Let's talk a bit about this notion that all you have to do is transcend "what's happening" in order to be at peace.
The major assumption here is that stuff is happening "on its own". The world is ticking over, events are occurring out of nowhere, no-one is necessarily responsible for making anything happen, attack thoughts pop into the mind seemingly out of nowhere, shit just happens, suffering happens, sickness happens, death happens. Seemingly all on its own with no input from you. So then you try to escape it.
This assumption is only possible if you perceive yourself as having NOTHING whatsoever to do with "causing" the world to be this way, causing sickness, causing suffering or death. The viewpoint is one of total powerlessness, in which the world seems to be the CAUSE OF YOU, the dream decides your fate, things happen to you against your will, and you are entirely at the effect of the world. It's a position of victimhood.
But this for everyone is usually the kind of mindset that you start out with, in the ego, identified with a limited body, perceiving the world as a huge objective reality that does stuff on its own. And then you come to the course and start trying to digest its teachings WITHIN that kind of viewpoint without questioning it. Without questioning the assumption that the world is running on autopilot, or that the body gets sick because of outside influences, or that death will "happen to you" when it decides to.
Finding yourself in a world that's attacking you (causing you, making you affected), you seek for SALVATION or ESCAPE, and you think that you will find it by some kind of AVOIDANCE of what's happening. That if you could crawl into a hole and hide and get away from the causes, you would find some kind of peace. This is entirely an ego strategy. It keeps the attacking world real, maintains external causes, and keeps you at the effect of everything, but then persuades you that if you will step back and sit on the fence just enough maybe you'll be beyond the reach of its influence. That it's totally normal for a hideous disease to be ripping the body apart so long as you're smiling, or that somehow it's natural to still get angry but "observe" the anger from a detached viewpoint. Split mind anyone?
This leads many people along the EGO path of seeking for salvation by some kind of "transcending" of what is happening. That is, firmly believing that what happens is entirely permanently outside your control, you have no power over it, it will STILL continue to do what it does, and there is nothing you can really to do STOP IT. And that therefore your only solution is to "change your mind about it" or try to "see it in a different way" so that, perhaps, you can WELCOME IT, or not interpret it as an attack, or position yourself beyond it somehow.
And so then the entire effort to progress spiritually becomes about a kind of withdrawal from the world, an attempt to transcend it, an attempt to bypass it, an attempt to KEEP THE WORLD functioning the way it does, keep the attacks, keep the wars, keep the sickness, keep the suffering, and keep the death, but find some way to "be at peace with it". Or to be happy "in spite of it".
The thing is, there is SOME truth to this, because the world is in fact not real, it's a dream, and taking it seriously makes you unhappier. Believing in its illusions and temptations produces stress. Reacting to it increases suffering. etc. So you reason that you will find more peace if you will sort of calm yourself down, become tranquil, try not to be upset by it and thus reach some kind of peaceful state. While the world keeps being murderous against your will. And then along comes death, and what can you do to stop it? Hold up a peace sign? Throw some vitamin water at it?
What happens here is that people find a kind of escape from suffering through avoidance and "re-framing". It's perfectly legitimate to reframe the world because the world is a dream and not to be taken seriously. But at the same time, while people will take "causality" away from the world as if to say, you are no longer "at the effect of" the world, they still won't go so far as to OWN THE CAUSALITY. They won't admit to having power over the world, nor admit to DREAMING IT. It's like becoming a passive dreamer who is still unconscious of the fact that the world is coming from their own mind.
They see no purpose or power or ability to actually INFLUENCE it in any way. And this is a result of the ASSUMPTION that the state of major limitation you find yourself in is "normal" and natural. In this state there has been no transcendence of the order of difficulty in miracles. The hierarchy of illusions has not been dismantled or flattened. The power of the mind has not been admitted to or owned or mastered. Miracles are not being performed. Healing is missing. In effect, every way in which you would be THE CAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENS, is completely ignored.
So what happens is, we still believe the world is the cause of everything, the world still spins on its own, events still happen outside your control, people still attack, the environment still causes your body to be sick, the death still decides when your time is up. But supposedly you are happy and at peace. And yet you are powerless. Passive. An "observer". A fence-sitter. Sitting there on a cloud doing basically nothing to engage with the world, heal sickness, cast out death or overcome the LAWS that you made up to govern you.
If you are under no laws but God's, why are you pinned down by gravity? Why are you restricted by space and time? Why do you depend on air and food? Why when "sickness happens" do you not realise you PUT IT THERE? Why when death seems to loom are you not seeing that you HAVE POWER OVER SICKNESS AND DEATH BECAUSE YOU MADE THEM UP AND CAN ABOLISH THEM BOTH?
