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Here’s a question for you: What circumstances contribute to the experience of the holy instant? Solitude? Quietude? Reverence, as in the sanctuary where others might be present but there is an attitude of spirituality and reverence? The absence of animosity? The presence of respect being accorded to you?
Well, there’s only one circumstance that contributes to the experience of the holy instant. And that circumstance is a mind whose attention is on God, saying “Yes” to God. This circumstance, present—no matter what is going on around you—is all it takes to experience the holy instant.
A holy instant is when you say “Yes” to God because you want to know God’s Perspective … about what? About whatever the circumstances are that you’re in the middle of. Why? Because the holy instant is about relationships.
And so, if you’re going to experience the holy instant, you’re going to have to be present in the middle of relationships. It’s that simple. And it doesn’t matter what they are. Why? Because no matter how you’re defining them, if there are circumstances going on at all, they are circumstances God is Being. And therefore, the very circumstances that you might be defining inappropriately or incorrectly, are the very circumstances that hold your salvation in them because they hold the Presence of God being all that is really occurring right there.
You can experience a holy instant on a battlefield. You can experience a holy instant on the freeway where there’s been an accident. You can experience the holy instant in the middle of a bunch of confused people who are trying to get out of their confusion in awkward ways. Why? Because no matter how others are seeing themselves, no matter how others are interpreting what they call the circumstances they’re in, you are in circumstances that are constituted of God, understood, grasped, experienced truly or misperceived. Whichever it is, God is what is being experienced.
That’s why I keep saying that every moment is pregnant with infinity. Every moment is pregnant with your illumination. Every moment is pregnant with you coming back into your right Mind—you letting the Holy Spirit in. Why? So that you might see your brothers and your world in an unflawed fashion … because it’s your Birthright not to be insane. Let’s put it this way, it’s your Birthright to experience your sanity wholly, without distortion of any kind.
Let’s go into the book.
The ego’s use of relationships is so fragmented that it frequently goes even farther…1
… even farther than defining this as love and this is not love, as having a preference that this is more loving than that.
The ego’s use of relationships is so fragmented that it frequently goes even farther; one part of one aspect suits its purposes, while it prefers different parts of another aspect.
Well, considering what we’ve just been talking about, the ego can take the relationships that are part and parcel of the circumstances that you’re confronted with and it can say that this aspect is more conducive, and that part, aspect, is less conducive to the experience of the holy instant [chuckle] under these circumstances. But under other circumstances the opposites will have value or lack of value. Why? Because depending upon the circumstance, one or the other helps create security to one who feels vulnerable. And so in one instance this will be rejected because it isn’t as effective as another aspect to provide security. But under other circumstances, the one that was rejected will be the better of two, and it will be picked.
The ego has no standards. There are no principles underlying anything as the ego sees it … except the principle of self-preservation. And what preserves one’s self, as I said, in one circumstance will be different in another circumstance.
What would you think if you observed someone behaving in these different ways under different circumstances? If you saw that one in the same set of circumstances all the time, you might be inclined to say, “Well this is a very dependable individual. He has principles. He abides by them. He is consistent. I can trust him. I can rely upon him to be the way I expect him to be.”
But if per chance, you get to see him in another set of circumstances in which he violates what you perceived to be his principles, then you will be distrustful of him. “Where is his anchor? Where is his rudder? Where is there anything that makes him dependable?” And of course, why do you want to know? Because if he’s not dependable, you are going to be vulnerable, and now this one, who maybe under certain circumstances you would rely on, but not in others you wouldn’t, you become just like him.
The ego’s use of relationships is so fragmented that it frequently goes even farther; one part of one aspect suits its purposes, while it prefers different parts of another aspect. Thus does it assemble reality to its own capricious liking, offering for your seeking …
… meaning, your observation …
… a picture whose likeness does not exist.
Have you ever known anyone who has “telephone manners?” You can be visiting with them, you know, down to earth, real, easy going, fluid conversation and the phone rings and they answer the phone and you think, “Who in the world is that? Where did they come on with that persona? And Why?” Well, because they feel that for some reason it serves them … it serves their safety … it serves the presentation and effect that they want to make. And under those circumstances they use it.
