Forgiveness is Unnecessary. ~ Byron Katie

Via Byron Katie
on Oct 6, 2013
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Photo: TangYauHoong on Flickr.
Photo: TangYauHoong on Flickr.

Why did the ancient Masters esteem the Tao?
Because, being one with the Tao,
when you seek, you find;
and when you make a mistake, you are forgiven.

I love that what is of true value can’t be seen or heard. It’s nothing and it’s everything, it’s nowhere and it’s right under your nose—it is your nose, as a matter of fact, along with everything else. It can’t be reached or achieved, because as soon as you start looking for it, you leave it. It doesn’t have to be achieved, only noticed.

Nothing anyone says is true and no thought that arises within you is true. There’s nothing. And yet, here is the world again. The sun in the sky. The sidewalk. The dog trotting along on a leash.

When you understand that you’re one with reality, you don’t seek because you realize that what you have is what you want. Everything makes sense because you don’t superimpose your thinking onto reality. And when you make a mistake, you realize immediately that it wasn’t a mistake; it was what should have happened, because it happened. Before the fact, there were infinite possibilities; after the fact, there was only one.

The more clearly you realize that would have, could have, should have are just unquestioned thoughts, the more you can appreciate the value of that apparent mistake and what it produced.

Seeing this is forgiveness in its totality.

In the clarity of understanding, forgiveness is unnecessary.

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Assistant Ed: Steph Richard / Ed: Cat Beekmans

{Article excerpted from A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell, © 2007. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Three Rivers Press.}


About Byron Katie

Byron Katie has one job: to show people how to end their suffering. She has been bringing The Work to millions of people around the world for more than twenty years through her website (where everything you need in order to do The Work is free), webcasts, weekend workshops, the March 2014 nine-day School for The Work, and her 28-day residential Turnaround House program. Byron Katie is the author of three bestselling books: Loving What Is, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, and A Thousand Names for Joy. Her other books are Question Your Thinking—Change the World, Who Would You Be Without Your Story? Peace in the Present Moment (with Eckhart Tolle), and, for children, Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?


3 Responses to “Forgiveness is Unnecessary. ~ Byron Katie”

  1. “Everything is permitted.

    All is allowed.”

    Am I the only one that sees this as incomplete, self serving, and without empathy?

    Yes, it seems I am.

  2. tesh says:

    for a person of clarity of Tao master like Katie, it is unnecessary, for the rest of us it is a powerful idea and practice, like hawaian 'ho pono pono', Still there can be no duality of 'I forgive you' instead we may say that we are forgiven by the one who is 'forgiveness' itself, which is our own essence and yet beyond our personalities.

  3. Beth says:

    Thinking deeply about Katie's work, I believe she is correct about forgiveness. I thought about someone I want to forgive – and someone who I believe wants me to make amends for something that recently happened. In both cases. It is eye-opening to see that forgiveness is not the point – nor the issue. Love really covers it all for me. This doesn't mean that I will choose to stay in relationships that hurt me on a consistent basis, where am sure the person is not working toward enlightenment and has no interest in doing so. That's toxic waste .. It does mean that I am working toward enlightenment and I have a lot of work to do. Forgiveness would not make any difference in the two cases I am thinking about. Facing reality and loving who I choose to love is what I take from Katie's messages