SATURDAY June 18, 2016
Holy Eternal Instant
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 15 THE PURPOSE OF TIME
VI. THE HOLY INSTANT AND SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS

53 God knows you now. He remembers nothing, having always known you exactly as He knows you now. The holy instant parallels His knowing by bringing all perception out of the past, thus removing the frame of reference you have built by which to judge your brothers. Once this is gone, the Holy Spirit substitutes His frame of reference for it. His frame of reference is simply God. The Holy Spirit's timelessness lies only here. For in the holy instant, free of the past, you see that love is in you, and you have no need to look without and snatch it guiltily from where you thought it was.
       
DAILY LESSON
Son ship Video
L e s s o n 169
By grace I live. By grace I am released.


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*IAMBIC PENTAMETER*
WHAT IS IAMBIC PENTAMETER? 
  
   Grace is an aspect of the Love of God
   which is most like the state prevailing in
   the Unity of truth. It is the world's
   most lofty aspiration, for it leads
   beyond the world entirely. It is
   past learning yet the goal of learning, for
   grace cannot come until the mind prepares
   itself for true acceptance. Grace becomes
   inevitable instantly in those
   who have prepared a table where it can
   be gently laid and willingly received;
   an altar clean and holy for the gift.
 
   Grace is acceptance of the Love of God
   within a world of seeming hate and fear.
   By grace alone the hate and fear are gone,
   for grace presents a state so opposite
   to everything the world contains, that those
   whose minds are lighted by the gift of grace
   can not believe the world of fear is real.
  
   Grace is not learned. The final step must go
   beyond all learning. Grace is not the goal
   this course aspires to attain. Yet we
   prepare for grace in that an open mind
   can hear the call to waken. It is not
   shut tight against God's Voice. It has become
   aware that there are things it does not know,
   and thus is ready to accept a state
   completely different from experience
   with which it is familiarly at home.
 
   We have perhaps appeared to contradict
   our statement that the revelation of
   the Father and the Son as One has been
   already set. But we have also said
   the mind determines when that time will be,
   and has determined it. And yet we urge
   you to bear witness to the Word of God
   to hasten the experience of truth,
   and speed its advent into every mind
   which recognizes its effects on you.
 
   Oneness is simply the idea God is.
   And in His Being, He encompasses
   all things. No mind holds anything but Him.
   We say "God is," and then we cease to speak,
   for in that knowledge words are meaningless.
   There are no lips to speak them, and no part
   of mind sufficiently distinct to feel
   that it is now aware of something not
   Itself. It has united with Its Source,
   and like the Source Itself It merely is.
 
   We cannot speak nor write nor even think
   of this at all. It comes to every mind
   when total recognition that its will
   is God's has been completely given and
   received completely. It returns the mind
   into the endless present, where the past
   and future cannot be conceived. It lies
   beyond salvation; past all thought of time,
   forgiveness, holiness and charity.
   The Son of God has merely disappeared
   into His Father, as His Father has
   in him. The world has never been at all.
   Eternity remains a constant state.|
 
   This is beyond experience we try
   to hasten. Yet forgiveness, taught and learned,
   brings with it the experiences which
   bear witness that the time the mind itself
   determined to abandon all but this
   is near at hand. You do not hasten it
   in that what you will offer was concealed
   from Him Who teaches what forgiveness means.|
   All learning was already in His Mind,
   accomplished and complete. He recognized
   all that time holds, and gave it to all minds
   that each one might determine, from a point
   where time has ended, when it is released
   to revelation and eternity.
 
   We have repeated several times before
   that you but take a journey that is done.|
   For Oneness must be here. Whatever time
   the mind has set for revelation is
   entirely irrelevant to what
   must be a constant state, forever as
   it always was; forever to remain
   as it is now. We merely take the part
   assigned long since, and fully recognized
   as perfectly fulfilled, by Him Who wrote
   salvation's script in His Creator's Name,
   and in the Name of His Creator's Son.|
 
   There is no need to further clarify
   what no-one in the world can understand.
   When revelation of your Oneness comes,
   it will be known and fully understood.
   Now we have work to do, for those in time
   can speak of things beyond, and listen to
   words which explain what is to come is past
   already. Yet what meaning can the words
   convey to those who count the hours still,
   and rise and work and go to sleep by them?|
 
   Suffice it, then, that you have work to do
   to play your part. The ending must remain
   obscure to you until your part is done.
   It does not matter. For your part is still
   what all the rest depends on. As you play
   the role assigned to you, salvation comes
   a little nearer each uncertain heart
   that does not beat as yet in tune with God.|
   Forgiveness is the central theme which runs
   throughout salvation, holding all its parts
   in meaningful relationships, the course
   it runs directed and its outcome sure.
 
