A Course in Miracles

Chapter 26 - The Transition

The Little Hindrance

A little hindrance can seem large indeed to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Yet teaching that is what this course is for. This is its only purpose, for only that is all there is to learn. And you can learn it many different ways. All learning is a help or hindrance to the gate of Heaven. Nothing in between is possible.

There are two teachers only, who point in different ways. And you will go along the way your chosen teacher leads. There are but two directions you can take, while time remains and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go...

  • toward Heaven, or
  • away to nowhere.

There is nothing else to choose.

Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is meaningless. For it is but a little hindrance to eternity, quite meaningless to the real Teacher of the world. Yet since you do believe in it, why should you waste it going nowhere, when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can achieve?

Think not the way to Heaven’s gate is difficult at all. Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding each other’s hand and keeping step to Heaven’s song, is difficult to do. But it is hard indeed to wander off, alone and miserable, down a road which leads to nothing, and which has no purpose.

God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made, not to conflict with it. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time passed, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made—and all of them within that one mistake—held also the correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone.

To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago, before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart, as if it were before you still.

The tiny instant you would keep and make eternal, passed away in Heaven too soon for anything to notice it had come. What disappeared too quickly to affect the simple knowledge of the Son of God can hardly still be there, for you to choose to be your teacher. Only in the past—an ancient past, too short to make a world in answer to creation—did this world appear to rise. So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven’s song was missed.

Yet ...

  • in each unforgiving act or thought,
  • in every judgment, and
  • in all belief in sin,

is that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.

(Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. Madness speaks no more. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone no longer is. And who can stand upon a distant shore and dream himself a across an ocean to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real hindrance can this dream be to where he really is? For this is fact, and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true and pass from mere imagining into believe and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is.)

Is this a hindrance to the place whereon he stands? Is any echo from the past that he may hear a fact in what is there to hear where he is now? And how much can his own delusions about time and place affect a change in where he really is?

The unforgiven is a voice that calls from out a past forever more gone by. And everything which points to it as real is but a wish that what is gone could be made real again, and seen as here and now, in place of what is really now and here. Is this a hindrance to the truth the past is gone, and cannot be returned to you? And do you want that fearful instant kept, when Heaven seemed to disappear, and God was feared and made a symbol of your hate?

Forget the time of terror that has been so long ago corrected and undone. Can (the idea of) sin withstand the Will of God? Can it be up to you to see the past, and put it in the present? You can not go back. And everything that points the way in the direction of the past but sets you on a mission whose accomplishment can only be unreal. Such is the justice your Ever-Loving Father has ensured must come to you. And from your own unfairness to yourself has He protected you. You cannot lose your way because there is no way but His, and nowhere can you go except to Him.

Would God allow His Son to lose his way along a road long since a memory of time gone by? (This course will teach you only what is now.) A dreadful instant in a distant past, now perfectly corrected, is of no concern nor value. Let the dead and gone be peacefully forgotten. Resurrection has come to take its place. And now you are a part of resurrection, not of death. No past illusions have the power to keep you in a place of death, a vault God’s Son entered an instant, to be instantly restored unto His Father’s perfect Love. And how can he be kept in chains long since removed and gone forever from his mind?

The Son that God created is as free as God created him. He was reborn the instant that he chose to die instead of live. And will you not forgive him now, because he made an error in the past that God remembers not, and is not there? Now are you shifting back and forth between the past and present. Sometimes the past seems real, as if it were the present. Voices from the past are heard, and then are doubted. You are like to one who still hallucinates, but lacks conviction in what he perceives.

This is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present. Here the shadow of the past remains, but still a present light is dimly recognized. Once it is seen, this light can never be forgotten. It must draw you from the past into the present, where you really are.

The shadow voices do not change the laws of time or of eternity. They come from what is past and gone, and hinder not the true existence of the here and now. The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real, and have existence which can be perceived. This terrible illusion (that time and death are real) was denied in but the time it took for God to give His answer to illusion for all time and every circumstance. And then it was no more, to be experienced as there.

Each day, and every minute in each day, and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror was replaced by love. And so you die each day to live again, until you cross the gap between past and present, which is not a gap at all. Such is each life; a seeming interval from birth to death, and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago, which cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now.

Forgive the past an dlet it go, for it is gone. You stand no longer on the ground that lies between the worlds. You have gone on, and reached the world that lies at Heaven’s gate. There is no hindrance to the Will of God, nor any need that you repeat again a journey that was over long ago. Look gently on each other, and behold the world in which perception of your hate has been transformed into a world of love.

 
 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 26 - The Transition

The Appointed Friend

Anything in this world that you believe is...

  • good and
  • valuable and
  • worth striving for

can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing. And through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief...

  • in sin,
  • in power of attack,
  • in hurt and harm,
  • in sacrifice and death,

has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real, and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones which he prefers, and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same, and still maintain that even one is best?

Lead not your little lives in solitude, with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God’s Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend, in whom all power in earth and Heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you, and keeps his friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take his place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?

Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the Will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend, if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied?

Make no illusion friend. For if you do, it can but take the place of him whom God has called your Friend. And it is he who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world. And only he to whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne, when you make room for him on his.

 

 
 

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