The First Principle of A Course in Miracles

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 T-1.I.1:1-4).

Imagine I set four photographs on a table before you: one is of a 1-pound weight, one of a 10-pound weight, one of a 100-pound weight, and one of a 1,000-pound weight.

Which photograph is harder to lift?

It’s a silly question, right? They are all the same. What they depict is different – what they depict would present serious lifting problems – but since they are just images, they are identical. You can lift each one with the same ease.

This is how the Holy Spirit views our many problems, which is another way of saying, this is how miracles are applied in and to our lives. Our lives – because they are comprised of differences, both inner and outer – make this principle seem counter-intuitive, if not outright insane.

For example, when The Sopranos ended and there were no more new episodes to look forward to, I felt sad. But when my father died, I felt waves of grief and confusion that shook the very foundation of my existence. I’ve long since mostly forgotten about The Sopranos. I think about my father every day.

Very different right? And who among us would suggest otherwise?

And yet . . .

. . . and yet to the Holy Spirit, they are symptoms of the same problem: the belief that I am a body in a world, and that all the apparent differences that bring forth that world and body are real, and their effects are real and not all the same.

The whole program of A Course in Miracles comes down to this one error: we are mistaken about what we are. But when we correct this error, all the error’s effects disappear.

In theory, the correction of this error could happen as quickly and simply as throwing a switch. Just see everything as the same! For most of us, however, it is a learning process which evolves in time, which process the Course refers to as Atonement.

That is, in bodies in the world over time, we learn that we are not bodies and there is neither a world nor time.

A miracle is the translation of fear into love, of hate into love, of confusion into love. Miracles are illusions, because they correct mistakes that never happened, yet to the mind that believes mistakes are real, miracles are powerful healing tools. They are as real as we need them to be in order to learn that they are not real at all.

Since “all expressions of love are maximal” (T-1.I.1:4), what the miracle heals is not what matters. What matters is the love that inspires it; it is that love to which our attention need be given, because it is that love that is our true self and home. Love is what we are in truth.

The power of God, and not of you, engenders miracles. The miracle itself is but the witness that you have the power of God in you. That is the reason why the miracle gives equal blessing to all who share in it, and also why everyone shares in it. The power of God is limitless . . . it offers everything to every call from anyone (T-14.6:9-13).

We aren’t required to believe this. In bodies, we really can’t believe it anyway. We are simply invited to give attention to the presence of – and the function of – miracles in our life and learn from them what they are given to teach.

In love, there are no differences or distinctions. It is not a question of resolving to love all things the same (for that sustains the premise of separation), but of not seeing the differences at all. When the differences disappear, what problem could possibly remain? What conflict could possibly exist?

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  1. Oh Sean, the example of 4 photos is awesome – the best way to put it that I have ever heard. (Not to be too effusive about it, but I laughed out loud it was so surprisingly “spot on!”) I am gently learning this “sameness” to everything. I am so glad the “Holy Spirit” is a “gentleman” who guides so softly and reminds so kindly. And then there are the really good belly laughs….This one was great!

    Thank you!

    1. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is right there with a helpful example and I happen to write it down . . .

      I’m glad you liked it, glad it made you laugh. Laughter is healing.

      And yes, I’m glad we get to share this path together. Thank you for being here.


  2. Brilliant.

    I was already thinking, oh my God, poor table holding 1000 lbs! Ah, how perfect to realize how the mind already assigned judgement.

  3. Thanks again sean for your simplifying this course for people like me. I see now there is no order of difficulty in miracles because of the photos.

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