One of the newest and most fascinating persons that has arrived on the scene and come to light in modern day history, has to be Jesse Lee Peterson. Not without controversy, he has a rich background as someone who grew up on a plantation in Alabama under Jim Crow laws. He moved out of his house to Los Angeles at 18 and worked for twenty years at various jobs and created a cleaning business. By age 40, he went to his mother and forgave her for causing him to be angry and dividing him from his father (from their divorce) and made the most startling discovery I ever heard. He claimed that this one act of courage changed his life profoundly by becoming an authentic Man and perfect human being.
By clearing his psyche of any negative traces of his mother and her tenuous hold over him, he has been able to positively respond to all of life’s difficulties rather than negatively reacting to it. By reacting, in an unconscious way, he always appeared weak (as a beta-male) and had a weak voice and made decisions based on emotions rather than a calm and logical mind. From this new position of power, he has been able to hold a perfect view (often called the witness-self) in all of his daily interactions with others. When others behave with great hostility and negativity towards him, he always has that calm-center within and everything outside appears as an illusory-display like a movie.
With this new found method to transform others into an authentic being, Reverend Peterson founded BOND, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “Rebuilding the Family by Rebuilding the Man.” For 29 years he has dedicated his whole life to helping others overcome their anger (through forgiveness) which has lead other grateful people becoming a responsible adult in their community.
In order to discover how this one act of forgiveness has been able to transform these people’s lives lives for the better we may need to understand the psychology of it.
Why does it work?
It is interesting to note that C.G. Jung has explained that the precise hold that the mother has on an individual (referred to as a mother-complex) weaves its way through all of psychology, religion and mythology.
“The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ — all these are undoubtedly great virtues.” — Carl Jung
Jung often writes about the ideal reality, being composed of archetypal projections, such as God or the Hero (like Ulysses) which has been written about extensively in many positive ways by both fictional and non-fictional writers. On the other end, the distorted reality is also an archetype such as the Devil or Shadow Self that is depicted in writing and can be seen by the harm that is created. These negative effects and conditioned behaviors can also be seen in ourselves and our sons or daughters.
From the Journal of Religion and Health:
As on theologian stated: “Confessing one’s guilt is an archetypal experience, one so deeply anchored in the very structure of the human psyche that the need for it will never disappear.” The author goes on to say that “The idea of confession and forgiveness is located in that place where psychology and religion meet — guilt.”
The same thing can be said about forgiveness. In this regard, the utility of forgiveness and confession can be considered universally needed and applicable to all when lost in duality and confusion.
The value of forgiveness, according to Reverend Peterson, lies in actively going to your mother and father and forgiving them. You forgive them (particularly your mother) for making you angry and messing up your life. Naturally, this takes a lot of courage. Most people report, on his radio talk-show, that it is scary to imagine going to your parents to say that. Of course these nervous feelings arise whenever we confront someone who may react wildly and create a scene. Therefore, it is important to point out a few verses from the Christian bible.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” — Colossians 3:13
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” — Matthew 6:14
Since it is not taught in our churches (in this exact way) we may say that this is an esoteric teaching. This information has been given to all of us – by great masters and saints who knew of its inherent value. We are very fortunate to witness this beacon of light within this dark period – as one person can offer testimonial and make a huge difference for others; no matter how few. Furthermore, Jesse Lee Peterson clearly states that it is NOT about asking for forgiveness because this just creates another form of guilt and co-dependency when dealing with imperfect people.
Effects of Forgiveness:
One of the most exciting things I have seen (other than the fun and heated debates) on his YouTube videos, are the people now coming forward with their success stories and sharing their new found freedom. Here is one excerpt and successful case:
18-year-old Justin of Arizona says he forgave his mother. He went to her. At first he said he wasn’t scared, but he was. Afterward he felt so free. He’s no longer depressed. He stopped smoking marijuana. He’s no longer addicted to sex. He’s going to school, and working on moving out. He believes loans are the devil. He forgave his father as well — he accepted his forgiveness. He had a very good relationship with his father; it was more the problem with his mother. Most love and want their fathers; it’s the mothers that they hate, but they’ve been told otherwise.
Justin doesn’t get the hate Jesse catches. They call him a self-hating black person, but he’s trying to help black people become individuals instead of victims. They’re in a fallen state, angry, and they cannot see. It wasn’t until Jesse examined himself that God caused him to see. Most will not see. Only a few will find the straight and narrow path. Those who refuse have to suffer and die.
Silent Prayer: Be still and know
Radio show: Live stream (M-F 6-9am PT / 9-noon ET)
In Tibetan we say Eh Ma Ho! or That’s Amazing! in English.