Last time we ended up hearing that:
Love, too, would set a feast before you, . .
. . . and what I want everyone to understand is that existence, the very experience of Being at this very moment for every single one of you, is an experience of Love setting a feast before you . . . except that you’re not experiencing it because you’re preoccupied with seeing everything through your definitions.
Nevertheless, you could say that the Movement of Creation is Itself Love setting a feast before you. That’s the only thing confronting you ever: A feast being set before you by the Father’s Love Moving and constituting all of Creation.
And then we read further last time:
And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion.
. . . In a holy instant: that which happens when you stop and do the two-step and enter into the holy instant.
When you enter into the holy instant what happens? You stop asserting yourself. You let peace reign. You let peace be present because you have shut up your thinking. And you are willing to experience being conscious without a thought. And through your practice of meditation, your practice of the two-step—the holy instant—you learn to stay in the stillness for longer and longer periods of time, not just fleeting moments.
That peace that you allow is the state of Grace. It’s the state of Grace because in the silence you are not practicing judgment, you are not practicing independence, you are not continuing to affirm your divorce from your Father—you are in the womb, if you will. You are in the vestibule between the orphanage and Creation Itself—the direct experience of It. You are in that place where the shift can occur—the sudden shift of perception that is called, “the Miracle.”
. . . [And] in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together as they join in gentleness before the table of communion.
The holy instant is communion. The holy instant is when you experience the Presence of the Father directly. It’s when you experience the Presence of the Holy Spirit as that which is nothing more than your right Mind—the totality of clear conscious awareness.
And in that communion you learn how to see truly because the Holy Spirit, myself, the Father too, have only one intent when communion occurs and that is to have you look with Us at everything you have been looking at but from our Perspective so that you might enjoy and appreciate It as your Perspective. And in that experience, remember that it used to be your Perspective. And in that discovery, in that awareness, you are able to willingly yield to your Birthright as the holy Son or Daughter of God seeing everything and confirming it for what it truly Is because you’re seeing it as the Father sees it and in that you confirm Creation, you confirm the Father’s Will.
Now, continuing in the book:
I am made welcome in the state of grace, . .
. . . meaning in the silence, which I could say is graced by the absence of your willfulness and the dreary results of it.
I am made welcome in the state of grace, which means you have at last forgiven me.
Well, that may seem strange. Some of you might not ever have thought that you were holding anything against me that you needed to forgive me for. But at the very least, when you have looked upon Creation, when you have looked upon all that God is Being and you have said, “But I would rather define it myself,” you have denied Creation. You have condemned it to a level of unworthiness in your mind. Because what is becoming worthy only to you in your mind is your ability to redefine Creation for your purposes so that you might become a god in your own right—the definer of things without a source of your own.
So . . .
I am made welcome in the state of grace, which means you have at last forgiven me.
You have come into the silence and allowed the silence, valued what’s in the womb of silence rather than what you could fill the silence with. And so you have come without judgment—completely without judgment. And that is forgiveness.
For I became the symbol of your sin, and so I had to die instead of you.
Well, of course that’s not true, but that is the mutual agreement and definition that the majority of you have accepted, agreed to and hold to.
To the ego . . .
. . . in other words, from this independent stance . . .
. . . sin MEANS death, and so Atonement is achieved through murder.
In other words, the ultimate of the religion, you might say, of the ego, is murder and that is Atonement. Whereas in actuality, Atonement is Life—Life restored as It divinely and truly is—because you have been willing to become still and let It register with you on the Holy Spirit’s terms, on the Father’s terms. You see?
Salvation is looked upon as a way by which the Son of God was killed instead of YOU.
Whew! It’s not true. But that is the way it’s looked upon, that is the mutual agreement and its continued practice will disallow for the holy instant, will disallow for you rejoining with your right Mind . . . being totally integrated once again consciously as the holy Son or Daughter of God that you Are. That’s the truth.
Yet would I offer you my body, . .
. . . in death, I’m adding . . .
. . . you whom I love, KNOWING its littleness?
No. I would never have done that and I didn’t do that.
Or would I teach that bodies can [not] keep us apart?
No. I wouldn’t do that either.
Mine was no greater value than yours; no better means for communication of salvation, but NOT its Source.
. . . In other words, my body like yours, there can be no better means than it . . .
. . . for communication of salvation, but it is NOT [its] Source.
. . . of salvation.
No-one can die for anyone, and death does not atone for sin. Yet you can LIVE to show it is not real.
You can LIVE to show that sin is not real.
The body DOES appear to be the symbol of sin, while you believe that it can get you what you want.
You, you poor little orphan who insists on being an orphan and becoming a valid individual—a valid presence—an eternally, identifiably real, divinely real entity through your private efforts. And how are you going to do that? You do it through the use of your body. Your body is the means by which you control your reality into your experience at the expense of your Brothers and yours at the expense of your Brothers’ misuse and misunderstanding of you.
While you believe that it can give you pleasure, you will also believe that it can bring you pain.
When you got the divorce, in your imagined state of independence you are denying the Reality—God’s Reality of you—and then you’re trying to make yourself Real and in the process you are subject to pleasure and pain.
To think you could be satisfied and happy with so little is to hurt yourself, and to limit the happiness that you would have, calls upon pain to fill your meager store and make your lives complete.