   And now we ask for grace, the final gift
   salvation can bestow. Experience
   that grace provides will end in time, for grace
   foreshadows Heaven, but does not replace
   the thought of time but for a little while.|
   That interval suffices. It is here
   that miracles are laid; to be returned
   by you from holy instants you receive,
   through grace, in your experience to all
   who see the light that lingers on your face.
 
   What is the Face of Christ but his who went
   a moment into timelessness, and brought
   a clear reflection of the unity
   he felt an instant back to bless the world?
   How could you finally attain to it
   forever, while a part of you remains
   outside, unknowing, unawakened and
   in need of you in witness to the truth?|
  
   Be grateful to return, as you were glad
   to go an instant and accept the gifts
   which grace provided you. You carry them
   back to yourself. And revelation stands
   not far behind. Its coming is ensured.
   We ask for grace and for experience
   that comes from grace. We welcome the release
   it offers everyone. We do not ask
   for the unaskable. We do not look
   beyond what grace can give. For this we can
   give in the grace that has been given us.|
 
   Our learning goal today does not exceed
   this prayer, yet in the world what could be more
   than what we ask this day of Him Who gives
   the grace we ask, as it was given Him?
    
  " By grace I live. By grace I am released.
   By grace I give. By grace I will release. "
 
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes
 
ACIM OE WORKBOOK LESSON 169            
 
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 169
By grace I live. By grace I am released.

Sarah's Commentary: 
 
This Lesson helps us with our readiness to receive grace and to prepare our minds for grace, which is not something we learn. We merely clean up the altar of our minds and prepare for this holy gift. We prepare a table ". . . where it can be gently laid and willingly received." (W.169.1.4) How do we do that? We do the forgiveness work by looking at the ego with the Holy Spirit. The familiar responses we make to every situation must be released. To do so requires courage and honesty to investigate what is underneath these responses. What is driving us? What are we defending about ourselves? We must inquire deeply into our motivations and become very honest with ourselves to expose what the ego is up to if we are to heal. There is no room for truth when the mind is full of our own thoughts.
 
"It [the mind] has become aware that there are things it does not know, and thus is ready to accept a state completely different from experience with which it is familiarly at home." (W.169.3.6) We must be willing to acknowledge we don't understand anything and become willing to be taught. When we think we know, there is no room for the experience of grace. Thus, humility is called for so we can come to a state of readiness to receive.
 
We think we can trust our senses and understand what we see and experience in the world. We become certain of how we see things and affirm it again and again. We do this each time we tell our stories, each time we discuss the "state" of the world, and each time we affirm some "truth" or belief we hold and find evidence or justification for it. When we justify our position, we stubbornly refuse to consider another way. Forgiveness shows us what we see in the world is not true. "Forgiveness is the central theme that runs throughout salvation, holding all its parts in meaningful relationships, the course it runs directed and its outcome sure." (W.169.12.1)
 
There may be things happening in our lives that have made no sense to us, but as we overcome the world more and more, we now see everything as a meaningful learning opportunity. Now it is all purposeful, all for the undoing of our judgments and perspectives. We will still see behaviors that are attacking, but now we don't judge them as "bad." Instead, we see them as our classroom in order to learn to undo our judgments. Events are still unfolding in the world as before, but we now experience them with a new perspective. As we do the forgiveness work called for in each situation where we make judgments, our perceptions are healed, until we come to the place where we see the events and circumstances of the world as having no reality.
 
With Christ's vision, a new interpretation can be given us, which starts with an open mind and our admitting we don't know anything. We step out into unknown territory, where we leave behind our current familiarity with our way of seeing and judging. It is an advanced state. "It is the world's most lofty aspiration, for it leads beyond the world entirely." (W.169.1.2) It takes us to the real world, where the dream of this world is no longer.
 
