Perception is everything. A huge percentage of the world, especially in the US, perceives ourselves as deeply divided.
One side sees clear and repeated violations of the Constitution, from vote tampering and election rigging — collusion with a foreign government against American citizens — for personal financial and political gain.
The other side feels bonded to a beloved president, and that any contesting and correcting his behavior, whether in the opinions of others or through legal processes like impeachment is perceived as highly offensive which must be defended against at all costs.
What will happen to us as a society after the election, regardless of the outcome?
A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Are we headed for a great divorce? Divide up the country into blue and red states? One side gets Texas and Florida, the other gets New York and California? Do we then divvy up regions in each state? Neighborhoods within cities? Then what? Do we make people move? Segregate the population by… political affiliation? Philosophy? Race? Gender?
Or are we headed for outright civil war? Will it be tanks and guns vs. stones and molotov cocktails, like so many countries have? Will one side be so hateful they will evict, imprison, or God forbid kill the other? Will leaders build a cold war Germany- or Israel-style wall and ghettos? Whst will our storyline be? Do we wind up heading deeper into a dystopian class-divided state, a la The Hunger Games or In Time?
Does anybody really want that?
Instead of wrestling around in the mud, fighting, how can we find our wings, fly up into the branches of a tree above the fight, so we can get some perspective, dispassion, and compassion? There’s a big gap between here and there.
A radical old way to bridge the gap
How about we try using an ancient cultural prescription called forgiveness.
“Unforgiveness,” says Rabbi Jason Sobel, “keeps you imprisoned and chained to your past, but forgiveness sets you free.”
Jesus Christ used a phrase meaning repeatedly without end when asked how: “Forgive seven times seventy.”
Numerous other cultural and religious traditions have discovered the power of forgiveness. One of the most efficacious is the traditional Hawaiian practice of ho’oponopono (pronounced HOE-oh-POE-no-POE-no) meaning “to make right,” or “prayer of forgiveness.”
Removing blocks to the light
In traditional Hawaiian culture, feelings of “anger, grudge-holding, and disharmony” are considered to a type of blockage or obstacle, and are cleared with ho’oponopono.
There is even a documented case of a traditional Hawaiian practitioner, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, using ho’oponopono in the 1980s to effectively “heal” a highly toxic workplace that badly affected all staff and inmates of a hospital for the criminally insane.
Based on an understanding that all consciousness is shared experience, we therefore bear responsibility for whatever we see.
“I was simply cleaning the part of me that I shared with them,” Dr. Len said. “Total responsibility for your life means that everything in your life, simply because it is in your life, is your responsibility. In a literal sense, the entire world is your creation.”
Thus, whenever we see something about which we feel unhappy, worried, anxious, frustrated, bored, or fearful — any sort of negative emotion — it means we are simply holding on to something within us that is blocking the light, and creating shadows—which are those bad feelings. It also means we can respond in a better way that restores the light and good feelings.
Forgiveness clears the blocks to light
There are at least two ways to conduct the practice. I have personally experienced numerous small miracles using the simplified version below. There is also a more detailed nuanced way as well.
The simplified process entails focusing attention to generate four very specific emotional states, one at time, in succession, and then repeating the sequence several times.
Everything in the universe is energy and our senses are merely translators of vibration. Light, color, sound, smell, taste. And emotions, too, have subtle differences, higher and lower vibrational rates. The four emotional states oscillating between a high and low frequencies generate a flow of energy that for generations in Hawaii has been found to be highly regenerative and restorative.
The emotional state in order are: 1) Love/Appreciation 2) Regret/Guilt 3) Remorse/Asking Forgiveness, and 4) Accepting Mercy/Gratitude
Picture the emotions in a circle divided by a cross. At the top 12 o’clock position is Love/Appreciation, at 3 o’clock is Regret /Guilt, at 6 o’clock is asking forgiveness, at 9 o’clock is receiving in gratitude, and now you’re back up to the top at Love. Then repeat.
The practice is to feel into each emotion in succession and then repeat the cycle, starting and ending in love and appreciation.
The object of your emotional state is not important—that is, whatever thought you focus on to generate the feeling. Use whatever generates the strongest and most pure emotional states.
For instance, I think of snuggling my dog to feel deep love. I think of the worst thing I ever did to the person I love most, to feel regret or guilt. I immerse myself in the negative feeling to the point of anguish and then picture myself collapsed on my knees, begging for forgiveness and mercy. Then I feel the forgiveness and mercy come in a flood, which it always does, and then I bask in waves of gratitude. Which lifts me up into feelings of freedom, appreciation, and love. I spend time feeling that love and appreciation fully, before repeating the cycle.
If you have studied law of attraction by Esther Abraham Hicks (AH), this Hawaiian forgiveness prayer practice is a micro embodiment of the 4-step process of creation, moving from inside the vortex (aligned to the frequency of Source energy) out into contrast (resistance), and back into the vortex.
As you practice the cycle, you may even feel a circular, up-and-down sensation as you move through these feelings.
“I love you. I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”
Repeat as many times as needed, ending on Love/Appreciation.
Dr. Len explained it took him several months to heal everyone in the mental hospital, which had degenerated into a very toxic state. Except for two inmates, the “cure” held.
I used this once was when I was in a state of panic to catch an 8:50 a.m. flight from Milwaukee to LA to attend a conference. I had made a huge mistake. I miscalculated my departure time, set my alarm wrong, and raced out of the house a full hour late. It was a rainy, weekday morning at the peak of rush-hour traffic through downtown Milwaukee, with lane closures due to construction for several miles.
For the entire 30-minute drive I repeated the emotional manifestation cycle over and over again, feeling into each expression:
I love you.
I am so sorry.
Please forgive me.
Note that these are not just words to be said as meaningless mantras. They must be felt emotions. On YouTube you can find ho’oponopono recorded as a sweet little song. Maybe that will work for you but it never worked for me. What works for me is slow and focused attention to visualize and feel into each emotional state. You know you’re doing it right if you experience tears of sadness, then tears of joy.
I will never forget that drive. I was crying the whole way and then it was like the parting of the Red Sea. Tears streaming down, traffic just opened for me. I made every green light, experienced steady freeway speeds without a single slow-down, parked in a remote long-term lot, got picked up immediately by a shuttle, and arrived to the ticketing area 25 minutes before my flight — too late to check bags. A pre-TSA boarding pass came out of the machine. Security waived me and my bags through. I RAN through the airport, heard my name called out over the intercom, twice, arriving at my gate just as they were closing the doors. I made it onto the plane!
All the while, practicing forgiving myself, loving myself, asking for love, and receiving it.
It was incredible.
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Could a forgiveness prayer restore American unity?
Whatever side of the aisle you’re on — why not give it a try?
Dr. Len practiced it daily for months, looking at photographs of each employee and each inmate, praying one by one.
We could do the same, looking at each member of our family. Our clergy and church family. Our students, school teachers, and administrators. Our local doctors, nurses, and patients. Our grocery clerks, baristas, waitstaff, and cooks. Our list of friends on social media. Our mayors and council members. Our representatives in our state capitals and Washington DC.
If what Abraham Hicks says is true, learning to deliberately feel love and appreciation — regardless of conditions — is to become one with Source, and tap into the energy that creates worlds. We can learn to see through the eyes of Source, and the world is transformed. We can light up from the inside out, radiate Source energy, clear of blocked. We longer create and see shadows. Our perceptions are healed.
Maybe if enough of us practice we can make a difference, and bring about true healing and reconciliation.
It certainly can’t hurt!