Not too long ago I had a conversation with someone about Gary Renard's (“Arten's) comment in his second book on page 27 about being in the Now. It was a not so subtle critique of Eckhart Tolle. I have also read where people have said that being in the Now is fine, but it is not practicing ACIM.
I have to disagree with Gary aka “Arten” on this. Not because I am trying to defend Tolle, (though I do appreciate his work), but because I think that it is misinformation to say that practicing being in the Now is not practicing ACIM.
For the course states, “ The holy instant (the Now) has not yet happened to you. Yet it will, and you will recognise it with perfect certainty. No gift of God is recognised in any other way. You can practise the mechanics of the holy instant(the Now), and will learn much from doing so. Yet its shining and glittering brilliance, which will literally blind you to this world by its own vision, you cannot supply. And here it is, all in this instant, complete, accomplished and given wholly.
Start now to practise your little part in separating out the holy instant(the Now). You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second, and to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate."
The person replied that maybe Tolle focused more on the Now and Gary focused more on forgiveness. Yes, I suppose that is true. But I also think that the Now and Forgiveness need the other. That the now and forgiveness are interchangeable symbols in a way, for you can only truly forgive in the Now and can only truly be in the Now if you have Truly forgiven aka Acceptance. In this sense, I would say that as far as explanation of the symbols, both Tolle and Renard's explanations using symbols could be said to be incomplete, because you cannot have one without the other.
It was suggested that I saw the Now in ACIM. I wouldn't say that I saw the Now in reading ACIM, but I saw the Now as a key component of ACIM. ACIM is so multi dimentional, that the more I read it, the deeper its meaning. But the Now has no hierarchy over Forgiveness or the Holy Relationship, but simply a key condiment in making the perfect sandwich, LOL. They all rely on each other as long as we need the illusion to point to truth.
It's not that I'm talking about the Now to try and overemphasize it over everything else, but to possibly bring into awareness the emphasis it deserves. From what I have read in the year and half I have been on these boards, is that the Now aka the Holy Instant hasn't been talked about as much as the other things in ACIM. And this may not be accurate, but it is my perception of it.
The people that I have discussed this with that have defended what Gary said in his book. Say that what Gary is saying is that being in the Now, may get you here as this is the statement in his book, but it doesn't do anything and by trying to stay in the Now, we are then simply overlooking all of our hidden guilts that the Holy Spirit needs us to bring into the light and if we are hiding our hidden guilts, then we cannot forgive them, which is the central theme that runs through the course.
But being in the Now is not about ignoring our guilts. It is about being in the only real place in time that this world offers so that we can be released from guilt.
As the course says, “His (the Holy Spirit's) emphasis is therefore on the only aspect of time that can extend to the infinite, for now is the closest approximation of eternity that this world offers.”
And that “Now is the time of salvation, for now is the release from time”
ACIM is a course in miracles. But where could a miracle be in time? ACIM states , “For a miracle is now.” and that “The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now”
So for the Holy Spirit to undo all of this we should do what the course states and “Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time”
What does ACIM say about the Now and the ego? It states, “'Now' has no meaning to the ego”
ACIM also says that the body is the ego's home by its election and is identified with the body and it also states this, “At no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated, but never experienced just now”.
I agree with Gary that Forgiveness is essential to the course's message. But we have to be in the Now to forgive. The course's forgiveness is not about dwelling in the past trying to find guilt to forgive. Doing that is then trying to usurp the Holy Spirit's function and make it our own. We only need to have the willingness and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.
By practicing the world's form of forgiveness of looking to our past “guilts” as course states, “Only the past is held in memory as you make use of it, and so it is a way to hold the past against the now”
And what could this be, but what the course states, “This is a sacrifice of now, which could not be the cost the Holy Spirit asks for what He gave without a cost at all.”
We must realize the importance of the Now. To remember Truth and not illusions. For again as the course states, “You are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past, that it is hard for you to realise it is a skill that can remember now.” . And, “The change of purpose the Holy Spirit brought to your relationship has in it all effects that you will see. They can be looked at now
And when we do realize this then, the course states, “For you have cause for freedom now.” And “see, instead, the new effects of cause accepted now, with consequences here.”
True forgiveness can only be experienced in the Now. Not in time.
“Arten” tells Gary that being in the Now may get you here, but it won't get you home.
The question is, isn't here the best starting point in the journey without distance? Only by being HERE can we begin to practice the Holy Instant. Only by being HERE can we begin to realize our Truth. Only by being HERE can we give the willingness to the Holy Spirit. Only by being HERE can we release the past, thus releasing the future. Only by being HERE can we BE. And where is HERE, but Now? Not in the past and not in the future, but Now.
Remember what the course says about practicing the mechanics of the Holy Instant aka the Now.
“Start now to practise your little part in separating out the holy instant(the Now). You will receive very specific instructions as you go along. To learn to separate out this single second, and to experience it as timeless, is to begin to experience yourself as not separate.”
We must look to the means and not focus on the ends. To say the Now won't get you home is in my opinion looking to the ends while overlooking the means, which then puts us right back into time, because it implies accomplishment and to accomplish must be in the future.
Be in the Now and the means and the ends will become one in the same.
Remember, Now has no meaning to the ego. But sin does. Guilt does and this is what the course states about sin, “Belief in sin arouses fear, and like its cause, is looking forward, looking back, but overlooking what is here and now.