Chapter Three—Second Key: Forgive All Betrayals

Returning to Oneness

The Seven Keys of Ascension


Download a pdf of Chapter Three

The Second Key—Forgive All Betrayals

Forgiving all the betrayals of life is the second key. This means all the betrayals that you have perpetrated on others, those that have been done to you, self-betrayals, and even those that you may have caused others to do to someone else.

Betrayal concerns the lock between the third chakra and the fourth chakra, between the solar plexus and the heart. This lock is a complex knot right on the diaphragm. As we seek to raise the kundalini energy up into the heart chakra, it cannot pass easily through this knot because the core is very tightly veiled here. The energy dams up, circulating instead in the abdomen, unable to make it into the heart. As we use this key and do the processing work, we are able to loosen and eventually untie this knot. In the East it is known as the knot of Vishnu. When it opened for me, my guides called it “Heaven’s Gate.” Forgiveness will open it. The vibration of forgiveness actually dissolves the hard knot and releases the contraction, so the energy can get through to your heart. It takes more than a one-time forgiveness and is more like learning to live in a continuous state of forgiveness.

Having an experience of betrayal means that we are identified with the egoic personality programs that are telling us that we are being let down, taking a loss, experiencing a breach of trust or feeling victimized by something. When we feel as though we deserve to have our needs met, and it is not happening, we feel betrayal. Life, from our third-dimensional perspective, has a tendency to dish out both major and minor betrayals.

The diaphragm is one of the main places where we hold our energy in contraction because of childhood wounding—wounding based on betrayal. As you clear and release feelings of betrayal and loss, you may find the diaphragm area softening. It is releasing tension and tightness. The diaphragm is the first muscle that begins contracting in the body of a newborn baby. When babies cry and scream and sob, it is the diaphragm that is working and beginning to tense and contract. So, much of our early childhood losses are stored in the diaphragm area. Tension in the diaphragm area blocks the kundalini energy from flowing freely into the heart chakra, preventing us from accessing the higher emotions such as forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, and joy. Thus, as long as the early childhood wounding remains in place, we are unable to love as much as we are capable of—with far-reaching ramifications to our lives. As we begin to work on forgiving betrayals, the diaphragm plays a big part in the releasing associated with this key, indicating that it is the infant particularly that holds on to resentment, grudges, and old wounding. This is mainly because most infant programming has been forgotten.

So our focus for this chapter is moving beyond victim consciousness, which is perhaps the biggest issue facing humanity at this time. Victim consciousness and its opposite, the tyrant, are holding the whole world back from ascending into the new paradigm of heart-centered consciousness. As we unlock the betrayal knot associated with victim consciousness, we take a giant step forward in moving beyond the polarities of victim–tyrant, of power–powerlessness, of win–lose, and into the paradigm of love and of win–win consciousness.

The thick, rubbery muscle of the diaphragm, sepa-
rating the chest from the abdomen, is the physical representation of the density of the consciousness that keeps the two paradigms separate. It acts as a barrier between the lower three chakras which are associated with worldly consciousness, and the upper four chakras which are associated more with our spiritual nature, with unified awareness, or with higher vibratory consciousness.

Meditate on Forgiveness

It is important to meditate on forgiveness. See what you can forgive and what you cannot forgive. And if you cannot forgive, why not. If there is something you cannot forgive, you may see that the surface consciousness is in self-pity and that the shadow perceives something else. It may say something like, “A terrible betrayal happened to me, and I’m not going to believe that it didn’t or that I caused it myself.” There is often some sort of hook in consciousness here that is reluctant to give up on the grudge and the withholding. It feels it needs the shadow, has to have it. It may feel that it would rather die than give up the cherished notion of its suffering and of what it thinks it should have. It plans on holding on to the shadow until it has its needs met.

From the ego’s perspective, forgiveness often comes down to forgiving God for causing us pain and suffering and for creating this world to be a place of pain and suffering. I use the word “God” here because even God when viewed from this level is seen as an outside persecutor, more like the old authority figure in the sky than as our own intrinsic essence. This perception of God is a variation of the projected parental authority. The ego tends to see betrayal from a very limited us-versus-them perspective, the “doer” and the “done-to.”

