10. Healing and Creation: Workshop 10 based on "A Course In Miracles"
What is Creation?
It is us.
What is our purpose? Why were we created? To experience suffering? To experience death and loss? Or… to find happiness?
Actually, finding happiness is not far off the mark. In fact, I’d call it a “side effect” of discovering and performing our true purpose here.
We came here to become miracle workers. That is our only purpose; our only function. It is through this one and only purpose that all things are healed, happiness is attained, and all great things are accomplished. It is through performing the duty we came to fulfill that our freedom is gained from the shackles and pain of the body and these lives we think we are living in this world are healed. After that, we move on to a higher purpose; one which we cannot currently conceive.
In short, we are here to remember Who We Are; as the eternal beings God created us – not the bodies we see ourselves as. And we are here to remember we are co-creators with Him.
At best, this statement may sound like an abstract process that would take an eternity to learn. At worst, it sounds just plain impossible.
Yet, we are assured, all it takes is an instant. A Holy Instant.
And until we come to that moment in time where our lost memory is restored to us and we reclaim our ability to create alongside our own Creator, the holy instant is something we can practice. And we must practice it until our faith has reached such a place where the Holy Instant becomes manifested for us.
ACIM T.pg.309 Chapter 15: IV. Practicing the Holy Instant
"This course is not beyond immediate learning, unless you believe that what God Wills takes time.” (1.1)
The holy instant is this instant and every instant." (1.3)
"Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go. The instant of magnitude dawns upon you is but as far away as your desire for it. As long as you desire it not and cherish littleness instead, by so much is it far from you.” (2.1-3)
“Give over every plan you have made for your salvation in exchange for God's." (2.6)
"You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it. In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness. It is not there." (4.4-6)
"The reason 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. 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 the reason, for if you do, it will be only because you prefer not to recognize it and not to let it go. The simple reason, simply stated, is this: The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication. This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is open, both to receive and give. It is the recognition that all minds are in communication. It therefore seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything." (6.1-8)
"You believe you can harbor thoughts you would not share, and that salvation lies in keeping thoughts to yourself alone." (7.3)
"Every thought you would keep hidden shuts communication off, because you would have it so. (8.1) Ask yourself honestly, "Would I want to have perfect communication, and am I wholly willing to let everything that interferes with it go forever?" (8.3)
"The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep." (9.1-2)
"In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself." (9.8)
What the above passage from ACIM is saying is this:
The Holy Instant is the moment you seek to change nothing, but merely to accept everything, and it has the power to change everything for you.
This is the one idea, the one simple practice that lays all things to rest, heals our minds and sets us firmly on the path to enlightenment and awakening. It is the doorway to freedom we have all been searching for. And so, in all things you do, in all thoughts you think, your only job is acceptance of WHAT IS. Therein lies true forgiveness. It is the relinquishment of wishing the past was different! This is the simple formula for what some refer to as “living in a state of grace.” It is total and complete release from all that binds you to this world. To further clarify, Lesson 169 from A Course In Miracles states:
“By grace I live. By grace I am released.
By grace I give. By grace I will release.” (Lesson 169: 15.3-6)
What does this mean? What is grace exactly?
Grace is the power and love of God. To live in a state of grace, is to acknowledge this power and love within yourself and everyone else. It is to accept only this characteristic as true about anyone. It is WHAT IS.
What does it mean to live in a state of grace? How do you know when you have achieved it?
You know it when you feel total gratitude to everyone around you for sharing in the power and love of God with you. It is the sign you have learned to recognize the grace and light we each contain.
Then a miracle happens.
The grace within you responds to the grace within others with nothing but joy and peace. It is a state in which we claim one another as our own, seeing no differences between us. Grace is a state in which we love one another as God loves us. It is to accept one another as God created us, which (if we remember the opening statement), is our only purpose here. We are here to be as God created us to be: loving co-creators with Him.
So, in the above quote the word “grace” could be substituted with “the power and love of God.” It would then read like this:
By God’s power and love I live. By God’s power and love I am released.
