11. How is Peace Possible in This World?
1. This is a question everyone must ask. Certainly peace seems to be impossible here. Yet the Word of God promises other things that seem impossible, as well as this. His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man’s inheritance. The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s Word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this.
2. Again we come to the question of judgment. This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true. For they say different things about the world, and things so opposite that it is pointless to try to reconcile them. God offers the world salvation; your judgment would condemn it. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God’s Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so.
3. The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. Into this strange and paradoxical situation, one without meaning and devoid of sense, yet out of which no way seems possible, God has sent His judgment to answer yours. Gently His judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. How is peace possible in this world? In your judgment it is not possible and can never be possible. But in the Judgment of God what is reflected here is only peace.
4. Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. How easily, then, is your judgment of the world escaped! It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible. It is the world you see that is impossible. Yet has God’s Judgment on this distorted world redeemed it and made it fit to welcome peace. And peace descends on it in joyous answer. Peace now belongs here because the Thought of God has entered. What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is? The earth bows down before its gracious presence, and it leans down in answer, to raise it up again. Now is the question different. It is no longer, “Can peace be possible in this world?” but instead, “Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?”
We come to the world of perception because we chose the world of perception. I wanted to be separate from you and have my own life apart from you. I wanted to be special and distinct from the oneness and unity of spirit. Instead of being part of it all, I wanted to prove myself against it all. Instead of sharing the love and light of God, I wanted more than my share. In this simple way we can begin to understand the guilt we carry as we live out our dream of distinctness, differences, and division. We want to believe then that we are bad asses that deserve to be punished, that must grovel before God, which must make up a lot of different gods in our own cultural images and then bow down before them, sacrifice to them, go to war because of them, and pour out our blood, our money, our children, and our souls to these imaginary gods. And because the separateness is so hard to bear, we want to find someone or something to blame. And few, if any, of the belief systems we devise to help us out, lend themselves to peace!
As long as we try to find truth in what goes on in the perceptual world, as long as we try to learn anything or teach anything with our finite minds, our limited understanding, and our dim-witted, egotistical perceptions, we will continue to fight, to fear one another, to condemn one another to the hellish realm of separation. All we have to hope for – with our inventions, technology, seeming advances in communication and transportation – is a continuance of the same old go-round of conflicts, war, disease, decay, and death as long as we accept this mess as the Creation of God. For our flesh perceptions and the promises of God cannot both be true.
This is not some pie-in-the-sky philosophy that has no practical application in the world. Jesus is not asking us to deny what we see in the world; He is asking us to choose to see the world through the holy, spiritual eyes of Christ. We will make no enemies. We will offer only peace where there did not seem to be any. We will believe in the Peace of God enough to ask for it and to share it because to have the peace of God we must share the peace of God. When I bring you peace, you recognize peace and you accept peace because the peace of God is part of your creation, it is the building block of your existence, it is what you long for and yearn for and genuinely want for when we have peace between us we know one another as we were created to know one another.
This other business of competing and comparing and you over there in the outline of your flesh and me over here in the form of my flesh, never really connecting on more than a superficial level, all of that goes away when we recognize our oneness in peace.
If I look on you as my enemy, peace is impossible for us. If I fill my mind with perceptions of conflict, of you plotting to take my place, of you wanting to use me, of me the Christ-like and you the devil-like; if I get caught up in conversations of blame, shame, and pointing fingers – peace is impossible. But when I go to my inner altar and ask Holy Spirit to give me peace so that I may share peace, peace is inevitable. The turmoil, the hurtful thoughts, the laying in bed at night stressed out over how much you loathe me and I loathe you, and how impossible it is for us to have peace – all that goes away because I choose to go to Spirit and to relate in Spirit, and that means I receive peace to give peace, I reflect upon peace to reflect peace. This is a choice I make, and it is a choice we must all make, for we do not arrive at peace by any other means.
Today in your personal devotions, commit to the practice of offering the peace of God. Put away your judgments, your opinions about this one and that one, your trust in your own observations and summations. Recognize them for the petty, silly, ridiculous, mean-spirited reflections of an egotistical mind bloated on its own importance. This mind will never bring peace to you or to the world. Ask for the high mind of Christ. Ask for God’s Judgment. For our true nature is not red in fang and claw, our true nature is one with God’s nature which is love and peace and joy. There is no reality in opposition to God for His Peace is the only Peace and only Peace can withstand forever.
 A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 11. How is peace possible in this world? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).
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