And they get off the phone and you wonder, “Well, wait a minute, how much of the way they’ve been dealing with me is real or how much of it is a persona that they’re putting on with me, which they wouldn’t begin to put on with someone else?” And as you try to take these conflicting aspects and put them together and have a picture of this individual, you can’t, because they’re so inconsistent.
It’s almost like a person with multiple personalities. And one of the personalities wears glasses because their vision is poor, but consistently poor, so that an examination would show what kind of glasses were needed. And when they wear the glasses they’re able to see. But when the other persona comes forth, it wears no glasses because it needs no glasses … same body, you might say, but inconsistency. And how can you put this together if you were to observe it? You can’t put the need for glasses and no need for glasses together in the same place at the same time, which makes this sentence more understandable:
Thus does it assemble …
… the ego …
… reality to its own capricious liking, offering for your seeking a picture whose likeness does not exist.
Now the simple fact is, that if you’re not yielding to God, if you are not saying in every instant, “Father, what is Your perspective? what is the truth here? what is it my Birthright as Your Son or Daughter to be experiencing here?” … if you’re not doing that, then you are making a presentation. And the basis of whatever your behavior is, is self-preservation. And you are inconsistent. And you are dishonest, because you will do under different circumstances whatever it takes to keep you safe.
Now, the reason you do this is because you don’t feel your connection with your Source. And so you practice or exercise no alliance with it. You practice an unconsciousness of it—an unconsciousness of a relationship that actually uninterruptedly, eternally exists and constitutes the reason you do exist.
So, every circumstance that you are confronted with is a circumstance of relationships. Every relationship holds for you the opportunity for you to experience it truly as it is, which would constitute a holy relationship. A relationship with—I don’t want to say between—a relationship with everything.
If you go into a zoo and you walk through it, after three or four hours you have seen all different kinds of species of life. As you have done it, you’ve never been confused about who you are. And other human beings there that you have been walking with, are those that you would describe as, “we.” “We—all of us—went through the zoo and looked at all these fascinating aspects of creation.” And you didn’t mean the baboons, and you didn’t mean the hummingbirds and you didn’t mean the rattlesnake when you said, “We all walked through the park … we all walked through the zoo.”
But you know what? You had no trouble identifying who the “we” was. It didn’t matter whether some had black hair, blond hair… it didn’t matter whether some had red skin or black skin or slanted eyes. “We walked through the zoo, fascinated by the incredible variety of Creation.”
Well, you know what? When you enter into the holy instant, where you said “Yes” to God, and your brothers and sisters are revealed to you as what they truly Are, you recognize yourself in them, and you know they recognize themselves in you just like everyone in the zoo—everyone walking through the zoo. And you can immediately say, “We” … why? Because We are the same.
And this is what it means when the Course refers to the Sonship—the Sons and Daughters of God. The Sonship is One. The Christ is One. It doesn’t mean that there’s not infinite individuation of God. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t infinite manifestation of God. But it means that the infinite manifestation recognizes and experiences Itself as One, as undifferentiated, we’ll say, in the sense that you’re used to differentiating yourself from the birds and the cats and the insects and on and on and on. You make that differentiation.
I’m going to tell you something else: In the holy instant, not only is there no specialness of any kind, of the sort that would make insects different from cats and so on, absolutely everything, whether it’s a tree, or a leaf on the tree, or a bird on the branch in the tree, or the earth that the tree is growing in and on and on and on, every aspect is “We”—every aspect is “Us.” And I will carefully say, every thing is “Me.” But it’s every thing is Me, not everything is little me, the center of the world, the center of the universe. No, the universe in its awesome infinite wholeness is We—is Us—in which nothing stands out as being “not me,” and therefore, making the me that is different from what is not Me, special. You see?
Thus does it assemble reality to its own capricious liking, offering for your seeking a picture whose likeness does not exist.
You see … a picture of a likeness that doesn’t exist is a caricature, actually. It’s not a picture.
For there is nothing in Heaven or earth that it resembles, and so, however much you seek for its reality, you cannot find it because it is not real.
However much you try to find the reality of an ego that’s capricious in the way it puts its values together, you’re not going to find it. But at the same time, you must come to the realization that that definition applies to you too at this moment, until you’re willing to provide the circumstance in which the holy instant can occur.
