In a sense, inner peace is simply the absence of contingencies. Our happiness is no longer dependent on a certain arrangement of external circumstances. We make contact with the source of peace, which is internal and capable of decision. We no longer confuse the application of the fundamental law of cause of effect.
In practical terms, we have to resolve to make inner peace the central fact of our lives. The world teaches us to live how much money we make, what our bodies look like, what we do with and to other bodies, what baubles and accoutrements we get for those bodies.
Jesus, in A Course in Miracles, teaches us that those are not worthwhile goals for a child of God.
Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful and the holy. Do not forget this (T-1.VII.2:1-2).
But we do forget it, and thus condemn ourselves to the misery of the world and its bodies. We believe in them: we work to believe them. It’s not the body that’s the problem – the body itself is neutral – but our belief that they are real. It is that belief that hides the peace of God from us.
Thus, we aren’t called to refuse the body – to starve it or punish it – anymore than we are called to glorify it. Rather, we simply want to see that we have made a decision to make the body and its world the central fact of our lives. We want to be clear that the role it plays in our lives is a choice that we have made.
Why does that matter? Because when we reach the point of seeing a decision was made, we can begin to relate to that intelligence – that presence – that that – that made (and makes) decisions.
Thus, we begin to understand – dimly at first, but with increasing clarity and vigor – that a decision was made to dream. And so a decision can be made to wake up as well. The decision does not happen at the level of the body. It does not depend in any way upon what is external. We see the dream for what it is and we make another choice.
The body’s serial adventures, from the time of birth to dying are the theme of every dream the world has ever had . . . the dream has but one purpose, taught in many ways. This single lesson does it try to teach again, and still again, and yet once more; that it is cause and not effect. And you are its effect, and cannot be its cause (T-27.VIII.3:1, 3-5).
That which makes decision is a cause. It is not an effect. What we are in truth is an effect only of the Love that is God. Beyond that, we are cause, creating as we were created, because that is Love’s will: that it extend infinitely (T-1.VII.2:1, T-2.I.1:1).
Thus, salvation becomes the recognition that choice is possible and that – having chosen wrongly – we can “choose again.”
You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power. And the light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness to Him, and He has given you His strength instead (T-31.VIII.2:3-7).
Inner peace is the result of accepting responsibility for peace. When we stop looking for it where it is not, we will find it. Why? Because it is the natural consequence of understanding the law of cause and effect. In truth, peace is as simple as deciding it is what we want. It’s not hiding; rather we are simply in denial about our power to choose it.
Thus, the question is: are we ready to be peaceful? Are we ready to be happy?