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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 15 The Holy Instant

III.  Littleness versus Magnitude 1-6

1. Be not content with littleness.  But be sure you understand what littleness is, and why you could never be content with it.  Littleness is the offering you give yourself.  You offer this in place of magnitude, and you accept it.  Everything in this world is little because it is a world made out of littleness, in the strange belief that littleness can content you.  When you strive for anything in this world in the belief that it will bring you peace, you are belittling yourself and blinding yourself to glory.  Littleness and glory are the choices open to your striving and your vigilance.  You will always choose one at the expense of the other.

2. Yet what you do not realize, each time you choose, is that your choice is your evaluation of yourself.  Choose littleness and you will not have peace, for you will have judged yourself unworthy of it.  And whatever you offer as a substitute is much too poor a gift to satisfy you.  It is essential that you accept the fact, and accept it gladly, that there is no form of littleness that can ever content you.  You are free to try as many as you wish, but all you will be doing is to delay your homecoming.  For you will be content only in magnitude, which is your home.

3. There is a deep responsibility you owe yourself, and one you must learn to remember all the time.  The lesson may seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it when you realize that it is true and is but a tribute to your power.  You who have sought and found littleness, remember this:  Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself.  Believe the little can content you, and by limiting yourself you will not be satisfied.  For your function is not little, and it is only by finding your function and fulfilling it that you can escape from littleness.

4. There is no doubt about what your function is, for the Holy Spirit knows what it is.  There is no doubt about its magnitude, for it reaches you through Him from Magnitude.  You do not have to strive for it, because you have it.  All your striving must be directed against littleness, for it does require vigilance to protect your magnitude in this world.  To hold your magnitude in perfect awareness in a world of littleness is a task the little cannot undertake.   Yet it is asked of you, in tribute to your magnitude and not your littleness.  Nor is it asked of you alone.  The power of God will support every effort you make on behalf of His dear Son.  Search for the little, and you deny yourself His power.  God is not willing that His Son be content with less than everything.  For He is not content without His Son, and His Son cannot be content with less than His Father has given him.

5. I asked you earlier, “Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God?”  Let this question be asked you by the Holy Spirit every time you make a decision.  For every decision you make does answer this and invites sorrow or joy accordingly.  When God gave Himself to you in your creation, He established you as host to Him forever.   He has not left you, and you have not left Him.  All your attempts to deny His magnitude, and make His Son hostage to the ego, cannot make little whom God has joined with Him.  Every decision you make is for Heaven or for hell and brings you the awareness of what you decided for.

6. The Holy Spirit can hold your magnitude, clean of all littleness, clearly and in perfect safety in your mind, untouched by every little gift the world of littleness would offer you.  But for this, you cannot side against Him in what He wills for you.  Decide for God through Him.  For littleness, and the belief that you can be content with littleness, are decisions you make about yourself.  The power and the glory that lie in you from God are for all who, like you, perceive themselves as little, and believe that littleness can be blown up into a sense of magnitude that can content them.  Neither give littleness, nor accept it.  All honor is due the host of God.  Your littleness deceives you, but your magnitude is of Him Who dwells in you, and in whom you dwell.  Touch no one, then, with littleness in the name of Christ, eternal Host unto His Father.[1]

As we open our devotional text today, Jesus tells us to distinguish between our littleness in the flesh and our divinity in the Spirit.  Littleness is what we give ourselves in the world to take the place of what is given to us by God.  We offer littleness to one another, and we accept littleness from one another because everything in the world is little because it is made out of that which is little.  The world is based upon the strange belief that littleness can content us.  All that we strive for in the world belittles us.  It blinds us to the glory of our divinity as Sons of God, as one with Christ. 

We strive for things in the world because we are led to believe that marriage and family will content us and bring us meaning, purpose, and love.  We strive for an education because we want to overcome our ignorance, prepare ourselves for a good career which will lead to prosperity, purpose, and meaning.  We may strive for all the flash and glamor that the world has to offer, we are dazzled by technology, jewels, our big houses, vacations, historical records, our family lineage.  We get caught up in beauty, in art and other creative ventures, in food and in the natural and unnatural wonders of the world.  None of this is wrong in and of itself, but it will never define us or fulfill us.  If we are denied positive things in which to enchant ourselves, we turn to how tough and mean and dangerous we are, we boast about our fights and our hostility toward one another, we promote a spirit of competition and one-upmanship.  Instead of promoting peace and goodness in our family and friendship circles, our children are raised in hostile environments where parents are pitted against one another and encouraged to take sides.  While this is an obviously wrong-minded way in which to navigate through time, Jesus calls whenever we choose to glory in the world a denial of our true glory which can only be found in joining Him in Sonship.

