NOTE: This tremendously helpful essay is written and audio recorded by my amazing friend and colleague, Coreen Walson.
The ego’s two greatest defenses to our awakening from the dream of separation entirely are 1) the belief that we are a body, and 2) the special relationship. Both of these defenses remain insurmountable until we clearly see and understand how the ego uses them and identify what the cost is to our awareness of our Holy Self if we choose to indulge in them.
As we begin the awakening process, we begin peeling back the layers to the ego thought system, healing our triggers/blocks to our awareness of our true identity as the Holy Self. Eventually, we come down to the place where we are faced with the same two obstacles that plague any good spiritual student, the relinquishment of all special relating, and the idea that we as the Son of God could possibly be imprisoned within a physical body.
These two obstacles both have the same, seeming element that keeps us bound by them, that is, each can seem to argue against their release. The body seems to be able to act independently of our wishes and what the physical senses seem to report are most convincing until one realizes that it is complete mesmerism. A special relationship can walk right into the midst of your living room and argue with you as to why it is a bad idea to change the status quo. This is why the ego covets both of these and will not release them without a mighty struggle and plan of defense.
Let’s recall that our wish for the experience of separation gave rise to the belief of the ego thought system. Out of Oneness came this tiny mad idea . . . and the idea is the wish to experience yourself as set apart from God and your Brother. The way back Home is exactly the reverse of how we seem to have gotten here. It is through the experience of Oneness that we will recall true Home and the relinquishment of all the ways in which we have tried to make separation seem real.
The path back Home requires joining with your Brother. I mean, really joining; joining to the extent that you no longer experience, perceive or wish for any sense of separation. A joining that allows you to Know that you and your Brother are One and cannot BE separated. A state of complete fearlessness, where Love is remembered. This literally means a lack of all judgment. So what does this mean in terms of our direct experience? How do we do this? By closing the gap (perceived separation) between ourselves and our Brother.
Anytime we wish to perceive our Brother as less than the Christ is a judgment, a decision that the Truth is not true. To get right to the point, this means that even if we see a Brother as a body, we have made a judgment that they are not the Christ, the spiritual child of God. Jesus states that bodies cannot join, only the mind can. Even the most ecstatic love making is not “true joining” as it is being referred to here, because the level of joining goes beyond physical form.
Holy Relationship is established where any two Brothers agree that the common goal of their relationship is to experience true union. This common goal includes the agreement not to participate in any false relating. Each Brother shows up completely authentic, vulnerable, transparent, and radically honest and closes any seeming gap between them. The sole desire is to experience Oneness in its True sense where there is no separation, no judgment, no fear and no separate interests. In such a union, there is no compromising to please the other’s “ego”, there is no compartmentalizing the way one speaks or behaves depending on who he or she is with. Only as we truly SHOW UP on all levels and join with another who is showing up to the same level of willingness can this mandatory true joining take place. See The 7 Key Principles to Holy Relationships: https://takemetotruth.org/nouks-blog/the-seven-powerful-keys-to-holy-relationships/
Does this seem too high of a bar to reach? Let us recall that the Absolute Truth of our Being is that we are One in God, and God is Spirit. We are ideas in the Mind of God. Love is what we are. We cannot be limited and matter does not exist in infinite Spirit. Matter is what we made up to conceive of ourselves as separate, and it is pure illusion. Desiring to see your Brother as the Christ is the desire to look past all differences and to allow the God Self in your Brother to join with the God Self in you. This is what is called the Holy Instant. In the Holy Instant there is no fear. Without fear, we experience directly our Holy Self, which is One with our Brother and One with God. In other words, the Holy Instant is the return to Oneness and memory of God. This is the path back Home.
To the degree we allow this memory of God, will dictate to what extent we awaken. Many will allow themselves to be purged of the ego to such an extent that they are experiencing a happy dream where fear and its effects are mostly absent. Yet the belief in the body and the engaging in special relating seem to exist. Death as an inevitable result of life is still a cherished belief, although he or she may even understand that they are NOT a body. The catering to some specialness in a compartmentalized area of his or her life may still be ongoing as the result of “it’s better not to rock the boat” or “it isn’t right to force my beliefs on someone else”. These beliefs of body identification and special relating are the line drawn in the sand by the ego between awakening IN the dream, and awakening FROM the dream entirely the way Jesus demonstrated and is asking us to do.
We each come to the place where we must answer the question: what is it that I want? And if the answer is that you have seen enough evidence that there is nothing in this dream that you want, and you would like to end the cycle of reincarnation for good, then you have joined in a decision to un-do the ego’s last, two and greatest remaining defenses.
