this is so powerful and so helpful. as you can imagine, i have a list of folks here in the states that i have certainly felt like cursing, even, on occasion, going so far as to voice those thoughts. yet here you have given me a very practical and healing way to deal with all those feelings, situations, people and emotions that painfully arise. the last prayer that you talked about reminded me of the tonglen practice in buddhism. here's a short explanation: https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-practice-tonglen/ i've found it useful in the past so i am grateful that you reminded me of how helpful it can be. a couple of questions did occur to me. how does the energy of cursing affect the person who is doing the cursing? and what about those who are the objects of the curse? how do they begin to heal themselves? i'm thinking of all the protesters who have been beaten and ridiculed and hated, as well as those who did the cursing, the beating and the hating. bless you, pen, for sharing this wisdom and practice with all gathered here.
Phew! I'm glad I took the precaution of copying my reply to you before attempting to post it! I'd written too much, so it just vanished.I'll post it here in sections.TO GRETA PART 1Regarding people who are the objects of a curse — my understanding is that unless a curse has a foothold it just falls off. Like how the Bible says the devil had no foothold in Jesus. So though violence was attempted on his life from infancy, until the time was right and he intended to lay down his life of his own free will, nothing they tried to do to him was effective. However, there are of course lots of people (like William in my Hawk & Dove books) who are damaged by abusive behaviour and begin to take on the attributes ascribed to them. It's not complicated, but it is complex, if you see what I mean. There is a natural justice, and we can't always stand back enough to see it. I feel a caution about sounding too glib with regard to the terrible things that are done to people, and the scars it leaves. Jesus, of course, was scarred by what was done to him, and he bore those scars openly as a badge of identity. So when people are cursed by others, they may not be unscathed, but they do not become accursed unless the curse has a foothold.
TO GRETA PART 2If it does have a foothold and their life is blighted, or if curses are raining down on a person, then we have two courses of action. One is to invoke forgiveness. It's not always easy or practical to unite two antagonistic parties — and sometimes a large space between two people is the best way of keeping the peace — but the Ho'oponopono prayer speaks the peace of forgiveness into a situation, and addressed both the curse and the deservedness of the curse — that we become responsible for (ie have power over) whatever is in our life by virtue of its having showed up there. So we can marinade the situation using the Ho'oponopono prayer. And we can apply the power of the cross of Jesus, which precisely is for breaking the chains of evil. In our prayer we can bring to the foot of the cross the harm that has been done to us or wished upon us, or that we have done to others, and exchange it for the mercy and peace of God's grace. Obviously, we then have to leave it there. Plenty of people take stuff to the cross and then pick it up and carry it away with them, so they still have it. And leaving stuff behind is a skill not acquired overnight.The second way of dealing with curses is to meet them with blessing. A blessing turns away, or dissolves, or deactivates a curse. "I bless you with the love of the Lord" is effective for turning aside a curse. But perhaps I should add, all these things are not words only; they must be consonant with one's life and intention. There is sometimes a physical component. It took me years of patiently cleansing my liver to get some stuff out of me. A body talk practitioner once mentioned that I had horror in my bones; it didn't come out overnight! And one remains vulnerable and sensitive. But it's doable.
TO GRETA PART 3Then the energy of the person cursing; yes, even when a curse would be well deserved, I think there would be a backwash, surely(?) Though Jesus cursed the fig tree, didn't he. Not sure what that was all about. In a sense there is never any need to curse anyone, because karma does it for you ("Justice is mine, saith the Lord"). But the Ho'oponopono prayer addresses both the energy of anger/resentment/hurt inside oneself, and the psychic invasion that has caused it. And because the curser and cursed are linked by the curse, either of them can use the connection for healing and reconciliation with the Ho'oponopono prayer.I think restitution may be important. It's no good just destroying someone's life, then saying "Oops! Sorry" and strolling away. That isn't how repentance and forgiveness work. But in situations where renewed contact is contra-indicated, one can make restitution but putting into the the world somewhere the blessing that counters the curse. Like Zaccheus in the Bible paying back x4 what he had fraudulently taken. So if, eg, we have voted for the political party that has kept children in cages and broken the backs of the poor, once we realise our mistake we can change our vote obviously, but also do something to alleviate poverty and protect vulnerable children.
TO GRETA PART 4The Ho'oponopono prayer cleans the situation, blessing counters cursing, and the cross is the place of reconciliation through which energy can be transmuted — the cross is the tree of life that transmutes energy, like any tree with its roots in darkness and its branches in light, breathing in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen. It is not accidental that Jesus dies on a tree, with its foot on the earth and the top of it raised to the sky and the body of Jesus stretched between. That's how he did it.I hope that helps! x
PS — thanks for the tonglen link! x
hmm. very interesting. it's always been my hunch that the person doing the cursing is probably much more likely to be damaged than the person who is being cursed, especially if the latter practices forgives. the curse, whatever it is, simply can't gain traction. that said, i know people whose lives have been irrevocably damaged by the words or actions of another. i'm always struck when, after some horrific event, a mass shooting for instance, the victims almost immediately reach out with forgiveness for the shooter. we've seen that sort of response time and again here in the states whether the event took place in a church or a synagogue or walmart. the faith and forgiveness of the victims goes a long way toward effecting healing. we were always reminded in al-anon though, that forgiveness does not mean that there aren't consequences. if someone's behaviour has been destructive enough, even when they become sober, things won't go back to the way they were before. a marriage may be over, children may choose not to engage with a parent, boundaries will be set. and sometimes, as you pointed out, karma does it for us! and tonglen practice is like the tree of life, breathing in the suffering and breathing out healing, breathing in the pain and confusion and breathing out peace. there may be many who say that there is no scientific evidence for this (just as there are with mr. emoto and his water theories) but i believe that there are many things in life that we do not understand and that we hold more power than we might think. open-heartedness, gentleness, kindness and acceptance all bring about transformation. isn't that what we christians hold on to? the transformative power of the cross that offers new life to all!
