Jul 3, 2016
T15.4 Practicing the Holy Instant
Good evening. I’m grateful to be here with each of you.
In the United States, tomorrow is a holiday … Independence Day … g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s independence!
But you know what? There’s nothing new about it. As I said the last time I spoke with you, when one or more of the Sons or Daughters of God decided to define Creation themselves, in spite of the eternal Meanings that the Father had given everything and continues to give everything, that was the ONLY Independence Day there was.
No matter how much each of you tends to reinforce independence, it’s always a reinforcement of that initial step away from the Father’s Perspective in favor of one’s own. This act of independence has appropriately been called, “The Fall.” It’s the very thing that everyone is, at the bottom line, anxious to become free of.
But there is a cost to becoming free of it. The cost is your imagined independence. And the cost is your actual conscious practice of originating thoughts yourself and keeping them to yourself. When I say keeping them to yourself, I mean keeping them from the Father. Because I will tell you, and you all know, that you share your private views with each other. Every one of you who is “fallen” share and confirm with vigor your independence. Many of you do it in groups and you thrill each other with enthusiastic support for your independence, and agreement that this activated independence is what gives you purpose, is what gives you and your life meaning.
So, the cost of abandoning independence is the cost of that practice. I could say that the day will come when you could set a new holiday called “Union Day” or “Reunion Day,” but the fact is that once union is allowed once again, to set a holiday for it will be ridiculous because the experience of union doesn’t leave anyone of you singularly alone to join with another in appreciation of some aspect of Reality as it is. Because in reunion, you all experience it as it truly is together simultaneously.
But let me be perfectly clear, in the simultaneity of it, there is still conscious individuality. There is still identity, but it isn’t identity over and against another identity or another group of identities. It’s identity that represents harmony—pure living, daily, ongoing harmony, which means that it is the experience of what Love is.
Now, your globe is engaged in various forms of acts of independence—acts of independence which in themselves are causing further deterioration of unity. Some say that this is excellent, inevitable, because that which isn’t working must collapse.
But you know what? It isn’t what is occurring in and amongst and between mankind that needs to collapse, it is the practice of independence in looking at it all and in the seeing of your brothers and sisters.
The call is not for greater and more complex independence, but a simpler and more real expression and practice and embodiment of Love from the tips of your toes to the furthest star, and everything in between, which means that before it gets to the star, everyone on your globe will have been embraced in it.
Salvation doesn’t come from dis-unity. Salvation lies in unity.
Now, this obviously puts almost everyone in the middle of an intolerable situation. There is a call to unify disparate parts of the Brotherhood, when their behavior is so obtuse and mean-spirited and destructive, that there seems to be no way to even consider unification.
The call is to first stop the bad behavior. And of course, if you’re going to stop the bad behavior, and you’re not going to do it with Love, you’re going to do it with force. And if the force is not Love, the force is hate. If the force is not Love, the force is evil. And so that is not the answer.
Now there is a saying, a very important saying by Edwin Markham, who said: “He drew a circle that shut me out—heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle and took him in.”
You know, finding a way of dealing with enemies is as ancient a problem as dealing with “The Fall.” Somewhere someone is looking at you and somewhere you are looking at someone else and defining them as an enemy, and backing up your claims with what you call “facts,” like beheadings, like murderous rampages in restaurants and airports, like a mother in the South of the United States killing her four children, like murder on the streets every day.
You know, the enemy isn’t just “over there.” The enemy is right in you and it’s called, “seeking to have a private thought”—a personal private self-manufactured thought about someone or something—a thought which you never ran by the Father, a thought which you have excluded the Father from. And you have come to the conclusion that your thought is absolute and absolutely correct. That’s the terrorist.
That is the terrorist. We call it the ego. It’s called, “mortal mind” as opposed to divine Mind. It’s called that which fortifies itself by building itself up without ever drawing upon anything Real to substantiate it. And because it never draws upon anything that is Real, the only way it can substantiate itself is through the use of force—either the force of words, or the force of actions or the force of armies—all of which destroy. And of course the reason for that is to scare everyone so badly, that no one will object.
Husbands do it to wives every day, wives do it to husbands every day. Parents do it to children. Children do it to each other. But no matter how BIG the stage becomes in which these things are practiced, it’s still the same little inconsequential, meaningless, fabricated idea that one’s own thoughts are the only thing that matter and there’s no one really to join with. Oh, I know, you join with your fellowman in many different ways and there are many of them that are constructive.
