1. In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved. In conflict there can be no answer and no resolution, for its purpose is to make no resolution possible, and to ensure no answer will be plain. A problem set in conflict has no answer, for it is seen in different ways. And what would be an answer from one point of view is not an answer in another light. You are in conflict. Thus it must be clear you cannot answer anything at all, for conflict has no limited effects. Yet if God gave an answer there must be a way in which your problems are resolved, for what He wills already has been done.
2. Thus it must be that time is not involved and every problem can be answered now. Yet it must also be that, in your state of mind, solution is impossible. Therefore, God must have given you a way of reaching to another state of mind in which the answer is already there. Such is the holy instant. It is here that all your problems should be brought and left. Here they belong, for here their answer is. And where its answer is, a problem must be simple and be easily resolved. It must be pointless to attempt to solve a problem where the answer cannot be. Yet just as surely it must be resolved if it is brought to where the answer is.
3. Attempt to solve no problems but within the holy instant’s surety. For there, the problem will be answered and resolved. Outside there will be no solution, for there is no answer there that could be found. No where outside a single, simple question is ever asked. The world can only ask a double question. One with many answers can have no answers. None of them will do. It does not ask a question to be answered, but only to restate its point of view.
4. All questions asked within this world are but a way of looking, not a question asked. A question asked in hate cannot be answered because it is an answer in itself. A double question asks and answers, both attesting the same thing in different form. The world asks but one question. It is this: “Of these illusions, which of them is true? Which ones establish peace and offer joy? And which can bring escape from all the pain of which this world is made?” Whatever form that question takes, its purpose is the same. It asks but to establish sin is real, and answers in the form of preference. “Which sin do you prefer? That is the one that you should choose. The others are not true. What can the body get that you would want the most of all? It is your servant and also your friend. But tell it what you want, and it will serve you lovingly and well.” And this is not a question, for it tells you what you want and where to go for it. It leaves no room to question its beliefs, except that what it states takes question’s form.
5. A pseudo-question has no answer. It dictates the answer even as it asks. Thus is all questioning within the world a form of propaganda for itself. Just as the body’s witnesses are but the senses from within itself, so are the answers to the questions of the world contained within the questions that are asked. Where answers represent the questions, they add nothing new, and nothing has been learned. An honest question is a learning tool that asks for something that you do not know. It does not set conditions for response, but merely asks what the response should be. But no one in a conflict state is free to ask this question, for he does not want an honest answer where the conflict ends.
6. Only within the holy instant can an honest question honestly be asked. And from the meaning of the question does the meaningfulness of the answer come. Here is it possible to separate your wishes from the answer, so it can be given you and also be received. The answer is provided everywhere. Yet it is only here it can be heard. An honest answer asks no sacrifice because it answers questions truly asked. The questions of the world but ask of whom is sacrificed demanded, asking not if sacrifice is meaningful at all. And so, unless the answer tells “of whom,” it will remain unrecognized, unheard, and thus the question is preserved intact because it gave the answer to itself. The holy instant is the interval in which the mind is still enough to hear an answer that is not entailed within the question asked. It offers something new and different from the question. How could it be answered if it but repeats itself?
7. Therefore, attempt to solve no problems in a world from which the answer has been barred. But bring the problem to the only place that holds the answer lovingly for you. Here are the answers that will solve your problems because they stand apart from them and see what can be answered; what the question is. Within the world the answers merely raise another question, though they leave their first unanswered. In the holy instant, you can bring the question to the answer, and receive the answer that was made for you.
Whether we realize this or not, we who are in the flesh are in conflict. We live in a realm of opposites. In a realm of opposites there is all that would oppose truth but no truth to be found, no solutions to resolve our opposition and the way in which we cherish the spaces between us. We are addicted to that which opposes! Which is why we cannot resolve any issue or come up with any answer at all because we love having different viewpoints and opposing sides, we love the debate and the argument, we love not our enemies, but we do so love having enemies in which to oppose!
