A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

Chapter 15: The Holy Instant

Section II: The End of Doubt

Read ACIM Chapter 15, Section II (pages 304-306)

Why does Jesus tell us not to be concerned with time?

In this section we are being encouraged to let go of the importance we place on time. The ego uses time to reinforce the seeming reality of separation. The importance we place on time is the basis for much stress that we experience in life. Our days are filled with schedules and deadlines. We are always preparing for the future and planning in order to keep ourselves safe. All of this carries with it an underlying belief in time and concern for what time will bring.

Here the Course is telling us to not be concerned with time. “Do not be concerned with time, and fear not the instant of holiness that will remove all fear.” (2:1) This seems like a big step. But it seems big only because we have so strongly identified ourselves with the ego. There are things to do while we believe we are in the world. If we let the ego guide us, time is used to reinforce our sense of lack, guilt and fear. The Holy Spirit will always use time on behalf of release from fear. The Holy Spirit uses time to teach us that we always have everything we need. As we learn to let the Holy Spirit guide us throughout the day, we will be guided how to use time effectively in this world in a way that does not reinforce separation. Guided by the Holy Spirit, our doing will be peaceful.

Our true Self, which knows our oneness with God’s timelessness, is not concerned with the illusion of time. Our true Self is fully aware of the changeless Love we are. There can be no fear in Love. That is why the Holy Spirit’s lesson teaches us what we are in truth. It is a lesson in Love and therefore the release from fear. Without fear it is thus also a lesson in peace. As we are willing, the Holy Spirit translates each hellish thought of separation into the joyous awareness of our unity with Love. It is in Love that God would have us be.

What happens when we accept the holy instant?

It doesn’t take time to be where we already are. But because we have identified so strongly with the ego, which is the denial of what and where we are, it takes time to change our minds to open to the recognition of where and what we have always been. Jesus encourages us to accept the holy instant, which is there for us every moment. He tells us, “The blessed instant reaches out to encompass time, as God extends Himself to encompass you. In this holy instant you will unchain all your brothers, and refuse to support either their weakness or your own.” (3:4,6)

Why does what we see in our brothers show us if we are aligning ourselves the ego or Holy Spirit?

Whatever we perceive is a reflection of what we believe about ourselves. When we believe we are the ego, with a separate self identity, we project that belief onto everything we behold. And so we see our brothers as confirmation of what we believe about ourselves. We see them as separate, guilty, capable of harm and loss. This perception is untrue, but we believe in it because we believe that about ourselves. But we have the means within our mind to change what we believe about ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit. If we shift our attention from the ego thought system to the Holy Spirit, He will show us our brother in a whole new light. Our brother then becomes a witness to the Light in us instead of confirmation of the ‘reality’ of separation and fear.

What we believe we are seeing in our brother shows us whether we are aligning ourselves with the ego or the Holy Spirit. The Light in our brother that the Holy Spirit shows us is so bright and clear that his holiness cannot be denied. This brilliant Light is only dimmed by our unwillingness to see it. The unwillingness to see the Light is simply unforgiveness. Unforgiveness causes us to project our guilt making the Light invisible. But in truth, it has no effect whatsoever on the eternal Light we all are.

Every brother can serve as a means for reinforcing our dream of separation or witnessing for the Holy Spirit. “It is, therefore, your choice whether they support the ego or the Holy Spirit in you.” (4:5) We will have doubt until we have completely released the past for just an instant when we look upon our brother. In that instant, “You will be sure because the witness to Him will speak so clearly of Him that you will hear and understand. And then you will doubt no more.” (4:12,14)

What brings us the end of doubt?

Since the holy instant brings the end of doubt, if we experience doubt, we have not yet experienced the holy instant. But there are steps that we can practice that will bring us closer to that moment when we can completely release ourselves and our brothers from the past. “Start now to practice your little part in separating out the holy instant. You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second, and to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate.” (6:1-3) The lessons of the Workbook are carefully orchestrated to help us release the ego perception of our brother and open to the inner instruction of the Holy Spirit. As we follow this practice, we are opening to the power of God in us.

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