But if the basis for your joining with your brother is not a result of the practice of the holy instant, where there was a joining with the Father and you ran the ideas by Him, and together you came to the realization that what was being done was appropriate, then it’s all part of the illusion of independence which has to be abandoned.
“But Love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle and took him in.”
“Hell, how can I draw a circle and take in the be-header—the one who I know is responsible for great suffering?”
Well, there you are, you don’t know the Answer. So don’t try to bluff your way through it. Be honest with yourself and recognize that you don’t know how to create or bring about harmony all by yourself where such devastating activities are occurring. And then be grateful that an Answer has been given to you. And the Answer is called, “the holy instant.” In the not too distant past it was called, “prayer.” It’s the practice of saying, “Father I don’t have the answer here, but correction is called for. What I’m experiencing is not love and I know that love is possible, I feel it beyond the level of my reasoning—beyond the level of my doubt. I don’t know how to contribute to it coming forth. Help me!”
That’s the beginning of the practice of the holy instant.
Oh, I know, you look “out there” that things are becoming so bad that you’re thinking about leaving the country or you’re thinking about leaving the planet! You’re thinking about curling up and going to sleep and never waking up again … because it’s just impossible! But it’s not. It’s only impossible when you’re looking at how you can do it by yourself. And there’s nothing you can do by yourself that will accomplish a divine transformational permanent healing, or correction of the problem.
And so you have to take your emptiness with an acknowledgement of its presence and no intent on your part to try to fill it up by yourself anymore and saying to the Father, “Father, what is the truth here?”
And then comes the hard part. The hard part is, that you don’t listen patiently and quietly for three or four minutes, and then throw up your hands in impatience and begin to think your own wild imaginations again which upset you and cause you to lose the stillness which is the first step of entering the holy instant. And you stay with the not-knowing, asking, “What is the truth here?” until you get the Answer—which means until you hear the Father or until you hear the Holy Spirit.
And why am I making that distinction? Just hearing an answer doesn’t constitute communion. It doesn’t constitute a union of that which had seemed to be two and now is One, where you Know from the presence of what the Father is revealing to you, that indeed, the Father is the One revealing it and you have become illuminated to yourself as His expression, His Son or Daughter, so that the realization of Truth that you experience is at the same time a realization of the experience, for lack of better words, of family, of belonging—you belonging—no longer isolated and independent.
And in that Union, you will begin to Know what to do that begins the transformation—that triggers the transformation.
I’m going to read from a section called,
Practicing the Holy Instant1
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. 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.
“Oh, I can’t do it yet! I’m not ready yet!”
Well, you’re using the excuse of time. And what you’re actually saying is, “I’m not yet willing in this moment to abandon my pet theory, or how I think everything ought to go down. I’m not willing to be free of that which disallows for communion.”
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, listen to this:
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…
… here it is:
… simply stated, is this: The holy instant is a time in which you receive and GIVE perfect communication.
It’s a time in which you receive and GIVE … you don’t just receive it, and have this secret knowledge of truth that’s going to transform you and make you better able to survive in the middle of chaos … no. It’s a time in which you receive and GIVE perfect communication.
It’s a time when you become involved with your brother and with your world from the standpoint of your active, conscious unity with God. You see? Of course, letting God give the directions and not thinking of it as though someone is dictating to you because you’re no longer holding yourself apart as an orphan.
So you let the Father, Who is your Father, Whom you are the offspring of—forever the offspring of—you let That constitute your perspective. In other words, you let His Perspective be yours, when it comes right down to it, that’s not always an easy thing to agree to. But you know what? If you’re a Christian and you say the Lord’s Prayer, you say, “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”2—and you’re not supposed to mean “Thy Will be done on earth BUT NOT THROUGH ME!” “Thy Will be done on earth through someone else’s involvement, someone else’s participation in facing into that which is the opposite of God”—with God and persisting until you hear God.
Why? Because when you hear God you’re hearing your right Mind and it brings you Home. And because you’re Home before you act in the smallest of your daily experiences, the world is changed. It is the little bit of leaven that leavens the whole lump!3
Your practice …
… I’m backing up to page 356.
Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness …
… willingness, not willfulness, not self-assertion, but your yielding, you’re being utterly feminine …
… your willingness to let all littleness go.
What in the hell does that mean? Letting all littleness go? You’ve got grand ideas, you say, you have a lot of constructive ideas, you have a lot to contribute. “There’s nothing little about that!”
But you see, when you have the thought all by yourself, when you have a thought that you have manufactured all by yourself … or, let’s say, you have a thought that was actually inspired by the Father, but you appropriated for your use, for your reasons, you’re engaged in littleness because you isolated yourself from the Wholeness of you.
