Section IV. The Obstacles of Peace
IVB. The Second Obstacle – The Belief the Body Is Valuable for What It Offers 1-8
1. We said that peace must first surmount the obstacle of your desire to get rid of it. Where the attraction of guilt holds sway, peace is not wanted. The second obstacle that peace must flow across, and closely related to the first, is the belief that the body is valuable for what it offers. For here is the attraction of guilt made manifest in the body and seen in it.
2.This is the value that you think peace would rob you of. This is what you believe that it would dispossess and leave you homeless. And it is this for which you would deny a home to peace. This “sacrifice” you feel to be too great to make, too much to ask of you. Is it a sacrifice, or a release? What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation? Do you not see that this is the belief in death? Here is the focus of the perception of atonement as murder. Here is the source of the idea that love is fear.
3. The Holy Spirit’s messengers are sent far beyond the body, calling the mind to join in holy communion and be at peace. Such is the message that I gave them for you. It is only the messengers of fear that see the body, for they look for what can suffer. Is it a sacrifice to be removed from what can suffer? The Holy Spirit does not demand you sacrifice the hope of the body’s pleasure, it has no hope of pleasure. But neither can it bring you fear of pain. Pain is the only “sacrifice” the Holy Spirit asks, and this He would remove.
4. Peace is extended from you only to the external; and it reaches out from the external in you. The second obstacle is no more solid than the first. For you want neither to get rid of peace nor limit it. What are these obstacles that you would interpose between peace and its going forth but barriers you place between your will and its accomplishments? You want communion, not the feast of fear. You want salvation, not the pain of guilt. And you want your Father, not a little mound of clay, to be your home. In your holy relationship is your Father’s Son. He has not lost communion with Him, nor with himself. When you agreed to join your brother, you acknowledged this is so. This has no cost, but it has release from cost.
5. You have paid very dearly for your illusions, and nothing you have paid for brought you peace. Are you not glad that Heaven cannot be sacrificed and sacrifice cannot be asked of you? There is no obstacle that you can place before our union, for in your holy relationship I am there already. We will surmount all obstacles together, for we stand within the gates and not outside. How easily the gates are opened from within, to let peace through to bless the tired world! Can it be difficult for us to walk past barriers together, when you have joined the limitless? The end of guilt is in your hands to give. Would you stop now to look for guilt in your brother?
6. Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt and look upon your brother as you would look on me. Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. And in the light of your forgiveness he will remember who he is, and forget what never was. I ask for your forgiveness, for if you are guilty, so must I be. But if I surmounted guilt and overcame the world, you were with me. Would you see in me the symbol of guilt or of the end of guilt, remembering that what I signify to you, you see within yourself?
7. From your holy relationship truth proclaims the truth, and love looks on itself. Salvation flows from deep within the home you offered to my Father and to me. And we are there together, in the quiet communion in which the Father and the Son are joined. O come ye faithful to the holy union of the Father and the Son in you! And keep you not apart from what is offered you, in gratitude for giving peace its home in Heaven. Send forth to all the world the joyous message of the end of guilt, and all the world will answer. Think of your happiness as everyone offers you witness to the end of sin and shows you that its power is gone forever. Where can guilt be, when the belief in sin is gone? And where is death, when its great advocate is heard no more?
8. Forgive me your illusions, and release me from punishment for what I have not done. So will you learn the freedom that I taught by teaching freedom to your brother, and so releasing me. I am within your holy relationship, yet you would imprison me behind the obstacles you raise to freedom, and bar my way to you. Yet it is not possible to keep away One Who is there already. And in Him it is possible that our communion, where we are joined already, will be the focus of the new perception that will bring light to all the world, contained in you.
To have peace we must first acknowledge and give up our desire to want to get rid of it. We have learned that to cherish guilt is to want to get rid of peace. Today when James informed me that I had left the keys in the Jeep over night, I was sure that he was mistaken. I was so sure that I had locked the Jeep, brought the keys in the house, and hung them on the magnetic hook on the fridge, that I argued with him and tried to make him guilty. It was not until a few minutes after I had allowed myself to get all huffed up that I realized that I was not choosing peace; that I was defending myself against nothing at all. What does it matter if I didn’t lock the Jeep or bring the keys in the house? I made a little mistake. James was not berating me for it, he just wanted me to know.
