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THE HOLY INSTANT—THE TWO-STEP.
You know, it’s not necessary to have ever heard about the holy instant or the two-step in order to have had the experience. Nor is it necessary in order to have the experience now. It is convenient and helpful to know about it because it makes it easier to practice it.
If you don’t know about it, it happens spontaneously—usually under extreme stress or emergency.
Most everyone prays, most everyone has a relationship with God, but it isn’t until some circumstance occurs that puts you right up against a rock and you are stymied, totally. It isn’t until one gets into that situation that one actually engages in what the two-step and the holy instant is all about.
It isn’t until then that one says, “I have nothing more important in the whole world than to ask God for help. Anything else I might try to do will not solve this problem I’m confronted by.” And so under this circumstance, under the pressure of it, you become committed, committed enough that you don’t abandon trying to talk to God—trying to get the Father’s help, until you get the help.
This is very important to understand. You see?
We’ve talked about the holy instant. We’ve described it as a two-step process and everyone who has listened to what I’ve shared has in one way or another tried it out—practiced it. But what I want to convey here is that this element of commitment, this element of resolve to practice the two-step, engage the holy instant and do it without an ace up your sleeve—some other avenue to take if this doesn’t work—that’s what is essential.
And most everyone thinks: “Well, I have enough time in the day that even when I’m on the run I can say, “Father, what is the truth here, Father, what is the truth there, Father what do I need to know?” and you reach out to the Father. But resolve isn’t brought into play and you abandon the listening easily.
Now tonight it is my task to encourage everyone to get to the point of resolve, to know that when you’re engaging in the two-step and turning to the Father and asking to know the truth, that you bring resolve and commitment to it that causes you to say, “I’m not going to allow my attention to be totally distracted from my intent to know the truth—even if I’m engaging in other things—until I hear the answer.” Because it’s when the answer comes that faith accompanies it and fills you with faith bringing you to a point where your perception is transformed and there is healing for you.
But you know what? Something that is inseparable from this is that not only does faith get extended to you by the Father, but the experience of His Love for you is extended by the Father as an unmistakable experience—a transforming experience. Why? Because when you experience this Love, when you experience being loved in this all-consuming way, you experience your innocence. You experience the fact that you deserve this experience of love, that you are worthy of it, which is something that had not entered your mind. In fact, all of you to one degree or another, feel unworthy of experiencing the Father’s Love because you are guilty of this, and guilty of that and guilty of the other thing.
And so it doesn’t occur to you to let in the Father’s Love because obviously He would punish you first before He extended His Love, and one could say, before extending the faith that is the Father’s Gift.
When you, with commitment, listen, expecting to hear because that’s part of the package, that’s the way it works and therefore, it is worth your commitment to listen until you hear—until the Blessing is laid on you.
Now this is an incredible experience. Something else that accompanies it is that when you look at your Brother or your Sister, your fellowman, you recognize that what you’re experiencing about your innocence is true about your Brother or Sister, your fellowman. It is inescapable to you that they’re loved by the Father right now just as you are, and that they are worthy of it, just as you are, and that they are innocent of anything that would make them unworthy of it just as you are.
This, as I’ve said before, changes your perspective and causes you to behave in a new way toward your Brother and Sister. It’s important to understand this.
Now I’m going to go into the book but I’m going to start one paragraph earlier than I announced. It begins by saying:
To have faith is to heal.1
Now, healing is a word that many students of the Course don’t embrace as fully as is needed because they believe that faith, that healing, has to do with one’s mind, with one’s perspective, but not necessarily to the evidence—the manifestation, called the world and universe—the evidence of God because it is the Kingdom of Heaven seen clearly or seen through a glass darkly.2 Seen through a glass darkly and believed, it seems to be something that A Course In Miracles is not relevant to. And this needs to be corrected because everyone is here, and through the study of the Course, everyone is put in a position of becoming an agent for change.
Calls for correction are calls for correction!
