Chapter VII

Forgiveness In Our Three Level House
(The Blueprint Of Our Being)

As we awaken, we take responsibility for our lives. We learn to do the right thing instead of doing things right. We learn to live by the cardinal rule for peace and happiness. It comes in the form of a commandment. We are instructed to love God and our neighbor as ourselves with our minds, hearts, and souls. This injunction means that we are respon­sible for fulfilling it. It is not done for us. To understand how to activate this three­level love, picture your consciousness as the three level house illustrated on the right. In this blueprint of your being, the ground floor is your conscious, rational, cognitive self, found primarily in the left hemisphere of your brain. It is your masculine men­tality. The oriental equivalent is the “yang” of the Yin/Yang concept. If you are learning its function from a “men are men, women are women” perspective popularized by John Gray in his book “Women Are From Venus, Men Are From Mars,” it is the capital of Mars. As explained in our earlier discussion, it is everyone’s “Son of God” responsibility level, where we explore, learn and access the will which originates on the top floor. It is your fact collection center and should be the level of reason.

Forgiveness and Irrational Reason

Unfortunately, the ego uses this part of the mind as an illusion collection center and in this role the intellect or rea­son is used to be unreasonable. “Reasoning” without the direction of the Holy Spirit fabricates rational explanations for unforgiveness, lovelessness and fear. These blinding emotions are carefully disguised by logical argument. “So I may be treating them mean. But they deserve it!” or “I could never forgive them after what they have done!” These arguments attempt to legitimize loveless behavior. They make the Great Commandment the Great Pipedream. Without the protective function of our Inner Advisor, love is logically evaded. This leads to a lethal arrogance and the most brilliant of minds are best at it. When they refuse to humble themselves enough to seek guidance, their bril­liance becomes a dark irrelevance.

History is strewn with the rubble of their thinking: the Arian Nazi philosophers who justified genocide in the last century; Christian theologians advocating killing the infi­del Muslims in the middle ages; the Muslim theologians advocating the killing of infidel Christians today; the great thinkers certain the world was flat before the 15th century; the great modern thinkers who are certain the world of humankind will remain forever divided. All such foolish­ness in time will be relegated to insignificance, swept into the dusty limbo of a forgotten past. Fortunately, when we are ready, the Universe will teach us both the limitations

The Nobility of Volitional Forgiveness

The will, although it originates in the top floor in your sacred Self, resides on the ground floor. This divine force has the power to overrule any destructive pattern or emotion mak­ing the conscious mind an effective tool in the implementation of love and forgiveness. It removes forgiveness from the unpredictable and unmanageable region of the basement, your emotional subconscious. On the ground floor you are in charge. On this conscious level, love is a masculine act of the will; it is not touchy­feely: To love with the mind is to will the highest and best for the offending party. In premarital coun­seling I point out that this is a priceless gift of the groom for his bride. As unconditional love is the woman’s essential gift to marriage and motherhood, responsible love is the man’s. This quality is seen primitively expressed in a man’s tendency to remain glued to football games on television when his wife can think of at least a dozen more important things he could be doing. This male focus, however, if raised to the level of con­scious love and forgiveness, can be a marriage saver. 

The Will As A Marriage­Saver

The masculine, in men or women, is goal oriented. Men just tend to have a larger dose of it. Winning looms large in the male psyche: Get across that goal line. Score those winning points. In marriage, the will can shift this quality to a redemptive level. I remind the man about to start a life­journey with a woman that his goal is to be happily married assuring him that there will be times, hopefully few, when he isn’t even going to like the beau­tiful bride beside him. He will seriously think “This marriage was a mistake.” or “I wish I were single or married to someone else.”

This is when his ego, like a three hundred pound lineman, will stand between himself and his goal. The only thing that can power him through to the goal line is his will. His will to love, his will to forgive can make it happen. To will his bride’s highest and best, knowing with singleness of mind without emotional support that it is his highest and best too, triggers marriage­saving miracles more certainly than anything else he can bring to marital conflict.

Seeing Beyond Behavior

Seeing beyond behavior demands an initial miracle. We are behavior oriented. To see a good person demonstrating “bad” behavior seems to require suspension of rational judgment. The real requirement is that we suspend all judg­ment, realizing that we always define someone with the lim­ited and inaccurate facts at our disposal.

