In the early parts of both the text and workbook of A Course in Miracles, one encounters the word “indiscriminateness,” especially with respect to the miracle itself. It’s a clunky word, but it matters. We can’t helpfully ignore it.
The miracles 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 (T-1.1.49:1-3).
Lesson one urges us to apply its ideas “totally indiscriminately” (W-pI.1.2:4), lesson two calls on us to “[R]emain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application” (W-pI.2.1:6), and lesson five acknowledges the difficulty of being wholly “indiscriminate” (W-pI.5.4:1) while counseling us not to become casual in the face of it.
The word discriminate comes from the Latin verb “discrimire” which means to separated or distinguish, to make a distinction. To be discriminate – or to discriminate – is to judge and then, based on that judgment, to separate and hold apart.
Thus, to be indiscriminate, is to refuse judgment and – significantly – the separation that is always judgment’s effect.
The miracle does not perceive differences and so it heals quite apart from them. This is perhaps a leap from the traditional understanding of miracles in which they tend to resolve specific problems in favorable ways: the cancer mysteriously disappears, we get the unexpected job offer, it doesn’t rain on the family picnic.
We perceive our lives specifically but the miracle is abstract. It is indifferent to our personal preferences, our desires and appetites. How, then, does it function?
In a sense, it is the miracle that allows us to perceive a meaningless – an undifferentiated – world. It reminds us that to discriminate is always a function of judgment and that separation inevitably follows. And so our attention is directed away from the familiar and habitual. We begin to seek not evidence confirming hell but rather evidence suggestive of Heaven.
To accept the miracle is to accept the responsibility to see without judgment: to release what is external (including thought) from the painful drama of specific outcomes: and thus to avail ourselves of divine help. If we could do it on our own, we would have, and the course would be superfluous. Alas, it is not. Not yet anyway.
When we perceive the world as meaningless – neither good nor bad but wholly neutral – we will be tempted to fill it with our meaning. The false self – made and sustained in separation – is an unworthy author. Thus, when we resist its siren call to render the world capricious, arbitrary, violent and cruel, something new happens. Or can happen.
We perceive – we become aware of – what is, which is far outside the reach and influence of what we make to obscure and hide it.
The miracle urges us to resist the impulse to write meaning on an apparently meaningless world, and to wait instead to perceive the meaning that is already written there, by the Author whose capacity for Love supersedes ours by a magnitude we cannot fathom.
We cannot force an end to our sad capacity for discrimination but we can become aware of when we are doing it, and in those moments, ask for help in undoing both the habit and its effects. The miracle – what is indiscriminate – is always available, if we will only consent to it. The miracle – not the false self we have convinced ourselves we are – will gently take us beyond our fear of the meaningless to our home in reality: what was created whole and perfect: the given: what is.
At any moment – merely blink and it is done – we can dissolve back into the singularity of what is, the peace that surpasses understanding, the love that patiently waits on us all.