Study Guide and Commentary

ACIM® Text, Chapter 18, Section IV 

The Little Willingness

Legend:

blue text = Material from ACIM 3rd edition (FIP)
bold blue text = words emphasized in all caps in Urtext
red text = alternate or omitted material from the Urtext
light blue text = editorial comments
strikethrough blue = Not in Urtext, in FIP edition
highlighted = key word in this section

Overview of the Section

This section deals strongly with our mistaken notion that we ought to be doing something to “prepare” ourselves for the holy instant. It presents several ways in which we make this mistake, and establishes solidly the truth that only our desire for the holy instant, and our willingness to receive it, are required of us. 

Let’s begin by establishing a solid definition for what a holy instant is:

The holy instant is an experience of grace and stillness, an instant in which we set aside some or all of our identification with the ego and our belief in the reality of the world it has projected, and allow the reality of our true Identity in God to shine through, an Identity we share with all the Sonship. It frequently involves the experience of a clear perception of another person as the holy and perfect creation of God.

These instructions about entering the holy instant are applicable to the experience of holy instants both with other individuals and by oneself, in meditation.

Paragraph 1

1. 1The holy instant is the result of your determination to be holy. 2It is the answer. 3The desire and the willingness to let it come precede its coming. 4You prepare your mind for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. 5It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more. 6Do not attempt to give the Holy Spirit what He does not ask, or you will add the ego to Him and confuse the two. 7He asks but little. 8It is He Who adds the greatness and the might. 9He joins with you to make the holy instant far greater than you can understand. 10It is your realization that you need do so little that enables Him to give so much.

• Study Question •

1. 1. In seeking a holy instant, attempting to do more than wanting and willing has certain effects. Which of the following are among those effects?

A. We will add the ego to the Holy Spirit and confuse the two.

B. We block the Holy Spirit from being able to do “so much” to help us.

C. We needlessly duplicate the work of the Holy Spirit. 


Only our desire and willingness are necessary antecedents to the holy instant, which is the answer to our desire to be holy (1:1). We provide the desire and the willingness, and the Holy Spirit answers with the holy instant (1:2). It cannot come to us unless we first desire it, and are willing to receive it (1:3). But that’s all we have to do. Nothing else is necessary, and, in fact, it is necessary that we do nothing else! This is one application of the Course’s dictum (in 18.VII) that we “need do nothing.” We could say, in regard to the holy instant and doing nothing, that doing nothing means not trying to make the holy instant happen by our own efforts. When we attempt to inject our own efforts into the equation, all we are doing is trying to embark on “an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide” (T-5.III.4:6). We’re asking our egos to take us out of our egos (1:6). Fat chance! We don’t need to do anything to obtain a holy instant; in fact, we cannot do anything to obtain it (1:5). It is a gift, given through the agency of the Holy Spirit. 

There is a similar message found in the writings attributed to the Apostle Paul (though possibly written by one of his students):

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9 NRSV)

God’s gifts are gifts; we do not earn them. All the Holy Spirit asks is our desire and willingness; “He…adds the greatness and the might” (1:8), with results that surpass our understanding (1:9). In fact, what enables Him to give us so much is our realization that we don’t have to do anything (1:10). Our trying actually prevents us from receiving it.

Paragraph 2

2. 1Trust not your good intentions. 2They are not enough. 3But trust implicitly your willingness, whatever else may enter. 4Concentrate only on this, and be not disturbed that shadows surround it. 5That is why you came. 6If you could come without them you would not need the holy instant. 7Come to it not in arrogance, assuming that you must achieve the state its coming brings with it. 8The miracle of the holy instant lies in your willingness to let it be what it is. 9And in your willingness for this lies also your acceptance of yourself as you were meant to be.

• Study Question •

2. In light of the discussion about the “shadows” that surround our willingness in the latter part of the paragraph, and how the holy instant is intended to deal with these shadows, what do you think sentences 1 to 3 are talking about? (One answer only.)

A. We cannot trust our intentions to do good, or to be loving or kind, or to be helpful. Instead, we should refrain from trying to do good in this world.

B. We cannot trust our good intentions in trying to dispel the ego’s thoughts from our minds. Instead, we should trust wholly and completely in our willingness to let the Holy Spirit remove them in the holy instant.

