Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hafiz and Ho'oponopono on Forgiveness: Along the Way to Freedom


"Forgiveness is the cash you need.
All the other kinds of silver really buy just strange things.
Everything has its music.
Everything has genes of God inside.
But learn from those courageous addicted lovers
of glands and opium and gold --
Look, they cannot jump high or laugh long
when they are whirling.
And the moon and the stars become sad
when their tender light is used for night wars.
Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings
And return to your true realm
of Divine freedom."


~Hafiz, in The Subject Tonight is Love, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Certain themes show up in cultures the world over. I love this poem from Hafiz, a 14th century Persian mystic whose work certainly predates what I have learned so far of Ho'oponopono, the Hawaiian method for making things right. It also seems fitting during a time of year when the conflict between commercialism and spirit can be so fevered.

Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len says that Ho'oponopono cleaning is also a method of "paying down the debt" or "mortgage" on our souls. As soon as we come into this world, we are laden with memories that run us, just as they do everything and everyone else . . . until we choose to ask Divinity for help and forgiveness. Then He can transmute whatever is up for release at that moment. So each time we choose to clean rather than engage in the day's drama, we're making a soul-mortgage payment too.

I don't know where all the "memories" come from, or how they get into us. But according to Ho'oponopono, our sharing them goes back to the dawn of creation.

The attitude we hold about this state makes a big difference. For instance, some religions speak of "original sin" -- a doctrine that humans all share the same fall from divine grace dating from Adam and Eve's eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Depending on our early experiences with church, feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness can be so overwhelming that we dare not poke our heads out into life. Or, we might be so frightened of -- or angry with -- God that we refuse to connect.

I haven't had this feeling with Ho'oponopono cleaning. Instead for me it's a more gentle, tender recognition of our connection with all of life, with forgiveness needed for our misperceptions of it and each other. Perhaps this did start with Adam and Eve, I don't know.

But if we're to pay down our "debt" and be free, we can only do this through Divine grace -- cleaning of some kind. Forgiveness can be a kind of "cash" in this work. We don't know what's in our bank balance, or how much more we need to pay. Will we compare ours to others', and feel indignation if they seem less "righteous" than we think we are? Will we feel so encumbered we can't even start?

Or will we feel peaceful enough to just keep doing it anyway? And will we be able to forgive ourselves for our own unconsciousness, so that we're willing to reach out to the world despite our imperfection? It's my practice to do the best I can with it, even when seemingly "bad" stuff happens.

By the way -- I enjoy the physical kinds of cash as much as anyone else. :-) As Hafiz says: "Everything has its music. Everything has genes of God inside." All I've learned of Ho'oponopono speaks this way also . . . . cash included. But just like us, it holds memories that we can choose to clean with. That $5 bill I found the other day? Well, $23 more came to join it yesterday -- completely unexpected. A friend wanted me to buy her some herbal remedies, so she insisted on handing me this cash. It's now basking in the under-glass-of-water cleaning "spa" in my kitchen while her order is in transit. When it's time, it will go back into circulation, and my friend will have what she asked for too.

May we remember the music and genes of God inside all things, including ourselves.

"Forgiveness is part of the treasure you need
to craft your falcon wings
And return to your true realm
of Divine freedom."

Peace begins with me,
Pam

2 comments:

Snowbrush said...

I got here through the "next blog" button.

Here, in Eugene, Oregon, pretty much all that psychiatrists do so far as I can tell is to write prescriptions. When I went to one years ago (for fifteen minutes every six months or so), I reflected that it must be quite a drag for him to have gone through all that training only to sit behind a prescription pad. As a homeopathic psychiatrist, you must do things a bit differently, and I'm wondering if you have much success in treating schizophrenia, bi-polar, and other serious conditions homeopathically--not to mention spiritually.

Pam Pappas MD said...

Thank you, Snowbrush. What you describe of psychiatrists is quite common, although I know many who also do psychotherapy as well.

In my own practice, the Ho'oponopono part is for me, not anyone else. That said, you can review Dr. Hew Len's work at Hawaii State Hospital to see how seriously ill patients around him benefited.

Classical homeopathy can be effective for many chronic complaints such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, stress-related health conditions, etc. I have also seen schizophrenic and Bipolar patients be able to successfully reduce, and in some cases eliminate, doses of certain medications through successful homeopathic treatment. For psychiatric issues one needs a very well-trained, skilled, and prudent homeopath, and the patient needs willingness to self-observe and report accurately. Good self-care in the form of nutrition and lifestyle are important also.

Peace to you.