A Happy Personality Does Not Signal Peace
Sometimes I get comments from students of A Course in Miracles students along these lines: “I have a friend who is always happy and peaceful even though they aren’t spiritual”; “Here I am miserable on this path and I look around at all these people who are content with their lives without working a spiritual path.”
Some people just have happy personalities. I used to clean the house of a woman who had such an upbeat disposition that as a child she was given the nickname “Sunny”. But I was in her home and saw that she was just like everyone else with her concerns and worries and judgments, etc. Her sunny disposition was genuine for her personality but it was a superficial trait. She was really no happier than anyone else.
A friend of my wife had a large personality that seemed to fill the room when she entered it. She was funny and bubbly and chipper. Her upbeat personality was not a mask; it was genuine. But those close to her also knew of the darkness within her mind. A year ago she killed herself. A happy personality in not an expression of true happiness and lasting peace.
Just as some people have a naturally happy personality others naturally have a more quiet, thoughtful, and rational mind. These traits do not always come from an awareness of Truth. A mind can be quiet, thoughtful, and rational and still be immersed in the world-as-reality.
“Mistake not truce for peace, nor compromise for the escape from conflict. To be released from conflict means that it is over. The door is open; you have left the battleground.” (T-23.III.6)
Many people have made a truce with the ego (personal thought system) in their mind: “Don’t look within or question me (ego) and I (ego) will leave you alone.” They don’t experience the ego attacks that students of ACIM do because they are not threatening the ego. In fact, if your goal is to release yourself from guilt and fear, you can look at ego attacks as a sign that you are on the right track.
A bubbly or quiet personality or a truce with the ego does not lead to an end of conflict. The bubbly or quiet personality experiences conflict beneath these superficial traits. And the one who makes a truce with conflict has merely found a way to adapt to it. But none of these personalities have actually transcended the conflict.
I say this often and I’ll say it again: When peace came to this mind it did not change the personality of this self. Nor has this mind’s awareness of Truth changed the conflict in the ego thought system in this mind. An awareness of Truth has made this mind quieter, more thoughtful, and more rational and this no doubt presents the self differently to others. But the self’s personality has not fundamentally changed. It is not an ongoingly happy personality. In fact, this mind gave up the pursuit of personal happiness when peace came to stay. Peace is peace, after all. The fact that peace did not change the ego or the self only made it clear to this mind that those must be released for there to be only peace in this mind.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace.