Sunday, September 4, 2011

Forgiveness and the Criminally Insane

In psychiatry, the criminally insane are considered the worst of the worst. Unable to rehabilitate. Insane forever. Yet Dr. Hew Len achieved the impossible when he healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients in a Hawaiian psychiatric hospital. And he did it without ever seeing a patient.

Dr. Len simply received the files of the patients and proceeded to clean his own mind of all judgments that could lead to mental illness. As he wrote down the name of each patient he prayed a simple prayer to the Divine: “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank You.” He asked forgiveness for thinking unloving thoughts.

From that prayer, violent patients calmed down and were actually released. Staff that had notoriously skipped work started showing up again because the atmosphere on the ward improved. Eventually the ward was closed down because there was no longer a need for it.

Dr. Len’s philosophy is that the world we see outside is a function of what’s in our own minds. He takes 100% responsibility for the world, and when he healed the criminals, he saw it as healing his own mind, not theirs. This is the same philosophy found in A Course in Miracles. The Course states, “the world you see is what you gave it. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition.” (, 5)

The other day a car passed me on a solid double yellow line, with a slight hill ahead. Lately I’ve seen more and more reckless drivers, some even passing me on steep hills. I go ballistic when this happens. I wanted to go up to that driver and smash his car with a hammer. I also wanted to smash his head with the hammer. After all, he didn’t give a rip if he hit someone head on, so he deserved it.

The other driver was a reflection of my murderous thoughts, and the part of me that hates everyone and doesn’t care if I live or die. Screw everyone and everything. That driver did not do something to me; I asked for it. As the Course says, “I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience…And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for.” (T-21.II.2:3-5) It’s not fun to admit that I’m as big an idiot as that other driver, but it’s true.

I called him all kinds of names until I got over my tantrum and decided to forgive. I used Dr. Len’s formula: “I love you. I’m sorry (for thinking that guy’s an a—hole). Thank you for forgiving me.” I alter the statement somewhat, knowing that God has never judged me and in His mind there’s no need for forgiveness.
Immediately I felt better. Dr. Len’s formula, named ho`oponopono, is a practical and quick way to forgive and tap into divine healing. He calls it cleaning our minds. We will see a world of peace and love when our minds are clean, not when all those other idiots get off the road.

Blessings, Lorri Coburn

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