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 5: Healing and Wholeness

Section VI: Time and Eternity

Read ACIM Chapter 5, Section VI (pages 86-88)

What keeps us chained to time?

In this section we are being encouraged to let go of our belief in time and open to eternity, where God placed us. We are learning to move from the ego’s thought system of time and space to the eternal Thoughts of God — the extension of Love, which is still in our mind, behind the false ideas. We are learning that we do not belong in time but in the eternity of Heaven. We seem to be in time because we chose it. But we can choose once again. “You have elected to be in time rather than eternity, and therefore believe you are in time. Yet your election is both free and alterable. ” (1:4-5)

Guilt is an anchor that keeps us chained to time. Guilt is always associated with something we believe we did in the past. It makes the past seem real. Because we believe that what we “did” happened in the past, it appears unchangeable. But through guilt we continue to feel affected by that past “wrong doing.” Since guilt expects punishment, we expect our future will in some way punish us for our wrong doing in the past. It doesn’t seem to be even a matter of if, but when.

What is the principal ego mechanism that ties the past to the future?

The seeming inevitability of pending punishment is a principal ego mechanism to tie the past to the future and make us oblivious to the joy and peace that can only be found in the now moment. The ego teaches us this link of the future to the past is inevitable. Eternal punishment is the ego’s mantra, for without it the ego would have no anchor and would fade away.

What does the Holy Spirit teach about the past?

The Holy Spirit teaches the opposite. It teaches us that the past is not real and shows us that what we thought we did had no effect on our eternal nature as God’s Son. When we learn that what we “did” had no effect, there is no cause for guilt. If nothing happened, there is nothing to be guilty about.

Knowing this, we realize the future does not need to be a repeat of the past. There is no looming punishment to fear. Our minds can rest in the peace and joy of the present. Our hearts can open to the eternal flow of Love now, which is the one moment in time which is closest to eternity. To the Holy Spirit the phrase “time is of the essence” translates into “now is the essence of God.” As we let go of the past with the Holy Spirit’s help, we open to the present experience of Love — God. Jesus tells us, “When you choose to make this exchange [of time for eternity], you will simultaneously exchange guilt for joy, viciousness for love, and pain for peace. My role is only to unchain your will and set it free.” (2:7-8)

The ego always separates and the Holy Spirit always unites. The ego projects guilt and its interpretations are always fearful. The Holy Spirit teaches you to see innocence, reversing the ego’s judgment of guilt.

Jesus tells us, “The Mind that was in me is in you, for God creates with perfect fairness. Let the Holy Spirit remind you always of His fairness, and let me teach you how to share it with your brothers.” (3:2-3) The ego would have you fear the decisions of the Holy Spirit, projecting its own decision about your guilt and believing the Holy Spirit will uphold it. The ego cannot conceive of innocence and the Holy Spirit cannot conceive of guilt. Thus appealing to His higher court will always result in the recognition of our innocence. The ego’s case, always built on lies, deception and illusions, can never stand in the presence of the truth of our innocence, which the Holy Spirit sees clearly. The Holy Spirit is not fooled by the ego. We are fooled because we made the ego and believe in it. That is why we need the Holy Spirit to teach us how to move from time to eternity, which in fact is our reality now.

How do we move from time to eternity?

Because the ego interprets Scripture for its purposes to reinforce separation through guilt and fear, we need the Light of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation to recognize its true meaning. The Holy Spirit takes thoughts that are fearful and turns them around to bring us hope and release. For example, “... He can still reinterpret what former generations had misunderstood, and thus release the thoughts from the ability to produce fear.” (8:3) As we learn to ask the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of everything, every loveless thought will be undone. We will return to the Kingdom of Heaven where we belong. Because the Holy Spirit knows that time is meaningless, He knows that you and every brother are in Heaven now and for eternity. This is how we move from time to eternity.

How does the Holy Spirit’s infinite patience produce immediate effects?

The Holy Spirit knows that harm is impossible and time is not real. Knowing that we remain the changeless Love of God, the Holy Spirit knows that there is no hurry. The perception of harm is an illusion. Knowing that we remain safe, the Holy Spirit can have infinite patience with our illusions. He holds the awareness of our innocence and perfection, ready to show it to us the moment we are willing to receive His gift. In reality, delay does not matter. In the illusion of time, delay is tragic because it keeps us unaware of the gifts of joy and peace given us in our creation. As we join with the thoughts of the Holy Spirit, we can hold His vision for our brothers with infinite patience, knowing their safety. We offer our brothers the gifts of the Holy Spirit, thus teaching ourselves that we have those gifts. This is how we bless our brothers and know that we are blessed.

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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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