Throughout the Sonship is the song of freedom heard, in joyous echo of your choice. You have joined with many in the holy instant, and they have joined with you. Think not your choice will leave you comfortless, for God Himself has blessed your holy relationship. Join in His blessing, and withhold not yours upon it. For all it needs now is your blessing, that you may see that in it rests salvation. Condemn salvation not, for it has come to you. And welcome it together, for it has come to join you and your brother together in a relationship in which all the Sonship is together blessed.” T-17.V.10
Since the Holy Instant is the path of return, it becomes our primary focus and desire. Whenever a Holy Instant occurs, there are effects from that true joining. Healing, correction, and awakening are the results from this single moment of fearlessness. Let’s unpack what transpires in a Holy Instant. It is where the Holy Self in one Brother desires to join truly with another, meaning they only want to see their Brother’s sinlessness without any judgment. This requires forgoing what the senses are reporting and asking to see the Christ in another. Because this impulse to truly join with another is of God (Oneness), it extends from one Brother to another and when given, it is received by BOTH, because they are One. Neither of them can be precluded from receiving what is given, since they are both One and One with the Source of the desire for Union, which is God as Love.
When a Holy Instant occurs, healing follows in whatever form it is needed. It is under the Guidance of the Holy Spirit who will make maximal use of the offering by the two who have joined truly. Both HAVE received the healing. In that moment of fearlessness, healing is complete. Perfect Love casts out fear, and a Holy Instant is that Perfect Love!
Okay, so why is it that even after there has been a Holy Instant, that healing doesn’t seem to appear in effects in our lives, or on the body? Jesus is clear that healing will not take place when that healing will only serve to increase fear but that the healing waits “in trust” for that one’s development of trust to grow to such a state that he or she can then receive the effect of the Holy Instant.
“Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat. The instant it is welcome, it is there. Where healing has been given, it will be received. And what is time before the gifts of God? We have referred many times in the text to the storehouse of treasures laid up equally for the giver and receiver of God’s gifts. Not one is lost, for they can but increase. No teacher of God should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. Let him be certain it has been received, and trust that it will be accepted when it is recognized as a blessing and not a curse” M-6.2
When we have joined with our Brother for healing, and Truth has been received and extended by one Brother to the other who is asking for help, the healing is accomplished because there is just one Mind. Here’s the interesting part. Ego defenses are multi layered and therefore can be difficult to detect. Jesus points us to the fact that we will not receive the effects of all Holy Instances that are already ours (held in trust), as long as we are attacking our Brother and therefore denying our true Identity. If we continue to judge our Brothers by valuing differences or seeing them as bodies, we are denying ourselves as the Christ because we are One with our Brother. Let’s say that again . . . . because you and your Brother are ONE, seeing him or her as anything other than ONE with you, is literally denying your true identity. If we deny our true Identity, we are denying and therefore blocking those healing effects that are already ours as a result of the Holy Instances we have entered into. We block the effects of the holy instant and we block our healing as long as we remain in judgment of our Brothers or ourselves.
Personal note from Coreen: I feel it is important to make a distinction here based on my own direct experience with healing. I have often times received direct revelation from Holy Spirit, my right Mind, that has illuminated my thought and has resulted in healing of the body, of lack, of relationship difficulties, and of lack of employment. I did not join with a Brother in those instances, and at other times I joined with a healing practitioner who supported me in my understanding of my inseparable relationship to God. Yet I see that even those who practice this and are aware of their relationship to God and can heal others will inevitably succumb to the belief of death. And I haven’t understood just why that is and have asked. This article is the result of that asking. To overcome the “big” defenses, the body identity and special relationships, we must join with our Brother at the Absolute level. It requires a Union without fear to overcome and transcend these. This true joining is the only way in the dream to overcome the Obstacles to Peace Jesus refers to in the Course because each of these have the body as its central focus.
When we are seemingly sick and have reached out to join with our Brother in a Holy Instant, the healing is already done, and yet many wonder why the body is not healed. If we are judging our Brothers and/or our self, we are preventing our access to the effects of that Holy Instant. This is huge! The ego does not want this missing piece to be recognized and overcome. When we are willing to stay vigilant only to see the Christ in others and therefore our self, we release the effects that have been kept in trust for us. Blessings begin to chase us down.
“You have received the holy instant, but you may have established a condition in which you cannot use it. As a result, you do not realize that it is with you still. And by cutting yourself off from its expression, you have denied yourself its benefit. You reinforce this every time you attack your brother, for the attack must blind you to yourself. And it is impossible to deny yourself, and to recognize what has been given and received by you.” T-17.V.13 (emphasis added)
We will not recognize (experience) the healing we have already received while we deny our true identity by attacking our Brother.
To summarize, the two biggest defenses to awakening are our beliefs that we are a body and the maintaining of special relating. These prevent us from the true joining that is required in order to have the Memory of our Home in God. Yet through true joining with another Brother, we experience Union which transcends the body altogether. This experience is the Holy Instant that heals fear and all its effects. These effects however will not be experienced unless we stop blocking them by way of judging ourselves or our Brother. When we realize what identifying as a body and insisting on special relating is COSTING us (the healing we desire, the experience of peace, the memory of Home), we will finally be willing to forgive and release them, accepting Atonement in their place.
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