WORKBOOK

 

 

Joining in Truth Toward Planetary Enlightenment

 

On Line Course - Addendum for Text: “Not Guilty” 

 

Questions and Answers

 

Q&A III- Would you like to be out of time?

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Related Reading - Chapter 3 of Not Guilty

(find link on Home page)

 

 III. Questions – Would you like to be out of time?

  1. Are time and eternity compatible ideas? (i.e. Can both exist?) Why or why not? If not which is real? Which is our experience?
  2. What is ego's purpose for time? What is God's purpose for time?
  3. ACIM tells us that guilt feelings are the great preservers of time. What is ego's solution to actions which produce guilt?   What is God's solution?
  4. How can we use time to facilitate/promote eternity? How is time collapsed immeasurably?
  5. What is meant by ‘past is past?' How can this teaching be misapplied? How is each and every moment a clean, untarnished birth back to eternity?
  6. Taking it to a practical level, let us apply the teaching of time to theft, for example. Is stealing a real action? Is it a bad action? How do we apply the teaching correctly to this idea?
  7. Is all of time a dream? Unreal? What does that mean? What are the implications? How can this teaching be misapplied? Does it matter? Why or why not?
  8. I have understood the dream to consist of three levels of consciousness: deep sleep, the nightmare and the happy dream. Assuming that to be so, how do we move into the happy dream from the nightmare? How do we move into deep sleep from the nightmare? How can you measure where you are in terms of these three levels of consciousness?
  9. In the Bible Jesus teaches through parables. What is meant by the story of the vineyard? How does it demonstrate that time is not real and can be collapsed immeasurably?

    10. Practical Application:   Here is a three-step process I have found to be effective in moving me from time back into eternity: 1) Time is unreal 2) I am responsible for my mistakes 3) I am willing to correct my errors. Please let us know how it works for you. 11. Summarize the key ideas to keep in mind about time and eternity.

