[acimlessons_list] Lesson 308 - November 4
suelegal at gmail.com
Fri Nov 3 05:41:55 EST 2006
LESSON 308 - NOVEMBER 4
"This instant is the only time there is."
See complete instructions in separate document.
A short summary:
* Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
* Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
* Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind
* Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in
* Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea often within each hour.
* Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
* Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.
The Course's way of looking at time goes counter to our normal way of
thinking. Time is an illusion. It does not really flow from the past,
through the present, to the future. All there is, is now. Past and future do
not exist in reality, but only in our minds. One of the keys to reaching
"past time to timelessness" (1:2) is in learning to experience now as the
only time there is. This is one way of describing what the Course refers to
as the "holy instant." (The teaching underlying this short lesson can be
found in reading "The Two Uses of Time" [T-15.I]. Read especially paragraphs
8 and 9 in regard to practicing the holy instant.)
"The only interval in which I can be saved from time is now" (1:4). Think
about it. What other time have you ever experienced except now? You can't be
saved from time yesterday, and you never experience tomorrow. Right now is
the only time you can have this experience of being saved from time; this
experience of forgiveness. Forgiveness lets the past go and focuses on the
present blessing. So right now, this instant, you can enter the holy
instant. It can be any instant, and it can be this very instant if you will
receive it. Just for this instant, forget the past. Respond to only now.
Forget even five seconds ago, what somebody said, what you were feeling.
Just be in the moment.
The Course advises us to practice this. I think it means practice in two
senses of the word: first, that the holy instant is to be applied, or put
into use. Second, the holy instant is to be rehearsed. We are even told to
"practice the mechanics of the holy instant" (T-15.II.5:4). The author seems
quite aware that we won't get it right the first time, or perhaps not for a
long time. So he advises us to practice the mechanics of it, to go through
the motions, as it were, until one day our experience will catch up. In
other words, rehearse it. The best instructions for rehearsing it are in
Section I of Chapter 15, the ninth paragraph.
Taking a short time each morning and evening, at least, to think of this
moment as all there is of time is a marvelous exercise. It produces a deep
sense of peace when I let myself recognize that nothing can reach me here
from the past; that I am absolved of any guilt I may feel about the past,
along with my brothers and sisters. And nothing can reach me from the
future, either. I can simply be in this instant, free of guilt, and free of
fear. There is no past. There is no future. There is only now, and in this
instant love is ever-present, here and now.
Thanks for this instant, Father. It is now I am redeemed.
This instant is the time You have appointed for Your Son's release,
and for salvation of the world in him. (2:1-3)
WHAT IS THE SECOND COMING?
Part 8: W-pII.9.4:3-4
Everyone-past, present, and future-is "equally released from what he made"
(4:2) in the Second Coming, which is "the willingness to let forgiveness
rest upon all things without exception and without reserve" (1:3). The words
"In this equality..." (4:3) refer to that equality of forgiveness, that
equality of release from guilt and condemnation.
"In this equality is Christ restored as one Identity, in Which the Sons of
God acknowledge that they all are one" (4:3). We may say we want oneness,
but do we want the <means> for oneness? Forgiveness is the means that
restores oneness. There is a section of the Text that talks about the fact
that we pretend to want a certain goal, and yet we reject the means for
reaching that goal. It says that if we hesitate over the means, it really
proves we are afraid of the goal. We may say we want oneness, and yet
hesitate to offer complete forgiveness; we may complain that total
forgiveness is too difficult, too much to ask. The real problem, according
to this passage, is that we are afraid of the oneness that forgiveness would
To obtain the goal the Holy Spirit indeed asks little.
He asks no more to give the means as well.
The means are second to the goal. And when you hesitate,
it is because the purpose frightens you, and not the means.
Remember this, for otherwise you will make the error of
believing the means are difficult. (T-20.VII.3:1-5)
Am I willing to acknowledge that I am one with "that person" in my life? If
I have a problem with forgiveness it is not because forgiveness is too
difficult; it is because I do not want the oneness it would bring.
Ask only, "Do I really wish to see him sinless?" And as you ask,
forget not that his sinlessness is <your> escape from fear.
Each time I reach that willingness, the Second Coming grows closer.
"And God the Father smiles upon His Son, His one creation and His only joy"
(4:4). When we are willing to see one another as sinless, and to recognize
our oneness, God the Father once again sees His Son and smiles. We are His
one creation and His only joy, and only as we lay down the barriers of "sin"
and guilt, and forgive one another, is that oneness seen, and the Father's
joy expressed in and through us.
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