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Instrument for Peace 


Editor's note: This transcript has been substantially edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.

Speaker: The Instrument for Peace was developed because people often need some kind of concise tool that can help when they’re starting to feel some kind of upset. They’ll say ‘I need to have some steps to be guided through’, realizing that of course the more you do the steps the more you are rewiring your mind and reconnecting. It should get easier and easier to just zip back into your right mind as you open to this new way of perceiving, this new way of thinking. This Instrument for Peace is a way of working through things.

Working through upsets and healing the mind. That’s what we want to do because eventually you start to realize that the pains and the pleasure are two sides of one coin and they are both capable of distracting you from the peace of non-judgment and just being still. The Course is very different from that old saying of accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. The positive and the negative are both two sides of one continuum of judgment and you have to release the whole continuum.

But, this is really a good start of working with some of the metaphysics in a very practical way. So, it doesn’t matter if its mild irritation, annoyance, or an intense emotion. It might be good if you start to work with this on a daily basis, start with some of the smaller upsets and build some confidence with it before you go after the jugular of the ego. It’s like anything else. You learn how to ride a bike. You gain some confidence balancing and peddling before you enter a triathlon.

I’ll just read through the Introduction, Working through upsets and healing your mind. “The mind at peace is healed. The mind at Peace has whole heartedly welcomed peace. In this world lack of Peace occurs in many forms. For permanent healing to occur lack of peace must be traced back to its singular cause in the mind. Use of this instrument for that tracing back can help a willing mind let go of what it thinks it knows see the world differently and experience a present state of peace and joy.” So that’s the introduction. It’s just a very practical tool to keep the focus on the peace. We’re doing this for the Peace of Mind.

So we’ll start with number one and you can see you can just answer the questions and fill in the blanks and put it down on the paper as honestly as you can. If you have something that’s troubling you or upsetting you it doesn’t matter what it is, how strong it is or how intense. You start off with what you’re thinking about. It can be your thoughts or thoughts about specific persons, places, events. Thoughts about what is coming next in your life or thoughts about something that happened very recently in your life; maybe this retreat was a little unsettling. Something that seems to be bubbling up in your consciousness and you would like to use this instrument to work through. So, that’s what we mean by very practical. Then just start off with #1 and fill in A. When I think about ‘A’ which can be a past or future action, situation or event. It could even involve persons. Feel free to write anything that comes to mind for ‘A.’

Then you can see where ‘B’ is. It follows right after that. You’re just trying to name the specific upsetting emotions. As soon as you’ve got your action, situation, event or person and your feelings that are associated with that action, situation, event or person then try to name who or what seems to be to blame or there’s a second part what you’re afraid will occur in the future. It’s going into the specifics of what you’re afraid will occur in the future or who or what seems to be at blame. These could even be blaming yourself. For many people it seems there’s nobody to blame in their lives so they blame themselves for the feelings. You could fill in both of them if you have someone to blame and you still have ideas of what could happen in the future which is part of the worry or concern.

Then #2 what we’re going to work at is going a little deeper. You might think of deeper because it takes it a little deeper into your mind. What you’re perceiving and thinking. What you’re feeling and the justifications and reasons that you’re telling yourself. That’s all encapsulated in #1. #2 is stating A,B & C The actions, situations, events, persons. All the feelings associated with those actions, events, situations or persons and also the justifications of why. Your current thoughts about the situation that is troubling. All of those prove that I am right about ‘D’ and ‘D’ is basically what we have been calling in our workshop and retreat ‘self concept’ Everything that you think and feel and believe about yourself that’s related to images of the world. Not only your personality self, the persona or the mask which seems to be who you are but everything that’s part of the mask; the environment that seems to surround the person is also part of that mask. So you can write ‘D’ out in anyway that you feel comfortable. You could call it my self concept, my self image. The self I made up to take the place of the Self that God created.

And I think the key word in there is A, B&C prove that I am right about this construct or this image. I put in parenthesis underneath it (my belief in lack taking the form of an image of self, other, the world). Because inevitably when you make a concept up to take the place of your true nature, your spiritual nature, this construct or this concept is lacking in some way. It’s never really fulfilled. It never reaches the place where it says I am an ego and I have no needs. You just never get there.

So, we’re going to go on here. It says, ‘I do not like how I feel now.’ In terms of this upset that we’re talking about up there in ‘B’ I do not like how I feel now. So, I’m ready to consider the possibility that the way I am perceiving this is not the way it really is. As part of the healing process I am willing to look beyond my perception of this upset, the meaning I have given it, and look within my mind. Start to summarize it here where you say, “I want to learn that there is a way that I can, without guilt see the part that I play in thinking A, and feeling B, and in blaming C and/or fearing C. So, you’re starting to bring it back and trace it back and see without guilt the part that you play in these things. That you’re not a victim. That there’s actually something that you’re actively engaged in that’s bringing about these emotions, these perceptions.

