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” This instant is the only time there is.”
The ego uses time to keep us unaware of the present. We think we are aware of the present, but we perceive it only in terms of the past. An early lesson tells us that we see nothing as it is now.
Many years ago I lived in an area of Africa where the people lived in thatched roofed houses and cooked on open fires on the floor. They sat on little stools a few inches high because it was more convenient for them to sit that way as they tended the fire and did their cooking. One day I was visiting in one of these homes and I saw a straight backed wooden chair against the wall. It was piled high with things. While I would have been more comfortable sitting in that chair, they didn’t see it as a chair. They saw it as a shelf for storage. They gave it a different meaning.
That experience is a great demonstration to me that we give everything all the meaning that it has for us. Because of my past experience, I gave that assembly of pieces of wood the meaning of a chair to sit on. I was perceiving the present in terms of the past.
This lesson is asking us to let go of the past. It does not serve the goal of remembering our Self as we were created by God. The Self we are can only be known in the present without meanings dragged with us in our minds that cover up the present. When I look at someone while I hold on to the past, I interpret what I see based on the past I bring with me. A certain expression on their face I measure against my past experiences and decide that they are happy or sad, friendly or angry. When I do this I do not see them as they are now.
To know the joy of Love that is ever present, I must let go of the past. Then I am free to see the Love that is all there really is now. Forms have no meaning of their own. Without the past I am free with an open mind to let the Holy Spirit show me His meaning in everything I see.
Holy Spirit, I bring You all my thoughts of the past. I offer them to You in gratitude that You will take them and wash them clean of fear and guilt so that I may see the joyful Love that is present here now. In gratitude I heal.
The truth of our one Identity is changeless. The truth of our one Identity is eternal. It is always the same in the eternal present. In the eternal present there is no time. There is no past and no future. The eternal present is always here right now. It is always there, behind all the beliefs in time and space, waiting to be recognized and known again.
Right now it is our job to open our minds to the Holy Spirit, Who will help us see the barriers we have erected to hide the eternal presence of Love. Once we have looked at these barriers with the Holy Spirit, we will see them for their nothingness and be willing to let them go. The idea of time itself is a barrier. The ideas of a past or future are just false ideas that are trying to hide the eternal now of God’s Love.
Today I would practice opening my mind to the Holy Spirit again and again. I would practice letting my mind be healed of all the false ideas that pass through. I am willing to practice being taught the difference between what is real and what is not real. I am willing to move from belief in time to timelessness. I am willing to practice recognizing that the holy instant is the only time there is. I am willing to open to God’s eternal peace, happiness and joy.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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