"Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
Peace to my brother, who is one
Let all the world be blessed with peace through us."
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
This is for all practical purposes the last "regular" lesson of the Workbook. The last five days of the year will be spent on a single lesson, which gives us an idea of how every day can be spent by a Course "graduate," if we can use that term. This final lesson, then, sums up and concludes the practice of the Workbook.
Peace be to me; peace be to my brother; peace be to all the world through us. That is one way of summarizing what the Course is all about: finding peace within ourselves, sharing that peace with another, and together sharing it with all the world. Finding it within ourselves is the basis. Sharing it with another confirms it within us, and the relationship gives us a microcosm in which to learn to extend that peace. Having learned to share together, we then extend the peace to all the world.
"Father, it is Your peace that I would give, receiving it of you" (1:1).
The peace we receive and give is God's peace. It is the peace that comes of knowing we are God's creation: "In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain" (1:5). "I am Your Son, forever just as You created me, for the Great Rays remain forever still and undisturbed within me" (1:2). Nothing God placed in me in creation has been lost. God, eternally at peace, extended Himself to create me, and His peace extended into me and included me in its stillness. That stillness always exists. There is a place in you, and in me, that is at perfect peace always. We can find that peace at any instant we choose to do so. To find it all we need do is to be still, to stop our interference. The peace is always there.
"I would reach to them [the Great Rays] in silence and in certainty, for nowhere else can certainty be found. Peace be to me, and peace to all the world" (1:3-4). This morning, close your eyes for a time--for as long as it takes. Let the thoughts that have been occupying your mind just float away, detached. Do not push them away; do not hold on to them. Just let them go, and try to become aware of that place within yourself that is always at peace. Do not strive to find it; let it find you. Simply be still. Simply make yourself receptive to the peace and it will appear, because it is always there. Sit in silence. If a noise comes to your attention, don't let your mind "stick" to it. You have no other purpose than to be still. You have no other goal right now but to say, "Peace be to me."
And when you touch that peace, or when it touches you, however briefly, let yourself add, "...and peace to all the world." Gently wish that peace for all your brothers and sisters. That is all we are here for. That is all that really needs to be done. It will be enough.
"Your Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness. And with this thought we gladly say `Amen'" (1:6-7). The thought of perfect sinlessness brings the Course to its conclusion; that is its goal. "But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, `God's Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.'" (M-1.3:4,5) When I have accepted my own perfect sinlessness, and have extended that thought to include the entire world, salvation is accomplished. To do so is to perfectly forgive all things. Sinlessness and peace go together. Only the sinless can be at peace; only the peaceful are sinless. The message of the Course is one of radical innocence. All are innocent, and no one must be condemned for others to be free.
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