II. The End of Doubt
1. The Atonement is in time, but not for time. Being in you, it is eternal. What holds remembrance of God cannot be bound by time. No more are you. For unless God is bound, you cannot be. An instant offered to the Holy Spirit is offered to God on your behalf, and in that instant, you will awaken gently in Him. In the blessed instant you will let go all your past learning, and the Holy Spirit will quickly offer you the whole lesson of peace. What can take time, when all the obstacles to learning it have been removed? Truth is so far beyond time that all of it happens at once. For as it was created one, so its oneness depends not on time at all.
2. Do not be concerned with time, and fear not the instant of holiness that will remove all fear. For the instant of peace is eternal because it is without fear. It will come, being the lesson God gives you, through the Teacher He has appointed to translate time into eternity. Blessed is God’s Teacher, Whose joy it is to teach God’s holy Son his holiness. His joy is not contained in time. His teaching is for you because His joy is yours. Through Him you stand before God’s altar, where He gently translates hell into Heaven. For it is only in Heaven that God would have you be.
3. How long can it take to be where God would have you? For you are where you have forever been and will forever be. All that you have, you have forever. The blessed instant reaches out to encompass time, as God extends Himself to encompass you. You who have spent days, hours, and even years in chaining your brothers to your ego in an attempt to support it and uphold its weakness, do not perceive the Source of strength. In this holy instant you will unchain all your brothers and refuse to support either their weakness or your own.
4. You do not realize how much you have misused your brothers by seeing them as sources of ego support. As a result, they witness to the ego in your perception, and seem to provide reasons for not letting it go. Yet they are far stronger and much more compelling witnesses for the Holy Spirit. And they support His strength. It is, therefore, your choice whether they support the ego or the Holy Spirit in you. And you will recognize which you have chosen by their reactions. As Son of God who has been released through the Holy Spirit in a brother is always recognized. He cannot be denied. If you remain uncertain, it is only because you have not given complete release. And because of this, you have not given a single instant completely to the Holy Spirit. For when you have, you will be sure you have. You will be sure because the witness to Him will speak so clearly of Him that you will hear and understand. You will doubt until you hear one witness whom you have wholly released through the Holy Spirit. And then you will doubt no more.
5. The holy instant has not yet happened to you. Yet it will, and you will recognize it with perfect certainty. No gift of God is recognized in any other way. You can practice the mechanics of the holy instant and will learn much from doing so. Yet its shining and glittering brilliance, which will literally blind you to this world by its own vision, you cannot supply. And here it is, all in this instant, accomplished and given wholly.
6. 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. Fear not that you will not be given help in this. God’s Teacher and His lesson will support your strength. It is only your weakness that will depart from you in this practice, for it is the practice of the power of God in you. Use it but for one instant, and you will never deny it again. Who can deny the Presence of what the universe bows to, in appreciation and gladness? Before the recognition of the universe that witnesses to It, your doubts must disappear.
Today in our devotional practice Jesus speaks of the end of doubt. Atonement is the recognition that we are not flesh and blood, we are not egos, we are not separated from God. Atonement is given to us in time, but Atonement is not for time – Atonement is eternal because it holds our memory of God. When we give one moment to Holy Spirit, when we take one instant away from the past and devote that little time to Holy Spirit, we awaken gently in Him. We are not rudely shaken awake. We are not screamed at or rebuked or threatened. We are not made to feel guilty or ashamed of our past – we are set free of it. We let go of it. We do not want it anymore for in it we did not find peace, we did not find our happiness, we chased after what we thought would bring us meaning and purpose and satisfaction and ended up with nothing at all.
Jesus tells us that truth is so far beyond time that it is not dependent upon time. We are not to be concerned in the least bit with time. This is not something we can do on our own – our only function in the holy instant is not to resist truth, but to welcome it, trusting that it will come. Holy Spirit uses time not to waste us like the ego uses time. Holy Spirit uses time to teach us – not the hard lessons of ego, but the joyful lessons that translate the hell that ego would make of creation into Heaven. For this is where God would have us be and God’s Will goes unchallenged and unchanged.
What does this look like in our daily life? As we practice separating the present moment and giving it to Holy Spirit, we look upon our loved ones, our coworkers, our neighbors, our dogs and our cats, our chickens and our ducks, the cobwebs and dust, our teachers and our preachers anew. We set them free from all our past associations with them. We see beyond their form, and we make no judgments upon them. We recognize that we can never know their reality as they appear in the physical realm, we can only know them as they were created by God, as we were created by God. We give up our little perceptions of them – are they good, do they please us, are they nice, are they attractive, are they stupid, are they selfish, brutish, or boring. We give that all up. We see them with no story that our egos would attach to them – stories that degrade them into little slivers of our small encounters, our limited perceptions and projections. We see them in that instant through the eyes of Christ and we love them as God loves Creation.
