Resurrect out of the sinful past into the sinless present
A major theme in ACIM is that you are supposed to come out of the PAST into the PRESENT. Basically it's saying that in the separation from God, we made time, by inventing a sense of the past being different to what is here now. Or as an attempt to change what is here now into something it is not, resulting in a different future. Time was an attempt to destroy or deny what exists, by claiming that it has changed, being no longer like it was.
In doing this we kind of avoided the eternal always now of the present in ETERNITY, which is timeless. And instead we positioned ourselves separate and distanced from that sense of now-ness, inventing the past and the future which are both avoidances of the now. The past is also the idea of sin, suggesting that your past sin caused a guilty present and will be punished in the future, as a kind of chain of cause and effect.
So we literally invented time displacement, which is also distance, and is thus also space. We invented spacetime, a belief in not being now or of being distanced from what is. The "now" moment in time, while still being IN time, is actually symbolic of eternity. It is the holy instant. It is not eternity but it is very close to it because it centers time on a rejection of "past and future", and therefore invites the end of time.
In ACIM therefore we are literally being asked to bring about the END OF TIME AND SPACE, by moving out of the past and future into the present. Because it's only in the present that you can be forgiving, and have vision, and be healed. Love is present, God is present.
We are told that "I see only the past", and to then gradually learn to come out of the past into the present so that "I see only the present." To see relationships in terms of what your brother is NOW without his past, which is forgiveness, laying the basis for holy-relating.
This is rather similar to the "Power of Now" that Eckhart Tolle has touted. ACIM is actually asking us to stop believing in the past and the future and to become very focused and centered in the present, so that we can align our mind with the eternal now. Heaven is always in a state of "now is always and forever", unchanging and never moving away from what is here now - never avoiding God.
Avoiding the present is the avoidance of God. Which is why the ego is dedicated to the past, and to maintaining time - or a gap between what is and where you are. We are literally being asked to come out of time, out of the sense of history or future, and into a pristine, clean, "new", fresh look at what is here NOW, so that we can truly see what is here now, which allows us to see the real world, and thereby forgive the world.
All condemnation of sin is always about the past. All projections of guilt and blame are based on past doings. Even in the moment that someone sins, it is already old. Holding it against them is holding the past against them and against ourselves. PRESENCE, therefore, is a major central pillar in ACIM's teaching.
We are being asked to be fully present, fully aware, fully attentive to what is, fully wholly undivided in our dedication to the immediacy of reality. This leads to holy instants, to the real world, and lays the path back to heaven. By coming out of the past and future we literally are undoing the gap of separation, and are therefore collapsing both time and space.
The present is the key to the disappearing of spacetime and everything it. And it is the doorway to resurrection and to miracles. It is in the PRESENT that we become a "born again Christ-ian."
"To be born again is to let the PAST go, and LOOK WITHOUT CONDEMNATION UPON THE PRESENT. For the cloud which obscures God's Son to you IS the past, and if you would have it past AND GONE, you must NOT SEE IT NOW."
"At no SINGLE instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated, but NEVER experienced just now. Only its past and future make it seem real. Time controls it entirely. For sin is never present."
"The miracle enables you to see your brother WITHOUT his past, and so perceive him as born again. His errors ARE all past, and by perceiving him WITHOUT them, you are RELEASING him. And since his past is yours, you SHARE in this release."
"His past has NO reality in the present, and you CANNOT see it."
"Your past was made in anger, and if you use it to ATTACK the present you will NOT SEE the freedom that the present holds."
"Look lovingly upon the present, for it holds the ONLY things that are forever true."
"The present is before time WAS, and WILL BE when time is no more. In it is everything that is eternal, and they ARE one."
"The ego invests heavily in the past, and in the end, believes that the past is the ONLY aspect of time that is meaningful. You will remember that we said its emphasis on guilt enables it to ensure its continuity, by MAKING THE FUTURE LIKE THE PAST, and thus AVOIDING the present."