By God’s power and love I give. By God’s power and love I will release.
And so it is that we acknowledge it is by the creative power and love of God in which we live; the acceptance of which, will ultimately release us from this illusion. In order to exert our power, we must forgive all that we see around us. And so we circle back around- to forgive is to accept WHAT IS.
But what exactly is WHAT IS?
WHAT IS, is simply the truth of our perfection. It is the acceptance of our Sonship in God as His Creation. To accept this, means to only acknowledge this truth within every human being and nothing else.
Do not accept that we are bodies.
Do not accept your suffering or anyone else’s.
Do not accept pain, anger, or vengeance as given by someone else, or offered by yourself.
You did not come here to hold onto these things.
You came to let them all go.
And you let them go gently through covering everything equally in a blanket of forgiveness. You forgive when you have decided to seek to change nothing, but merely to accept everything. And then, you welcome the holy instant of your release. You have then laid down your own will and picked up the Will of God instead. This in turn allows you to be gently lead forward in loving grace. You have effectively resigned as the evil dictator of your life.
And when we do this, we will see only the power and love of God within our fellow brothers and thereby release and heal them as well.
And so we heal our One Self and each other together.
When you begin to practice the holy instant you are thereby claiming your place among the Teachers of God.
Who and what are the Teachers of God? They are everyone and anyone who has decided to accept their holy function of forgiveness; the function we have each come here to perform.
However, there are some stages each of us must pass through before completing our work here.
The ACIM explains, as a newly formed Teacher of God grows in strength, power and grace through practicing forgiveness, we will develop some hallmark characteristics. They are:
ACIM: MANUAL FOR TEACHERS
Chapter 4. What Are The Characteristics Of God’s Teachers?
Every Teacher of God trusts that what they see around them with their physical eyes is not the truth of their reality. Their trust is in the reality that exists beyond what we can see through the eyes of the ego.
In order to develop this level of trust, a Teacher of God must go through 5 stages:
1. We go through a period of “undoing” where it seems this world is crumbling around us. Everything around us seems to be failing or we are losing what we cherish. This is simply the period of letting go of what no longer serves us. At first this may seem to be a period of loss and sacrifice, but it is really a period of blessed release; a time of cleansing away what is holding us back. It is not a time where we decide we must give things up through some form of sacrifice, but rather, a time where what no longer serves us falls away naturally by itself. Let it not be you who is the decider of what leaves your life.
2. The next stage is a period of “sorting out” what we have seemingly “lost” or given up. Here we learn that we have actually given up nothing. We simply realize that what is outside of us is not what brings us true happiness. All we do at this stage is release attachment to outcomes in every situation of our life. We embrace all that happens to us moment by moment, knowing it is all for our benefit in coming closer to God and our completion of forgiveness lessons here.
3. This is the stage of “relinquishment” and it follows closely from the previous stage. It is the realization that we are giving up an illusion we made in exchange for God’s reality of Heaven. We accept that this is our function and our only reason for coming here. We learn the true meaning of forgiveness. We learn to seek to change nothing, but merely to accept everything.
4. The next stage is a period of inner quiet. Here we assimilate what we have learned about the world around us and simply practice forgiveness of what our bodily eyes show us. Knowing none of this is our real world brings us deep peace as we practice our newfound function on a daily basis; remembering to practice this new way of seeing day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, until it is natural to forgive under every circumstance we face.
5. The next stage uproots our peace once again. We learn that everything around us is here for our learning benefit, and nothing else. Everything around us exists simply to teach us what is real, and what is not. And we have learned that nothing we see with our eyes is real! At this point, many of us may be disappointed to learn that this is all we have learned. And since nothing in the world has any real value, what should we strive for? This may cause many Teachers to sink into a depression for some time. What is worth living for if everything around us is a lie? Take heart! You are almost at the end of your learning by this stage! Now the practice of laying aside all judgment must commence without making any exceptions. If we are to proceed to the final stage, we must not judge anything we see. We must learn to ask what is it we really want in each and every circumstance; knowing all things have come to us for our benefit – whether we think the situation is “good” or “bad” it is all equally, simply an experience to cause us to look within and bring us closer to God and our inheritance as His Miracle worker. That is the purpose of everything in the world. It is here for us to forgive. Forgiveness and non-judgment are simply the acceptance of “what is.”
