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 V: The Holy Instant and Special Relationships

Read ACIM Chapter 15, Section V (pages 312-314)

What does the Course mean by ‘special love’?

This world was made as a place to experience special love — love that we do not share with the All, love that we could call ours alone. In this world we experience being special and unique. We have special people who we share special love with, excluding others. In helping us understand a better way, Jesus explains to us, “We have said that to limit love to part of the Sonship is to bring guilt into your relationships, and thus make them unreal. If you seek to separate out certain aspects of the totality and look to them to meet your imagined needs, you are attempting to use separation to save you. How, then, could guilt not enter?” (2:2-4)

Why do our special relationships bring guilt with it?

Jesus is helping us understand that when we believe we are separate, there is an automatic unconscious belief that we are guilty. This is because when we believe we are separate, we are denying our oneness with our Source and this is seen as an attack. Believing we have attacked our Creator, we believe we are guilty. Thus any relationship that separates us from the whole will bring guilt with it.

In this world we have learned that there are people we like and some we don’t like. There are some who seem to make us happy and some who make us angry. Sometimes these are even the same person. We use our learning from the past to evaluate every situation to determine whether it is good or bad for us. Should we run, fight or enjoy the moment? We are not seeing the situation in the present, but always looking at it through the filter of our past learning.

How does the Holy Spirit give us lessons in Love through our relationships?

When we open our minds to be taught by the Holy Spirit, we learn the difference between special love and perfect Love. As our minds open to the Holy Spirit’s change of perception, the Holy Spirit brings us to the holy instant. “The holy instant is the Holy Spirit’s most useful learning device for teaching you love’s meaning.” (1:1) In the holy instant our judgments, based on what we think is true, are replaced by the Holy Spirit’s kind and gentle vision. The ego dissolves in Its healing Light. “Under His teaching, every relationship becomes a lesson in Love.” (4:6)

In this world, everyone we see is perceived through either the ego’s false filter of separation, or through the Holy Spirit’s pure Light of oneness. When we see ourselves as without Love, we see our brothers as without Love. As we let our mind be purified, we see everyone in the world differently. “In the holy instant no one is special, for your personal needs intrude on no one to make your brothers seem different. Without the values from the past, you would see them all the same and like yourself. Nor would you see any separation between yourself and them” (8:2-4)

We have built a frame of reference from our past experience. We give meaning to everyone we see based on this past experience. If someone reminds us of our mother, we judge her based on our past experience with our mother. When we open our minds to the holy instant, the past is gone, making room for the Holy Spirit to substitute His frame of reference in exchange for the one we made. His frame of reference is simply Love’s oneness. Since only Love is real, the Holy Spirit disregards everything else because He knows it does not exist. Thus the Holy Spirit shows us the Love that is ever present in us. “With Love in you, you have no need except to extend It.” (11:3)

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