So, #3 you’re just kind of summarizing A, B&C. It’s repeating it in some ways. But it’s just bringing it all up to the content of consciousness and just kind of laying it bare and exposing it.

#4 is getting to that word ‘release’ now. I release my wanting to be right about my perceptions of all of this; A,B,C&D. This comes back to that willingness. Willingness to look beyond my perception of this upset and look within my mind. So, ‘I release my wanting to be right about my perception of all of this. I want instead to be happy. Through the ego’s distorted thinking and seeing I perceive the cause of my upset and its resolution as outside my mind. This projection seems very real. Its purpose is to distract my mind from looking inward.’ So, we’re starting to make the connection there that the upset seems to be related to something in the world and the resolution also seems to be something that’s related to the world.

For example, if somebody seems to have a stressful job it’s quite common to think well, I just need to quit my job and as soon as I’ve left the job I’ll be happy. So that’s the way the mind works. It sees problems and solutions in form. I will be ok if…I’ll be happier when…It’s also looking for the geographical solution and shifting something around in form. That’s where this is all leading. It’s going to have to be a change in your mind. A change in your perception that’s going to actually work and it takes courage to change the things that you can. It takes lots of courage to change your mind.

#5 ‘If the cause of my upset and its resolution were outside my mind I would in fact be powerless to change my state of mind.’ It’s because of projection that C seems to be the cause.

Participant: Can we go into seeing outside what I don’t want to see within a little bit more?

Speaker: Yes, seeing outside what I don’t want to see inside is one way of seeing projection. In other words, it’s almost like one of the ego’s defense mechanisms is that if you’re feeling hurt or angry or shame or guilt or something, just get rid of it and see it outside of you? In other words, it will take the pressure off, if you point the finger and you blame or you point at something else, including the body.

Ah ha! We’ve got the culprit. He’s right there! That’s what the dynamic of projection is. So, like I was saying the other day. If you still believe in something but you don’t want to confess to your belief in it then you can point the finger and say I have a lazy roommate. Not seeing that you believe in laziness and that your mind is holding onto the concept of laziness, but you’re projecting it out and saying, ‘I’m not lazy. I am trustworthy and hard working. My room mate is lazy.’ It’s a sneaky trick to think that the roommate is lazy and you’re still holding onto the belief.

So that’s how it works. You could always say in terms of D, my belief in lack taking the form of image of self/other/the world. The ego itself, the ego identity is the belief in lack. God is perfect fullness. There is no lack in God. There is no lack in love. But, the ego is lacking. This belief in lack gets buried and then it gets projected out.

So, #6 is ‘Thinking A, feeling B and blaming and/or fearing C results in my belief in lack taking the form of an image of self/other/the world.’ So, we’re making a connection now between A,B,C,D. Before in #2 it was that A,B,C proved that I’m right about this. And now in #6 we’re saying that A,B & C come from believing in D. Everything I’m thinking and feeling or fearing and blaming or whatever. All of that is a direct result of D. D is the cause.

#7 is going to explain it a little bit better. ‘I am only upset at someone or something when they or it mirror back to my mind a belief which I have denied from awareness.’ So, this is the gift of relationship and the gift of environment and the gift of everything in the world of this mirroring back the belief that I have denied from awareness. I’ve pushed it into my subconscious mind and I just assumed it to be true.

Participant: So, for #7, what if it’s only my self? If you’re blaming yourself for something so I’m only upset at myself.

Speaker: Yes, that would still be a belief that I’ve denied from awareness. In other words, if you were upset at yourself, lets say that you’re projecting it onto the personality self and you’re really angry and you’re saying, ‘How could I have gotten myself into this circumstance or whatever and you’re projecting it onto the body and you’re blaming the small self. It still means that this projection and even this self is still mirroring back to my mind a belief which I have denied from awareness so even in that case there’s still some unconscious belief that is doing the mirroring. That’s what you have to do with your mind training. You have to catch yourself.

Very important to catch it instead of to react and judge and draw conclusions of oh, I’m just a stupid person or I’ll never get this. So, this is just a way of saying, “I’m not going to wallow any more. I’m going to see what I’m doing but I’m going to do it without blame, without guilt.”

“When I blame something in the world it is to avoid seeing the upset and the resolution as they really are, a decision in the mind. It is instead to maintain an image of self/other/the world as I wish.” So, this is a big one. It’s saying whatever’s going on here; it’s really a decision in your mind that you’re making and not caused by something that’s happening in form.