They’re not calls for overlooking or for being overlooked. They’re calls for correction.
To have faith is to heal.
In other words, if you have faith you have engaged in the two-step. You have practiced the holy instant with commitment, and you have hung in there until the Father responded or until you were willing to let the Father’s Response register with you. At that point, the experience of the Father’s Love fills you, embraces you, and the gift of faith is extended to you. So to have faith means that you have arrived at that point of having practiced the holy instant and experienced the gifts that accompany its true practice.
To have faith is to heal.
Why? Because when you Know the truth about your Brother, you’re seeing him through your Father’s Eyes with your Father’s Vision … pulls you out of the orphan mind-set in which you saw your Brother as worthy of being judged and having held him to his guilt until he’s paid the penalty. You see?
Not now, not after seeing the truth about your Brother. So,
To have faith is to heal.
That means real, actual change including what you would call physical change—physical healing.
To have faith is to heal. It is the sign you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, and would therefore share it.
And it really isn’t something that you would think to withhold. It is spontaneously shared because the truth is so obvious to you, you can’t share anything else. It’s spontaneous.
By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which YOU received.
You see? The faith that was the gift of the Father together with the experience of His Love for you—His beloved Son who is worthy of His Love—you can’t help but offer that. You’ve been freed from the past. You know every little thing you did that was not right, that was not just, that was not kind and yet here you are experiencing the Father’s Love.
What’s happened? All of the justifications for poor behavior, all of the fear, all of the guilt that you’ve carried with you that has beaten you down and caused you to behave in mean-spirited ways, these things no longer make sense to you, because the Father loves you and you feel it … you Know it!
So you’ve been freed from the past: The past that you have maintained in your mind as justification for lack of self-appreciation, as justification for anger and jealousy and a whole gamut of emotions that you feel justified to bring into play against your Brothers and Sisters or your world. So:
By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past…
… freedom from the past …
… which YOU received. You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him NOW. You freely choose to overlook his errors, looking past all barriers between your self and his, and seeing them as one.
You recognize yourself in him as the Son of God—innocent, guiltless, perfect, loved, safe, and so on.
And in that one you see your faith is fully justified.
Your faith in what? Your faith in him. Because you’re having faith in the truth about him that you’re experiencing as a result of letting that experience in for yourself first.
There is no justification for faithlessness, but faith is ALWAYS justified.
Now faith is ALWAYS justified. Faith in what you recognize to be the truth about your Brother. Not an intellectual recognition, but a deep down experiential Knowing because you are having an experience about your holiness—a deep reliable experience and that is what you Know within without any process to it, is the truth about your Brother.
Now just because you see the truth about your Brother, just because you feel and know the truth about your Brother which can be quite enough for your Brother to recognize it in himself when he is in your presence, doesn’t however, necessarily mean that he does recognize it. And if there is a call for correction, it falls to you who now has the Vision to be the agent for change for your Brother. Something you can do because you do see the truth about him—you do see his innocence, you feel it and you feel the love that he is embraced in from the Father.
Having that, gives you the perspective and the honor of dealing with your Brother in a way that inspires him to change—inspires him to allow the correction that is called for to occur. It’s only because you have become free of your past experience of your Brother and are experiencing the now-present reality about him that you can involve yourself with him or with her in a way that supports transformation, change, correction.
Now, one other aspect of this is that in your experience of the Father’s Love for you that you are filled with, it does make things that need correction in you obvious as things that need to be corrected because they simply don’t fit with the holy Son of God that you’re experiencing yourself as. The holiness of you uncovers what doesn’t fit and puts you in a position of having to change. You see?
Now many of you have had this experience without ever having heard of the holy instant or the two-step. And you had it because in your extremity, you genuinely and committedly reached out to the Father and persisted until you heard His response. And you had your healing. It was a miracle. But when you said “it was a miracle,” you thought that it was an experience set apart from normal daily life—not a fluke but not a typical event. Not one that you could expect to happen again because you see it as the Father having done something for you, rather than your having done something that opened you up to the Father and allowed you to let in the Father’s Love that has always been present. And therefore, it’s not an unnatural experience … it wasn’t an unnatural experience. Not miraculous in the sense of other-worldly or not of this world.
