T. 16. VII. 1 – 4. Jesus: “It is impossible to let the past go without relinquishing the special relationship. For the special relationship is an attempt to re-enact the past and change it. Imagined slights, remembered pain, past disappointments, perceived injustices and deprivations all enter into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you seek to restore your ego’s wounded self-esteem.
What basis would you have for choosing a special partner without the past? Every such choice is made because of some ‘past evil’ to which you cling, and which someone else must now ‘atone for’ to make you whole again. Thus the special relationship is but the ego’s way of taking vengeance on the past! By seeking ‘redemption’ in the imagined past to remove its suffering, the ego is preoccupied with a total commitment to the past, and has you overlook the present entirely.
No special relationship is experienced as just in the present. Shadows of the past envelop it, and make it what it is to you! It has no meaning in the present, and if it means nothing now, it cannot have any real meaning at all. How can you change the past except in fantasy? And who can give you now what you think the past deprived you of?
The past is nothing! Do not seek to lay the blame for your sense of deprivation upon it, for the past is gone! How can you sanely not let go of that which has already gone! If you try to cling to it, it must therefore be that you are maintaining the illusion that ‘it has not gone,’ because you somehow think it serves some purpose that you want fulfilled. And so it must also be that this purpose could not be fulfilled in the present, but only in the past!
Do not underestimate the intensity of the ego’s drive for vengeance on the past! It is completely savage and completely insane. For the ego remembers everything you have done that has offended it, and seeks retribution of you! The fantasies it brings to its chosen relationships in which to act out its hate, are but fantasies of the destruction of what you are! For the ego holds the past against you, and in your escape from the past it sees itself deprived of the vengeance it believes you so ‘justly deserve.’ Yet without your alliance with the ego in your own destruction, it could not keep you fixated on the past. In the special relationship, then, you are allowing your destruction to be ‘made real.’ That this is all insane is obvious! But what is less obvious is that the present is useless to you while, as its ally, you continue to pursue the ego’s goal.
The past is gone! Seek not to preserve it in the special relationship! That would merely bind you to it, and teach you that salvation is in the past and so you must return to the past to find salvation. There is no fantasy that does not contain the dream of retribution for the past. Would you keep acting out the dream, or simply let it go?”