If all that anyone wants is peace, why is it then that we seem to give it away to easily? We get perturbed when others seemingly bother us. We get annoyed with people for what they don’t know. We are so easily “set off” at the slightest sense of injustice. Even for the spiritually inclined, it seems as if we have no control. What’s wrong?
A Course In Miracles points out that there are obstacles to peace. One of which is our desire to keep peace out. A Course In Miracles says “The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it.” Seems hard to believe at first, but with careful examination we would find that it is WE that choose to detour into fear – or better said, it is the belief in ego thinking that cause suffering.
I was recently working with a group of people where the objective was to train them on a technology device. I enjoy helping and supporting others. In this case, however, there was one student who seemed to be making, what I would call simple mistakes. She’d move ahead with the lesson and would then ask questions that were already answered. She would skip over important tasks and then get confused. I can’t say for sure when, but at one point I suddenly got annoyed and became short in response. OUCH! Even I felt the “stab” as I responded. Peace was seemingly devoid in me.
The core of A Course In Miracles’ teaching is that the cause of any suffering is never about the outer circumstances. In other words, SHE was not the cause of my annoyance. But instead, it is the desire of ego’s thought system to keep peace out.
The ego’s thought system has a very particular objective. It’s purpose is always self preservation. Therefore, at an unconscious level there is a search to define itself as separate. So in the example of this student and myself, the thought system judged this person as…well…do I dare say it?…DUMB. The thought system seemingly found evidence to prove superiority. Speaking first and loudest, I listened to the ego’s rant about “how clueless she is.” A belief that served only to obstruct peace in me.
The desire to keep peace out is the ego’s desire to isolate itself from others. This “desire” is simply the ego’s way to sustaining a self concept; by making an identity of superiority. But as long as we think we’re separate from others, we will feel separate; never whole and at peace. The miracle, or shift in perception lies in our ability to recognize the ego’s modus operandi. Any disturbance to peace is a sign that the ego is at work.
In situations like this, what is needed is a miracle; shift in perception. Recognizing the dysfunction in thinking is the first step. Being willing to see something different invites an alternative approach. In my case, it meant working with this person closer – joining perhaps at a deeper level, something the ego never really wants to do. But with my function clear, to be truly helpful, the way isn’t hard and I’m led by something (Spirit) much bigger than the littleness that the ego can ever offer. My relationship with this student has since been transformed and her Christ like identity is all I see now.
Whenever I need to remind myself of my purpose, the following prayer from A Course In Miracles helps set things right:
I am here only to be truly helpful.
“I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.” – A Course In Miracles
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