6. The final stage is one of joyous release. It is our period of achievement. Here we rest in lasting peaceful tranquility; understanding our goal in coming here: we are here to bring salvation to the world through forgiveness of it. We realize we have never left Heaven, and now peacefully join our will with God’s. We rest in quiet wonder at all around us, marveling at the beauty of creation as it rests here with us, within the Mind of God where we truly live. We simply wait for the day the illusion of separation is lifted from our eyes. We know not how or when this will happen; it is not up to us. God will take this final step with us. Until then, we lovingly go about our normal daily lives; pursuing all that we did before, but now with a deep inner peace and joy as we realize we came here into a body as a means to return to sanity. We are here to give up our identity as a body and identify with Love instead. We have learned trust. We trust this process and we trust the promised outcome: our awakening as a Holy Creator in likeness of God.
Every Teacher of God is completely honest- and in only one way: we no longer believe in the false reality around us. Where there is conflict, we do not believe it is real. We know the truth of our Oneness and hold onto that truth. We believe in only the eternal and unchangeable. All else is false, and therefore, to believe in the illusion of it is to be dishonest with our Self. We honestly believe we are One with all living things around us.
A Teacher of God is tolerant. We know that what we see is false, and so we do not judge or react to what we see as anything more than that. We release all judgment of the world, knowing the truth of our One Self behind all separation that we see. We judge no one as being apart from us, and so all things are equally acceptable. If a brother seems to demonstrate a lack of love in what he says or does, we supply the lack with Perfect Love, rather than deepening his belief in the illusion by increasing guilt in him.
Now harm to any one of our brothers becomes impossible. If we are not bodies and One Love in truth, then who would be our enemy? To judge another separate is to be dishonest about the truth of our Oneness we say we believe in. Gentleness is the demonstration of the end of our denial of our Oneness.
Joy follows from gentleness in that we are free from all fear of our brothers. We sincerely believe in our One Self. Joy is our song of freedom and gratitude that all is well within us, knowing our eternal existence cannot be snuffed out by loss of the body or any other means. We are sure of the love of God and our brothers who seem to have forgotten it. We are safe from all harm.
Now our view of the world becomes so simple! What would we defend ourselves against in a dream? We understand that to do this is senseless and only delays our return to sanity and Home. Now that we have agreed to see through all illusions as the nothing that they are, we come to a place of real safety, peace and joy. To put up defenses is to admit we believe this world is real. And so, we forgive it instead.
Generosity has a completely different meaning to a Teacher of God. What is it a Teacher of God would give? What is there we could be generous with? Only what is real can be truly given, and only the eternal is real. And only love is eternal. So how do we generously give the gift of eternal love? By seeing only eternal love within our fellow brothers. We are generous when we look past the body to the light within them, and know we share this light together. This eternal light is all we want, and so we extend this thought to everyone we encounter or think of. This is what it means to be truly generous. We give the ultimate gift: release and freedom from the illusion of the body through seeing only eternal love within everyone we meet or think of.
The Teacher of God practices forgiveness of the illusion in complete patience. We know the outcome that is promised to the world, and we wait in joyful hope for the coming of God’s Kingdom. We are sure of the ultimate outcome of all things; peace, joy and happiness.
This trait rests on all other traits that develop before it. The measure of our faith is the measure of how fully we have accepted the truth of our Oneness. It rests on trusting that only the eternal is true, and in keeping with honesty, the Teacher does not believe what their eyes show them, and so they are perfectly tolerant of what they see. They respond instead with caring gentleness and joy. They know they have nothing to fear and there is nothing to defend against in a dream. They generously see their fellows as valuable gifts of love and lessons in learning that they could not ascend from this reality without. And in quiet patience they accept all that is given them.