C. Our minds are so befouled by the ego that we cannot trust them at all; we are completely corrupt and have no hope apart from God’s unmerited grace.

The first two sentences are quite famous Course quotes, and very widely misunderstood. “Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough” (2:1–2). You need to read these in context. These statements about good intentions are not made in regard to our behavior towards other people. They do not mean, “Don’t trust your intention to be helpful, or loving, or forgiving.” They speak, rather, about our intentions to prepare ourselves for the holy instant, and to give the holy instant to ourselves. Just intending to arrive at the holy instant through our efforts is not enough to make them holy, nor are our intentions enough to bring us to the holy instant. Nothing our efforts do can get us there, because our efforts are precisely what keep us from getting there; they postpone it to the future, and the holy instant can only be known in the present.

Our willingness, however, is something that we can trust; our willingness is enough to bring us into the holy instant. Indeed, we can trust our willingness “implicitly,” which means without any doubt or reservations (2:3).  That brings us to the next way we try to prepare ourselves.

Sometimes, as we seek to attain some kind of spiritual consciousness, we become aware of all the ways we are not holy. We are, perhaps, desiring to perceive the Christ in a particular person, and when we begin to think about the person, we have a lot of negative thoughts come up, thoughts of anger, or resentment, or hurt. These seem like shadows surrounding our willingness. Jesus tells us to concentrate only on the willingness, and not to let the shadows bother us (2:4).

The purpose of the holy instant is to heal our split minds. If we had no “shadows” surrounding our willingness we wouldn’t need the holy instant (2:5–6)! In trying to make our willingness perfect before we come to the holy instant, we are trying to achieve, on our own, the state of mind that the holy instant is designed to impart to us as a gift from God (2:7). Our insistence on perfect willingness, and our refusal to trust our present willingness without doubt and reservation, is therefore really nothing but an arrogant attempt to give ourselves what only God can give us. It is the height of the ego’s grandiosity, trying to play God and take His place. Here, too, we need do nothing to become more willing. We are already willing enough. The Course teaches us that, in our right mind, our will is already one with God’s, and that we do want His will for us. Our belief that our will differs from His is what causes us to think we need to do something to “become” more willing, but our “different will” is only an illusion. The miraculous aspect of the holy instant is actually triggered when we end our striving and just let go, letting it be what it is (2:8). Our willingness to cease our struggles is tightly integrated with our profound acceptance that we already are all we need to be, a perfect, whole creation of God (2:9).

Paragraph 3

3. 1Humility will never ask that you remain content with littleness. 2But it does require that you be not content with less than greatness that comes not of you. 3Your difficulty with the holy instant arises from your fixed conviction that you are not worthy of it. 4And what is this but the determination to be as you would make yourself? 5God did not create His dwelling place unworthy of Him. 6And if you believe He cannot enter where He wills to be, you must be interfering with His Will. 7You do not need the strength of willingness to come from you, but only from His Will.

• Study Question •

3. Humility doesn’t mean accepting that we are egos and there is nothing we can do about it; rather, it means refusing to be any less than what God made us to be. In this paragraph, and in paragraph 2, what are three thoughts we have that keep us from experiencing our greatness in the holy instant? (See 2:7; 3:3; and 3:7.)

Perhaps proclaiming that you are complete and perfect just as you are seems arrogant or boastful, but it is not. Arrogance lies in holding on to a belief in our incompletion and imperfection, because it implies that God didn’t do a good enough job! It isn’t humble to “remain content with littleness” (3:1); it’s arrogant. True humility is accepting yourself exactly as you are, and that means not being content with anything less than the greatness planted in you, and all of us, by God (3:2). 

We believe that we are unworthy of experiencing God’s presence in the holy instant, and we mistake our belief for humility (3:3). If we become immersed in trying to make ourselves worthy of the holy instant (3:4), we are in fact becoming arrogant, not humble. “It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace” (T-18.IV.4:4). In trying to make ourselves worthy, we are setting ourselves up as the judge of what “worthy” is. True humility accepts what the Course says here, that God made us worthy (3:5), and we have nothing to do with it. If we continue to believe that (because we are unworthy) God cannot enter our lives—something that is very much His will to do—then we must somehow be interfering with the Will of God (3:6)! Talk about arrogance, to think we could do that!