Once uranium was defined as, a rare, white metallic ele­ment, of little practical value. Time and nuclear scientists totally reevaluated its worth in E=mc2. All scientists had that the metallurgists did not was the capacity to compre­hend what they were seeing. That is what forgiveness brings to our vision. Judged superficially, an enemy is an enemy. But your soul contains another vision, one that can trans­form an antagonist into a friend. The worthless becomes priceless. Forgiveness makes us miracle­workers.

Julie learned this in her marriage. Speaking to a confer­ence at the beautiful Wilderness Y.M.C.A. Convention Center on Lake Chalan, Washington, her husband gave me the details of their marriage miracle. In the morning lecture I explained the void Alcoholics Anonymous filled in a toxic spiritual environment. Before its creation, alcoholics had nowhere to go for needed healing support. Social institu­tions such as service clubs and the Church or Temple didn’t welcome drunks who were still drunks. The tacit and often stated message to them was, “Sober up. Clean up your act. Get religion and throw away the booze. Then we will wel­come you.” A.A. changed all of that. Now there were groups committed to no­nonsense, tough love. They wel­comed every “hopeless” drunk willing to walk the walk with them to sobriety.

During a break in the program, I was sitting on the lawn overlooking the lake. Julie’s husband, a tall, ruggedly hand­some man, sat down beside me. I knew him and his wife from earlier workshops. He made some affirmative com­ments about the lecture and then added, “But, Cliff, I’m an alcoholic who found sobriety without A.A.” I pondered his statement. The reason seemed clear. “My guess is that your wife had a lot to do with your recovery.  Your love for each other is so obvious. Julie is a beautiful woman and her faith in God is deep.” “You hit it,” he replied. “She had every­thing to do with it. I don’t know how many times I came home dead drunk; I even tore up the house once. When I’d pass out, my wife and two teenage daughters would clean me up and drag me into bed. Every time I’d wake up the next morning, Julie would greet me with, ‘It’s nice to have the real you back.’”

This was not co­dependent denial. She willed within her pain to see beyond his bag­person behavior. She looked beyond the ego’s evidence and embraced a vision of the man she loved. She saw the God­image at the core of his being. Her will power created forgiveness without self­pity. The Light this attitude generated shone on his drunken shadow totally destroying it. Most alcoholism has its roots in childhood, in a heavy diet of do’s and don’ts, a parental demand for success and rejection from one or both parents. The mix of the two messages ­ Measure up and You don’t measure up ­ leaves the child with the feelings of hopeless­ness and self­loathing. The antidote is the reverse of those feelings, Hope and Love. They must be administered faith­fully without buying into the alcoholic’s insanity. The drunken trauma­drama requires that the spouse or friend move “outside the box.” Consciously or unconsciously embracing the truth in the Serenity Prayer they accept the things in the drunk they can’t change: drunkenness; they change the things they can change: their attitude. Attitude is changed by the will. And the wisdom to know the difference is received through the Voice for God within.

To the superficial observer loving with your will seems drab and unappealing. This is not the case; it is noble and powerful. It can move you out of stuck, unforgiving misery when nothing else can. Loving with your will determines your destiny. It empowers you to choose whether you cre­ate a heaven or a hell for yourself. Only a “sleeping” fool would neglect the discipline of loving with the mind.

Subconscious Forgiveness and Love

We move now from the ground floor to the basement, your subconscious. Here we will consider the function of three of its rooms. Actually there are hundreds of “rooms,” but we will focus on only three.


The Computer Room: Home Of Our Perceptions

The first is the Computer Room, constructed within the ten billion memory cells on the cortex of the brain. You have been sitting in this room, typing in perceptions since about the second trimester in the womb. Psychiatrists Stanislav Grof and William Varney in independent studies have collected a mountain of evidence supporting the fact that we remember with remarkable vividness our life in the womb and our mothers’ emotions while carrying us. To these earliest perceptions are added what we receive from the Collective Unconscious. This information source is a pool of universally held beliefs and myths to which every mind is connected. (The Collective Unconscious is depict­ed as the “bulletin board” of the Three Level House.) This perception­collection process continues with expanded and deepened significance after birth through adolescence.

In our mental computer three impressions are being formed: what mother and, therefore, womanhood, is like; what father and, therefore, manhood is like and what we perceive relationship to be like. The bulk of our emotional experiences throughout life are predetermined and colored by these three information fields. As we have already seen, our Shadows are formed by the dark perceptions recorded in this room.