Jesus says we need not be concerned about the time it will take to accept the Atonement. Why? It is because the time has already been determined and Jesus assures us the end is certain. "Nothing can prevent what God would have accomplished from accomplishment." (T.13.XI.5.3)(ACIM OE T.13.V.39) Whatever we might do, and however much we may procrastinate and entertain foolish dreams, weird imaginings, and wild misperceptions, Jesus assures us, "God's Will is done." (T.13.XI.5.4)(ACIM OE T.13.V.39) So, while the time is determined, it seems we can hasten our experience of awakening to the truth. (W.169.4.3) This may seem like a contradiction. It is similar to what we read in Lesson 158, where he says, "The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. For time but seems to go in one direction. We but undertake a journey that is over. Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us." (W.158.3.1-7)
 
What is interesting about all of this is that we are actually preparing for a time already over. The Atonement has already been accepted and is present in our minds. (W.169.8.1) Jesus says all learning has already been accomplished and is complete, but we have not yet agreed to choose again what has already been chosen. This is salvation's script, which is here now. "For oneness must be here." (W.169.9.1) It simply cannot be lost. All we have done is become unaware of this fact and believe we have destroyed Creation. Jesus says this is impossible and has never happened. Eternity is totally unaffected by our dreams, and therefore the time when we accept the Atonement is irrelevant. He assures us it is available now. We are not being coerced to do anything we are not yet ready for. Time makes no difference in eternity. Any demands we put on ourselves of where we should be have not been put there by Jesus, although he does encourage us to do the work on behalf of our own happiness. However, he makes no demands of us.
 
He only encourages us to accept healing on behalf of our own well-being. He is never pushing us or pressuring us. This is an enormous comfort to me, because sometimes I can start to feel guilty about my seemingly slow progress. Certainly, he urges us not to delay. This is not because something dreadful will happen if we do but because he says we will be happier if we allow a new perception to shift our minds from a state of suffering to one of peace and joy. "And yet we urge you to bear witness to the Word of God to hasten the experience of truth, and speed its advent into every mind that recognizes truth's effects on you." (W.169.4.3) We are to become a light in this world and a demonstration of the power of healing on our minds and thus available to others.
 
For now, we need to make every effort to keep bringing our misperceptions to the truth in order to allow more joy and peace in our lives. It is interesting that we have resistance to this. It attests to our insanity. In fact, the first law of chaos speaks of our desire to be rid of peace. If that seems bizarre to you, watch how many times a day you are actually throwing away your peace when you could be choosing it. Our part is to prepare our minds for the ". . . true acceptance" (W.169.1.3) of grace. We are to prepare ". . . a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received; an altar clean and holy for the gift." (W.169.1.4)
 
When grace comes to our minds, we have a foretaste of Heaven, which is so opposite to the world that we will no longer hold anything about this world as true. The goal of the Course is to prepare us for this gift of grace so we can come to a place of readiness to receive it. And what is grace? Grace is a reflection of the love of God. The altar in the mind, now cluttered with our dark thoughts, opinions, and beliefs we hold, must be cleared to receive this grace. The beliefs, which keep us hostage to the ego, must first be seen to be released. In other words, we must watch our minds and become discerning of our thoughts. We must let go of all we think we know and ask the Holy Spirit's interpretation of everything we see and experience. An open mind comes through surrender of our beliefs, values, and concepts. I must be willing to acknowledge I do not understand anything. We are mistaken in who we think we are and who we believe everyone else is as well. And now we need help to come to a new perception of all we think we know and understand.
 
Jesus speaks to us about Oneness, saying there are no words to describe it. He makes it clear we cannot understand it, and we do not even need to. It is enough to recognize, "Oneness is simply the idea God is." (W.169.5.1) If we got this, we would not need the rest of this Course. He knows we cannot understand it by saying, "We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all." (W.169.6.1) This experience ". . . returns the mind into the endless present, where past and future cannot be conceived." (W.169.6.3) "We say 'God is,' and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless." (W.169.5.4) This will come to every mind at some point, returning the mind to the endless present, where we disappear into our Father. We are not capable of knowing Oneness. While he explains this to the extent he can, our work is still with the specifics of this world because it is what we think we are addressing. When we come to the top of the ladder that we are climbing in this undoing process and accept our reality, we will remember and understand what perfect Oneness is. In this world, it cannot be known, only reflected.
 
