"The peace of God is shining in me now."
Purpose: To go past thoughts of the outer world and so experience the peace of God shining in you now. This will intensify your motivation and strengthen your commitment.
Morning/Evening Quiet Time: 5 minutes - at least; 10 - better; 15 even better; 30 or more - best
Sit quietly, close your eyes. You have let your thoughts wander, stray. You have thrown them outside of you where they have become tainted by the world. Now gently bring them back. Exclude the outer world and let your thoughts fly to the peace within. Let the light in your mind draw them home. There, washed clean of insane wishes and desires, honest and untainted, they become God's holy messengers. There, they fall in line with your real thoughts, the ones you share with God. There, they become your real thoughts, having been restored to their holy inheritance. These thoughts recognize their home and point the way there. They lead you back to peace. They urge you to listen to God's Voice when you do not; to accept His Word instead of fantasies and shadows.
Remarks: As you let your thoughts go to the peace within, the peace of God in you extends from your heart around the world, blessing each living thing, restoring them to the memory of God.
Hourly Remembrance: as the hour strikes, for more than 1 minute (reduce if circumstances do not permit)
(Suggestion) Do a short version of morning/evening exercise.
Frequent Reminder: Lay your saving blessing on the world by saying: "The peace of God is shining in me now. Let all things shine upon me in that peace. And let me bless them with the light in me."
Response To Temptation: When tempted to have unforgiving thoughts, forgive the world for what you thought it did to you. Say: "The peace of God is shining in me now. Let all things shine upon me in that peace. And let me bless them with the light in me."
I always seem to hear the emphasis in this sentence on the last word, "now." It speaks to me of the holy instant. It tells me that, whatever storms seem to be raging in my mind, whatever chaotic circumstances I find myself in, that there is within me a constant beacon of peace, forever shining, uninterrupted and uninterruptable. It calls me to stop for a moment, withdraw my attention from all the turmoil that makes up my "life" in this world, and re-connect to that peace. Somewhere within me, there is a place that is always at perfect peace, like the eye of a hurricane. And I can find that place any time I choose to do so, truly desiring to find it.
The Course is consistent in its vision. Nothing separates us from the love of God. Complete salvation, perfect peace, pure joy, and full forgiveness are always available right now. "Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all" (1:4). What we call enlightenment is simply recognizing the presence of the light, which has never left us. It is realizing that the only reason we cannot see the light is that we have our hands over our eyes. That is why we "need do nothing." We don't have to do, we simply undo. We stop blocking the light, which is always there.
The particular block being addressed in this lesson (You'll recall that this series of lessons was billed as directly addressing certain specific blocks, W-pI.Int(181-200).2:1) is simply the tendancy to see enlightenment as something future. The opening words sound the keynote: "Why wait for Heaven?" "Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there?" (2:2) All that we need do to discover its reality is to look for it within ourselves, where it has always been.
But the peace of God is not only within me, it is shining in me. "The peace of God is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world" (3:1). I may feel as bottled up as Custer at the Last Stand; I may feel as fertile as the Sahara. But from within my being, nevertheless, the peace of God is being broadcast like a universal beacon to the entire world. My right mind is extending itself in global benificence to all creation, pausing "to caress each living thing" (3:2) (What a beautiful image that brings to my mind!), and leaving an everlasting blessing with whatever it touches. That is part of what I am bringing to my awareness; that is part of the picture of my Self that I am learning to recognize each time I stop, become quiet, and look within. When the Course tells me that I am among the saviors of the world, it isn't telling me about something I have to achieve, it is telling me what I already am.
Within me there is, even now, and even in my darkest moments, a living flow of thoughts of light. There is a heavenly current constantly surging through me to extend love and blessing to the world, and to myself. That flow of thoughts is something I can, in the holy instant, become aware of and tune in to.
"Accept His Word for what you are" (8:2); that is what this lesson is calling on us to do.We read of the Christ, we read of the Buddha and his heart of compassion. The Buddha is you. And that is Jesus's message to us, that we are as he is. "1 Jo 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." We are the Christ; that is what we are; that is what we need to accept. It seems too high, too far beyond our concept of ourselves. But in the holy instant, in the quiet, when we withdraw from the world and "let your thoughts fly to the peace within" (6:4), we can know ourselves in this way. We can sense the depth of love that wants to express itself through us.
Oh, we may not do such a great job, just yet, at letting that love out. We may get in the way more often than not. But the love that would embrace the world, heal its wounds and dry its tears, is in us, and IS us. We all know that is so, if we are willing to look at it. We can look upon the whole world today and everyone within it, and we can say:
"We will forgive them all, absolving all the world from what we thought it did to us....Now we choose that it be innocent, devoid of sin and open to salvation. And we lay our saving blessing on it, as we say:
"The peace of God is shining in me now. Let all things shine upon me in that peace, And let me bless them with the light in me." (10:2,4-7).
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