Our Feminine Shadows

Feminine Shadows are the product of unhealthy moth­er perceptions. The ideal mother is like 98.6 degrees on a thermometer. She is very simply a normal mother. However, as Eric Fromm observed, “We suffer from the pathology of normalcy;” we accept the abnormal as normal. Consequently, we serve our children poorly with this kind of sloppy emotional quality control. In Chapter 8 we will pursue the “how” of the correction process. Here we will concern ourselves with the definition of normal and erasure of the shadowed abnormal.


An Ideal­Normal Mother List

An ideal­normal mother would be perceived as possess­ing the following qualities:

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (the primary gift of a

mother to her child.)





(communicating love, nurture and spirituality

effectively without words.)

Certainly the list could be expanded, but these qualities are basic. During the first ten to twelve years our focus is mainly on mother. If we are blessed with one with the qual­ities listed, we are off to a good beginning.


Our Masculine Shadows

Moving toward our teen years, mother dominance ide­ally yields to focus on father. Although we have been recording father perceptions before this period, now they are critical to growth into maturity.


An Ideal­Normal Father List

The ideal­normal father would be perceived as possess­

ing these qualities: RESPONSIBLE LOVE (the primary gift of a father to his adolescent child.) SPIRITUAL GOAL ORIENTED (strength and commitment to get appropriate things done.) CHERISHES WIFE AND CHILD EMOTIONAL STABILITY VERBALLY COMMUNICATIVE (essential for the maturing adolescent.)

Once again, if you perceived your father as having these qualities, you were blessed. If your mother and father relat­ed with warmth and affection to each other and you, your emotional picture is even brighter. Where any of these qual­ities seem missing, your Shadows formed around that void.

The Holographic Art Room ­ What We See In Ourselves

There are two additional rooms involved in the percep­tion process as shown in the paradigm. The next is the Holographic Art Room. Here you picture in three­dimen­sional “live” imagery what mother/woman is like and what father/man is like. Like a feedback loop, they play out their relationship on this high tech stage in your subconscious. In this room you transform the negative pictures to positive, the subject of Chapters Eight and Nine. These depicted emotions, negative or positive, then are brought over to the third room.

The Projection Room ­ What We See In Others

The Projection Room is where you project these impres­sions onto your “objective” relationships, the world “out there” as you see it. However, there is nothing objective about what you think you are seeing. All significant rela­tionships at home, at school, in social, religious or business circles are people who act as projection screens. On them, you project the emotional images composed by your early recorded impressions.

Forgiveness Erases Shadow Images

As negative impressions are exposed by negative rela­tional experiences, forgiveness has the function of the eras­er head on a VCR. To the degree you give sufficient power to the process, the old images are erased. Only then can new images be composed to replace the Shadow images. Because old negative images neutralize attempted positive replacements until they are eliminated through forgiveness.

The “X” Factor In Perception

The perception process contains one cryptic element not found within the function of the three rooms. Occasionally parents will have a positive or negative quality and you won’t even see it. This is not denial as found in neurosis. You are just impervious to the virtue or weakness. It has no effect on you. Or, likewise, you may have a “gift” or Shadow your emotional world can’t explain because either Bulletin Board material (The Collective Unconscious) or Top Floor in­put (The Soul) overrides the conventional mental mix. It is this “X” factor that makes each child dif­ferent. Every parent of more than one child has seen char­acteristics in one not present in another. The “X” factor caused little Ludwig in the Beethoven family to write sonatas at the age of five. His siblings were not so gifted; all but two were so miserably sick and frail that they died in childhood. The two that survived had none of the genius of their famous brother. The “X” factor differences are numer­ous and profound. Neither nurture nor nature can explain them. The “X” factor in each person is one more reason why our judgments of another are so myopic and wrong.

Loving with one’s heart eliminates such judgment. It loves others “as is.” It arises from the warmth one heart shares with another. The flame or ember, kindled by a par­ent or a friend, was passed on to you. The love they gave you, whether they did so consciously or not, came from God, the Source of all love. As you share it, it grows brighter, more consuming. It is a medical fact that if a baby is denied this emotional love it will physically die. Withhold it from anyone out of an unforgiving spirit and your heart begins to die. Embrace your enemy “out there” and you befriend the part of you that feels unloved; the part of your heart that feels and is not happy with what it feels. As you share your loving feelings they neutralize your neg­ative emotions. Your world  becomes lighter and brighter.

