IV. Practicing the Holy Instant, P 9
9 The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep. Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would have it. Atonement would not be if there were no need for it. You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would hide it from yourself. For what you would hide is hidden from you. In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you. Thus will He make you ready to acknowledge that you are host to God, and hostage to no one and to nothing.
There are two important messages in this paragraph. This is the first.
The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep.
As long as my mind is split, and if I still see myself as part of this illusion, then my mind is split, I will have thoughts that are not pure. That is to be expected. My part in this is to be willing to let them go. I must notice when I am deliberately defending them from the Holy Spirit. One way we do this is to pretend that we are not aware of some of these untrue thoughts. We hide them from ourselves.
I have been practicing mind-watching for a long time now. I have gotten to be pretty proficient at noticing thoughts and letting them be corrected. Because of this practice, I am a lot more peaceful than I used to be. What I am discovering as I make a fearless and searching moral inventory of myself is that I have some beliefs that needed to be seen. Since these beliefs are in my mind and therefore available to me, it must be that I was hiding it even from myself. Ah well, as Jesus says, there would be no Atonement if there was not a need for it.
Here is the second important idea in this lesson.
Innocence is not of your making.
I don’t have to do anything to become innocent. I am that, already. There is absolutely nothing I can do to destroy my innocence, though I can act and think in a way that keeps it from my awareness. I only need to be vigilant for all in my mind that is not innocence and allow it to be purified.
This very act of hiding thoughts that I would keep to myself breaks communication. Without full communication with the Holy Spirit, I feel orphaned though I may not be consciously aware of why I feel that way. I used to be so thoroughly caught up in my story that most of my efforts were directed toward improving the story; even my spiritual work was for that purpose.
What I came to realize is that my life is not about my life. It is about using this life to undo the illusion altogether. Now I understand why I do this work. I do it so that I can finally return my full awareness to God. A Course in Miracles offers us only one thing, forgiveness. But, as Jesus says, that is enough. I search out the hidden places in my mind and let the light of purity shine them away and this is forgiveness. It will lead me past forgiveness and into God.