In the meantime, our job is to use this seeming world of illusion as a classroom to learn forgiveness, which is something ". . . taught and learned." (W.169.7.2) This is what is ". . . now at hand." (W.169.7.2) We are preparing our minds for the attainment of the real world. Jesus reminds us, "Whatever time the mind has set for revelation is entirely irrelevant to what must be a constant state, forever as it always was; forever to remain as it is now. We merely take the part assigned long since, and fully recognized as perfectly fulfilled by Him Who wrote salvation's script in His Creator's Name, and in the Name of His Creator's Son." (W.169.9.2-3) The dream we are dreaming in this world has no impact on the truth, as it is the script we have chosen. It is the story we tell about our lives, but the story has no effect on what we are. We can't rush into something for which we are not ready. Acceptance of the truth is dependent on releasing our fear. We can be comforted by the thought that all is exactly as it needs to be for our awakening.
 
Everything that seems to happen to us is the life lesson we have chosen in order to return to the state we never left. What could we not accept if we but knew it was all for our good? Thus, the experiences in this seeming world can all be used for our awakening. We would welcome it all if we were convinced of this. This is what is important about the Course. There are things we don't understand about this journey, but they are not the focus of our learning. The focus is in the application of what we are being asked to do in these Lessons. The focus is to do the forgiveness work by bringing awareness to our judgments and allowing the Holy Spirit to release us from them. We are not the one who heals our judgments. They must be given over to the Holy Spirit and left on the inner altar. We cannot undo what we have made. We need His help.
 
As you enter the quiet of your mind in your practice and find peace there, you will see everything differently when your attention comes back to the world. When peace is brought to your relationships, people will respond differently, as you become a reflection of the love and peace you have connected with in your mind. This is what the Course offers us, as we do the work of forgiveness. Our investment in the world is lessened, so while we seem to be in the world, we nevertheless no longer feel as much a part of it. Our experiences in the world no longer have the same value as they once did. While we are in the world, we do not have to invest in the experiences of this world in the same way as before we started on this journey. We can bring peace to any situation when peace prevails in our minds. We will be ready for the real world only when our identification with this body and the world of time and space no longer has a hold on us.
 
This is our work, while we are here. (W.169.11.1) We will have moments when we experience being outside of time ". . . but for a little while." (W.169.12.3) Jesus says that is enough for now. "The interval suffices." (W.169.13.1) It is what comes as a result of true forgiveness. "It is here that miracles are laid." (W.169.13.2) The experience of the holy instant, evident to others, is a result of the glow coming from us and is the gift we bring to our brothers and sisters on our return. This is why Jesus says, "Be grateful to return . . . " (W.169.14.1) to the world of time, as we need to bring our gifts back for everyone else because they are all part of us. What we receive, we give. Now we identify less with the body and more and more with the love in our minds. This journey will take as long as it needs to take. Jesus is loving and patient with us and is not hurrying us along but only encouraging and supporting. We too are called to be gentle with ourselves and with everyone else.

Love and blessings, Sarah
huemmert@shaw.ca

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VI. The Holy Instant and Special Relationships 
 
45 The holy instant is the Holy Spirit's most useful learning device for teaching you love's meaning. For its purpose is to suspend judgment entirely. Judgment always rests on the past, for past experience is the basis on which you judge. Judgment becomes impossible without the past, for without it you do not understand anything. You would make no attempt to judge because it would be quite apparent to you that you do not know what anything means. You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego all would be love.
 
46 The past is the ego's chief learning device, for it is in the past that you learned to define your own needs and acquired methods for meeting them on your own terms. We said before that to limit love to part of the Sonship is to bring guilt into your relationships and thus make them unreal. If you seek to separate out certain aspects of the totality and look to them to meet your imagined needs, you are attempting to use separation to save you. How, then, could guilt not enter? For separation is the source of guilt, and to appeal to it for salvation is to believe you are alone. To be alone is to be guilty. For to experience yourself as alone is to deny the oneness of the Father and his Son and thus to attack reality.
 
47 You cannot love parts of reality and understand what love means. If you would love unlike to God, Who knows no special love, how can you understand it? To believe that special relationships, with special love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation is salvation. For it is the complete equality of the Atonement in which salvation lies. How can you decide that special aspects of the Sonship can give you more than others? The past has taught you this. Yet the holy instant teaches you it is not so.
 
