A Course in Miracles Lesson 185

I want the Peace of God.

It sounds good, doesn’t it? It feels good saying it. But is it our truth?

To say that we want the peace of God and mean it, is to remember instantly and forever that we are not separate from the Peace of God. But – and the previous lesson’s emphasis on the trickiness of language is relevant here – to say it and not mean it, or mean it only partially or sometimes – can only lead to pain.

Lesson 185 of A Course in Miracles makes clear that the peace of God is the end of the dream of separation. It is the end of guilt and judgment, and it is the end of suffering. Our spiritual awakening (in the context of ACIM) makes clear that our honest desire to remember our oneness with God will perfectly and eternally overcome the ego-based illusion of separation.

No one can mean these words and not be healed. He cannot play with dreams, nor think he is himself a dream. He cannot make a hell and think it real. He wants the peace of God, and it is given him (W-pI.185.2:1-4).

The dream of separation refers to the belief that we are individual, separate entities disconnected from God and from one another. According to A Course in Miracles, this perception is an illusion, a dream-like state that causes suffering and conflict – both within us and in the world we project. The dream of separation perpetuates the ego’s need for control and reinforces the mistaken idea that happiness is contingent on external factors.

In contrast, the peace of God represents the ultimate state of unity, love, and harmony. It is a state of knowledge that transcends the ego’s illusions and deceit by remembering the interconnectedness of all life. There is no separation. When we truly desire the peace of God, we signal our readiness to awaken from the dream of separation and embrace the reality of our true nature.

To achieve the peace of God, we must acknowledge our desire for it and also renounce our willingness to accept any alternative. We have to let go of the ego’s insistence on maintaining the illusion of separation. For most of us, this means becoming humble with respect to our need for help and guidance.

We have to actively join with our brothers and sisters and, critically, not insist what form the joining will take.

The mind which means that all it wants is peace must join with other minds, for that is how peace is obtained. And when the wish for peace is genuine, the means for finding it is given, in aform each mind that seeks for it in honesty can understand (W-pI.185.6:1-2).

Is it clear? We have to reach a state of profound honesty and integrity with respect to this one desire. We have to mean it. When we mean it, then we will realize it in our living in form that we understand. Our will aligns with the will of God and naturally we begin to experience glimpses of God’s peace.

Don’t insist on form. Insist on peace and be willing to accept it on whatever terms God chooses.

You choose God’s peace, or you have asked for dreams. And dreams will come as you requested them. Yet will God’s peace come just as certainly, and to remain with you forever (W-pI.185.9:4-6).

Our continued practice of forgiveness – which is right-mindedness manifesting as compassion, service and acceptance, the barriers that maintain the illusion of separation are readily undone. We see ourselves and others as extensions of God’s love, rather than as separate entities competing for limited resources. This shift in perception allows us to experience the peace of God more consistently and deeply.

We learn the truth – and it becomes yet another unshakeable stone in the foundation of our learning – that anyone who seeks God can only succeed, for what they seek is only their own self.

←Lesson 184
Lesson 186→


  1. “I want to want the peace of God”…I found this intermediate step useful to practice this lesson! The stage of total dissolution of wants and goals seems so out of reach. And the text made me feel cornered: “if you don’t feel peace, it’s because you still want other things”. Coming to think about it, even monks have desires. I used to actively practice Vipassana and would go on 10-day silent retreat camps with no phone, tablet, books, pens, or external distractions. This experience came closest to a state of ‘desirelessness’ for me. Yet, even in that environment, desires lingered—cravings for the 6 AM warm Chaï that would be served, the 7 AM nap, or the sound of the bell indicating the end of meditation and permission to move your legs. So, what I want is to want, just ever so slightly more sincerely, the peace of God. This I can do. It’s interesting to notice how the course is lenient and patient with us most of the time “you do not have to believe those words for them to have their effect”, and at other times like in this lesson, it is so uncompromising: you can’t experience the peace of god if you have other desires, they are mutually exclusive. Am I understanding this lesson right Sean?? Thank you for all your texts. I have been reading silently every day and your words really help! Still trying to hang in there with the text and the workbook…but boy, is it challenging!!

    1. Dear Audrey,

      It certainly sounds like you understand it.

      It is my experience as well that the Course is sometimes very gentle and forgiving and then other times comes on without equivocation. I think it is gentle with application but firm in its theology. In other words, don’t sugar-coat the truth that we want something other than peace but also, don’t forget this is a hard lesson to learn and practice.

      There is a line in the Manual for Teachers that the state fo grace to which we are direct can seem impossible to reach for a very long time. I think for me the work has become less about reaching some state of completion (with want, say) and more about being as honest as possible about how hard the practice is and the how discouraging it can seem, the deeper one goes into their thought system.

      I think that is really the work – to become almost child-like in our honesty and, by extension, in our trust, and to really allow the healing to be done unto us, rather than perceive it as an accomplishment of our own.

      Truly, the course meets the serious student where they are. There are no mistakes in salvation 🙂

      Thank you for sharing this path with me. And my apologies for the upcoming juncture where my lesson posts stop – it is a slow and ongoing project.


  2. Thank you for your thoughtful words, Sean. The work you did committing yourself to posting every day about the course is absolutely titanic. And maybe also the incompletion is serving its own purpose, in the grand scheme of things: encouraging readers to cultivate their own trust in the process and their own understanding of the course’s words. Thank you for this contribution, bless you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.