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65 Beyond the poor attraction of the special love relationship and always obscured by it is the powerful attraction of the Father for His Son. There is no other love that can satisfy you, because there is no other love. This is the only love that is fully given and fully returned. Being complete, it asks nothing. Being wholly pure, everyone joined in it has everything.

"The Holy Instant
and Communication"
Workbook for Students
Review V
Introduction
1 We now review again. This time we are ready to give more effort and more time to what we undertake. We recognize we are preparing for another phase of understanding. We would take this step completely, that we may go on again more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld more surely. Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth. But now we hasten on, for we approach a greater certainty, a firmer purpose and a surer goal.

2 Steady our feet, our Father; let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still, and speak to us. We have no words to give to You. We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours. Lead our practicing as does a father lead a little child along a way he does not understand. Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

3 So do we bring our practicing to You. And if we stumble, You will raise us up. If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering. We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back. Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You. And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.

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Workbook for Students
Review V ~ Lesson 173
God is but Love,
and therefore so am I.

[155] I will step back and let Him lead the way.

God is but Love,
and therefore so am I.

[156] I walk with God in perfect holiness.

God is but Love,
and therefore so am I.


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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Text
Chapter 15
 The Purpose of Time

VIII. The Holy Instant
and Communication
 par 65-78
[TEXT READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
65 Beyond the poor attraction of the special love relationship and always obscured by it is the powerful attraction of the Father for His Son. There is no other love that can satisfy you, because there is no other love. This is the only love that is fully given and fully returned. Being complete, it asks nothing. Being wholly pure, everyone joined in it has everything. This is not the basis for any relationship in which the ego enters. For every relationship on which the ego embarks is special. The ego establishes relationships only to get something. And it would keep the giver bound to itself through guilt.

66 It is impossible for the ego to enter into any relationship without anger, for the ego believes that anger makes friends. This is not its statement, but it is its purpose. For the ego really believes that it can get and keep by making guilty. This is its one attraction; an attraction so weak that it would have no hold at all, except that no one recognizes it. For the ego always seems to attract through love and has no attraction at all to anyone who perceives that it attracts through guilt.

67 The sick attraction of guilt must be recognized for what it is. For having been made real to you, it is essential to look at it clearly, and by withdrawing your investment in it, to learn to let it go. No one would choose to let go what he believes has value. Yet the attraction of guilt has value to you only because you have not looked at what it is and have judged it completely in the dark. As we bring it to light, your only question will be why it was you ever wanted it. You have nothing to lose by looking open-eyed at this, for ugliness such as this belongs not in your holy mind. The host of God can have no real investment here.

68 We said before that the ego attempts to maintain and increase guilt, but in such a way that you do not recognize what it would do to you. For it is the ego's fundamental doctrine that what you do to others, you have escaped. The ego wishes no one well. Yet its survival depends on your belief that you are exempt from its evil intentions. It counsels, therefore, that if you are host to it, it will enable you to direct the anger that it holds outward, thus protecting you. And thus it embarks on an endless, unrewarding chain of special relationships, forged out of anger and dedicated to but one insane belief—that the more anger you invest outside yourself, the safer you become.

69 It is this chain that binds the Son of God to guilt, and it is this chain the Holy Spirit would remove from his holy mind. For the chain of savagery belongs not around the chosen host of God, who cannot make himself host to the ego. In the name of his release, and in the name of Him Who would release him, let us look more closely at the relationships which the ego contrives, and let the Holy Spirit judge them truly. For it is certain that, if you will look at them, you will offer them gladly to Him. What He can make of them, you do not know, but you will become willing to find out if you are willing, first, to perceive what you have made of them.

70 In one way or another, every relationship which the ego makes is based on the idea that by sacrificing itself, it becomes bigger. The "sacrifice," which it regards as purification, is actually the root of its bitter resentment. For it would much prefer to attack directly and avoid delaying what it really wants. Yet the ego acknowledges "reality" as it sees it and recognizes that no one could interpret direct attack as love. Yet to make guilty is direct attack but does not seem to be. For the guilty expect attack, and having asked for it, they are attracted to it.

71 In these insane relationships, the attraction of what you do not want seems to be much stronger than the attraction of what you do. For each one thinks that he has sacrificed something to the other and hates him for it. Yet this is what he thinks he wants. He is not in love with the other at all. He merely believes he is in love with sacrifice. And for this sacrifice, which he demanded of himself, he demands the other accept the guilt and sacrifice himself as well. Forgiveness becomes impossible, for the ego believes that to forgive another is to lose him. For it is only by attack without forgiveness that the ego can ensure the guilt which holds all its relationships together.