Every time we choose that which the world offers us in which to find our glory, we evaluate ourselves as less than Sons of God.  This makes of us little, puny, fearful caricatures of our true and divine Selves in Christ.  We will not have peace, we will not find happiness, we will think of ourselves as unworthy, as fraudulent, as not deserving.  If you are substituting your family for the glory of God you will consistently find fault with each member, they will never live up to your expectations of them, they will be an appendage to your ego – you will constantly worry about them and hinder their spiritual awareness with rules and regulations instead of trusting them to God.

You can substitute this scenario for any other poor substitute in which you try to find glory in the world.  Education, careers, criminal pursuits, riches, fame or notoriety, memberships in elite clubs as well as gang members strutting symbols of hatred, vengeance, and violence – nothing will bring you meaning, purpose, or satisfy the God within you.  It is absolutely essential that you accept this fact and accept it gladly!  All things of this world are little and will never content you.  God gives us the freedom to try as many as we want, to gorge ourselves on the veritable smorgasbord of earthly pleasures, promises, and passions but all you will be doing is prolonging your unhappiness.  You were not created for temporality, for littleness, for that which fades away – you were created for magnitude.  Only in magnitude will we find our place for it is our home. 

We have a responsibility toward ourselves.  It may seem difficult at first because it requires vigilance, it must be seared into our minds so that we never forget it.  No one is exempt from this.  The world lets us all down – it doesn’t matter how attractive you are, it is vanity to find glory in that which is destined for death.  Money will fail us, educational pursuits will leave us more ignorant than when we started out, our poverty will not be solved by any political party or social change agent.  Every decision we make stems from what we think we are and represents the value we put upon ourselves.  Believe in what the world offers you will never be satisfied.  Our function is not the unmerry-go-round of this world – our function cannot be found in the role of wife or husband, parents or grandparent, friend or foe.  Our function cannot be found in the role of CEO or public enemy number one.  We will not find our function in identifying with our private parts and declaring war upon the opposite sex.  We will not find our function in standing up for causes, no matter how righteous they may seem to be.   It is only by finding our function in Sonship and fulfilling our role as Son of God that we can escape the smallness, the meanness, the anxiety and dissatisfaction that the world offers.

Let there be no doubt about what our function is for it is always with us even as Holy Spirit is always with us.  We do not have to strive for God’s Will, because we are God’s Will.  All we must do to accept our Sonship is to protect our divinity from the world.  Jesus tells us that the small-minded, the low-minded, the littleness of the world cannot withstand this task, but He asks it of us anyway. 

What does this look like in our daily lives as we perform our earthly duties, as we go to our jobs, as we take care of our children and pets and clean our houses and mow our lawns?  What must we be vigilant against and how must we perform this task which we are called to do?  For surely we will enjoy our delicious food; we will take joy and pride in our families, in our accomplishments, in our endeavors.  We will love our spouses and enjoy our sexuality.  We will have friends and play games and talk and laugh and have fun.  Must we turn our back upon all that we find good and pleasant and pleasurable in the world and live the life of a monk?  There are some that think this is the way to live one’s life and show our devotion to God. 

However, when I asked Jesus what was meant by being vigilant against the world, I was shown that engaging in the world is one thing but believing in it was quite another.  There is a way to live in the world and not be of the world.  When we are vigilant about our divinity, we do not let the world stand in its place.  We know that the world and all that is in it is a passing mist, a dream, an instant in time.  We know that our flesh and the flesh of all others is not what defines us. 

Jesus asked me to think of three ways in which I would content myself with littleness instead of accepting the magnitude of Sonship, and I am going to share them with you today, and also ask you to think of three ways in which you would content yourself with the low-minded rather than going with the high mind of Christ. 

