So distracted are we by the ups and downs of life, the cycles of pleasure and pain, that few of us are aware of the perfectly still and peaceable kingdom through which our lives and their events run their daily course. This heavenly kingdom is not really hidden; its quiet reality awaits us in the present moment as a backdrop to the chaotic content of our lives.
The peace of the perfectly present moment, in which dwells the kingdom of heaven, is what our heart of hearts longs to know. Within it there is neither stress nor sorrow. Yet, while most of us agree we seek a way to comingle in the life of this deep quiet, its timeless realm remains all but imperceptible to us. If we would be free, we must transcend what blinds us to the kingdom of peace by binding us to the world of passing sensation.
Most of us pursue worldly forms -- things, people, places, conditions -- to help erase the ache of having no peace in our hearts, but if our peace is built upon these worldly forms, then it will be (at best) a temporary peace. If we wish to take the next step in our spiritual development, then we must be willing to acknowledge that the pursuit of these forms, even their possession, has never brought us anything but a fleeting sense of fulfillment.
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: "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 though 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 -- for this peace that we seek resides within us; it is not to be found anywhere else.
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 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.