ACIM Text Reading for January 6
A Course in Miracles
Text – Chapter 1
The Meaning of Miracles
II. Revelation, Time and Miracles
Revelation induces complete but temporary suspension of doubt and fear. It reflects the original form of communication between God and his creations, involving the extremely personal sense of creation sometimes sought in physical relationships. Physical closeness cannot achieve it. Miracles, however, are genuinely interpersonal, and result in true closeness to others. Revelation unites you directly with God. Miracles unite you directly with your brother. Neither emanates from consciousness, but both are experienced there. Consciousness is the state that induces action, though it does not inspire it. You are free to believe what you choose, and what you do attests to what you believe.
Revelation is intensely personal and cannot be meaningfully translated. That is why any attempt to describe it in words is impossible. Revelation induces only experience. Miracles, on the other hand, induce action. They are more useful now because of their interpersonal nature. In this phase of learning, working miracles is important because freedom from fear cannot be thrust upon you. Revelation is literally unspeakable because it is an experience of unspeakable love.
Awe should be reserved for revelation, to which it is perfectly and correctly applicable. It is not appropriate for miracles because a state of awe is worshipful, implying that one of a lesser order stands before his Creator. You are a perfect creation, and should experience awe only in the Presence of the Creator of perfection. The miracle is therefore a sign of love among equals. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.
“No man cometh unto the Father but by me” does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist. The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. You stand below me and I stand below God. In the process of “rising up,” I am higher because without me the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass. I bridge the distance as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it. This may appear to contradict the statement “I and my Father are one,” but there are two parts to the statement in recognition that the Father is greater.
Revelations are indirectly inspired by me because I am close to the Holy Spirit, and alert to the revelation-readiness of my brothers. I can thus bring down to them more than they can draw down to themselves. The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation. Revelation is not reciprocal. It proceeds from God to you, but not from you to God.
The miracle minimizes the need for time. In the longitudinal or horizontal plane the recognition of the equality of the members of the Sonship appears to involve almost endless time. However, the miracle entails a sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception. This introduces an interval from which the giver and receiver both emerge farther along in time than they would otherwise have been. The miracle thus has the unique property of abolishing time to the extent that it renders the interval of time it spans unnecessary. There is no relationship between the time a miracle takes and the time it covers. The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. It does so by the underlying recognition of perfect equality of giver and receiver on which the miracle rests. The miracle shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating certain intervals within it. It does this, however, within the larger temporal sequence.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for January 6
I am upset because I see something that is not there.
The exercises with this idea are very similar to the preceding ones. Again, it is necessary to name both the form of upset (anger, fear, worry, depression and so on) and the perceived source very specifically for any application of the idea. For example:
I am angry at ____ because I see something that is not there.
I am worried about ____ because I see something that is not there.
Today’s idea is useful for application to anything that seems to upset you, and can profitably be used throughout the day for that purpose. However, the three or four practice periods which are required should be preceded by a minute or so of mind searching, as before, and the application of the idea to each upsetting thought uncovered in the search.
Again, if you resist applying the idea to some upsetting thoughts more than to others, remind yourself of the two cautions stated in the previous lesson:
There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.
I cannot keep this form of upset and let the others go. For the purposes of these exercises, then, I will regard them all as the same.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #288: What is a miracle? Although they are carefully described, I am still wondering what they are. Do they resemble what we commonly think of as miracles? Do we know when they occur, or do they happen constantly without us being aware of them? Can you give any examples of miracles?
A: First, a miracle has nothing to do with anything external. Miracles pertain only to what is going on in our own minds. In that sense, they are not at all what traditional religious systems have thought of as miracles. Traditionally, conditions in the body and the world have been viewed as the problem; and therefore miracles, simply put, were viewed as the healing or removal of those conditions, usually through some kind of divine or supernatural intervention. A Course in Miracles, on the other hand, teaches that the body and the world are projections of thoughts in our minds: “It [the world] is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition… Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world” (T.21.in.1:5,7). Now, if you could really accept that the world is merely a projection of a thought of sin and guilt in your mind, you would realize that trying to alter things in the world or the body is ultimately futile, and that changing your mind about the reality of sin and guilt is truly healing. That is why the workbook states: “A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false” (W.pII.13.1,2,3). The miracle corrects our thinking, not a condition in the world or the body. Yet this passage also implies that we are not to blithely dismiss our perceptions of the world either. Rather, we are to look at the devastation in our lives, or the world-at-large, and bring that perception to the loving presence of Jesus in our minds. There, in our choosing to join with that reflection of truth, we will remember that what we are perceiving is but the content of a dream, not reality. “The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true” (T.28.II.7:1). Once we are joined with the reflection of truth in our minds, we would be guided solely by that in responding to the situations in our lives.
This takes a lot of practice, which is why we have a workbook with 365 lessons, at the end of which Jesus tells us that we are just at the beginning stages of this process of thought-reversal. The entire Course is about this. Our thinking right now is the reverse of what the truth is. What we are so used to calling causes are really effects. A miracle occurs when we remember and accept — for just an instant — that the cause of our and others’ lack of peace, sickness, deprivation, etc., is not something of the body or the world, but rather a choice we are making in our minds to identify with the thought system of separation and sin, guilt, and fear. “The miracle is the first step in giving back to cause the function of causation, not effect” (T.28.II.9:3).
A miracle occurs when we do not take another’s attack personally, recognizing instead that we all share the same needs and goals; we all share the same insanity of the ego, and we all share the same sanity of Christ’s vision. Sometimes we are not aware of having made that shift in our minds, sometimes we are. Miracles occur as frequently as our willingness allows them to.