16 - Forgiveness of Illusion
It is impossible to let the past go without
relinquishing the special relationship. For the special relationship
is an attempt to re-enact the past and change it.
- past disappointments,
into the special relationship, which becomes a way in which you
seek to restore your wounded selfesteem. What basis would you have
for choosing a special partner without the past? Every
such choice is made because of something “evil” in the
past, to which you cling, and for which must someone else atone.
relationship takes vengeance on the past. By seeking to remove suffering
in the past, it overlooks the present in its preoccupation with
the past and its total commitment to it. No special relationship
is experienced in the present. Shades of the past envelop it, and
make it what it is. It has no meaning in the present, and if it
means nothing now, it cannot have any real meaning at all. How
can you change the past except in fantasy? And who can give you
what you think the past deprived you of?
The past is
nothing. Do not seek to lay the blame for deprivation on it, for
the past is gone. You cannot really not let go what has already
gone. It must be, therefore, that you are maintaining the illusion
that it has not gone because you think it serves some purpose that
you want fulfilled. And it must also be that this purpose could
not be fulfilled in the present, but only in the past.
Do not underestimate
the intensity of the ego’s drive for vengeance on the past.
It is completely savage and completely insane.
For the ego
remembers everything that you have done which offended it, and seeks
retribution of you. The fantasies it brings to the special relationships
it chooses in which to act out its hate are fantasies of your destruction.
For the ego holds the past against you, and in your escape from
the past, it sees itself deprived of the vengeance it believes that
you so justly merit. Yet without your alliance in your own destruction,
the ego could not hold you to the past.
In the special
relationship, you are allowing your destruction to be. That this
is insane is obvious. But what is less obvious to you is that the
present is useless to you while you pursue the ego’s goal
as its ally. The past is gone; seek not to preserve it in the special
relationship which binds you to it, and would teach you that salvation
is past, and that you must return to the past to find salvation.
There is no fantasy which does not contain the dream of retribution
for the past.
Would you act
out the dream, or let it go?
In the special
relationship, it does not seem to be an acting out of vengeance
which you seek. And even when the hatred and the savagery break
briefly through into awareness, the illusion of love is not profoundly
shaken. Yet the one thing which the ego never allows to reach awareness
is that the special relationship is the acting out of vengeance
on yourself. But what else could it be?
the special relationship, you look not for glory in yourself. You
have denied that it is there, and the relationship becomes your
substitue for it. And vengeance becomes your substitute for Atonement,
and the escape from vengeance becomes your loss.
ego’s insane notion of salvation the Holy Spirit gently lays
the holy instant. We said before that the Holy Spirit must teach
through comparisons, and uses opposites to point to truth. The holy
instant is the opposite of the ego’s fixed belief in salvation
through vengeance for the past. In the holy instant, it is accepted
that the past is gone, and with its passing the drive for vengeance
has been uprooted, and has disappeared. The stillness and the peace
of NOW enfolds you in perfect gentleness. Everything is gone except
For a time,
you may attempt to bring illusions into the holy instant to hinder
your full awareness of the complete difference, in all respects,
between your experience of truth and illusion. Yet you will not
attempt this long. In the holy instant, the power of the Holy Spirit
will prevail because you joined Him. The illusions you bring with
you will weaken the experience of Him for a while, and will prevent
you from keeping the experience in your mind. Yet the holy instant
is eternal, and your illusions of time will not prevent the timeless
from being what it is, nor you from experiencing it as it is.
What God has
given you is truly given, and will be truly received. For God’s
gifts have no reality apart from your receiving them. Your receiving
completes His Giving. You will receive because it is His Will to
give. He gave
the holy instant to be given you, and it is impossible that you
receive it not because He gave it. When He willed that His Son be
free, His Son was free. In the holy instant is His reminder that
His Son will always be exactly as he was created. And everything
the Holy Spirit teaches you is to remind you that you havereceived
what God has given you.
There is nothing
you can hold against reality.
must be forgiven are the illusions you have held against your
reality has no past, and only illusions can be forgiven.
nothing against anyone, for He is incapable of illusions of any
your brothers from the slavery of their illusions by forgiving them
for the illusions which you perceive in them. Thus will you learn
that you have been forgiven, for it is you who offered them illusions.
holy instant this is done for you in time, to bring to you the true
condition of Heaven.
you always choose between truth and illusion; between the real Atonement
which would heal and the ego’s “atonement” which
of God and all His Love, without limit, will support you as you
seek only your place in the plan of Atonement arising from His Love.
Be an ally of God and not the ego in seeking how Atonement can come
to you. His help suffices, for His Messenger understands how to
restore the Kingdom to you, and to place all your investment in
salvation in your relationship with Him.
Seek and find
His message in the holy instant, where all illusions are forgiven.
From there the miracle extends to bless everyone and to resolve
all problems, be they perceived as great or small, possible or impossible.
There is nothing that will not give place to Him and to His majesty.
To join in close relationship with Him is to accept relationships
as real, and through their reality to give over all illusions for
the reality of your relationship with God. Praise be to your relationship
with Him, and to no other. The truth lies here, and nowhere else.
You choose this or nothing.
us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship
with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can
is Yours. What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when
Yours is perfect?
of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness
and Your Love.
us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of
God is not Your Will. And let us receive only what you have given,
and accept but this into the minds which You created, and which
You love. Amen.”