You know I’ve said before, “The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind held in trust while you dally with the ego.” So the magnitude of you is forever present but blocked by you as long as you’re insisting upon being an independent authorizer—being the terrorizer.
If you want to be the leaven that leavens the whole lump, abandon your own terrorist activities. And you know what? Don’t think I’m talking about this detailed thing or that detailed thing that you did or didn’t do that terrorized everyone, I’m talking about the simple inner act where you dare to act without ever saying, “Father what is the truth here?” “Father, is this the right thing to do?” “Father, if it is not the right thing to do, what is? I want to know what it is so that I may do it, instead of what will be a failure and will constitute the furtherance of terrorism and its disastrous results.”
The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you …
… what is this magnitude? It’s the wholeness of you that’s been held in trust out of sight because you have your eyes tightly closed against it in favor of what you can imagine for yourself. So:
The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you …
… your Wholeness and therefore your inseparable Oneness with all of Creation…
… is but as far away as your DESIRE for it.
You see? It doesn’t have anything to do with “out there.” It has to do with “in here” in the middle of your mind and heart.
The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you is but as far away as your …
… what? ah-h …
… DESIRE for it.
DESIRE for it, instead of the exciting praise that you might be able to generate if you can come up with the Answer yourself and be able to take credit for it. You see?
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.
Daily you keep it at a distance … daily Paul keeps it at a distance. You watch the news, you watch the pundits, you hear of the events and you react. And you want your reaction and you want to feel it because you’re justified—give you a chance, and you would straighten it all out. “Kill the bastards!” “Bomb the guys!” “Keep them out!” “Draw the line—thus far and no farther!” “Don’t you dare impose upon me by getting in my space or I will impose upon you!”
Well, tit for tat … huh? Terrorism for terrorism.
And yet you do it thoughtlessly, not because you’re a “dyed in the wool” terrorist. But simply because emotion feels good, you say. It helps relieve [big laugh] the “tension.” [still laughing]
Better you took a swig of beer or knocked yourself out—put yourself out of your misery for a little while.
Think not that you can find salvation in your own way and HAVE it. Give over EVERY plan that you have made …
… that you have MADE …
… for your salvation in exchange for God’s.
See, you can’t … don’t waste your time reading something like that and saying, “Well, I’m not here to become a monk.” “I’m not here to be a Priest.” “I’m not here to be a religious person.” Well, let me ask you this? Are you here to be Sane? Are you here to be in your right Mind? Are you here to be safe? Are you here to be invulnerable? Yes, you are. And so do what brings you those things. Turn to the infinite Intelligence of the universe that is unfolding the universe in every instant and ask of It, ask of Him to reveal to you His Perspective. Because it is the Perspective He placed in you from the beginning and in every single moment. And it is your Birthright to be experiencing it and it’s a foolish, suffering waste of time for you not to.
Give over EVERY plan …
… every reasonable or silly little set of ideas …
… that you have made for your salvation in exchange for God’s. His will content you…
… see? But it isn’t like God and poor little man, and God’s Perspective will content poor little you, and you’ll still be poor little you, but somehow you’ll be dumbly happy, because this beneficent God is provided you with some Knowledge. No! What the Father provides to you is the illumination of the magnitude of you. And when you see the magnitude of you, and it means to you exactly what it is, you have the inescapable awareness that it’s true about every single one of your brothers and sisters. And if you don’t think that realization transforms like the “leaven that leavens the whole lump”—all of your brothers and sisters then—you misunderstand the power of it, and the Presence of it that you hold within you by your decision to not try to be so damn self-important all by yourself, but to give it up in favor of Being the Presence of Love that draws a circle and takes Him in and takes it … everything in, embraces it all.
God’s plan …
… [His] will content you, and there is nothing else that can bring you peace. For peace is of God…
… and here’s the clincher …
… and of no-one beside Him.
What I’m talking about is for everyone, but especially for students of A Course In Miracles. It has application because none of this is new to you although the way you’re looking at it or the way you need to be looking at it will be new to you. Not enough attention is given to the depth and meaning of the practice of the holy instant.
Listen to this:
Be humble before Him…
… meaning the Father …
… and yet great IN Him. And value no plan of the ego before the plan of God.
Value not your fantastic ideas before you value His. You see? Sidestep the clutter from the beginning, sidestep what gets in your way from the beginning.
[And] value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty …
… Listen to this:
For you leave empty your place in His plan, which you must fulfill if you would join with me, by your decision to join in any plan BUT His.
