Manual 20. 1 – 3. Jesus: “What is the peace of God? It has been said that there is a kind of peace that is not of this world. How is it recognized? How is it found? And being found, how can it be retained? Let us consider each of these questions separately, for each reflects a different step along the way.
First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely. There is a contrast, yes, between this thing and all the past. But strangely, it is not a contrast of true differences. The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything.
How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. In this condition, peace cannot be found.
Therefore, forgiveness is the necessary condition for finding the peace of God. More even than this, in true forgiveness there must be peace. For what except attack will lead to war? And what but peace is opposite to war?
Here the initial contrast stands out clear and apparent. Yet when peace is found, the thought of war is meaningless. And it is conflict now that is perceived as nonexistent and unreal.”