"Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one."
For the longest time I was told and believed that forgiveness was all about doing something, applying, being practical, trying to change my mind. But this did not add up with what ACIM says. It tells us that forgiveness looks and is still and does nothing. That it recognizes there is no sin, thus nothing TO forgive. That sure does not sound like a state of activity or doing.
Eventually I realized that forgiveness is a STATE, and in fact ACIM completely equates it with THE ATONEMENT. Atonement, salvation, and forgiveness, are all names for the same thing. It is the end result. It is the goal. It's the state in which everything has BEEN forgiven. It's a state in which there IS nothing TO forgive. It's not a state of doing, or fixing, or changing stuff. It's a state in which all the fixing has been accomplished already. It's a state of mind where the mind is CORRECTLY functioning and perception has already BEEN corrected.
In order to perceive that THERE IS NO SIN, one must be IN a forgiving state of mind. This doesn't mean you're sitting there DOING forgivenesses, or trying to apply techniques. To BE forgiving does not mean you go forth with issues and have lots of mess to clean up. It means you're DONE. It means you have a forgiving ATTITUDE. And to forgive really means to fore-give, to give love ahead of time SO THAT there is nothing that happens that needs to be forgiven. Forgiveness requires NOT MAKING SIN REAL, and therefore being IN forgiveness entails a state of mind and perception where you aren't MAKING errors and aren't having to DO anything in order to fix them.
The forgiving attitude, the forgiving STATE, which is the atonement in its purest form, is just shy of being in Heaven. It is IN this state that you see the forgiven world. And as you are in this state, you are CONSTANTLY BEING FORGIVING. That does not mean in any way shape or form that you are constantly "doing" forgiveness, or taking steps, or making corrections to perception. It means YOU'RE DONE. You're LOOKING from the state of corrected perception. You're SEEING innocence everywhere you look. You're RECOGNIZING the truth about all things. That's what it means to BE forgiving. It's part of your God-given nature to be PERMANENTLY FORGIVING. Not permanently DOING forgiveness, permanently BEING forgiveness.
And it is in this same way that GOD IS FORGIVING. This does not mean God does forgiveness. God recognizes, just as the atonement does, that there IS NO SIN and there is NOTHING TO FORGIVE because God has not made the mistake of FAILING TO FORGIVE, which would lead to attack and making sin real, resulting in judgement. God does not FAIL TO BE FORGIVING. Ever. He is PERMANENTLY forgiving, which in ACIM terminology means, he is constantly aware that there is no sin and separation is not real. CONSTANTLY. That is what being forgiving means. If he were to NOT be forgiving he would slip into unforgiveness which is the attitude of attack and judgement.
It's because we FAIL to BE forgiving, that we slip INTO judgement and unforgiveness. And once that's happened what we NEED is to then seemingly DO SOMETHING in order to correct the unforgiveness and RETURN TO the state of forgiveness. And guess who tells you that you need to DO SOMETHING as a result of "judgement and sin being real"? THE EGO! The ego tells you forgiveness is a DOING. That's when we need to stop believing in judgement and attack and learn again (or unlearn) to recognize that THERE HAS NOT REALLY BEEN A SIN. To remember, to see with forgiveness, because forgiveness OVERLOOKS sin. Forgiveness doesn't DO something TO sin. It looks past it from the beginning as a state of TRUTH, and DOES NOT SEE IN AT ALL.
Forgiveness is a STATE OF MIND. It is not an activity. It is not a doing. God IS forgiving because he does not see sin. You are forgiving when you do not see sin. The whole sonship is forgiving when it does not see sin. Heaven is permanently forgiving. "Forgiving" does not mean "doing forgiveness" it means UPHOLDING THE TRUTH and MAINTAINING REALITY. It is a state of a healthy mind. A state that you are supposed to get INTO and remember and reconnect with. It is the atonement. It is salvation.
Forgiveness is not something you just do here and there intermittently. It's not something you just "apply" once in a while or switch on temporarily and switch off again. It's a state you are supposed to get into ALL THE TIME. So that you are ALWAYS BEING FORGIVING, in which you are NEVER NEEDING TO *DO* ANYTHING. It's the state of "I need do nothing" BECAUSE there is no sin. It seems paradoxical to the ego. But forgiveness is all about the recognition of reality, it's not about what you do to fix your judgements.
The true fix for any judgement is to UNDO what you DID in order that you can RETURN TO a state of being constantly forgiving. To RESUME FORGIVENESS. You don't DO forgiveness "to" things you've made real. The making of them UNREAL corrects the perceptual error and RETURNS YOU TO the forgiving state of mind. This undoing, this correction, this purification, this movement TOWARDS forgiveness, this "practice", which ACIM actually refers to as HEALING, or applying miracles, is what takes you back INTO the forgiving state. Back to the atonement.
The steps you take, the techniques you use, the thoughts you utilize, the methods you apply, are only illusory steps within a context of "it seems like sin is real" to try to get your mind back OUT of that belief and perception so that you can once again BE forgiving. BEING forgiving is where you GET TO when you are DONE with the correction, it isn't the correcting process. Trying to "apply forgiveness" is an act of trying to bridge the gap between your failure to be forgiving and your return to being forgiving. It's your effort to remember the truth, which is to accept the atonement, because forgiveness IS the atonement.
"The grace of God rests gently on forgiving eyes, and everything they look on speaks of Him to the beholder. He can see no evil; nothing in the world to fear, and no-one who is different from himself. And, as he loves them, so he looks upon HIMSELF with love and gentleness. He would no more condemn himself for HIS mistakes than damn another. He is not an arbiter of vengeance, nor a punisher of sin. The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others. For he would ONLY heal and ONLY bless. And, being IN ACCORD with what God wills, he HAS the power to heal and bless all those he looks on with the grace of God upon his sight. "