No one can fail who seeks to reach the truth.
The confidence inherent in today’s lesson rests upon a subtle fact: what we seek is up to us. If we seek peace where peace is not, then we cannot find peace. It’s like going to the desert and wondering where the ocean is.
To bodies, other bodies and the world will always be real. To ego, its thoughts and beliefs will always be the only option. We cannot search for the end of conflict in what is inherently conflict.
Goals that are meaningless are not attained. There is no way to reach them, for the means by which you strive for them are as meaningless as they are. Who can use such senseless means, and hope through them to gain in anything (W-pI.131.2:1-3)?
Bodies grow old and die. Therefore, the body cannot know eternal life. Egoic thought divides and judges and tries always to control. Therefore, there is no peace but only conflict in it. This is why ego exists. It is why the world was made – to obscure truth and keep us from remembering God.
If we want peace – if we want to remember Heaven, which is the unity of Creator and Creation – then it will have to come from something other than what we are and what the world is. Hence the importance of the little prayer that precedes our practice today:
I ask to see a different world, and think a different kind of thought from those I made. The world I seek I did not make, the thoughts I want to think are not my own (W-pI.131.11:3-4).
We are turning away from the familiar today. We are letting go rather than remaking or reconstructing. We are becoming empty, in order that God’s peace might reveal itself to us as it is – not as we would have it. We are opening to the possibility that our lives – even at their apparently holiest and most purely-intentioned – impose “an alien will upon God’s single purpose” (W-pI.131.8:5).
There is another way and in order to remember it, we have to let go of our insistence that we can find it in the world via our own thinking and effort.
What happens when you let go? You might notice that the one “letting go” cannot be let go of. There is always some sense of self deciding to “let go.” And that sense of self cannot itself be released. This is a paradox – a problem that cannot be solved, dissolved or resolved. It has vexed human beings for centuries.
A Course in Miracles teaches us that it’s a distracting sideshow, and thus wholly unworthy of our attention.
Today we will not choose a paradox in place of truth. How could the Son of God make time to take away the Will of God? He thus denies himself, and contracts what has no opposite (W-pI.131.9:1-2).
We become still today. We refuse to indulge the ego’s attempts to judge the course and judge our practice and dictate the outcome. This is a radical experiment! Truth is given to us, but we have clouded it and the cloud is the world, which includes our bodies, and the dense tangle of self-imposed, self-centered thinking.
Imaginge you are flailing in violent seas. You are struggling to stay afloat, fighting to survive. And Jesus comes and says, “stop fighting. Let go. Go down.” It would sound insane, right? You would say, “yeah, thanks but no thanks, pal.”
Yet that is exactly what we are asked to do today: to stop struggling and become still and find out what is beneath the world and the thoughts that make it. It sounds abstract, idealistic, naive, impossible . . .
Okay! But still. Just try.
Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes, and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see . . . you realize the world you see before you in the light reflects the truth you knew, and did not quite forget in wandering away in dreams (W-pI.131.13:2-3).
Therefore, let us seek only this understanding. Let us have a goal only this peace. When we hold this single goal, our will naturally aligns with the will of creation, and we naturally remember the fullness of God’s “ancient promise to his holy Son” (W-pI.131.14:4).
When that is our goal, we cannot fail, for we are merely seeking what is real, and what is real is all that can be found, because it is all there is. Today – together and with all our brothers and sisters – let us make it so.