Stillness does not ask anything of us. Nor can it be misunderstood. It is given totally and unconditionally.
Yet if we are thinking about stillness, then we do not know stillness. The problem is not thinking – thinking can be very creative and useful in context.
The problem is “about.”
“About” comes from an Old English word “onbūtan,” which means “outside of.” When we are thinking “about” something (or someone or something), we are acknowledging alienation and separation. We are dreaming a dream of exile from Love.
This is not really a problem when I am thinking “about” which path I will take on my walk this afternoon. But it is a problem – or something like a problem – when I am thinking “about” stillness. Then I am holding a self apart from stillness.
This “holding apart” is the source of our unhappiness. It is the logjam which interferes with the peace and creativity that is our natural inheritance as extensions of life whose only function is to extend in turn.
Stillness precedes thought. It is not “about” anything. We know it the way a sunflower knows to turn its bright face to the sun, the way a river knows its way to the sea, and the way the sea knows the gravitational pull of the moon.
We obscure and diminish knowledge of stillness when we are “about” it – analyzing, complicating, studying, imagining. You can picture us standing here observing stillness there. But what do we need to learn in order to draw our next breath? To see the sky as blue and not blood red?
Did you decide to love your dog/daughter/husband/etc? Or was the love given?
Stillness is natural for us. Stillness is what we are before we think to ask “what am I? What is my purpose in life? What should I do?”
Stillness is not an answer to a grand metaphysical question because it does not ask questions. It just knows.
Stillness is the one life behind all appearances.
Stillness begets happiness, which is closely related to gratitude. When we are still, we are happy, and our gratefulness is like sunlight, ever extending its life-giving rays. We do nothing; we are everything. Or, if you prefer, we do nothing because we are nothing.
On the one hand, this is a bunch of poetic nonsense. On the other, it is a promise of A Course in Miracles, the illusory path you and I have accepted as our shared way beyond illusions.
Completely unaffected by the turmoil and the terror of the world, the dreams of birth and death that here are dreamed, the myriad of forms that fear can take; quite undisturbed, the Thought God holds of you remains exactly as it always was. Surrounded by a stillness so complete no sound of battle comes remotely near; it rest in certainty and perfect peace. Here is your one reality kept safe, completely unaware of all the world that worships idols, and that knows not God (T-30.III.10:2-4).
This is our reality now; not five years from now. Not a thousand lifetimes from now. Not when we figure out what ACIM means by “battle” or “idols.” Not when we perfect this or that relationship. Now.
Stillness is always present. It is always untouched by the past and the future. All distinctions – which are the lifeblood of appearances – end in it.
The stillness and the peace of now enfold you in perfect gentleness. Everything is gone except the truth (T-16.VII.6:5-6).
Don’t think about this.