Central Theme: I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.
To see ourselves as bodies is to be in conflict. Peace can be found only in God. Searching for peace in the realm of the physical is doomed to failure, because the body is an expression of conflict.
The prayer in this review lesson is about not wandering from “the way of peace” (1:2). What might that mean? Obviously, it refers to any unpeaceful state of mind, any thought of antagonism, or anger, or attack, or hatred. The Course calls us to mental vigilance, watching our thoughts for anything that opposes peace, and, as soon as such a thought is detected, bringing it to the presence of the Holy Spirit for healing. We are told to think along these lines: “This is not what I want. I want the peace of God.” So when we sense our thoughts moving into conflict mode, we respond. Perhaps we pray, “Let me not wander from the way of peace” (1:2).
Wandering from the way of peace, however, includes more than overt attack. The ego can disguise attack very subtly; indeed, the Course sees even our special love relationships, our false forgiveness, and our ego’s attempts at empathy as veiled attacks. If there is no peace except God’s peace, then to seek for peace in some other way is really a hidden attachment to attack. If there is only one road to my destination, and I choose not to follow the road, I am choosing my destination’s opposite. It is really seeking peace through war, which is impossible. The ego, for instance, often seeks for illusory peace through force, attempting to physically or mentally overpower the situation. We cannot find peace by attempting to browbeat the world into submission. On any such road, we are not moving toward peace; we are lost.
The way to God’s peace is through following the Holy Spirit, “Him Who leads me home” (1:3). When we try to solve our problems on our own, we are not following the way to peace:
The ego always tries to preserve conflict. It is very ingenious in devising ways that seem to diminish conflict, because it does not want you to find conflict so intolerable that you will insist on giving it up. (T-7.VIII.2:2-3)
Trying to use our own ingenuity to resolve conflict, then, is another way we wander from the true road to peace.
When conflict seems to arise today, let me remember my lesson, that there is no peace except the peace of God. Let me instantly seek peace, but not in my own way. Let me turn to the Holy Spirit within and ask His direction.
When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness, in spite of fear, to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one you would rather have. He will never fail in this. (T-18.V.6:1-2)