Bruce asked me to publish this for him.
Practicing the Holy Instant
ACIM Study Group With Raj
April 13, 2014
Audio: 58 Minutes
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
Well, are things going smoothly for everyone or do things seem to be more rugged than they used to be? Are situations arising which seem overwhelming, not easy to deal with? Does it seem as though difficult situations are not yielding as quickly and easily as they used to? Do things seem generally more complicated? And do these factors discourage you, do they engage you in negativity? And do they engage you in the attempt to gain authority over them?
Of course, the answer is “Yes.”
Some of you have been caught in this mode for days, weeks or even some months without finding the relief that used to come so easily. That’s why we’re going back in the book to this section entitled:
PRACTICING THE HOLY INSTANT.
If you go back and listen to the Study Groups that have been held over the last three or four years, you will find that almost without fail the holy instant has been a significant part of each discussion—almost monotonously so.
But there is a reason. And the reason is that the holy instant is the threshold of the elements of Atonement. Again, the holy instant is the threshold of the elements of Atonement. There you go. It’s so simple. It’s so uncomplicated. There are not many parts to it: The holy instant.
Going into the Book:
This course is not beyond IMMEDIATE learning, unless you prefer to believe that what God wills takes time. And this means only that you would RATHER delay the recognition that His Will is so.
Well, I’m sharing this tonight because it’s something Paul is needing to learn more significantly than ever before. And so I’m taking the opportunity to teach him along with everyone else the simplicity of it so that release from distress and frustration and anger can be had.
When it says:
. . . this means only that you would RATHER delay the recognition that His Will is so . . .
. . . you, like Paul might be likely to say: “Oh, that’s not true. I would not rather delay it. I’m certainly not saying ‘God hold off.’”
But the simple fact is, that if you aren’t experiencing the holy instant—the instantaneous nature of being in the holy instant—it is because . . .
. . . you would rather delay the recognition that His will is so.
And how do you do that? You do it by exercising your will. You exercise it by choosing to listen to yourself instead of listening to the Father or the Holy Spirit or your Guide.
“Sure,” you say, “I go to my Guide and I ask questions and I talk to my Guide.” But let me ask you something: How often when you’re talking to your Guide are you telling your Guide what you want Him or Her to hear? How much of the time are you asking your Guide to listen to you?
Well, I promise you, if you’re not getting the answer that resolves the problem, you are doing that. You’re making too much noise. You’re filling up the arena with your voice, your concepts, your will. And that’s not going into the holy instant.
I’m going to read again:
This course is not beyond IMMEDIATE learning, unless you prefer to believe that what God wills takes time. And this means only that you would RATHER delay the recognition that His Will is so. The holy instant is THIS one and EVERY one. The one you WANT it to be it IS. The one you would not have it be is lost to you.
That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t the one that could have been the holy instant. It simply means that because you chose for that instant not to be the holy instant, its promise escaped you. What it is passed by your attention because you weren’t giving your attention.
YOU must decide on when it is.
You hear that?
YOU must decide on when it is.
When the holy instant is—that you’re going to let be the holy instant. You see?
It’s never about the circumstances “out there.” It’s never about the complexity that you see in them. It’s never about the mean-spiritedness that might be being expressed in your environment or in your world. It all boils down to the simplicity of whether or not you have decided that this instant is going to be the holy instant.
Simple! Utterly simple. But although it’s utterly simple, because it’s the threshold of the elements of Atonement, it is the most significant thing available to you in your existence, because it impels, it promotes Atonement, Awakening—you coming back into your right Mind, you becoming the Sane Expression of the divine intelligence called God.
Delay it not.
The book says.
Delay it not. For beyond the past and future, in which you will not find it, it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance.
Whether you’re giving your attention to it or not, whether you’re allowing it or not, it’s there . . .
. . . in shimmering readiness for your acceptance.
Oh-h . . . but I know, you have to attend to the mean-spiritedness that is going on around you, instead of asking, “Father,” or “Holy Spirit, how do I step into the holy instant?” You’re saying, “Father, Holy Spirit, tell me how to deal with this mean-spiritedness! Help me to deal with the complications that I see in what’s going on.” Or you’re saying, “I’m not even going to ask because I know this is an impossible situation and there is no answer . . . I know it! I cannot conceive of an answer, it is an impossible situation!” You see?