A difficult sentence to grasp, so I’m going to break it up into two parts.
[And] value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty your place in His plan, … by your decision to join in any plan BUT His.
That’s clear. There’s a subjective clause, however, that says:
… which you must fulfill if you would join with me…
“No man cometh under the Father but by me.”4 No man cometh under the Father but by the Holy Spirit. You see?
So if you want to get to the Father, you must join with me, you must join with the Holy Spirit, which means you must be willing to shift the way you have been being and yield to that which is nothing more than your right Mind—yield to the Father’s Perspective, which is manifest in you through the Holy Spirit. That is the Holy Spirit’s function.
As long as you are holding yourself separate, then that of you, that of your divinity, which you are ignoring, stands in the single purpose of revealing the rest of you, to you, in order to break down the isolation which makes you think you are small and independent, and returns you to your Sanity—the meaning of the word “Atonement.”
[And] value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty your place in His plan, which you must fulfill if you would join with me, by your decision to join in any plan BUT His.
If you wish to have the Holy Spirit speak to you, let’s put it this way: if you wish to hear the Holy Spirit—since after all, the Holy Spirit is always addressing you trying to get your attention—but if you are willing to hear the Holy Spirit, then your place in His plan can be revealed to you, and will be revealed to you by me, by the Holy Spirit.
Now that’s the way it works. Since that’s the way it works—that is the way it does work—and so you cannot fail in it.
So you can approach this in a somewhat selfish way by saying, “I wish to join with the Holy Spirit. I wish to join with the Father so that I will no longer be scared to death, so that I will no longer experience suffering, so that I will no longer feel wild, utter vulnerability. I wish not to hurt any more. Father help me hear You. And I will continue until I do.” You see?
There’s a point at which the rubber hits the road. There’s a point at which the theory must be transformed into practice, where you change because you’re willing to put forth the effort that it takes. And it’s spelled out so simply for you in the holy instant.
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.
Utterly simple. I don’t care if you’re eighty-six years old, seventy-three years old, fourteen years old, time cannot be used as an excuse for being insane, for simply not employing your Mind wholly. And because employing your Mind wholly is the way [chuckles] regaining your Sanity works. It is available to everyone no matter what their age or condition, as long as it’s wanted, and as long as one doesn’t justify ongoing suffering, because it’s just too much work.
I will tell you something: it’s not work to be Sane. It’s work to do things the way you have been doing them. It seems to be work to abandon the way you’ve been doing them, because you have been committed to them for so long, and it stands as part of your integrity that you have been consistent. And that’s a hard one to abandon—lose your consistency, you lose your integrity. Well, it’s bullshit! Lose your consistency in illusion and what’s left is Reality in its divine wholeness.
Now, the Answer awaiting the world today lies in Union. It lies in drawing a circle that brings them in. And you simply have to get it through your head that going into the Silence and abandoning how impossible it looks to you when you’re trying to use your own private limited resources. In abandoning that you open the door for the inevitable Answer. Because I will tell you, sooner or later the illusion is going to end, because it’s an illusion. And so it might as well be now when it seems so impossible. Now is when the Answer must be leaned into through the holy instant, not as a means of getting rid of those so-and-so’s who are so bad—excluding yourself, of course—and instead asking God to see the more of God that He is Being in you and everyone else … the ones dropping the bombs, the ones who are apparently the aggressors.
The Answer lies in finding out how to be the Presence of Love that touches the hearts of the bastards! There needs to be a bumper sticker, “Touch the Hearts of the Bastards”!
Find the way … find the way to draw the circle that takes them in and transforms everything.
One last point: Do you just stand around and let everyone do their dirty deeds? Do you not say, “No”? If you do not say, “No,” then you are not standing with the Father and calling the lie, the lie. But here’s the thing: You have to find a way to say “No” within the circle that you have drawn that brings them in. You must find a way to say “No” that does not amplify terrorism, that does not amplify hate, that doesn’t validate the emotional responses associated with feeling incompetent in the face of dire circumstances, which of course, will always call for the use of force capable of killing if necessary.
Don’t worry, there will be those who will use force to put a stop to malicious and destructive acts. But the more those steps can be taken within the realm of level-headed peace and reason, the more quickly the whole problem will be resolved without a great magnitude of force, because the little bit of leaven does leaven the whole lump.
If someone is intent upon killing, restrain him, but don’t kill him if you don’t have to. Don’t unleash anger at him or her, but restrain him for sure, restrain her for sure, knowing that that prevents further harm, but isn’t the total Answer, because now you have to listen for what will touch the heart of the bastard or the bitch, or the circumstance or the practice.