Yes! I think in working with cursing and blessing, one must also have in the back of one's mind the Akashic record, and the life contract each soul has entered before making their earth journey. That helps make sense of some of the things that happen, which otherwise feel colossally unfair. One has to trust the weaver of the pattern, and the essential contribution of one's own life thread, and the unfolding of what is not yet seen.A mistake people often make, in considering meeting cursing with blessing, is to think that the cursing person has somehow won — been allowed to get away with something; and mistaking the response of blessing as collusion or passivity. It's important to see that blessing turns and transmutes a curse. One needs inner strength to do it. Battling curses with curses is what the media and the politicians for the most part do all day long — curses laid upon curses. Antagonism and blame. You see it in the present wrangling over the place of trans people in society. I cannot trace the beginning of it exactly — it arises out of a knot of fear and anxiety and suspicion. Some women acutely fear invasion — and this comes from centuries of rape and genital interference and oppression of course — and the trans women desperately desire inclusion, which feels to the women who fear invasion as aggression, and so there are boundary clashes. And of course the trans women come from an acculturation of male privilege and may expect to be insistent about coming in, which sets up further resistance. and then you get the internet trolls with their "Die TERFs!" and the savagery of those who feel mysteriously entitled to attack and beat up and kill the trans women — and so it goes on, curse upon curse. As Gandhi pointed out, an eye for an eye is a philosophy guaranteeing only global blindness. Nothing will stop it but the intervention of blessing; kindness, patience, forgiveness, understanding, the desire to heal, respect, gentleness. And, a certain specific and topical application of silence — not the silence of complicity while atrocity is committed, but the gentle silence that refrains from what could have been said.Blessing turns the ship.
Hi Penelope, I really enjoyed your discussion. I am guilty of wanting to curse people, mainly politicians. This is something I am working on and praying about. I love your prayer suggestions by the way, especially the Ho’oponopono Prayer. Love and peace, Victoria
Hiya — I think there'd be something profoundly wrong with us if we did not react with strong aversion and moral outrage to some of what we see coming to the surface — the way people have suffered so intensely because of cruelty, greed, arrogance and the sense of entitlement. Fury is a natural and healthy response.The purpose of blessing is to dissolve and transform what is grievously wrong. The reason to choose it is because it works, where cursing only consolidates the problem and drives it in deeper.It's similar to the benefit of forgiveness — that when we know someone whose treatment of us has been obnoxious, mean and vile, it is imperative we forgive them because that gets them out of our hair for good and all. Anger and resentment bind them to us and set up a karmic connection it's quite hard to shake off.Forgiveness and blessing are essential components in creating and maintaining the boundaries we need to turn the tide of toxicity and begin building the peaceable kingdom.Nice to meet you. x
It’s nice to meet you too Pen. I read your book In Celebration of Simplicity, and thoroughly enjoyed it and found it useful, especially in light of the current pandemic. I live in Arizona and we are having exceptionally high cases of COVID, and I have already lost 2 people I know. A simple lifestyle seems very important right now. You mention Mennonites in your book and I wonder if you have read The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder. He was a Mennonite and a great theologian and a strong believer in social justice. I’m still working on loving people instead of cursing them by using the Ho’oponopono prayer. It does seem to work. Love and peace to you, Victoria
I'm glad you enjoyed my simplicity book. That's good to hear. I have heard of John Howard Yoder and the book you mention, but I haven't read it. And yes — every situation in life I have ever come across improved with simplifying. I'm sorry to hear of the death of your friends. Such challenging times we live in. May you know peace in your own life.
Hello, I inadvertently 'unfriended' you on Facebook, but read your blog .Thanks for all you do and all you are xx Love Lesley Gilchrist
Oh — hello Les — waving! You might not have unfriended me; I am on and odd Facebook, and deleted my account at one point, came back on early this year. I'll see if I can send you a Friend request. x
Hello, again and to Grace !! Our daughter Emily is going through the church of England to be a priest, she was ordained last year and is being protested in October this year.jamie ,her husband works for Open Doors.they are both fierce eco warriors!!! Is it ok if I share you with them ? X
Yes, of course. She can find us here or at The Campfire Church on Facebook. xhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/152609416052506 (NB for anyone who is puzzled — she meant "priested" not "protested"! Auto-correct glitch, I suspect.)
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