Lesson 169
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 15 "THE PURPOSE OF TIME" 
VII. THE HOLY INSTANT AND LAWS OF GOD
      
62 In the holy instant, nothing happens that has not always been. Only the veil that has been drawn across reality is lifted. Nothing has changed. Yet the awareness of changelessness comes swiftly as the veil of time is pushed aside. No one who has not yet experienced the lifting of the veil and felt himself drawn irresistibly into the light behind it can have faith in love without fear. Yet the Holy Spirit gives you this faith because He offered it to me and I accepted it. Fear not the holy instant will be denied you, for I denied it not. And through me the Holy Spirit gave it unto you, as you will give it. Let no need that you perceive obscure your need of this. For in the holy instant, you will recognize the only need the aspects of the Son of God share equally, and by this recognition you will join with me in offering what is needed.       
         
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  169
By grace I live. By grace I am released. 
<AUDIO><VIDEO>
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
 
* 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
   

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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 that we don't understand anything and become willing to be taught. When we think that 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 that we can trust our senses and understand what we see and experience in the world. We exhibit certainty 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, each time we affirm some "truth" or belief that we hold, and each time we find evidence or justification for these beliefs. When we justify our position, we stubbornly refuse to consider another way. Forgiveness shows us that 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 see everything as a meaningful learning opportunity. Now it is all purposeful and 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 from a new perspective. As we do the forgiveness work called for in each situation where we make judgments, our perceptions are healed as we come to the place in which we see that the events and circumstances of the world have no reality.
 
With Christ's vision, a new interpretation can be given us, which starts with an open mind and the admonition that we don't know anything. We step out into unknown territory in which 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 in which the dream of this world is no longer.
 
Jesus says that we need not be concerned about the time it will take to accept the Atonement. Why? This is because the time has already been determined, and Jesus assures us that 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 in which 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 that is already over. The Atonement has already been accepted and is present in our minds. (W.169.8.1) Jesus says that all learning has already been accomplished and is complete, but we have not yet agreed to choose again for what has already been given. 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 that we have destroyed Creation. Jesus says that 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 that it is available now. We are not being coerced to do anything that we are not yet ready for. Time makes no difference in eternity. Any demands we put on ourselves of where we should be in our healing 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. It ' s because he says that 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 into our lives. It is interesting that we have resistance to this. It attests to our insanity. In fact, the first obstacle to peace speaks of our desire to be rid of it. If that seems bizarre to you, watch how many times a day in which you are actually throwing away your peace when you could be choosing it. Our part is to prepare our minds for "true acceptance" (W.169.1.3) "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." (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 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 for the Holy Spirit's interpretation of everything we see and experience. An open mind comes through the surrender of our beliefs, values, and concepts. I must be willing to acknowledge that I do not understand anything. We are mistaken in who we think we are and who we believe everyone else is as well. 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 that there are no words to describe it. He makes it clear that 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 that we cannot understand it, by saying, "We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all." (W.169.6.1) "It 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 in which 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 that 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 but 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) Forgiveness ". . . brings with it the experiences which bear witness that the time the mind itself determined to abandon all but this 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 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 you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good?" (W.135.18.1) 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 ones who heal 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 then 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 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
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND 
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Fifteen

The Purpose of Time

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

VII. The Holy Instant and the Laws of God 
      
58 All separation vanishes as holiness is shared. For holiness is power, and by sharing it, it gains in strength. If you seek for satisfaction in gratifying your needs as you perceive them, you must believe that strength comes from another, and what you gain he loses. Someone must always lose if you perceive yourself as weak. Yet there is another interpretation of relationships which transcends the concept of loss of power completely.
 
59 You do not find it difficult to believe that, when another calls on God for love, your call remains as strong. Nor do you think that, by God's answer to him, your hope of answer is diminished. On the contrary, you are far more inclined to regard his success as witness to the possibility of yours. That is because you recognize, however dimly, that God is an idea, and so your faith in Him is strengthened by sharing. What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea. And like Him, you can give yourself completely, wholly without loss, and only with gain.
 
60 Herein lies peace, for here there is no conflict. In the world of scarcity, love has no meaning, and peace is impossible. For gain and loss are both accepted, and so no one is aware that perfect love is in him. In the holy instant, you recognize the idea of love in you and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it and could not relinquish it. By holding it within itself, there was no loss. The holy instant thus becomes a lesson in how to hold all of your brothers in your mind, experiencing not loss, but completion. From this it follows you can only give. And this is love, for this alone is natural under the laws of God.
 
61 In the holy instant, the laws of God prevail, and only they have meaning. The laws of this world cease to hold any meaning at all. When the Son of God accepts the laws of God as what he gladly wills, it is impossible that he be bound or limited in any way. In this instant, he is as free as God would have him be. For the instant he refuses to be bound, he is not bound.
 
62 In the holy instant, nothing happens that has not always been. Only the veil that has been drawn across reality is lifted. Nothing has changed. Yet the awareness of changelessness comes swiftly as the veil of time is pushed aside. No one who has not yet experienced the lifting of the veil and felt himself drawn irresistibly into the light behind it can have faith in love without fear. Yet the Holy Spirit gives you this faith because He offered it to me and I accepted it. Fear not the holy instant will be denied you, for I denied it not. And through me the Holy Spirit gave it unto you, as you will give it. Let no need that you perceive obscure your need of this. For in the holy instant, you will recognize the only need the aspects of the Son of God share equally, and by this recognition you will join with me in offering what is needed.
 
63 It is through us that peace will come. Join me in the idea of peace, for in ideas minds can communicate. If you would give yourself as your Father gives His Self, you will learn to understand selfhood. And therein is love's meaning understood. But remember that understanding is of the mind and only of the mind. Knowledge is therefore of the mind, and its conditions are in the mind with it. If you were not only an idea and nothing else, you could not be in full communication with all that ever was. Yet as long as you prefer to be something else, or would attempt to be nothing else and something else together, the language of communication, which you know perfectly, you will not remember.
 
64 In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source, exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source and that of all your brothers to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this, you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is and what His creation is along with Him.
   
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes

 
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