That’s not entering into the holy instant. That’s doing a rant! And expecting your Guide or the Holy Spirit to listen to you—to listen to the idiocy of your rant—instead of saying, “Father, Holy Spirit, what’s the truth here?”
So . . .
. . . it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance. Yet you cannot bring it into glad awareness while you do not want it, for it holds the whole release from littleness.
You want to know something? When you are engaging as an ego, you think that littleness is gotten rid of by your expressing grand, great authority—power of your own which you exercise forcefully. That feels to you like being BIG.
But like a light-bulb, like a lamp unplugged from the wall, no matter what it does to try to imagine that it’s lit, it can’t be lit if it’s not plugged in. And so the attempt to express authority through force and willfulness constitutes littleness, not the opposite.
Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go.
Well, I know you probably think that littleness has to do with being small. But letting all littleness go means letting all of your personal private judgments go—releasing them and not attempting to exercise or practice them.
Letting littleness go is letting your small-mindedness go in favor of saying, “Father, infinite Mind of all that Is, fill me with what You already placed in me the moment You created me by virtue of the fact that You withheld nothing of what You Are from me. Illumine to me the truth about me so that I don’t imagine that I have to have solutions of my own—determinations, authorizations of my own. Let me feel my infinite wholeness by illuminating it to me.”
The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you is but as far away as your DESIRE for it.
Well, I know . . . you desire it, you say you desire it, and yet you continue to anchor yourself in your misperceptions of everything and using those misperceptions as the basis for listening for answers. But as long as you are basing the answers that will come on your misperceptions, you are not listening where resolution can arise from. It’s that simple.
And so, the necessity is to abandon any imagined authority that you think you have or that you must exercise. And you must become humble. And you must say, “Father,” or “Holy Spirit, what is the truth here from Your vantage point, separate and apart from any concepts or beliefs I have?”
The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you is but as far away as your DESIRE for it. As long as you desire it not, and cherish littleness instead, by so much is it far from you. By so much as you want it will you bring it nearer.
Wanting it then means actually engaging in releasing your devotion to your best judgments and your ideas and your goals and your agendas.
By so much as you want it will you bring it nearer. Think not that you can find salvation in your own way and HAVE it.
You see? Now I’m going to suggest something. What we’re reading tonight is very simply put. It is not convoluted, complex or difficult to understand. When you find yourselves bound by a feeling of overwhelm, of being trapped in a situation that there’s no resolve for, come to this place in the book. Because no matter how overwhelmed you might be with the complexities you think are there to be dealt with, the simplicity of this will be able to register with you.
It’s very important.
Once you let it sink in that the answer is simple, you will relax and you will stop trying to do what’s complicated and what will not work.
Listen to this:
Give over EVERY plan that you have made for your salvation in exchange for God’s. His will content you, . .
[He repeats] His will content you, and there is nothing else that can bring you peace. For peace is of God, and of no-one beside Him.
So peace is of God. It’s not of you. It’s not of your best judgments. It’s not of your worst judgments. It has nothing to do with anything you have come up with or can come up with all by yourself.
It is the act of independence. If you’ll remember, the divorce that was gotten from the Father in the Beginning, so to speak, that brought forth two things: Fear and guilt. Fear and guilt combine to make all of the complexities that disturb you, depress you and cause you to give up hope, cause you to abandon the holy instant, cause you to not to engage in the simplicity.
Be humble before Him, and yet great IN Him. And value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty your place in . . .
. . . what?
. . . His plan, which you must fulfill if you would join with me, by your decision to join in any plan BUT His.
For you leave empty your place in His plan, . . . by your decision to join in any plan BUT His.
It’s not your role to leave your place empty. It’s your role to fulfill your place if you would join with me.
I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for . . .
. . . what?
. . . its release from littleness.
You see? Right now if you’re in the middle of excruciating of long-standing stress and distress, remember this:
I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for its release from littleness.