No analysis, psycho or otherwise, is necessary for the application of such love. The little smile, the small act of kindness, the word of appreciation or encouragement toward anyone expands your own sense of love. The uglier the behavior of one your heart embraces, the greater the emotional and spiritual payback. This is why Jesus said, “Bless those who curse you...;” his instruction is practical not sentimental. He had no room for sentiment. The quick­est way to learn to emotionally fly is to give this kind of love to another.  As you give it, you receive it. It becomes the wind beneath your wings. With the emotion of love motivating your life, no emotional obstacle can remain an obstacle.


Loving God With Your Heart ­ The Entrance To Your Soul

The Great Commandment goes on to say that you are also to “love God with your heart.” Give this quality of love to God and you open your mind to His presence. The Psalmist described the role of heart­love in these words: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise...” Praise and thanksgiving emanate from the heart and such heart­love opens you to your soul, the top level of your consciousness. It is here that the act of for­giveness is lifted to perfection. This is the eternal residence of your True Self. It always has been; it always will be. This is the part of your consciousness to which Dr. Bresler was directing his patients with the affirmation, “I have a body but I am not my body....  I am. I am. I am.” In perfect con­stancy this part of you reflects the God in Whose Image you were created. I sometimes tell those whom I counsel that it is this level of their consciousness that makes my job a joy. I don’t have to change them, improve or heal them. I just help them get rid of the trash in the basement that obstructs their view of their perfect Self.

Society constantly reminds us of the primary impor­tance of the body. We are told to feed, dress and pamper it with endless lists of things that make it look, feel and func­tion better. Under a barrage of advertisements and baseless beliefs instilled in us since infancy, we come to believe that the body is the most important part of our being. It is the least important.


The Mind Dictates Our Condition And Destiny

The mind, not the body, dictates our condition and destiny. To understand this, it is important to make clear the distinction between the mind and the brain. The brain is simply the body’s limited communication device for the mind and the body at its best is that of a servant whose role is to communicate love.

Think of the inordinate amount of time we spend feed­ing, clothing, sheltering and pampering it. This is not to suggest that we become ascetics living with little concern for bodily needs. Our need is to see the exaggerated value we have placed on it while ignoring the infinite value of our soul. The body is absolutely dependent upon the soul. When the soul leaves, nothing of value remains. Teillhard de Chardin said it best. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

The Soul’s Agenda From Birth

As spiritual beings, in full collaboration with the Councils of Eternity, we entered life with an agenda. When Ludwig van Beethoven entered the world, he came to share the music of the spheres; his soul had chosen to create great music. And he did. But what of his siblings? Were those blind and deaf children less blessed? From the ego’s per­ception, the answer is “Yes.” But from the vision held on the highest level of your being, the top floor of your con­sciousness, life is seen very differently.

The Bigger Picture reveals that Ludwig and his siblings are equally blessed. This is the wisdom behind Jesus’ state­ment, “It is necessary that offense come, but woe be to the one who brings the offense.” The offenses we experience from birth, physical or emotional, are necessary! In the Cave of our consciousness, such a statement sounds like insensitive nonsense. But not so to the awakened, Cave­lib­erated mind. The soul knows that the consciousness it  acti­vates within a particular body came to learn lessons. It knows we have drawn specific offenders to us so that we may learn through them. You will remain confused and troubled when you see “bad” things happening to good people until you recognize that we prearrange what we encounter in life. Don’t blame God. God is love. That love has only one goal: to set you free from all suffering. Pain is never a product of God’s action.  It is self­made, and we will be released from it the moment the adversary behind our adversity is embraced. Once we are ready to forgive the “offenders,” and recognize them as teachers in dark dis­guise, a spiritual alchemy transforms our base feelings of sorrow and anger into joy.

Be Willing To Be Made Willing To Forgive

Within the larger soul picture, it is relatively easy to for­give any offense. The dicey part is to get beyond our condi­tioned responses. Like the man who said to me recently, “I will never forgive my wife!” I asked him if he was willing to forgive her. He said, “No.” I assured him that such a hard­ened position guarantees pain and bitterness. “Are you will­ing to be made willing?” I asked. “I can do that,” was his response. That is all it takes. Sincerely held, it is the move­ment necessary to activate the miracle of a soul illumined vision.