Although we must be willing to receive the holy instant, the strength of our willingness does not come from ourselves. It comes from the fact that our entering into and experiencing the holy instant, our having a direct knowing of the Presence of God in our lives, is God’s Will (3:7). If God wills it, it is insane to think that we can somehow interfere with it.

Paragraph 4

4. 1The holy instant does not come from your little willingness alone. 2It is always the result of your small willingness combined with the unlimited power of Gods Will. 3You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. 4It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace. 5God has established them. 6They do not wait upon your willingness for what they are. 7Your willingness is needed only to make it possible to teach you what they are. 8If you maintain you are unworthy of learning this, you are interfering with the lesson by believing that you must make the learner different. 9You did not make the learner, nor can you make him different. 10Would you first make a miracle yourself, and then expect one to be made for you?

• Study Question •

4. The following list of statements, based on this section, contain some statements that are true and some that are false. In your answers, list each letter and next to it indicate “T” for true or “F” for false.

A. The holy instant depends completely on our willingess alone.

B. Our mistake is in thinking that we need to prepare for the holy instant.

C. Preparing for the holy instant means that we are establishing the conditions for peace.

D. The conditions for peace wait upon our willingness to establish what they are.

E. We must make ourselves (the learner) different to experience the holy instant. 

F. God has established the conditions for peace.

So, yes, the holy instant requires a “little willingness” from us, but that isn’t the source of its power. It is the union of our willingness with the unlimited power of God’s Will that makes the holy instant so powerful (4:1–2). If we look honestly at ourselves, we may notice that we have an assumption that we somehow have to prepare ourselves for a holy instant. We tend to assume that the reason we are not experiencing holy instants left and right is that we are not ready somehow, and we begin trying to figure out what we need to do to get ready. Perhaps we assume that our behavior needs to change in some way. Perhaps we think we ought to meditate more, or study more, or serve others more. 

The whole premise is wrong! We do not need to prepare ourselves (4:3). If preparations were needed, it would inevitably lead to our thinking that the holy instant depended on us (4:4). We think we are unworthy (4:8). We think we must somehow become different from what we are (4:8). Setting the conditions for inner peace is not up to you; they have been established by God (4:5). Your willingness, which is the only thing you are asked to contribute, has nothing to do with setting the conditions; it is necessary only to “make it possible to teach you what they [the conditions] are” (4:6–7). 

It is not necessary to be different from what you are to receive the holy instant. You didn’t make yourself, and indeed, you cannot truly change yourself, at the core (4:9). It would take a miracle. So, do you somehow think you have to perform a miracle so that God can perform one for you (4:10)? Absurd!

Paragraph 5

5. 1You merely ask the question. 2The answer is given. 3Seek not to answer, but merely to receive the answer as it is given. 4In preparing for the holy instant, do not attempt to make yourself holy to be ready to receive it. 5That is but to confuse your role with Gods. 6Atonement cannot come to those who think that they must first atone, but only to those who offer it nothing more than simple willingness to make way for it. 7Purification is of God alone, and therefore for you. 8Rather than seek to prepare yourself for Him, try to think thus: 

9I who am host to God am worthy of Him.
10He Who established His dwelling place in me created it as He would have it be.
11It is not needful that I make it ready for Him, but only that I do not interfere with His plan to restore to me my own awareness of my readiness, which is eternal.
12I need add nothing to His plan.
13But to receive it, I must be willing not to  substitute my own in place of it.

• Study Question •

5. Which of the following is not our role in experiencing the holy instant?

A. Receive the answer as it is given.

B. Offer only simple willingness to make way for it.

C. Purifying ourselves to make ready for it.

D. Refraining from interfering with His plan.

E. Be willing not to substitute my plan for His.

Suggestion: Memorize the portion in italics.

In trying to earn our way into the holy instant, we are seeking to answer our own question, to do what we are asking for. We are asking for holiness, and, quite illogically, we think we must make ourselves holy before holiness can be given to us. But we do not answer our prayer, we only ask. The answer is given; we ask, and we receive; that is all (5:1–3). Do not try to make yourself holy to receive it (5:4)! Just relax, and let the gift be given. 

