A Course in Miracles Chapter 19: The Attainment of Peace

The title for chapter 19 is The Attainment of Peace. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: Healing and Faith, Sin versus Error, The Unreality of Sin and the Obstacles to Peace.

There is an interesting contrast between faith and faithlessness. Faithlessness destroys and separates, imposing illusions between us and our creator God. Faith unites and heals, removes all obstacles that rise between us and our creator God, and is dedicated to truth rather than illusions. Faith is the opposite of fear. With faith, we can look at everyone around us and acknowledge our oneness with them rather than see them as the enemy. When we can see Christ in everyone, we are able to offer forgiveness to them, bringing healing to them and ourselves. When we no longer fear those that do not look, act or believe like us, and release our demands and expectations of them, peace can arise within us. “Faith is the gracious acknowledgment of everyone as a Son of your most loving Father, loved by Him like you, and therefore loved by you as yourself. You see the Christ in him, and he is healed because you look on what makes faith forever justified in everyone.”

This chapter makes a distinction between sin and error. Sin calls for punishment, guilt and fear, a concept created by the ego.  Error calls for correction and growth and is rooted in love. When you do something you deem “wrong” and call it sin, you will feel guilt over what you did and will most likely beat yourself up for a while over this. You will feel fear about how God sees you. You will agonize over if you will ever be able to overcome this. You will feel like you should somehow be punished for what you did and find ways to inflict punishment upon yourself. Therefore, you will be unable to feel peace.  However, if you call it error, you will feel no guilt and will be able to quickly forgive yourself and ask God how you can learn and grow from the experience, feeling God’s love for you which will bring you peace.

When we fear death, it is impossible to feel peace. The ego wants us to fear death because anytime we are in a state of fear, we are not feeling love so peace is unattainable.  Death is one of the biggest fears of man. It is based in the concept of sin and guilt, that we will be punished by death in hell if we do repent from our wicked ways. Jesus states in this chapter, “For I became the symbol of your sin, and so I had to die instead of you. To the ego sin means death, and so atonement is achieved through murder. Salvation is looked upon as a way by which the Son of God was killed instead of you. No one can die for anyone, and earth does not atone for sin. The body does appear to be a symbol for sin while you believe that it can get you what you want. What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation? Do you not see that this is the belief in death? Here is the source of the idea that love is fear. When you accepted the Holy Spirits purpose in place of the egos you renounced death, exchanging it for life. Death is the result of the thought we call the ego, as surely as life is the result of the Thought of God. One thing is sure; God, Who created neither sin nor death, wills not that you be bound by them. What would you feel and think if death held no attraction for you? Very simply, you would remember your Father. The Creator of life, the Source of everything that lives, the Father of the universe and of the universe of universes, and of everything that lies even beyond them would you remember.”

When you need peace, stop and ask yourself what you are doing that prevents peace from coming to you. Are you in faith or faithlessness? Have you forgiven self and others? Are you focused on sin rather than error? Are you fearing death and God? Are you living from fear rather than love? “Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the love beyond, and so the fear is gone. And now you stand in terror before what you swore never to look upon. Your eyes look down, remembering your promise to your “friends.” The “loveliness” of sin, the delicate appeal of guilt, the “holy” waxen image of death, and the fear of vengeance of the ego you swore in blood not to desert, all rise and bid you not to raise your eyes. It seems to you that they would utterly abandon you if you but raise your eyes. Yet all that will occur is you will leave the world forever. This is the re-establishment of your will. Look upon it, open-eyed, and you will never more believe that you are at the mercy of things beyond you, forces you cannot control, and thoughts that come to you against your will. For what attracts you from beyond the veil is also deep within you, unseparated from it and completely one. You are the center from which peace radiates outward, to call the others in. You are its home; its tranquil dwelling place from which it gently reaches out, but never leaving you.”




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