Lesson thirty four of A Course in Miracles promises that “we could see peace instead of this.” It is a powerful contract we are offered: the exchange of conflict and discord for inner peace. And we need do nothing to accept it. What a blessing!
In a way, the lesson merely informs us that Truth cannot be touched by our projections. It simply is, untouched by what we think is real, and what we make to cloud truth and obscure its power and clarity. Our confusion and idleness and fear are of no effect.
Beneath the calm, poetic and gently authoritative surface, the Course urges its students to literally change the structure of thinking, the structure of thought. That is what it truly means to change our mind. We are called to go beyond specific thoughts and their worldly manifestations to the actual Source of thought. It is a vital contact, outside of time.
It is not the content of our thoughts that matters, but the fact that we think at all. Salvation is not getting all our thoughts to line up in a sweet row like harmonious angels. Rather, it is making contact with the decision-making power of the mind, and learning on that basis how to choose Heaven instead of hell.
We lose our jobs. Relationships sour. Children get sick. People die. Yet the meaning of these events – whether they reflect Heaven or hell – stems only from how we decide to see them. It is the same with the seeming good news: the winning lottery ticket, the discovery of the perfect teacher, a lovely sunset, blossoming lilac bushes. There is a decision to make and only we can make it.
When we undertake not to be moved by the external but to remain in contact with our healed mind, we step beyond the dualistic world of right and wrong, good and bad, sad and happy. Inner peace is a decision: I am no longer going to relate on terms set by the world. I am no longer going to follow its confused and endless paths to nowhere. I am no longer going to accept its empty assurances of joy and peace and love.
Everything looked upon with vision is healed and holy. Nothing perceived without it means anything. And where there is no meaning, there is chaos (T-21.In.1:10-12).
The healed mind is very quick and light. Its gaze travels past the world without effort. To be in its presence is to literally be with Christ. It seems too simple, too good to be true. Or we doubt our worthiness. We are frightened of giving up the rags and ashes we claim are our lives. There are a thousand reasons or more not to choose peace.
And yet we can. A Course in Miracles aims to teach us nothing else: and when the lesson is learned, nothing remains but its diligent application and realization: we can see peace instead of this. We can see peace.