IV. The Obstacles to Peace
1. As peace extends from deep inside yourself to embrace all the Sonship and give it rest, it will encounter many obstacles. Some of them you will try to impose. Others will seem to arise from elsewhere, from your brothers, and from various aspects of the world outside. Yet peace will gently cover them, extending past completely unencumbered. The extension of the Holy Spirit’s purpose from your relationship to others, to bring them gently in, is the way in which He will bring means and goal in line. The peace He lay, deep within you and your brother, will quietly extend to every aspect of your life, surrounding you and your brother with glowing happiness and the calm awareness of complete protection. And you will carry its message of love and safety and freedom to everyone who draws nigh unto your temple, where healing waits for him. You will not wait to give him this, for you will call to him and he will answer you, recognizing in your call the Call of God. And you will draw him in and give him rest, as it was given you.
2. All this you will do. Yet the peace that already lies deeply within must first expand and flow across the obstacles you placed before it. This will you do, for nothing undertaken with the Holy Spirit remains unfinished. You can indeed be sure of nothing you see outside you, but of this you can be sure: The Holy Spirit asks that you offer Him a resting place where you will rest in Him. He answered you and entered your relationship. Would you not now return His graciousness, and enter into a relationship with Him? For it is He who offered your relationship the gift of holiness, without which it would have been forever impossible to appreciate your brother.
3. The gratitude you owe Him He asks but that you receive for Him. And when you look with gentle graciousness upon your brother, you are beholding Him. For you are looking where He is, and not apart from Him. You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but you can see your brothers truly. And the light in them will show you all that you need to see. When the peace in you has been extended to encompass everyone, the Holy Spirit’s function here will be accomplished. What need is there for seeing, then? When God has taken the last step Himself, the Holy Spirit will gather all the thanks and gratitude that you have offered Him and lay them gently before His Creator in the name of His most holy Son. And the Father will accept them in His Name. What need is there of seeing, in the presence of His gratitude?
VI. A: The First Obstacle: The Desire To Get Rid Of It
1. The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. You are its home; its tranquil dwelling place from which it gently reaches out, but never leaving you. If you would make it homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God? If it would spread across the whole creation, it must begin with you, and from you reach to everyone who calls, and bring him rest by joining you.
2. Why would you want peace homeless? What do you think that it must dispossess to dwell with you? What seems to be the cost you are so unwilling to pay? The little barrier of sand still stands between you and your brother. Would you reinforce it now? You are not asked to let it go for yourself alone. Christ asks of you for Himself. He would bring peace to everyone, and how can He do this except through you? Would you let a little bank of sand, a wall of dust, a tiny seeming barrier, stand between your brothers and salvation? And yet, this little remnant of attack you cherish still against your brother is the first obstacle the peace in you encounters in its going forth. This little wall of hatred would still oppose the Will of God, and keep it limited.
3. The Holy Spirit’s purpose rests in peace within you. Yet you are still unwilling to let it join you wholly. You still oppose the Will of God, just by a little. And that little is a limit you would place upon the whole. God’s Will is one, not many. It has no opposition, for there is none beside it. What you would still contain behind your little barrier and keep separate from your brother seems mightier than the universe, for it would hold back the universe and its Creator. This little wall would hide the purpose of Heaven and keep it from Heaven.
4. Would you thrust salvation away from the giver of salvation? For such have you become. Peace could no more depart from you than from God. Fear not this little obstacle. It cannot contain the Will of God. Peace will flow across it and join you without hindrance. Salvation cannot be withheld from you. It is your purpose. You cannot choose apart from this. You have no purpose apart from your brother, nor apart from the one you asked the Holy Spirit to share with you. The little wall will fall away so quietly beneath the wings of peace. For peace will send its messengers from you to all the world, and barriers will fall away before their coming as easily as those that you interpose will be surmounted.
5. To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. For in the miracles of your holy relationship, without this barrier, is every miracle contained. There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same. Each is a gentle winning over from the appeal of guilt to the appeal of love. How can this fail to be accomplished, wherever it is undertaken? Guilt can raise no real barriers against it. And all that seems to stand between you and your brother must fall away because of the appeal you answered. From you who answered, He Who answered you would call. His home is in your holy relationship. Do not attempt to stand between Him and His holy purpose, for it is yours. But let Him quietly extend the miracle of your relationship to everyone contained in it as it was given.
