VI. The Holy Instant and the Laws of God
1. It is impossible to use one relationship at the expense of another and not to suffer guilt. And it is equally impossible to condemn part of a relationship and find peace within it. Under the Holy Spirit’s teaching all relationships are seen as total commitments, yet they do not conflict with one another in any way. Perfect faith in each one, for its ability to satisfy you completely, arises only from perfect faith in yourself. And this you cannot have while guilt remains. And there will be guilt as long as you accept the possibility, and cherish it, that you can make a brother into what he is not, because you would have him so.
2. You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without. I offer you my perfect faith in you, in place of all your doubts. But forget not that my faith must be as perfect in all your brothers as it is in you, or it would be a limited gift to you. In the holy instant we share our faith in God’s Son because we recognize, together, that he is wholly worthy of it, and in our appreciation of his worth we cannot doubt his holiness. And so we love him.
3. All separation vanishes as holiness is shared. For holiness is power, and by sharing it, it gains in strength. If you seek for satisfaction in gratifying your needs as you perceive them, you must believe that strength comes from another, and what you gain he loses. Someone must always lose if you perceive yourself as weak. Yet there is another interpretation of relationship that transcends the concept of loss of power completely.
4. You do not find it difficult to believe that when another calls on God for love, your call remains as strong. Nor do you think that when God answers him, your hope of answer is diminished. On the contrary, you are more inclined to regard his success as witness to the possibility of yours. That is because you recognize, however dimly, that God is an idea, and so your faith in Him is strengthened by sharing. What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea. And like Him, you can give yourself completely, wholly without loss and only with gain. Herein lies peace, for here there is no conflict.
5. In the world of scarcity, love has no meaning and peace is impossible. For gain and loss are both accepted, and so no one is aware that perfect love is in him. In the holy instant you recognize the idea of love in you and unite this idea with the Mind that thought it and could not relinquish it. By holding it within itself, there is no loss. The holy instant thus becomes a lesson in how to hold all of your brothers in your mind, experiencing not loss but completion. From this it follows you can only give. And this is love, for this alone is natural under the laws of God. In the holy instant the laws of God prevail, and only they have meaning. The laws of this world cease to hold any meaning at all. When the Son of God accepts the laws of God as what he gladly wills, it is impossible that he be bound, or limited in any way. In that instant he is as free as God would have him be. For the instant he refuses to be bound, he is not bound.
6. In the holy instant nothing happens that has not always been. Only the veil that has been drawn across reality is lifted. Nothing has changed. Yet the awareness of changelessness comes swiftly as the veil of time is pushed aside. No one who has not yet experienced the lifting of the veil and felt himself drawn irresistibly into the light behind it, can have faith in love without fear. Yet the Holy Spirit gives you this faith because He offered it to me, and I accepted it. Fear not the holy instant will be denied you, for I denied it not. And through me the Holy Spirit gives it unto you, as you will give it. Let no need you perceive obscure our need of this. For in the holy instant you will recognize the only need the Sons of God share equally, and by this recognition you will join with me in offering what is needed.
7. It is through us that peace will come. Join me in the idea of peace, for in ideas minds can communicate. If you would give yourself as your Father gives His Self, you will learn to understand Selfhood. And therein is love’s meaning understood. But remember that understanding is of the mind, and only of the mind. Knowledge is therefore of the mind, and its conditions are in the mind with it. If you were not an idea, and nothing but an idea, you could not be in full communication with all that ever was. Yet as long as you prefer to be something else or would attempt to be nothing else and something else together, you will not remember the language of communication, which you know perfectly.
8. In the holy instant God is remembered, and the language of communication with all your brothers is remembered with Him. For communication is remembered together, as is truth. There is no exclusion in the holy instant because the past is gone, and with it goes the whole basis for exclusion. Without its source exclusion vanishes. And this permits your Source, and that of all your brothers, to replace it in your awareness. God and the power of God will take Their rightful place in you, and you will experience the full communication of ideas with ideas. Through your ability to do this you will learn what you must be, for you will begin to understand what your Creator is, and what His creation is along with Him.
In today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that in holiness all relationships are ones of complete devotion. As hard as this is to imagine in the flesh, in the Spirit it is an entirely different story because in full devotion to all relationships, none of them conflict. One does not demand more than another; one is not sulky, jealous, and mean-spirited when things do not go their way – there is no manipulation, there are no demands for each one is based upon perfect faith in oneself and in the other.
This just does not happen in the world of guilt – as long as we can make of each other a scapegoat, as long as we can project our own depravity upon another and tell their stories and not our own, as long as we use love for manipulation and popularity, as long as we put any other meaning upon love at all and think ill of one another, our relationships do not fulfill us or gratify us completely in any way.
Jesus tells us how unwilling we are to accept the perfect love that is in us. There it is shining and pure and instead of being content with that which is in us, we look for confirmation of it in the outer world, in each other – where it simply cannot be found. Jesus replaces all our fear of love, our doubts about the love that made us and is in us with His faith in us – not in this one or that one, but in all of us. When we practice the holy instant we share our faith in Sonship. In the instant that we devote fully to holiness, we know that we are all holy, that we are all worthy, and fully appreciative of what we are in God and of God, our doubts, fears, and ill will are gone – we love each other.
