A Course in Miracles Lesson 230

Now will I seek and find the peace of God.

What is true does not change. But do we know what that is? We know the meaning of the words, yes. “What is true does not change.” We can say the words, argue about them, and even modify them. But are we actually in touch with what does not change?

Do we know what is true?

A Course in Miracles teaches us that the peace of God lies in understanding the simple fact that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists (T-in.2:2-3). What does not change cannot be threatened; it is immune to harm. It wasn’t born and it does not die. It’s beyond time and beyond the body.

Do you know what it is? Could you name it? Could you share it? Could you taste or touch or hear it?

The course says that what cannot change is our own self (W-pII.230.1:3). Our real self was created in peace and it remains in peace, which does not change (W-pII.230.1:1-2). God does not make mistakes and what He creates is forever true. But we have to want to know it. We have to want to know more than we want to forget. Our goal in a sense is the end of our own wilfull ignorance.

We have to want – we have be willing to work to go – beyond whatever passing comfort these ideas (and ideas like them) appear to offer us. We don’t want to be merely consoled; we don’t want a temporary respite. We want to know the truth of our identity. What I am does not change. It is true forever. Show it to me, Jesus!

The peace in which Your Son was born into Your Mind is shining there unchanged. I am as You created me (W-pII.230.2:3-4).

This self cannot be a body, right? Bodies change over time – their appearance changes, their abilities change, and eventually they lay down and die. Ideas change, too. They can be modified or discarded. They can be forgotten as easily as they can be cherished and shared.

Keep going. The world changes. Season to season, landscape to landscape, epoch to epoch. The Universe changes. Once it was hot quark soup and now it’s a vast expanding space full of stars and planets, and black holes and dark matter.

Can you find a single thing that does not change? Will you consider the possibility that if you do find it – if you can perceive it, name it, discuss it – then it is not eternal but just another idea or object? Just another data point in another data point’s range of perception and cognition. It takes humility and courage to see this. It takes willingness.

Seeking the thing that never changes – and realizing the futility of the search from the perspective of our shared human existence – is hard. It throws us into the awareness that our resources – our physical energy, our intelligence, our conditioning, our culture, our tools and textbooks, literally everything that we call the world and the self – are inadequate. Neti neti unto everything, including “neti neti.” There are reasons most of us don’t take the inquiry this far. It is not a comfortable space.

For some of us, the “answer” to “what thing doesn’t change” is “awareness itself” or “consciousness.” Which, fine. I understand the way in which that feels like it’s the answer. Certainly it represents the far reaches of our perceptual and cognitive capacities. There is a pleasing sense of finality to it.

Another default is to find the one who is aware of thought – we call this one the witness, the watcher, the observer. Reaching the “I Am” can be a significant step in this particular version of the journey. But in and of itself, it is not the answer. It’s just another way station. Indeed, Nisargadatta said “I am” was the first ignorance, the first illusion, and the first deception.

What are we supposed to then?

The lesson tells us to seek peace – the peace that comes from knowing in a felt and realized way that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists. What was true remains true. What is true will always be true. It invites us to accept ourself as God accepts us; to know our self in Creation as Creation.

This is the penultimate lesson in the Workbook’s focused section about forgiveness. And it does not mention “forgiveness” once! It merely invites us to enter confidently into relationship with God. That natural fruit of that relationship is peace – but not because of anything we do or don’t do. Because of what God does, which is to say, what God wills.

When we reach a juncture where we can accept God’s Will in place of ours, then we can let go of judgment, which is the foundation of all our activity. It’s not that things stop getting done. It’s that our relationship to what happens changes because we are no longer in charge. It is – to borrow and slightly adapt a trusted metaphor – the difference between driving the bus, with all the stress and demands that go along with that, and just riding the bus, gazing out the window at the passing landscape, happily chatting with fellow travelers.

We have an idea that we have to be active and responsible. We have to be in charge or know who’s in charge. We have to have a plan, others need to buy into our plan. And the Course is saying, no. You don’t have to do any of that.

Not doing is harder than it sounds. We turn it into a doing, right? We evaluate how effectively or not effectively we are doing nothing. And then we are back in the same old pattern of resistance and distraction and delay.

But this is a lesson about confidence. This is a lesson about realizing that confidence placed in ourselves is not the answer, while confidence placed in God is. It is a new way of being in the world, because it releases us from the illusory idea that we are in charge or responsible for salvation. Deep inside us is a tiny spark of knowledge that speaks for the peace of God that is inherent.

What is true needs no defense; it simply is. Today we ask that our awareness of it be rekindled. We give attention to our inner doubt and uncertainty and, when we notice it, we accept it. If we didn’t doubt, we wouldn’t need A Course in Miracles and other spiritual paths. But even our doubt is accommodated by God because it, too, comes and goes. It, too, is enfolded in forgiveness, and thereby brought to peace.

Let it be done and realize it was always thus.

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