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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 15 The Holy Instant

IX. The Holy Instant and the Attraction of God

1. As the ego would limit your perception of your brothers to the body, so would the Holy Spirit release your vision and let you see the Great Rays shining from them, so unlimited that they reach to God. It is this shift to vision that is accomplished in the holy instant. Yet it is needful for you to learn just what this shift entails, so you will become willing to make it permanent.  Given this willingness it will not leave you, for it is permanent.  Once you have accepted it as the only perception you want, it is translated into knowledge by the part that God Himself plays in the Atonement, for it is the only step in it He understands. Therefore, in this there will be no delay when you are ready for it. God is ready now, but you are not.

2. Our task is but to continue, as fast as possible, the necessary process of looking straight at all the interference and seeing it exactly as it is. For it is impossible to recognize as wholly without gratification what you think you want. The body is the symbol of the ego, as the ego is the symbol of the separation. And both are nothing more than attempts to limit communication, and thereby to make it impossible. For communication must be unlimited in order to have meaning, and deprived of meaning, it will not satisfy you completely. Yet it remains the only means by which you can establish real relationships, which have no limits, having been established by God.

3. In the holy instant, where the Great Rays replace the body in awareness, the recognition of relationships without limits is given you. But in order to see this, it is necessary to give up every use the ego has for the body, and to accept the fact that the ego has no purpose you would share with it.  For the ego would limit everyone to a body for its own purposes, and while you think it has a purpose, you will choose to utilize the means by which it tries to turn its purpose into accomplishment. This will never be accomplished. Yet you have surely recognized that the ego, whose goals are altogether unattainable, will strive for them with all its might, and will do so with the strength that you have given it.

4. It is impossible to divide your strength between Heaven and hell, God and the ego, and release your power to creation, which is the only purpose for which it was given you. Love would always give increase. Limits are demanded by the ego and represent its demands to make little and ineffectual. Limit your sight of a brother to his body, which you will do as long as you would not release him from it, and you have denied his gift to you. His body cannot give it. And seek it not through yours. Yet your minds are already continuous, and their union need only be accepted and the loneliness in heaven is gone.

5. If you would but let the Holy Spirit tell you of the love of God for you, and the need your creations have to be with you forever, you would experience the attraction of the eternal. No one can hear Him speak of this and long remain willing to linger here. For it is your will to be in heaven, where you are complete and quiet, in such sure and loving relationships that any limit is impossible. Would you not exchange your little relationships for this? For the body is little and limited, and only those whom you would see without the limits the ego would impose on them can offer you the gift of freedom.

6. You have no conception of the limits you have placed on your perception, and no idea of all the loveliness that you could see. But this you must remember: The attraction of guilt opposes the attraction of God. His attraction for you remains unlimited, but because your power, being His, is as great as His, you can turn away from love. What you invest you withdraw from God. And your sight grows weak for you have attempted to separate the Father from the Son and limit their communication. Seek not Atonement in further separation. And limit not your vision of God’s Son to what interferes with his release, and what the Holy Spirit must undo to set him free. For his belief in limits has imprisoned him.

7. When the body ceases to attract you, and when you place no value on it as a means of getting anything, then there will be no interference in communication and your thoughts will be as free as God’s. As you let the Holy Spirit teach you how to use the body only for purposes of communication and renounce its use for separation and attack which the ego sees in it, you will learn you have no need of a body at all. In the holy instant there are no bodies, and you experience only the attraction of God. Accepting it as undivided you join Him wholly, in an instant, for you would place no limits on your union with Him. The reality of this relationship becomes the only truth that you could ever want. All truth is here.[1]

On Monday we took our daughter and grandsons to a local amusement park.  It was a hot and humid day.  The park was very crowded.  People were standing in the long lines waiting to get on the rides.  Little kids were whining.  The concessions were understaffed; the shade provided little relief from the high temperatures; a grim determination to have a good time was heard in the faint squeals of delight and few smiling faces around us.   No Great Rays shone from anyone I could see!  Yet Jesus tells us that in the holy instant our vision is released from the world of physicality, we see the Kingdom within us, past our bodies and to what we really are.

What does this shift in vision entail and how can our vision be released permanently?  Give me Great Rays any day over the mass of damp, sticky, lumpy, grumpy humanity that we encountered at the “amusement” park.  Jesus assures us that all it takes is our willingness to make the holy instant permanent – that once we accept it as the only perception we want, God sweeps us back – into the truth of Sonship.

