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“I want the peace of God.”
One thing I find helpful is to ask myself frequently, “What is my level of peace right now?” Just asking the question helps because the question reminds me to take the time to open to peace more fully. Focusing on accepting peace brings me more peace. With peace comes a softening, a gentleness.
The Course says “Peace and understanding come together and are never found alone.” If ever I want understanding about a situation or circumstance, the way to get it is to first choose peace. When I consciously choose peace, my priorities seem to change. My perspective changes. I am reminded there is only eternal oneness, and the rest is dreams. What doesn’t matter gently recedes and then disappears from my mind.
Peace is the pathway of Heaven. It opens my communication channels with the Holy Spirit and brings clarity to my mind. What I really need to remember from the Holy Spirit’s perspective, I will remember. Today I will practice accepting the peace of God. It is my one goal.
This lesson is leading us to a unified priority, a singleness of mind. In an earlier lesson we are told to examine our goals and points out that we will find, if we look deeply, we have goals that conflict with each other. This is why the ego thought system requires compromise. Within the thought system of separation, it is impossible to have a single goal that is wholly shared with another.
As I examine the things I think will bring me happiness and comfort, I see I have many levels of goals. I do have goals of following Holy Spirit’s lead and serving as His messenger. But I have to admit other goals can take over my attention.
These goals are associated with forms of this world. I want certain things to happen or certain conditions to exist. The fulfillment of these goals is measured by what bodies do or what forms are present in the circumstance. These forms are nothing in themselves. But if I think the form in which they appear in my experience is what will make me happy, then I lose my focus on following Holy Spirit’s lead. Form takes precedence over content. But form does not bring lasting peace because form is unstable and is always changing.
The peace of God is eternal and changeless. To wholly want the peace of God, I must let go of needing any particular form to appear in my life. With the peace of God as my top priority, the forms needed in the moment to serve Holy Spirit’s plan will be there. When they are no longer needed, they will go. There is no need to be bogged down with things that no longer serve. The path of peace is a light, unburdened path to Light.
The lesson says if I want the peace of God I will have it, which means if I don’t have it, I don’t really want it. This just astounds me. How could I not want the peace of God?
I did as suggested in the lesson and thought of those things I want instead. I’ve tried to do this before, but without a lot of success. Thinking in terms of what comforts me made it easier. I was surprised at what came up.
I was glad for the reminder not to look at some of them as shameful, because that was my first reaction. For instance, I discovered a desire to be admired and respected by others. I would let my mind wander to other goals and would find, to my embarrassment, I was focused once again on some form of personal success which brings me recognition from others.
There were other goals as well, other sources of comfort. But what I found myself wondering was why they are so hard to give up. When I offered them to Holy Spirit and asked for God’s peace in return, I felt a lack of conviction. I didn’t really want this, not entirely. And, of course, wanting it entirely is how you get it.
I let my mind wander over this terrain for awhile and I think the primary feeling I had was fear. What if I give these things to Holy Spirit — what will this feel like? Will the peace of God bring me the same high that success does? Of course there won’t be those long stretches of feeling incomplete and unfulfilled when I’m not flushed with success. And there won’t be the uncertainty of not knowing what constitutes success at any given moment. But what would it feel like not to live on this roller coaster ride — high one day, low another?
I had no idea I felt like this until I did this meditation. I expected to feel more confused and doubtful than before I started since nothing was settled. But when I examined my feelings, I found that I felt good about the meditation. I discovered something about myself I had kept hidden. That I was willing to take it out of the darkness and look at it in the light with Holy Spirit is a good sign. I trust Holy Spirit to help me with the next step.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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