This may sound goofy to you. You may think you would rather hang on to your judgments, but Jesus tells us that our judgments will not protect us. Our judgments will only hinder our awakening. It is only an instant. You can go back to your old way of seeing things if you want, but in that one instant that you give to Holy Spirit, your perception will be transformed. For when we stop seeing the outer world with ego perceptions, when we take judgment and the me, me, me out of the picture, we recognize our oneness, we experience the love, the peace, the joy of Creation. In that one holy instant, we are released from time, from the ego, from the meager and the miserly to something that goes beyond this world to the place in which we are meant to be.
You are forever, and I am forever with God. This moment that we take and devote to Holy Spirit, this moment that we practice stepping out of time, freeing it from the past, freeing it from the ego’s clamor and little-me-ness is the moment of truth. We spend our whole lives judging creation as to how it suits us, how we interpret it, chasing after this one or that one, a lover, a friend, a job, holding on to our spouses as if they have something inside of them that belongs to us, and nobody better think it belongs to them or else. We chain others to us, jealously guarding our ties to them, judging everything they do, every place they go, where they spend their money and their time and their affection against how it affects our shriveled little egos which crave specialness. We yearn for the whole world to love us, to give us what we can never find in it, to support our neediness and weakness and when it does not happen, we feel so bitter and rejected, full of sorrow, resentment, and emptiness.
In the holy instant, we set them free. When we set them free, our minds are made free. We recognize our Sonship. We accept our power, our love, our goodness, our purity. We go past all this silliness, this triteness, this mean little way we have devised to relate to one another. And in that moment we get a sense of Heaven. We have replaced the hell we made of things. We go beyond it.
Jesus tells us in paragraph four that we do not wait for others to set us free, we set them free. For when I set you free from my smallness, my judgment, my grudges and resentments toward you, you will automatically set me free. It is my choice, and it cannot be denied, your freedom is my freedom, and my freedom is yours. We do not have to worry about releasing those who will not release us. We will know that the harshness is gone, we will know that the resentment is healed, we will know that the miracle occurred. We will witness this time and again until all doubt is gone, our relationships are healed, our perceptions are holy, the Holy Spirit’s use of time will free us of time and our awareness will be restored to our oneness forever.
Keep practicing the holy instant for we learn much in separating our present moment from the past and seeing through the holy perception. It will feel mechanical to us, we will have to put some effort forth, we will have to think about it, and it will feel awkward. But do it anyway. In your devotional time, meditate upon the holy instant and go through the motions of taking the present moments and doing your best to free them from the sticky past. For in so doing, we will become all the more appreciative of the real holy instant when it comes. We will experience on our own a semblance of the peace and the quiet and the calm of eternity, but we cannot get to the illumination, the brilliance, the panoramic view of Heaven which Holy Spirit alone can provide. In that instant, we are taken beyond doubt.
One day shortly after I started practicing the holy instant, a thought of an old colleague came to me. In my mind she had used her wealth and status as a means to lord it over me. My ego wanted to ruminate upon this and build a case against her, to nurse an old wound. But instead I remembered the holy instant and I brought her there in my mind and I saw her as new – as God created her. I didn’t bring my hurt feelings to the holy instant. I did not make up a story about her based upon my own social insecurity. I did not chain her to me and blame her for my lack of clout and prestige. I saw her as one with me and recognized us as one in Sonship. As I meditated upon this, Jesus spoke to my mind and told me to practice this with everyone who comes to my mind. To take all the guests that cross my mind, anybody at all who would trouble me or stir me up – to take them to the holy instant and set them free from my ego and give them to my holiness. Jesus named specific people whom I was estranged with at the time. He showed me how to take them to the holy instant and how to set them free – from all my expectations of them, my grievances, my projections, my poor opinions – in very specific ways that addressed each one individually. He showed me how absolutely beautiful and perfect and glorious was our oneness, how shining, happy, fun, and funny. Practicing the holy instant in this way fills me with a sense of glee and removes the heaviness, sorrow, and shame I would otherwise carry around with me. Jesus told me that practicing the holy instant restores our energy and vitality, preparing us for our true function in time – for we are no good to God, ourselves, or each other as long as we are carrying our past, as long as we are harboring grudges and resentments, as long as we are clinging to our smallness and denying our holiness.
Practicing the holy instant is the practice of God within us and the practice of God within us, removes all doubt, all fear, and all that is unworthy and untrue.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 15 The holy instant. II. The end of doubt. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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