What interferes with our willingness?  When we see bodies we see symbols of the ego, and the ego symbolizes separation from God.  When I see you as a body, I put limits upon my ability to communicate with you.  To have any meaning communication must be limitless.  Think about when I try to convey my love for you as a body.  I can tell you how much I love your hair, your eyes, your mouth.  I can tell you how special you are from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.  I can focus on any part of your body and make of it the source of my affection, flattery, and devotion.  But there is no meaning in any of this – there is nothing everlasting about the color or the texture of your skin, your hair, your eyes, your toes, or your mouth.  There is nothing at all about your body that will satisfy me completely – and I will be very much aware of how your body can change from what I say I love to that which I do not find the least bit attractive. 

When you communicate your love to me as a body I will be very much aware that your love for me relies upon my ability to attract you through that which changes, coarsens, and withers over time.  I will worry if you still find me attractive as time takes away my youth, beauty, and vitality.  I will have concerns about your ability to love a body that can no longer feed itself, clothe itself, or take care of its grooming needs. Ashamed of these concerns, communication will again be limited by my fear of losing your love in the hour when I need you the most. 

When we relate to our children as bodies, we ignore their spiritual needs and cater only to their flesh needs.  When we cater to their flesh needs, we find that flesh can never be satisfied – they will always want more.  We may be too ashamed to tell them that we cannot afford all the things they want, and so we bankrupt ourselves by working too hard or accepting loans we can never repay in order to communicate our love for their bodies.  Instead of establishing real relationships with our children through honest communication, we have relationships fraught with greed, waywardness, and lack of appreciation. 

When we see one another as Sons of God, we see each other as great rays of light.  We see that in the spirit we have relationships without the interference of the flesh.  In the Spirit, we get past the weariness, the sweat, the drudgery that flesh imposes.  We no longer seek our thrills through that which gratifies the flesh for a few moments of pleasure.  We no longer seek for purpose and meaning where it can never be found.  We will not give our power, our strength, our will to anything or anybody whose aim is separateness and opposition. 

For we cannot extend the Kingdom of God, the love, the joy, the peace of creativity when divided between flesh and Sonship, between hell and Heaven, between ego and Love.  The flesh limits us; our egos stifle our creative power and make us selfish, small, and useless.  When I see you as a body, I deny myself Sonship for only when I see you as one with Christ, can I accept myself as one with Christ.  And our bodies cannot give us Sonship – only our minds are joined in Christ, only our minds continue forever – and it is here that communication is limitless – my mind in Christ and your mind in Christ as one, together, forever – no secrets, no agendas, no darkness – only light.   

Jesus tells us to let the Holy Spirit teach us of God’s love for us, to teach us of our creations, to experience the attraction of the eternal.  When I listen to Holy Spirit, I am no longer attracted to the things of this world.  I am no longer ashamed of my devotion to God, my will is joined with God’s Will – in love, peace, and joy, in quiet completeness, in certainty, in love with no limits.  The special relationships of this world seem small and petty.  When I realize that any relationship based upon my body will restrict my freedom, deny my creativity, and limit my expression of God’s Kingdom – I will only be attracted to Love. 

This is our decision.  God is not withholding our freedom from us.  God is not keeping us in chains of savagery – when we come to see the body as the symbol of opposition to God, as a substitute for our holy Sonship, as interference in communication – we can stop being attracted to it, we can stop using it to get what we think we want and go after what will truly satisfy and gratify us forever. 

Today in your personal devotions, ask Holy Spirit to teach you to use the body only for communication.  Devote yourself to healing the separation by renouncing all forms of condemnation, judgments, and indifference toward yourself and others.  When we ask Holy Spirit to teach us, Holy Spirit teaches us and works within us to accomplish this goal.  Do not be discouraged when you make a mistake but learn the fallibility of the flesh and our complete reliance upon the Kingdom within us. 

There are roughly eight billion bodies in the world; in the holy instant there are none – for each one is a great ray of light that represents our unity with Christ in Sonship.  As we practice the holy instant, we experience the attraction between our great ray of light and God.  Here there are no limits on our communication with God and with each other.  The reality of this relationship becomes all that we are attracted to for here is our answer, here is truth, here is what we are and where we are meant to be.     


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 15 The holy instant. IX The holy instant and the attraction of God. 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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