So far in this workbook, we have looked at awakening and accountability as two important focus points in the LP Connection Framework. Once you have made progress on these first two points, once you wake up and see the true state of the room, and once you own up and take responsibility for your part in any of the messes that surround you, the next step in the process is to atone.
What is atonement? Basically, atonement is reparation for the harm you have caused to other people and other living beings. More to the point, atonement is taking responsibility and cleaning up the mess that you made. It means making reparations for whatever hurt you have caused. It does not matter what that damage is, or how extensive it might be; once you get past the guilt, shame, and fear and acknowledge, then you have to make efforts and atone.
As regards atonement, a couple of comments are in order. First off, atonement is not a moral requirement, it is a technical one. Atonement is not about following somebody’s orders or rules. You do not atone because some priest, imam, guru, or even God tells you to. Atonement is simply about making it right. It is about reparation for harms you have caused to other living beings. This is about your relationship with your Highest Self, the capital “Y” You deep inside. You atone, you “make it right,” because that’s what your own Higher Self requires you to do.
You can think of it like this. Your Higher Self is the spiritual adult in you. Like all adults, it takes responsibility for the things that it’s vehicle, it’s body, does. A child might spill milk and walk away from the mess, not wanting to clean it up, but an adult does not. An adult spills milk and cleans it up. An adult breaks something and fixes it (or has it fixed). An adult will even help clean up the mess of others if it can help because that is what responsible adults do. Your Higher Self is the spiritual adult in you and when you wake up and see the mess in the room, it immediately moves to take responsibility and take action to clean up the mess. It’s body can resist, of course, but that doesn’t matter. As we shall see in the next unit on alignment, until the body aligns and does what the Higher Self wants it to do, it cannot move forward towards connection.
Second of all, all actions that harm another living being require atonement, even if you find you had good reason to harm. For example, you might think that hurting somebody in self-defence is an act that does not require atonement. You might think that you are justified in taking brutal actions or harming another to project yourself, and of course, you are. You have every right to protect yourself and your family. However, the fact that a harmful act may be justifiable does not mean you can simply harm another being and walk away from the mess, even if justified.
When violence occurs, whether that violence is physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual, everybody involved in the act is harmed, and this harm must be addressed. The perpetrator engages in harmful acts against others because they are often hurt, damaged, angry, and desperate from toxic their socialization experiences. Even though they have harmed others, nevertheless, they need help and healing, not further harm. Similarly, the victims of the assault are also harmed, not only by the attack itself but the violence they engage in to divert the attack. Even though the defence is justified, it still harms them when they engage in violence against others. If I have to harm another being because I am defending myself, I experience psychological and emotional harm, neurological changes, and other shifts that, unless addressed, can change me, cause disjuncture, and interfere with connection.
The idea that all harmful acts require atonement may seem a little strange to many, especially in this modern world where we hide the brutal torture of animals from our awareness and ignore the exploitation of women and children in factories in other countries so that we can eat meat and have lots of clothes and things. Nevertheless, it is true. When we engage in harmful acts, we must be aware of the damage, we must be accountable for its impact, and we must atone for the damage we have caused, even if we find ourselves justified (for defence, for survival) in the actions.
This is the same as the practice of indigenous peoples thanking the animal for its sacrifice after they killed it in a hunt. They have to do it to survive, but they recognize their actions represent survival, not the highest spiritual alignment. Thanking the animal is a recognition that all violence, even when necessary for survival, is ultimately out of alignment and requires of us awareness, accountability, and atonement.
Third, and despite what we just said that all actions that harm another living being require atonement, it is important to understand, not all actions that harm another being are unaligned or require atonement. Perhaps this goes without saying, but it is important to be aware, it is possible to hurt others and not be out of alignment with higher consciousness. A doctor who stitches a wound, or a dentist who sticks a needle in your mouth to fill a rotten tooth, is hurting you; but the actions lead directly to healing and are therefore in alignment with Highest Self. Actions like these require no significant atonement because there is positive/healing intent behind them. Of course, a connected doctor or dentist will do what they can to minimize pain, and you might even find them apologizing for the hurt they cause. That’s great and indicates alignment and connection, but it is not strictly necessary because the acts are not contributing to toxicity and decline.