We begin the process tentatively and test the water before diving in. Our willingness causes the pain to subside. Then we hear a joyous melody, a song so beautiful our tor­tured tears are soon forgotten. When the molested boy looked back as an adult and saw his father’s childhood agony, his grief evaporated like a meadow’s mist before a rising sun. The bitter man now could shed tears of compas­sion for his father. That is forgiving with one’s heart and soul. What began as effective but unfeeling, will­directed forgiveness became an exultant sense of well­being. 

It is easy, even popular, to be vengeful and angry. However, there is a sane part of the human heart that finds forgiving heart­love contagious. Perhaps this is why Abraham Lincoln is our most honored and beloved President.

Lincoln had been horrified by the carnage at Gettysburg. The many civil war blood baths, brothers killing brothers, so ravished his heart that he felt this battle site was not to be remembered for his speech but for the five thousand young men slaughtered there in a single day. Reeling before the demands of presiding over this inhu­manity, he denounced all cries for retaliation. He challenged the nation to hold, “malice toward none and charity for all....”


Destroying Enemies By Making Them Friends

In the midst of the conflict, Lincoln respected those who had taken up arms against the Union. At a banquet he commended the character of the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. An angry Washington socialite scolded, “Mr. President, your job is not to praise the enemy but to destroy them!” “Madam,” he replied, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Such enlightened emotion flowed from an enlightened heart. His capacity to respond from the heart with love is a major reason he has been held in such respect and honor in the heart of Americans. Such magnanimity is daunting. It begins with an intention: a humble willingness to be made willing to forgive and love with your heart.

Soul Love and Forgiveness

Emotional correction takes place on the level of the heart, the basement in the Three Level House. As I indicat­ed earlier, the power to transform and live life to the finger­tips lies in the soul, the Top Floor. That is why our guideline for peace and happiness concludes, “Love God and your neighbor with your soul.” What is soul­love? What is the soul, anyway? Those questions are, in fact, asking, How do you describe the indescribable? How, when to define means “to make finite,” do you define the infinite? You don’t. This is the challenge and the gift any discussion of the soul pres­ents.

We can begin to know the soul by determining what it is not. It is not the body. It does not even occupy the body. The body is simply activated within its infinite field of ener­gy. When death occurs, nobody has died. The Something Transcendent we call the soul has withdrawn its energy from a temporary cabin of clay. That is all.


Seeing The Soul In Death

When the subject of the soul arises in our workshops I often say, “To illustrate the reality of the soul it would be helpful if one of you would die right now.” I’ve never had a volunteer. I point out that if one of them would die, we could place their body in the middle of our circle until it reaches room temperature. Then we would see if we want­ed to keep that skin­encapsulated bag of flesh and bone around. In any of these groups there are people in different states of mind. Some are exuberant, others sad or pensive.

Some are frightened ­ of life, not the request that they die. Whatever their emotional condition, there is Something indisputably priceless about each of them. When that Something withdraws itself from the body, no one would want to keep it in the circle of the workshop or any other circle of the living.

We have created a whole catalog of methods to keep that Something in the body. C.P.R., 911, Emergency Rooms, Critical Care Units, medications, surgery, thera­pies, diets, vitamins, exercise, all serve one purpose: to keep the soul in the body as long as possible. As one pessimist reflected, this makes “good health” just a longer road to death. When time runs out and the body can no longer house the soul’s energy, we dispose of it as graciously and appropriately as possible. But we do dispose of it. It holds no value to us without the soul.

Sometimes in man’s confusion he so passionately equat­ed life with the body that bizarre methods have been employed to preserve it. The ancient Egyptians and the Chinese were skilled at this questionable art form. In recent history, the Soviet Union attempted to immortalize the wrong thing, if not the wrong person, when they embalmed the remains of Lenin. After applying the necessary chemi­cals, cosmetics and clothing, his body was placed in a her­metically sealed glass display case. You can visit it, if you wish. But be assured that nobody has visited Lenin since he died. He is gone, comrade, as gone as the Soviet Union he helped to establish. Be equally certain that he is the “soul” survivor of his body’s death.