"For the ego uses the present ONLY as a brief transition TO the future, in which it brings the past TO the future, BY INTERPRETING THE PRESENT IN PAST TERMS."
"NOW has no meaning to the ego. The present merely reminds it of PAST hurts, and it reacts to the present AS IF it were past."
"The ego teaches that you always encounter your PAST, and because your dreams WERE not holy, the future CANNOT be, and the present is without meaning."
"The continuity of past and future, UNDER ITS DIRECTION, is the only purpose it perceives in time, and it closes over the present, so that no gap in the EGO's continuity can occur. ITS continuity, then, would KEEP you in time, while the Holy Spirit would release you FROM it."
"For healing CANNOT be accomplished in the past, and MUST be accomplished in the present to RELEASE the future. THIS interpretation ties the future to the present, and EXTENDS THE PRESENT, rather than the past. But if you interpret your function as DESTRUCTION, you will lose sight of the present, and hold on to the past TO ENSURE A DESTRUCTIVE FUTURE."
"Who can grieve or suffer, when the present has been freed, extending its security and peace into a quiet future filled with hope?"
"Father, we were mistaken in the past, and choose to use the present to be free. Now do we leave the future in Your hands, leaving behind our past mistakes, and sure that You will keep Your present Promises, and guide the future in their holy light."
"There is a real world which the present holds safe from all past mistakes." "The Holy Spirit teaches thus: There IS no hell. Hell is only what the ego has made OF THE PRESENT."
"Fear is NOT of the present, but ONLY of the past and future, which do not exist."
"The choice is not whether to see the past or the present: it is merely whether to see or not."
"For the present IS forgiveness."
"The special 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."
"Your mind cannot grasp the present, which is the only time there is. It therefore cannot understand time, and cannot, in fact, understand anything." "Sometimes the past seems real, as if it WERE the present. Voices FROM the past are heard, and then are doubted."
"The aim of prayer is to release the present from its chains of past illusions; to let it be a freely chosen remedy from every choice that stood for a mistake."
"Your learning gives the present NO MEANING AT ALL. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present, or teach you how to undo the past. Your past IS what you have taught yourselves."
"The present now remains the only time."
"A miracle is a beginning and an end(ing). It thus abolishes time. It is always an affirmation of re-birth, which seems to go back, but really goes forward. It undoes the past in the present, and thus releases the future."
"We look neither ahead nor backwards. We look straight into the present. And we give our trust to the experience we ask for now."
"What time but now can truth be recognized? The present is the only time there is."
"The making of time, to TAKE THE PLACE of timelessness, lay in the decision to BE NOT as you WERE. Thus, truth was made past, and the present was dedicated to illusion. And the past, too, was changed, and INTERPOSED between what ALWAYS was, and NOW. The past that YOU remember NEVER was, and represents only denial of what ALWAYS was."
"the Son of God is risen from the past, and has awakened to the present. Now is he free, unlimited in his communion with all that is within him."
"In the holy instant, you see, in each relationship, what it WILL be, when you perceive ONLY the present."
"He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go."
"The real world signifies the end of time, for its perception makes time purposeless."
"Today the light has come. And you will see the world that has been promised you since time began, and in which is the end of time ensured."
"So do the parts of God's Son gradually join in time, and with each joining is the end of time brought nearer. Each miracle of joining is a mighty herald of eternity."
"Everyone seen WITHOUT the past thus brings you nearer to the end of time, by bringing healed and healing sight into the darkness, and ENABLING THE WORLD TO SEE."
"And it is given you to be the means
Through which His Voice is heard around the world
To close all things of time, to end the sight
Of all things visible; and to undo
All things that change. Through you is ushered in
A world unseen, unheard, yet truly there."
"I do not know what anything, INCLUDING THIS, means. And so I do NOT know HOW TO RESPOND TO IT. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now."
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