Being "not at the effect of the world" does NOT mean "I don't let the world affect me". It means YOU STOP HURTING YOURSELF. It means YOU take responsibility for CAUSING everything, and you choose to stop attacking yourself. It means you stop believing there even IS an outside cause or power or will or mind that can affect you against your will. It means you stop believing that the body EVER "gets sick" through any process other than YOUR MIND ATTACKING IT. And it also requires the recognition that even death has NO POWER OVER YOU, and therefore you DO NOT MAKE IT HAPPEN, and there is NO cause anywhere to make it happen against your will. Jesus: "SWEAR NOT TO DIE!"
This is the part of ACIM that so many poeple do not want to see or admit to or own up to. That the world is not simply "not causing you" to be upset, but that YOU ARE CAUSING IT. SOMEONE is responsible for EVERYTHING that happens. Nothing happens without a MIND CAUSING IT. The planet does not even EXIST without a mind dreaming it. Sickness does not happen unless a MIND decides to make sickness. Death does not occur unless some MIND CHOOSES to make death appear to happen.
It is not anywhere near enough to simply seek out being "at peace" in a kind of escape from "a real world that does stuff to me on its own". That is not mastery. That is not transcendence, it's avoidance. There is no power in that. It's a state of passivity and really not much different than laying down and allowing death to happen "on its own". Being not "affected by" something does not mean it still HAPPENS and you are "okay with it". You have to look at WHY does it even HAPPEN AT ALL? It happens because YOU are responsible for making it happen. That's a whole different ballgame.
It's not merely about what the world does and how you respond to it, it's about YOU ARE THE DREAMER WHO IS MAKING IT ALL HAPPEN. And therefore you can choose to NOT making it happen, or to undo anything you have made. It is a position of POWER. It is a position of being able to HEAL whatever occurs. It is a position of miracle working and supernatural power. It's not a state of contemplating your navel and becoming mostly peaceful then having the body "become sick and die" in a total display of victimhood.
You are to not be affected by the world. That does not mean the world still does stuff "on its own" to you against your will. It means realizing the world DOES NOT do stuff on its own, YOU DO IT, and then deciding to STOP DOING IT. So that the world CANNOT DO ANYTHING without your consent. Because you do it all to yourself. This is the secret of salvation. This is why there is no power or cause in the world capable of bringing oppression, making you suffer, sick, sad or afraid. The world is the EFFECT OF YOU. Which means you, in your unlimited nature, should be able to CHANGE IT any way you see fit. Because you are the dreamer.
It's also not enough to meditate and "watch thoughts come and go". WHO MAKES THE THOUGHTS? You do. Stopping making the thoughts is correcting the problem at its CAUSE, rather than allowing the thought-generation to continue and to then try to BYPASS it. That is not peace. A healed mind should not be GENERATING attack thoughts. There should be no need to "observe" thought processes, given that those troublesome thought processes should not even be HAPPENING in the first place. It's not your job to let attack thoughts keep occurring by try to sidestep or ignore them (actually a form of disassociation). It's your job to uproot those motherfuckers at their source and stop making them.
The course says not to seek to change the world, but to change your mind about the world. A lot of people SOTP THERE. But it goes on to say, that if you change your mind about the world, THE WHOLE WORLD WILL CHANGE. Because your mind has the power to CHANGE THE DREAM. That is a VASTLY different standpoint than one of "only" changing your mind "about it". You never really change your mind ABOUT the dream anyway.... as you change your mind, the dream changes. There is no "about", unless you believe that the world is a SEPARATE THING FROM YOUR MIND.
"You made sickness and death and therefore can abolish both."
"You made the world."
"You maintain the world in your mind with your thoughts."
If your focus is to try to LET STUFF STILL HAPPEN and "just observe it", you are turning yourself into a fence-sitting inert powerless action-less miracle-less passive recipient of death.
Jesus states that "members of my party are ACTIVE WORKERS."
There is miracle mindedness, that is one thing. It's a state of true perception and readiness to perform miracles. But then there is MIRACLE DOING, or working, which is an ACT of CAUSING illusions to change or disappear. Miracle DOING is the part that so many are afraid of and do not want anything to do with. Because that means having power over the world and not just seeking out an escape from it.
"Your function on earth is healing." "You share the Holy Spirit's function on earth."
If you want to be a miracle WORKER, not just "miracle minded" or "transcendent", it has to go WAY beyond passivity or trying to meditate or trying to let stuff keep happening without any ABILITY to do anything about it. Faith without works is dead. You must EXTEND LOVE, CAUSE HEALING, and REVERSE DEATH. This is not a spectator sport UNTIL the entire sonship is awakened.