Ask: How does one get to the point of experiencing God and peace? advise making God real to oneself. I have been a student of the Course since 1992. I still am not able to "make God real" to me, or for that matter, Jesus. On the other hand, I do realize that I am not truly willing to let go of my personal story and I am experiencing fear and anger much of the time, especially at my husband of 40 years. Periods of peace are now less frequent than before I began the Course. How does one get to the point of experiencing God and Peace? – PM

Actually, I do not advise making God real to you, but allowing God into your awareness. This is done simply by being willing to have God come into your awareness, and shows up either as a direct Revelation of God (very rare among individual minds, and within an individual life) or a miracle (very common, and necessary to become aware of God).
(It is not necessary for Jesus to be real to you for you to have inner peace. The story of Jesus is simply a metaphor for spiritual awakening, and it is no more real than any other personal story. But, some find the idea of “God” or “Christ” or “Holy Spirit” too abstract and need a concrete form to think about, and “Jesus” is a symbol offered for them to use).
A miracle can show up as a sudden shift in your internal experience toward peace or joy, or as an awareness of wholeness, regardless, or in spite of, what is appearing in the world. It can also be guidance from the Holy Spirit; an inspired answer to a question, spiritual or practical; a sudden insight into Truth; an awareness of Oneness with what seems like another; or an unseen experience of comfort in a time of crisis or despair.
Miracles have a cumulative effect. The more you experience miracles, the more God becomes a real Presence in your life, the more you trust God, so the more you have inner peace.
It is not uncommon for students to feel like they experience less peace after they start studying the Course. Inner peace is the result of being aware of God, and when you make the conscious choice to have inner peace, you run into your obstacles to being aware of God, therefore, to being at peace. These obstacles are the guilt and fear inherent in the personal thought system (ego), which comes from the belief that you have attacked God and will be punished; your attachment to a personal identity, which the personal thought system tells you offers you something more than Everything; and your projections of personal traits (anger, inconsistency, untrustworthiness, etc.) onto God.
So, what you need to do to allow God into your awareness is to look at the fearful thoughts that come up when you attempt to commune with God, to call on the Holy Spirit, or to extend Love. These thoughts represent beliefs that block your willingness to allow yourself to experience God. Often, you simply need to bring these beliefs to light for their obvious falsity to become apparent to you and to be released. Some beliefs, however, you will need to address again and again, reminding yourself, for example, that God is not an authoritarian being that you have to appease through righteous behavior, but the One Being that simply is. The belief in guilt takes many insidious, and often subtle, forms, but, as you work through many layers of this false belief, you will become more and more willing to trust God and to allow It into your experience, and peace will naturally follow.

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