So you could say, it’s a hard one we’re talking about. But it’s only hard because you’re being called upon to do something sooner than you expected to have to. You’re being asked to let the blessing of A Course in Miracles find expression in the world by actually letting it change you, by actually causing you to shut up. In other words, become still, meditate, and then in the absence of willfulness—called peace—asking, “Father, reveal to me Your Perspective. Holy Spirit heal my misperception,” and then persisting in listening until you get the Answer. And it might initially take a while. I mean, it might take a few weeks. But let there be time taken every day to turn your attention diligently and honestly toward the revelation.
It will come. In some ways it will come in a form that you’re least expecting. But it will come, and it will come again, and it will come again. And each time it will be easier and you will have begun the shift from independence to Union. And by being the change yourself the world will be affected.
I love you all, you bastards, you. I love you all, in other words, in spite of your short-comings, in spite of your inconsistencies, in spite of the fact that you love the truth but don’t want to embrace it as completely as I’m asking for at the moment. I love you in spite of your ignorances.
Love your brothers and sisters as I am loving my Brothers and Sisters, You. I love you All.
Okay, does anyone have any comments or questions?
I do have a question.
Thank you for that. I stand very corrected and I am grateful for the help in shifting my perception. But I have a question that I have a feeling has probably got an easy answer, but part of the disturbingness of what’s going on with those bastards that we all are, is what happens to the victims that seem to be harmed or killed by people? How do we look at that? And you know, go back into the holy instant and withdraw from the judgment and the horror of it all? How can we soften our hearts and the feeling that we have for the sadness for those people that seem to be suffering so much?
I’m very glad you asked the question, because it indicates you have heart and you’re not just interested in the theory and some way to get distance, which unfortunately too many students of religion and the Course do.
Your caring, your sadness indicates Union with your brothers and sisters, and that is Love. And you must understand that that blesses, even if it doesn’t constitute a full transformation. You must begin to see it as Love felt, Love being expressed from the depth of you and not make the false assumption that it is anger or something negative impelling you that would add to the problem.
Those who are injured, families of those who are injured or who have experienced the loss of a loved-one, sorely need the caring that you’re experiencing. They do not need bitterness expressed by you toward those who in their ignorance did the only thing they felt they could do to heal their hurt. Every single one involved in these instants needs healing.
Keep out of polarization, don’t let that enter into the equation, as it were. Love the perpetrators, the so-called perpetrators and the so-called victims equally. You can see, intellectually at least, that in not introducing polarization, your word, your caring goes forth undiluted, undivided and therefore, not weakened in its presence and healing power.
The key thing is what I just said. You must Love the Christ of the perpetrators as much as you would honor and Love the Christ of the victims.
I will tell you something else: although the acts of the perpetrators and perpetrators to come need to be stopped, the acts that are taken to stop them must, again, occur within the circle that’s drawn that brings them in. And that is the key to the transformational result that everyone is really wanting.
But as long as an enemy remains the opposite of the Christ in your mind, you have a polarization that holds back the Light of Love. The victims need to be honored not because they’re victims, but because they are the holy Sons and Daughters of God in whom He’s well pleased and who most certainly need to be held separate and apart from any lingering memory of trauma that would color their perspective as they continue forward in their process of learning to come Home by abandoning the state of independence.
You see, it isn’t so much some special gift that needs to be given to the victims that leaves the perpetrators unblessed also. I invite everyone to abide with that. Be present in the holy instant with what I’m saying so that any continuing lack of resolve might be wiped away and open them up to forgiveness given and not withheld from anyone.
You see, we’re talking about Waking up, we’re not talking about getting even. And I’m not saying that to you, I’m saying that because everyone needs to hear it. Okay.
Raj, I appreciate that so much. Thank you.
You are welcome. Thank you for letting me be with all of you.
Oh, thank you.
Oh, thank you. This is really a leap forward here.
And I look forward to being with everyone next time.
Hey, Paul, can I say one last thing to you.
I just want to say thank you. It has been a really hard, hard time to understand everything that is going on and to try to put it into the perspective of what I know to be true based on what I’ve learned through you and Raj and the Course In Miracles.
It’s really honestly changed my life and I’m so grateful. But when I know that it should apply in a certain way, and I can’t seem to make it do so, then these questions stick there, and even though I still know what I know this doesn’t sit right. But so tonight what you said, what Raj said, there’s not one question I can think of to ask that wasn’t answered in that. And thank you so much.
You’re really welcome.
And with that I guess I’ll say good night to everyone.
Okay, good night.