While this seems like an insignificant example of letting the need for guilt go, we know only to well how the rest of the day could have gone. I could have believed that Lover was gaslighting me; I could have made him feel defensive to the point where he would not trust in my ability to admit to my own mistakes; I could have harbored a mean, snide feeling toward him all day long, and he could have returned this behavior, and we would have missed out on all the fun we have when we are together.
What was I defending when I refused to believe that I was “guilty” of letting the key in the Jeep? What was I defending when I believed that my loving husband would accuse me of something that he did himself? What did I have to “sacrifice” to want peace more than whatever it was that I was defending? I “sacrificed”my need to make someone guilty, to not accept that I can make mistakes, to acknowledge that throughout my whole life I have been the kind of person who sometimes loses keys, forgets to lock doors, who locks their keys in the locker!
Jesus tells us that this tendency we have to defend ourselves, to not want peace, to make guilty all stems from thinking that the body is valuable for what it offers us. When we identify with our bodies, we think of ourselves as separate from our brothers. We think of us against them – even in our closest, most intimate relationships, bodies cannot join. They cannot always see eye-to-eye, they have varying degrees of opinions about everything: where we like to eat when we go out, what we like to wear, what temperature we want the thermostat, how low to cut the grass, how much to budget for entertainment. And when things do not match our picture, oh how we cherish pitting ourselves up against each other, making the other party guilty when we do not get our way. Treasuring the body for what it offers us is never going to give us peace, for it offers us nothing of eternal value.
We are not asked to sacrifice our bodies; we are asked however to give them to Holy Spirit to use for God’s Will. Holy Spirit has absolutely no desire to make us suffer in our bodies or otherwise, but He does require that we give up suffering, that we “sacrifice” our guilt and pain. When we live for our bodies we are not living as Sons of God, in our denial of Christ, we would give Him no home.
Jesus asks us to let Him be the end of guilt for us. As we accept Christ, we accept Sonship. We no longer look for guilt in our brothers; we meet them in the holy instant for who and what they really are. Today after the key incident I took James to the holy instant. He was sitting right beside me in the flesh, driving down the road, a little miffed at my crankiness and accusations, but in our Being we were in the holy instant and there we healed. I did not have to say a word; he did not have to say a word. It was a little work for I didn’t want to give up my “right” to hold a grudge, to stay outside of peace, to bearing ill will and shame instead of the happy, appreciative times we usually spend together. I realized it was no “right” of mine to not be in peace. I had nothing to defend. I am not a body nor is James a body, and all kinds of tricky things can happen in the perceptual world, but it has no value.
This morning when I released my grudge and guilt and shame, I released Christ, I released Sonship, I released peace to a situation that was asking for unrest. When we dedicate our relationships to holiness – love looks upon itself, salvation flows from this home we offer to God the Father and Christ, the Sonship. We proclaim truth because our union becomes the Kingdom of God, ending guilt, bringing joy, practicing the blame and shame game over and done with forever. It may seem like a big leap to say we bring in the end of death by practicing holiness in our relationships, but this is the way the world is saved from the advocate for death. When you practice holiness with yours and I practice holiness with mine, we send the messengers of God into the world and Jesus promises us that the world will answer.
We will end with paragraph eight today and begin the next blog post with paragraph nine. In your personal devotional time today, Jesus is asking us to forgive the Sonship for our fleshly illusions, our cherishment of guilt, our belief in sin and sacrifice. Jesus is asking us to release the Sonship from the punishment for what the Sons of God did not do except in dreams. Christ is in our every relationship which we give to holiness, but we must make a conscious decision to put down every obstacle that would lift itself up and bar His peace. This may seem like work, but it is actually impossible to keep Christ out, for we are the Sonship and nothing can ever change that. Let every instant be a holy instant, for this is our communion, this is where we join specifically with all our special relationships to bring them to holiness and this is where we join in Christ with all of the Sonship. As we learn to relate to one another past our bodies the light in you joins with the light in me and together with the resurrected Sonship we bring light to the world.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 19 The attainment of peace. IV The obstacles to peace. IV B The Second Obstacle. 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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