Lesson 241 • August-29

This holy instant is salvation come.


Practice Instructions

See complete instructions in separate document. A short summary:

  • Read the commentary paragraph slowly and personally.
  • Pray the prayer, perhaps several times.
  • Morning and evening: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Hourly remembrance: Repeat the idea and then spend time in Open Mind Meditation.
  • Frequent reminders: Repeat the idea and then spend a quiet moment in meditation.
  • Response to temptation: Repeat the idea whenever upset, to restore peace.
  • Read the "What Is" section slowly and thoughtfully once during the day.

Practice suggestion: The following visualization may help you more fully experience the meaning of today's lesson:

Imagine a city or town, a place where there are large amounts of people, just before sunrise.

The sun begins to peek over the horizon, but this is not the usual sun.

This is the sunrise of salvation. Now hear these lines:

"The day has come when sorrows pass away and pain is gone" (1:4).

Imagine that, wherever the rays of this sun touch, sorrows pass away.

Imagine them touching a hospital, and all pain within it is gone.

"The glory of salvation dawns today upon a world set free" (1:5).

What is dawning is not mere physical light. It is salvation.

Because of this dawning, the world will be set free today.

"This is the time of hope for countless millions" (1:6).

Imagine countless millions waking up to this sunrise.

Not as they normally do, numb with despair and dreading what the day may bring, but filled with hope.

"Watch fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and claim the light as theirs" (W-pI.168.4:3).

"They will be united now" (1:7).

Picture people all over joining with one another. See them joining hands.

See them feeling at one.

See countless millions greeting this sunrise as one family.

Now realize that this sun is not just salvation. It is something far more specific.

It is your forgiveness of the world.

Your forgiveness has this kind of power. It has the power to set the world free.

It has the power, once unleashed, to give the world this kind of dawn.

So choose someone you have not forgiven and say to him or her,

"This holy instant is salvation come, because I have forgiven you, [name]."

Keep repeating it, realizing that each repetition invites this glorious dawn to illumine the world.

Commentary

When the lesson says that today "is a time of special celebration" (1:2), I rather suspect it is using the word "special" in the same way it uses it in one place in the Text, where Jesus says, "All my brothers are special" (T-1.V.3:6). Today is special because, in the holy instant, salvation has already come. And yet, "You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it" (T-15.IV.4:4). Whenever you claim the holy instant, it is a special time! A day of joy!

This is just like telling a child that they can have Christmas every day if they want it. And indeed the Course tells us exactly that, in the section titled "The Time of Rebirth," written at Christmas. It tells us that Christmas is the time of Christ, and the time of Christ is the holy instant (see T-15.X.2:1); then it tells us, "It is in your power to make the time of Christ be now" (T-15.X.4:1).

And so, why not today? Why not every day? Why not now? Any time I want to, I can make it a time "when sorrows pass away and pain is gone" (1:4). The practice of the holy instant offers me this. Within my mind I can, at any instant, open a window onto the real world, and breathe its fragrant atmosphere. I can experience a united world, drawn together by my forgiveness.

I do not yet find that I experience bliss the moment I close my eyes and say, "This holy instant is salvation come." The reality I have experienced, from time to time, is always here; I am certain of that. Yet my awareness of it remains spotty. (Very spotty!) But once you have tasted it, and in that instant known that what you are experiencing is eternal, you can never fully doubt its eternal presence. There are still many barriers blocking my awareness of it. I am still holding on to quite a few of those barriers. My grievances are still, most of the time, hiding the light of the world from me. But it is there. My forgiveness can release it (1:7-2:1).

Every time I pause to remember, every time I attempt to claim the holy instant, another barrier falls, another drop of willingness is added to my reservoir. What better way could I possibly spend my time? As Lesson 127 said: "There is no better use for time than this" (see paragraphs 7 and 8).

One aside: Notice that in 1:8, Jesus speaks of our forgiving him. Let me examine myself today, to see if there is something I still hold against him; something in him I mistrust; some way in which I still fear him, or blame him, or resent him. Even if I respect him as my teacher, it is very easy to feel resentful of one's teachers.

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