(185) I want the peace of God.
The introduction to Review VI says that "each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation, if it were learned truly" (W-pI.RVI.In.1:3). It adds, "Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day" (W-pI.RVI.In.2:2). I find that easy to believe about today's lesson. If you are into memorization (as I am), this lesson is an excellent one to add to your repertoire.
It's worth noticing the list of four verb forms that are identified as steps in making any of these ideas into "the whole curriculum":
Understood: No matter how strongly the Course advocates experience, and points out that a universal theology is impossible (see C-In.2:5), you cannot get around the fact that it makes understanding very important. How can we enter into the experience of an idea if we do not understand it? Understanding is here presented as the fundamental step. Before we can really utilize the idea "I want the peace of God," we have to understand it. Implied in the idea (and clearly presented in Lesson 185) is the fact that there is a very strong thought in my mind, perhaps unacknowledged, that I do not want the peace of God, and this is demonstrated by the fact that I do not experience it. That contrary thought, however, is a mistaken one, to be dismissed whenever we become aware of it, and replaced with the truth: I do want the peace of God.
Practiced: That is what we are doing in these Workbook lessons. Practicing. Repeating frequently. Spending some extended time allowing the thought to soak in and penetrate the recesses of our minds.
Accepted: Notice that acceptance comes after practice. Our minds do not accept the idea at the start, even after we understand the idea. When we begin to practice, we do not truly accept that we want the peace of God. We think we want something else, something more, something besides peace. It takes a good deal of practice to retrain our minds, until we begin to realize that "the peace of God is everything I want" (1:2).
Applied: Having accepted the idea, we can now begin to apply it to each different "seeming happening" during the day. When the car cuts us off in traffic: "I want the peace of God." When we find ourselves wistfully longing for a more fulfilling relationship: "The peace of God is everything I want." When we begin to feel driven to obtain some earthly goal at any cost: "The peace of God is my one goal" (1:3). When we start to think we don't know what to do or where to go: "The peace of God is the aim of all my living here." And when we start to feel impelled to fulfill some need of our bodies: "I am not a body. The peace of God is everything I want. I am free."
Thank You, Father, for today's reminder of Your peace. There is nothing else I need, and nothing else I want. Oh, may today's lesson become the keynote of my life, so that I can say and truly mean: "The peace of God is my one goal."