You see? You either think there’s no release from the problems or you think that the release will only come from some force you personally privately exert. And for the most part, you are convinced that you probably don’t have what it takes to accomplish that. That’s how debilitating it is. But the Answer is simple.
I call you to fulfill your holy part . . .
I call you to be the holy Son or Daughter of God that you Are right now when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you are insistent on your awful point of view.
I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for its release from littleness. God would have His host abide in perfect freedom.
Who is His Host? You.
Every allegiance to a plan of salvation that is apart from Him diminishes the value of His Will for you in your own minds. And yet it is your mind that IS the host to Him.
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate is the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself?
Where is that holy altar? Right in the center of you. That’s where the Father has placed Himself, because you are the Father’s Self-expression. You are the Father in Expression. He’s placed Himself in you by being all there is of you. . . you holy Son or Daughter of God.
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate is the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself?
Well, not if you insist on holding onto your best judgments and your confidences and your agendas and how you think things ought to go.
This you will recognize in the holy instant in which you willingly and gladly . . .
. . . what?
. . . give over every plan but His. For there lies peace, perfectly clear because you have been willing to meet its conditions. You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it.
Oh I know, again you say, “I want it, I want it!” But no, what you really want still, is the right to have your opinion and your judgment—your self-righteous assessment. “Well, this unfoldment is certainly isn’t very convenient, and it certainly isn’t comfortable, it can’t possibly be divine!”
Well there you are, playing God asserting an authorization that you’ve made up. But:
You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it.
And what will tell you whether you want it or not, is whether you’re holding on tightly to your best judgments and your self-righteous indignation and your authority. If you’re holding on to them you don’t want the holy instant. That’s what that means.
In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness.
Remember, you think that magnitude comes from the expression of private personal force, an authority that you have somehow mustered up and brought into play for the purpose of controlling the situation or the individuals in the situation. That’s what you are calling magnitude—that so-called capacity—but it’s inseparable from the littleness because it’s you unplugged from your Source.
In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness. IT IS NOT THERE. Use the holy instant only to recognize that you alone CANNOT know where it is, and can only deceive yourself.
You hear that?
Use the holy instant only to recognize that you alone . . .
. . . all by yourself, privately, secretly . . .
. . . CANNOT know where it is, and can only deceive yourself.
Now that might sound depressing, but the clarity of it is enlightening. Because once you realize that you can’t have it on your own, then it becomes clear to you that the only way you can have it is when you are joined in the holy instant with the Holy Spirit or your Father. And you are reaching out to Them for Their Perspective because it’s the Perspective They have placed in you since the beginning, which is yours and is therefore part and parcel of your Sanity, which is your peace of mind and your joy and your capacity to Love.
I stand within the holy instant, as clear as you would have me.
And I’m going to add: “no more and no less.”
I stand within the holy instant, as clear as you would have me. And the extent to which you learn to be willing to accept me is the measure of the time in which the holy instant will be yours.
In other words, if it takes a long time for you to do it, the holy instant will take that long to be yours. If you accept me now, now the holy instant is yours. You see? It’s very simple. It’s very black and white, uncomplicated and requires one decision . . . that’s all! It doesn’t require arguments. It doesn’t require negotiations. It just requires a simple decision now.
I call to you to make the holy instant yours at once, for the release from littleness in the mind of the host of God . . .
. . . you . . .
. . . depends on willingness, and NOT on time.
You see? The willingness to go ahead and say, “Yes” now. “Yes I accept You now. I let You in now. I listen to You now and nothing else.”
The reason why this course is simple is that TRUTH is simple. Complexity is of the ego, and is nothing more than the ego’s attempt to obscure the obvious.
Listen to this:
You could live forever in the holy instant, BEGINNING NOW . . .
. . . not tomorrow, not a week from tomorrow, not a year from now.
You could live forever in the holy instant, BEGINNING NOW and reaching to eternity, but for a very simple reason. Do not obscure the simplicity of this reason, for if you do, it will be only because you prefer not to recognize it, and not to let it go. The simple reason, simply stated, is this: The holy instant is a time in which you receive and GIVE perfect communication. This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is OPEN, both to receive and give. It is the recognition that all minds ARE in communication. It therefore seeks to CHANGE nothing, but merely to ACCEPT everything.
