Volume 4, Issue 7, page 7

fflAN KNOWS in his heart that there is
God; that an All-Powerful is the
law of the universes, all of them,
known and unknown, seen and unseen.
Man tells himself that he cannot
grasp the fact of infinity, of
eternity, and so perhaps he cannot until
he becomes infinite and eternal—both of
which, actually, he is. Man, believing in
something greater than himself, looks
outside himself for that entity, and so
turns his back on the Great God Within,
the Great God-Self, without which he
would not be, without which he could not
attain knowledge of the Father.

Man reaches God only by the Bridge of
Self, the God within, which, given man by
the Father, is a segment of the Father so
that man and the Father -- a great mystery
-- are one.

There are ways of bridging, of bringing the Self and the Father into Atonement. None of these ways avails, however,
until man learns one all-important technique: Self-forgiving. Man asks the Father to forgive him. Man forgives, or insists that he forgives, his neighbor, his
friends, anybody and everybody in the
world. Whether or not he does, he seldom
understands the one important thing: That
he must forgive himself before he can
attain perfect satisfaction in the forgiveness of the Father.

How does one do this? Why should it be
necessary? Perhaps it is best to find
some answer for the second question first.
Man cannot remember when he has not been
"guilty" of something. Almost no child
who is normal has attained adolescence
without conflict of some sort. In his
home, he is "forbidden" this or that. It
is "disobedience" to ignore the stern
commands of parents; whether these commands are correct or proper or sensible
or logical, does not matter. They have
been issued by the first and agelessly
supreme authority: parents. Because parents commanded, the command must be
obeyed. Yet man's earliest memory is of
disobedience, and of the punishment which
inevitably followed. There might be some
doubt as to the motive for punishment,
whether it was because of the "crime", or
"disobedience", or because whatever was
done discommoded the parent, the fact of
the "disobedience" remained, and with it
a beginning burden of guilt, especially if
the disobedience went undetected. Man, in
his childhood, "lied" to escape punishNnVFMF1F0 1057. T L ... Q ri Q W ri
sos 4
ment or parental disapproval. Man knew
himself a "sinner" and the "child of sinners" long before he knew he was a man;
indeed, long before he was a man. He began to build fears in himself, all of
them based on growing self-doubt, selfabnegation, self-deprecation. He began to
feel "guilty" before he even knew the

Man was told, when almost too young to
remember -- often, perhaps, when he was too
young to remember -- that he was "bad". Bad
was something calling for punishment. If
the parents did not punish, if the law
did not in later years, then punishment
which lasted forever was certain somewhere beyond the grave.

Man might not know what he had done,
but early in life he suspected that he
had done something; he began to walk on
tiptoe, and with increasing fear of retribution, his self-doubts grew. Maybe he
hadn't been punished, maybe he had; maybe
escaping punishment was worse than accepting it. Maybe the punishment, unjust
as it seemed at the time, and for a different "crime" than that of which the
punished knew, was felt by the punished,
after all, to be inadequate. Guilt grew.

Man asked, in his various ways, for
his mother to forgive him, and perhaps,
outwardly, with words—which were often
belied by her shaking head or disapproving eyes -- she did forgive him. Man asked
his father to forgive him, and possibly
the father did, the sermon that went with
the forgiveness lasting far too long, and
covering far too much territory, but man
doubted that he had been truly forgiven.

Man asked "enemies" to forgive him. He
asked teachers, preachers, friends,
neighbors, relatives. Possibly all of
them did forgive him.

Man asked God to forgive him, knowing
in his heart that God forgave more quickly than all others. God was always, even
when painted as a figure of wrath, quick
to forgive. But even when man felt that
God forgave him, there remained a burden
of guilt. He seldom knew that the most of
the burden was his own unforgiving attitude toward himself. How could man ask
God to forgive him, feeling God to be his
Father in Heaven, and far away and beyond
himself. yet so place himself that he
found himself outside his own pale, beyond his own forgiveness?
Man must learn to forgive himself,
else he will find the techniques herein
suggested to be most difficult of master