ACIM Text Reading for January 3
A Course in Miracles
The Meaning of Miracles
I. Principles of Miracles
1. There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.
2. Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their source, which is far beyond evaluation.
3. Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.
4. All miracles mean life, and God is the giver of life. His voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to know.
5. Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.
6. Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.
7. Miracles are everyone’s right, but purification is necessary first.
8. Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less.
9. Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver.
10. The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose.
11. Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.
12. Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower or bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, and the other creates the spiritual.
13. Miracles are both beginnings and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth, which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and thus release the future.
14. Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of mind.
15. Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable you to learn how to use time constructively. It is thus a teaching device and a means to an end. Time will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.
16. Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.
17. Miracles transcend the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from the bodily level. That is why they heal.
18. A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously.
19. Miracles make minds one in God. They depend on cooperation because the Sonship is the sum of all that God created. Miracles therefore reflect the laws of eternity, not of time.
20. Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
21. Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others.
22. Miracles are associated with fear only because of the belief that darkness can hide. You believe that what your physical eyes cannot see does not exist. This leads to a denial of spiritual sight.
23. Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels.
24. Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both. You are a miracle, capable of creating in the likeness of your Creator. Everything else is your own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the creations of light are real.
25. Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time.
26. Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles.
27. A miracle is a universal blessing from God through me to all my brothers. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive.
28. Miracles are a way of earning release from fear. Revelation induces a state in which fear has already been abolished. Miracles are thus a means and revelation is an end.
29. Miracles praise God through you. They praise him by honoring his creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body-identification and affirm spirit-identification.
30. By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.
31. Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honors their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.
32. I inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you areperfect.
33. Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.
34. Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. By atoning for lack they establish perfect protection. The spirit’s strength leaves no room for intrusions.
35. Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects.
36. Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.
37. A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.
38. The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions. He separates the true from the false by his ability to perceive totally rather than selectively.
39. The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
40. The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.
41. Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.
42. A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.
43. Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.
44. The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of his Atonement.
45. A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
46. The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices. When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over.
47. The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless.
48. The miracle is the only device at your immediate disposal for controlling time. Only revelation transcends it, having nothing to do with time at all.
49. The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its true indiscriminateness.
50. The miracle compares what you have made with creation, accepting what is in accord with it as true, and rejecting what is out of accord as false.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for January 3
I do not understand anything I see in this room
[on this street, from this window, in this place].
1. Apply this idea in the same way as the previous ones, without making distinctions of any kind. Whatever you see becomes a proper subject for applying the idea. Be sure that you do not question the suitability of anything for application of the idea. These are not exercises in judgment. Anything is suitable if you see it. Some of the things you see may have emotionally charged meaning for you. Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.
2. The point of the exercises is to help you clear your mind of all past associations, to see things exactly as they appear to you now, and to realize how little you really understand about them. It is therefore essential that you keep a perfectly open mind, unhampered by judgment, in selecting the things to which the idea for the day is to be applied. For this purpose one thing is like another; equally suitable and therefore equally useful.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) Why do the text and workbook have different focuses, and at times seem to be saying different things?
A) Jesus refers to A Course in Miracles as a “multi-faceted curriculum,” and so it requires that his teaching be presented in different forms. The text, which was dictated to Helen first, contains the theology, metaphysical foundation, and teachings on accepting forgiveness for our special relationships, on which the curriculum rests. For example, only in the text — highlighted for the most part from Chapter 15 through Chapter 24 — does one find the exposition of the teaching on special and holy relationships. Nowhere in the workbook or manual is this very important subject specifically discussed. In the workbook, as Jesus explains in the introduction, the first part (Lessons 1-220) deals “with the undoing of the way you see now,” while the second part (Lessons 221-365) deals ” with the acquisition of true perception” (workbook, p.1; W-in.3:1). Nothing is mentioned about the theory of A Course in Miracles. Indeed, the specific relationship between the text and the workbook is clearly set forth in the Introduction:
A theoretical foundation such as the text provides is necessary as a framework to make the exercises in this workbook meaningful. Yet it is doing the exercises that will make the goal of the course possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of this workbook to train your mind to think along the lines the text sets forth (W-in.1).
It is because of these different purposes and focuses that at times the two books seem to be saying different things, and even at times seeming to contradict each other. Perhaps the best example of this interesting phenomenon relates to the role of the Holy Spirit. Many passages in the workbook urge students to ask Him for very specific help, as we can see in this example from the final lessons (361-365):
This holy instant would I give to You [the Holy Spirit].
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace. And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me. If I need a thought, that will He also give. And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him. He is in charge by my request. And He will bear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son (W-p.II.361-365).
And yet we are taught in the text that it is not the role of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the world of effects — the material world of specifics — but rather to help us change our minds about the cause of our problems: our belief in the reality of sin and guilt. For example:
In gentle laughter does the Holy Spirit perceive the cause [the mind’s belief in sin], and looks not to effects [the problems experienced in the physical world]. How else could He correct your error, who have overlooked the cause entirely? He bids you bring each terrible effect to Him that you may look together on its foolish cause and laugh with Him a while. You judge effects, but He has judged their cause. And by His judgment are effects removed (T-27.VIII.9:1-5).
Nevertheless, if students do not understand the afore-mentioned two levels that A Course in Miracles is written on, and which, by the way, it never specifically identifies as such, then one is apt to conclude that these statements are contradictory. To restate these levels briefly:
Level One: the Course’s metaphysical foundation, which emphasizes the difference between God and Heaven, the only reality, and the collective illusory world of the ego.Level Two: the Course’s practical level, which deals only with the illusory dream. Here, the contrast is between the wrong mind which is the ego’s thought system of sin, guilt, and fear, and the Holy Spirit’s correction of forgiveness within the right mind.
Regarding the subject of God, we find the same apparent contradiction. In workbook Lesson 71 we are told to ask God Himself for specific help:
What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?
Moreover, all of Part If of the workbook consists of prayers from the student to God the Father. This is so, despite the following very clear statement — interestingly enough, also from the workbook — that God does not hear our prayers:
Think not He hears the little prayers of those who call on Him with names of idols cherished by the world. They cannot reach Him thus (W-pI.183.7:3-4).
And in the manual for teachers we read these lines about the true nature of our words:
God does not understand words, for they were made by separated minds to keep them in the illusion of separation. Words can be helpful, particularly for the beginner, in helping concentration and facilitating the exclusion, or at least the control, of extraneous thoughts. Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality (M-21.1:7-10).
Clearly, the first passage has us asking God the Father a series of specific questions to which we would fully expect to receive answers. Part of the reason it is framed this way is that inherent within the separation thought is the statement that I am self-created, and therefore am my own source. So by asking God for help at what we have referred to as Level Two, the level of the illusory dream, I am acknowledging that I am not an autonomous self-created being, but rather someone who needs help in undoing this false self that I made up. It is in this way that the thought that I am on my own has been undone, and I realize that the answers to all my questions have already been given, and that they are one. As A Course in Miracles emphasizes, the Holy Spirit’s correction to my ego’s dream of separation has already occurred, because time is already over, as we have noted in a previous chapter (question 16 ). But since I walk around believing and experiencing otherwise, the correction will reach me in a form to which I can relate.
In conclusion, from these two examples alone it should be clear that Jesus indeed knew what he was doing when he dictated these three books of A Course in Miracles, and it is we who lack the understanding of how he integrates his curriculum and accomplishes the goal of changing our thought system.