In order for your mind to be open, both to receive and give, you must not be bringing with you any willfulness, any self-assertive authority. How can you possibly be in harmony with Creation? How can you possibly be in harmony with your Source that is fulfilling you in every moment, if you are harboring a perception or a concept or a determination that you have made up out of “whole cloth” through the use of imagination and committed to. You see?
So therefore, when you are in a place of openness to give and receive, you seek . . .
. . . to CHANGE nothing, but merely to ACCEPT everything.
Now let’s be very clear here: It doesn’t mean that you will not seek to change anything, and you will let disease be disease, and you will let injury be injury and you will let death continue. It doesn’t mean that you accept all that is un-God-like, all that has nothing to do with Eternal Life, has nothing to do with the nature of God, it doesn’t mean that you accept that, and don’t try to change it. If you think it does, that is something that you have made up. It’s a concept that was not given to you by the Father or the Holy Spirit. Exactly the opposite is what you learn from practicing the holy instant.
This is important.
Now I understand that there are those, especially students of the Course, that say, “Well, the body . . . everything that could be injured, everything that can become ill, everything that dies is illusion. And you don’t try to fix illusion, you don’t try to fix illusion up.
I’ll tell you something: Illusion is delusion. And delusion is a misperception of something not an actuality. And that of which the misperception is a misperception is the only thing there is: Creation, God being All-There-Is. In the holy instant you experience Creation as it is and you do not try to change it. You do accept it. But right now in your independent frame of mind, having gotten a divorce from your Father so that you could make up the rules, you have attempted to change everything and you’re living with the consequences.
The practice of the holy instant is engaging in the abandonment of what you have made up . . . by what? Not giving your attention to what you’ve made up and trying to get rid of it, but by turning your attention from what you have made up to the Father, to the Source of your being, or to the Holy Spirit so that you might enquire as to the divine Perspective which has already been placed in you, but which you’re not utilizing because you’re getting so much damned excitement out of making your own decisions as well as having all of the suffering that accompanies it because you’re in a state of self-denial.
You are being what you were not created to be, and you think you are practicing capabilities that were never given you. God did not give you the capacity to be at odds with yourself, Creation, or God Himself.
So . . .
How can you do this when you would prefer to have PRIVATE thoughts, and KEEP them?
If you turn to the Holy Spirit for answers but you refuse to abandon your private thoughts . . . tough luck!
The only way you could do THAT is to DENY the perfect communication that makes the holy instant what it is.
The only way you could do THAT is to DENY the perfect communication that makes the holy instant what it is. You believe that it is possible to harbor thoughts you would not share, and that salvation lies in keeping your thoughts to yourself ALONE.
And you use your thoughts to curse Creation. You curse Creation by defining it different from what God is Being It.
For in private thoughts, known only to yourself, you think you find a way to keep what you would HAVE alone, and share what YOU would share.
As I said, you go to the Holy Spirit or the Father to have Them listen to what you would share. And that’s not the way it works. That’s what happened when you got the divorce in the so-called beginning of the illusion.
And then you wonder why it is that you are not in full communication with those around you, and with God Who surrounds ALL of you together.
Well, hey, if you are holding on to private thoughts and keeping them private and not sharing them, you’re denying communication itself—you are disallowing it.
Every thought you would keep hidden shuts communication off because you would HAVE it so.
Again, your argument is, “No, I would not have it so!” “I never thought that.” “I never would choose to do that.” But the simple fact is that if you are not confronting your day, or engaging with your day joined with the Holy Spirit’s Perspective, it’s because you would have it so. Because you can’t have communication that way, and as long as you’re insisting upon that, you will not have communication. Because you would have it so, and you would have it so by virtue of not joining and asserting your private thoughts as the law—as the word that everything must revolve around.
It is impossible to recognize perfect communication while BREAKING communication holds value to you.
And now you can begin to see that breaking communication is what you’ve been engaged in, although you didn’t have the words to define it as what it truly was. But now you do and it makes it simpler. And that’s why we are going over this again . . . because it’s time for the difficulty of the times you’re in to become powerless over you, unable to influence you in any way, so that you might engage in the holy instant—the very simple act—and become free and let the elements of Atonement move in you and move you.