48 Because of guilt, all special relationships have some elements of fear in them. And this is why they shift and change so frequently. They are not based on changeless love alone. And love where fear has entered cannot be depended on because it is not perfect. In His function as Interpreter of what you have made, the Holy Spirit uses special relationships, which you have chosen to support the ego, as a learning experience which points to truth. Under His teaching, every relationship becomes a lesson in love.
 
49 The Holy Spirit knows no one is special. Yet He also perceives that you have made special relationships, which He would purify and not let you destroy. However unholy the reason why you made them may be, He can translate them into holiness by removing as much fear as you will let Him. You can place any relationship under His care and be sure that it will not result in pain if you offer Him your willingness to have it serve no need but His. All the guilt in it arises from your use of it. All the love from His. Do not, then, be afraid to let go your imagined needs, which would destroy the relationship. Your only need is His.
 
50 Any relationship which you would substitute for another has not been offered to the Holy Spirit for His use. There is no substitute for love. If you would attempt to substitute one aspect of love for another, you have placed less value on one and more on the other. You have not only separated them, but you have also judged against both. Yet you had judged against yourself first, or you would never have imagined that you needed them as they were not. Unless you had seen yourself as without love, you could not have judged them so like you in lack.
 
51 The ego's use of relationships is so fragmented that it frequently goes even further-one part of one aspect suits its purposes, while it prefers different parts of another aspect. Thus does it assemble reality to its own capricious liking, offering for your seeking a picture whose likeness does not exist. For there is nothing in Heaven or earth that it resembles, and so however much you seek for its reality, you cannot find it because it is not real.
 
52 Everyone on earth has formed special relationships, and although this is not so in Heaven, the Holy Spirit knows how to bring a touch of Heaven to them here. In the holy instant no one is special, for your personal needs intrude on no one to make them different. Without the values from the past, you would see them all the same and like yourself. Nor would you see any separation between yourself and them. In the holy instant, you see in each relationship what it will be when you perceive only the present.
 
53 God knows you now. He remembers nothing, having always known you exactly as He knows you now. The holy instant parallels His knowing by bringing all perception out of the past, thus removing the frame of reference you have built by which to judge your brothers. Once this is gone, the Holy Spirit substitutes His frame of reference for it. His frame of reference is simply God. The Holy Spirit's timelessness lies only here. For in the holy instant, free of the past, you see that love is in you, and you have no need to look without and snatch it guiltily from where you thought it was.
 
54 All your relationships are blessed in the holy instant because the blessing is not limited. In the holy instant, the Sonship gains as one. And united in your blessing, it becomes one to you. The meaning of love is the meaning God gave to it. Give to it any meaning apart from His, and it is impossible to understand it. Every brother God loves as He loves you-neither less nor more. He needs them all equally, and so do you. In time you have been told to offer miracles as Christ directs and let the Holy Spirit bring to you those who are seeking you. Yet in the holy instant, you unite directly with God, and all your brothers join in Christ. Those who are joined in Christ are in no way separate. For Christ is the Self the Sonship shares, as God shares His Self with Christ.
 
55 Think you that you can judge the Self of God? God has created it beyond judgment out of His need to extend His Love. With love in you, you have no need except to extend it. In the holy instant, there is no conflict of needs, for there is only one. For the holy instant reaches to eternity and to the Mind of God. And it is only there love has meaning, and only there can it be understood.
 
56 It is impossible to use one relationship at the expense of another and not suffer guilt. And it is equally impossible to condemn part of a relationship and find peace within it. Under the Holy Spirit's teaching, all relationships are seen as total commitments, yet they do not conflict with one another in any way. Perfect faith in each one for its ability to satisfy you completely arises only from perfect faith in yourself. And this you cannot have while guilt remains. And there will be guilt as long as you accept the possibility, and cherish it, that you can make a brother what he is not because you would have him so.
 
57 You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without. I offer you my perfect faith in you in place of all your doubt. But forget not that my faith must be as perfect in all your brothers as it is in you, or it would be a limited gift to you. In the holy instant, we share our faith in God's Son because we recognize together that he is wholly worthy of it, and in our appreciation of his worth, we cannot doubt his holiness. And so we love him.

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