The Soul’s Worth And Health Maintenance

Our fear­laden desire to forestall the Grim Reaper is understandable... until we realize that what was reaped was not the person, only the body. And that is not so grim. Our efforts to sustain health is an affirmation of the soul’s worth, not the body’s. It makes sense to keep our bodies healthy as a vehicle for soul­love only. The struggle against death makes sense to the ego­driven mind. On the level of the subconscious, where the will to physically live or die deter­mines with finality whether we do one or the other, it makes sense. Our fear of death and our battle against it on the level of the soul makes no sense at all. Our soul knows with cer­tainty that death does not exist.

The Earth As A Classroom

In this Upper Room with a View, a new world emerges out of the clouds of ego ignorance. Here the earth is not a death star consuming all its inhabitants, but a Classroom where we learn to love, to forgive and learn to embrace Reality. Here we rediscover what we knew before our Separation­amnesia blotted it out of our memory: that we are one with God, each other and all creation. It is the place where we are awakened by the Holy Spirit from a cosmic nightmare as soon as we show the slightest inclination to wake up. Here, as we begin to awaken, the vision of our Soul replaces the shadowed perceptions generated out of our fears. It is in this holy consciousness that forgiveness is seen as release from dark illusions.

Near­Death And Soul Transformation

Another facet of the soul can be seen, however faintly, in the growing chorus of voices of those who died, left their bodies and subsequently returned to life. This phenomenon is called a Near Death Experience or an N.D.E. (However, the radiant messages they convey about the life of the soul suggests that it would be more accurate to call it a Near Life Experience.) Academic and scientific study of the N.D.E. began with Dr. George G. Ritchie, professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia. He gives an account of his death and the journey of his soul in “Return From Tomorrow.” In his book he takes the reader on a  tour into the glorious and mysterious Realm from which the soul departs at birth. Raymond Moody, as a medical student heard Dr. Ritchie’s story in the classroom. His first impres­sion was that he had a crazy man for his professor of psy­chiatry.  A few weeks and many questions later he was con­vinced that what Ritchie had said was worthy of his aca­demic inquiry. The result of Dr. Moody’s research is the landmark best seller, “Life After Life.” A whole host of books on the subject followed. A high percentage of these personal accounts have the word “light” in their titles: Betty Jean Eadie’s “Embraced By The Light,” Dannion Brinkley’s “Saved By The Light,” Helen Greaves’ “Testimony of the Light,” and Dr. Melvin Morse’s “Transformed By The Light.” (This strongly sug­gests that there is Light at the end of the Tunnel at the back of our Platonic Cave.)

Moody personally interviewed over five thousand Near Death subjects and believes that Brinkley’s story is the most significant. Millions know of his experience from the motion picture, “The Dannion Brinkley Story.” His account effectively challenges the doubts of any honest doubter about the reality of an afterlife or the love of God behind all life. Dannion, by his own admission, was a selfish, cruel, miserable piece of humanity. What his soul experienced in a matter of minutes transformed his life forever. Some sci­entists have attempted to explain away the N.D.E. as a neu­rological event triggered by the decay of the brain at death. That is intellectually impertinent in light of the transform­ing effect of the experience on Brinkley and a host of other

N.D.E. witnesses. The N.D.E. researcher, Dr. Melvin Morse, a Seattle, Washington pediatrician, has focused on the death and resuscitation experiences of children. He was impressed with the simple, unvarnished testimonies of these children who had been clinically dead and revived. Some related how they had gone to a place of beauty and light where they saw radiant, happy people or angels. All attested to experi­encing a Love so majestic that nothing on earth compares with it. Having experienced what they did, none wanted to return to the life to which we cling like starving beggars clutching at crumbs. One such story came to him after he had been interviewed on a Chicago television talk show.  A teenage boy called him. Dr. Morse learned later that the boy was from the toughest ghetto in the city.  He said that he had gone through an experience like the ones Morse had described on the broadcast. Only five when it happened, he had told no one because he was afraid he wouldn’t be believed. In their brief phone conversation, Morse knew that the boy’s story had the characteristics of authenticity. An interview was immediately arranged.