Now that we understand the nature of atonement, that is, it is about cleaning up your mess, and now that we have an idea under what conditions it is necessary, the question becomes, how to atone.
The first thing to be aware of is that when you atone, and this really should go without saying, you first need to stop the actions that are causing harm. Apologizing and making amends, but then turning around and continuing to harm other beings, is not awareness, accountability, and atonement; it is hypocrisy, self-delusion, and the sign of an underlying pathology of some sort, typically emotional or ideological damage to the bodily ego, and addiction. If you do find yourself engaging in self-delusion and hypocrisy, take a step back to the LP HEALING Framework in LP Workbook Two and work through those focus points again.
The second thing you need to be aware of is that whatever you have done, you need to atone in appropriate measure. This means that the more damage you have done, the more you have to make up for. If you have abused your children for two decades, an apology and a few dollars are not going to cut it. Similarly, if you have stolen a hundred billion dollars from the people of this planet, and if your company is responsa few million in climate change charity isn’t nearly enough. Making it right means fixing the damage you have done in measure. If you want to move forward, you have to stop hurting and exploiting others, and you have to make amends in measure. This requires more than just a few pennies, good intent, and a few choice words. It requires fundamental changes in how you exist in the world.
If you bristle at and resist what we are saying at this point, remember this; you need to do this not because we say you have to do it, not because “God” wants it that way, and not because karma is going to smack you down if you do not. You need to do it because the driver of the physical vehicle, your Highest Self, expects it that way. If you are a billionaire and you feel good about giving away a hundred bucks, if ten hours of volunteer work is enough, or if being a little nicer as a manager is what it takes to satisfy your Self and make you feel good, then that is great. But if it is not enough in the eyes of your own Highest Self, then it is not enough. If you get that niggling feeling that you should be doing more, then do not make excuses; do more. Either awaken, acknowledge, atone in measure, or not. It is as simple as that.
The third thing you need to be aware of is that you need to be honest with yourself about the nature of the damage and the extent of the atonement required. Do not try and kid your Self on this, because you cannot. Your Highest Self knows what you have done, it has expectations about what you need to atone for, and ideas about how much you need to do. To be aligned, you need to respond to the requirements of your Highest Self, period.
If you are paying attention, responding to your Highest Self is not that hard to do. As already noted, your Highest Self will use steering emotions to get the message through. It will send you feelings of discomfort and make you anxious if there are things you need to be doing, and it will send you joy and good feelings if you are atoning in the right direction, and with right measure. Pay attention to your emotions and you’ll find it easier to move forward.
Speaking of paying attention to your Highest Self, the fourth thing you should be aware of in this regard is that nobody can tell you what atonement means for you. I can’t tell you what the right measure is or what you should do to make things right, and neither can a judge, lawyer, priest, or a guru. Only you, ideally in connected consultation with your Highest Self, can figure that out. You may ask for advice, that is true, but nobody can tell you what you need to do. This is something you need to figure out for yourself. And once again, trust your gut on this one. Figure out something to do that makes you feel good about yourself and do it as long and as much as you need until you feel/intuit that you have done enough.
If this sounds a little complicated, or if you are struggling with confidence and self-esteem here (i.e. you doubt your ability to figure it out), relax. It is not as hard as you might think. In fact, chances are good that when you are ready to atone, opportunities will already be available for you. Pay attention to your life spaces and seize the opportunities when they arise.
Atoning in right measure and finding something appropriate are both important. It is also important, and this is the fifth and most important thing we would like to say, to have as much fun as you can while you atone. To be sure, you have to fix what you broke and you have to make amends for damage you have done, but you do not have waste effort breaking rocks in a ditch while you do it, despite what you may have heard. Spiritually and psychologically misinformed people make out atonement to be all about punishment. They say “justice” demands isolation, deprivation, hard labour, and even hellfire; but, that is ridiculous. Hurting another being because they have hurt another being just makes things worse. As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” or as we might like to say, “punishing” people just causes more damage. You definitely have to atone for the harm you have done, but you don’t have to be miserable while you do it. The easiest and fastest way to atone is to find something you love doing, and do that until you you have balanced the scales, so to speak.
