A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

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Chapter 15: The Holy Instant

Section I: The Two Uses of Time

Read ACIM Chapter 15, Section I (pages 301-304)

In this section Jesus very clearly describes the difference between how the Holy Spirit uses time and how the ego uses time. Depending on how we use our time, we free ourselves or bind ourselves to the ego thought system. Our job now is to consistently learn only from the Holy Spirit.

What is time for according to the Holy Spirit?

With the Holy Spirit we learn to use time as a means to end all need for time. The Holy Spirit is not bound by time and with His help we are brought out of time into timelessness. We are brought to the eternal Life we live in God. We are told, “Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time? Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more.” (1:1-2)

What are the ego’s underlying motives for our experience of death?

The ego’s mantra is separation and since death is the ultimate “proof” that separation is real, the ego’s goal is always death. In the ego’s insane thought system, death is seen as proof that the ego is real. With identification with the ego comes the belief in hell and the experience of fear and guilt. “For the ego must seem to keep fear from you to hold your allegiance. Yet it must engender fear in order to maintain itself.” (4:10-11)

We are being shown the ego’s underlying motives to help us realize that we do not want anything that the ego offers. The belief in hell that the ego engenders prevents us from recognizing the purity of Love that is the eternal present.

What does the Holy Spirit help us realize?

As we listen to the Holy Spirit, we realize that there is no hell. The Holy Spirit helps us understand that, “Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future. Each instant is a clean, untarnished birth, in which the Son of God emerges from the past into the present. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are now.” (8:2-7)

How do we free ourselves from the past?

In paragraph 9 we are given a way to practice the Holy Spirit’s lesson that each moment is free of the past and future because the miscreations of the mind do not exist. Jesus suggests a process to help us experience the holy instant: Imagine yourself in the present moment, completely untouched by anything from the past… Recognize that this present instant is all there is… See that there is no past for which you can be condemned, and thus there is no cause for guilt… Know that you are completely free and wholly without condemnation… There is no sense of change with time and so you are at peace… Recognize that all change is illusion and so guilt is an illusion…

He tells us, “There is no change in Heaven because there is no change in God. In the holy instant, in which you see yourself as bright with freedom, you will remember God. For remembering Him is to remember freedom.” (10:6-8) It doesn’t take the Holy Spirit long to give us the holy instant when we are willing to receive it. What takes time is teaching us to be willing to let go of identification with the ego so that we will accept the Holy Spirit’s gift. We will not be able to accept the holy instant until we are willing to see the truth in our brothers. With the Holy Spirit, we give the holy instant to our bothers on behalf of their release. “For the instant of holiness is shared, and cannot be yours alone. Miracles are the instants of release you offer, and will receive.” (12:2,4)

What demonstrates that we are willing to be released from the ego?

Our willingness to see the Light of God in every brother demonstrates that we are willing to be released. By doing so, we are using time to heal the thought of separation and return to the oneness in which we were created. Jesus encourages us to, “Practice giving this blessed instant of freedom to all who are enslaved by time, and thus make time their friend for them. The Holy Spirit gives their blessed instant to you through your giving it. As you give it, He offers it to you.” (13:3-5)

The good news is that despite the ego’s dreams of separation, we, the Son of God, could never be changed from the pure Love we were created to be and still remain. As we learn to give time to the Holy Spirit for His use, He gives us the holy instant which we share with every brother. In the holy instant, “Time stands still in [our brother’s] holiness, and changes not. And so it is no longer time at all. For caught in the single instant of the eternal sanctity of God’s creation, it is transformed into forever.” (15:7-9)

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

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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