A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 26: The Transition

Section V. The Little Hindrance

Read A Course in Miracles, Chapter 26, Section V. (pages 549-553)

What is the only thing we have to learn?

In paragraph one Jesus tells us, “A little hindrance can seem large indeed to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Yet teaching that is what this course is for. This is its only purpose, for only that is all there is to learn.” (1:1-3, italics added)

If miracles are all the same is the only thing we have to learn, it must be pretty important. Let us recall that a miracle is a change in perception which reverses our thoughts which reflect separation from Love to that of remembering that we are joined as one in the one Mind of Love. We receive miracles (this thought reversal) from the Holy Spirit, which is our one true Self.

No matter what our problem seems to be in this dream of separation, the Holy Spirit always returns us to the only solution that applies to everything we think we see. The Holy Spirit returns us to the remembrance that we have not changed from our one Identity as universal Love. This miracle of thought reversal which leads away from separation and towards oneness is why miracles are all the same and applies to every situation. Either we are led to Heaven through accepting miracles or we remain in dreams of separation, which is nothing and nowhere.

What is the little hindrance?

The little hindrance is our belief in time. Time is part of the ego’s story of separation which makes it appear that there is a past and a future that are different and can be seen apart. Time is the ego’s replacement for the eternal Love in God’s changeless eternity.

Jesus tells us in paragraph two: “Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is meaningless. For [time] is but a little hindrance to eternity, quite meaningless to the real Teacher of the world. Yet since you do believe in [time], why should you waste it going nowhere, when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can achieve?

What is the highest goal that learning can achieve?

The highest goal that the Holy Spirit brings us to is the awareness that time is over and long gone. We are but reviewing an ancient dream of being separate and having a will that is different from our Creator. It is like we are watching an old movie that was imagined long ago. As we open to our true Self, we learn in fact, that this dream movie never really happened. It was just a passing dream that never really occurred.

In paragraph 3 Jesus explains a very important truth to us: “Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time past, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone.” (3:3-7)

The whole Course is here for us to gradually come to the most important awareness that time is over and gone. In fact, it never was. “You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago, before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart, as if it were before you still.” (4:2-5 italics added)

Learning that time is over and its unreality gave way to truth is the highest goal that the Holy Spirit is bringing us to. When we let go of this ‘little hindrance of our belief in time,’ we become aware of where we really are right now, which is in Heaven. We know that nothing has ever happened to change God’s one Son.

If time is over, how do we experience it as happening now?

Jesus answers this in the following way: “Yet in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment and in all belief in sin, is that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.” (5:5-7)

Here we come to understand that when we experience having a separate will where we make decisions on our own, we are just recalling an ancient memory of separation, which never really happened. In the dream it appears to happen because that is what we want to dream.

Jesus gives us a very helpful metaphor in paragraph 6: “And who can stand upon a distant shore, and dream himself across an ocean, to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real a hindrance can this dream be to where he really is? For this is fact, and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere, and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true, and pass from mere imagining into belief and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is. (6:6-10)

Here we see very clearly that, because of the power of our minds, we will experience what we want to experience, even if it is only in dreams. Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are letting ourselves remember that the dream we are experiencing is over and never really happened. We can relax now and let the Holy Spirit guide us “…through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone.” (4:1)

What are we reliving every day in this dream world of separation?

Jesus tells us, “Each day, and every minute in each day, and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror took the place of Love. And so you die each day to live again, until you cross the gap between the past and present, which is not a gap at all. Such is each life; a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago that cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now.” (13:1-4 italics added)

The good news is that we do not have to keep reliving this single instant of fearful dreaming that we separated from our oneness in Love. We can forgive the past and let it go with the help of our inner Teacher. We do not have to relive this fearful dream of separation again and again. We can learn to let it go and receive the miracle instead. We can learn from the Holy Spirit to: “Look gently on your brother, and behold the world in which perception of your hate has been transformed into a world of Love.” (14:5) We can open our closed minds to our true Self, Who will return us to the eternal truth.

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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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