Ask yourselves honestly, "Would I WANT to have perfect communication, . .
. . . it’s a good question. And you would say, “Yes,” except that you don’t if you also want to hold onto your arguments—the arguments you have made up with your own private thoughts. As long as you are holding thoughts privately you are un-joined, and the perfect communication that comes from joining cannot be experienced.
Ask yourselves honestly, "Would I WANT to have perfect communication, . .
Paul has had to ask himself that question several times during the last few weeks. And sometimes he has not wanted perfect communication because he has wanted me or the Holy Spirit to understand his point of view. And that’s not the way perfect communication occurs.
Ask yourselves honestly, "Would I WANT to have perfect communication, and am I wholly willing to let everything that interferes with it go forever?" If the answer is no, . .
. . . you see? And here is the simplicity of it:
If the answer is no, then the Holy Spirit’s readiness to give it to you is not enough to make it yours, for you are not ready to SHARE it with Him. And it cannot come into a mind that has decided to oppose it.
Be willing to look at yourselves squarely. Look at your mental behavior squarely. Honestly assess whether you are being mean-spirited, tight-fisted, small-minded, because you feel that there is going to be some benefit from it. And of course, the primary benefit from it is that you think it’s going to make you big, that it’s going to give you magnitude and wipe out your vulnerability, make you safe, give you peace. But you’re using the wrong tool. You’re using the tool that takes away your peace and insures your vulnerability until you abandon it.
And it cannot come into a mind that has decided to oppose it. For the holy instant is given and received with EQUAL willingness, being the acceptance of the single Will that governs ALL thought.
Now, you are Loved. Listen to this:
The necessary condition for the holy instant does NOT require that you have no thoughts which are not pure.
I will tell you, if it did require that, you would be overwhelmed and you would have no resource to get out of it.
The necessary condition for the holy instant does NOT require that you have no thoughts which are not pure. But it DOES require that you have none that you would KEEP.
You see? You don’t have to get rid of them, you just have to be willing to let go of them. And the willingness to let go of them occurs when you’re actually holding your hands out open with a desire to receive from your joining with me or with the Holy Spirit.
Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would HAVE it.
Ah-h . . . that would imply wouldn’t it, that when you are engaged in your own private thoughts you are not engaged in innocent activity. Of course, the activity you’re engaged in is imaginary, so any guilt that you might be experiencing is also illusory. So you’re not trapped in any way.
Innocence . . . is given you the instant you would HAVE it.
The instant you would let it in.
Yet it would not be Atonement if there were no NEED for Atonement. You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would HIDE it from yourself. For what you would hide IS hidden from you.
And right now you’re hiding it from yourself. You’re frustrated, you’re feeling vulnerable, you say because of everything going on around you. And even your depressed, angry, frustrated thoughts that you know aren’t really serving you, but you think you have no other choice and that feeling them is serving you in some way in giving you magnitude.
For what you would hide IS hidden from you.
In your practice, then, . .
. . . practice of what? The holy instant—this one simple thing that we have been talking about for years, and which we’re revisiting with greater clarity tonight.
In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep unto yourself.
Be willing to let them be meaningless, even though they feel meaningful to you. Let them feel meaningless so that you can have reason to open up to and reach for what is truly meaningful.
Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, . .
You see? Again, I want to point out, what you want is for the Holy Spirit to shine away the thoughts that you would keep to yourself. That’s the Answer to the problem you think is constituted of complex circumstances and situations out there in the world that you can do nothing about, that have nothing to do with you except that you must suffer from them. Those things out there are not what you are to address. What you are to address is what you are using as the source of your information . . . the Holy Spirit or your orphan mentality.
Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you. Thus will He make you ready to acknowledge that you ARE host to God, and hostage to no-one and nothing.
You see? You are Loved. And you will know it when you will shift what you’re giving your attention to. And the instant you do it, you will instantly experience the healing, the clarity, the Sanity, the Movement of the elements of Atonement.
Remember the simplicity of this so that you don’t suffer a moment longer unnecessarily because you’re addressing the wrong thing with the wrong method.
I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.