A Course in Miracles: Lesson 91

Miracles are seen in light.

The essence of this lesson is to continue undoing our identification with the physical body. We slip quite quickly past the main premise – the light in which miracles are seen – and onto the fact that our physical eyes and physical senses are not capable of the required vision. A new experience of self is needed, and we taking a big step in that direction. Indeed, it is as if A Course in Miracles is asking that we switch our allegiance from the physical to the spiritual.

Two aspects of this lesson stand out as needing especial clarity. The first is figuring out what to do with our body and the second is realizing that we still don’t really know “who” is doing the teaching and “who” is doing the learning. Both of these points can lead to considerable confusion which, while hardly fatal, can still obfuscate our ultimate realization of truth.

Take note that this lesson simply reminds us that “we” – whatever we are – is not the body. But it does not tell us what to do with or about that body. We are simply being asked to revisit and reconsider our identification with the body. I point this out because a lot of students – me included – are apt to slip into what the course has referred to as a particularly unhealthy denial. We start to deny the body. In our eagerness to be spiritual, we pretend that our body isn’t there. We try to deny that we are having any physical experience at all. And we denigrate the physical experiences we do have.

This is not what the course asks of us. If you look closely – at this lesson and others – you will see that the course is very uninterested in the body. That is all. Its focus is simply elsewhere. Can we model that? We aren’t being asked to do battle with the body. The course doesn’t ask us to stop eating or sleeping. It doesn’t tell us to sit in a full lotus position for three hours a day. Your body isn’t the problem. The world isn’t the problem. Our belief in those things is the problem.

And we can’t undo a belief by denying its existence. This is so important that it has to be stated and restated. It’s like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer tells Jerry: “don’t fight your body Jerry. That’s a fight you’re going to lose.” And he’s right! As soon as we’re trying to manage our bodies – its senses, its appetites – then we’ve lost.

Our bodies – like the world in which they dwell – will be undone not through conflict but through a change in identification. It’s going to be so gentle, and so effortless, we’re going to wonder what the big deal was all about.

Second, we have always keep in mind that we aren’t really doing anything here. We aren’t creating reality through some glorious cooperative venture with Jesus and a dozen angels. We aren’t midwifing miracles from one level of reality to another. We are really just relaxing and allowing the truth to be, in its own way and of its own volition.

The miracle is always there. Its presence is not caused by your vision; its absence is not the result of your failure to see. It is only your awareness of miracles that is affected. You will see them in light; you will not see them in the dark (W-pI.91.1:4-7).

And so we have to breathe. We have to practice, bringing what the lesson refers to as our “meager efforts” to bear on this business of identifying not with the body but with spirit. Don’t struggle with this. Don’t rely on what you know or think you know. It’s not going to happen that way.

What you are is a belief to be undone. But what you really are must be revealed to you. The belief you are a body calls for correction, being a mistake. The truth of what you are calls on the strength in you to bring to your awareness what the mistake conceals (W-pI.91.6:7-10).

The Holy Spirit teaches us. We are simply opening up to the lessons, allowing them the space to work inside of us. That’s the sum total of our contribution: willingness. We bring that to the table and the Holy Spirit does the rest. Accepting that is hard because we’re used to effort and we’re at home with ambition and self-improvement. But that’s fool’s gold. It really is. The real progress lies in surrender.

2 thoughts on “A Course in Miracles: Lesson 91”

  1. Thanks, Sean. Now I know what to embroider on the sampler: “The real progress lies in surrender.” Seriously, though, that is truly key and I so appreciate your stating it. I’m a fairly new student of the Course (up to Lesson 91 in the Workbook) and finding your insightful commentary has been wonderfully helpful. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome, Cliff. I’m glad it’s helpful. Samplers are awesome! There’s a niche out there for ACIM-inspired samplers, I’m sure . . . 🙂 Thanks again for sharing – please keep it touch, as time and inclination allow . . .

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