It is through the acupuncture of forgiveness that we find peace and rest and answers. Before we explain fully what we mean by that we want to share a story about a mynah bird’s cough. You’ll see how it relates in just a few moments.
She checked the bird’s throat, and examined the bird’s eyes and feather coating. The vet raised her eyebrows and with a sigh said to the owner, “Let me hear you cough.”
The bird’s owner rolled his eyes, but coughed to appease the vet. It was the same cough as the bird’s cough.
So, the doctor said with a smile, “You get over your cough, and the mynah will get over your cough, too!”
It works the same way with us. If we want to discover the inner peace and happiness we deserve in life we’ve got to get over our ‘coughs.’ That is, we’ve got to get rid of ‘coughs’ like chronic negative thinking, self-doubt, resentments, anger, and unforgiveness. We’ve got to move beyond self-negating beliefs and bad habits. You know, coughs like that.
By the way, there’s been a ton of research on inner peace and happiness. Both are connected. It seems you can’t have one without the other. And there’s very definitely a strong relationship between happiness, inner peace, and forgiveness.
Interestingly enough, total happiness seems to have three components: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. The father of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, has confirmed that people who pursue only pleasure usually experience only part of the benefits happiness can bring, while those who pursue all three routes lead the fullest lives. (Seligman, 2005). We’ll talk more about that in another blogcast.
It is our hope as Unity ministers that one day people the world over will meet lovingly at the corner of forgiveness and inner peace. They will have become so unified, and will have reconciled many if not all of their differences, and will experience such oneness that when someone cries, all of us will taste the salt.
Until then, we invite you to plan a trip – maybe many trips – to the corner of forgiveness and inner peace. Plan to visit as often as it takes to reconcile any hurts that may have led to an unforgiving heart.
It’s important that you make the trip because, from a spiritual perspective, it’s absolutely necessary that you rid yourself of any ‘coughs’ that interfere with your inner peace and happiness.
What is the “Unforgivable Sin?” (Matthew 12:31-32 Metaphysically Interpreted)
In traditional, mainstream Christianity, one of these ‘coughs’ is referred to as the ‘unforgivable sin.’ Actually, it’s alluded to in every religion. In the Christian tradition it is clearly articulated in Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3:29; and Luke 12:10. From a literal, dogmatic point of view, there are misconceptions about what the ‘unforgivable sin’ is, so we’d like to share with you a more loving and esoteric interpretation of the ‘unforgivable cough.’
This ‘unforgivable sin’ (unforgivable cough) is not about working on the Sabbath. Nor is it coveting your neighbor’s stock portfolio. It’s not about lying, or bearing false witness, or stealing, or cheating, or killing – as awful as those ‘coughs’ are. Nor is it about cheating on your income taxes. It’s not even secretly replacing the golf ball you couldn’t find with another one and not adding strokes to your score.
According to traditional religious belief the unforgivable sin (cough) is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. (Read Matthew12:31-32 in your favorite Bible interpretation).
There are two important words we need to consider without belaboring the point: unforgivable and blasphemy. They are central for understanding what this passage means from a more spiritual and not so dogmatic perspective.
Unforgiveness, from an ontological perspective, means failing to give up the false for the true; so, if something is unforgivable:
- It means being unable or unwilling to recognize falsehood or error.
- It means repeating the same error (cough) again and again.
- It means the ‘cough’ is unpardonable because it hasn’t been corrected, it keeps being repeated.
- It means living under false pretenses because ‘coughs’ seem to be more important than peace, happiness, and serenity.
It reminds us of the quip Abe Lincoln used when he asked, “If I call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?” Believe it or not a few people said five. Abe laughed. “Just because I call a dog’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg. A dog only has four legs.”
So, if we continue to live under false pretenses we’ll continue to live under false pretenses. If we fail to correct errors, we’ll suffer the consequences of those missteps. If we choose not to eliminate our ‘coughs’ we’ll continue to ‘cough’ our way through life and rob ourselves of the inner peace and serenity we seek.
Our sins (coughs) are unforgiveable because they are mindlessly repeated. If we repeat errors time and time again and continue repeating them, we’re likely to, well, keep repeating them. It’s the repetition that makes errors (sins, coughs) unforgivable. If you stick your hand on a hot stove you’ll get burned. If you do it again…
Blasphemy is the second important word in the Matthew account. Blasphemy is a powder keg word. As it is used in dogmatic scriptural accounts blasphemy refers to injurious speech against the Holy Spirit. It means attributing the miracles performed by the Christ as Jesus to the power of Beelzebub (Satan, the devil). The Pharisees were, in essence, attributing Jesus’ power to Satan, and claiming that Jesus was ‘Satan incarnate’ instead of God incarnate.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, from an esoteric perspective, means denying our innate divinity:
- It is neglecting to express our divinity.
- It is refusing to see that we are spiritual beings in human form.
- It is opting out of opportunities to express our oneness with the Eternal Presence we call God!
- It’s being too coy, or too disinterested, to say “I am God expressing through the Christ as me!”
If we blaspheme (deny our divinity), we won’t be able to reconcile the difference:
- between Truth and error,
- between our spiritual self and our material self,
- between being enlightened and being clueless,
- between dogma and higher truths.
If we can’t reconcile those differences we’ll find it difficult to achieve the inner peace and happiness we seek. We will shut off the flow of Universal Substance.
Actually, every time we think or say something like, “I’m no good,” or “I’m stupid,” or “I’m not worth anything,” we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. Denying our innate divinity –and the innate divinity of others – is truly injurious speech. It perpetuates the illusion of separation and the absence of universal oneness.
Why? Because we’re saying we’re something we’re not! We’re claiming to be less than we are. We’re neglecting to honor our divine status and the divine status of others. As long as we do that we’ll never get to the corner of forgiveness and inner peace. We’ll never get rid of our ‘coughs.’
The Christ as Jesus said, “Choose today who you will serve.” Choose your Higher Self over your lower self. Choose Light over darkness. Choose Love over hatred. Choose truth over error. Choose the spiritual you over the material you.
We look forward to the day when all human error will be reconciled, when there will be such peace, and caring, and loving kindness, and oneness that the only tears will be tears of joy. And the salt from those tears will validate an enlightened humankind, a global citizenry that doesn’t hesitate to meet at the corner of forgiveness and inner peace.Research support: Seligman, M., Peterson, C., and Park, N., “Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: The full life verses the empty life,” Journal of Happiness Studies, 6, 25-41, 2005.