The idea for today begins to describe the conditions that prevail in the other way of seeing. Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter. It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.
Three longer practise periods are required for today’s exercises. One in the morning arid one in the evening are advised, with an additional one to be undertaken at any time in between that seems most conducive to readiness. All applications should be done with your eyes closed. It is your inner world to which the applications of today’s idea should be made.
Some five minutes of mind searching are required for each of the longer practise periods. Search your mind for fear thoughts, anxiety-provoking situations, “offending” personalities or events, or anything else about which you are harbouring unloving thoughts. Note them all casually, repeating the idea for today slowly as you watch them arise in your mind, and let each one go, to be replaced by the next.
If you begin to experience difficulty in thinking of specific subjects, continue to repeat the idea to yourself in an unhurried manner, without applying it to anything in particular. Be sure, however, not to make any specific exclusions.
The shorter applications are to be frequent, and made whenever you feel your peace of mind is threatened in any way. The purpose is to protect yourself from temptation throughout the day. If a specific form of temptation arises in your awareness, the exercise should take this form:
I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.
If the inroads on your peace of mind take the form of more generalised adverse emotions, such as depression, anxiety or worry, use the idea in its original form. If you find you need more than one application of today’s idea to help you change your mind in any specific context, try to take several minutes and devote them to, repeating the idea until you feel some sense of relief. It will help you if you tell yourself specifically:
I can replace my feelings of depression, anxiety or worry [or my thoughts about this situation, personality or event] with peace.
Today’s idea is an attempt to recognise that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects. A full five minutes should be devoted to the morning and evening applications. In these practise periods, the idea should be repeated as often as you find comfortable, though unhurried applications are essential. Alternate between surveying your outer and inner perceptions, but without an abrupt sense of shifting.
Merely glance casually around the world you perceive as outside yourself, then close your eyes and survey your inner thoughts with equal casualness. Try to remain equally uninvolved in both, and to maintain this detachment as you repeat the idea throughout the day.
The shorter exercise periods should be as frequent as possible. Specific applications of today’s idea should also be made immediately, when any situation arises which tempts you to become disturbed. For these applications, say:
There is another way of looking at this.
Remember to apply today’s idea the instant you are aware of distress. It may be necessary to take a minute or so to sit quietly and repeat the idea to yourself several times. Closing your eyes will probably help in this form of application.
Have you ever wondered what A Course In Miracles means when it says:
What could God give but Knowledge of Himself? (Text 18.VI)
Yet even forgiveness is not the end. Forgiveness does make lovely, but it does not create. It is the source of healing, but it is the messenger of Love and not its Source. Here you are led, that God Himself can take the final step unhindered, for here does nothing interfere with Love, letting It be Itself. A step beyond this holy place of forgiveness, a step still further inward but the one you cannot take, transports you to something completely different. Here is the Source of Light; nothing perceived, forgiven nor transformed. But merely known.
This course will lead to Knowledge, but Knowledge Itself is still beyond the scope of our curriculum. Nor is there any need for us to try to speak of what must forever lie beyond words. We need remember only that whoever attains the real world, beyond which learning cannot go, will go beyond it, but in a different way. Where learning ends there God begins, for learning ends before Him Who is complete where He begins, and where there is no end. It is not for us to dwell on what cannot be attained. There is too much to learn. The readiness for Knowledge still must be attained. (Text 18.IX)
The Course speaks of the Knowledge that you can’t get in college. Get updates to this blog and you will hear more readings from Knowledge, the book, the only collection of scriptures that point purposefully at the experience referred to in the Introduction to the Clarification of Terms in the Teacher’s Manual:
A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends… The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give… and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.