From this place caused by early childhood wounding that cuts us off from the heart—wounding that teaches us that loss creates pain—we are quite unable to see the perfection of the awkward and painful situations. Then there is the gradual conditioning of seeing the world through the lens of good and bad, a variation of negative and positive, or of painful and pleasurable. By the time the conditioning process is finished, we have a completely subjective perception of negative and positive, judging things as good and bad, right and wrong, painful or pleasurable, eventually landing up in a very limited paradigm of awareness. From there we do not and cannot see the intrinsic perfection of all that manifests for us when we view life from a larger and more in-depth perspective.

So, as we begin to witness the parts of us that view both God and the betrayal from the egoic perspective, we can begin to forgive. Undoing this knot means forgiving the world for being the hellhole that it appears to be, forgiving God for creating the world as a hell-hole, and forgiving God for putting us in the hellhole of the world.

Begin this piece of work on forgiveness by holding the idea of it in your meditation, not necessarily all the time, but beginning to work with it. It has to be held deeply and looked at over and over, because there will be parts of you that think, “Why should I forgive? I want revenge, not forgiveness! I want satisfaction, not forgiveness!” Forgiveness means letting the whole thing go, and letting it be okay. And if there is a fighter in there, you will feel it.

Or the situation could go in the direction of your feeling that you have already forgiven the betrayal as much as possible and that there is nothing more to do. This is the tricky part because it can be deceptive. Since our awareness is divided between the conscious mind and unconscious mind, the forgiveness reaches down only through the conscious mind. We tend to forget that there are most likely deeper places in the unconscious where we are still holding out and resisting forgiveness. Because of this, it is necessary to keep digging deeper into the unconscious to find where the holdouts are and to bring them into alignment with forgiveness.

Sometimes that may seem like a lot to ask. So we must remember that within us is this wonderful, quiet perceiver that is eternal, whereas all the betrayals are not part of our eternality. They are held in the egoic consciousness that we are choosing to let go of. They are not eternal. That is unless we choose to take them with us when we die, into our next life, and again into the next.

Betrayal becomes nothing when we get down to what really matters to our eternal Self—knowing our eternality and its state of perfect love. And it is possible for us to find that place of knowing during times of meditation, contemplation, or processing. We can use that time to drop into the deeply hidden inner places to find the holdouts and to come into the forgiveness and the letting go that bring release.

Being Busy Unto Death

It is harder, if not completely impossible, to do that when we are always caught up in worldly activity. If our life is always made up of busy-ness, distraction, and doing, and if we never make time to clear ourselves, we will be unprepared for death. When our time comes to die, we will find ourselves contemplating and taking stock of the meaning of life. It is then that we will ask ourselves what really counted in life, what mattered. Then it becomes very obvious that what mattered were all the times that we held to love—believed in it, gave it, and sought to become it. It is all too clear then that betrayal, resentment, revenge, and hatred have no value and do not matter at all.

So, at the time of death, those negatives will not be the things that have any value to our soul, because those are all disconnected, transitory states. The people that we have blamed and the resentments we have held toward them are like dust—ashes. The things that matter are those that are eternal, like love. We will remember the moments when we really loved, when we really were pure and pristine with others. These moments will stay with us because they are part of our eternal essence. We will be very motivated to discard the other baggage very quickly, letting go of it in an instant, the instant we recognize it as being nothing of any consequence.

So forgiveness is the process of connecting to our eternality, to our luminosity, and to the quiet simplicity of our cleared mind. It is instrumental in bringing life into a proper perspective, allowing us to see what really matters—what is eternal and what is not, what is real and what is not, and what counts and what does not. And there is no easier place to do this kind of discernment than sitting quietly in meditation.

Understanding Betrayal

When we were born, we had our universal perceiver intact. This universal perceiver is the one who knows truth. This perceiver encounters a very controlling and domineering world. There are many, many ways to be dominated. You can be dominated with cruelty and with kindness, which is something we do not often realize.

