I am not a body. I am free,
For I am still as God created me.
(200) There is no peace except the peace of God.
Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on
other roads than this. But let me follow Him Who leads me
home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
On Aug 3, I read this from Cate Grieves who has used the Course to Awaken in the world, and to achieve the peace of God:
“What I came to see was that if I desired anything in this world — even the smallest thing – just for an instant — I lost the peace. The most subtlest of an idea that my happiness could lie in something in this world — took me out of it.
The desire for the peace of God has to be our ONLY desire. Here is the answer — no compromise is possible in this. Lesson 185. I am here to say that this is possible. I’m not extra ordinary. I’m not special. I just didn’t compromise.”
Oh my gosh! Suddenly I saw the light! I saw that this is the answer for me. From Lesson 185, “I want the peace of God. To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything.” And, “No one can mean these words and not be healed.” Then I looked again at what Cate said. She said that if she desired anything in the world, she lost her peace. And she said she wasn’t special or extra ordinary, just that she didn’t compromise. I knew, absolutely knew, that this is right and that I can and must do this.
So for the next few days, I watched my mind with interest to see what I have valued more than I valued the peace of God. I also wanted to see how it is that wanting something in the world moved me out of the peace of God. Here are some of the things I noticed.
I was in peace when I passed a mirror and had the thought that I really have to lose some weight. Just like that, I was no longer at peace. That thought was followed by many others. I wondered what to do about my body, and what it means that I am having so much trouble losing weight. I started thinking about what I ate that day that I shouldn’t have. At that moment in which I decided that I need to lose weight, my body identity, the image I present to the world, and that I think of as me, became what is important to me. I was no longer at peace.
Another time, I was at peace when the thought came to me that I wish my son would call me or that I could visit him. Then I felt sad and lonely and my mind thought up a special relationship story about this and was off and running. I had been happy and at peace, and I had a simple thought of missing my son. I didn’t think how much I love my son, which would not have disturbed my peace and would have, in fact, brought me more joy. Instead, I thought he should be here with me, that I would be happier if he were here. I wanted the world to be different so I could be happy, and in that thought, I was no longer in peace.
I had pain and I remembered that pain is a choice. Jesus tells us this in many ways. In Chapter 8, The Body as Means or End, he says this.
“Sickness is a way of demonstrating that you can be hurt. It is a witness to your frailty, your vulnerability, and your extreme need to depend on external guidance. The ego uses this as its best argument for your need for its guidance. It dictates endless prescriptions for avoiding catastrophic outcomes.”
I was using pain to avoid knowing I am an eternal and Divine Being, the Son of God. I was using pain to keep myself in the illusion and bound to the ego. I was using pain to avoid the peace of God. Is that insane?
I was doing yard work and it was very hot. While I thought about that and felt like I needed it to be cooler or I needed to not be working in the heat, I was miserable. I could not sustain the peace of God, because my mind kept going back to how drained I was, or how the high humidity felt like trying to breathe hot water. I wanted the world to be different. I chose something other than the peace of God.
But in each of these circumstances, I chose again. I remembered Lesson 185. I remembered that “The peace of God is everything I want. The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home.” I know from years of doing this work, that I cannot simply say that I am not going to think certain thoughts and they stop. But I know that if I want these thoughts to be removed from my mind, they will be. The Holy Spirit responds to our slightest desire for healing. So this is what I did.
I saw that when these stray thoughts came into my mind, and I found myself wanting something besides peace, I immediately lost that wonderful, joyful peace. I reminded myself that the peace of God is everything I want. I asked the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of the belief that anything else can make me happy. I didn’t try to stop missing my son. I asked for healing, and I began to anticipate that healing. I am watching my mind and my feelings to see what it is like to feel only love for him and no need at all.
I didn’t try to stop caring about how I look. I just started watching for a change, not knowing what that would look like, but anticipating a way to see this that does not leave me feeling guilty and afraid. I anticipate feeling free! How that occurs or what it looks like is not my business. My desire for this healing is my part, the rest is for the Holy Spirit, and He does not need my help.
When the heat index where I was working was 102, I was fine. I was hot, but I was not suffering. I was at peace. Knowing it could be that high and higher all next week, I was at peace with that. I am not worried about it and I have no reason to dread it. I don’t feel like calling my family or friends and asking them to commiserate with me. I don’t feel like finding somewhere to place blame. I am at peace.
I spent the last few days watching my mind going back to the painful but familiar way of seeing the world as something to change in order to be happy, to seeing in the world something I need. But now I see that the peace of God really is everything I need. Though I hear the ego-mind trying to pull me back into the illusion of need, and I notice the thoughts that there are some things that are not easily dismissed, I will happily continue this practice. Like Cate, I will not compromise. I love this!
There is great peace in knowing you are eternal presence, witness to appearance and experience, but forever unaffected by them. Knowing yourself as This is the peace of God. It is the only answer that answers all problems immediately. It is the only truth, and it is already true now. All that needs to happen for the peace of God to be your genuine experience forever is to let go of identifying with anything that is temporary, and return identification to the only thing (non-thing) that is always here as yourself.