What Would You Give For Inner Peace?
Shared by Joseph Shore
What would you give for inner peace? Would it be worth something to you? Would you know how to value it? What is inner peace? Do you even know? Where would you look for it? Would you recognize it? These are all very important questions unless one just wants to wallow. The true problem of man that keeps inner peace away from him is his unwillingness to change. Things may get so bad that you think you can agree that change needs to happen, so you will go to a guru and start a new program and pay lots of money for it. But if the guru asks you to define the change you want, you will probably be unable to tell him. You don’t know. So a couple starts out with some good intentions by going to a guru for change. They may even see him for some time, but somewhere along the way the unwillingness enters in and no change take place. They become disillusioned and fall back into their old conditioning, pleading their helplessness. Their thoughts are meaningless. Meaningless thoughts create a meaningless world and a meaningless world engenders fear. Now we can use the “God” word and say as does ACIM that God did not create a meaningless world. But that will still leave us a long way from finding inner peace. So the first thing we must do to come together for a sharing of A Course in Miracles, is to commit to moving past unwillingness. We must admit that there may be truths we don’t know. There may be lies we have believed which condition us and disallow inner peace. We would have to start there. The Course would then take us by the hand and help us to question our conditioning, our belief system. We would have to be sufficiently interested to know if there is anything worthwhile in our beliefs, especially the beliefs which we have about ourselves! The Course says that I am as God created me. Do you know yourself as God created you, apart from some belief you learned in catechism or Sunday school? You will have to find out if you are interested in finding inner peace. No teacher can tell you. No university can give you that information. No parent can tell you. You will have to look honestly inside and examine your conditioning. It may be that not many people are interested in that. It could be that the majority of people are just content to keep their anxiety, or go to a bar, have some drinks and sink down to a subhuman level where one can ignore everything of concern. But then you sober up the next morning and have to go to work and you are faced again with a boring life of routines and meaningless endeavors. The Course says that your tolerance for pain is not endless. Sometime you are going to have to break down and look up. You are going to have to find a way out of the inner pain you live with. A sharing of A Course in Miracles is a good way to start. Listen respectfully to what the Course says. Give it the respect due to a proper search for your true meaning. Then, if you don’t feel it is your path, nobody is going to force you to continue. That is the level many of us are comfortable with: “You can’t make me do anything I don’t want to do!” You are absolutely right, but there is a limit to your tolerance for pain and meaninglessness. Many people have longed for death as the great ending of pain. The only problem is that nothing changes at death. You just drop the body. You are left as a mind full of pain and confusion. No one can kill you and end your pain! So the Course comes into this meaningless world and helps you to look at the beliefs that undergird your meaningless life. It starts out very simply with one lesson a day which will begin a process of self-examination. You don’t have to understand the lesson. You won’t be able to. You just do it and it will do the work for you in the beginning. After a while you would come to a more basic level of discrimination in thought and you would see that there are two levels involved, perception, based on beliefs, and Knowledge found in God’s World. There is God’s spiritual universe which is governed by Truth and Universal Laws that are unchangeable and there is the level of man’s thought which we call the “world.” That level only knows opinions, not facts. It knows perception, not Truth. The level of thought we call the world would be as a dream state or nightmare compared to God’s universe of Truth. Somehow you need to get to God’s level. You need to find out that you are as God created you. In order to find that, you need a miracle in your change of perception. It is, after all, A Course in Miracles. A miracle is a sudden pause in your ordinary line of thought. Your thoughts have been created by your beliefs and they meander through your mind with meaninglessness. But the Miracles, which the Course says are directed by Jesus, introduce you to a “pause,” a “gap” in that flow. In that pause there is newness, a sparkling stillness which contains the possibility to see things differently than you did before. As you are introduced to these miracle pauses you would soon see that your mind is really a battleground. There is a voice in your head that you usually listen to. It speaks about all your conditioning and would talk about your limitations as a body, your lack. But there is another softer voice that you have ignored so long you can just barely hear it, and it speaks for you as God created you. The Course calls it the Holy Spirit or the Voice of Jesus. In the pause provided by the miracle, you have the opportunity to agree with the Holy Spirit’s assessment of your situation. So the Course is all about giving you choices you overlooked before. It doesn’t force you to do a thing! It doesn’t have clergymen to bang on your door. It doesn’t have preachers to manipulate you for your money. It just gives you the Thoughts of God! The Course contains the Thoughts of God! It just gives you eternal, unchanging Truth for you to hold up in front of your beliefs. When you see that, you will get some grasp of who you are, how important you are to God! The Course calls you the “son of God.” And you always thought that you were a lowly worm not worthy to take the scraps from the table of God! How much change in thought you will have to undergo! You will see how Holy you are because you share God’s Holiness. It has nothing to do with religiosity, how much makeup you wear or whether you go to the movies! It is about the unchangeable nature of who you are in truth, not what your parents or teachers or friends told you. Religious people are always afraid to look inside themselves fearing they will see monsters, just as Calvin described man as being totally depraved at the center of his being! It is a lie! You are as God created you and nothing can change you because your nature is based on God’s Holiness. His son must be like Him in truth. Do you see apples growing on thorn bushes, or peaches on potato vines? God’s creations are like Him; Spirit, not flesh, possessing all the qualities of God Himself. What could you do to destroy that? Nothing! Absolutely Nothing! This will come as a big surprise to you who think you are a sinner, a lowly worm. You would have to find out about this, and A Course in Miracles takes you gently by the hand and ever so kindly introduces you to the nature of God which you share!
We invite you to find the willingness to share A Course In Miracles and take a big step towards finding inner peace. If someone gave you a Rembrandt painting worth millions of dollars, you would proudly display it in your home. You would bring friends over to admire it. You would reverence it as a treasure. How is it that you cannot find that reverence for the Eternal Self that God created as you?