A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 15: The Holy Instant

Section IV: Practicing the Holy Instant

Read ACIM Chapter 15, Section IV (pages 309-311)

As we continue through the Text, Jesus reinforces again and again that only what God wills is true. He has not willed separation and so nothing in this world of separate and unique forms is true. In this section Jesus tells us, “This course is not beyond immediate learning, unless you believe that what God wills takes time. And this means only that you would rather delay the recognition that His Will is so. The holy instant is this instant and every instant.” (1:1-3)

How do we become aware of the holy instant?

We must want the holy instant to know we have it. It is not forced upon us against our will. It comes as we are willing to accept that God’s Will is ours and we share God’s Will with all that is real. When we choose to value separation, which is valuing littleness, we are opposing all that the holy instant would bring us. That is why Jesus tells us, “Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go. The instant in which magnitude dawns upon you is but as far away as your desire for it. As long as you desire it not and cherish littleness instead, by so much is it far from you. By so much as you want it will you bring it nearer.” (2:1-4)

Let all littleness go. This means letting everything in this world of separate bodies go. What does letting it go mean? It means letting go of our belief in it, which is what brings it in to our experience. If we want a new experience, we need to let go of the ideas we are holding on to in our mind. We need to hand our false ideas of littleness over to the Holy Spirit, Who will show us a different view — a view of wholeness and oneness. Jesus tells us, “Be humble before Him, yet great in Him. And value no plan of the ego before the plan of God.” (3:1-2)

What does Jesus mean when he says that our mind is host to God’s Mind?

The plan of the ego is to be separate from God’s oneness and not share God’s one Mind. The plan of the ego is to make it look like we are separate beings in a world of separate bodies with unique personalities. We are told, “And it is your mind that is host to Him.” (3:7) Let’s think about what this means. Our mind is host to God’s Mind. It is the home of changeless Love. It is the home of the holy instant. Jesus encourages us to make the holy instant ours now, “...for the release from littleness in the mind of the host of God depends on willingness, and not on time.” (5:3)

How do we increase our willingness to accept the truth?

By realizing that the world cannot offer us lasting happiness. The whole world is based on a lie — that it is possible to be separate, which is littleness. We think we have made a little life of our own, but this could never be true. Jesus is teaching us that there is no life but the Life we share with God. He is teaching us that we are Love and Love is sharing all in the one Mind of God. In God there is no individual ownership, there is no greater or lesser.

Why does Jesus tell us that the Course is really very simple?

The lesson Jesus is teaching us is really very simple. He tells us, “The reason this course is simple is that truth is simple. Complexity is of the ego, and is nothing more than the ego’s attempt to obscure the obvious.” (6:1-2) There is a very simple reason why we do not experience the holy instant now and forever. The foundation of separation is the unwillingness to share. Sharing is total communication, withholding nothing so that we freely receive and freely give only God’s Will. God’s Will is that we are one with Him and there is nothing outside of this oneness. Jesus tells us, “The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication. This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is open, both to receive and give. It is the recognition that all minds are in communication. It therefore seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything.” (6:5-8)

How is a willingness to share connected with the free flow of God’s Love?

This is an important key to our freedom. The reason we do not experience the holy instant now is because our minds are closed. We are refusing to accept God’s Will, which is total sharing in the one Mind of Love. Willingness to share is how we open our minds to the free flow of God’s Love. We cannot want to keep specialness and be unique and at the same time be open to the idea that all minds are the same and are in complete communication. All our thoughts are shared with all because our only real thoughts are thoughts of Love. As we learn to accept and give only Love, our minds open to the holy instant. Thoughts of littleness fall away. The idea of private thoughts disappears.

Believing that individuality is real keeps the experience of separation in place and is a barrier to the holy instant. Jesus tells us exactly how we do it. “You believe you can harbor thoughts you would not share, and that salvation lies in keeping thoughts to yourself alone. For in private thoughts, known only to yourself, you think you find a way to keep what you would have alone, and share what you would share.” (7:3-4) We need to ask ourselves, “Who do I think I am and where do I think I am? Am I keeping thoughts based on a belief in being a separate person, unique and different from everything I see around me?” The way out of this is to learn to recognize thoughts of being separate and hand them over to the Holy Spirit to be undone.

While we are dreaming of a world of individuality with separate bodies, we will have thoughts that do not reflect perfect Love. The key to release from the dream is that we must not want to keep these thoughts. Detaching from a world of separation requires detaching from its thoughts. As we develop the practice of turning all unloving thoughts over to the Holy Spirit to receive His gentle correction, we move toward welcoming the holy instant. We open our minds to the free flow of God’s Love. “In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you. Thus will He make you ready to acknowledge that you are host to God, and hostage to no one and to nothing.” (9:8-10)

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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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