I am always saying that A Course in Miracles (ACIM) defines common terms differently. One of them is forgiveness. Here in the ordinary world, we think of forgiveness as knowing someone is guilty but letting them off the hook. ACIM says it looking beyond.
But ACIM forgiveness gives students tons of trouble actually understanding it and doing it. And doing it or practicing it is key to ACIM. So, I've been studying for 6 years. Now, here is a moment of clarity I had around this term yesterday.
I was driving through Wyoming listening to an NPR story about a woman who is priestess to the white lions in South Africa. I won't go into whatever it means to be a priestess to white lions. What I was thinking is how everyone has a task. Some people have fantastic tasks like being priestess to white lions. Some people have tasks which make us highly jealous. Some have "special" tasks that seem to make them better than everyone else. But most of us seem to have ordinary daily life. Then suddenly it clicked for me that all our tasks are equally needed.
My task appears very non-special. I work and run. But I know that I am at work metaphysically because the non-material side of my life is at least conscious; something I actively work at. And I realized that all our tasks are really one task in content but different in form.
And here is where I clearly understood what ACIM forgiveness means. If I know that everyone has a task, and that when I interact with them, I am helping them with their task and they are helping me with my task, then forgiveness has happened. Well, the whole Course in Miracles is completed in that instant of interaction. But it is also true that physical presence is not necessary.
I find it completely possible to walk the face of the earth helping others with their task. With that frame of reference, my life is not about going to work to earn money and retire and die. It doesn't have anything to do with whether I have a "special" task, or wrote a book, or was a guru. I just help others with their task.