1. A little hindrance can seem large indeed to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Yet teaching that is what this course is for. This is its only purpose, for only that is all there is to learn. And you can learn it in many different ways. All learning is a help or hindrance to the gate of Heaven. Nothing in between is possible. There are two teachers only, who point in different ways. And you will go along the way your chosen teacher leads. There are but two directions you can take, while time remains, and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go toward Heaven, or away to nowhere. There is nothing else to choose.
2. Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is meaningless. For it is but a little hindrance to eternity, quite meaningless to the real Teacher of the world. Yet since you do believe in it, why should you waste it going nowhere, when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can achieve? Think not the way to Heaven’s gate is difficult at all. Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding your brother’s hand and keeping step to Heaven song, is difficult to do. But it is hard indeed to wander off, alone and miserable, down a road that leads to nothing and that has no purpose.
3. God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made, not to conflict with it. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time passed, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone.
4. To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago, before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it in your heart, as if it were before you still.
5. The tiny instant you would keep and make eternal, passed away in Heaven too soon for anything to notice it had come. What disappeared too quickly to affect the simple knowledge of the Son of God can hardly still be there, for you to choose to be your teacher. Only in the past, – an ancient past, too short to make a world an answer to creation, – did this world appear to rise. So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven’s song was missed. Yet in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment and in all belief in sin, is that one instance still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.
6. Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. Madness speaks no more. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone no longer is. And who can stand upon a distant shore, and dream himself across an ocean, to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real a hindrance can this dream be to where he really is? For this is fact and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere, and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true, and pass from mere imagining into belief and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is.
7. Is this a hindrance to the place whereon he stands? Is any echo from the past that he may hear a fact and what is there to hear where he is now? And how much can his own illusions about time and place effect a change in where he really is?
8. The unforgiven is a voice that calls from out a past forever more gone by. And everything that points to it as real is but a wish that what is gone could be made real again and seen as here and now, in place of what is really now and here. Is this a hindrance to the truth the past is gone, and cannot be returned to you? And do you want that fearful instant kept, when Heaven seemed to disappear, and God was feared and made a symbol of your hate?
9. Forget the time of terror that has been so long ago corrected and undone. Can sin withstand the Will of God? Can it be up to you to see the past and put it in the present? You can not go back. And everything that points the way in the direction of the past but sets you on a mission whose accomplishment can only be unreal. Such is the justice your All-Loving Father has ensured must come to you. And from your own unfairness to yourself has He protected you. You cannot lose your way because there is no way but His, and nowhere can you go except to Him.
10. Would God allow His Son to lose his way along a road long since a memory of time gone by? This course will teach you only what is now. A dreadful instant in a distant past, now perfectly corrected, is of no concern or value. Let the dead and gone be peacefully forgotten. Resurrection has come to take its place. And now you are a part of resurrection, not of death. No past illusions have the power to keep you in a place of death, a vault God’s Son entered an instant, to be instantly restored unto his Father’s perfect Love. And how can he be kept in chains long since removed and gone forever from his mind?
11. The Son whom God created is as free as God created him. He was reborn the instant that he chose to die instead of live. And will you not forgive him now, because he made an error in the past that God remembers not, and is not there? Now you are shifting back and forth between the past and present. Sometimes the past seems real, as if it were the present. Voices from the past are heard and then are doubted. You are like to one who still hallucinates but lacks conviction in what he perceives. This is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present. Here the shadow of the past remains, but still a present light is dimly recognized. Once it is seen, this light can never be forgotten. It must draw you from the past into the present, where you really are.
12. The shadow voices do not change the laws of time nor of eternity. They come from what is past and gone and hinder not the true existence of the here and now. The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real and have existence that can be perceived. This terrible illusion was denied in but the time it took for God to give His Answer to illusion for all time and every circumstance. And then it was no more to be experienced as there.
13. Each day, and every minute in each day, and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror took the place of love. And so you die each day to live again, until you cross the gap between the past and present, which is not a gap at all. Such is each life; a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago that cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now.
14. Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone. You stand no longer on the ground that lies between the worlds. You have gone on and reached the world that lies at Heaven’s gate. There is no hindrance to the Will of God, nor any need that you repeat again a journey that was over long ago. Look gently on your brother and behold the world in which perception of your hate has been transformed into a world of love.
Nothing we have ever done can withstand the Will of God. The past is over; it is already made right. We cannot ever go back and make it right on our own. Invent a time machine and go back if you will but any of your accomplishments of meddling in the past will be unreal. You cannot save your ancestors; you cannot make your parents lives more pleasant and easeful; you cannot get even with all your childhood bullies – for none of it will ever be real. Change the story anyway you can it will still mean nothing. This is the most loving way we can view the past – for this is the justice of our loving Father. He does not want us digging about in it, sobbing in repentance of our ignorance and personal failings, He wants us to come Home and forget about it for it is already done and over for we learned that there is nothing outside the Love of God.
We cannot lose our way for the only way is His Way. There can be no place outside His Reality.
When we learn this, the purpose of our Course has been accomplished. That dreadful instant in a distant past has already been corrected. It no longer has any value. Let the dead and gone rest in peace! Resurrection has come; be part of that. Do not let the memory of sin and shame hold you in a vault of sorrow and eternal repentance, for we are restored to our Father’s love. We are Home where we belong. It is not a place for sad sacks and whiners, grovelers and pleaders. We do not sit at the feast and tell stories of all the times we went hungry and bemoan when our cupboards were bare! We do not sleep in our soft beds and our cushiony pillows and dream of hard cots and straw pads. We do not enter into fellowship by finding fault, vying for the best seat in the house, bragging about all our contributions and popularity. These are chains that would keep us bound to time, repeating the weary cycles, driving us mad with our ridiculous posturing.
We are free of all that for we were created to be free. To choose to be special is to bind us to physicality, to time, to separation and to the shame of never living up to our potential. I forgive you all of that because I accepted forgiveness for myself. God holds no memory of this in His Mind for His Son. His justice toward us is Love. It is not recalled again to torment us and drive us to serve Him. For servants cannot love their masters, no matter how kind and good. Love is only found in equality, and equality is only found in Sonship for God loves His Creations as Sons and not servants.
And yet here we are still in time and while it seems less real to us, we shift back and forth, hearing voices from the past. Memories come up. I woke up this morning thinking of the shame and humiliation of abuses from my childhood and realizing it was over and done with and there is nobody to hate, nobody to blame, nobody to hold accountable. I am still hallucinating but now the hallucinations do not hurt me or cause me pain for I realize it is only a perception and part of the nightmare of separation and sin.
Jesus says that this is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present where the shadow still remains from the past, but the light of Heaven is seen and will never be forgotten. And it is this light which draws us and keeps us in the present where we are at Home in God.
Because nothing about the past hinders the true existence of the here and now.
The time of terror is over. We do not have to relive it any longer. We cross the gap between the past and the glory of the present moment the moment we get over our insane desire to keep the past alive, to glory in it, to call bloodshed and lust for war and vengeance, greed and hate by any other name. We will never find our glory in the past. Forgive the past; let it go for it is finished. We can move on past that little mistake, that little blip when we thought that arrogance was the proper response to our glorious Sonship; when we thought that the created could and should be more than the Creator of all. Christ calls to us in gentleness so that we may have the courage to be gentle with one another. When we consciously choose to offer tender mercy toward others in our love for God and in our acceptance of Sonship, we reach for the Vision of Christ. We welcome God’s Will. We stop repeating a journey that was over a long time ago!
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 26 The transition. V. The little hindrance. 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