Breaking News: “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.” (From A Course in Miracles workbook lesson 200, paragraph 1, lines 1-3)

“There is no peace except the peace of God.”

Moonscape_scenic_landscapeI stood alone at the blackboard in my forgiveness classroom, awaiting the arrival of my imaginary bearded wonder. Scrawling the title of A Course in Miracles lesson 200 (the culmination of the first part of the workbook designed to weaken our robotic allegiance to the belief in separation realized and remembered through guilt) over and over again. Hoping its grating-as-chalk-on-a-blackboard, but ultimately liberating truth, might finally permeate my scant gray matter once and for all through the magic of kinesthetic repetition.

Earlier in the week, in a sleeping dream, I had found myself once more deeply engaged in a conversation with our inner teacher, wherein he again conveyed a “quickening” in my practice, and asked if I could feel it. Which I instantly translated to mean my decision-making mind was ready to take the next steps in letting a little more unconscious guilt over the secret belief that I separated from God and exist as a unique individual go. A little more open to bringing the specific, dark forms of my hallucinated impediments to peace back to the light of our right mind to shine away. And for several days, I did, indeed, seem ready to truly see the devastation my belief in separation seemed to have wrought with a part of my mind that never judges and knows beyond all ego evidence to the contrary that real Love for all could never be compromised.

And yet, I awoke this Monday morning once more inexplicably, discouragingly tuned to the ego’s 24/7-hate-radio broadcast recounting more breaking news of inner peace destroyed by a seemingly endless array of serious and trivial causes, with no memory of having changed channels. Raptly listening to reports of my father’s suddenly compromised health, uncertain finances, the trampling of my delicate boundaries by a tactless family member, the woeful negligence of another. Multiplying atrocities half-way around the world, the continuing antics of the U.S. House of Representatives, stabbing pain in my left knee, reports of incoming inclement weather, a near-death experience brought on by reckless consumption of a leftover bag of Halloween candy on the part of yours truly.

Worse, I couldn’t seem to write myself out of the hole I’d dug as I normally could. The blank computer screen smiled mockingly back at me. Having completely forgotten again that my only Self-worth comes from God, I trembled in fear, rushing back to my classroom in a desperate attempt to fill the grumbling void and maybe even earn a little extra credit from you know who.

Striding through the door now, late as usual, sans coat, sandals smacking the tiled floors—time and outdoor temperature of no concern to that man despite my earnest attempts to reform him–Jesus flipped on the overhead lights, dropped his briefcase on his desk, and stood watching, arms crossed over robed chest, head cocked, bemused.

Hoping to impress, I continued without looking up. After filling the entire space, I erased it, and started all over again. “I know what you’re thinking,” I said, scribbling along:

“You usually do.”

“How very Zen-like, right?”

“Good one.”

“Or maybe more along the lines of, if there is no peace except the peace of God, why do I keep chasing its endlessly morphing opposites?”

“How’s that been working out for you?” he asked.

“Funny,” I said.

“Actually,” he continued, “my real question was more along the lines of, what the heck do you think you’re doing right now?”

He had a point; he always does. I’d gotten it all wrong again. Instead of forgiving myself for listening to the ego, I was punishing myself, just the way teachers used to punish us for any number of perceived infractions back in the distant day of my seeming childhood. Thereby making the “sin” of refusing to see the problem “as it is and not the way I set it up,” as A Course in Miracles puts it, real. When all I really needed to do was recognize I’d just become afraid of joining with Love again, and could see peace instead of this (workbook lesson 34) right now. By just reminding myself, as workbook lesson five does, that I’m never upset for the reason I think. My father’s health, the behavior of my special relationships, Congress, my joints, wars, my candy hangover, were simply scapegoats for the guilt I still craved within but needed to see without in a temporary, ultimately futile effort to let myself off the hook for something that never even happened.

My cramped fingers could take it no longer. I sighed, dropped the chalk, staggered back to my desk, and assumed my seated position, hands demurely folded. Trying to impersonate the good-girl student I still aspired one day to become, I even bowed my sorry head. “I really, really, really don’t want to do this anymore,” I said.

“I know.”

“But, Jesus, I do it anyway! I mean, even after all this time, it still doesn’t always feel like I have a choice. Something seems to happen ‘out there’ and then something else and something else and I’m right back in the fray; thrashing at windmills, competing, cajoling, negotiating, rescuing, attacking, defending, lamenting, rationalizing, blah, blah, blah, blah blah.”

He plunked down on top of his desk in front of me, plucked a tissue from his invisible, infinite supply.

I pressed it against my leaky tear ducts. But honestly, the situation just didn’t seem that grim anymore. And even though fielding one damn thing after another requiring my immediate attention seemed to have toppled my resolve to make applying true forgiveness of what never was to all the seeming objects of my projection my goal, I couldn’t remember any of the details. I dried my eyes. My shoulders relaxed from their upright, locked position as I settled into a welcome sense of complete exhaustion.