So, we’re at the point now where you’re starting to see it’s not outside your self that has to change it’s a decision in mind. If I’m feeling upset it’s because I’m choosing to feel upset. It’s not because something in the world is making me feel upset. So, every time you feel like the world is doing it to you all it is, is you’re wishing to maintain the ego’s self concept that God did not create. This mind trick seems to displace guilt and fear but actually maintains feelings of upset.

Participant: And if you’ve actually got something where you’re blaming yourself the mind trick really maintains the guilt and the feeling rather than displace it. It keeps it going?

Speaker: #12 is saying it’s a decision that you’re making in your mind and you must get back in your mind and choose again. It’s not going to help you to project and it’s not going to help you to repress. ‘To blame or fear an image of self/other/the world requires that I believe I am limited to a body and a world of bodies and denies the spiritual abstract reality of my being. As a first step in letting go of all upsets I want to see in my mind what I thought was outside it. Being upset about A…” So, now you get to bring it back to your specific things. “…is only another attempt to make C the cause of my guilt and fear.” It’s a trick.

Now, we are going to finally get another letter here. We’ve got A, B, C & D. We’re ready to bring in E for expectations. Now we’re getting down to the release point to the point where you can really release it from your mind. #8 ‘Upset seems valuable and justifiable when A runs counter to what I wanted.’ So, it could be something as simple as that and E is something that I wanted or expected. That’s what we’re calling E. It’s an action, situation or event. It’s something could be different in the script, if you really want to put words to E. I expected something to be different in this script. Whatever seems to be occurring you’re saying I wish it was different.

Participant: This is your ideal, right?

Speaker: Yes, you’ve got some ideal and the script is not meeting that ideal. So, you can see that E is very important on this work sheet because all this work here on page 1 and now we’re on page 2 was just to start to get in touch with E. What is that expectation down there that I had there that is not being fulfilled. Whatever it is action/situation/event/person I still believe in some form of lack which is D so I think I need E to be happy, complete and at peace. Now we’re getting down to the real nitty-gritty. I still have a self concept/an identity image that I believe is lacking and I think I need E to be happy. I think I need an outcome. I think I need the world to turn out a certain way or the script to go a certain way for me to be happy. “Is this belief in lack and the resulting expectation more important to me than Peace of Mind?” That’s a real interesting question. That’s when you are really getting down to where the rubber meets the road. “Is this belief in lack and the resulting expectation more important to me than Peace of Mind?”

Basically D is my belief in lack taking the form of an image of self/other/the world. That D in here is the past. D is generating E. So, because you believe in D which is the ego, you’re generating E (expectations). It happens over and over. That’s why the Serenity Prayer is really the whole Course in Miracles boiled down into one prayer. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. God wants you to be happy all the time; eternally happy and that’s what God’s Will is for you, to be happy all the time and it’s only this ego and these expectations that block like dark clouds that aren’t real and that’s what gets in the way to keep you from happiness.

Ok, now we’re getting down here. We’ve got some points on #9. Everything in the world works together for my good. What I think as the cause of my upset is not the cause at all. The choice to be upset is a choice not to see the cause as a present decision in my mind. It’s an attempt to see the cause in the past or future and the present as its effect. Now that’s as clear as it gets. I’m making the decision right now to separate from God and I’m upsetting myself with this crazy decision I’m hanging on to or which in that case would empower you to choose again. I’m going to choose again here; choose to be free. Or you believe that time is causative and you are just at the mercy of the world.

Really, this is bringing it down to either you’re in a position where you’re very helpless and powerless because you’re at the mercy of time (the past/future) or you’re very empowered because you start to see what’s going on and you choose a miracle. You choose to align with your Source and feel happy and that’s as simple as the spiritual journey gets. This is divine metaphysics. This is the Christ Mind given to you as straight as can be. You can choose to be happy really and always. It takes practice. That’s why we have this Instrument for Peace because you have to keep working through it. You have to actively practice and do a lot of these and then all of a sudden you can do it in your mind. Let’s see, what’s the expectation here? Oh, I really expected that ice cream shop to be open. I signed a contract and I really expected them to pay the money that they agreed to pay there in the contract and you can start to see that whenever you get irritated, annoyed or upset you’re honest and you get good at this you can zip it down to a time/space expectation.

That’s all it is and then if you desire to let it go that’s where we get down to the next one. # 10 what I want RIGHT NOW above all else is Peace. You have a powerful mind and that’s like putting the ego on notice. I really want Peace right now. I deserve Peace RIGHT NOW. I am worthy of Peace RIGHT NOW. I question D, that self concept that I believed in, all that lack and scarcity. I question it. Now I am willing to doubt not my Christ identity, but I’m willing to doubt the ego and I question D and I voluntarily let go of E the resulting expectation in order to reconnect with my one goal. Peace of Mind is a present decision that I gratefully choose RIGHT NOW.

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