"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
TEXT

CHAPTER 15
The Purpose of Time

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.

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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.

4 This is the thought which should precede the thoughts that we review. Each one but clarifies some aspect of this thought or helps it be more meaningful, more personal and true, and more descriptive of the holy Self we share and now prepare to know again:

5 God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

6 This Self alone knows love. This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts, knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself.

7 And it is This that waits to meet us at the journey's ending. Every step we take brings us a little nearer. This review will shorten time immeasurably if we keep in mind that This remains our goal, and as we practice, it is This to which we are approaching. Let us raise our hearts from dust to life as we remember This is promised us, and that this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost.

8 I take the journey with you. For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome. We walk together. I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning. Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out and now will lead you out with him. God's Son is crucified until you walk along the road with me.

9 My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot. I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain. I am reborn each time a brother's mind turns to the light in him and looks for me. I have forgotten no one. Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me.

10 Release me as you practice once again the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees your bitter need and knows the answer God has given Him. Together we review these thoughts. Together we devote our time and effort to them. And together we will teach them to our brothers. God would not have Heaven incomplete. It waits for you as I do. I am incomplete without your part in me. And as I am made whole, we go together to our ancient home, prepared for us before time was and kept unchanged by time, immaculate and safe, as it will be at last, when time is done.

11 Let this review be then your gift to me. For this alone I need—that you will hear the words I speak and give them to the world. You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands, through which I save the world. The Self from Which I call to you is but your own. To Him we go together. Take your brother's hand, for this is not a way we walk alone. In him I walk with you and you with me. Our Father wills His Son be one with Him. What lives but must not then be one with you?

12 Let this review become a time in which we share a new experience for you, yet one as old as time, and older still. Hallowed your name. Your glory undefiled forever. And your wholeness now complete, as God established it. You are His Son, completing His extension in your own. We practice but an ancient truth we knew before illusion seemed to claim the world. And we remind the world that it is free of all illusions every time we say,

13 God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

14 With this we start each day of our review. With this we start and end each period of practice time. And with this thought we sleep, to waken once again with these same words upon our lips to greet another day. No thought that we review but we surround with it and use the thoughts to hold it up before our minds and keep it clear in our remembrance throughout the day. And thus when we have finished this review, we will have recognized the words we speak are true.

15 Yet are the words but aids and to be used, except at the beginning and the 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. We wait for the experience and recognize that it is only here conviction lies. We use the words, and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound. The sound grows dim and disappears as we approach the Source of meaning. It is here that we find rest.

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Lesson 171

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[151] All things are echoes of the Voice of God.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[152] The power of decision is my own.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 171
Review V ~ Lesson 151 and Lesson 152

Sarah's Commentary:
 
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[151] All things are echoes of the Voice of God.
[152] The power of decision is my own.
 
The Reviews don't give us much now except the introduction and a few lines each day; so, it is important to look at what Jesus is instructing us to do in this Review. He starts by urging us to now give more effort and more time to the Lessons. He wants us to take this seriously, since maintaining the ego has cost us our happiness.
 
In our practice instructions laid out in Lesson 153, we were asked to give at least five minutes. "Ten would be better; fifteen better still." (W.153.15.4) Jesus is aware that "Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth." (W.RV.1.5) I would guess this is the truth for many of us who have a hard time committing to regular and consistent practice. Now he is inviting us to give more effort and more time to prepare for "another phase of understanding." (W.RV.1.3) He wants us to firm up our purpose and set the goal with more certainty. He wants it for us because he knows that this is where our happiness lies. We are being prepared for Part II of the Workbook so we can move forward with a stronger purpose and more dedication and sincerity.
 
Jesus is aware of how invested we are in the ego thought system, but he is also aware of just how miserable it makes us. That is why he is encouraging us to give more effort and more time to our practice. We are taking another step forward on our journey, so he is encouraging us to be as steadfast as we can in our learning.
 
This prayer that we say to God is the acknowledgment that we still have doubts and distractions. We ask with humility to "Let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still" (W.RV.2.2) so we can hear Him speak to us. The important thing about this prayer is the humility to see that we are like little children, following along where we are led, recognizing that we don't know, so we need help and guidance. Jesus knows that we will stumble and forget and choose the ego, but we will be raised up and called back. We don't need to feel guilty when we stumble and temporarily lose our way. We need only remember that we will have help when we wander off and will be constantly called back.
 
The prayer contains such a beautiful and poignant passage. It carries an image of a father holding the hand of his child while the child does not know where the father will take him but knows he is safe. " And if we stumble, You will raise us up ." (W.RV.3.2) What a comforting thought! We are safe and protected and can lean on our Father's sure support in our practicing. It is such a beautiful prayer and takes us beyond words into a loving relationship with our Father, which is the intent now. The words are not important. They just point us to the truth. We need to really connect with the deep meaning behind the words if we are to enter an experience of the Self. "This Self alone knows Love. This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its Thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its Love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself. (W.RV.4.4‑5) "And it is this that waits to meet us at the journey's ending." (W.RV.5.1) We connect with this Self when we experience moments of total Oneness in our meditation, which is the foretaste of Heaven that the Course talks about.
 
Jesus gave us a personal and direct message, telling us: "I take the journey with you. For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome." (W.RV.6.1-2) Jesus is a symbol of the love in our minds. We can call on his help because we cannot heal the mind without him. It is not up to us to fix ourselves but to wake up to who we are, and we do so with his help. We need this help because the ego will never undo itself.
 
