During the fall of 1998, I attended a seminar given by Neale Donald Walsch in upstate New York. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Walsh told a story that was meant to raise awareness about the origins of forgiveness.

There were 175 people in the room. When he finished his story I don't know of anyone who didn't have tears in their eyes, including myself. It brought on a whole new meaning of forgiveness for all of us.

I will do my best to retell his story...

In the beginning, just before the physical universe in which we live was created, God called all the spirits (souls) together and told them that they would soon be going into the new world. It was made just for them so that they could experience and feel things that weren't possible in the Absolute, where unspeakable joy and unconditional love for all made us ONE. However, in the Absolute, all we could do was know things. But it was not possible to experience or feel them, because there were no  opposites or conflicts there.

God explained that in order to feel and experience things, everything in the physical universe had to have an opposite. So, for joy there was sadness, for love there was fear, for health there was sickness, for light there was darkness, for anger there was forgiveness, for male there was female, and so on. 

In the Absolute, we knew of these things, but that wasn't enough. What we really wanted was to go beyond the knowingness. We wanted to experience and feel what we knew and so did God, through us. 

God Stood before all the assembled spirits and described the different emotions that could be experienced in the new universe. One of the spirits ran forward and said "There is so much to choose from, but what I'd really like to experience and feel is forgiveness." God smiled and said that was a wonderful choice.

God then explained to the eager spirit that forgiveness could not be experienced or felt unless there was at least one other spirit involved. Forgiveness, or any other emotion, could not be experienced alone. There had to be at least two spirits involved in such a drama. No sooner did God say this when another spirit ran forward excitedly and said "I'll be the other person... I'll volunteer!"

God then explained to the two spirits that in order for forgiveness to occur one spirit would have to hurt the other spirit in some way, whether it be physically, emotionally or both. This would cause pain, suffering and anger. That would be the only way forgiveness of one for the other could be felt or experienced.

The first spirit said it still wanted to experience forgiveness, because unconditional love for another was the highest choice one could make and the grandest feeling one could experience. God smiled warmly at both of them.

The other spirit looked at his friend and said "I will be the one who hurts you. But, when I do, try to remember that I'm doing this out of unconditional love... so that you may experience and feel compassion and forgiveness for me."



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