I give the miracles I have received.
We can only give what we have – this makes sense to all of us. I can’t give you a slice of pie if I don’t have a pie. Also, if I want pie, then I have to keep the pie for myself. But A Course in Miracles upends this familiar logic, arguing that giving a thing away is how I receive it. Gifting it is “proof that what you have is yours” (W-pI.159.1:8).
This logic leads naturally to one of the sweetest and most instructive paragraphs in all the Text, Workbook and Manual for Teachers.
You understand that you are healed when you give healing. You accept forgiveness as accomplished in yourself when you forgive. You recognize your brother as yoursef, and thus do you perceive that you are whole. There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid, and giving them away (W-pI.159.2:1-5).
To think this way – which is to become ready, willing and able to open the storehouse of our mind and share its contents without qualification or condition – is to see not with the body’s eyes nor the world’s logic but with Christ’s vision, which both sees and obeys only truth.
Christ beholds no sin in anyone. And in His sight the sinless are as one. Their holiness was given by His Father and Himself (W-pI.159.4:4-6).
We do not presently see this way, yet we can learn to. Our learning is accomplished by our willingness to see our brothers and sisters as our equals, and to recognize in all of us our shared desire for peace and happiness. We don’t want to be victors, we don’t want to be masters, and we don’t want to be better. We recognize in those desires only cause for suffering, and we want something else now. We want the other way.
Thus, we see our fundamental equality, and seeing it naturally dissolves our desire to be separate. My sister’s happiness is my own; my brother’s peace is mine. What else can it mean that we can only give the miracles we have been given?
So tentatively we perceive the peace and happiness that is our inheritance of creations of a loving God, and as we do, that happiness and peace naturally extends itself. It is less like we are entering a storehouse and discovering treasure, and more like we are dusty windows being cleansed so a living light can stream through them and reach the world.
Happiness and love are extension; that is what they are. They can’t be possessed or kept to oneself.
Thus, what we are discovering is not something about the discrete self – my spirituality, my wellness, my growth. Rather, it is the discovery that what we share transcends and thus undoes the illusion of being a discrete self in the first place. Christ’s vision does not acknowledge separation.
Christ’s vision is the holy ground in which the lilies of forgiveness set their roots. This is their home. They can be brought from here back to the world, but they can never grow in its unnourishing and shallow soil (W-pI.159.8:1-3).
Thus, our ministry (e.g., W-pI.157.5:1) becomes the work of becoming messengers of love – carrying “lilies of forgiveness” from the real world back into the nightmare of separation, where they might gently transform the world into the happy dream in which God is remembered and the grounds for separation (and dreaming itself) are dissolved.
And what we give away becomes our own, and its bounty is increased a thousandfold. We become the Christ who dreams of a forgiven world, gently helping guide it from dreams of death and pain to dreams of life and healing. This is our calling, and every moment of every day – every relationship, no matter how apparently trivial or brief – becomes the means by which we remember together our “unlost and everlasting sanctity in God” (W-pI.159.10:8).