One instance is when I first started writing this blog and I got caught up in checking to see if anyone “liked” my posts and how many followers I had.  Holy Spirit told me more than once to only be concerned about sharing the curriculum and my personal application of it in my life.  But instead of being concerned about following the guidance of Holy Spirit I was more concerned at first that nobody was reading my posts or following my blog.  I must be vigilant about this and not be checking my stats and reading emails – my first call is to follow the guidance of Holy Spirit who teaches us that whether we are big news or not in the world, our Identity is not established in the world, but in the Will of God. 

The second instance lies in the reciprocal relationships that we get caught up in as humans.  Someone likes our post; we like something they wrote.  Someone chooses to follow us; we choose to follow them – it is a human law of reciprocation that is not based upon honest interest and shared goals, but rather you scratch my back, and I will scratch yours.  Holy Spirit instructed me not to waste my time getting caught up in this because it is not beneficial to the goal of Christ but rather keeps us locked in dishonest relationships.  Holy Spirit told me to follow only those whom He directs I follow simply because I am to devote my time, not to reading what others have to say which I am very much tempted to do, but to writing and disseminating what Holy Spirit directs me to share.

The third instance I thought about is how throughout my life I longed for a sense of belonging which I felt was unfairly denied me.  Whether it was my family, community, church, club, or a team – no matter what avenue I chose to find a sense of belonging I would always end up feeling lonelier and more the outcast than before I joined!  When I took my concerns to Holy Spirit, He told me to seek only to belong to God for in God is where I belong.  I must be vigilant about this for the world calls to me to find my sense of belonging in it. 

The more I meditated upon this the more instances I found in which we use the wiles of this world to cling to that which will never bring us true happiness or fulfill us in an ongoing way.  

We accept egotistical behavior and call it love in exchange for special relationships, in exchange for the status that marriage and professions provide, in exchange for trinkets such as dining in fine restaurants, driving expensive cars, diamonds, money, and exotic travel.  We are proud of our battles and boast of our fights which destroy peace in our families and teach hostility rather than love.  Step out of this Jesus tells us.  We are not here to impress egos, we are here to teach God’s Kingdom which is love, peace, and joy – the true power that fuels eternity. 

We cannot get out of who and what we are in God.  Every single decision we make reflects the state of being in which we find ourselves, of what we decided for.  If we choose to glory in opposition to peace, to glory in how tough and mean, how big and bad, how we crush each other with our words and deeds and call it salvation – this will continue to be reflected in our life.  When we share peace, we get peace.  When we share love, we get love.  When we share joy, we get joy – this is God’s Will for us, this is our salvation, this is our function in the world. 

Share anything else and we obscure the meaning of salvation, we make a mockery of it, for that which is not loving, peaceful, and happy is in opposition to God’s Will for us and we must not teach this.  Our decisions – no matter how small and seemingly insignificant must be vigilantly regarded as our means to fulfill our function, to restore our place in God’s Kingdom for ourselves and everyone around us.  God’s Will is for us to teach love and peace and joy for this is a good place to start in our return to His Kingdom.

Holy Spirit holds our divinity – clean and clear and certain – untouched by the meanness, the scarcity, the hostility that defines the world.  For this we must side with Him and not against Him.  This is a decision that each of us makes for ourselves.  Perceive ourselves as little strutting egos believing we have power in our flesh to conquer one another, we teach that salvation can be found in that which leads us away from God’s Kingdom.   Jesus tells us to neither give littleness nor accept it from others.  Do not let the substitutes for love deceive us, for there is no glory in that which is belittling, unworthy, and divisive.  While we are to take a stand against all that would oppose our divinity in the name of Sonship, this means we are to take a stand for all that is love, peace, and joy – not fall into littleness by attack and defense. 

We will complete the review of Littleness versus Magnitude tomorrow starting with paragraph seven.  Today devote yourself to putting all thoughts of hostility, anger, and all that opposes the Kingdom of God on the altar.  Ask Holy Spirit to shine His light upon your littleness so that you will be more than willing to give up all inclinations to share that which keeps you locked in smallness, that which keeps you bound to ego, that which would obscure God’s perfect Will for your Being in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 15 The holy instant. III Littleness vs. magnitude 1-6. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons, visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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