Lesson 300
No Time No Place where God is absent
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1 There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent. There is nothing to be feared. There is no way in which a gap could be conceived of in the wholeness that is His. The compromise the least and littlest gap would represent in His eternal love is quite impossible. For it would mean His love could harbor just a hint of hate; His gentleness turn sometimes to attack; and His eternal patience sometimes fail. All this do you believe, when you perceive a gap between your brother and yourself. How could you trust Him, then? For He must be deceptive in His Love. Be wary, then; let Him not come too close, and leave a gap between you and His love through which you can escape if there be need for you to flee. 
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CHAPTER 29 I-II, 1-9
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What is the Real World
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   The real world is a symbol, like the rest
   of what perception offers. Yet it stands
   for what is opposite to what you made.
   Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings
   the witnesses of terror to your mind.
   The real world cannot be perceived except
   through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see
   a world where terror is impossible,
   and witnesses to fear can not be found.
   The real world holds a counterpart for each
   unhappy thought reflected in your world;
   a sure correction for the sights of fear
   and sounds of battle which your world contains.
   The real world shows a world seen differently,
   through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace.
   Nothing but rest is here. There are no cries
   of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing here
   remains outside forgiveness. And the sights
   are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds
   can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
   What need has such a mind for thoughts of death,
   attack and murder? What can it perceive
   surrounding it but safety, love and joy?
   What is there it would choose to be condemned,
   and what is there that it would judge against?
   The world it sees arises from a mind
   at peace within itself. No danger lurks
   in anything it sees, for it is kind
   and only kindness does it look upon.
   The real world is the symbol that the dream
   of sin and guilt is over, and God's Son
   no longer sleeps. His waking eyes perceive
   the sure reflection of his Father's Love;
   the certain promise that he is redeemed.
   The real world signifies the end of time,
   for this perception makes time purposeless.
   The Holy Spirit has no need of time
   when it has served His purpose. Now He waits
   but that one instant more for God to take
   His final step, and time has disappeared,
   taking perception with it as it goes,
   and leaving but the Truth to be Itself.
   That instant is our goal, for it contains
   the memory of God. And as we look
   upon a world forgiven, it is He
   Who calls to us and comes to take us home,
   reminding us of our Identity
   Which our forgiveness has restored to us.
    ~ Original Hand Script  
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L e s s o n 300
Only an instant does this world endure.
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   This is the thought that can be used to say
   that death and sorrow are the certain lot
   of all who come here. For their joys are gone
   before they are possessed, or even grasped.
   Yet this is also the idea that lets
   no false perception keep you in its hold,
   nor represent more than a passing cloud
   of upon a sky eternally serene.
   And it is this serenity we seek,
   unclouded, obvious and sure, today.
    We seek Your holy world today. For we,
    Your loving Sons, have lost our way a while.
    But we have listened to Your Voice, and learned
    exactly what to do to be restored
    to Heaven and our true Identity.
    And we give thanks today the world endures
    but for an instant. We would go beyond
    that tiny instant to eternity.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections ACIM Edmonton, CA
Only an instant does this world endure.

Sarah's Commentary:  
Here we are at Lesson 300 and quickly nearing the end of the year. We continue to focus on meditation and contemplation of the meaning of the Lessons. With meditation, we go deep within to the still quiet place where we open up with confidence to His presence. It is a place where our inner Teacher dwells. It is here that we connect with our inner knowing. We attempt to maintain this devotion throughout the day, applying the Lesson to the decisions we make and to any temptation to become disturbed that we experience. We stay vigilant in watching the mind throughout the day.
This is a time of deep communion with our Father, where we experience the certainty of His Truth and His Promise. We want to remember the Lesson throughout the day as we stop our activities, breathe in holy air, release all thoughts of death and sorrow and remember the truth of who we are. We do this through willingness and devotion. There is nothing to seek. We already are what we are seeking. When we are truly willing to be shown what the truth is, it is revealed. It is not about resisting what we don't want, but choosing what serves our highest good. Only love exists. Everything else is not the truth.
