The other day, a student reminded me of something I said that had stuck with him and been truly helpful. Of course, I had forgotten all about it! Here’s the blogpost he was referring to:
When I first started studying A Course in Miracles in 1997, I grappled with the new definition of “forgiveness”* that Jesus offers us. One day, the old English usage of “for to give” popped into my head.
For to give fear to Love
For to give guilt to Innocence
For to give pain to Peace
Then I remembered a lyric from the song, A Horse with No Name by America (not Neil Young :) ):
In the desert you can remember your name
‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain
This pop song, which I had mindlessly sung countless times when it was a hit in 1972, was suddenly offering me a spiritual solution to the riddle of forgiveness.
Didn’t Jesus spent forty days in the desert remembering his Name, that is, his true identity? And once his true identity was remembered, so was his Oneness with all his brothers and every living thing, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. In fact, there ain’t no one for to give you no pain once you awaken to the Truth that we are all One.
The lyric from A Horse with No Name was biblical, mystical–an ancient nomadic sojourn of a twentieth century cowboy using an awkward yet mesmerizing grammatical construction, for to give, that spontaneously inspired me to translate everything.
For to give dreams to Reality
For to give illusions to Truth
For to give separation to Unity
One of the nicknames ACIM uses for the Holy Spirit is the Translator. Once the Holy Spirit became my Spiritual Psychotherapist and Guide, I embarked on a whole new level of translation! Up until then, as a psychotherapist, one potent tool in my healing kit was the idea of translating emotional language from its surface meaning down into the underlying messages.
Psychotherapy is an art, because it is customized to each person’s deep psychological needs and beliefs. I already loved the creativity involved in unraveling dysfunctional behavior through a process of emotional translation. How exciting to discover that A Course in Miracles offered a translation process that frees us from the ego entirely!
For to give my Amy-identity to the Holy Spirit, Who,
in turn, gives me Love and reveals my God-Identity.
This internal translation process kept working inside my head all day, every day, to this very day. And my inner conviction about the Course’s Message keeps growing.
For to give sleep to Awakening
For to give ignorance to Knowledge
For to give nightmares to Happy Dreams
For to give time to Eternity
For to give space to Infinity
For to give fragmentation to Wholeness
For to give death to Life
Make your own “for to give” list. Feel free to borrow from mine. Let me know if you come up with some good ones. And if this “technique” illuminates the ACIM forgiveness practice for you in a new way, please share. Email me at email@example.com
* Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. ~ACIM Workbook, 1. What Is Forgiveness?