72 Yet they only seem to be together. For relationships, to the ego, mean only that bodies are together. It is always physical closeness that the ego demands, and it does not object where the mind goes or what it thinks, for this seems unimportant. As long as the body is there to receive its sacrifice, it is content. To the ego, the mind is private, and only the body can be shared. Ideas are basically of no concern, except as they draw the body of another closer or farther. And it is in these terms that it evaluates ideas as good or bad. What makes another guilty and holds him through guilt is "good." What releases him from guilt is "bad," because he would no longer believe that bodies communicate, and so he would be "gone."

73 Suffering and sacrifice are the gifts with which the ego would "bless" all unions. And those who are united at its altar accept suffering and sacrifice as the price of union. In their angry alliances, born of the fear of loneliness and yet dedicated to the continuance of loneliness, they seek relief from guilt by increasing it in the other. For they believe that this decreases it in them. The other seems always to be attacking and wounding them, perhaps in little ways, perhaps "unconsciously," yet never without demand of sacrifice. The fury of those joined at the ego's altar far exceeds your awareness of it. For what the ego really wants, you do not realize.

74 Whenever you are angry, you can be sure that you have formed a special relationship which the ego has "blessed," for anger is its blessing. Anger takes many forms, but it cannot long deceive those who will learn that love brings no guilt at all, and what brings guilt cannot be love and must be anger. All anger is nothing more than an attempt to make someone feel guilty, and this attempt is the only basis which the ego accepts for special relationships. Guilt is the only need the ego has, and as long as you identify with it, guilt will remain attractive to you.

75 Yet remember this—to be with a body is not communication. And if you think it is, you will feel guilty about communication and will be afraid to hear the Holy Spirit, recognizing in His voice your own need to communicate. The Holy Spirit cannot teach through fear. And how can He communicate with you while you believe that to communicate is to make yourself alone? It is clearly insane to believe that by communicating you will be abandoned. And yet you do believe it. For you think that your minds must be kept private or you will lose them, and if your bodies are together your minds remain your own. The union of bodies thus becomes the way in which you would keep minds apart. For bodies cannot forgive. They can only do as the mind directs.

76 The illusion of the autonomy of the body and its ability to overcome loneliness is but the working of the ego's plan to establish its own autonomy. As long as you believe that to be with a body is companionship, you will be compelled to attempt to keep your brother in his body, held there by guilt. And you will see safety in guilt and danger in communication. For the ego will always teach that loneliness is solved by guilt and that communication is the cause of loneliness. And despite the evident insanity of this lesson, you have learned it.

77 Forgiveness lies in communication as surely as damnation lies in guilt. It is the Holy Spirit's teaching function to instruct those who believe that communication is damnation that communication is salvation. And He will do so, for the power of God in Him and you is joined in real relationship, so holy and so strong that it can overcome even this without fear. It is through the holy instant that what seems impossible is accomplished, making it evident that it is not impossible. In the holy instant, guilt holds no attraction, since communication has been restored. And guilt, whose only purpose is to disrupt communication, has no function here.

78 Here there is no concealment and no private thoughts. The willingness to communicate attracts communication to it and overcomes loneliness completely. There is complete forgiveness here, for there is no desire to exclude anyone from your completion in sudden recognition of the value of his part in it. In the protection of your wholeness, all are invited and made welcome. And you understand that your completion is God's, Whose only need is to have you be complete. For your completion makes you His in your awareness. And here it is that you experience yourself as you were created and as you are.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 173 ~ Review V
[Review Lessons 155-156]
[155] I will step back and let Him lead the way.
[156] I walk with God in perfect holiness.
 
"God is but Love, and therefore so am I." (W.RV.4.3) If that is indeed the truth, I can rely on His Love to lead the way for me, allowing His perfect Holiness to guide me. Holiness is always present in our right minds. This Self is our reality and is always perfectly consistent. This Self knows Its Creator and understands Itself. It is never changing and always in union with the Father. Who can say that about the ego identity, which is capricious, changing, uncertain, and inconsistent? Stepping back and letting Him lead the way is a way of living in the world where we look like everyone else, yet our focus is entirely on learning to be in sync with the love we are. Only then can we lead our brothers and help them heal their perception of who they think they are. Our holiness lights up the world, as we ask in every moment, "Who walks with me? Is it sin, or do we walk in holiness with God?"
 
