Finding the Path to Real Peace
By Guy Finley
If we wish to find peace we must understand something of its life. Here are a few such facts: Peace is the natural radiation of a living Now; it is one with that Light whose life is the eternal present itself, even as the emanations of light and warmth are one with the sun from which they radiate. If our intuition can perceive that the above ideas are based in truth, then we should be naturally moved to ask the following question: If this peace we long for is inherent in this perfectly present moment we call the “Now,” what is it that keeps us from knowing the fulfillment of its promise within us? Let’s look.
Through even casual observation, we can see that the primary governing body of our present self seems to be a mental and emotional construct whose sole occupation in life seems to be an ongoing consideration of what was and what will be. This activity amounts to what we experiences as an endless weighing of our past and subsequent planning of our future. Stated in another way, our lives are currently made up of what we name for ourselves as being good days or bad days. Of course these “good” and “bad” days are labeled as such based on how they measure up to our desired expectations. Good days “happen” when we get what we desire, and bad days are... well, you know!
Now, one of the strange features about this present nature of ours is that even on “good” days -- when we manage to achieve what we desire and feel a sense of satisfaction -- this conditional peace often turns against us; triumph becomes a kind of torment as we end up fearing we will lose the thing just gained. Poof goes our peace! There is no profit in it, and its promises are equally empty.
We have another nature, one whose life and whose peace are the same character. This order of Self, and the Now that is the backdrop of its being, are as the branch is to the life-giving vine. No true peace can survive apart from this relationship. Any other form of peace is its earthly expression. But to make the point: No order, no peace. Order is peace.
This peace confounds the lower level of mind that only knows stillness by what it imagines its qualities to be. The mind asleep to itself cannot conceive how its own images of winning in life deny it the victory for which it longs. In order to know peace and its promise, we must release ourselves from this sleeping self that is always struggling to put pieces of peace together in the vain hope they will stay united!
We have all tried sewing pieces of peace together, thinking through what we must do to rid ourselves of whatever nags at us. You know the dialogue one is ever having with oneself.
”Hopefully this career change will make things better; maybe going to the gym will get my love life going; once I make him understand my point of view...” “As soon as” becomes the chant and the source of our confidence. We all know how this goes. The chattering is as endless as one’s fear of feeling empty. And the more of these “pieces of peace” we juggle, the more anxious we become, all the while hoping that life won’t break up what we would assemble. Even through this approach has proven itself fruitless, still we cling to the hope that next time things will be different. What we must see is that our lives cannot change until we do -- from the inside out.
To succeed in our quest, we need a new and higher understanding of our own being. For this peace that we seek lives within us; it is not to be found anywhere else. Which leads us to the next step in our search. To enter the silent world of peace requires that we learn the secret of being still. We must discover and enter into our own still being.
The task before us is not an easy one, but we are not asked to make this journey without a guide. Before us goes the Light of Truth. It reveals the Way by opening our eyes to see among other truths, that the peace we seek is not a thing created by us. We learn that admission into its celestial kingdom is by mutual consent only, even though this peace agrees to no terms other than its own. It makes the rules, not us. Yet we are eventually made grateful for these unyielding laws, for whatever soul agrees to bend its will to these terms of eternal peace not only finds God’s peace revealed, but also that this providence has now become a permanent presence within his or her heart.Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now, by Guy Finley, Red Wheel Weiser/Conari Press