Always remember, this is all about healing and connection and not punishment and isolation. Healing your body, aligning with your HS, activating your body’s energy system, and reconnecting with your Self requires healthy bodies and healthy minds. If the goal is to stop the hurt and heal the body so you can acknowledge, atone, and connect, then how can engaging in an unaligned act towards another (i.e. harming them), or exposing yourself to anguish and abuse, be helpful in any way? The answer is, it cannot be. Just like all disjunctive and violent actions, punishment (which is always a violent act) harms you and it harms the victims. Punishment, whether punishing yourself with painful atonement, or punishing others with violence and pain, is the pinnacle of spiritual confusion and the height of global hypocrisy. Not only does it spread damage further by harming others, but it puts you out of alignment with your own higher consciousness. Stopping the hurt and healing the body means stopping the hurt and healing the body for all people, not just the ones judged to be worthy.
Remember, “punishment” just continues the harm and makes things worse. Therefore, listen carefully when we say that atonement works best when it involves happy action and joyful contribution. It is just common sense. You will do a much better job making things right, you will make much better progress towards healing and connection, and you will be much less likely to hurt yourself and others when you are happy and having fun with the atonement that you do. This is critical advice. Make your atonement work, and the atonement work of others, fun. Embrace the good feelings that come, because this is how it was meant to be. This is the best, and only, way forward to healing and stronger connection.
Finally, the last thing we want to say here is that you do not necessarily have to atone directly to the people you have harmed. It would be best if you could, that is true. If you have harmed your children, your parents, your workers, children in a factory, or whatever, it is best if you make amends to them directly. However, doing that is not always possible. Sometimes, the people you have harmed hate you and do not want to have anything to do with you. Sometimes, they are far away and direct atonement is not possible. Sometimes, they are sick and lost in their own hellish experience of disconnection. Sometimes, they are dead. Whatever the reason is, understand, sometimes direct atonement with the people you have harmed is just not possible.
If this is you, try direct atonement first; however, if you cannot for whatever reason atone directly, make up for it by finding a way to help others, and then do that in the measure required. Just be honest with yourself, be in tune with your Highest Self, and find a joyful way to do it.
At this point, we have said all there is to say about the requirement of atonement and the bottom awakening-accountability-atonement triangle. As you can see, it is fairly simple and straightforward, at least theoretically. Be aware of the mess in the room, be accountable for the damage you have caused, and atone. If you do that you are “building the foundations” of connection.
Now, as simple as this all is, as we have seen, is not always so easy to do. As much as we say you should forgive yourself, as much as we say you should forgive others, and as much as we emphasize it should be joyful, nevertheless, it can be hard work. There are emotional obstacles to overcome (guilt, shame, fear); there are motivational obstacles to overcome; there are even healing issues that have to be addressed.
And that’s not all.
Waking up to the reality of the world, acknowledging the things you have done, and taking steps to atone and align (next unit), can be hard because it can mean giving up things you otherwise like to do. I (Mike) like a good hamburger, but I will no longer eat one because it is unnecessary, because doing so harms another living being and is therefore out of alignment with my Highest Self, and because it is hard on the environment. Some people find gambling exciting, but addicts harm themselves and their families, and so that behaviour has to stop as well. It can be particularly hard to move forward if you are rich and addicted to money.1 At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want more money. Are the world’s richest people really just going to do the right thing by giving “their”2 wealth away through taxation and redistribution? Are they really going to allow capitalism to die and be replaced by a less dysfunctional economic system? More than likely not. It is a camel versus eye of the needle sort of thing, meaning to say, the more powerful and privileged you are, the harder and harder it is to acknowledge, atone, and align. Nevertheless, no matter what, if your Higher Self wants you to do it, you have to do it; otherwise you won’t be able to move forward and you won’t be able to connect.
If you do find you are having trouble with awakening, accountability, and atonement, perhaps because you have addictions (like addiction to money) or other issues (low-self-esteem issues, for example) that prevent you from engaging with and sticking to the process, take a step back to the healing stage. There is no point trying to push through when the healing foundations are not in place. If you do not build a proper foundation then you will only be able to manage a connection or two here and there, and that’s not nearly enough. The point of this isn’t to have one or two mystical experiences here and there. The point is to develop a strong and permanent connection. To do that, you need to build a foundation. Take your time and do it right. Remember, this isn’t a race and no connected person is going to think poorly of you if you got some healing work to do. Be methodical about this and do not skip steps. You are just wasting time if you do.