Most parents assume that a baby is a pretty stupid lump of flesh, although, this is not quite as prevalent today as it was a few decades ago. And so, the baby comes up against dominance and control. It may not be overt dominance from day one, but it certainly is control. The little child is told day in and day out that it does not know anything, or at least that assumption is just made. Most parents also assume that the baby must be taught everything about the world—how to think, how to see, how to perceive! The honoring of the perceiver in the baby does not happen very often. Sure, the baby has poor motor skills, but everything else is intact in a latent form. Most parents no longer have an understanding of the true perceiver in themselves since the way of this world is that the true perceiver gives over to the false perceiver.

How do you react when someone tries to dominate, manipulate, or control you? Think about it for 
a moment.

From early childhood, we develop a variety of reactions, and these become roles that we play—personas. 
If someone tries to dominate, manipulate, and control us, we begin putting up guards. The rebel is one of the 
personas that may develop. The victim is another. The rebel is the one who bucks authority and feels powerful, and the victim is the one who submits to authority and feels powerless.

The way that the world impacts a baby is that the baby’s true perceiver is not seen, heard, understood, or validated, but it does get validation for its responses to everybody else’s programmed blindness. If it begins to react to what it sees outside, there will be a response from the “world outside.” It will connect to the baby, allowing the baby to connect to it. “Oh, look. Little Johnny’s developing a personality! Isn’t that cute.” Sometimes this may be a negative kind of connection, but not always. Often it is positive. In the end all that matters is that the baby will feel connected. And so the coating of the personality comes into place, and the true perceiver is discounted.

Under parental authority the dualistic personas, whether the dominant, rebellious, and assertive one or the passive, submissive, victimized one, begin to be instituted in the baby. As far as the world is concerned, the baby is beginning to develop a personality.

In the course of this childhood development, the original perceiver seems to become hidden by the developing personality. This is the coating of the core by the shadow of the egoic veils. Yet the good news is that it is not completely lost. It is just disguised. Despite the fact that the life force and the awareness of eternity get clouded over, the perceiver is still there fortunately, still looking through those eyes—eyes that have become clouded by the programmed concepts around life.

So, in its pure form, unadulterated by the attributes of the developing personality, that perceiver, which we call “I,” a word we use dozens of times a day, is still the universal perceiver—the Self. The small “i” is really the eternal I. Ultimately there is no difference.

The perceiver, disguised by the veil of the personality, is connected all the way to the core, the Self within you, pure non-dual consciousness. Even when the perceiver is pretending to be the personality, it looks straight out from the core place—straight out through your own eyes.

There are ways to get back into it, ways to get through the cloudiness of the worldly persona. There are doorways through the centers of each of the chakras, especially through to the center of the heart chakra, where a deeper, unified truth can be perceived—something we respond to like lungs gasping for a first breath of fresh air.

By using the seven keys to open the locks between the chakras, the chakras themselves also open to a deeper level, and we have our first taste of our universal birthright. Eventually all of the locks are open, giving us our realization of the core and our unified state. The perception of truth opens all the way through the body and can then manifest in our daily life.

Non-Dual Truth—No One Betrayed Anyone

In a manner of speaking, we did this betrayal to ourselves—we caused it to happen. We are nobody’s victim here, even though it may appear that way. How can we explain this? Our souls chose those parents, who were actually impeccable enough to institute the blueprint that we designed at a soul level as the program for life in the personality. We chose our parents because they could give us what we needed—not necessarily what we wanted, but what we needed.

The ultimate betrayal was to ourselves. If we can find it inside us to forgive ourselves for choosing to come to this world, for choosing apparently to give up our true Self, the other betrayals almost seem irrelevant. As the Vedantists say, “If you know who you are, nothing else matters.” In our unconscious we spin around in heartbreak, assuming that we have lost our true self, because we do not know who we are, or we think we do not know who we are. But we do.

If some part of you holds onto anger and blame, feeling like a victim, and you perceive that something was done to you, this is not a clear understanding of how things work. There is no one doing anything to anyone. This is the highest truth. Anything else is just an appearance. Things only appear to happen in the dream that is this phenomenal world.