That circumstance being: Your willingness to stand with your attention on God … saying “Yes” to God… “Yes” to letting in His perception, His experience of the Real meaning of every aspect of everything, so that you might, in that moment, cease being separate and different and therefore special and in not holding anything else to be separate and different from you … getting rid of its specialness, which in almost all cases amounts to a negative specialness that you must be on guard against and which you spend your life making sure you’re defended against well … through skillful manipulation.
Everyone on earth has formed special relationships, and although this is not so in Heaven…
… you might say, where the Holy Spirit abides …
… and although this is not so in Heaven, the Holy Spirit knows how to bring a touch of Heaven to them here. In the holy instant no-one is special, for your personal needs intrude on no-one to make them different.
In other words, when you do allow the holy instant to happen, you no longer put on a telephone voice. You no longer talk this way with that one and another way with another one. You suddenly cease in that instant to be dishonest. And you have the opportunity to feel the substantiality of your integrity when you are actually being honest—something that happens spontaneously when defense is abandoned—when fear is gone. This is important to understand.
Without the values from the past …
… things which you cannot bring into the holy instant.
Without the values from the past you WOULD see them all the same…
… just like you see all the other people in the zoo as being the same, as contrasted by being different from the animals in the zoo.
Without the values from the past you WOULD see them all the same, and like YOURSELF. Nor would you see any separation between yourself and them. In the holy instant, you see in each relationship what it WILL be when you perceive only the present.
Here’s a little mind bender for you …
… you see in each relationship what it WILL be when you perceive only the present.
If you perceive only the present, how can you see what will be? Because when you see in the present, you see the truth, you experience the truth, which you will experience forever—even though time will not pass.
The point is, that the future will not constitute a change of what you Are. No more will you be engaged in perfecting yourself in developing greater skills.
You will live life fully from the already fullness of you, as will all of your brothers and sisters. And you will see it in them and they will recognize, as I’ve said the last few weeks, they will recognize it in you. Your appreciation and acknowledgement of what is true of them will be felt and acknowledged by them. And you will feel the acknowledgement, therefore, your act of acknowledgement is a universal act of acknowledgement that embraces the whole as a single act, much in the same way that all of you walking through the zoo is a single act or all of you enjoying a day at Disneyland is a single act. It may be made up of a lot of different activities, but it’s a single act of Us, you might say, having fun.
I’m trying to convey to you a feeling … a feeling of what Oneness means. And a feeling of the fact that Oneness no longer allows for any form of differentness that constitutes exclusion in some way.
The very word “infinite” implies infinity. It implies unending manifestation of life. But none of those manifestations constitute a difference or a specialness that makes it stand out above anything else, and also does not allow everything else to be something threatening.
And so unity of infinity constitutes harmony. This is what awaits you as you allow for and invite the holy instant by abandoning the definitions you’ve made up and learned that cause you to see differentness where differentness doesn’t exist, and causes strife to occur where differentness doesn’t actually exist and which, therefore, needs to be expunged. The strife needs to be banished, not by a decree, but by a simple lack of exercising a right to define things as though they are different and believe your definition, and then act accordingly.
God knows you NOW. He remembers nothing, having ALWAYS known you exactly as He knows you now.
As you walk through the zoo with everyone else or as you move through Disneyland with everyone else, you’re knowing each other NOW. You remember nothing about them. You could say that you’re a present, We. It’s a brand new We, different from the we that was walking down the streets in Anaheim or the streets in the town where the zoo is. But it’s always, We. And you recognize the We. And you know Them as you knew the people yesterday as We.
Now this does not express the total meaning of the words here in the Course, but they convey to you how We can mean something to you without there being a requirement to define every aspect of the We as though it is distinctly different from the others, as though each individual were a different species. You see?
But you live with each other that way. You protect yourself against each other. And because you’re protecting yourself against your brother, your brother sees you as a threat and treats you accordingly. And so you play this dance together, of war, to one degree or another, which is the absence of the holy instant … and is the call for the holy instant.
God knows you NOW. He remembers nothing, having ALWAYS known you exactly as He knows you now. The holy instant parallels His knowing by bringing ALL perception out of the past, thus removing the frame of reference you have built by which to judge your brothers.
