Extracts from the Literature: Hell, Fear, the Ego and the Holy Instant – from ‘A Course in Miracles’

“The Holy Spirit teaches thus: There is no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made of the present. The belief in hell is what prevents you from understanding the present, because you are afraid of it. The Holy Spirit leads as steadily to Heaven as the ego drives to hell. For the Holy Spirit, Who knows only the present, uses it to undo the fear by which the ego would make the present useless. There is no escape from fear in the ego’s use of time. For time, according to its teaching, is nothing but a teaching device for compounding guilt until it becomes all–encompassing and demands vengeance forever.

The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now. Fear is not of the present but only of the past and future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future. Each instant is a clean untarnished birth, in which the Son of God emerges from the past into the present. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are now.

This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past or future? It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit’s use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace. Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time. Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completely absolved, completely free, and wholly without condemnation. From this holy instant wherein holiness was born again, you will go forth in time without fear and with no sense of change with time.

Time is inconceivable without change, yet holiness does not change. Learn from this instant more than merely hell does not exist. In this redeeming instant lies Heaven. And Heaven will not change, for birth into the holy present is salvation from change. Change is an illusion, taught by those who could not see themselves as guiltless. There is no change in Heaven because there is no change in God. In the holy instant in which you see yourself as bright with freedom, you will remember God. For remembering Him is to remember freedom.

Whenever you are tempted to be dispirited by the thought of how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, “How long is an instant?” Could you not give so short a time to the Holy Spirit for your salvation? He asks no more, for He has no need of more. It takes far longer to teach you how to be willing to give Him this than for Him to use this tiny instant to offer you the whole of Heaven. In exchange for this instant, He stands ready to give you the remembrance of eternity.”

A Course in Miracles (Ch15, p214, pp8)

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2 Responses to Extracts from the Literature: Hell, Fear, the Ego and the Holy Instant – from ‘A Course in Miracles’

  1. Paul Grant says:

    I get chills when I read this, Peter. Absolutely beautiful, and profound. For me, even as I have accumulated lots of spiritual information, I always come back to the present. Where else is there to ‘come back’ to? And yet, I am so often trying to get somewhere else–haha.

    • PeterJ says:

      Hi Paul. Thanks for the comment. Always very glad to hear from others on the ACIM wavelength. it’s a wonderful and astonishing book.

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