Anger and Forgiveness
Q. How do you learn to forgive? – How do you go about forgiving somebody and getting out the anger?
Good question, because it is very difficult. First of all – we are born angry. Every human being comes into the present lifetime and will continue to come into lifetimes with anger. Why we are so angry is because of our own actions. We have committed so many actions and evil deeds and wrongdoings that, as the record of bad karma and evil doings gets bigger and bigger, we find that we have enormous difficulties forgiving ourselves for those wrong actions. And we have such a lot of repressed anger and rage which actually influences us even if we don’t want it. So, how to get rid of all this.
What we have started doing is anger workshops – and people get an opportunity to understand how angry they are and try to find some reason for this anger – wonderful, wonderful.
Q. How do you forgive somebody else?
That I will come to – but you cannot forgive anyone at all if you don’t learn to forgive yourself first. When the higher source, God’s wisdom, speaks about forgiveness, what it says is that we have difficulty forgiving ourselves because we are very, very good at punishing ourselves.
Now God never punishes a human being. Christ never does, Buddha never does, no one ever does who is a loving being – but we judge ourselves and we have such great difficulties living with what we have done that we cannot forgive ourselves, even if we try. It is not enough to say, ‘I am now going home and I will forgive myself and then I can forgive others.’ Unfortunately it doesn’t work that easily – you have got to work at it.
If you take a university degree, you have to study for many years. If you take yoga, you have got to study for many years to obtain the results. You have got to work at something very much to obtain results, so you can’t just use the wish to get rid of whatever is there below the surface, deep in the subconscious. You have got to work at it.
We have discovered that the best thing is, first of all, go through an anger workshop or whatever is the equivalent, and get to know the anger that you may have suppressed for more than a hundred incarnations.
Then learn to become less ignorant than you are, learning to live by the Will of God and by the goodness of God. You will discover that, as you live by the goodness of God, the Will of God, that you are able to forgive yourselves past actions and then you can turn your attention on other people.
Then you will discover that they are as unhappy about themselves as you have been about yourself, and that is the reason for perhaps being unwise, negative, hateful, malicious, jealous - whatever of human defects we find in each other.
We can forgive each other when we find how ignorant we really are, because as long as we are not God conscious, soul conscious, we can make mistakes. We can make mistakes out of ignorance, and in order to do away with ignorance, we have to learn what lives within us, we have to learn to understand God’s wisdom, we have to learn to understand what we term ‘the basic Theosophical principles for a better life,’ and we have to do the Will of God in our actions.
And you will suddenly wake up one morning and you will feel that you have been forgiven. That means that you have forgiven yourself something, and when you have lost a lot of this energy of punishing yourself, then you will find it easy to forgive your fellow human beings.