In the absence of your wholeness, in the absence of your peace, in the absence of the harmony and security and inviolability of your Being, which you have denied, it . . .
. . . calls upon pain to fill your meager store and make your lives complete.
And of course, as we discussed, the experience of pain and the experience of guilt—whatever hurts—is used by you to further commit yourself to your plan of salvation which is to achieve your wholeness on your own. And that, because it cannot be done, causes you to be confronted by the impossibility, which you experience as threat and imposition and unwarranted blocking of your path, which it is your task to overcome in order to win the prize, to get the brass ring, to become Real.
This IS completion, as the ego sees it. For guilt creeps in where happiness has been removed, and substitutes for it.
It comes in with fear as well, as we said, the moment you committed with your divorce from your Father you were confronted with the pair: guilt and fear.
I’m going to add the word “but,” before I continue with the next sentence.
[But] Communion is another kind of completion, which goes beyond guilt, because it goes beyond the body.
Communion: Joining with me, joining with the Holy Spirit, joining with the Father in communion—in actual connection—not like a babe nestling into a soft blanket and having some experience of communion with its softness and its warmth, but a connection in which communication, dialog, two-way, reciprocal experience is had.
Now, that is the function of the holy instant. And to make it clear: When you engage in the holy instant and you find yourself being communicated with, when you find yourself being in-filled with answers, with understanding, with experience that goes beyond the bounds of any experiences you have had so far, when you abide with your Guide or the Holy Spirit and, as we discussed last week, you with your Guide or the Holy Spirit turn and look at whatever it was that prompted you to turn to your Guide, to practice the holy instant, you together with your Brother’s perspective, mine, or the Holy Spirit’s Perspective will see a forgiven world. You will see the Kingdom of Heaven, which is no longer being obscured by the definitions you embrace now and are so confident about.
Now, just as with Paul right now, when he is being with me in this fashion, in the holy instant, he is perfectly capable of relating to you or anything in the room. His body is present, but he is not identifying with it. As it says in the Course, he has laid it aside, which doesn’t mean he’s let it die, to decompose and disappear into the nothingness of all illusions. No. It means that when you turn to communion, it takes you beyond the body, it takes you beyond the self-defense that it’s used for, or the coercion that it’s used for to get your way, to get what you want. It means that it is here to serve not your will, but the purpose and Meaning of Being, as it is unfolding in the holy instant. You see what I mean?
Don’t ever be troubled by the term “setting the body aside, laying the body aside.” You will lay the use you have put it to aside, when you decide to engage in the holy instant, when you decide to abandon your best judgments, your best thinking, your best concepts, and in the silence brought on by their absence, you reach out and you say, “Father, Holy Spirit, what is the truth here? What is it my Birthright to be experiencing, because I am whole and because I am the holy Son or Daughter of God to Whom I’m turning and from Whom I wish to gain my understanding of what everything Really is.”
Your body does not disappear but it ceases to be used for the purposes that the ego would have used, which is to lovelessly control everyone and everything, to serve the selfish purposes of the one identifying with the body. The result of that is war. The result of that is murder, death, disease—a state of conflict in which one thing attacks another thing and brings about its submission or its demise. To give this up is not a sacrifice.
So again, it becomes clearer how significant the holy instant is and what its Meaning and its function is and what you can expect to experience, or the nature of what you can expect to experience.
I am here to invite and motivate you to go against everything you have known, and use this simple means of doing it, which is to “shut up!” It is simple. Become still. Value the stillness because in the stillness that is not objected to, you experience or are experiencing the state of Grace in which Atonement can occur, in which coming back into your right Mind can occur. And you will find yourself experiencing stability, immovability like the Rock of Gibraltar that can’t be swayed by winds of change or opinions or any of the things that would have caused you fear in the past. It brings you into that place, as we’ve said before, where God’s laws prevail and your holiness is the undeniable fact of you in your very own consciousness.
Bring this Gift of Grace to your Brothers, your Sisters, your Fellowman. It is meant to transform the world and restore it in your awareness to its original and ever-present state of perfection.
Now I’m going to stop here for tonight and I encourage you all to gently abide with what I’ve shared tonight during this coming week. And if it seems difficult, if it seems to be useless, if you seem to not be accomplishing anything, don’t stop. You are doing something that flies right in the face of all of your confidences. And so it takes persistence to break down the confidences. It takes persistence to inspire you to persist with a lighter heart! Communion is inevitable in the holy instant.
I am there in the holy instant. Love is setting a feast before you. I am setting a feast before you. The Holy Spirit is setting a feast before you. And you are invited to it. And you have always been invited to it. And you are always welcome to it because you are not a sinner. You are the holy Son or Daughter of God experiencing it clearly or through a glass darkly. But whichever way you are seeing it, you are nevertheless the holy Son or Daughter of God unchangeably.
I love you all. And I look forward to being with you next time.
A Course In Miracles (reference pages)
Chapter 19 – Section: THE ATTRACTION OF GUILT
Sparkly Book – p.463, 4th Full Par. / JCIM – p.194, 1st Par. / CIMS – p.390, Par. 56
First Edition – p. 383, Last Par. / Second Edition – p.411, Par. 17
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