The lessons of A Course in Miracles are a song that comes from the heart of Love to the heart of one that sleeps.
They are meant just for you its reader and no one else, as intimate as you will allow them to be. They undo suffering at its cause: your mistake-in-identity.
You are a dreamer and this is your dream of separation. You have dreamed everything in your dream and you can continue to dream and stay asleep. Or you can choose to wake up by inviting the lessons of the Course into your dream to help you look at it and learn to see it from the perspective of wholeness.
Undoing the belief in a separate self with a private will is the inevitable outcome of setting foot on this path of liberation. Along the way false beliefs will be undone, trials and tribulations gone beyond, and glorious things learned as we pass from conflict, through peace to oneness.
Oneness is love.
I love what the Course has taught me and I think I can help others learn from it as well. This is a passage that we make together by sharing what we are learning so that conviction will be strengthened in everyone. It is a way of opening our eyes, ears, and mind to the possibility of living without fear.
Waking is not religious or even spiritual.
Waking to Oneness is truth.
It’s simply what is.
There are many lessons in A Course in Miracles that have altered my point of view so radically that the world never appeared the same after that. It was if something left me that was never there in the first place. I couldn’t tell you what it was because it is gone. Call it illusion, falsity, pretense, effort: whatever it was, its going left space in which something new and surprising could occur, not as a one-time event but as an on-going mystery unfolding.
I thought it might be helpful to others to share parts of those lessons and my perspective on them. This is one of those lessons.
Lesson 200—There is no peace accept the peace of God.
“There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.”
That is a pretty unequivocal statement. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God. That is, unless you seek for misery and pain. The peace of God or misery and pain, take your pick. Those are the only options.
It is understandable if you want to argue with that statement given the investment you might have in your dream. Arrogance is the first and perhaps only real obstacle to becoming a learner of another way, entirely unknown to you. We want to be right about what we think reality is in spite of the fact that it is causing us misery and pain and always ends in death. Wouldn’t you be better off if you were wrong, aside from the fact that you are wrong? (I didn’t say those famous last words. Jesus did.)
Lesson 200 makes perfectly clear what the choice is. A real choice doesn’t have an alternative. It ends choosing altogether, returning the mind to what you really want: peace.
Here is where the ego, that false sense of personal identity, loudly begins to resist. You know its sound and the feelings that arise when defense feels necessary to protect the little that you have and think you know. It says things like,”Peace sounds boring, don’t you think?” “I want a lot of other things AND peace. Let’s make a deal.”
The personal point of view tells us that it would be a sacrifice to let go of “conflicting goals, senseless journeys, frantic vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors” and to want the only thing that can be found.
There is another voice. It is silent and yet it knows the way back to peace with perfect certainty. The truth is already within us but we are in perpetual conflict because we hear two opposing voices and we have to choose only one.
You are the chooser of which voice to listen to, which calling to obey. You are the one who is humble and willing to trust in a better way than the direction you are currently going. Lesson 200 is written to you. In fact, all the lessons are.
No ego would ever choose the peace of God because it does not contain the “gift” of specialness that the ego seeks. Peace cannot be possessed by anyone so it has little appeal to the individual. No one else will even know if your mind is changed and you have found the peace of God.
(Note: One of the things that most students of the Course overlook is that the lessons do not give the personal “you” anything. To the ego the lessons are either a waste of time or they require romanticizing so that the ego can delude itself in thinking it is getting somewhere or something with the lessons.
It is actually the seeker (ego) itself that gets undone in the lessons of the Course. The seeker wants peace as a possession for itself so it approaches the lessons as a way to acquire what it thinks it is missing. Undoing the seeker reveals the peace that has always been.
So let’s be clear that the lessons undo. They may sound poetic to a personal self that can turn anything into a tune to its glory but if you actually open to the lesson you will see it is presenting you with the opportunity to look at the arrogance of the ego so that it can be seen for what it is and forgiven.)
“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 (not from the self centered point of view*) to find that Heaven lies before you, through a door that opens easily to welcome you?”
All you need do is look upon the you that seeks in all the wrong places and for all the wrong things and see that it has never brought you peace. These are all vain imaginings of a separate self, arrogant in its attempts to make itself better than other men and always failing in the end because no matter how good the dream, it always ends in death.
Peace belongs to you, the chooser of peace, the non-locatable presence that has been released from misidentification with a body. What chooses the peace of God already has and is the peace of God. (This is so simple and yet it is so difficult to speak about because the words aren’t it. They point; that’s all).
Now here comes the practical application of learning that there is nothing to find here except peace. Give it! Since you can’t get anything, because there is no seeker who lacks anything, you can only give. In giving without exception you teach yourself what you truly are.
“It is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house 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.”
Here it is: plain and simple. (Nobody wants to hear this).
“You must change your mind about the purpose of the world.”
For most, the world is a prison house and we are its victim. It gives to take away. We lose the things we love. We are born, struggle a while, get old and sick and die.
For others, the world is their playground, filled with the idols to their specialness. Their hope is that these “special deities” will give them more than others so they feel successful.
Neither purpose, prison house or playground, will show you that you are free.
Here’s what will.
“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.”
Here is the way to peace, the bridge to eternity. This is your purpose and your function while you abide where you are not at home. The key here is “all” and “everyone”. Make no exceptions. It is not the people we love that are the problem. It is the ones we don’t love, the ones we blame for our unhappiness, that hold the key to our freedom. They are innocent in eternity as are you, outside of which we are nowhere.
“Who could hope for more, while there still appears to be a choice to make between success and failure; love and fear?”