And in the understanding that it occurred because you abandoned your self-confidence and you turned toward your Father and you said “help!” and you yielded to Him. Because that’s the event that happened. It is one that you can repeat. You can bring that same level of commitedness to your reaching out to the Father with the willingness to abandon your control. You can do that over and over and over and more frequently and more frequently and more frequently so that it becomes your normal ongoing eternal experience.
Why? Because in the process of that you have discovered how valueless it is to try to be in charge yourself, independent from your Source. And so you willingly let go of the inclination to practice it and keep it alive and keep your orphanhood uninterrupted.
Faith is the opposite of fear, as much a part of love as fear is of attack. Faith is the acknowledgment of union.
It is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father…
… you see? The blessing of your clear experience of your holiness—of your being loved by the Father—blesses your Vision of everyone you see, not just one that you entered into a holy relationship with. You see?
It is the gracious acknowledgment …
… recognition, recognition accompanied by understanding.
It is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father, loved by Him …
… the Father …
… like you, and therefore loved by you as yourself.
Because you recognize yourself in Him, you see?
It is His Love …
… the Father’s Love …
… that joins you…
… as a matter of recognition not intellectual theories. As a matter of felt experience it joins you …
… and for His Love you would keep no-one separate from YOURS. Each one appears …
… in this Vision …
Each one appears just as he is perceived in the holy instant…
… in his holiness, in his perfection, in his being embraced by the Father which you can, for lack of better words, see. It’s clear to you, it’s palpable to you. Your seeing what the eyes can’t see. You’re experiencing it.
Each one appears just as he is perceived in the holy instant, united in your purpose to be released from guilt.
You might not have thought that when you reached out to the Father with commitment, that you were looking for a release from guilt. But the simple fact is, that guilt came into play when you said, “Father, I’d rather do it my way.”
To reach to the Father again and re-embrace Him and let Him be what He is to you—your Source—is naturally …
… to be released from guilt.
You saw the Christ in him…
… your brother …
… and he was healed …
… and I’m going to say, “in your sight,”
… because you looked on what makes faith forever justified in everyone.
What did you look on? You looked on the love that your Brother’s embraced by because you can feel and experience it and you know that it’s the same as what you’re experiencing. So it is a unified experience. You see? And it’s justified in everyone.
Now once again, we’re talking about being released from guilt, we’re talking about healing, we’re talking about transformation. The fact that it is clear to you that faith is forever justified in everyone, means that whether that one dares to embrace his holiness or not, you know the truth that puts you in the position, and I’m going to say, gives you the responsibility to mentor your Brother with the true perception, knowing that your Brother is capable of engaging in the correction necessary because what he is laboring under is not the truth about him and cannot actually be binding him in suffering.
And because this is so clear to you, it’s impossible for you to believe his behavior or his belief, thus causing you to be able to provide a perspective of inspiration that promotes change and causes you to hang in there with your Brother or Sister until the change occurs, because you know from your experience with God that he’s suffering an illegitimate bondage and there’s nothing actually binding him to it except his own doubt and fear. And so you engage in releasing the bondage because that’s what knowing the truth is for.
Faith is the gift of God, through Him Whom God has given you.
Who’s that? What is that? It’s the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the avenue through which the Father’s faith is given you.
Faithlessness looks upon the Son of God, and judges him unworthy of forgiveness. But through the eyes of faith, the Son of God is seen ALREADY forgiven, free of all the guilt he laid upon himself.
And that he may still be laying upon himself. So let me read that again:
But through the eyes of faith, the Son of God is seen ALREADY forgiven, free of all the guilt he laid upon himself. Faith sees him only NOW because it looks not to the past to judge him, but would see in him only what it would see in YOU.