There is only an appearance of you and the out-
side. In reality there is only one unified state—all of us. 
Although we seem to be functioning as separate and autonomous in this world, which means that we are independent units functioning independently of divine intelligence, that is an appearance. It is truly not so. There really is no separation between each of us and the true Self. Therefore, there really is no independent person doing anything to anyone. Life with its doings and happenings is all the lila, the Sanskrit word for the play of consciousness. It is like a magnificently choreographed play, in which everyone has a role, and one of its dramas is the drama of betrayal. We are each pretending in order to keep the show going.

Still, when a betrayal happens to us and when we are still in the system of separation, it feels very real. That is why Jesus spoke of using forgiveness to change ourselves. Not everyone is able to see the highest truth all the time—the truth that no one is doing anything to anyone. Since not everyone is capable of seeing this truth, most have to fall back on forgiveness.

Forgiveness takes a lot of faith, and that faith comes more easily if we are not fully buying into the system of separation. But it also has to do with the heart. Often it is an intuitive flash that tells us that not forgiving, but holding vengeful, hateful thoughts, is actually more damaging to our own system. This poison of hate and resentment will also affect the person we are projecting those thoughts onto, but in the end it is going to hurt us more. So forgiveness is the willingness to let go—of our self-importance, our pride, our hurt, our resentment, and the feeling that we have to get our pound of flesh.

Deep inside of us we do know the truth, that we are not separate and that we are love. When we awaken to the truth about our real Self and thus to love, we do not proudly and self-importantly pamper and cherish ourselves. We love ourselves in a much more respectful way, all the while knowing that our and others’ baggage does not matter. It does not have to be important. That is true nobility of soul. As Shakespeare said, “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” Learning to forgive is the very real awakening of our divine nature.

Yes, it is necessary initially to forgive ourselves for letting go of our perceiver and for being in the illusion of separation. Yet the highest truth is this: We as the Self did not really betray ourselves, because there never was a betrayal. How is this possible? From a non-dual point of view, if there is no subject-object split between us and the Self, then we are both the betrayer and betrayed. If we are both of those, can there really be a betrayal then? The realization that there was no betrayal begins to dawn as we go through the stages of integration of the old personality and as a non-dual knowing returns.

Sometimes in peak spiritual experiences we can just jump right into the non-dual understanding that no one is doing anything to anyone. The mind just pops open, and the truth is readily available. When these experiences happen, immediately write down this new “knowing,” because shortly after, your logical mind will come in and say, “How is this possible?” All the egoic baggage that has not been cleared yet will start negating what you saw, and you will doubt yourself with thoughts such as: “What do you mean I shouldn’t be exacting revenge? How can you say nothing ever happened? Look at the bruises on my body!”

Trying to see a higher truth from a lower point of view is a problem. It puts us in a double bind, which is this: If we can only see the higher truth after the locks in the body open up, but if we can’t open up the locks without seeing the truth, then how do we get to see the truth?

Forgiveness becomes a jump into that higher level of awareness not usually perceptible to the third-dimensional personality. When we take that step and when the energy-flows open up in the body, we are able to directly perceive the truth that there is no betrayal. Even if parts of you are still not seeing it but are resisting and fighting it, try to let the truth in at an intellectual level. It is a first step.

If you have an axe to grind about something, and if there is still a lot of supercharged emotional energy on the issue, it is not going to give up easily. But it will if you can see even for ten seconds what the truth is. Even a brief glimpse of truth greatly weakens that charge.

Beyond Betrayal, Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a very amazing energy field, which you will see as you begin to use this key. It is a profound letting go, expansion, and embracing of peace in the heart. Another word for forgiveness is reconciliation. It implies the harmonious coming together of previously disparate and conflicting forces. Thus forgiveness or reconciliation is the ascended state that is kindled in the heart chakra when we reconcile the polarity of betrayal and trust in the third chakra.

When we take on and stubbornly hold a polarized position associated with power issues in the third chakra, the knot at the diaphragm develops and becomes stronger, and when we reconcile these polarities and forgive them, the knot on the diaphragm opens up, allowing our awareness to ascend into the heart. Forgiveness releases the idea of betrayal held in the mind, and the contraction betrayal creates in the physical body leaves. It also releases the associated emotional content.

