Apr 4, 2009
T15.4 Practicing the Holy Instant
Good evening. And welcome to everyone who’s joining us on the Internet.
You know, when there’s a war, usually a conscript is set up and you’ll see in various countries, in various forms, what was seen here in the United States: Uncle Sam saying, “We need YOU!”
Now, there’s a call to peace. You recognize it on the world’s stage today, but even if there weren’t that demand or a demand of that sort occurring, there would still be a call to peace. The Course is a call to peace. And just as was brought out last week, if you are intent on fulfilling your purpose, then the purpose God has for you is unfulfilled. There’s an emptiness—a void there—because you are preoccupied with your own private little business … you know … [deep sigh] pickyunish, chicken-shit, little itty-bitty business. I say itty-bitty business, because your function and your purpose is infinite, not little itty-bitty.
You’re needed. We need you. God needs you. The Brotherhood that is Awake needs you. We all call upon you. The Holy Spirit calls upon you. It calls upon you to do whatever it takes to Wake up. It calls upon you to join the rest of us who are Awake in a full-on conscious experience of what you truly Are so that you are no longer confused, so that you are no longer tormented, conflicted, so that you are no longer suffering. We call upon you to do your part: To step up to the line, so to speak, and fulfill your purpose.
We’ve been talking for a few weeks about your purpose. Your purpose is to reflect the Father’s Will. And your Father’s Will becomes available to you as your conscious experience of what It is, when you what? When you shut up! When you dare to become still and invite a conscious experience of joining instead of what has amounted to be an unconscious experience of independent privacy in which your experience of Reality has been so distorted that you have become afraid of it and you have devoted yourself to protecting yourself against it.
You “kick against the pricks”1 as it says in the Bible. The pricks are the parts of the Kingdom of Heaven that you’re misunderstanding, misperceiving and that you’re reacting to. And so, you fall in the middle of the Kingdom of Heaven and you break your leg—a totally absurd thing.
But the moment I tell you … the moment you abandon the mindset that says it’s a material world, a material universe, it’s polarized, it is a balanced antagonism, you will find that it will be impossible to break your leg if you fall. You will find it impossible for impact to occur, and you will find that if you did fall or if you had fallen and been injured and you’re in the middle of recovery, that recovery could be suddenly instantaneous and total.
Your Guides and the Holy Spirit and I have the same task: To bring truth to your attention, or we could say, to bring your attention to truth. Why? Because the moment truth dawns on you, you become unconfused. Peace is immediately established and clarity grows, for lack of better words.
Now, we ended up last week with this:
God would have His host abide in perfect freedom …2
… and you are His host. You are the place: The fluid, flexible, willing place, in which God abides and expresses Himself—expresses, meaning, Creation.
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.
This draws a simple picture for you of Who and what you Are—not the attorney or the secretary or the typist … or whatever.
You are the host of God. And what that means in its fullness awaits your conscious experience. And it will await your conscious experience forever if it takes forever for you to desire to have the experience. It is up to you. It’s up to you to ask for it. It’s up to you to press for it. Not willfully, but to press for it in the sense of willingly neglecting to do anything other than be curious to experience it.
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate is the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself?
You’re the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself.
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate …
… you are?
This you will recognize in the holy instant in which you willingly and gladly give over every plan but His.
Now, does that mean that you’ve got to go on an inner search and find all your plans—the upfront ones and the hidden ones—and make sure you don’t miss any of them, and abandon them, kick them out? No. [chuckle] What it really means is that you have to be willing to move into a space—I’ll call it a space, a mental space—in which you’re simply being quiet, in which there is silence, because in the silence there’s no assertion going on. The moment you do begin to assert yourself, you can feel the silence being disturbed, literally. The disturbance will not escape your attention.
So when you go into the silence, you are willingly and gladly giving over every plan but His, because you’re neglecting to exercise any plan of yours.
This is very important.