We are confusing our role with God’s, which is the height of arrogance. God is the one who atones (makes one), not us, and thinking that it is us prevents us from receiving the gift (5:6). We are looking in the wrong place. Atonement comes “only to those who offer it nothing more than simple willingness to make way for it” (5:6). We do not have to purify ourselves; God does that, which is how we receive it (5:7). 

The Course advises us, rather than trying to prepare ourselves, to think along these lines:

I who am host to God am worthy of Him. 

He Who established His dwelling place in me created it as He would have it be. 

It is not needful that I make it ready for Him, but only that I do not interfere with His plan to restore to me my own awareness of my readiness, which is eternal.

I need add nothing to His plan.

But to receive it, I must be willing not to substitute my own in place of it.  (T-18.IV.5:9–13).

Think about repeating those words next time you go to meditate. Really. Do it.

You are “host to God” (5:9). If God finds you to be an acceptable dwelling place, you must be “worthy of Him” (5:9). God created you to be His dwelling place. Surely, He created it the way He wanted it (5:10). He is currently restoring your awareness of your eternal readiness; your part is only to keep out of His way, to refrain from trying to make yourself ready (5:11–13).

The fact is, we are all ready. We are already ready.  We are eternally ready. We are ready because God created His dwelling place ready for Himself, and there is absolutely no need for us to do anything to make it ready. To think that we need to do something to make ourselves ready is arrogance. To allow Him “to restore to [us our] own awareness of [our] readiness” is to accept the Atonement for ourselves.

The first two lines of the next paragraph clearly continue to drive home this point.

Paragraph 6

6. 1And that is all. 2Add more, and you will merely take away the little that is asked. 3Remember you made guilt, and that your plan for the escape from guilt has been to bring Atonement to it, and make salvation fearful. 4And it is only fear that you will add, if you prepare yourself for love. 5The preparation for the holy instant belongs to Him Who gives it. 6Release yourself to Him Whose function is release. 7Do not assume His function for Him. 8Give Him but what He asks, that you may learn how little is your part, and how great is His.

• Study Question •

6. We made guilt. Our plans for dealing with guilt make guilt real and try to “atone” for it. Whenever we attempt to prepare for the holy instant, therefore, we interfering with it. Why? (There may be more than one answer.)

A. All we can add is fear.

B. By trying to add, we are really retracting our willingness to let God’s plan be.

C. We are trying to assume the function of the Holy Spirit.

D. All of the above.

“That is all” (6:1). To receive the holy instant, the only thing necessary is to be willing to keep the lid on your ego’s desire to take over the Holy Spirit’s job, to manufacture your own holiness. If you fail at that, you’ve undone your willingness to receive (6:2). Presuming unreadiness and trying to make yourself ready will accomplish nothing except to generate fear, fear of failure, fear of not doing enough (6:3–4). 

Do nothing. Put yourself into the hands of the Holy Spirit, who both gives the gift of the holy instant and prepares you to receive it (6:5–6). “Release yourself to Him Whose function is release” is the Course’s version of, “Let go and let God.” Stop trying to do His job for Him, and lean back into His Divine power (6:7–8). Notice how that practice in Paragraph 5 is worded so that you are giving your willingness to receive the holy instant and to give nothing else. I really do suggest memorizing 5:9–13, and repeating it often.

To “do nothing” in regard to the holy instant means that we get out of the way, that we cease throwing up barriers, that we end our delaying tactics; in sum, that we stop trying to make ourselves ready for it! Doing anything beyond simply not interfering is interfering. All that we are asked to do is—nothing. Our doing, our efforts to make it happen, are what is preventing it.

What makes the holy instant seem difficult to us is our belief that we have to do something to attain it. When I think the holy instant is difficult for me, I am believing a lie about myself. I am believing that I am incompatible with the holy instant as I am. I am believing that I am what the ego tells me I am, rather than what God tells me I am. I am believing in my littleness. I am denying that I am as God created me, and insisting that I am what I have made of myself.