And judge your brothers, you do … unless of course, you’ve done the two-step. Unless you’ve stepped back and abandoned whatever definition might have sprung forth the moment you met him a moment ago, or whatever definition had accumulated because the fellow was someone you’ve known for a long time … you’ve been willing to step back and abandon that and inquire with an innocent mind, with innocent eyes, to know of God, “What is the truth here? Help me see You in this one, because I know if there appears to be this one in any form, it has to be You being Yourself, here and now, and everything characteristic of You is the only thing that can truly be there for me to experience it. That, I want to experience. I do not want to continue to experience my definition and my reactions to those definitions and my preoccupation with what behavior is called for because of those definitions.” You see?
Once this is gone…
… all perception out of the past, which has removed the frame of reference you’ve built by which to judge your brothers …
Once this is gone, the Holy Spirit …
… that which is nothing more than your right Mind …
… substitutes His frame of reference for it.
His frame of reference is simply God.
That is the simplicity of it. If the Holy Spirit is nothing more than your right Mind, then your frame of reference is God. That’s the simplicity of it. That’s the strength of it. That’s the integrity of it. That’s the inviolability of it. It means that no matter how much imagination you use, God being all there is to you can’t be altered, and hasn’t been altered.
The Holy Spirit’s timelessness lies only here.
Your timelessness lies only here.
For in the holy instant, free of the past, you see that love is in you, and you have no need to look WITHOUT and snatch it guiltily from where you thought is was.
Relief … release. You no longer have to snatch it guiltily because it’s not only yours, it’s the very substance of you. It’s your nature. It is that out from which every action, every conscious awareness comes. It’s pure harmony and pure beauty and yet, in the experience of it, you don’t have yourself on your mind because you’re aware that this is the truth about everyone and everything. And all of a sudden it’s We. All of a sudden it’s Us. All of a sudden there’s no call for defense. As I said, all of a sudden there is relief.
Now, it’s becoming clearer that this is a threshold that everyone will move over. And it’s a threshold that you’re being called to move over because you can, and there’s someone to tell you that you can.
It’s simply time for suffering to be over. It’s simply time for tension to dissolve. It’s simply time for a misunderstanding of who you Are and what everything Is, to vanish.
ALL your relationships are blessed in the holy instant…
… and it’s equally true to read it this way:
ALL your relationships are bless-ed in the holy instant, because the blessing is not limited.
In the holy instant, the arising of love in you that’s filling you up—at least that’s what it feels like—is God’s Love illuminating Itself in you, illuminating what never left. And as you feel it, and I’m going to say, own it, because you know it’s You, and because there are no private thoughts or experiences, all of Creation feels that acknowledgement in you and that experience in you, because there are no private experiences in actuality. And you have your first experience of what can only be called “Universal Love.”
You’ve been able to imagine that you are embraced in Universal Love—the Father’s Love. But it’s time for you to begin to be aware that when you let the Love that you Are be felt by yourself, it is felt Universally. And the Universe feels Universally loved by you. This is the simple, simplicity of Oneness.
As you realize that We are walking through the zoo, or We are all enjoying Disneyland, it doesn’t turn the We into a lump—an undifferentiated lump, we’ll say, which would be static and not infinite anymore. It leaves every aspect of infinity free to fulfill it’s God-directed purpose, with every aspect of it recognizing its Godness and the Godness of everything else, so that it knows all of it is We … and rejoices in safety, rejoices in peace, rejoices in the absence of tension, rejoices at the awesomeness of Creation without excitement—meaning, that thrill that was always tinged with fear as something new was explored, which couldn’t be embraced because it was being looked at through eyes that were absent Love. In other words, by the orphan.
In the holy instant, the Sonship gains AS ONE. And united in your blessing, it BECOMES one to you. The meaning of love is the meaning God gave to it. Give to it any meaning APART from His, and it is impossible to understand it.
And I will say that, because you don’t understand it when you look at Him and it looks like your brothers and sisters, you tend to be confused and misunderstand and mistrust what you see, and begin to act out of fear.
Every brother God loves as He loves you; neither less nor more. He needs them all equally, and so do YOU.
