When we’re young, our initial learning and subsequent training most often makes sense of the world by examining contrasts: good and bad, right and wrong, safe and dangerous, etc. This polarized perception protects us and helps us describe detailed differences to others. As we mature, however, polarized (or dualistic) thinking becomes a barrier to perceiving the fullness of what sits right in front of us.
Franciscan Priest and author, Richard Rohr, observes: “Words and thoughts are invariably dualistic, but pure experience is always nondualistic.”
To forgive is to see the whole of reality, to remove dualistic analysis from the equation, and to acknowledge the complexities (some known and most unknown) of the situation.
In her book, SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, Cindy Wigglesworth suggests that we strive for “humble curiosity.” When our higher self is humbly curious, we ask two questions:
When you do something irritating, what would it take
for me to do the exact same behavior?
What is the noblest thing to do in this situation?
These questions acknowledge the complex web of experiences that brought us to this moment, and that, if I were in your shoes, I’d likely have done the same behavior. Then, it moves to the point of response: so, what is the noble thing to do?
Forgiveness puts us in the place beyond right and wrong, and lets us be with one another in a place of understanding and acceptance.
Nondual people use knowledge for the transformation of persons and structures, but most especially to change themselves and to see reality with a new eye and heart. Richard Rohr
Here is a brief article by Jonathan Lareau on the personal impact of nondual thinking (read now)