This is the final trait a Teacher of God acquires. What is open-mindedness in a Teacher of God?
It is total lack of judgment. If we decide we know what something is, based upon what we see with our eyes alone, we have judged it. This shuts down our mind to the truth and our mind becomes closed. Therefore, to be open-minded is to have laid aside all judgment. We look at the world, see the physical, but know in our hearts it is not the whole story. We are not seeing anything as it exists in truth. We understand we cannot see the Great Rays of Divine Light shining from all living things. We have released the world from our judgment through the open-mindedness of knowing there is much more beyond what our ego-vision is showing us. We have ceased to project the vision of separation upon the world when we do this. We cease to condemn, and because of this, the world begins to shine with a divine light of true appreciation, love and understanding. The clouds that block our Christ-vision begin to lift as we allow our judgment to be laid to rest in a blanket of forgiveness. For now forgiveness of the world is our single goal, at which point all learning is complete.
In closing, we will take a closer look at the topic of this section, “What Is Creation?” through lessons 321-330 that cover this:
What Is Creation?
321. It is total freedom, which we find in God alone, not through emotionally clinging to anything outside of us in a world based upon lies.
322. In this way, we can easily and effortlessly give up what was never real to begin with. In fact, there is no “giving up” of anything. What no longer serves simply falls away naturally.
323. We gladly make this “sacrifice” of fear; the relinquishment of what has caused us nothing but suffering.
324. And by doing so, we decide to follow; for we know we cannot lead.
325. All things we think or believe about ourselves will be reflected in the world we see, so we choose to not follow our own thoughts. We will trust in the truth God believes about us instead.
326. We are forever an Effect of God, and nothing else about us is true.
327. We need but call to God and He will answer us every time we forget the truth about ourselves.
328. And so it is, that we choose the second place to gain the first, and stand beside God in equal Will to Love.
329. In fact, we have already chosen this long ago. We have only forgotten it.
330. We choose to remember we do not want to hurt ourselves any longer.
We make the decision to do this by relinquishing the ego from our minds. And what exactly is the ego? And how do we relinquish it from our mind? Again, this is best described by ACIM, in the next set of lessons 331-340:
What Is The Ego?
331. The absence of the ego is the complete absence of conflict within. Our will has become one with the Will of God that we be at peace with all things.
332. The ego is any form of fear that binds us to this world. Forgiveness of the world sets it free.
333. Forgiveness is what ends the dream of conflict here.
334. To forgive, is to let go, and to let go is to be free. Therein lies the gift we are asked to claim.
335. In order to forgive and therefore let go of all we see with our bodily eyes, we must be willing to make the choice to see past all bodies. We must choose to see only our brother’s light and sinlessness.
336. Forgiveness lets us know all minds are joined. To see past bodies, is to forgive our own and see no separation between our Self and another.
337. Our joint sinlessness protects us all from any form of imagined harm.
338. We are affected only by our own thoughts.
339. We will receive only what we request through our own thoughts.
340. Therefore, it is within our power to free ourselves through thoughts of forgiveness. We can be free of suffering today.
And so, what then is the ego? It is nothing. It is a fabrication of our imagination; a persona we have tried out in order to experience what we are not. It is a true “alter ego” to our Identity in Oneness in each other and our Creator. Therefore, since it is nothing, the best way to describe it is to explain what it is not.
In the absence of the ego, your mind is at peace. In the absence of the ego, you are as God created you; your mind is at rest and this rest brings you a deep sense of joy because you have forgiven the weary world at last. And in your forgiveness you have set it free to be as God created it, not as our ego has decided it should be. And the world, in its newfound freedom, will be transformed into Heaven. You will have let all illusions go in peace, for without them, there could be no conflict. And in the instant that this happens, the Holy Instant will come to you.
The Holy Instant is the moment you seek to change nothing, but merely to accept everything, and it has the power to change everything for you.
“Without illusions conflict is impossible.” (ACIM Workbook Lesson 74.2.4)