If I am the Love God is, why would I rely on my own little self? "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (Manual for Teachers.4.I.2.2) When I have the experience that shows me that God can be trusted and leaned on, I become more and more willing to step back and let Him lead the way. I can know that my safety lies in God. With holiness as my companion, why would I not feel perfectly safe in every step I take? Why would I question where I am being led? Why would I question anything that seems to happen to me? Why would I not trust that it is all perfect? Why would I not be happy to accept that all events and circumstances in my life are helpful for my awakening to what I am? Doubt thoughts will arise, but they simply provide us with another opportunity to bring our doubts to the light of Truth, in which they can be released. Only through their release will space be opened up for the miracle, and with each step we take, our trust grows.  "You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me instead of to your ego for guidance." (T.4.VI.3.1) (ACIM OE T.4.VII.86)
 
This is a time of letting go, of releasing the thoughts that keep us imprisoned in the ego, and of entering deeply into the silence of our minds where truth abides. There is no "doing" here, only our sacred "being." In stillness and listening deeply, we connect to the Self. Jesus wants to share this time with us. While it seems new for us, it is an ancient truth that we have always known, even before time was. Our wholeness has always been. It was established by God, and we cannot do anything to change the truth about ourselves. With this thought, "God is but love and therefore so am I," (W.RV.4.3) we remind ourselves of this truth, release the thoughts that keep us imprisoned in our wrong minds, and ask for the willingness to let illusions go. Jesus keeps reminding us of who we really are. "Hallowed your Name," (W.RV.10.2) he says, speaking to the truth of our being. He reminds us that our glory is undefiled forever. We connect with this undefiled nature in the experience of the holy instant.
 
In order to have a day of trust, it is really important to start the day with God. Spend your waking time repeating the thoughts and then letting go of the words, which are simply aids in helping us to connect with the meaning behind them. This is a time of faith and of commitment and of dedication to the practice. Try to think of the Lesson throughout the day and, if you are tempted to get out of peace, use the Lesson to remind yourself of the truth. The events and circumstances of our lives offer us the learning ground for healing. Anytime we feel under attack, anytime we hold a death thought, whenever we become discouraged, when we criticize our own efforts, or when we feel impatient or angry, we can choose to remember to step back and recognize that we don't know our own best interests. In fact, we cannot tell our advances from our retreats. "Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success." (T.18.V.1.6) (ACIM OE T.18.VI.41) This describes how learning-challenged we actually are. We need to learn to accept all circumstances as helpful. Whenever I find that I am getting anxious about some situation or perceived problem, I am reminded that if I let go, release, and allow the guidance to come, the way becomes smooth and easy.
 
This is about releasing the "I know" mind that relies on its own ideas of how to deal with the situations that confront us. Jesus addresses this when he reminds us, "I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now." (T.14.XI.6.7-9) (ACIM OE T.14.VII.65) It means that regarding any upset I have, I know not its meaning. It means we give over to the Holy Spirit all the dark lessons we have taught ourselves and are willing to acknowledge that we do not know what anything is for. Our past learning is all about these dark lessons. When we are upset about anything, we think that we know what the situation means. Realizing that we don't know and handing over our dark lessons of the past, allows us to open up to being taught, since the "I know" mind is not very teachable.
 
We enter the meditation time and use the words given us ". . . at the beginning and end of practice periods, but to recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose. We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use. " (W.RV.12.1-2) He encourages us to keep trying. Jesus approves of the idea of trying, which he has said about our practice many times, in different ways. "The sound grows dim and disappears, as we approach the Source of meaning." (W.RV.12.5) We wait in silence, anticipating what is to come. Our waiting is a time of still expectancy and confidence, knowing the experience will dawn on our minds with practice.
 
Now we take five to thirty minutes in the morning and reflect on the words of this Lesson. You may want to use the prayer that is provided, or offer your own words to God. Then reflect on the words of today's Review and their meaning: "God is but love and therefore so am I." "I will step back and let Him lead the way." (W.172 [155]) "I walk with God in perfect holiness." (W.172 [156]) "God is but love and therefore so am I."
 
Be vigilant in watching interfering thoughts. As you enter the silence, wait in anticipation and in confidence. With the mind at rest, be poised for the experience, holding the silence wordlessly. Whenever the mind wanders, bring it back to purpose with the words of this Lesson. In this way, we make it a day of gratitude.
 
Throughout the day, anytime you are tempted to become disturbed about anything or with anyone, remember to do some form of the practice to bring your mind back to peace.
 
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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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Allen joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is


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