unawarely done or not done is an essential ingredient in unconditional love. Once you have forgiven yourself the question of forgiving others will be irrelevant; unconditional love means accepting others as they are, so there's nothing to forgive.
ImaginationWe have been discussing reality, creativity, how souls express themselves. I want to include imagination in our consideration since it keeps cropping up as, at least, a question mark in the area of communication with guides.
If you look for alternative meanings for imagination you'll find words such as fancy, creativity, insight, inspiration, sensitivity, vision, inventiveness. In an earlier session (in our second book) I described imagination as the language of the soul; creativity, insight, inspiration, also seem suitable.
People often portray themselves, or are portrayed, as having no imagination. For them, presumably, imagination would be seen to belong exclusively to those involved in obviously creative expression, such as, poets, novelists, script writers, painters, sculptors, inventors, entrepreneurs. But of course, that's not the case; a soul cannot be without imagination.
A central difficulty in so far as imagination is concerned is that it tends to be controlled by limitations of what is known. For example, if somebody asks you to imagine a bird, you will create a picture in your mind of a bird that you have seen; or, if somebody mentions an orange or an apple to you, you will picture them as you remember having seen them. Suppose I ask you to imagine being happy, what happens? Or, if you're feeling happy, can you imagine being unhappy? Let's take the questioning a step further. You accept that souls will ultimately regain full awareness and will then have reached a state of total happiness and fulfilment - a heavenly state of complete unity with God/love. Try to imagine how that state might be. The best you can do with it will probably be to equate heaven with your image of complete happiness; and, of course, what happiness means to you is constantly changing as your awareness changes. And that's the way it is. Heaven is a state of being which is constantly evolving even in the ultimate state of full awareness.
Heaven is, of course, automatically linked with God. We have discussed God at some length in other sessions and arrived at a description of God as love or feeling and all its expressions. How can you imagine God, though? You don't have to go looking for an image of God. Wherever you are, God is. In every person you meet, God is. In all life, God is. God expresses for you in all your creativity. In whatever you imagine, God is. So, you see, you don't have to involve yourself in strenuous efforts to create an image of God; all you need to do is look around you wherever you are and whom ever or whatever you see or feel or hear or touch or perceive in any way you are in the presence of God, within you and without you. In that way your imagination and reality are inseparably linked; in fact, they are one and the same thing.