Faith sees him only NOW …
… and the giant overwhelming characteristic of seeing him in the NOW, as a result of your joining with the Father, is that your holiness and his holiness and your immeasurably being embraced by the Father’s love just as your Brother is, that characterizes you and your Brother. It characterizes the only way you have available to you in the moment to perceive your Brother. And that is the point of the holy instant. That’s why the holy instant is such a big deal. That’s why it deserves attention beyond the attention you would give to anything else, because it serves as the threshold for Awakening. That’s big! It’s meaningful. It deserves undivided attention. It deserves being brought to bear upon everything that you experience in your day.
And as I said, in the practice of the holy instant and the reaching out to the Father, the Father always answers … the Father always answers … even you. It’s unavoidable. It’s the way things work. But you must dare to persist and not wait until a terminal illnes or injury or anything else threatens you so completely that you know there is no way you can cope with it on your own. You don’t have to wait for that kind of circumstance to bring forth that kind of commitment. So do it in your daily activity when there is no emergency to it. And in the absence of overwhelming fear you can bring your commitment to it without distraction—without the distraction of fear or pain or whatever. You see?
It,… faith …
… sees not through the body’s eyes, nor looks to bodies for its justification.
This experience with your Brother in which you experience your holiness and his holiness, is not a result of what you see with your eyes, but with Vision and faith that the Father has opened you up with and which you have allowed. However, it is an inescapable fact that what you see with your eyes is a farer form far different from when you were looking through your eyes with the orphan mentality—an incredible wonderful difference.
It is the messenger of the new perception, sent forth to gather witnesses unto its coming, and to return their messages to you.
You see? The Vision you extend is a gift, which goes out to find confirmation of what you’re seeing and bring the confirmation back to you. We’ve talked about this long ago.
On the other hand, when you are engaging in fearful or negative thoughts, there the messengers are messengers of fear and negativity sent out to find confirmation and bring the confirmation back to you.
And so your experience is absolutely governed by the messengers you are sending out. And through an understanding of the two-step and the holy instant, a little better use of your mind is being practiced. And the result is that more messengers are coming back confirming the truth to you. But I’ll tell you, when you ask of the Father, “What is the truth here?” or when you ask of the Holy Spirit, “What is the truth here?” The truth is brought to you and then you spontaneously make the gift of the recognition of that truth and messengers go out to find confirmation to bring back to you. And your Brothers and Sisters and your world are blessed. It’s just the way it works.
Faith is as easily exchanged for knowledge …
… or Knowing …
… as is the real world. For faith arises from the Holy Spirit’s perception, and is the sign you share it with Him.
And who is the Holy Spirit? What is it? Nothing more than your right Mind. That part of your mind which you have put on the back burner in favor of trying to be an independent agent on your own, separate from your Source.
Faith is a gift you offer to the Son of God through Him, and wholly acceptable to his Father as to him. And therefore offered YOU.
Now, I have shared with you something of what you can expect when you practice the holy instant. But you know what? When it happens, it’s still going to be a surprise. It’s still going to knock your socks off. It comes without your knowing what it will be because you have leaned into the unknown with commitment. As I said, ordinarily one doesn’t lean into the unknown unless all other options are gone.
Now you might say, “How can I experience the unknown? [chuckles] I don’t have any capacity for that. I can learn about what is known. But discover the unknown? And you’re suggesting to me that I am to lean into this, whatever this unknown is, with commitment? I’m to listen for answers that I obviously don’t have already or I wouldn’t have the problem that I’m asking for the answers about. This is what you’re saying?” And I am saying “Yes!” I am saying “YES,” unequivocally!
Now, it is essential for me, tonight, to encourage you to look at the world and not say, “What in the world is happening to the world?” You listen to the news and you hear awful things, awful things about the economy, of your country, the economies of the world and the threat that the world is feeling because of the instability of the economies. You are learning of mass killings. You are learning of strife within countries in an attempt to overcome unjust rules.
