There is no peace except the peace of God.
Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.
This is the final point to which each one must come at last, to lay aside all hope of finding happiness where there is none; of being saved by what can only hurt; of making peace of chaos, joy of pain, and Heaven out of hell. Attempt no more to win through losing, nor to die to live. You cannot but be asking for defeat.
Yet you can ask as easily for love, for happiness, and for eternal life in peace that has no ending. Ask for this, and you can only win. To ask for what you have already must succeed. To ask that what is false be true can only fail. Forgive yourself for vain imaginings, and seek no longer what you cannot find. For what could be more foolish than to seek and seek and seek again for hell, when you have but to look with open eyes to find that Heaven lies before you, through a door that opens easily to welcome you?
Come home. You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms that have no meaning to you, though you sought to make them meaningful. This world is not where you belong. You are a stranger here. But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone.
Freedom is given you where you beheld but chains and iron doors. But you must change your mind about the purpose of the world, if you would find escape. You will be bound till all the world is seen by you as blessed, and everyone made free of your mistakes and honored as he is. You made him not; no more yourself. And as you free the one, the other is accepted as he is.
What does forgiveness do? In truth it has no function, and does nothing. For it is unknown in Heaven. It is only hell where it is needed, and where it must serve a mighty function. Is not the escape of God’s beloved Son from evil dreams that he imagines, yet believes are true, a worthy purpose? Who could hope for more, while there appears to be a choice to make between success and failure; love and fear?
There is no peace except the peace of God, because He has one Son who cannot make a world in opposition to God’s Will and to his own, which is the same as His. What could he hope to find in such a world? It cannot have reality, because it never was created. Is it here that he would seek for peace? Or must he see that, as he looks on it, the world can but deceive? Yet can he learn to look on it another way, and find the peace of God.
Peace is the bridge that everyone will cross, to leave this world behind. But peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond. Peace is the answer to conflicting goals, to senseless journeys, frantic, vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors. Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God.
Let us not lose our way again today. We go to Heaven, and the path is straight. Only if we attempt to wander can there be delay, and needless wasted time on thorny byways. God alone is sure, and He will guide our footsteps. He will not desert His Son in need, nor let him stray forever from his home. The Father calls; the Son will hear. And that is all there is to what appears to be a world apart from God, where bodies have reality.
Now is there silence. Seek no further. You have come to where the road is carpeted with leaves of false desires, fallen from the trees of hopelessness you sought before. Now are they underfoot. And you look up and on toward Heaven, with the body’s eyes but serving for an instant longer now. Peace is already recognized at last, and you can feel its soft embrace surround your heart and mind with comfort and with love.
Today we seek no idols. Peace can not be found in them. The peace of God is ours, and only this will we accept and want. Peace be to us today. For we have found a simple, happy way to leave the world of ambiguity, and to replace our shifting goals and solitary dreams with single purpose and companionship. For peace is union, if it be of God. We seek no further. We are close to home, and draw still nearer every time we say:
There is no peace except the peace of God,
And I am glad and thankful it is so.
INITIAL INSIGHT: Here is how I seek for the peace of God. First, I stop trying to arrange the world in such a way as to bring me the peace I desire. I stop trying to get people to do things my way. I stop believing that I need things to be done my way. I stop believing in a way that is mine alone. I stop believing there is a me alone. It has been a nice progression, starting where I thought I was and leading me to where I am now. I still slip back a step or two upon occasion, but peace once achieved is compelling and I move back toward it as quickly as I can.
Instead, of looking outward for a way to change things so I can feel peaceful, I go within and rearrange that landscape. I look at the thoughts and beliefs that I am holding. I sort them, discerning the ones that bring me closer to peace and those that take me toward distress. In NTI, it is symbolized as sorting the sheep from the goats. I send the goats on their way rather than paying attention to them.
I remind myself that I have the peace of God, that it is an integral part of my very being having been given me in my creation. Even here in this dream world, peace abides in me as my Self. This is a good thing to remember because the ego program dismisses the very possibility of finding peace and offers me some pretty sad substitutes, distraction, winning, projection, to name a few. Listening to the ego on this subject is disheartening, so I don’t.
Jesus says to be at peace, I must change the purpose of the world. I used to think the purpose of the world was to accept my sins as its own and leave me unaffected by them. So, I made everyone and everything guilty thinking that their guilt freed me of mine. But I have learned to forgive this whole idea. I forgive every projection that I make as soon as I notice it.
Symbolic of that, I wrote my first amends letter. I sweated over it in my mind, imagining many ways I could say the same thing and driving myself crazy. Then I sat down and asked my Inner Self to help me write with total honesty and no desire for justification. The letter flowed onto the paper and with it, my anxiety. I was left feeling free and happy and completely at peace.
I forgave the past situation and my projections onto it. I forgave myself in the writing of the letter. Since then, I have asked to be guided if there are more letters to be written. Are there situations and people, even those who are out of my life for one reason or another that I could forgive? I crave this freedom now that I have tasted it.
DAILY APPLICATION: The only way to live in this world that does not lead to despair is to use it as a classroom to learn that I don’t want anything it has to offer. This is why I practice my three-step process of bringing my ego thoughts to the Holy Spirit and looking at them with Him, then accepting His interpretation instead of the ego’s. I keep doing this over and over again, and I begin to realize that there is a way out.