You don’t have to ferret out all of the underhanded secret plans you have for your salvation in order to have salvation given you. You just have to stop employing them and you can do that by becoming still.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Throughout all of the major religions, stillness is fundamental.
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate …
… you are?
Would you learn how perfect and immaculate is the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself? This you will recognize in the holy instant in which you willingly and gladly give over every plan but His. For there lies peace, perfectly clear because you have been willing to …
… to meet it’s conditions.
What are the conditions of peace? The absence of aggression—meaning, the absence of self-assertion, the absence of behavior that identifies orphanhood.
You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it. In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness.
What does that mean, finding magnitude in littleness? It means puffing yourself up by means of your own thoughts and by means of skill you work on to acquire, so that you can control and direct other people in a way that supports your puffed up self-image.
Magnitude is what orphans try to generate through independent acts of will to prove that they are real while not claiming a Source, while not acknowledging and recognizing a Source. It’s that simple.
In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted…
… by ceasing to employ any of them by simply becoming still, and in the stillness doing one thing, saying, “Father, what is the truth here? Father, what is the truth?”
In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness …
… greatness without having to abandon independence and privacy.
IT IS NOT THERE.
Magnitude is not to be found in littleness because it is not there. And remember that I have been identifying littleness as all of the thoughts you think which do not in any way express or embody your having joined with your Source.
Use the holy instant only to recognize that you alone CANNOT know where it is, …
… magnitude …
… and can only deceive yourself.
You, as a so-called imaginary orphan, cannot know where your identity is because your Identity is determined by your Father, by your Mother, by your Parent, by your Source, by that of which you are the effect.
You alone, …
… not joined, being therefore totally unconscious of your Birthright, …
CANNOT know where it, …
… magnitude, …
… is, and can only deceive yourself.
This is a really simple point and it’s a really important point. And I encourage you this week to meditate daily and meditate only for about ten minutes on this one point.
I want you to become still … as still as you can … and then for about ten minutes, I want you just to abide with the thought that you on your own, by means of your very best thinking or worst thinking, cannot know the truth. And that anything you do from that standpoint will be self-deception!
It sounds awful. Because it sounds like it’s a judgment against you. But it’s not. It’s not a judgment at all. It doesn’t say anything about your inherent or innate presence or validity. All it says is, that if you try to do something in this fashion, it won’t work. And in the knowing that it won’t work and that it never has, and that the only result that has ever been has been self-deception, which means that you’ve been ignorant, all you have to do is stop doing that in order to escape the ignorance.
So instead of being an awful judgment against you, it’s a stepping stone out of an illegitimate experience of being, one that it’s not your Birthright to be experiencing and one which you need to be free of.
Use the holy instant only to recognize that you alone …
… all by your little self …
… CANNOT know where it is, and can only deceive yourself.
Now, if you will just let that register with you without reacting to it, you will realize … “Wow, I don’t want to deceive myself. And if I’m deceiving myself by means of thinking I’m engaging in, without being joined with the Holy Spirit or my Guide or the Father, then I’m going to stop thinking. I’m going to begin to make time to be still and do it more and more consistently. And if I must engage in an activity, I will engage in it to the best of my ability without leaving that place of quietness. In fact, I will desire to know if I am in the middle of an activity, how to engage in that activity with divine Grace—how every aspect of what I’m doing in that activity might express God. I will ask to find out how to be inspired in whatever task I’m engaged in.” And then, still take time to quietly not engage in tasks and practice the stillness so that stillness becomes familiar to you.
I stand within the holy instant, as clear as you would have me.
For example, I stand within the holy instant as clear as Paul would have me. And sometimes Paul would have me very clear. And other times, Paul would not have me stand within the holy instant with great clarity because he wants to engage in some of his own clarity. He wants to practice being himself, you see.
