"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

IX. The Holy Instant and Real Relationships

79 The holy instant does not replace the need for learning, for the Holy Spirit must not leave you as your Teacher until the holy instant has extended far beyond time. For a teaching assignment such as His, He must use everything in this world for your release. He must side with every sign or token of your willingness to learn of Him what the truth must be. He is swift to utilize whatever you offer Him on behalf of this. His concern and care for you are limitless. In the face of your fear of forgiveness, which He perceives as clearly as He knows forgiveness is release, He will teach you to remember that forgiveness is not loss but your salvation . And that in complete forgiveness, in which you recognize that there is nothing to forgive, you are absolved completely.

80 Hear Him gladly and learn of Him that you have need of no special relationships at all. You but seek in them what you have thrown away. And through them you will never learn the value of what you have cast aside but what you still desire with all your hearts. Let us join together in making the holy instant all that there is by desiring that it be all that there is. God's Son has such great need of your willingness to strive for this that you cannot conceive of need so great. Behold the only need that God and His Son share and will to meet together. You are not alone in this. The will of your creations call to you to share your will with them. Turn, then, in peace from guilt to God and them.

81 Relate only with what will never leave you and what you can never leave. The loneliness of God's Son is the loneliness of his Father. Refuse not the awareness of your completion and seek not to restore it to yourselves. Fear not to give redemption over to your Redeemer's love. He will not fail you, for He comes from One Who cannot fail. Accept your sense of failure as nothing more than a mistake in who you are. For the holy host of God is beyond failure, and nothing that he wills can be denied. You are forever in a relationship so holy that it calls to everyone to escape from loneliness and join you in your love. And where you are must everyone seek and find you there.

82 Think but an instant on this: God gave the Sonship to you to ensure your perfect creation. This was His gift, for as He withheld Himself not from you, He withheld not His creation. Nothing that ever was created but is yours. Your relationships are with the universe. And this universe, being of God, is far beyond the petty sum of all the separate bodies you perceive. For all its parts are joined in God through Christ, where they become like to their Father. For Christ knows of no separation from His Father, Who is His one relationship, in which He gives as His Father gives to Him.

83 The Holy Spirit is God's attempt to free you of what He does not understand. And because of the Source of the attempt, it will succeed . The Holy Spirit asks you to respond as God does, for He would teach you what you do not understand. God would respond to every need, whatever form it takes. And so He has kept this channel open to receive His communication to you and yours to Him. God does not understand your problem in communication, for He does not share it with you. It is only you who believe that it is understandable.

84 The Holy Spirit knows that it is not understandable, and yet He understands it because you have made it. In Him alone lies the awareness of what God cannot know and what you do not understand. It is His holy function to accept them both, and by removing every element of disagreement, to join them into one. He will do this because it is His function. Leave, then, what seems to you to be impossible to Him Who knows it must be possible because it is the Will of God. And let Him Whose teaching is only of God teach you the only meaning of relationships. For God created the only relationship which has meaning, and that is His relationship with you .

85 As the ego would limit your perception of your brothers to the body, so would the Holy Spirit release your vision and let you see the Great Rays shining from them, so unlimited that they reach to God. It is this shift in vision which is accomplished in the holy instant. Yet it is needful for you to learn just what this shift entails, so you will become willing to make it permanent. Given this willingness, it will not leave you, for it is permanent. For once you have accepted it as the only perception you want , it is translated into knowledge by the part which God Himself plays in the Atonement, for it is the only step in it He understands. Therefore, in this there will be no delay when you are ready for it. God is ready now, but you are not.

86 Our task is but to continue as fast as possible the necessary process of looking straight at all the interference and seeing it exactly as it is. For it is impossible to recognize as wholly without gratification what you think you want . The body is the symbol of the ego, as the ego is the symbol of the separation. And both are nothing more than attempts to limit communication and thereby to make it impossible. For communication must be unlimited in order to have meaning, and deprived of meaning, it will not satisfy you completely. Yet it remains the only means by which you can establish real relationships.

87 Real relationships have no limits, having been established by God. In the holy instant, where the Great Rays replace the body in awareness, the recognition of relationships without limits is given you. But to see this, it is necessary to give up every use the ego has for the body and to accept the fact that the ego has no purpose you would share with it. For the ego would limit everyone to a body for its purposes, and while you think it has a purpose, you will choose to utilize the means by which it tries to turn its purpose into accomplishment. This will never be accomplished. Yet you have surely recognized that the ego, whose goals are altogether unattainable, will strive for them with all its might and will do so with the strength which you have given it.

88 It is impossible to divide your strength between Heaven and hell, God and the ego, and release your power unto creation, which is the only purpose for which it was given you. Love would always give increase. Limits are demanded by the ego, representing its demands to make little and ineffectual. Limit your vision of a brother to his body, which you will do as long as you would not release him from it, and you have denied his gift to you . His body cannot give it. And seek it not through yours . Yet your minds are already continuous, and their union need only be accepted, and the loneliness in Heaven is gone.

89 If you would but let the Holy Spirit tell you of the love of God for you and the need your creations have to be with you forever, you would experience the attraction of the eternal. No one can hear Him speak of this and long remain willing to linger here. For it is your will to be in Heaven, where you are complete and quiet in such sure and loving relationships that any limit is impossible. Would you not exchange your little relationships for this? For the body is little and limited, and only those whom you would see without the limits the ego would impose on them can offer you the gift of freedom.

90 You have no conception of the limits you have placed on your perception and no idea of all the loveliness that you could see. But this you must remember—the attraction of guilt opposes the attraction of God. His attraction for you remains unlimited, but because your power, being His, is as great as His, you can turn away from love. What you invest in guilt, you withdraw from God. And your sight grows weak and dim and limited, for you have attempted to separate the Father from the Son and limit their communication. Seek not Atonement in further separation. And limit not your vision of God's Son to what interferes with his release and what the Holy Spirit must undo to set him free. For his belief in limits has imprisoned him.

91 When the body ceases to attract you and when you place no value on it as a means for getting anything , then there will be no interference in communication, and your thoughts will be as free as God's. As you let the Holy Spirit teach you how to use the body only for purposes of communication and renounce its use for separation and attack which the ego sees in it, you will learn you have no need of a body at all. In the holy instant there are no bodies, and you experience only the attraction of God. Accepting it as undivided, you join Him wholly in an instant. [For you would place no limits on your union with Him.] The reality of this relationship becomes the only truth that you could ever want . All truth is here.

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Part I
Review V

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 173

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[155] I will step back and let Him led 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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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 173
Review V ~ Lesson 155 and Lesson 156

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

[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.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

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