6. There is a hush in Heaven, a happy expectancy, a little pause of gladness in acknowledgement of the journey’s end. For Heaven knows you well, and you know Heaven. No illusions stand between you and your brother now. Look not upon the little wall of shadows. The sun has risen over it. How can a shadow keep you from the sun? No more can you be kept by shadows from the light in which illusions end. Every miracle is but the end of an illusion. Such was the journey; such its ending. And in the goal of truth which you accepted must all illusions end.
7. The little insane wish to get rid of Him Whom you invited in and push Him out must produce conflict. As you look upon the world, this little wish, uprooted and floating aimlessly, can land and settle briefly upon anything, for it has no purpose now. Before the Holy Spirit entered to abide with you it seemed to have a mighty purpose; the fixed and unchangeable dedication to sin and its results. Now it is aimless, wandering pointlessly, causing no more than tiny interruptions in love’s appeal.
8. This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. It is no longer an unrelenting barrier to peace. Its pointless wandering makes its results appear to be more erratic and unpredictable than before. Yet what could be more unstable than a tightly organized delusional system? Its seeming stability is its pervasive weakness, which extends to everything. The variability the little remnant induces merely indicates its limited results.
9. How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? Can it oppose an eagle’s flight, or hinder the advance of summer? Can it interfere with the effects of summer’s sun upon a garden covered by the snow? See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. For it is nothing in itself and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter’s cold?
In today’s devotional text, Jesus teaches that we can have no peace without each other, that peace cannot be had in separateness, that peace starts with you and me putting down all obstacles to it. Peace is the condition of God’s Kingdom. All that would come between the Sonship is not worthy of the Kingdom of God for in God’s Kingdom there is no vying for special attention, no quarrelling over who mommy loved the most, no squabbling over limited resources and tendencies to hoard. All of the issues that come between us, that cause me to despise you and you to despise me, that cause me to jealously guard my little treasures in case you have thoughts of taking them from me, or you to think that I was trying to steal your kids and trick them into loving me more than they love you – none of this happens in a spiritual realm where there is no flesh to come between us. In God’s Kingdom we are free of all encumbrances, the weird thoughts we get toward each other, the guarded, wary behaviors that make us suspicious of each other’s motives and accuse one another of hidden agendas. All that would make us uneasy with each other is gone in the Spirit for when I meet you in the Spirit and you meet me in the Spirit, we are transparent – the light shines through – there are no hidden spots that are dark and kept hidden, and we can only love one another for we are one.
Jesus is asking us to go beyond the realm of flesh – in faith and faithfulness – and learn of the peace which is within our very Being. To get to peace I need you and you need me. For I cannot have peace without giving you peace nor can you have peace without giving me peace. For us to do this we must want peace more than we want what opposes peace. We must not cherish one the stories from the past – the times you blabbed all my secrets, the times you inserted yourself into my stories and tried to take my place, the times I embarrassed you or purposefully made you look the fool. We go beyond what your ancestors did to my ancestors. We go beyond the crimes we have committed against each other. We go deep, deep within our Being beyond all craving for vengeance, for retaliation, for punishment. We go beyond every single thought of sin. I will not accuse you of sinning against me and you will not accuse me of sinning against me. Mutually we made a mistake. We mistook this flesh dream for our reality, we forgot our Brotherhood, our Sonship, our place in God’s Kingdom. We wished evil upon each other, but it was a mistake and now all we want is peace.
Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to show you all the ways in which you may be denying the peace that is your Being to other members of the Sonship of God. Meditate upon the final paragraphs of today’s text. Ask yourself what the grudges you bear, the secret longing to see those who offend you come to no good, the mean things you say about your brothers give you. Know that this dark magic is seduction itself for while it promises you satisfaction and comeuppance, its thirst for vengeance and spite can never be sated or appeased. When we dig about looking for ways in which to right the wrongs of the world through sin, guilt, and punishment, we make what can never bring us peace our reality, trapping ourselves as pawns in ongoing series that spin countless versions of the same weary tale.
As long as we are in the flesh, we must consciously choose peace against a bizarre desire to get rid of it. The world will give us all kinds of reasons to get into mouth battles, argue over current events, pick sides, build cases, idolize one and castigate others. War will often seem a viable solution when we look outside of ourselves for peace. Every moment of the day, the world gives us a multitude of reasons to get rid of peace. We find peace deep within us, in the holy, higher mind where we are one in the Spirit, in the Brotherhood of Christ, in the Sonship of God.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 19 The attainment of peace IV The obstacles to peace 1-3. A. The desire to get rid of it 1-9. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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