And everyone does this. And in many cases, Paul presents the opportunity to experience me in the middle of the holy instant with him with great clarity more often than most people do. You’re seeing an example of it right now. But as I’ve mentioned before, and everyone who knows him personally is aware, when the meeting is over, Paul returns, minus me. So, at that point, I stand within the holy instant as clear as he would have me, which isn’t real clear.
Now, is that a judgment on him? I understand that some people do not like me using him as an example. But I’m using him as an example here, of the fact that he’s quite capable of doing and being what works as well as doing and being what doesn’t work … okay … just as each one of you does.
And what all of this that we’re talking about boils down to is, each of you making, including Paul, the more consistent choice for letting me stand within the holy instant as clear as you would have me, and have you want to have me clear all the time.
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.
The moment you say “Yes,” without holding out for a plan of your own, without filling the silence with some bias or project of your own, as soon as you do that, the holy instant will be yours. It’s that simple. That you’re not doing it, simply means that you’re not doing it yet. And that you’re not doing it means that you are constantly provided with the opportunity to do it. And that’s all it means.
And we are calling you to let it happen. We’re saying, “Join us,” so that you might consciously experience the communion that it’s your Birthright to be experiencing and in which the conscious experience of what you divinely Are will become yours. And you’ll no longer be inclined to try to be in a room of independence, reaching for the truth, so that you might bring it into the room of independence and improve the conflict, which is unavoidable because independence is being attempted. [chuckle] You see?
I call to you to make the holy instant yours at once, …
… not next year, not when you’ve refined your soul …
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 depends on willingness, and NOT on time.
I know you all feel that you are willing. But … how can I put it? Are you willing to invest the time? Are you willing to make a commitment to an ongoing willingness that doesn’t become disturbed by little attempts on your part to act independently and get the satisfaction, the hit that comes from it which actually amounts to nothing but fear?
It will be easier for you to make that kind of commitment if you will really let it sink in—that the holy instant is only to recognize that you alone cannot know where It is (magnitude) and can only deceive yourself.
If you will let that be the utter truth for you, to you, that all you can do all by yourself is deceive yourself and that the result of it will always be an ongoing state of being deceived and therefore not in your right Mind, it will become easier to say—no matter what is going on in your day—“At this moment I choose not to deceive myself by thinking further. I really, really, value the idea that if I become still and stop thinking, the truth of God can and will infill me and return me to a conscious experience of my right Mind, right here on planet Earth, today in the middle what appeared to me to be absolutely not divine activities. And I’m willing to do it because of the promise I have been given: That if I do that, these so-called un-divine activities will be revealed to me because of a sudden shift of perception I’ve gone through that allows me to see what is divinely going on, instead of what I’ve misperceived to be going on and convinced myself of.”
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.
Now, when Paul listens to me, as right now, he opens up his mouth and speaks the words he speaks because something becomes obvious to him. Truth is obvious. The obviousness to truth registers with you when you’re not introducing anything of your own personality or personal biases into the mix.
When you become still and things become obvious, and part of the obviousness includes opening your mouth and expressing it, it is not experienced as a personal capacity of your own. What became obvious is not a creation of yours.
And so, when you dare to become still and abandon your own intents, your own willfulness, your own best judgments and concepts, and you become receptive like a sponge, you do become filled up. And then what you say and what you be and what you do becomes illuminated by what became obvious to you. And others recognize the obviousness of the value and the meaning and the truth that comes forth.
That’s the way Being is. That’s the way you, being neither behind the point of perfection nor advancing toward it Be’s, exists, fulfills your purpose.
When you are willing to Be in this way, there is no detectible arrogance in what you are being or saying or doing, which makes it easy for you to be heard or we could say, it makes it easier for others to hear you. And so, communication flows. Not you over here communicating an idea of yours to something over there, but you, in so many words, seeing the glory of God and saying, “Oh-h-h-h!” And everyone else hearing you say, “Oh-h-h-h!” and without your saying anything more, feeling the fact that that’s an exclamation of a recognition of that which is Beautiful. And your exclamation had nothing to do with your trying to impress anyone. It was you having been infilled and responding to the infilling. You see?