The scar tissue in the emotional body is the grievance—the holding onto the idea that something bad was done to us. There must be a choice to let that go. You might say, “Okay, well so what? Somebody did something bad to me. What do I want to do with that?” A decision must be made. Are you going to take responsibility for it or put the responsibility for it on to someone else?

If somebody did something, which you interpreted as being bad for you, you could take responsibility for causing it. You make the choice to let it wound you and to hold it as a scar in your being, or you could just as easily choose to dump it. That is forgiveness, where you wipe the slate clean. You will feel it as a letting go and as a releasing in the diaphragm area.

So forgiveness is the mystical union of two opposing energy forces. It allows them to dissolve, and then they naturally come together, unify, and ascend into the heart.

Forgiveness, to be real and helpful, has to happen on every level. It is important to let go of the way in which we have told ourselves the story. We created the story, and we can heal it and let it go. Letting go of the grievance in the mind and letting go of the old story are the ways to start. The release in the body will follow. We can just decide we do not need them anymore, that they are meaningless to us. To release them in the body, we can meditate on the place in the body where the hard knot is held and put light and love into that spot. We are not the victims of circumstance. We are the creators, too. But until we accept that, we are powerless in the face of dominance from the outside that wounds us.

Try to accept that you are the victim and the dominator, that you are the betrayer and the betrayed—both sides. As the soul designer of all experiences, you are in fact both sides of the story. It takes an incredible generosity of spirit to do this. That is why it is a spiritual state to forgive.

While forgiveness is a state of generosity, of letting bygones be bygones, it is also a state of humility, too. You might practice saying, “Maybe there is another way to look at this, maybe this situation isn’t what it appears to be.” This would be really close to the truth, because nothing in this world is as it appears to be. You can also practice saying, “Maybe I brought this on myself somehow.” These are ways that you can get past your wounding and victimhood while still being in the system of duality, while still being in a state of feeling separate. I believe that is what the teaching of forgiveness is about. It is not necessarily about seeing the non-dual truth, which releases you instantly when you get it. It is about being in the duality and finding ways to heal yourself.

A Process

Use the polarity processing technique to help clear the egoic knot of betrayal. Find a place inside yourself where you hold a grudge. For example, against someone who wronged you in some way or against God for the unfairness of life. Write about the betrayal in your journal. Be sure to include all your feelings about it. Go back through the story and circle all the descriptive words and phrases—adjectives, adverbs, anything with a charge to it. Make a list of all those words and phrases down the left-hand column of a page. Then in the right-hand column, write the opposites. Remember that these are the polarities that comprise the ego, that lock us into attractions and repulsions and that keep us stuck in the limitation and the duality of the separate system. Make an offering of the list and give it all back to spirit. Let it all go, knowing none of it is who you truly are. You are eternity. In a meditation, release it, forgive the betrayal, and try to feel the movement of energy into the heart.

A Prayer

Oh Eternity, please take all of these states of mind which are unbalanced, and balance and clear them. Do this so that I may see more clearly and find my way home more easily. I offer up these feelings of betrayal, and I ask to be able to forgive and to live more in my heart. I give thanks, knowing it will be done.

A Meditation

Please meditate for a few minutes and work with that original betrayal inside your body. Imagine along the midline of your body, the core, that you have a column of light made of the white light of eternity—what we know in the physical universe as star energy. It is the same light as the stars. The veils are not dense and impenetrable. If you go inside yourself and radiate that light, it comes right through the veils. It is the light of God. Everyone has it. It is your core, and it is the core of the universe. As you do this, remember: Who needs attachment to anything when you are a star burning brightly inside the physical body? Forgive all betrayals.

The above is an excerpt from Returning to Oneness—The Seven Keys of Ascension which is available to purchase from the CoreLight webstore by Leslie Temple-Thurston with Brad Laughlin • ISBN: 0-9660182-9-X • Softcover • 160 pages • $13.00

Copyright ©2002 by CoreLight.
All rights reserved. You may use or reproduce as long as the text is unaltered and appropriately credited.


So forgiveness is the process of connecting to our eternality, to our luminosity, and to the quiet simplicity of our cleared mind. It is instrumental in bringing life into a proper perspective, allowing us to see what really matters—what is eternal and what is not, what is real and what is not, and what counts and what does not.