It can be pretty subtle sometimes. When I worked, I would stay at hotels two to three times a week. Sometimes I go into my room and wonder if I could stand to look at another generic room and to be alone again. This thought was a way of saying that if only I had a different job, or a special friend to be with, I would be saved. On the other hand, when I thought my job is in jeopardy, I become afraid and believe that if only I got to keep this job, I would be happy.
Sometimes I used to want a partner and think that would solve all my loneliness problems, and sometimes I was afraid I might become entangled with another special relationship and believe that avoiding them was my salvation. These insane thoughts tell me that having the relationship will bring me peace, then tell me that having the relationship will bring me turmoil.
It becomes clear that I have no idea what would make me happy. I want there to be something, but obviously, there isn’t. So now I am practicing mindfulness, and just noticing those times when I am attempting to find happiness in dreams. And then I’m asking the Holy Spirit to help me see this differently. I pay attention and notice when I am receiving the little nudges that let me know there is something I can do that would be helpful or loving. I keep my mind open to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and teaching.
I seldom believe that things should be different, and when I do have that thought, I extricate myself from that tangled web as quickly as I can.
Here is a helpful message I received while I was still confused.
INSIGHTS FROM HOLY SPIRIT: Me: Holy Spirit, I think this is a good lesson for me today. I have been caught up in false pursuitslately thinking that I could be happy if I didn’t have to work so hard if my kids would get their lives together, if the plumbing in my house were done correctly, and if I had planned better for my retirement. These are just some of the ways I am looking for peace in the world, and I do it even though I know better.
Holy Spirit: Myron, imagine that you are traveling a straight and narrow path. You see another windy road taking off to the left and you travel it a bit to see where it takes you. As you notice that it doesn’t feel good to you, you ask Me to help you find your way back to your path. That is all that is happening. Do not be concerned that you seem to be taking missteps. All roads eventually lead home, but some are rocky and unpleasant to travel, and many take much longer to traverse, leaving you in hell far longer than you will like.
Your path is sure because you now know where you want to go. Having chosen Me as your guide, you have tasted freedom and peace and so will not linger long on these side trips. When you notice you have wandered off, quickly turn to Me for help returning to the main path, and do not delay to do so. This is the right use of time.
Each time you do this, you will become more convinced that the straight path is the one that will most quickly lead you home, and you will be less enticed by the ego’s temptations. When you hear the voice telling you that a side trip will be fun and get you something you want, you might decide to check it out, but you won’t long be fooled. You will return to Me because peace is what you want.
Me: Holy Spirit, I get off the main road and don’t even realize it until I am standing up to my hips in alligators wondering how I got here. What I cannot understand about myself is that even now knowing what I know, sometimes I see I am lost, I ask for Your help to get out, then I refuse to take Your hand. I actually bemoan that this is too hard as if something were preventing my escape from misery. Why do I do this to myself? Why does it sometimes seem so hard to turn around and go back? And mostly, what can I do to change this behavior?
Holy Spirit: Myron, sometimes when you ask My help in a situation, you are really asking that I make the situation feel better, or be easier. This is not a request I can honor because it is not a true request. You are asking Me to keep you in hell, and obviously, this is not in your best interests. You think that somehow hell could be more palatable if I would go to work on it.
Nor can I pull you from hell until you are ready to leave. As God’s Son, your desire is unassailable. I can help you find your way out only when this is the desire of your heart. When you realize there is no benefit to you in being “hip deep” you will change your mind about being there, and then you will be out. It is that simple.
GRATITUDE: Thank you, Holy Spirit for clarifying that for me.
Excerpt from Regina’s Tips
Our spiritual practice is two-fold:
We practice forgiveness, which is letting go of illusions, because illusions distract us from realizing ourselves as awareness-life-presence. We use different tools, such as self-inquiry, rest-accept-trust, the loving all method, right-reason and right-gratitude, to help us practice forgiveness.
We pay attention to awareness, which is the doorway to infinite awareness, through meditation and many glimpses throughout the day.
In other words, our path is letting go of the temporary and embracing the eternal.
Although we ignore the world when we are in awareness-watching-awareness meditation, we welcome the world when we are not in meditation. We have gratitude for the opportunities it gives us to practice forgiveness, and we appreciate awareness-life-presence as it is reflected in the world.
“Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God. … Only if we attempt to wander can there be delay and needless wasted time on thorny byways. … Today we seek no idols. Peace can not be found in them. The peace of God is ours, and only this will we accept and want. … For we have found a simple, happy way to leave the world of ambiguity, and to replace our shifting goals and solitary dreams with single purpose and companionship. For peace is union, if it be of God. We seek no further. We are close to home, and draw nearer every time we say:
There is no peace except the peace of God,
And I am glad and thankful it is so.”
Through studying A Course in Miracles, I learned that the world is not real and that I am not of the world. I learned to recognize that it is more hell than Heaven and that I want to be free. That was necessary because we come here confused about that point. An interesting thing happens, though. As I free myself from the world, I begin to love the world.
I love that I chose to be here to do this work, to have this experience. I love that the world is such a perfect reflection of the beliefs in the ego-mind and thus provides such a perfect place to undo them. All I have to do to know what’s next on the agenda is to look around. What is in my life right now?
Does it reflect the truth or is it an image coming from the ego-mind? I think of something and it is manifest as the world I see. As I began to realize this, the time-lapse between desire and manifestation got shorter so that was even more helpful. I am learning to live in gratitude all the time even when the present lesson feels painful.