What I’m trying to say is, that being Awake and the kind of behavior you’ll find yourself engaging in will be very different from what you’re presently doing.
Now, we’ll continue and come back to this.
You could live forever in the holy instant, BEGINNING NOW and reaching to eternity, but for a very simple reason.
[Repeats] 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.
Now, let’s understand that. It …
… means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is OPEN, …
… like a doorway without a door on the hinges, just …
… OPEN, both to receive and give.
Well, you say, “Well, everyday I engage in communication with people. And I receive and I give. They say things. I receive it. I give by saying things back.” You see. And there you are in the picture, you’re there as a giver-backer and you’re there as a receiver. And the receiving and the giving has to do with what I’m going to call, two-way communication that at the very least, really is adversarial … really is adversarial.
As long as you’re behaving as an orphan, as long as you’re believing that you’re an orphan, every bit of communication will be “this-for-that,” “tit-for-tat.” Adversarial … self-protective—always watching to see if you need to try for leverage or relax a little bit, but always wary.
What does it mean to receive and give? I’ll tell you, it’s what is happening right now with Paul. It isn’t a matter of receiving from your fellowman in a game of “tit-for-tat” or leverage. It’s standing in the silence, having abandoned the attempt to be self-assertive as an object or a thing called a human being, an organism—a thing with a piece of meat in its head that is able to cogitate and come up with conclusions.
No, it’s about being a state of mind in which silence has been honored, which by virtue of what silence is, invites the infilling of Reality which we could call the Father’s Will. And as I said, it causes a response, which could be, “Oh-h-h-h.” or it could be words like the words I’m using right now—words like Paul is formulating with his lips and voice right now.
Either way it is an acknowledgement of the registering of truth that has become obvious by virtue of valuing the stillness. And so, receiving occurs and giving occurs.
But in the process, Paul isn’t bouncing his tiny sense of himself off of what he perceives your tiny sense of yourself is. It’s not a bantering about. It isn’t attempts to leverage. There is no arrogance to it, because there is no personal assertion to it. And yet something utterly meaningful is happening. It’s that simple.
The holy instant is a time in which you receive and GIVE perfect communication.
Let me put it this way: Communication really isn’t a two-way street. [chuckle] Communication is not something directed toward each other. It’s like looking at a sunset and someone is standing next to you. And the sun comes out from behind the clouds and hits the clouds and the sky in a particular way that’s absolutely breath-taking. And you express the breath-takingness of it, not caring a bit whether your brother next to you notices it or not. But your brother does notice it, because you were verbal about it, and sees it also and responds to it.
Both of you are experiencing and responding to the same thing together, not as a result of a back and forth communication but truly more as communion. And it’s in that sense that the word communication is used here.
The holy instant is a time in which you receive and GIVE perfect communication.
But remember, the perfect communication is occurring when you don’t have yourself on your mind. It’s when you have God on your mind, because you’ve experienced the Godness of something.
Continuing again …
This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is OPEN, both to receive and give.
But mind you, it means to receive and give in a different way than what you have previously determined communication to be.
It is [for example] …
I’m adding the words in “for example.”
It is the recognition that all minds ARE in communication.
Because I’ll tell you something: When the experience occurs, it won’t just be with the one next to you. And you will be able to glimpse—perhaps not fully, initially—but you will be able to glimpse the experience of the fact that it wasn’t just you and the one standing next to you exclaiming at the beauty, but the whole Brotherhood, because there are no private thoughts. And that is part of the beginning of the dawning in your awareness of how perfect and immaculate is the holy alter on which your Father has placed Himself, meaning you.
It is the recognition that all minds ARE in communication.
Not will be, are, and therefore already have been.
It therefore seeks to CHANGE nothing, but merely to ACCEPT everything.
Oh, does that mean you’re going to accept sickness? Does that mean you’re going to accept sickness and sin and death? Are you going to accept murder? Are you going to accept violence—you’re going to accept everything?
