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

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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A Course in Miracles

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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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 174

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[157] Into His Presence would I enter now.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[158] Today I learn to give as I receive.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 174
Review V ~ Lesson 157 and Lesson 158

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

[157] Into His Presence would I enter now.
[158] Today I learn to give as I receive.
We continue today to review the Lessons with the constant reminder, "God is but Love and therefore so am I." (W.RV.4.3) Anything God creates is like Himself---holy, sinless, innocent, an endless spring of love, and immortal as Himself. We are not human beings who are desperately seeking our spirituality or having a spiritual experience. We actually are spiritual beings, who think that we are having a human experience, although we are dreaming that we are here.
The truth is that we are love. We defend against that love in order to maintain an existence separate from God. But now we choose to bring our defenses to awareness, recognizing how unhappy we are in our seemingly separated state.
We are guided on this journey by the Holy Spirit, Who is the quiet presence in our right minds, but as long as we stay in control of our process and believe everything is up to us, we will continue to take the lead ourselves. When we are willing to step back and let Him lead the way, we then give over our separate will and agree to have our Father, "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." (W.RV.2.5-6) The truth is within us now, and Jesus is leading us to this state of happiness and peace that is not possible to achieve by our own efforts, no matter how hard we try. When we think we know our own best interests, we are constantly reaching out for pleasure, but we always receive pain because that is the way the ego set it all up.
We take this teaching on faith until we have the experience that affirms the truth of it. Yet since the truth is already in our minds, we resonate with what is said here. When we defend against it, we experience resistance to his teaching, but he is gentle with us. We are in charge of how quickly we go. Thus, we don't have to be afraid that we will be hurled into Heaven. Our awakening is a gentle process, even though to the ego the events of our lives are often not to our liking. But since everything that seems to happen is by our own choosing, we are not victims of the events and circumstances of our lives.
As we apply the Lessons, we increasingly experience a shift into greater peace and freedom. We have all had experiences of being in the right place at the right time, of meeting people who we are meant to meet, of feeling in the flow where everything works easily, and of having things work out when we take our hands off of the steering wheel of our lives or when we give up control even a little. Alternatively, when things seem not to be moving in this kind of flow and challenges arise, we can remember to ask for help in choosing peace. Everything made by the ego can be used by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of undoing what does not serve us. Nothing the ego has made will ever bring happiness. We are reminded that we don't know our own best interests and that our greatest setbacks, as seen by the ego, can actually be our greatest spiritual advances. When we let all things be exactly as they are and not fight and resist what comes, we become happy learners. "You are not a happy learner yet because you still remain uncertain that vision gives you more than judgment does, and you have learned that both you cannot have." (T.21.I.3.7) (ACIM OE T.21.II.5) Until we step through this conflict, there will be resistance to the Lessons. When the conflict becomes sufficiently painful, we will be ready to take the giant strides to our freedom by focusing all our efforts on the Holy Spirit's Lessons.
How do we learn to hear the guidance? The approach taken in the Course to help us with the decision process that we go through every day is different than what we have learned in the world. No tools are given to us to make better, wiser, or more effective decisions. Jesus tells us that we are incapable of good decisions, so we need to let the Holy Spirit decide for us. This means that we make room for Him to guide our lives. We just need to ask in everything we do. We might complain that we don't hear His Voice, which is actually speaking to us throughout the day. But when we don't, it is because we are listening to our own voice, which is the voice of the ego. That voice is loud and raucous. To be guided is to trust our intuition and choose not to listen to the fearful thoughts of the ego and all of its doubts. We bring its wrong-minded dictates to the truth by placing them on the inner altar.
When we have the desire and willingness to hear and the confidence that the answers will be provided, we can trust in the perfection of everything that shows up for our healing. When we don't hear, it is because our minds are cluttered with guilt and fear thoughts. We want to stay in control, and thus, we resist guidance. With time and practice, our trust will grow, and increasingly we will find that we are releasing control, day-by-day, step-by-step. When we do so, the guidance becomes clearer, as long as we keep remembering to step back and let Him take the lead.
Jesus reminds us, "We sing the song of thankfulness today, in honor of the Self that God has willed to be our true Identity in Him." (W.123.4.2) "And we give thanks that in our solitude a Friend has come to speak the saving Word of God to us. And thanks to you for listening to Him. His Word is soundless if it be not heard." (W.123.5.2-4) Thus, our ability to listen comes when the obstacles in our minds are seen and brought to the light of Truth.
Today, we enter a day of silence and of trust. We remind ourselves that we can be wholly unafraid and thus completely trusting because of our invulnerability as Spirit. As we walk in trust and unafraid, we choose Christ's Vision. "It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees." (W.158.7.4-5) No matter what comes up as we go through the day, we recognize that there is no value in anything except to know our identity as the love that we are.
Often, I find that when a situation shows up for me that seems problematic, and if I don't try to address it on my own but live in the not knowing, the answer comes in unexpected ways. Guidance comes in many forms. We just need to stay aware and tune into the guidance, whether it shows up as an inner voice, in pictures, nighttime dreams, a gut instinct, coincidences, feelings, a stirring in the heart, or other signs or symbols.
In this journey to awakening, Jesus goes with us. He says, "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." (W.RV.6.1-6)
He knows the way out, and he has shared our experience. He understands all that makes our progress slow and about our hesitation on this road. He knows what lies at the end of the road. He knows our doubts and fears, and yet he sees a way out. He is our perfect teacher and holds our hand through every step of this journey to the end. He knows both the journey and the end of it as a result of his own experience. He never raises himself above us but walks beside us as an equal. It is so encouraging when we take this seriously. Can you really imagine the perfect, most loving teacher who has had the experience we have had, lovingly walking with us through each practice period and motivating us to hasten our footsteps? We ask this of God in our prayer, but he needs us to do our part.
"My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot." (W.RV.7.1) This is the part of our mind where the journey began with the choice for the ego. This led to the experience of this body and the world. The journey ends with the Correction of our mistaken choice for the ego. The choice for resurrection is the same choice made by Jesus. He demonstrates for us that we can make the same choice he made so that we can realize our own resurrection, as we awaken from this dream of death. "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." (W.RV.8.1) He is the symbol of the awakened mind, right there with us, because he is in our minds. Indeed, he says, "I am incomplete without your part in me." (W.RV.8.7) There is only one Son, but we need to ask for his help, or he cannot help us because we are free to choose as we desire.
It is a journey back to our ancient home---a home that was prepared for us "before time was." It has been kept pristine, safe, immaculate, and unchanged through eons of time. It is awaiting our return, though we have never left except in dreams.
I will refer to David Hawkins, simply because I am currently inspired by reading his book, "Discovery of the Presence of God: Devotional Non-Duality." In it he says:
"The pace of spiritual evolution is not under personal control and may take sudden surprising leaps. Therefore, It is wise to prepare beforehand with knowledge of what yet may come." Certainly, that is the reason for our study of the Text. It helps us see what is yet to come. And to the question of why we sometimes feel like we are not making progress on this path to enlightenment, his words are encouraging. "There is no point to wondering how am I doing? For the compass has already been set by dedication and devotion to the highest truth. While the pace may seem slow or even arduous at times, it is best to be prepared for sudden, unexpected leaps. It is wise to avoid pessimism, even after a seemingly long, dry period of frustration, for such periods are due to overcoming major obstacles and attachments that often presage major changes."
Today, "We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use." (W.RV.12.2) Thus, our faith is in the experience we have when we use the words of this Lesson to point us to the truth. It is an experience of deep peace, a feeling of being connected with all there is, and a trust in our brothers and in the journey that we seem to be undertaking.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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