[acimlessons_list] Lesson 185 - July 4
sue at circleofa.org
Tue Jul 3 06:54:24 EDT 2007
Lesson 185 - July 4
I want the peace of God
PURPOSE To let go your attachment to the things of the world, so that you
can unify your intent behind the peace of God, realizing that His peace is
the only thing you ever really wanted.
MORNING/EVENING QUIET TIME: At least five minutes; ideally, thirty or more.
* Search your mind carefully for the dreams-the things in this world-you
still cherish. Locate them not by the words you use, but by your desire for
them. <Consider but what you believe will comfort you, and bring you
happiness> (8:4). In other words, be honest in your search. However, don't
be dismayed by what your honesty uncovers. You may feel shame over certain
dreams and be tempted to conceal them. Instead, realize that all dreams are
one. Of every dream you thus uncover, ask this question: <Is this what I
would have, in place of Heaven and the peace of God?>
* The goal is to reach a place where you can say with real sincerity, <I
want the peace of God.> To really mean this, you must also mean that you
DON'T want the things of this world, for the two are mutually exclusive. It
also helps to realize that <I want the peace of God> does not mean <I have
come to want His peace,> but <I have come to realize that His peace is the
only thing I ever wanted.>
REMARKS: The point today is to unify your intent. <You have been weak at
times, uncertain in your purpose, and unsure of what you wanted, where to
look for it, and where to turn for help in the attempt> (10:5). Today, try
to have a single intent. Ask for God's peace and mean it. <Make this request
with deep sincerity> (10:3). Make the request for everyone, not just
yourself, for this is what everyone wants. Realize that you are uniting your
intent with the call of every heart and with the Will of God Himself.
HOURLY REMEMBRANCE: One or two minutes as the hour strikes (reduce if
circumstances do not permit).
Do a short version of the morning/evening exercise. Close by asking for
God's guidance for the coming hour and thanking Him for His gifts in the
Kind of interesting that a lesson about the peace of God falls on the day
that celebrates a revolution (Independence Day in the USA). Our local Unity
minister suggested that instead of <Independence Day> we should celebrate
<Inner-dependence Day,> which I thought was a nice play on words and quite
This lesson teaches two seemingly opposing things. First, it teaches us that
we do not yet really mean it when we say, <I want the peace of God.> For if
we meant it, we would have it. <No one can mean these words and not be
Many have said these words. But few indeed have meant them. You have but to
look upon the world you see around you to be sure how very few they are.
Indeed, all you need to do is watch the evening news. Or spend one day at
Second, it teaches us that, in spite of our obvious dedication to things
other than peace, at heart we REALLY DO want the peace of God. All of us do.
<We want the peace of God. This is no idle wish> (7:2-3). <You want the
peace of God. And so do all who seem to seek for dreams> (10:1-2).
The task the Course sets before us is uncovering and fully accepting BOTH of
these facts. To accept them fully, they must be accepted as true of
everyone, not just of ourselves. Underneath all the seeking for illusions,
everyone wants peace. This is something that is universally true, a fact
that can be totally depended upon. It is true, as the line I quoted in the
last paragraph asserts, even of those who seem to be seeking for something
else. They may not be AWARE that the peace of God is what they really want,
but it is true, nevertheless (10:4). Our job in interacting with others is
to remember this universal longing of every heart, and to join ourselves
with it in the other person, even when they are totally unaware of it
Yet before we can firmly believe that we, and everyone, want the peace of
God above all else, we have to face the fact that we have foolishly believed
we wanted something else more than peace. For if we wanted only peace, we
would have only peace; that is how the power of our minds works. So there
must be something, or some things, that we have valued more than peace. Our
first job, then, is uncovering these competing desires, assessing them
honestly, recognizing that they are only idle wishes, and letting them go in
favor of peace.
We want the most amazingly trivial things instead of peace. I watch a young
child burst into tears and throw a tantrum because he cannot have his
favorite breakfast, and I think, <The only difference between him and me is
that I have developed sophisticated ways of camouflaging my tantrums.> I
share a house with Robert Perry and his family and another single man, and
we often have guests. I have found myself losing my peace over empty ice
cube trays and vanishing rolls of toilet paper. I have given away my peace
in concern about who last emptied the garbage.
Perhaps, today, we can all stop ourselves when these <little> moments of
separation occur and ask ourselves, <Is this what I would have, in place of
Heaven and the peace of God?> (8:8). Do I really value a roll of toilet
paper more than God's peace?
Let me point out one more interesting observation of this lesson: you cannot
have peace alone. <The mind which means that all it wants is peace must join
with other minds, for that is how peace is obtained> (6:1). To have peace we
have to be willing to let the other person into our hearts. We have to
recognize their desire for peace equally with our own.
The temptation is always to think, <I want peace; the problem is with the
other person.> Always remember, though: if you want peace, you will have it.
No one else can take it from you. If you cannot be at peace when the other
person seems to want something besides peace, what you are teaching that
person is that your peace depends on their changing. This just reinforces
the same belief in the other person, and they continue to believe that their
peace depends on them changing you.
Our job is to see past the competing desires in that other person to the
universal reality that lies underneath. However we respond to them, if we
are to teach peace, our actions must affirm to that person that peace
already lies within them, ready for them as soon as they are willing to
receive it. We join our own intent with what they seek above all things
(10:4). By our faith in that intent, however hidden it may appear, we draw
it out of them; we give them the opportunity to recognize it within
themselves and align their mind with it:
It is this one intent we seek today, uniting our desires with the need of
every heart, the call of every mind, the hope that lies beyond despair, the
love attack would hide, the brotherhood that hate has sought to sever, but
which still remains as God created it.(14:1)
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