Change does not come from what is external but rather from the very center of our thought system, where the fundamental misperception that what we are in truth is separate from God, from what is can be found and undone not by us but for us (T-6.V.B.6:5).
A Course in Miracles reminds us of this fact, teaching that when we accept and bring into application the Holy Spirit’s second lesson of love – “to have peace, teach peace to learn it” (T-6.V.B.7:5) – we are “pushing toward the center of your thought system, where the fundamental change will occur” (T-6.V.B.9:2).
And it cannot come soon enough . . .
The center is everywhere and nothing is excluded. Who thought otherwise merely made an error that yields gently to correction.
Yet even before we are fully in the joyful (if tumultuous) middle of this change, the clarity of it offers considerable peace. That is because having chosen peace as our goal – our only goal – and so all our action is directed toward it, and what arrives – first internally and then, as a matter of projection, externally – serves only to gently hasten us onward to peace. Peace is both journey and destination, the one making possible the other.
It is true that our attention begins with what appears to be external – the cardinal amidst rose plosions of maple buds, moonlight on the last of the snow out back, the taste of raw garlic so wild on the tongue – but quickly moves inward. What is the wordlessness to which these image direct us? The deep silence and stillness of which they are all just a pale reflection?
Very quickly attention moves us beyond the specific and towards what is both general and abstract – our fear of Love, our resistance to God and – just beyond – God, Absolute, Source, Love, That-Which-Is, the All-Encompassing Et Cetera. What else is there? Was there ever? We are like sparrows scavenging crumbs when the whole banquet is freely given only a short flight away.
Thus, at the center of our thought system we encounter our fear of God – and – nearly simultaneously – God, which is the end of fear, and the bounty from which Life springs to compose the only bounty there is. The center is everywhere and nothing is excluded. Who thought otherwise merely made an error that yields gently to correction.
It is okay that this truth arrives first as an idea, an insight, something that we learn through study, and repeat because we like it, until it feels like our own. After a sufficiency of repetition we become unsatisfied with words alone and decide we want to know the truth of it: is God real? Is what I am in truth Love that cannot be contained by language?
That is the beginning.
Our pursuit of Truth – Knowledge of God – is what motivates us to earnestly teach peace, and to “give all to all” (T-6.V.A.5:13) and, finally, to be “vigilant only for God and His Kingdom” (T-6.V.C.2:8). To do these things at the level of the body is to manifest the mind’s intent to know itself in truth and by necessary extension, God. It is to set the goal on God, and to accept no other. Only then are we able to find the center that is both Emptiness and Everything. Only then will we relearn the “perfect safety of God (T-6.V.C.10:9) in which “inclusion is total and creation without limit” (T-6.V.C.10:10).