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In spite of all my spiritual/religious training before JOL, I was never able to get a grasp on forgiveness. Like everyone else on the planet, I've had people hurt me, and I've hurt people myself. I have tried, over and over, to forgive them and myself, and just as I thought I had a handle on it, the old feelings of blame and self-hatred would pop up again.

But something changed after I did the looking last year. I didn't see it clearly until quite recently, but I suddenly realized that no one is to blame, because we are all caught up in the fear of life. When this occurred, I recalled listening to John's podcast "Who's to Blame?" Even though I had forgotten about it, I believe it was the catalyst for this change in me. Here's the link:


This is tremendous and has important implications for world peace. If I was able, virtually from one moment to the next, to forgive not only some people who had done things to me that many would consider unforgivable, but also to forgive myself for some terrible things I had done to others, imagine what this could mean if everyone were able to have a genuine feeling of forgiveness towards others, no matter what they had done. If you are enmeshed in the fear of life, you aren't sane, and so you're not responsible for what you do. The general opinion among humans is that we are to blame and must take responsibility for our actions. This is impossible until the fear of life is destroyed. Just One Look...what an amazing, simple solution.

"Who's to Blame?" can also be found here:

Text: https://www.justonelook.org/natural/2015/10/whos-to-blame/

Audio: https://www.justonelook.org/natural/2015/12/podcast-episode-2-whos-to-blame/

Only a couple of days ago my brother came to me and asked "why am I so different from everyone else?". He told me that everyone around him seemed so worried when he was not, but he didn't know why. I was able to answer him, because it was obvious he had lost the fear of life. He was concerned with the way other people suffer from their "own minds" as he put it, and he was very excited to hear an explanation that made sense to him. Just as he felt relieved to understand that no one is to blame for the madness, I was pleased to be having a sane conversation with him about human neurotic fear and how it is responsible for the mess we are in.

He went through recovery without any understanding of what had happened to him after I suggested a look inwards some years ago. But now as I explained that the looking removes the fear of life, and how attention is related to how our minds are being shaped, it all fell in place for him intuitively. He took particular interest in the topic of who's to blame for all the badness, so I felt helpful to him by having this podcast to kind of demonstrate what we are doing here, what the bigger picture is. "‹"‹"‹To him this whole theory seemed plausible and sane, he said.


I wanted to share this anectode because of the immense optimism it generated in me. Reasoning these things with people still engaged with the fear of life, which I'm sort of used to, takes a lot of energy. But for my brother, who looked at himself at age 18, it was a completely natural explanation, and his follow-up question was simply "So what is the best way to tell my friends about this?" I could not be a more proud big brother! Thank you for this incredible gift John and Carla. I will gladly take anyone's advice how to best answer his question so I can pass it on.

I still happen to point my finger when I'm frustrated, at people or their ideas. I can just never hold a grudge about it like I used to, because I know that no one is to blame. It is "as plain as the nose on my face", as John would say.

I would like to recommend "A Liberating Insight" as well:


Great thread everyone. Amy, I guess I see forgiveness as more like acceptance, although I really haven't thought about it much. I am more prone, not always though, to accept what people do to each other that may be hurtful. I still can get angry about what happened to me as a child and what we do to children the world over in instilling fear....

Roed, I love the story about your brother! How cool to be done with fear at an early age. I love the quote, "why am I so different from everyone else?" I've heard John say that he suspects the younger you are the faster you get through recovery. I see similar changes in my young adult daughters. I remember my daughter coming home from her summer job noting that everyone seems to get so stressed about everything at work.

Yeah man, to be done with fear so early in life seems a really cool concept! What a starting point when setting out to making a life for one self. Those folks will probably just skip much of, if not all of, the disabling anxiety and identity crisis that me and many of my friends experienced in our twenties. It was dreadful to be honest, and everything else could have happened, but without the fear of life and its effects.

And sure, I heard him say that too, and it would kind of make sense if younger people "get clean" quicker. Could be that the soldiers of fear have had less time to dig their trenches, or because young folks are known to be more plastic in a general sense, or both. Think of how quickly a child can learn a new language for example, something which is considered difficult by many adults.

In my culture there seems to come a point where one comes to accept that "life sucks then you die". I think I found the looking right at the brink of accepting that for myself, but recovery may be an even tougher nut once the soldiers have fortified. On the flip side of things though, my grandmother seems to be doing great in recovery and she's 82. There are probably a lot of things that play into it.

Hey roed...good for your grandma! I kind of refuse that recovery has to take a long time for me just because I'm "old." I feel like I'm making good progress. It's tough, for sure (some days worse than others), but I learn something every time I go through a rough patch that help me be more mature and self-reliant. For sure, emotional, reactive patterns have been going on for a long time, but I don't see any reason why there should be a long delay for their decease. I guess one thing that has helped me in this regard is that I don't really think about a time frame for recovery, one way or another.

Before I found JOL I came to realize everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, thanks to a very wise soul who was patient with me and showed me how this is true. Forgiveness isn't even necessary because of this. This is not to say I don't get angry in the moment and 'blame' someone! I hope to get to that point at some point.. But, after awhile, if I just sit and meditate on it awhile, I realize that the person(s) who have offended me acted out of their conditioning and had no choice. This is the hardest to do with myself!;-) I don't believe anyone has free will. Even though it seems like we have free will every second of the day (I also feel this unless I take some time and think about it). We are all just responding to our past conditioning. Jackx made a good point on another thread. What happens when we lose the fear of life? Perhaps, then, we are not controlled by our conditioning and actually do develop free will.


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