Paragraph 7

7. 1It is this that makes the holy instant so easy and so natural. 2You make it difficult, because you insist there must be more that you need do. 3You find it difficult to accept the idea that you need give so little, to receive so much. 4And it is very hard for you to realize it is not personally insulting that your contribution and the Holy Spirits are so extremely disproportionate. 5You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. 6Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing. 7Salvation is easy just because it asks nothing you cannot give right now.

• Study Question •

7. (a) What makes the holy instant easy and natural? (See 7:1 and 7:7.)
(b) What makes the holy instant seem difficult?
(c) Does “you need understand nothing” mean that it isn’t necessary to study and understand the Course? (Defend your answer. See also the next section, 1:2–3.)

We read about the holy instant, and the often glowing terms in which the Course describes it, and we turn it into some high spiritual state that we only dream of attaining “some day.” Jesus says the holy instant is “so easy and so natural,” because we don’t need to do a blessed thing to receive it except be willing (7:1)! We’re the ones who make it difficult. We are so sure there must be something else we have to do to receive it (7:2). Think about that a moment. What is it in the way we think of ourselves and about God that makes it so hard to believe that we don’t need to do anything except to be willing? Isn’t it a form of guilt? Perhaps you think you don’t have much problem with guilt, but the symptoms say otherwise! Every time you affirm unreadiness or unworthiness, you are coming from guilt.

Jesus says we don’t “accept the idea that you need give so little, to receive so much” (7:3). Somehow it seems “personally insulting” that we contribute nothing and the Holy Spirit does it all (7:4). If that isn’t our egos talking I don’t know what is. Surely, we must understand how it all happens, we must understand the new reality we’re entering in order to realize it. But, No! Jesus points out how he has emphasized “that you need understand nothing” (7:5–6). Need do nothing; need understand nothing! Does your ego get its feathers ruffled by this, by being treated like a child? Maybe it’s because we are children in this realm, this Realm of God. But this is the whole reason that salvation is easy! You can give all that is needed right now. No need to wait. No need to prepare. No need to understand. Just be willing to open up and receive, without trying to add in anything from your end. 

There is a wonderful verse in the Psalms that, to me, seems to show that the psalmist, writing several thousand years ago, understood this key lesson. It says: 

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalms 116:12–13 KJV)

The question is, what shall I give God “for all His benefits toward me.” And the answer? “I will take the cup of salvation,” in other words, I will receive His gifts! That is exactly what the Course is telling us here: The only thing we can give to God is our willingness to take His gifts.

Special Note

 I can’t resist saying a few words about the view— quite prevalent in Course circles—that when the Course says we “need understand nothing” (T-18.IV.7:6) to enter the holy instant, it means that any pursuit of understanding is a mistaken attempt to “do something.” Some have taken this to mean that studying the Text is a waste of time, that the practice of watching our thoughts is unnecessary, and that there is no need to understand what our illusions are in order to be free of them. You may hear this view expressed in the form, “I don’t try to understand it; I just read and let it wash over me.”

This view ignores all the blocks our egos have placed in the way. By ignoring or denying all the ego obstacles, and ignoring the mind’s power that can free us from them, this “no study” approach only guarantees the ego’s continuance. Study and careful thinking is necessary in order to become aware of the ego’s defenses, to realize they are no longer wanted, and to use the power of decision that is ours to choose differently. 

As an illustration, suppose I am holding a ball in my hand. It is true that, to move this ball from my hand to the floor, “I need do nothing.” Gravity will carry the ball from my hand to the floor without any effort on my part. I do need, however, to release the ball. I need to recognize that my own hand is preventing the ball from following its natural tendency to fall to the floor. No understanding is needed to move the ball to the floor, but some understanding is needed in order to allow it to fall. 

We do not need understanding to enter the holy instant. We do not need to understand how it will accomplish what it will accomplish. We do need, however, understanding of what is preventing its natural occurrence. Our misguided doing is keeping us from the holy instant. What we must understand, then, is that “I need do nothing.” We must understand that our seeking is our disease, which must be relinquished before the holy instant can dawn upon us. 

