This post is part of a series entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. This is part of Chapter 5, Healing and Wholeness. Currently we are reviewing Section VI. Time and Eternity.
Time rules our lives, we spend much of our lives as slaves to the clock. In this section, we will see that Time is a figment of earthly existence and does not exist in spiritual eternity. Time rules our lives, we never have enough time to do the things we want to accomplish.
In this chapter of ACIM, we learn that like fear and guilt, time is a function of the ego. In eternity, time is irrelevant. When we entered earth, in human form, we chose to live by earthly time.
In the last post, we talked about guilt. Guilt is a product of the ego, it keeps us trapped in the past instead of present in this moment. Guilt induces fear of retaliation or abandonment. I was raised a catholic and in my catholic school, God was definitely a punishing deity forever watchful and always looking to retaliate for my sins. In ACIM, we learn that Guilt is not a function of the Kingdom of heaven, but only has a place with the ego. The ego creates the ideal of guilt and time to keep is imprisoned on earth, in this body, in the ego-mind. Remember that God’s salvation is readily available for those who choose to receive it.
Again, we learn that we have essentially two minds, the ego-driven, materialistic, small mind and the big mind of universal consciousness. Each mind interprets the same situation differently, one mind looks with eternity at perfection, while the former creates a jail cell to contain us. The ego speaks first and the holy mind speaks only to correct misinterpretations of the ego.
The ego speaks in judgment, this is the device of the Angry, punishing God. The spirit reverses the interpretations of the ego. Nothing the ego perceives is real, it is always misinterpreted, because the ego speaks from the separation and not the reunion with God in which the Holy Spirit (intuition) finds its voice.
Next, the chapter gives us multiple verses from the Bible and shows us how the ego misinterprets these verses.
“Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord”
This statement has often been associated with a vengeful God, who seeks to punish us for our “sins.” ACIM teaches us the meaning in the Spirit’s interpretation. Vengeance cannot be shared, it is a function of the ego. We already learned that sharing ideas, allows them to spread and grow, but only ideas of the spirit are allowed to fester, because ego ideals do not hold the truth. Since vengeance is a function of the ego and can therefore not be shared, what this verse truly means is that we should give our Vengeance wishes over to God, because with spirit, these thoughts will be purified and removed and the need for vengeance no longer exists, when we are thinking as spirit.
“I will visit the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation,”
We all know that we pass along thoughts, feelings, beliefs and habits to subsequent generations. The ego can easily take this statement and twist it to be about vengeance, when in truth, what it means is that spirit is able to heal the flaws of the ego that we pass along to our children and grandchildren. Rather than interpret this sentence as one of a vengeful God, seeking retribution, instead it becomes a safety valve; spirit will help us right our wrongs and correct our ego-mis-interpretations for future generations.
“The wicked shall perish.”
Clearly, this sentence speaks to us of the atonement. If we understand perish to mean become undone the ego interprets this to mean death. We already know that ego is part of the whole, and therefore cannot perish. The ego-mind is only a small portion of the whole mind, which includes the spirit and universal consciousness. When we are returned to spirit, our evil ways will become unraveled and we will return to perfection. It is important to remember a previous lesson here, nothing of the ego is real and therefore, you cannot destroy what is not real.
“You need not fear the Higher Court will condemn you. It will merely dismiss the case against you.”
You and I and everyone we know are part of a greater whole, we are each a part of spirit. The material manifestations of ego are not real. Guilt is a function of the ego, time is a function of the ego. When the Atonement comes, it is simply a return to wholeness. The ideas of guilt and punishment belong to the ego. We are in this body, on this earth to experience life completely and when we return to eternal perfection, none of the mistakes we have perceived to have made will exist any longer.
No matter how much guilt we carry, atonement will dissolve these perceived errors at once, they never existed in the first place.
Finally, in the last paragraph, we are brought back to the Topic of today’s reflection: Time. As an integral part of the Atonement, time is exchanged for eternity. When we are able to call upon infinite patience when dealing with one another, we have then transcended time and entered the mind of eternity. Time, like the body is nothing more than a learning device for spirit to experience life on earth in human form. When we find ourselves able to live in the present moment, time is no longer necessary, the past is long gone, and the future has yet to happen. In bringing our awareness to the present moment, we transcend this learning device because in eternity, time is of no significance.