Transforming Ghetto Hate

The event took place in the “peanut pool” where the child was wading at the local swimming pool. He was unclear whether he was pushed or cramped up but he went under the water.  His mother, nearby, didn’t see that he was drowning. He then found himself in a place of beauty and light; he said he was with Jesus. Feeling an overwhelming love in his presence, he was happier than he thought anyone could be. Then he was told he had to return to earth and his body. He told Morse that his response was an angry tantrum. He did not want to go back! Gently assured there were reasons for his returning, he was told he had much to learn and teach. He then felt himself descend through a mist to the pool, and saw his mother frantically lifting him out of the water. Next, a lifeguard was compressing water from his lungs. At that point, he snapped back into his body. When he opened his eyes, he said, “Momma, I was up there and saw you take me out of the pool....” “Don’t talk that crazy talk,” she instructed. Until the day he shared his story with the doctor who confirmed its validity, he had told no one of his experience.

In their continuing conversation, what impressed Morse about the effect of the boy’s brush with death (correction: with life) was his positive mental attitude and happiness. Here is this kid living in a hotbed of hate. Why didn’t he hate whites like his ghetto buddies? Morse asked him. He responded that because over “There” people aren’t any color. They are all colors. In his Chicago ghetto, drugs are a way of life. Why didn’t he use or push drugs? Because over “There” he recognized that he must never abuse his body or the bodies of others. Why was he doing so well in school? Because over “There” they told him that his mind was a gift from God and he needed to grow through learning. Why didn’t he have any enemies? Because the Love he knew “There” he wanted to live here.


Near­Death And Teen Transformation

The nature of the soul is seen in its impact on everyday liv­ing. Morse further investigated the effect of the N.D.E. on teenagers who had experienced their “death” when they were small children. Consistently, they demonstrated a positive mentality rarely seen in the average adolescent. They were drug free. They appreciated life. They showed a care and con­cern for their parents, even when the parents were negative role models. None had any fear of death. They knew it did not exist.

This is not to imply that they all were somehow sainted and didn’t have emotional issues like other teenagers.  They live by their choices like the rest of us. But they seem to make those choices from a more confident, aware perspective. Their expe­rience had opened the eyes of their soul. With this vision, pos­itive, correct choices came more easily and more consistently.

Soul Love and Forgiveness As A Choice

What these youth inherited as graduates of a near death experience is found in the more mundane moments which lead to the discovery of the soul. Once again, we are reminded that soul­love is a matter of choice. “You shall love... with your soul.” From domestic disputes to the Holocaust, we can make the choice to see the sacred in our enemy. Through prayer, meditation, praise of God, group worship and through selfless service, we can activate the soul and, therein, move moun­tains. Choosing to love and forgive with our soul we will see the worst transformed into the best.


Soul Forgiveness ­ Finding Heaven In The Holocaust

Understandably, some could protest that it is cavalier to sit within a safe and comfortable environment and proclaim that we can forgive someone as diabolic as the designers of the holocaust and know joy instead of bitterness. But that is exactly what I am saying. This is why Wild Bill Cody is one of my soul­defining heroes. I’m not talking about the fellow who shot his way through the wild west. Rather this “Wild Bill” is a man I met in the pages of Dr. Ritchie’s book. After his near death experience while in military training in Abilene, Texas, Ritchie was assigned as a medical tech to the 123rd Evac Hospital Unit. His unit went with our troops into Germany at the end of World War II where, in their final advance, they came to a concentration camp near Wuppertal. What he saw there shocked and sickened him as he moved among hundreds of people who were walking cadavers. Most of them were Jews from Holland, France and Eastern Europe. Ritchie had witnessed battlefield trau­ma, severe, terminal injuries and death. What most devas­tated him was to walk through barracks where thousands of people had endured years of slow, agonizing brutality, star­vation and murder. Many were too emaciated to recover; food and medication were too little too late. Their death and the horror of this barbed wire fence­encircled hell began to break his spirit. In his despair he cried out to God for help. That is when he met Wild Bill. That wasn’t his real name, of course. A native of Poland, his name was seven unpro­nounceable syllables. Because he had a long drooping han­dlebar mustache like the original Cody, the G.I.’s christened him “Wild Bill.” As one of the former prisoners, it was apparent that he had not been imprisoned very long. His eyes were bright, his posture erect and he had boundless energy. His uniqueness did not stop with his appearance. Groups of prisoners sometimes hated each other more than they hated their Nazi captors and when they clashed, it was usually Cody that both sides trusted to negotiate a truce. He had a brilliant mind. And because he spoke fluent English, French, German and Russian as well as his native Polish, he became the unofficial camp translator.