Every brother God loves as He loves you;…
… no specialness. But God sees you truly. God sees you now. And God sees Himself in you now. And you, not holding yourself apart, experience as your being, that integrity of God seeing and recognizing Himself in what He sees, and therefore It’s incapability of conflict. Unity, peace, harmony, being, arising out of love infinitely, but not separately.
God needs all of Creation equally. And you need all of Creation equally. And all of Creation needs you equally because it is all One. And if any part of It tries to hold itself apart, it doesn’t change the fact that the Universe needs all of Itself equally, including you. And the Brotherhood needs all of Itself, including you, equally … and vice versa.
The holy instant allows that experience, that Real experience of being as One, back into and as your conscious experience of Being. And that’s what it’s all about.
In time, you have been told to offer miracles as Christ directs, and let the Holy Spirit bring to you those who are seeking you.
You have been told to listen to the Holy Spirit. You’ve been told to listen for the Christ within and to take direction relative to healing, and that the Holy Spirit would bring those to you for healing. Yet, you were moving to, you might say, a new level, a new paradigm.
Yet in the holy instant…
… this moment in which you say “Yes” to God, and actually let in the experience …
… in the holy instant, you unite directly with God, and ALL your brothers join in Christ.
You join with God by no longer insisting upon the right to be an orphan and work out your own salvation on your own terms. And when you join with God and God reveals you to your Self as He is being You, and you recognize the truth about We—all of your Brothers and Sisters and all of Creation—you no longer hide your Christhood. And as part of the Brotherhood that constitutes the Christ, you recognize your Self without guilt and without pride, simply for what you Are … the Father’s Son … the Father’s Offspring.
Those who are joined in Christ …
… in other words, [a chuckle] those who as they walk through the zoo say We about themselves walking through the zoo, those who find their unity even though there seems to be diversity, are joined in their We-ness … right? That’s the same as what it means here:
Those who are joined in Christ are in no way separate. For Christ is the Self the Sonship shares, as God shares His Self with Christ.
That’s like a mathematical equation: God = Christ = Christ = God.
Now, these are not spiritual words about a spiritual existence somewhere far off. These are invitations and triggers to your awareness to help you be willing to look at where you are now, with whatever circumstances you’re confronted by, with a cultivated curiosity no matter what the circumstances are, to get God to tell you and show you Himself in any part or every part of the circumstances, without bringing your past definitions of the circumstances into play.
You can’t say, “Well, it’s not quiet enough. Well, it’s not private enough. Well, there’s not enough respect. Well, there’s not enough peace.” You see … and then resent the circumstance.
The circumstance is the only means you have, to have a holy instant. Because the holy instant is going to be about a relationship. If that isn’t kicking against the pricks, I don’t know what it is, when you resent the very thing that holds the Answer.
If the circumstance is unpleasant, say anyway, “God, show me your Self here. I know You’ve got to be here because something’s happening. [Chuckling] It looks like hell, but something is happening. If something is happening, You’ve got to be here! Show me, because I want to see You. I do not want to see what I’m seeing. I’m willing to abandon my frustration or anger at the circumstance. I’m willing to stop saying the circumstance will keep me from experiencing Your Presence.” You see?
Value every apparent circumstance that you seem to be in, and you bring the one circumstance into play that will promote the holy instant—your willingness to stand with your attention … where? Not on your definitions of the circumstances, but on the Father, Who is present with you no matter what you are perceiving, and asking, “Father, what is the truth here?” and letting it in.
Just remember, you won’t let it in as long as you’re resenting the circumstance, as long as you are judging it as not worthy of being present with, as long as you are judging it as something destructive to you. That is bullshit!
You don’t have to define it that way. You can define it truly and say, “If anything is going on here at all—and something obviously is—God must be here. And I’m going to ask God of Himself what It is, so that I might know it and join Him in appreciation of It and let go of whatever is binding me to a sense of suffering and lack associated with these circumstances.” That’s the invitation to the holy instant. And that’s what lets the holy instant occur.
You have humongous number of holy instants ahead of you this coming week. Take advantage of them. And I look forward to being with you next week.
T15.5 The Holy Relationship and Special Relationships ↩
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