“Only this is certain in this shifting world that has no meaning in reality: When peace is not with you entirely, and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother, and have rejoiced at what you thought was there.” (ACIM, T-24.VI.5)
This quotation is a stern warning, and it sounds less than kind, on the surface. But is it, really? When peace is not with us totally and we feel pain of any kind, are we harboring anger at our brother for his perceived sins?
There are few of us who would believe that we are beyond anger. None of us actually are, though ACIM warns that anger and attack are unjustified, for our Self is innocent. A Course of Love is more forgiving, explaining that anger may stay with us until we bid it go. Negative feelings do not keep us from Christ-consciousness, because ACOL says that we do not have to be “perfect” in this world. ACIM says that Jesus stands at the end of the pathway, to correct any errors that we ourselves are powerless to change. So we are standing on good ground when we acknowledge anger and a propensity to see sin in others, though we all recognize that this is not the way we want to feel and see.
“Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions I made up.” (ACIM, W-52)
If we are deeply experiencing this world, we will be experiencing illusions. And we will be upset. We need the reality that is behind these conflicted and conflicting feelings. And we can have it—today.
All we need do is ask for the reality that is behind all illusion. Ask for what is non-material; ask for love, joy, harmony, peace. You will not be left dangling. The Holy Spirit (or, in ACOL, the Christ Self) will respond to your pleas with much good will. Claim this promise. I claim it almost daily. And my world becomes smoother as a result.
Ask for perfect peace today. Turn aside from the upsets, big and small, that people your world.
The perfect peace that comes will assure us that we ought to harbor no ill will toward another. And we will join with them in a community of believers in faith, in God, in holiness.
No better day can be had than one spent in peace.