In holiness – that which separates us is gone. Holiness is love and peace and joy. And when we share love and peace and joy we share power and when we share power instead of attempting to hoard it to ourselves, we gain in strength rather than lose our strength. We learn very quickly in the world of separation that when one gains another loses – this is what happens when we perceive ourselves as weak, vulnerable, and surviving in a world of limitations and scarcity. Someone always loses and we hope against hope that it is never us!
But Jesus reminds us of what we are in God, for even in our most primitive conception of God we rarely think of God losing a thing when He grants our requests. We recognize that God is not flesh, that His resources are not limited, that He is a concept of abundance, power, immortality and not mortality. When we share our ideas of God, our own idea of God is strengthened in our mind. When we can convince other people to join us in our idea about God, even if they are not true, we feel empowered and the idea we shared seems to take off and spread and become stronger.
In paragraph four Jesus tells us that we think of God as a concept, yet we do not think of ourselves in the same terms. However, Jesus assures us that we are a concept; we are a Spirit. Like God, we can give of ourselves completely with no loss and only gain. This is where peace dwells for peace cannot reside in flesh which rots, but in Spirit, which is an everlasting, ever pure, ever whole and holy ideal.
In the physical world the laws of God are impossible for we try to use the concepts of love and peace as commodities, as something for which to strive for through bargains, obligations, manipulations, through conflict and strife. We make up all kinds of rules and regulations in which to limit that which has no limit. We worry and fret about how much love we should give to another just in case we don’t get it back. We go to war to find peace, we try to find peace in separateness, in thinking our beliefs are the only beliefs that lead to truth. Love is lost to our awareness when we get caught up in proving we are right and making others wrong, in confusing that which we do in the flesh with that which can only be shared in the Spirit.
When we practice the holy instant, we practice the law of God by letting go of all our belief and trust in the limitations of the flesh. We experience ourselves as the idea of Love, of God’s Son, of total abundance and power of God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom is Love, Joy, and Peace. All ideas. All concepts. There is nothing fleshy about these ideas – for they are ideals, they are Spirit. In the holiness of these ideals, the only thing we can do with what we are is to give, and to give to all with no sense of loss, no sense of weariness, no sense of judgment or fear of not having enough. In the instants that we give to holiness, we free ourselves from the flesh and live as the idea of God’s Son and when we do this, for that instant we refuse all that binds us and keeps us captive to unholiness.
Jesus tells us that the veil is lifted in that moment. We see what has always been there outside the boundaries of time and space and separateness. Without these moments of clarity, without the experience of perceiving beyond the veil, without having known the irresistible beauty of the love that is in us, we simply cannot love without being afraid, without being insecure, without going into specialness and using manipulation and obligation.
The holy instant has never denied us – each moment we ask for it, that we set aside time for it, that we dare imagine it in our minds – putting flesh aside and going to that which is inside of us, to the idea of what we are – we join with Christ in knowing what we are and what we are to give. This is the law of God, that we give what we receive in holiness, for what we receive in holiness is that which we cannot keep for ourselves alone.
When we join with Christ in the idea of peace, our minds communicate holiness. When we say we communicate holiness, we are saying we communicate purely, with love, with joy, with no conflict, quietly and calmly. This communication is beyond language, beyond time and space and distance, beyond technology, beyond every limitation this world would put up to tax, sell, buy, or trade. When we begin to conceive of ourselves as an idea we understood Selfhood – and in Selfhood is where we learn the true meaning of Love. This is not of the flesh. This is beyond all the contraptions of the physical world. Jesus refers to the mind wherein lies all knowledge; not our human brain which is a poor substitute for the mind of God. As long as we prefer to be human, to be flesh, to adopt the predatory nature of that which opposes the laws of God, we will forget the language of communication, which is the language of love which supersedes all need for language.
As we dedicate ourselves to holiness, God is remembered in each instant of our practice. As we remember God, we remember the language of love, the way in which to communicate through our mind at one with God. Love is only remembered when it is shared wholly, as is truth. There cannot be a little love and a little hate, for as truth is all truth, love is all love. Exclusion and exclusiveness goes away in the holy instant for that instant has no past. With no past, there is no basis for exclusion and Love replaces all guilt and all grudges, all judgments and condemnation, all specialness with Itself, with God and the power of Love. Herein lies all knowledge for the full communication of ideas with ideas teaches us what we are, what our Creator is, and what Creation is along with Love.
In your personal devotions today ask Holy Spirit for the holy instant. Let the laws of God be made apparent in your mind by devoting the present moment to freeing yourself from the past – all past relationships, all past events, activities, all the things you have seen and all the things you have done. Free your mind from your job, your profession, all the concepts that you have about who you are and what you believe and what stand for. Free your mind from all your special relationships, your obligations and responsibilities for just this little time. Put down your weapons, your need to protect yourself, your need to defend yourself against your foes, imaginary or otherwise. Lay aside all your desire and passion for food, drink, adventure, technology, health, wealth, and happiness for just this little time and come to love, to peace, to joy. In the instance that you live only in the present you begin to learn the laws of God. Do not be afraid. For this is where you find your true Self, which will free you from the limited, sensual, sensory world and bring you past the veil of time.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 15 The holy instant. VI The holy instant and the laws of God. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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