"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 175

God is but Love,
and therefore so am I.

[159] I give the miracles I have received.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[160] I am at home.Fear is the stranger here.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 175
Review V ~ Lesson 159 and Lesson 160

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

[159] I give the miracles I have received.
[160] I am at home. Fear is the stranger here.
I looked again at the plea Jesus makes to us in this Lesson Review in which he says, "Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me."  (W.RV.7.5) He wants to comfort us and to support us every step of the way. All he asks is for our willingness on behalf of our own well-being. It is not that he wants something from us, but something for us. He has already made the journey we are now making and understands our tribulations, even though he knows that 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." (W.RV.6.5)
What a comfort it is to take that in and just give up the fight. What is that fight? It is to hold onto what we think and believe and to cling to our false identity as a separate self. It is our desire to be right about our judgments. It is to invest in our specialness. Our self-serving ways always end in pain and disillusionment. Jesus knows that, to us, the trials are real and painful. We can all attest to the pain that comes with difficulties in our lives. He assures us that the world of pain and loss is really all just an illusion‑‑‑a bad dream. From above this battleground, looking with him, we can smile at it all, but in order to do that, we have to see the unreality of this world. How we do this is to be willing to see our brother as innocent.
We fear leaving the ego’s world. The illusion of special love still holds attraction for us as does holding onto grievances. This is a defense against the love that we are. It is our resistance that makes the journey seem long. Every event or situation in our lives is another opportunity to see that the problems we experience are not in the world but in our minds. There is no point in trying to change anything in the world, yet when we change our minds, the way we see the world changes.
To us, our difficulties do not feel like anything to smile about, but when we look with Jesus, who helps us to look without judgment, we can see it all as a movie with characters playing their parts just as we are. As I write this and as I feel the power of the words, I take great comfort in knowing that we truly have such powerful support reinforcing every step we take. There is value in these trials, as they provide us with another opportunity to choose for our highest good. "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.31.87)
This is a collaborative venture that we are on. We are not alone. I feel deeply assured by his presence, which we will only recognize when we release our resistance. Not everyone is comfortable with Jesus. He acknowledges this himself in the Course when he says he only offered brotherly love, yet history twisted him into a cruel idol. I know that, for me, it took a long time to even say his name, let alone to think of him as an elder brother and friend, supporting my journey back to my Self.
For many of us, there is a lot of healing we need to do in allowing his support to be felt. Unlike some teachers, he wants and needs no adulation nor gifts of any kind. He only asks that we give him our pain and lay our guilt and sorrow at his feet. He wants to help us, as we cannot undo what we have made without help from outside of our matrix.
In the Review, he says, "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) Just as his resurrection comes as a result of each brother safely being led home, we each experience a kind of resurrection every time any brother takes a step forward. We delight in the experience of sharing and celebrating when we see someone opening up, moving forward, and "seeing the light." It is a gift to us all. "I give the miracles I have received." (W.175 [159]) "God is but Love, and therefore so am I." (W.175)
When we remember, even for an instant, that we are at home with God, we bring back to the world our new and changed perception. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we release the fear that has made its home in us. We made fear welcome and thus believe this stranger (fear) is who we are. In our identification with this stranger, we have become strangers to ourselves. We will only know the love we are when we see in everyone the love they are. "But you will not remember Him until you look on all [your brothers] as He does." (W.160.10.4) We really cannot know ourselves as love except as we extend the love to everyone we meet.
Lesson 159 reminds us that to give to our brothers requires that we open the storehouse of our minds where the miracles are. There are lilies of forgiveness in that storehouse that we give to our brothers, and only in this way can we know that we are forgiven and recognize the truth of our One Self. This is the central thought that supports the two Lessons in this review. If God is Love, we must be as well, and when we connect to that love through our willingness to forgive, it extends through us to our brothers.
Thus, we know that we are love and not this homeless stranger who seems to have wandered into our pristine home and made itself at home in us. Moment by moment, we look at the fearful thoughts that belong to this stranger, and we bring them to awareness. That is all we need do. We need to look at our thoughts calmly and without judging them. It is our agreement not to look at these thoughts, but to keep them hidden from awareness, that protects them and makes them unavailable for healing.
When we are willing to look, we take the first step in forgiveness. This takes great honesty and courage. The ego will resist our efforts, warning us of the danger of looking within and telling us that all is dark there. It tells us to keep the sentinels in place and not to look within, but Jesus assures us that the light is there and has never left. The sentinels are barriers we erected to keep ourselves safe from the memory of God. "What is kept apart from Love cannot share Its healing power, because it has been separated off and kept in darkness. The sentinels of darkness watch over it carefully, and you who made these guardians of illusion out of nothing are now afraid of them." (T.14.VI.2.4-5) (ACIM OE T.14.III.17)
Whatever we are not willing to let go of will not be taken from us. If we truly want to be free of fear, we are the ones that need to bring our dark and fearful thoughts to the Holy Spirit. In other words, we must not hide these thoughts but expose them so they can be seen for what they are. They have no power. They are just thoughts that have no meaning. "We must open all doors and let the Light come streaming through." (T.14.VI.8.5) (ACIM OE T.14.III.23) It is the Holy Spirit that shines away the darkness when we give it over to Him. It is not for us to try to fix ourselves. That will never work, but we must be willing to go through this darkness to come to the light. He assures us that he goes with us, carrying the lamp for us so we don't need to go there alone. We have powerful help when we choose to avail ourselves of it.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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