How does the Course define "forgiveness"?

The Course's central teaching is forgiveness, yet it defines "forgiveness" in an unconventional way. The two ways of looking at forgiveness—conventional forgiveness and Course-based forgiveness—could be briefly summed up as follows:

  • Conventional forgiveness: To forgive means that I let go of my resentment towards you, even though I keep the perception that you sinned against me and that I am justified in resenting you. In short, to forgive is to give up the resentment.
  • Course-based forgiveness: To forgive means that I let go of my false perception that you sinned against me and that I am justified in resenting you. Releasing this perception automatically releases my resentment. In short, to forgive is to give up the perception that causes the resentment.

For more information on this topic, see Robert Perry's definition of "forgiveness" in his Course Glossary. Also search for articles using the ter "Forgiveness".

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