And it appears to be so overwhelming that there’s nothing you can do. And it’s not the truth. You can be the agent for change. You must be the agent for change, just as I must be the agent for change. Change or correction is called for.
You are not sorry orphans limited and bound in injustice and lack and fear. That’s not your Birthright. The majority say it is. And I could say, “What can I do? I can’t do anything. Everyone is convinced. Everyone is sure. Everyone is unwilling to abandon what they’re confident of, because after all, how can you lean into the unknown? How can you expect to know something you don’t know that isn’t known yet?” Well, by doing the two-step, by engaging in the holy instant and knowing that there is going to be an actual redemptive result because you are the holy Son of God leaning back into your Source that never left you—even though you’ve ignored It—from which the blessing of Atonement, of Awakening occurs.
Now, don’t look at your world and see it as a set of circumstances which are governed by dynamics much larger than anything you can have an effect upon. Don’t do that! Because it’s not the truth.
All it takes is one inspired idea. When the one inspired idea comes from your mouth, it makes change. That’s where the change will come from. Maybe the answer to the economies that are falling, that are failing, that are in dire straits, maybe the solution to that isn’t to be met by new and more creative actions of large corporations and governments.
Maybe, just maybe it has to do with one individual or many individuals—not in a group—having the inspiring idea of how to be in the world in a way that meets the human need, by demonstrating that the human need can be grown out of, moved out of, replaced by the sovereignty, we’ll say, of the holy Sons and Daughters of God. Maybe it’s a single idea that a single one of you might have that you do what? You speak. You put the word out. You share it so that others [snaps fingers] can recognize it and pass it on. And in this day and age with the internet, you have the means of sharing an idea that can go around the world in less than an hour. You have the means to share ideas on a global scale.
You know what? What is this world coming to? It’s coming to whatever the majority believe!
I will tell you that the answers that will rapidly, and without great stress, transform the world, will be the ones that have come to someone because they have looked for the answer to human need. I’m not talking about the answer as to how to become wealthy. I’m not talking about ways to get others to serve you to make you important.
I’m talking about individuals with ideas that see suffering and lack and say to themselves, “This can’t be the Will of the Father for His beloved Children, which we all Are.” And then what do you do? You do the two-step. You shut up. You say, “Father, what is the truth here? What do I need to know?” Hey, if everyone isn’t Awake, if everyone isn’t experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven but there is a Kingdom of Heaven and they are all the Sons and Daughters of God then there is a way out of the human dilemma. And it will come in Ideas. It will come in faith that is the gift of the Father that is extended to you when you shut up. And with commitment lean into the silence, lean into the nebulousness of the unknown with expectancy.
If you are conscious, you are not insignificant. If you are conscious, the Totality of what God is, is present in you because of who you Are. It is not only your Birthright it is your obligation to take hold of what you Are and practice what you Are.
You see, instead of looking at things in terms of circumstances and saying, “Well, I will have to think twice before I go to a midnight showing of a new movie in the future. Well, I’m sure I’m going to have to think twice before I fly in a plane to foreign countries.” You see?
How are you using your mind? What’s the picture you’re painting? And did you gather that from the quiet stillness of the holy instant? Did you get that answer because you were joined and the Father loved you and provided the faith that inspires your vision to see truth, see everything as it truly is? No. So why do it? And why send out the messengers of fear that are embodied in that use of your mind? Because I promise you they will find justification and bring it back to you. The justification won’t be true, but it will be brought back to you. And because of where your faith is you will believe the lies that your fear and distrust brought back, because they were looking for what isn’t there, they were not looking for what would resolve the situation. You see?
The holy instant is profound. Its practice is the most meaningful thing you can engage in. And it won’t work fully until you’ve brought real commitment to engaging in it.
Please, don’t think that there can be anything that makes it inconvenient to do the most important thing in the world and ultimately the most important thing for the world.
I love you. I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.
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