The question is not really whether God exists, or if God does exist what God looks like or sounds like, but rather are we at peace? That is a very practical question and attendance to it will actually take care of the larger metaphysical questions.
David Bohm observed that it was more important we that we learn to think or perceive differently than to acquire any particular knowledge. This is an important point going directly to the question of how to attain inner peace. Perception is what we are dealing with – thought is what we are dealing with. That is what we are healing.
To say that we are going to heal perception is in a sense to say that we are going to give attention to attention itself. This can become a semantic dead end very quickly; all we are saying is that we are looking at the way we look. We are looking at looking. We are seeing what looking is doing and how it leads to or implicates the narrative “I.”
We are not wandering afield from A Course in Miracles when we talk this way.
Perception is temporary . . . Misperceptions produce fear and true perception fosters love, but neither brings certainty because all perception varies. That is why it is not knowledge. True perception is the basis for knowledge, but knowing is the affirmation of truth and beyond all perceptions (T-3.III.1:6, 8-10).
At this precise moment, you are perfectly constituted to perceive wholeness and to rest in it without conflict. You need do nothing but drop that which blocks you awareness of this perfection.
“Love” in this instance is synonymous with “inner peace.” It is not a so-called Kumbaya moment and it is not a biological phenomenon. It is a quiet and gentle recognition of what we are in truth. “Knowledge” is the affirmation of that recognition, an allowance that both expands and extends it.
All A Course in Miracles aims to do is heal our thinking – to shift perception from an egoic framework to a framework that is “miracle-minded.” And that – for all its religious and spiritual overtones – is really just a way of being open-minded.
What does “open-minded” mean in this context? It is not really a question of being willing to entertain new ideas in order to find a better one or a more useful one. Rather, it is the willingness to give perception over entirely in order to encounter what Bohm would have called “a different way.” If we can think differently – if we can think without rushing to conclusion, if we can think without attachment to “right” or “wrong” – then we are moving in the direction of inner peace. Inner peace is not a result but a process, and the process is a letting go of that which impedes peace, and what impedes peace are our ideas about peace.
There is tremendous familiarity in resorting to rituals and language that center on God. Students of A Course in Miracles are not exempt from this. But God is not really the issue. God takes care of God. Our work is to learn what blocks our awareness of that which goes by the name of God, which we might also call Love. We can discover those blocks – and see them to undoing – by focusing on inner peace as a present experience rather than a future ideal.
In other words, at this precise moment, you are perfectly constituted to perceive wholeness and to rest in it without conflict. You need do nothing but drop that which blocks you awareness of this perfection. A wild and beautiful passivity is called for: a radical openness: a surrender of the known for the experience of unknowing.