The reality is that we are in a state of doubt and fear because of our choice for the ego. We must be willing to look at the choice that we are making in each moment---for Heaven or for hell. Where we made a faulty choice before, we can make a better one now. "Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you." (T.31.VIII.3.1) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.87)
 
When fear thoughts show up, look at them and be willing to let Jesus help you see their unreality. He is not part of the dream. He is in the right mind where we can look at the dream with him from above the battleground; or we can sit next to him in the movie theater and watch the dream like a movie being played out on the screen. He can help us to see the movie of our lives and to see that it is all a dream. He shows us the unreality of the fearful thoughts in our wrong mind and helps us to recognize that we are not the character on the screen but the observer of the play.
 
Through the choice we make for forgiveness with Jesus as our guide, we return to the Self as the One Son---One with Jesus and with all brothers---so we can learn there is no separation and there are no separate interests. We have descended down the ladder from a very lofty place, and now we must ascend step-by-step back to where the journey began. We need to do our part in this process. That is why Jesus is asking us, "Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me." (W.RV.7.5) With his help, we are now retracing our steps back to our original decision; so, where we made a faulty choice before, we can now choose again.
 
Jesus keeps encouraging us by helping us to see how unhappy and miserable we are and how bitter is our need. He is not cajoling us to apply these Lessons for any reason other than for our own completion and release. He only wants our happiness. Do we want it for ourselves as much as he wants it for us? Are we prepared to acknowledge that this is the only way out of our misery? I know how much I have tried to make myself better by working on fixing myself, but I know that my underlying anxiety cannot be healed with illusory fixes. We cannot do this alone because, as the Lesson said yesterday, when we try to do it alone, we are turning to fear (the ego) and looking to it for relief and support. Thus, we give love's attributes to fear, looking for safety where there is none. In fact, this is the way that fear is kept.
 
Now he asks that we let him use our voice, our eyes, our feet, and our hands so he can work through us for the benefit of all the world. He needs our body to help others see that, through our demonstration, they can make the same choice we have made. Thus, the body can serve a holy purpose, not through preaching but by demonstrating that there is no separation, and no one is excluded from our love.
 
Today, we notice each time we are tempted to give the illusion primacy in our lives by making decisions by ourselves. We choose instead the thoughts he gives us to help us to remember the truth about ourselves. He is asking us to keep these thoughts uppermost in our minds throughout the day. We will still attend to what we need to do in the day, but now the attention is on our thoughts. When we set the intention in the morning and do our practice with sincerity and focus, we can have a day of peace.
 
"Yet are the words but aids, and to be used, except at the beginning and the end of practice periods, but to recall the mind, as needed, to its purpose." (W.RV.12.1) We use the words as the means to point us to the truth and to ". . . recall the mind, as needed to its purpose." (W.RV.12.1) Our faith is not in the words but in the decision to choose again and be led to the experience of healing. The content is always what is important and not the form. We are choosing the content of love or guilt. The situations and relationships of this world provide us with the perfect classroom where we can take the faulty choices of the past and now make a new choice to heal our misperceptions.
 
Throughout these Review Lessons, we open to the truth with the central idea: " God is but Love, and therefore so am I . " (W.RV.4.3) We need this constant practice simply because we don't believe that we have all the attributes of God. We have thoroughly taught ourselves that we are egos, living in this material world.
 
We are created in the image of God, which is pure love and is, therefore, what we are as well. We are not our personalities because we have lots of evidence that they are not pure love. The personality, and self-concept, that we identify with in the world is not what we are and is not real. What is real is our true Self, which is still in the mind of God. Our dedication to practice will bring us to an experience of this Self.
 
We take this unifying idea and really work with it in our practice and in our meditation time for the next ten days. We remind ourselves daily, "God is but Love, and therefore so am I . " (W.RV.4.3) For the Lesson today, we review again, "All things are echoes of the Voice for God." (W.151) Our judgments are based on ignorance and doubt, and thus our certainty is just a cloak for uncertainty. With this Lesson, we learn that we must doubt the evidence that our senses show us in the world and let the Holy Spirit be the judge of what is worthy for us to take in. He is the purifier of our thoughts.
 
The thought, "The power of decision is my own," (W.152) reminds us of the fact that we have chosen everything that seems to happen to us. Our mind is where our power is and where our salvation (healing) lies. Since God created you, you must remain unchangeable. So, by definition, all transitory states are false.
 
These two ideas in the Review Lesson today are bound by the truth that God is Love and therefore so are we. And yet, what is this Self we are trying to experience? "This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts; knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself." (W.RV.4.5)
 
If I truly want to know that I am love, I will recognize that every circumstance, every event, every problem, and everything that appears to be happening in my life is for my benefit. No, this will not make my ego happy, but that is no longer my goal. Behind everything that I seem to be experiencing is the Love of God and the echo of His Voice, singing a love song and calling me to my Self, my Home, and my Reality.
 
If I am love, all that I need to do is bring the thoughts that block my awareness of this love to the Holy Spirit. If I refuse to do that, I am making a choice to stay in hell by holding onto my perspectives. With a willingness to change my mind, the miracle is made available. What seems to take time is how long it takes to get to this willingness. "The power of decision is my own." (W.152)
 
On behalf of our happiness, let us really take in the words today and make this practice a gift to God, which is a gift to the Self that we are. Let us commit to feeling the essence of these Lessons. Let us wake with them, go to sleep with them, and keep them with us all day, no matter how raucous the shrieks of the ego may become. We affirm that there is only one truth and that truth is---we are infinite love.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

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