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Lesson 308: This Instant – the Only Time There Is: Adventures in Forgiveness

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Today’s ACIM lesson, #308, This instant is the only time there is, is an invitation to be present.  Forget the past.  Don’t worry about the future.  Be here now.  It is foolish to plan for disaster and make flesh the fears that try to haunt us. “The plans you make for safety all are laid within the future, where you cannot plan. No purpose has been given it as yet, and what will happen has as yet no cause. Who can predict effects without a cause? And who could fear effects unless he thought they had been caused, and judged disastrous now?”  When I remember that, I remember to relax and allow God to handle the details.  When I remember that, I enjoy the moment so much more because it isn’t blackened by imagined effects that I do not want.  Yes, this is a beautiful lesson.  This instant is the only time there is.  Enjoy it. From last year’s writing:

Lesson 308

This Instant

Like many folks, I am “guilty” of future-tripping.  Future tripping is when you focus on what you fear could happen rather than being present to NOW.  It’s amazing how powerful “now” is and yet most of us aren’t really in it at all.  I mean, our bodies may be here in this instant, but our minds are hopscotching between the past and the future, skipping the place where our point of power is.   “Time’s purpose cannot be to keep the past and future one,” which is what happens when one focuses on the guilt from the past and projects it as a fear for the future.

From what I can see, the nation is presently a curious mix of extremely hopeful people thinking that our president-elect is a businessman, not a politician, and therefore things will change, and extremely fearful people who think he is a bigot and racist and that we are going to regress in consciousness by fifty years.

Personally, I do not know what anything is for, but I know God is present and that only the love is real.

The only time there is is now, and I can use it to set myself free by choosing forgiveness or I can squander it on fear.  Forgiveness is the message of the Course.  This is the message of love.  “The only interval in which I can be saved from time is now.”

Today’s lesson:

Lesson 308

This instant is the only time there is.

I have conceived of time in such a way that I defeat my aim. If I elect to reach past time to timelessness, I must change my perception of what time is for. Time’s purpose cannot be to keep the past and future one. The only interval in which I can be saved from time is now. For in this instant has forgiveness come to set me free. The birth of Christ is now, without a past or future. He has come to give His present blessing to the world, restoring it to timelessness and love. And love is ever-present, here and now.

Thanks for this instant, Father. It is now I am redeemed. This instant is the time You have appointed for Your Son’s release, and for salvation of the world in him.

© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA  94942-0598


Healing can only occur when one knows the truth.  If we focus on believing in the illness, we perpetuate it.  This is what getting mired in condemnation does.  This is what getting mired in guilt does.  It traps us in the very thing we are attempting to escape from.  Violence can’t beget peace.  Hatred can’t beget love.

Being fearful isn’t helpful.  Fear is an alarm.  If it traps us in the past or colors the future with our fears, then ego wins.  It has succeeded in eclipsing love.

Except it can’t really.  It can appear to but it can’t eradicate God.  (“7 A little while and you will see me, for I am not hidden because you are hiding.”) We must forgive our imaginings and be willing to look at what frightens us.

4 Remember what was said about the frightening perceptions of little children, which terrify them because they do not understand them. If they ask for enlightenment and accept it, their fears vanish. But if they hide their nightmares they will keep them. It is easy to help an uncertain child, for he recognizes that he does not understand what his perceptions mean. Yet you believe that you do understand yours. Little child, you are hiding your head under the cover of the heavy blankets you have laid upon yourself. You are hiding your nightmares in the darkness of your own false certainty, and refusing to open your eyes and look at them.

5 Let us not save nightmares, for they are not fitting offerings for Christ, and so they are not fit gifts for you. Take off the covers and look at what you are afraid of. Only the anticipation will frighten you, for the reality of nothingness cannot be frightening. Let us not delay this, for your dream of hatred will not leave you without help, and Help is here. Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you despite your dreams.”

The point of power is in the present, in this instant.  It’s ridiculous to give it away by focusing on fears.  Focusing on fears is a great way to ensure that they manifest, to make them a self-fulfilling prophecy.  What you focus on expands.

Stop focusing on what you don’t want!

“A future cause as yet has no effects. And therefore must it be that if you fear, there is a present cause. And it is this that needs correction, not a future state.

 ”5 The plans you make for safety all are laid within the future, where you cannot plan. No purpose has been given it as yet, and what will happen has as yet no cause. Who can predict effects without a cause? And who could fear effects unless he thought they had been caused, and judged disastrous now? Belief in sin arouses fear, and like its cause, is looking forward, looking back, but overlooking what is here and now. Yet only here and now its cause must be, if its effects already have been judged as fearful. And in overlooking this, is it protected and kept separate from healing. For a miracle is now. It stands already here, in present grace, within the only interval of time that sin and fear have overlooked, but which is all there is to time.

6 The working out of all correction takes no time at all. Yet the acceptance of the working out can seem to take forever. “

The time for embracing what we want, future-tripping Heaven instead of hell, is NOW in this instant. The time for forgiveness is now.  It is the only path that can and will take us to where we want to go.  If we are stuck in our fears, if we are busy condemning one another, we can’t get there.

6 How lovely is the world whose purpose is forgiveness of God’s Son! How free from fear, how filled with blessing and with happiness! And what a joyous thing it is to dwell a little while in such a happy place! Nor can it be forgot, in such a world, it is a little while till timelessness comes quietly to take the place of time.”

So let us wake up and forgive our brothers for what we think they have done.  “Peace and guilt are both conditions of the mind, to be attained. “

“The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.” (Lesson 63) (“I could peace instead of this” lesson 34.)

This instant is the only time there is.

Let me reside in this moment of peace.  Let me forgive everyone for what I think they did.  Let me see innocence in all my brothers.

Consider this an invitation.  If enough of us focus on the goodness of this instant, we’ve got this in the bag.

Namaste, my friends, Namaste.


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