This is the last Lesson in the Section called, "What is the Real World." (W.PII.Q8) What a way to end this Section with the reminder that the world we think we live in is an illusion, which lasts but an instant. What this means is that this world has no reality. Jesus tells us that this is so and, increasingly, quantum physicists are proving the same thing. Their research confirms that what we see has no substance.
What we seek today is the holy world, (W.300.2.1) which is the real world. The ego tells us that life is brief and quickly over, ending in death, where "joys are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1) That is mostly how we experience our lives here, isn't it? Nothing lasts, and life goes by so very quickly. It is precisely how the ego misinterprets the world of time, telling us there is no hope of eternal joy, and at the end, it is all over and death comes to claim us.
This is the opposite of what Jesus teaches, which is that nothing has happened to change our reality. The world endures only for an instant because the thought that produced it can change in an instant. The world is a projection of a wrong-minded thought that we can be separate from God and His Love. In reality, the separation never happened at all. Of course, for us, it seems to have happened and this world and our bodily identity seem to be real and solid, but as Jesus tells us, it is just a shabby substitute for our real Identity and does not exist at all.
However, it seems we still want to prove the reality of this dream. We have made a substitute reality and want it to be true. It is how we try to hold onto time and to the false image of ourselves. Jesus tells us that this world has no substance and, indeed, is nothing more than a "passing cloud upon a sky eternally serene." (W.300.1.2) It is brief and temporary and does not, and has not, changed who we are. It means that the thoughts we hold that seem to make everything here real and serious, including death, are only thoughts that can be changed in an instant; and then everything is seen differently.
The experience of this world is only a dream, during which we seem to have lost our way. We will reclaim our eternal reality when we are ready to do so. It is God's promise to us that we will find our way back to Him. We need have no doubt about this because we have never left Him. The time that we have, in this experience of space-time, is to be used for the purpose of remembering the truth. We have not been dropped here in this matrix with no rules on how to leave. A loving God would not have left us here to figure it all out by ourselves. Jesus reminds us that we have "learned exactly what to do to be restored to Heaven and our true Identity." (W.300.2.3) All we need to do is recognize how we are blocking the love that is always available to us. Looking at our thoughts with the Holy Spirit means we look at them without judgment, and thus, they are forgiven.
I woke up this morning and I started to rehearse my day. I had thoughts about what I would wear, what I had to accomplish, how I would respond to a difficult situation in front of me, and so on. As these thoughts came up, I looked at the content of what I was believing. I felt the stress of what appeared to be too many things to accomplish today. The content of all these thoughts was fear based on beliefs that were not true. I was feeding myself a diet of fear thoughts before the day even started. Jesus invites us to bring these fear thoughts to the light of the Holy Spirit within the right mind. The only thing that matters is that I am willing to heal what does not serve me---fear.
If I want peace above all else, I will have it, but it won't come by resisting the thoughts in the mind. If I say I don't want the thoughts I am thinking, I am attracting them because what I resist will persist. Instead, as we investigate them through a process of radical inquiry, we will come to see more clearly what we are holding in the unconscious mind. When we give our beliefs over with complete trust and willingness, healing happens without any investment by us. Instead of feeding thoughts of fear, peace reigns. We have done nothing. The Holy Spirit is the Healer and He has done all the heavy lifting. We have made room for His function. Our part is just the willingness to investigate and let go of thoughts that don't serve us.
Each Lesson in this Course is a step in undoing our false perceptions. We may not have done the Lessons exactly as proposed, but we have made progress even with our small efforts, our wavering commitment, and our little willingness. Yes, we have sometimes become discouraged with the persistence of the ego. We have had doubt thoughts galore. We may even have more conflict than before we started the Course because now we are aware of two thought systems in the mind, but we will never turn back once we have taken these steps in healing. The end is certain. The script is written. Our purpose is clear and all the seemingly persistent ego patterns endure for only an instant no matter how intractable they seem to be.
