“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” – Matthew 5:9
This past Sunday, Reverend Steve presented the first part of a 4-part series based on “The Seven Pillars of Truth” from Dr. Roger Teel’s book This Life Is Joy. In writing about peacemaking, Dr. Teel offers a powerful perspective that acknowledges the spiritual and creative power of truth principles that are available to us, while also reminding us that peacemaking is an inside job for which we must assume personal responsibility if we are to become peacemakers and assume our responsibilities as children of God.
One of Dr. Teel’s peacemaking strategies centers on a 4-part affirmation that prompts us to reflect and acknowledge the state of our own wounds and our own desires to be lifted up, as well as our thoughts about our own selves and our own cries for love. The idea at the heart of each part of the affirmation is that as I assume personal responsibility for peacemaking in my own life, I release the impulse to attack others and thereby allow for peace to also be realized in their own lives.
When I embrace my wounds and allow them to heal…
I have no impulse to injure you.
In the first part of his peacemaking affirmation, Dr. Teel reminds us that by embracing the places where we may hurt inside, we open up a space for our own wounds to heal. As we heal, the impulse to injure someone else recedes and creates an opening for compassion and peace to enter instead. A Course In Miracles reminds us “all attack is Self attack,” not attack on the ego self, but rather an attempted attack on the Christ Self. Of course, the Christ Self cannot in reality be attacked. But, we can and often do make a “decision to forget” our true identity. Only one who has chosen to forget their true Self would ever think to attack another and believe they could do so without also attacking their own Self. When we stop the Self attack, we take charge of our own internal peacemaking and assume personal responsibility for removing all the blocks to experiencing peace.
When I understand my desire to be lifted up…
I refuse to tear you down.
Just as Self attack is a decision to forget, stopping Self attack is a decision to remember one’s True Self. Once we have chosen to remember again, we begin to recognize and ultimately understand that our deepest desires are to be lifted up into a consciousness of unity with God, which we experience as peace. Once again Dr. Teel reminds us of the deep bedrocks of spiritual principle underlying his peacemaking strategy.
In Emmet Fox’s metaphysical classic, The Sermon On The Mount, he posits that the only way for us to be lifted up into “communion with God” is in prayer. Fox considers prayer the only “real action” because “prayer is the only thing that changes one’s character.” Changing one’s character, changes one’s soul and, for Fox, that is the only “real change.” Likewise, A Course In Miracles states that the only true miracle is a changed mind. According to Fox, the most effective and therefore successful prayer is the one prayed by one who has “first attained some degree of true peace of mind.” Who could earnestly pray, truly desiring to be lifted up into communion with God’s peace and still wish to tear another down?
When I think rightly about myself…
I need not make you wrong.
In this third step in Dr. Teel’s peacemaking affirmation, the focus on the activity of our own internal consciousness comes into even sharper relief. We can now begin to see a progression emerging in consciousness. We have gone from embracing deep wounds and ceasing all forms of attack, into a consciousness that recognizes our deepest desire is for unity with God’s peace.
In Unity, we teach that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and that, because God is the ultimate good, we are therefore inherently good by nature. At UCOH, we articulate that principle as: “We are Spiritual Beings created in God’s Image. The Spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.” One who does not perceive their own inner divinity is less likely to see it in someone else. Thinking rightly about our Selves is to have recognized and accepted the truth that we are created as children of God, not just some of us, but all of us.
This third step in Dr. Teel’s peacemaking affirmation reminds us that we do not have to make someone else wrong in order for us to be at peace with the truth we know. In fact, even attempting to make someone else wrong immediately disrupts our peace. If we defend ourselves, we necessarily attack, but what we defend is a false idea of the truth of who we are. As A Course In Miracles states, “The truth is true and requires no defense.”
When my cry for love opens my own heart’s doors…
I no longer close you out.
By the time we reach the final part of Dr. Teel’s peacemaking affirmation we have achieved a place in consciousness where we easily recognize that it is our own cry for love that opens the door to the expression of love from within our own heart. In that opening, we drop our resistance to all those we have defended ourselves from in our attempts to keep them separate and at a safe distance through our grievances, judgments and unforgiveness.
In Charles Fillmore’s The Twelve Powers he describes the power of love as the harmonizing power. The idea of harmony implies peace. Therefore, there is no real, meaningful way to be a peacemaker that does not include the expression of unconditional love, which brings all seemingly disparate energies into harmonious alignment. Ultimately, being a peacemaker is to be an agent in the service of unconditional love.
Carry Your Light Into The World
The objective of Dr. Teel’s peacemaking affirmation is to progressively condition our consciousness to release any “hollowness that might distort our experience of Love.” In a similar way, A Course In Miracles describes this experience as “removing the blocks to the awareness of Love’s Presence.” Having removed the blocks or hollowness that distort our experience of Love, we dissolve any resistance to the fullest expression of our peacemaking potential.
As we express our capacity for unconditional love, we begin to sense the deeper meaning in the beatitude “blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” In The Sermon On The Mount, Emmet Fox describes peacemakers as those who have achieved the “true, interior soul-peace” that the mystics call serenity. Peacemakers are those who create the experience of serenity in their own souls.
Fox describes serenity as the “grand passport to the Presence of God.” Having surmounted their own sense of limitations created through a flawed understanding of their true relationship to God, peacemakers now easily enter into the Presence of God as children of God, experiencing the deep peace of serenity that passes all understanding. Dr. Teel’s peacemaking affirmation strategy concludes in the silence where we experience the Presence of God and he prompts us to hear the words: “Thou art my beloved child in whom I am well pleased.”
As we bask in this affirmation of God’s Love for us as his child, Dr. Teel reminds us to realize that, as a child of God, our picture prominently stands on God’s altar! Being at peace in the Presence of God as a child of God, the peacemaker is now free to express peace in the world. There is but one thing left to do, “open your eyes . . . and carry your Light into the world!”