“So what you’re really saying is until we awaken from this dream of an alternate reality of animated forms competing for innocence and attention in a fantasized world, our only job is to refuse to justify the seeming cause of our distress in any given moment and bring it back here to look at with you. Rather than letting the illusions pile up and appear to overwhelm us, the instant we catch ourselves blaming something external for our loss of peace, we can join you right here and remember to smile?”

We were both doing that right now.

“Always good to talk with you,” I said.

He shrugged. “It was nothing, really.”

“Ha!” I sat up straight in my chair; squared my shoulders. “OK, I think I’m ready to go back out there again.”

He nodded. “Knock yourself out,” he said.

(Have I mentioned he really is a whole lot funnier than anyone out there gives him credit for? :))

“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.’” (From paragraph 11, lines 4-9)

 

(Please note I will be out of town attending to some family issues next week and will post again ASAP when I return.) 

HALF-HOUR MENTORING SESSIONS NOW AVAILABLE: Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. One-on-one, hour or half-hour mentoring sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment below. (No one ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.) 

Enjoyed talking the other day with fellow Course student and teacher Bruce Rawles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQCB04ccc_Q about using everything in our lives as our forgiveness classroom, shifting our approach from dissociation to association, and bringing our projected dreams back inside where we can forgive ourselves for them.

I’m making some exciting new changes to my Tuesday-night forgiveness class, designed to deepen our study and practice and accelerate our learning in the New Year! (PLEASE SEE THIS SITE’S CLASSES/EVENTS PAGE FOR DETAILS.) We’ll begin 2014 with an exploration of true prayer, forgiveness, and healing as described in The Song of Prayer pamphlet (pamphlets available for purchase from the RMMC or already included within the most recent edition of A Course in Miracles). The Song of Prayer was scribed by Helen Schucman following the Course’s publication and helps clarify misunderstandings about its non-dualistic metaphysics. Our classes on this topic will conclude each week with an optional 20-minute true-prayer session.

We’ll devote the rest of the year to considering the text, chronologically, from the beginning, through selected readings, occasionally augmented by complementary workbook lessons and/or selections from the Manual, pamphlets, and recordings by premier Course Teacher, Author, and Scholar Kenneth Wapnick. Each week will conclude with an optional, 20-minute question and answer/comment/sharing session.

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, is now available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach regularly on Tuesday nights. Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want takes up roughly where my last ACIM essay collection left off, and conveys my growing faith that no matter how wrenching, wild, or wacky the dream of our lives may appear, we always have a choice about which inner teacher we are looking and listening with: the ego, the part of our mind that believed the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our source had real effects. Or the “right mind” that remembered to gently smile at the bizarre thought of it. If you’re thinking about buying a book and live in Denver, please consider purchasing a copy from the RMMC to help support their great work. The new book is also available on Amazon. If you read and find the book helpful, please consider posting a brief review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store: http://www.acimstore.com/default.asp.

Comments

  1. Thanks, as always for another kindness-mindful post, Susan… Your ever-peacefully-blasé-about-our-dream-complaints J reminded me of something I heard on NPR the other day listening to some commentary about The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and how apparently the original poem by Goethe (which I just found here: http://german.about.com/library/blgzauberl.htm) -unlike the Disney-Fantasia-Mickey Mouse version – didn’t have an angry sorcerer returning to a flooded abode… What a great symbol for our Inner Kindness Teacher who just gently watches on as our divided identity keeps dividing the illusion to try to mop up ego’s original mess… that never happened! We CAN afford to forgive all our grievances from that vantage point! 🙂

  2. Thank you for the link to Goethe’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, what a great metaphor for our magical belief that our dream of striking of f on our own had increasingly out-of-control consequences! (As a child I LOVED–what child wouldn’t?–and continue to appreciate the Disney version, by the way.) Always appreciate your thoughtful insights, Bruce! 🙂

  3. Gabrielius says:

    “candy hangover” – I liked that! It’s like you are with Jesus one moment, having a nice conversation about very high level right minded topics, and then… boom! the next moment you are, as Ken says, on a chocolate binge! But at least, even I am not ready to look at it with Jesus, I know what I am doing. I guess this is the most painful step 🙂 It’s like you are paying the imaginable debt to your mafia-like loan-shark (you know whom) and still wanna do it, when in reality, you could easily go to another Bank and be freed from all obligations 🙂

  4. Yes, Gabrielius, the flip-flopping from inner teacher to teacher is just like Ken describes. I especially enjoy when he talks about us throwing Jesus under the bus each time we choose to make it all about me. 🙂 And I just LOVE your analogy of the Mafia loan shark we insist on paying homage to even though we have a no-strings-attached alternative. Hilarious, really. Insanely so, even! 🙂

  5. Regarding Jesus, throwing Jesus under the bus, forgiveness and survining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLKk00OYKhU

  6. 🙂 !!!!

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