Oh yes, we can and do delay. We can and do procrastinate. We can resist for a time, but we will return and be grateful for the progress we have made. The process is clearly laid out for us. There are many wonderful spiritual books, but in my experience, there are none that have laid this path out as clearly as this Course. Truth has only one Source and comes through many books and teachers, but this is the Course that has specifically come to us, so we need to look no further . " Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain. " (W.200.1.1-5)
We are reminded in Lesson 284 that at first we will just repeat the ideas, then accept them as partly true with many reservations before we consider them seriously more and more; until finally, we get to a point of complete acceptance. It is a process. The only question is, do we have the willingness to do the practice. Nothing happens without some effort on our part. Our monkey minds, with their persistent, obsessive thoughts, resist the discipline and attempt to impose themselves on us. Distractions still attract us, like shiny baubles that get our attention, but none of them will last. No matter how many we pursue, they all "are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1)
We increasingly recognize that the things of this world do not bring us any lasting value, so they increasingly drop away without any effort on our part. It reminds me of when my son was young and wanted to spend his money on flimsy toys that I assured him would not last. After three or four such purchases, he quickly learned the truth of my warnings; but he first needed to experience this for himself. Everything in the world that we want is exactly like that. We eventually come to our own experience of disillusionment with all the things we think we want and all that we thought would bring us happiness.
We are asked to apply the Lesson to whatever comes up in our day, whether it is a resentment, grievance, attachment, addiction, worry, or temptation of any kind to become upset. We can say, "Only an instant does this world [my grievances, attachments, pleasures, etc.] endure." (W.300) In the scheme of things, our frustrations here are minuscule if the world of time is only an instant.
Some of us lament that life is short. Haven't you heard people say this often or haven't you said it to yourself? I know I have. It is sometimes used as a statement to justify the "pleasures" in life. My son had a placard when he was a teenager that said, "He who has the most toys when he dies, wins." But what do we win? The good thing about the shortness of life, according to this Lesson, is that "this is also the idea that lets no false perception keep us in its hold." (W.300.1.2) Instead, with this practice, "We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.5)
Chapter 26 V, "The Little Hindrance," (ACIM OE CH 26 VI) provides us with an excellent overview of the metaphysics of the instant of time referenced here. According to this section, time began when we made the choice to separate from God and Heaven. It was, in fact, a choice to die rather than to live. Jesus tells us, "The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first." (T.26.V.3.5) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.32) All time was contained in that tiny tick. In that same instant, God gave us the Holy Spirit as the Correction for this mistake. When the first error was made, it fragmented itself into millions and billions of variations. To us, it seems like events are strung out in succession, yet we are told that they are simultaneous. It is not that one thing occurs after another, but a continuous and ongoing repetition of the same error (separation) over and over again.
I find it absolutely fascinating to see how this works in my life. In every moment and in every situation, I have the opportunity to choose Heaven (extend love and forgiveness) or hell (attack, worry, blame, plan, hate, fear, get distressed, feel pain, or feel pleasure). While there is only this single moment, for us it seems that there are many moments; but in each situation, no matter how much distress it causes us, the Holy Spirit adapts His One Correction to every version of this single error. No matter the situation, we are assured that there is a way out that heals all pain. In fact, since there is no time, our story is already done. We are simply reviewing something already complete. I find that amusing and helpful. It makes me laugh sometimes when I am discussing or arguing some perspective in politics or the environment to think that this is all over. Does it matter what I think? Thinking is just another way to try to gain. Every problem comes from our desire to gain at our brother's loss. That is something to reflect on!
The "moral" of this whole thing is that every issue we hang onto is how we hold onto the whole of time, how we hold onto suffering, and how we hold onto this tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made. Yet every time we forgive, we release ourselves from this seemingly endless and wearisome journey of suffering.
This world is a projection of our thoughts and a witness to what is in our minds. Whatever pops up, whatever ego patterns show up, and whatever grievances are there, they are all reflected perfectly in the events showing up in our lives. With forgiveness, we experience more light, but also, we become more aware of the darkness in the wrong mind. Welcome it. It need not be hard. Don't run away from it. All that is happening is that the miracle is lighting up the darkness of the unconscious mind. Bring your awareness to that darkness so that it can be put on the inner altar for healing. Remember that we have to go through fear to love.
