15 - Purpose of Time
you imagine what it means to have...
but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?
Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and
nothing more. God’s
Teacher cannot be satisfied with His teaching until
it constitutes all your learning. He has not fulfilled
His teaching function until you have become such a consistent
learner that you learn only of Him. When this has happened,
you will no longer need a teacher or time in which to
One source of perceived discouragement from which you
suffer is your belief that this takes time, and that
the results of the Holy Spirit’s teaching are
far in the future. This
is not so. For the Holy Spirit uses time in His Own
way, and is not bound by it. And all the waste that
time seems to bring with it is due but to your identification
with the ego, which uses time to support its belief
ego, like the Holy Spirit, uses time to convince you
of the inevitability of the goal and end of teaching.
To the ego the goal is death, which isits end. But to
the Holy Spirit the goal is life, which has no end.
The ego is an ally of time, but not a friend. For it
is as mistrustful of death as it is of life, and what
it wants for you it cannot tolerate.
ego wants you dead, but not itself.
outcome of its strange religion must therefore be the
conviction that it can pursue you beyond the grave.
And out of its unwillingness for you to find peace even
in the death it wants for you, it offers you immortality
in hell. It speaks to you of Heaven, but assures you
that Heaven is not for you. How
can the guilty hope for Heaven? The belief in hell is
inescapable to those who identify with the ego. Their
nightmares and their fears are all associated with it.
The ego teaches that hell is in the future, for this
is what all its teaching is directed to. Hell is its
goal. For, although the ego aims at death and dissolution
as an end, it does not believe it. The goal of death,
which it craves for you, leaves it unsatisfied. No one
who follows the ego’s teaching is without the
fear of death. Yet if death were thought of merely as
an end to pain, would it be feared? We
have seen this strange paradox in the ego’s thought
system before, but never so clearly as here. For the
ego must seem to keep fear from you to keep your allegiance.
Yet it must engender fear in order to maintain itself.
the ego tries, and all too frequently succeeds, in doing
both, by using dissociation for holding its contradictory
aims together so that they seem to be reconciled.
ego teaches thus...
is the end as far as hope of Heaven goes. Yet because
you and itself cannot be separated, and because it
cannot conceive of its own death, it will pursue you
still, because guilt is eternal.
is the ego’s version of immortality. And it is
this the ego’s version of time supports.
ego teaches that Heaven is here and now because the future
is hell. Even when it attacks so savagely that it tries
to take the life of someone who hears it temporarily as
the only voice, it speaks of hell even to him. For it
tells him hell is here, and bids him leap from hell into
oblivion. The only time the ego allows anyone to look
upon with some amount of equanimity is the past. And even
there, its only value is that it is no more.
Use of Time
bleak and despairing is the ego’s use of time!
And how terrifying! For underneath its fanatical insistence
that the past and future be the same is hidden a far
more insidious threat to peace. The ego does not advertise
its final threat, for it would have its worshippers
still believe that it can offer the escape from it.
But the belief in guilt must lead to the belief in hell,
and always does. The only way in which the ego allows
the fear of hell to be experienced is to bring hell
here, but always as a foretaste of the future. For no
one who considers himself as deserving hell can believe
that punishment will end in peace.
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 HolySpirit, Who knows only the present, uses it
to undo the fear by which the ego would make the present
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...
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.
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.
Spirit's Use of Time
lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past
and 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.
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...
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 the 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 instat 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,
long is an instant?”
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
will never give this holy instant to the Holy Spirit
on behalf of your release while you are unwilling to
give it to your brothers on behalf of theirs. For the
instant of holiness is shared, and cannot be yours alone.
Remember, then, when you are tempted to attack a brother,
that his instant of release is yours.
are the instants of release you offer, and will receive.
They attest to your willingness to be released, and
to offer time to the Holy Spirit for His use of it.
long is an instant? It is as short for your brother
as it is for you. Practice giving this blessed instant
of freedom to all who are enslaved by time, and thus
make time their friend for them. The Holy Spirit gives
their blessed instant to you through your giving it.
As you give it, He offers it to you.
Be not unwilling to give what you would receive of Him,
for you join with Him in giving. In the crystal cleanness
of the release you give is your instantaneous escape
from guilt. You must be holy if you offer holiness.
long is an instant? As
long as it takes to re-establish perfect sanity, perfect
peace, and perfect love for everyone, for God, and for
yourself. As long as it takes to remember immortality,
and your immortal creations who share it with you. As
long as it takes to exchange hell for Heaven. Long enough
to transcend all of the ego’s making, and ascend
unto your Father.
Time is your friend, if you leave it to the Holy Spirit
to use. He needs but very little to restore God’s
whole power to you. He Who transcends time for you understands
what time is for. Holiness lies not in time, but in
never was an instant in which God’s Son could
lose his purity. His changeless state is beyond time,
for his purity remains forever beyond attack and without
stands still in his holiness, and changes not. And so
it is no longer time at all. For, caught in the single
instant of the eternal sanctity of God’s creation,
it is transformed into forever.
the eternal instant, that eternity may be remembered
for you, in that shining instant of perfect release.
Offer the miracle of the holy instant through the Holy
Spirit, and leave His giving it to you to Him.