To step out of this is to step out of the past and into the present and presence of God’s Will, into God’s Answer and solution. Here in this holy instant is every problem answered in the present moment. We do not come to the holy instant with our solutions to our problems and the hot messes we get ourselves into. We come without hope in our own resolutions. We have tried them. We have done our best. We have raised those kids to the best of our abilities, and they still have serious and ongoing issues that keep us up at night fretting over them, complaining about them to our coworkers, spending our money on rehab and therapy and an endless array of human solutions that never fix the problem, but only seem to raise more questions which have no answers.
To reach the state of mind that gives us the answer, which resolves every problem no matter how insignificant or seemingly unworthy of bringing to holiness, we must first reach the conclusion that we cannot fix it, that there is no hope, that we cannot figure it out, and we do not have the means to make it better. This is not an exercise to make God feel big about Himself and us feel small. It is simply truth. We cannot fix anything. We cannot answer our heart’s longing. We cannot come to agreement. There is no political system in the world that will make us happy. There are no doctors that will cure our diseases. There are no educational systems that will bestow upon us wisdom, kindness, purity, and love. There is no particular person that will fulfill and gratify our desires. This is the truth and to come to the truth, we must realize this. We were not created to be flesh and blood, to sin and sacrifice, to engage in the struggle for survival only to die another day. This was a choice which we made and while it is not unforgiveable, we must not be shocked or taken aback by a realm in which terrible things seem to happen to innocent people because in a realm that opposes the truth, there are no limits to the horrors that can take place!
As we read over today’s devotional text, we learn that we must take every problem to the quiet place, the holy place, the place wherein lies the quiet, certain, single answer. Turn to the world for help and we will be given many different answers, each one will demand a sacrifice of love, peace, and joy, each one will attempt to make illusions true by easing pain and bringing temporary comfort and peace to the questioner at the sacrifice of somebody else. All the world can seem to help us with is our body and our body, being neutral has no way to keep what has never truly been given.
To illustrate this we can take the desire we have for a particular person to love us, to desire us as much as we desire them. We can take all kinds of measures to get them to want us. We can pretty ourselves up; we can go to the gym; we can accumulate a lot of money in which to attract them. We can be seen in all the right places. We can promise them things that others cannot or will not offer them. We can draft poems about them, plot and scheme and promise God to read our bibles every day for the rest of our lives if only He makes them love us. But as long as we are searching for the answer to this problem in the world, we are going to waste ourselves chasing after what can only leave us with ashes in the end. Even if we get the one we so desire, we will be disappointed and despair.
When we go to the holy place within us and ask Holy Spirit to resolve our problems, to answer our questions, all that is not worthy of us falls away. The world and every form of its propaganda is seen for what it is. We have come to the place where we want what God wants for us – we do not set conditions and ask for a particular lover or friend, for riches and jewels, for flash and flirtations. We want to know truth; we want to know our reason for being; we want the end of opposition and opposites; we want certainty and singleness of purpose.
This is our holiness where only an honest question is asked and an honest answer is given. In the holy instant of the present moment, can the response I want be separated from what is the best for me. In that instant of holiness, the now – my past and its clamor for this and for that, its false hope in the world and the things that I imagine are in it, its grudges and hard feelings – fall away, and the answer can be given to me, and I can receive it. The answer to everything is always there – in the holy instant and only there can it be heard, can it be given us, can it be received by us.
There is never any sacrifice involved to anyone. My gain is not riding on your loss but only your gain. For when my mind becomes still, the answer to the problem between you and me is no longer a problem but becomes the very catalyst that brings us to holiness, to purity, to innocence. One of us does not get to be the good guy at the expense of one being bad. There are no demands for apology, recompense, or promises to never repeat a mistake like that again. There is only truth. A stepping out of the fiction of the past and accepting the purity of the holy present.
In your quiet time today read over this passage slowly and carefully, taking time to apply the concepts to the problems you may be experiencing. Do not attempt to solve these problems with the world’s answers which will be centered about the body and the ego but bring the problem before Holy Spirit where the loving solution to every trial we face can be found.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 27 The healing of the dream. iv. the quiet answer. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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