Before closing out this unit and moving on to our next unit on alignment, there is one more thing to say and that is this: Just because the requirement of atonement is not moral or ethical, just because you won’t be punished or damned for failing to move forward from here, does not mean there are no consequences for your choice. There are consequences, for you and others.
One of the biggest personal consequences is that if you don’t take the necessary steps to process and move forward, you will never be able to connect more than a moment or two, and you will thus never be able to raise your Consciousness Quotient (CQ) much above the level of “normal.” That might not seem like a big deal now; after all, everybody and their dog walks around in normal consciousness; but moving forward, it is a big deal, for two reasons. Number one, it is a problem because as more and more people heal and connect, “normal” is going to look increasingly like the broke, disconnected pathology that it is. That is, it is going to make it harder and harder for people stuck in normal consciousness to repress their guilt and shame, and harder and harder for them to live a comfortable life if they make the choice to increase their CQ. For some, the pain could be intolerable to the point where they descend into the depths of alcohol and drug stupification. For others, the guilt, shame, and existential anguish might be so great that stupification might not be enough, and suicide may be their “only” solution, as it was for Dr. Van Koinis, who forged vaccination records and then later took his life because he couldn’t stand the guilt and shame.3 We say only choice because as we know, the right way to end guilt and shame is to acknowledge and atone. But if they can’t bring themselves to that simple act, as we said, it may become intolerable in the end.4
A second consequence of failure to atone and move forward is this. Normal consciousness is a consciousness characterized by the slow decay of your body and mind. Remember the seven essential needs. Just like your physical body needs food, your physical unit needs to connect, not for some hokey spiritual reason, but because connection keeps the body and mind healthy and alive. If you don’t connect, your mind will slowly harden and become brittle, and your body will suffer as well. It’s a fate that is totally unnecessary and preventable, so long as you move forward, connect, and stay connected.
And understand, this is not about punishment. This is not a judgment issued for failure. These are simply the natural consequences of a failure to connect. It’s the same if you avoid exercise and eat nothing but junk food. If you do that, then naturally, your body and mind will deteriorate and you will get sick. This is not a judgment. It is simply a natural consequence of your bad exercise and eating habits.
Similarly, if you choose to live disconnected from your Highest Self, you will, at best, live as a shadow of your true Self and potential. At worst, you will twist, distort, embitter, get sick, and become increasingly uncomfortable in the ascending consciousness of this planet. It is not a question of judgment or punishment. It is just a natural consequence of your choices and actions.
Keep all this in mind as you consider your need to acknowledge and atone. Make whatever choice you want. Do whatever you want. Just remember, the consequences fall directly on you, in the end.
- What actions have you taken in your life that have harmed another human being? Include direct harm, like assaulting your children, excluding others, eating meat, etc., and indirect harm, like purchasing clothes made in sweatshops, unnecessary purchases that harm the environment, etc. Be thorough. Write these down and do not be shy or ashamed. We have all engaged in harmful acts. The points here is not about shaming, judgment, and punishment; the point is awareness, accountability, and atonement.
1Money is definitely an addiction. See Mike Sosteric, “How Money Is Destroying the World,” The Conversation, 2018, https://theconversation.com/how-money-is-destroying-the-world-96517.
2 As pointed out in Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and the Economy, the wealth that the rich accumulate isn’t really theirs. They don’t really make that money. They steel labour from the workers and accumulate that in the form of money. In light of this, some form of redistribution is required for all the unnecessary suffering they have caused.
3Meaghan Wray, “Doctor Who Allegedly Forged Vaccine Records Cites ‘Regrets’ in Suicide Note,” Global News, 2020, https://globalnews.ca/news/6552342/doctor-suicide-note-vaccines/.
4If you are someone you love did something bad that they can’t admit to, take that as a serious threat to their life. You can help by supporting them, but not enabling them. Tell them you love them but keep reminding them, if they want to feel better inside, they need to admit their actions and find proper ways to atone.