Those who insist that all study and learning are unnecessary are like someone holding on to the ball and saying, “I need do nothing to let it fall to the floor.” Yet the ball remains clenched in their hand. They may even insist that the ball must be on the floor since no effort is required to get it there. Yet the ball is still in their hand. Their unexamined egos can remain intact, something which is painfully evident to everyone except themselves, because they have refused to look at them. No effort is required to be what God created us to be; we are that. Yet we are engaged in a titanic effort to be something else. That effort must be recognized and stopped to allow the experience of our true Self to emerge from its covering. 

Paragraph 8

8. 1Forget not that it has been your decision to make everything that is natural and easy for you impossible. [What you believe to be impossible will be, if God so wills it, but you will remain quite unaware of it.] 2If you believe the holy instant is difficult for you, it is because you have become the arbiter of what is possible, and remain unwilling to give place to One Who knows. 3The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this. 4Everything God wills is not only possible, but has already happened. 5And that is why the past has gone. 6It never happened in reality. 7Only in your mind, which thought it did, is its undoing needful.

• Study Question •

8. What reason does this paragraph give that the holy instant, part of God’s Will, must be possible for us, and not difficult?

A. Everything God wills has already happened.

B. Because our minds are powerful enough to make it easy for us.

C. Because it is only a beginner-level spiritual experience.

Our original error was to deny the truth about ourselves (union with God) and to choose separate existence. We chose to “make everything that is natural and easy for [us] impossible” (8:1). Jesus urges us not to forget this. He then points out that if we believe something is impossible it will still be. At first I read this as saying that if we believe something is impossible, it will be impossible for us. And that is probably true. But the parenthetic phrase, “if God so wills it,” alerts us to a different meaning: Our belief in its impossibility does not prevent it from being; if God wills it to be, it will be. The holy instant is. God knows it is possible, for all of His creations. When we believe it is difficult, we’ve set ourselves up a “the arbiter of what is possible” (8:2). We’ve usurped the role of God, who does not believe but who knows (8:2). We want to be in charge. We think we know better than God!

There follows a startling statement: “The whole belief in orders of difficulty in miracles is centered on this” (8:3). The common word here is “difficulty.” Everything he is saying about thinking the holy instant is difficult is equally true of every miracle we think is difficult! It’s all about our desire to be in charge, to decide what’s easy and what’s hard. None of it is hard because all of it “has already happened” (8:4), which is true of everything God wills. It’s “why the past is gone. It never happened in reality” (8:5–6). 

As I said in the commentary on 18.III last time, the Course says some weird things about time, and this is one of them. In Section III.7:6, he spoke of readjusting time; here he asserts that the past never happened! This only makes sense if the entire experience we are having about time is a dream, a fabrication of our mind (8:6). The only place time needs undoing is not in reality, but in our mind.

Discover magazine, in 2007, ran an article titled, Newsflash: Time May Not Exist. In it they reported:

The problem, in brief, is that time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality. If so, then what is time? And why is it so obviously and tyrannically omnipresent in our own experience? “The meaning of time has become terribly problematic in contemporary physics,” says Simon Saunders, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford. “The situation is so uncomfortable that by far the best thing to do is declare oneself an agnostic.”

It goes on to say that physicists John Wheeler and Bryce DeWitt developed an equation that attempts to unify relativity and quantum physics that has a strange side effect on time: “One finds that time just disappears from the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,” says Carlo Rovelli, a physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “It is an issue that many theorists have puzzled about. It may be that the best way to think about quantum reality is to give up the notion of time—that the fundamental description of the universe must be timeless.” 

Maybe the Course isn’t as weird as we think.

Answer Key

1. A, B

2. B

3. We think we have to achieve holiness before we can enter the holy instant. We think we are unworthy of it. We think the strength of willingness has to come from ourselves.

4. A-F B-T C-T D-F E-F F-T

5. C

6. D

7. (a) Give the Holy Spirit our willingness and nothing else; realize it asks for nothing we cannot give now.
(b) Insisting that there must be more for us to do.
(c) No. It means that understanding the truth is not necessary to experience the truth in the holy instant. Understanding that we don’t need to prepare, for instance, is necessary to receiving the holy instant. Understanding the blocks helps us let go of them. But we do not need to understand the truth to make the truth true; it is already true, whether or not we understand it. We do not need to understand the difference between truth and illusion to experience the holy instant, because one purpose of the holy instant is to teach us that difference.

8. A