No. What it means is that when you have stepped out of the concept of an orphan, of an independent thinker, of an independent authorizer … when you have stepped out of that, there is no longer present with you any desire or attempt to change anything, to coerce your brothers, to make them behave in a way that makes you feel safe or makes you rich or makes you successful and so on.
And in the absence of assertive attempts to control and affect others and to make them behave in ways you want them to behave, you will find yourself preoccupied with the influx of truth that occurs, and the fact that the truth is so obvious. And you find yourself accepting what is obvious because it is obvious and in that state of mind, peace reins … peace governs.
How can you do this when you would prefer to have PRIVATE thoughts, and KEEP them?
And … your nice little secret thoughts: “Don’t let them know what you’re doing. Don’t let them know what you’re up to or they’ll spoil it, or they’ll do it before you will … can’t trust anybody.”
How can you do this when you would prefer to have PRIVATE thoughts, and KEEP them? The only way you could do THAT is to DENY the perfect communication that makes the holy instant what it is.
The holy instant is that moment in which you give and receive perfect communication.
You believe that it is possible to harbor thoughts you would not share, …
… either hateful thoughts, that would embarrass you if others knew of them, or excellent thoughts that you are afraid people would take and run with and benefit from before you could benefit from them.
You believe that it is possible to harbor thoughts you would not share, and that salvation lies in keeping your thoughts to yourself ALONE. For in private thoughts, known only to yourself, you think you find a way to keep what you would HAVE alone, …
… in other words, all by yourself …
… and share what YOU would share.
And you would only share whatever it would profit you to share—whatever you believe it would profit you to share. So you give what will get people’s support. You give what will get approval from people. You give to get! But you don’t share, because in the absence of self-assertiveness and self-protection, you have seen truth and gasped a little and felt awe a little and shared it not because you intended to share it, but because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut, it was so wonderful.
… 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. 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.
So, here’s a wonderful clue: When you’re willing to become still, and when you are willing to invite in the Father’s point of view—meaning that you truly want to know the truth—you find the truth about you becoming obvious to you. And you also begin to find the truth about your brother becoming obvious to you as he or she, whom you are bound together with, inseparable from in the embrace of your mutual Father.
In other words, you become open to, receptive to, and actually begin to experience what I’m going to call, the true experience of family. Because I will tell you, that the meaning of family is Identity. And there is no such thing as private, independent identity.
Every thought you would keep hidden shuts communication off because you would HAVE it so.
Yes, you would have it so and you make it so by valuing your private thoughts, and by being unwilling to be completely unconditionally open to and receptive to your brothers and sisters and your world. And thus you do not see them as the Sons and as the Daughters of God and you do not see the world as the Kingdom of Heaven. But that is what it’s your Birthright to be experiencing. And that’s what I’m calling all of you to have.
It is impossible to recognize perfect communication while BREAKING communication holds value to you. Ask yourselves honestly, …
… during this coming week …
… “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, 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.
When you share something with someone, neither one of you has a position of dominance. True sharing constitutes a mutual act of humility and absence of arrogance.
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.
How do you decide to oppose that? By claiming the right to think your own thoughts. Again … the practice of littleness.
For the holy instant is given and received with EQUAL willingness, …
… see, no one dominating …
… being the acceptance of the single Will that governs ALL thought …
… oh-h, governs all thought … what is it that governs all thought? Not some presence that is going to govern you. What governs all thought is the obviousness of truth that becomes obvious to you when you desire to know what it is. And that’s the single Will that governs all thought. You simply will not engage in expressing thoughts that don’t arise out of the obviousness of what is true.
So, have a good week. And I look forward to being with you next week.
Love the fact that anything you do on your own, will constitute ongoing self-deception, which doesn’t serve you at all. And then dare to avail yourself of silence as consistently as you can during this next week, with a constant invitation to know the truth.