Derek Ayre


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Atonement, if split into syllables, becomes at-one-ment.  Most people in the self-development movement today accept that in order to improve the quality of life, a person first of all needs to focus on his/her problems and/or conflicts to resolve them - in other words, to become at one with them(atonement).  In fact, the more somebody can merge with their difficulty, the more successful they will become at overcoming it.

To look at atonement from a religious point of view I feel, is not at a lot different to looking at it from a psychological point of view and would indeed, atonement would have the same beneficial result.

For example, say somebody was angry and feeling vindictive against somebody who had wronged him/her in some way, whom is that anger going to hurt?  

Well, not the person to whom they are directed, that's for certain. The person creating the feelings of hatred, of vengeful thoughts and other things is going to suffer the most. Yet forgiveness (atonement: i.e. really letting go) of thoughts, needs for retribution and even judgement, will product real feelings of well-being and freedom and allow the person to move on.

Atonement is not something that can be taught, but it's very easy to do. All that is needed is a willingness to forgive others for what they have done to us. In fact, I could go a step further than that and say that all that is needed is a willingness to forgive others for what we think they have done to us.

To qualify that last statement, whether or not somebody else has done something to us is really irrelevant. Whether they have or whether they haven't it's us thinking they have done something to us, that hurts us.  By thinking, we are creating the scenario that we have been wronged and making ourselves into victims in whom our "enemies" have power over us, whether or not they know it. See how complex this is getting?

There is another way we can play the victim too. That is we can blame ourselves for things that go wrong. In this scenario, we are attempting to split ourselves up into perpetrator and victim. We make a mistake and lose out on something. We blame ourselves for our stupidity. Just one question needed here. Are we willing to forgive our self for what has gone wrong?  Again just the willingness is enough. Be aware of our mistake is to focus on it, forgiving it, is releasing it.  The problem that can arise here is that many of us do not wish to focus on our shortcomings and there's a risk that they can be repressed into the subconscious mind to exert force on our subsequent thought processes.

And what about becoming a victim of what others are doing to others. How many of use get filled with rage and anger at man's inhumanity to man.

I feel that what we need to realise here is that this form of behaviour is something that is as old as Man himself. Blaming and seeking retribution has only brought about more wanton destruction. Forgiveness is the path to atonement. What if men and women everywhere just merely contemplated the opportunity to forgive? What if they realised that by forgiving (self or others), that they would find peace and liberation and ultimately atonement? What if they could read this message and put it into practice? What sort of world would we then live in?   I will leave you to answer that.

As mentioned earlier, my idea with this article is not intended to be foster any particular religious belief in any way, but I think you will find that if you examine any religion, forgiveness was the fundamental idea the original teacher was putting across.  And forgiveness was the road to stress-free life (atonement).

© Copyright 2000. Derek Ayre. All Rights Reserved.

Derek Ayre is a registered hypnotherapist and practitioner of Zen. He has an ability to assist others on their path to greater self fulfillment and realization of their true potential. 


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