Hear the promise, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you," from Matthew Chapter 7:7.
This is a powerful promise. Do you believe it? Trust it? Does it work for you? If so, you may stop reading because you probably already have peace in your life.
What about others looking for peace and not finding? Why is abiding peace so elusive?
What about our religions and spiritual paths? Spiritual paths produce people who care for and love others, among other things; nice people, in other words, but true masters are almost impossibly rare.
So what gets in the way of realizing the power of the promise? The mind.
Do you trust "your" thoughts? Why? Others share their thoughts with you constantly. Do you automatically believe those thoughts? Why not? How about what the media offers you? Do you believe those thoughts? Consider that thoughts are not true, even if believed to be "yours." We are taught from birth habits that undermine our peace and happiness.
Thinking is considered paramount in this culture; the activity most revered. Fear is used to motivate from birth to promote trust in mind instead of in our inner guidance, which is always available, and would never use fear as a motivator for the beings of love we were born to be. Our education system is structured to develop thinking. There's no blame in this; our elders did not know better and the current institutions do the best they know.
If you have read this far, you've heard to trust God, the Bible, your inner guidance, or some version of this many times. How old were you when you first heard, "You have to figure it out!" or, "Think about it." It was so long ago you probably cannot remember. How many times have you said to yourself, "I should have thought about it more," or, with fear coursing through the body, you think, "If I don't figure this out soon, ... !" (Fill in your fearful consequence-of-the-moment here.)
In contrast, how often were you advised, "Be still for a moment and an answer will come." For almost this entire lifetime I was afraid not to think. I feared I would lose myself, die or maybe worse. Each moment of life experience was informed by and filtered through thinking.
What's wrong with thinking? Nothing, except if it keeps you from access to the inspiration always available. We all have inspired moments that seep past the veil of thinking and hit the mind; we then set the mind to work and fail to see that the mind was not the source. If you hear your guidance, then the mind becomes available as a tool for action on this guidance instead of the boss. When the tool is no longer needed, return it to its box.
There are numerous techniques available to start putting the mind in its proper place. Type "stop thoughts" into the search field in YouTube and you will find videos with different techniques. Why not try one for a few weeks? If it doesn't work, you are no worse off than today, so try another. As you open the veil of the mind even a crack, the crack will widen.
Surrender your ideas, your thoughts, allowing the possibility of something better just waiting for you. Be willing to practice as often as you remember. Be willing to not know, and delight in the newness of each inspiration to thought and action.
God, the Divine, Jesus, Allah, The Lord — whatever name you use — wants you to recognize your connection to the promise, to experience its power in your life from moment-to-moment. You owe it to yourself not to miss out on this, because only then will you discover you are truly alive, and all before was a cheap imitation of living, window dressing instead of the real game.
Ed Karlovich is retired and lives in Ashland. Send Inner Peace articles to firstname.lastname@example.org