By Dr. James Turrell
The Truth about Forgiveness and Gratitude
from The Secret According to Jesus: No One Is Left Behind
By Dr. James Turrell



The Western model for traditional religion and medicine both suffer from the same limitation: dominator thinking. But there is a reason for this.

Picture the alpha-dog phenomena. Wherever two or more dogs are gathered, one dog must be in charge. This is not by accident, it is evolution. Species that interact survive by having the strongest of its members lead and mate. This ensures that a significant number of offspring will inherit the sturdiest genetic codes based upon the concept of the survival of the fittest.

Traditional academic religion and medicine have been fighting for the alpha position for hundreds of years. The problematic nature of science, in competition with the supernatural, is a house divided against itself.

The general public is caught in the intellectual and emotional crossfire that tests loyalty, faith, and doctrine in an invisible civil war whose wounds are seen in the disenfranchised and powerless feelings of those who want to be healed, not co-dependent upon drugs, diagnosis, or doctrine.

This is also a primary problem when it comes to forgiveness.

The dominator is genetically cued in the human experience, the forgiver is not. The one who sees cooperation as more important than competition did not evolve to this position; he or she invented it.

In his book Thumbs, Toes, and Tears, Chip Walters says research shows that sometimes our state of mind has each of our feet placed in different camps: “The primal one from which we evolved, and the modern one which we invented. One shaped by our DNA, the other created by our big brains. Sometimes they seem to be diametrically opposed.”

This might be a partial answer to the question: Why is forgiveness so difficult?

It is difficult to forgive some people because, in part, our dominator genes are in a battle for survival, pitting instinct against a doctrine of should as in, “you shouldn’t feel this way.” It feels wrong to forgive some people because at the core of our human genetic code, it means the death of our species. Some of our aggression is the outcome of a predisposed genetic need to protect descendants. Many are conflicted about forgiveness because it doesn’t feel natural.

Jesus knew this on some level but his understanding was not based on scientific knowledge. His reasoning came from a different kind of knowledge, an intuitive awareness. Each of us is connected to an invisible and infinite supply of ideas, known in the world as a practical and pragmatic source of information. Yet, all great invention, art, science, math, poetry, and music came by way of our INTUITION THROUGH OUR IMAGINATION — which is what Einstein alluded to when he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Imagination and faith are mechanical mental talents that we all possess and use. Like the Law of Attraction, we seldom acknowledge their importance and tend to minimize the role they play in how our lives turn out.

But consider this, if my fear-based memory recognizes a behavior or a circumstance as a threat, my mechanical imagination will instantly begin to out-picture the threat and start planning defensive and offensive action.

It doesn’t matter if the threat is real or imagined. If I haven’t trained my mind to respond with forgiveness and gratitude, survival will be my only thought, my primal instinct. This is why the first two power-teachings of Jesus are LOVE YOUR ENEMIES and DO NOT REACT VIOLENTLY.

In the world of human and genetic terms and conditions it seems perfectly natural to want to survive and protect. But in universal terms, conditions are not ruled by genetics, science or politics; conditions are the by-product of how we apply SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES. And PRINCIPLES are the way we train and thus define our moral and ethical behavior.

Your experience does not depend on conditions; it depends on whether or not you have a TRAINED MIND... OR AN UN-TRAINED MIND.

The untrained mind is fueled mostly by instinct. It is REACTIVE. The trained mind is powered by a balance of instinct and intuition. It is PROACTIVE. Steven Covey, in his watershed book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, defines the pro-active mind as one trained to spend more time creating opportunity than dealing with conflicts.

Each of us is surrounded by energy waiting to take form. Thoughts and feelings command energy to take form which we mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare ourselves to experience. This is what makes gratitude so potent.

Being thankful is a mental and emotional energy that — without exception — produces positive results. I don’t know anyone who suffered, got sick, or was depressed because of gratitude.

In 1984 after completing eight years of classes, Dr. Jim left the world of teaching public school and became a full-time minister in Cape Coral, Florida. Eighteen years later he earned his Doctorate of Religious Science, wrote five books and, in 1987 founded the Costa Mesa Center for Spiritual Discovery where he currently serves as pastor. To contact Dr. Jim, visit or call (714) 754-7399.

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