“Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die? (M51)”
1 – Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?
The question in this passage is akin to a question asks elsewhere: “Would you rather be right or happy?” The idea is similar, because we so often get caught up in our own turmoil, thereby making the turmoil worse.
2 – Drama?
Surely all of us would choose a tranquil mind, unless our ego has us so addicted to drama that we choose the negative drama over peace of mind. A negative drama is a form of dying, because real living is meant to be peaceful. Elsewhere Jesus says that we are intended to be perfectly “calm and quiet” all the time. Most of us find this hard to accept, so accustomed to conflict are we. The ego has a deep inroad in us.
3 – Tranquility
Tranquility is a better gift, though, and as we progress in our training as teachers of God, we will readily recognize this. A lack of drama in living is an attribute of those who have awakened, and one goal of the Course, for us, is an Awakening. We may not all reach this, but we can have moments of time in which we are awake. This is advice from Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now and A New Earth), not from the Course per se.
4 – Joy
“Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape, because it is not life in which the problem lies. (M52)”
5 – Warning?
If read in one way, this passage is a stern warning. If we have envisioned our problems as ending when we die, perhaps—just perhaps—we are told here that if we do not resolve our problems in this life, we will still face those problems after death.
6 – Comforting
It is comforting to imagine that our aches and pains, physical and emotional, will disappear when we cross the veil into life after death. We can imagine that we won’t need to take medication any longer. We can imagine that our back won’t ache, for example. And I think that this would be true.
7 – Psychic Pain
But inner psychic pain may take its toil even beyond death. If we have not worked out our problems in this lifetime, perhaps we will face some of that working out in another realm. It behooves us to walk carefully, for I am actually commenting on something that only psychics have described. And their commentaries differ.
8 – Pray
If we diligently seek to pray away our difficulties here, facing those difficulties but also seeking an end to them, then whatever comes in the next life will be a blessing. We will be ready for that next life.
9 – God
“Life has no opposite, for it is God. . . . Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is. (M52)”
10 – Powerful
This excerpt, “Everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained,” is a powerful statement that cries out for explanation. It is akin to the epigraph at the beginning of A Course in Miracles. We don’t have to fear the physical, for it is illusion and therefore not real. And the mind’s genesis, the inner Self, is real, for God created it. And this Self has no end. What a blessing! We don’t have to fear mortality. We don’t have to fear that life does not continue, for we do have immortality.
11 – Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit would have us realize that nothing here that we experience is, in itself, a tragedy, for it can be easily undone if understood as the learning experience that it is. The Self approves all things that happen to this mind and body. Nothing escapes. Nothing occurs that was not agreed upon by the Higher Self, the Christ who is within us all.
12 – Turmoil
We need to remember this truth when we seem beset on all sides by turmoil. When we are in anguish. And pain. And just the minor, numerous irritations of this life. We may stay too busy in this life, because we see no way to live differently. We may feel that our jobs are asking for their pound of flesh (from Shakespeare), but on some level we have agreed for this circumstance to be our lot in life. If we don’t like what we are experiencing, sometimes it takes only prayerful contemplation to rectify the situation. We do have helpers from the Other Side. And we can ask for, and receive, help whenever we need it. Help will always, always, arrive. And we will recognize this help when we have gotten calm enough to accept it.
I ask for Your peace. I ask to be happy being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May I leave drama behind as I move toward Awakening. May I have a tranquil mind.
Your peace is all that I want. When something upsets me, let me think of my real goal of peace before all else. Thank you for Your help.