Cody was invaluable in processing survivors. Ritchie’s primary responsibility was to return the prisoners, whenev­er possible, to their homes, families. Each person required long interviews and mounds of paper work. Wild Bill enthu­siastically worked sixteen hours a day rallying fading co­workers to keep working. Ritchie was impressed by the man’s compassion for others. He recalled after an exhaust­ing day and every one was ready to quit, Wild Bill spoke up, “We have time for this old fellow,” pointing to an elderly man seated nearby. “He’s been waiting all day to see us.”  

The Miracle In “An Easy Decision”

Admiration turned to astonishment the day Wild Bill’s name came up for processing. He wasn’t a recent inmate at all. His record stated that he had lived in this Nazi hellhole since 1939. For six years he had lived in the same airless, dis­ease­ridden barracks, eaten the same starvation diet as every­one else and yet did not manifest any signs of mental or phys­ical deterioration. Why? Ritchie was about to get the answer.

That night the subject of the trouble that had broken out in some of the other camps arose. Liberated inmates after seizing guns from prison weapon storage, went to nearby villages, killing any Germans they could find. But in his camp, Wild Bill had quelled all such efforts, reasoning with different groups, counseling forgiveness.

Sitting over mugs of hot tea in the processing center, Ritchie commented to Wild Bill that it must not be easy for these people to forgive. “So many have lost members of their family,” he reasoned. Wild Bill, leaning back in his chair, sipped his tea.“We lived in the Jewish section of Warsaw....” He spoke slowly. These were the first words Ritchie had heard him utter about his personal life. “ wife, our two daughters and our three little boys. When the Germans reached our street they lined everyone against a wall and opened up with machine guns. I begged to be allowed to die with my family, but because I spoke German, they put me in a work group.” He paused again. “I had to decide right then whether to hate the soldiers who had done this. It was an easy decision, really. I was a lawyer. I had seen too often what hate could do to people’s minds and bodies. Hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life ­whether it was a few days or many years

­loving every person I came in contact with.”

Living Infinite Transforming  Love

“Loving every person...this was the power that had kept a man well in the face of every privation,” was Dr. Ritchie’s perceptive conclusion. Through his awakened soul, Cody had tapped into the essential power of the universe. Through soul level forgiveness, he had escaped imprison­ment while living in a concentration camp. He found heav­en in hell. (The world must learn what Wild Bill Cody knew or it will perish.) Forgiveness is the secret to our release from our spiritual solitary confinement. The decision is easy and the choice is simple. Choose to love and forgive with heart, mind and soul or live in the shadow of death. Questions and Answers from Step Two ­ Forgive Your Perceived Shadow Maker:

Q: Why is it that forgiveness is described as Life’s most important lesson?

A: Because the very Substance of Life is Love and unforgiveness fabricates the illusion that we are dis­connected from that Substance. That disconnect is what activates the experience of death. Unforgive­ ness is the “parent” of death. Forgiveness alone destroys that disconnection, restoring our minds to Reality, resurrecting our souls to Life.

Q: How does modern science assist the forgiveness process?

A: Subatomic and Quantum Physicists state that there is no objectivity in physical perception. Therefore judgment drawn from physical sense experience is invalid. Serious consideration of this fact can open the mind to how subjective our offended feelings are and, thus, that we must own responsibility for those feelings instead of blaming our perceived offender. 

Q: Why can I not be happy if I think I’m right and someone else is wrong?

A: Because of the universal law that what we give to another we give to ourselves. The moment I render ~~ (FIX)


judge myself



Therefore, I make myself









  Q: How can I consider a person good when their behav­ior is bad?

A: If you define a person as a body, your opinion of them will be determined by appearance or behavior. If, however, you will to see them as a child of God, their goodness is in who they are not in what they do.

Q: How can I love and forgive someone I don’t like?

A: You love and forgive with your will. That means that for the person you don’t like, you will their highest and best regardless of your feelings about them. Even if you don’t want to forgive (an ego  response), you can will to forgive (a soul response). Let your will, not emotions, determine your destiny. 

Forgiveness is the door to heaven. Unforgiveness is the door to hell. It’s your choice which door you choose.

Step Three: Form A New Model


Go to Chapter VIII
Go to Gift of Peace Contents
Return to CLC Press Home
Go to Murray Creek Home