"And we give thanks today the world endures but for an instant. We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.4-5)

Love and blessings, Sarah

A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Twenty Nine

The Awakening  
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CHAPTER 29 I-II, 1-9
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I. Introduction 
1 There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent. There is nothing to be feared. There is no way in which a gap could be conceived of in the wholeness that is His. The compromise the least and littlest gap would represent in His eternal love is quite impossible. For it would mean His love could harbor just a hint of hate; His gentleness turn sometimes to attack; and His eternal patience sometimes fail. All this do you believe, when you perceive a gap between your brother and yourself. How could you trust Him, then? For He must be deceptive in His Love. Be wary, then; let Him not come too close, and leave a gap between you and His love through which you can escape if there be need for you to flee.
2 Here is the fear of God most plainly seen. For love is treacherous to those who fear, since fear and hate can never be apart. No one who hates but is afraid of love and therefore must he be afraid of God. Certain it is he knows not what love means. He fears to love and loves to hate, and so he thinks that love is fearful-hate is love. This is the consequence the little gap must bring to those who cherish it and think that it is their salvation and their hope.
3 The fear of God! The greatest obstacle that peace must flow across has not yet gone. The rest are past, but this one still remains to block your path and make the way to light seem dark and fearful, perilous and bleak. You had decided that your brother is your enemy. Sometimes a friend, perhaps, provided that your separate interests made your friendship possible a little while. But not without a gap between you, lest he turn again into an enemy. [Let him come close to you, and you jumped back; as you approached, he instantly withdrew.] A cautious friendship, limited in scope and carefully restricted in amount, became the treaty you had made with him. You shared a qualified entente in which a clause of separation was a point on which you both agreed to keep intact. And violating this was thought to be a breach of treaty not to be allowed.    

II. The Closing of the Gap
4 The gap between you is not one of space between two separate bodies. This but seems to be dividing off your separate minds. It is the symbol of a promise made to meet when you prefer and separate until you both elect to meet again. And then your bodies seem to get in touch and signify a meeting-place to join. But always is it possible to go your separate ways. Conditional upon the "right" to separate will you agree to meet from time to time and keep apart in intervals of separation, which protect you from the "sacrifice" of love. The body saves you, for it gets away from total sacrifice and gives you time in which to build again your separate selves, which you believe diminish as you meet.
5 The body could not separate your minds unless you wanted it to be a cause of separation and of distance seen between you. Thus do you endow it with a power that lies not within itself. And herein lies its power over you. For now you think that it determines when you meet and limits your ability to make communion with each other's mind. And now it tells you where to go and how to go there, what is feasible for you to undertake, and what you cannot do. It dictates what its health can tolerate and what will tire it and make it sick. And its "inherent" weaknesses set up the limitations on what you would do and keep your purpose limited and weak.
6 The body will accommodate to this if you would have it so. It will allow but limited indulgences in "love," with intervals of hatred in between. And it will take command of when to "love" and when to shrink more safely into fear. It will be sick because you do not know what loving means. And so you must misuse each circumstance and everyone you meet and see in them a purpose not your own.
7 It is not love that asks a sacrifice. But fear demands the sacrifice of love, for in love's presence fear cannot abide. For hate to be maintained love must be feared and only sometimes present, sometimes gone. Thus is love seen as treacherous because it seems to come and go uncertainly and offer no stability to you. You do not see how limited and weak is your allegiance and how frequently you have demanded that love go away and leave you quietly alone in "peace."
8 The body, innocent of any goal, is your excuse for variable goals you hold and force the body to maintain. You do not fear its weakness, but its lack of strength or weakness. Would you recognize that nothing stands between you? Would you know there is no gap behind which you can hide? There is a shock that comes to those who learn their savior is their enemy no more. There is a wariness that is aroused by learning that the body is not real. And there are overtones of seeming fear around the happy message, "God is love."
9 Yet all that happens when the gap is gone is peace eternal. Nothing more than that, and nothing less. Without the fear of God, what could induce you to abandon Him? What toys or trinkets in the gap could serve to hold you back an instant from His love? Would you allow the body to say "no" to Heaven's calling, were you not afraid to find a loss of self in finding God? Yet can your Self be lost by being found?
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