    III. Answers – Would you like to be out of time? YES

     
    1. Are time and eternity compatible ideas? (i.e. Can both exist?) No, they are mutually exclusive ideas. To the extent that one is believed in, the other has been abolished. Why or why not? Time cannot hold a candle to eternity. When brought together, time dissolves into eternity. Which is real? Eternity is real. Which is our experience? Generally speaking, time is my experience, though I experience glimpses from out of time. Why do we find ourselves in time? We traded in eternity for time when we made ego to replace God. In that act, time was made as well, for ego needs time to exist. Ego convinces us to use time to assuage guilt while simultaneously persuading us to chose guilt generating actions. It gets us to believe we are guilty for crimes we never committed, and guilt, it convinces us, needs time to be meted out. This is how ego has stayed in business at our expense for thousands upon thousands of years.
    2. What is ego's purpose for time? To convince us that we deserve punishment for errors so it can live at our expense. What is God's purpose for time?   To convince us to correct errors so we can spring back into eternity which we never left in truth.
    3. ACIM tells us that guilt feelings are the great preservers of time. What is ego's solution to actions which produce guilt?   Denial, justification, projection, sedation, dissociation…What is God's solution? To remind us of our innocence, which could never be affected by any actions, no matter how erroneous. No action has the power to defy God's will,   and God willed His creations be innocent and perfect for all eternity when He created us. However, only when we act with purity, integrity and nobility do we demonstrate that we know who we are.
    4. How can we use time to facilitate/promote eternity? By realizing that time is both unreal and precious, by giving time a sacred purpose, like praying for peace in the world, showing loving kindness to others… by using time to recognize all humanity as God's beloved creations, by fulfilling our function so as to regain eternity, by using time to bless and heal ourselves and others… How is time collapsed immeasurably? By choosing God's solution instead of ego's solution to the problem of guilt.
    5. What is meant by ‘past is past?' Past is part of time, thereby not real, as time is not real. It is merely a memory right now. This does not deny that it never happened, it just has no power except the power we give it. We can heal the past in the present, and then it has no charge. How can this teaching be misapplied? The voice for ego may tell us to act irresponsibly now, because whatever we do now will be part of the past in the next moment and thereby can have no real effects. Ego will try to convince us to deny rather than heal the past. If we hurt another in the past, only if we are sorry now can we say past is past. If someone has hurt us in the past, only if we do not hold it against them in this moment, can we say past is past. How is every moment a clean, untarnished birth into eternity? Each moment is a fresh opportunity to get it right. God will not hold the past against us, therefore we too should not hold the past against ourselves or anyone. Even if we have made a thousand mistakes in the past, we do not have to punish ourselves for them, all we need do is correct our errors now and sincerely apologize where appropriate and the past is wiped away without a trace. That is how time is collapsed immeasurably. It also means we want our brothers and sisters mistakes of the past corrected rather than punished or retaliated against because we want everyone free and out of time.
    6. Taking this teaching to a practical level, let us apply it to theft, for example. Is stealing a real action? No. Is it a bad action?   It is not good to steal, however since it is not real, it is neither bad nor good. If we perceive it as bad, we have judged it and thereby made it real in our minds. If we see it as an error that requires correction, it is neutral. How do we apply this teaching correctly? Stealing, though unreal makes time. It is not bad because in the truest sense, God created us to have everything, therefore everything is already ours. Stealing is a meaningless idea. However, when one acts on that idea, he makes it meaningful to himself and binds himself thereby. One does receive the consequences of one's own mind. Alliance with ego leads to misapplication of the teachings to justify or condone unethical behavior and thereby bind us to time and space where ego benefits at our expense. If one would fall into temptation and steal, he can take three steps to heal his mistake: 1) remind himself that time is not real therefore in truth nothing happened so there's no need to feel guilty. 2) He is responsible – no force outside of him caused him to act against his better judgment. As long as he thinks he is incapable of controlling his impure behavior he stays bound to time. 3) He can choose never to steal again and as soon as he does, all his past is wiped away and time is collapsed immeasurably.
    7. Is all of time a dream? Yes. Unreal? Yes. What does that mean? It means that everything that happens in time is unreal. It also means that everything that happens in time can either collapse or make time, depending on how one chooses to use time. It does not mean that we are not in control of what happens to us in the dream. What are the implications?   Since time is not real, nothing that happens in time has any real effects. That is good news as it means that nothing that has happened to you has wreaked permanent damage. It also means that we can wake up from the dream any time we choose, as can the world at large. It means all of time is over when we choose not to be bound by time. How can that teaching be misapplied? When allied with ego one can be fooled into misapplying this teaching to convince oneself that since time is not real, it does not matter what we do. Does it matter? Yes. Why or why not? Every choice we make either collapses or makes time for ourselves and for all of humanity. Since we are all one, every choice we makes affects everyone and everything. If you're not contributing to the solution, you're contributing to the problem.
    8. I have understood the dream to consist of three levels of consciousness: deep sleep, the nightmare and the happy dream. If that is so, how do we move into the happy dream from the nightmare? By depending on God; by using time wisely, for a sacred purpose, for loving our fellowman, for kindness, for wanting the end of suffering for all humanity. From the nightmare how do we move into deep sleep? By feeling guilty, through denial, dissociation, projection…All these are mechanisms that ego tries to convince us to employ to keep us stuck in the nightmare, if not our own then the nightmare that the world is experiencing. How can you measure where you are in terms of the happy dream, the nightmare or deep sleep? If you love God and all of humanity and want the very best for everyone you are in the happy dream. If you feel guilty, the nightmare, and if you feel disinterested or dissociated, you are in deep sleep.
    9. In the Bible Jesus teaches through parables. What is meant by the story of the vineyard? In that story whatever time you come to the vineyard your past is left behind, demonstrating the unreality of time. How does it demonstrate that time is not real and can be collapsed immeasurably? For example, if you have a history with anger and you leave it behind today, your history has no effect. You are always welcome in God's kingdom. What keeps us away is the idea that we have to make amends for our past or that we are undeserving do to actions from the past and thereby unreality is perpetuated.
    10. Practical Application:   Here is a three-step process I have found to be effective in moving me from time back to eternity: 1) Time is unreal 2) I am responsible for my mistakes 3) I am willing to correct my errors. Please let us know how it works for you. Just today I heated a drink for Mom and my sister served it to her through a straw. It was a bit too warm and startled her. I felt remiss that I hadn't been more vigilant in making sure it was the right temperature. Even as I was sitting here just now I was feeling a residual regret in the pit of my stomach, so I turned it over to Spirit and asked to be healed of the negative effects of my mistake. Here's the three step process: 1) I caused mom discomfort in the past, and the past is not real, it is only a memory, 2) I am responsible. I did not blame my sister or somehow try to justify my error. It was my fault. I immediately told mom I was sorry, 3) I am determined to be more conscious and alert in future so as to avoid that mistake again and I asked Spirit to show me how to heal any negative effects of my error.
    11. Summarize the key ideas to keep in mind about time and eternity. We collapse time when we use it wisely. We make time when we do things for which we feel guilty and subsequently punish ourselves. All of time is happening all the time and is over when we so choose. When we heal the past and entrust the future to God, we transform time back to eternity, which we never left in truth.

    "There is only one religion, the religion of LOVE."  Sai Baba