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“This is a day of stillness and of peace.”
Stillness and peace are our natural condition. They describe the state in which we were created. The chaos, confusion and conflict of this world are the effect of believing in the illusion that we are separate from our Creator, our Source. We can return to our natural condition by simply giving up our belief in what could never be. Belief makes experience. If we believe that we are separate, we experience all the effects, all the fear and guilt that come with believing we are separate. This need not be.
We experience this world of separation because we chose it. But in any moment we can choose differently. We need only recognize that this world truly offers us nothing that we really want. It seems insane that we would choose a world of pain and suffering. And it is insane. But in our insanity, we do not recognize that we are choosing pain and suffering. We think we are choosing independence, individuality and control of our ‘lives,’ which can be summed up as choosing specialness. In our insanity we do not realize that in choosing to be separate from our Source, which is our strength and our Life, we are choosing weakness and death.
The seeming complexity of the ego thought system, with its countless images, was made to disguise that we are choosing against our happiness and peace. Consequently, though the choice is simple, it is not easy because we have come to place great value in the images we believe are real. We must be taught that these images offer us nothing of value, and in fact, stand as a barrier against the stillness and peace that is our natural condition.
To be taught, we must be willing to be taught. The entire message of the Course is summed up in the introduction. But we need the remaining 1200 pages to bring us to the recognition that the world we thought was so valuable is not what we want. For most of us, it comes gradually. Little by little we see one aspect or another of what we have valued as not bringing us what we want. We become willing to let it go.
We accelerate this process by developing the practice of bringing every image we have in this world to the Holy Spirit and asking for His interpretation, His meaning. In the beginning it seems that we only are willing to bring to Him the things we perceive as painful. Gradually we begin to realize that even the forms in this world that seem to bring us pleasure have a hidden cost that keeps us from recognizing the joy and peace of Heaven that is our inheritance. And so we become more willing to bring all perceptions to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to decide for us what it means.
We ask Him to decide for God on our behalf in all things. As we let the Holy Spirit decide for God for us, He undoes the effects of all our mistaken choices, freeing us from guilt. This is how we have a day of stillness and peace.
The sentence that stands out to me in this lesson is: “This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me.” My practice today is to open my mind to the Holy Spirit’s quietness, the Holy Spirit’s peace of mind.
In order to do this, it helps for me to pay attention to the thoughts I am accepting into my mind. I need to be vigilant to my level of peace. I need to be vigilant to keeping my mind open to receive the Thoughts that the Holy Spirit is always offering me.
Today is a day of practice. Today is a day of accepting the Holy Spirit’s perception with every experience I have today. Today is a day of accepting the truth and letting go of the ego’s false ideas.
My first thought as I read this lesson is that today was going to be a real challenge. This is going to be a very busy day with hardly a moment to catch my breath. I wondered how I could experience stillness and peace under those conditions.
Then I thought that these are the conditions under which I most need stillness and peace. I think that it must be possible to have peace at all times, I just have never chosen to do this. I will work on this lesson today and truly seek peace.
This is just another example of living in the illusion but knowing that I am not the illusion. I will be very busy as I take care of the illusion, but will be at peace while I do it, knowing that God is in charge of this, too.
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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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