The Fortieth Principle of A Course in Miracles

The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God (T-1.I.40:1-2).

Miracles occur in the context of separation in order to facilitate the undoing of separation. This can also be understood as scenes from a dream that facilitate awakening from the dream. They are baby steps on a journey from fear to love.

Miracles are moments of invitation in which we realize both our separation from reality but also our natural capacity to bridge that gap, as if it had never existed. Our inclination to oneness is inherent; it appears across the human experience, independent of era and culture. It can be recognized and nurtured. It can, literally, be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Critically, we neither remember nor enact this inclination alone. Oneness is a reflection of mutuality and inclusion; it is an effect of remembering our deep equality which we share with all life. This equality and its connection to oneness is what the miracle makes clear for us, over and over and over. What is holy does not exclude anything; what is sacred is not partial.

Knowledge never involves comparisons. That is its main difference from everything else the mind can grasp (T-4.II.11:12-13).

Thus, the “universal mark of God” is our shared perception of wholeness, regardless of the language we use, and it manifests as remembering that the other – a human being, a black bear, a sunflower or a quasar – is our own self. The cosmos forever gazes at itself in love. We share one function, and have a single shared interest. This is what Love is. The miracle cannot point to any other truth because there is no other truth.

Hence, we are called by our study and practice of A Course in Miracles into relationship. We are called to a state which acknowledges everyone as family, including Jesus, the elder brother who inaugurated this particular adventure in holiness, whose work we are called to extend in our living.

This state of being remains a state of separation, but it is given now to transition, to undoing. It does not accept the perception of separation as reality but rather knows it is a distortion of reality. It seeks what is true and unchangeable beyond the mutable lies of preference and the personal. It beholds a kinship that transcends the narrow limitation of the body and the world; it begets a service that reinforces that kinship, and opens the mind to relationship with God.

This is easy to talk about! And that is not necessarily a crisis. Intellectual understanding often precedes application. But truly, living it is also easy, so long as we do not insist on holding onto old prerogatives. We have to be humble and willing to change, at depths that are sometimes frightening and discomforting. Everything that sustains the illusion of separation – including religion, nationality, ethnicity and personality – must be surrendered. Our attachment to it must be undone. We cannot carry anything with us when we go to the well, when we finally enter the Cave of the Heart.

Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which is is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, or one believe you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God (W-pI.189.7:2-5).

In other words, everything that makes us special and unique must be surrendered. Only then can we discover what is actually holy. Only then can we discover what is true for all of us, pointing unerringly at the unity that underlies the whole of existence.

Miracles are the mechanism of this surrender and the correlated discovery. When we move from fear to love, we naturally give attention only to what joins us, discarding as unreal that which would separate us. We realize that what is true for one is true for all, and in this realization our shared divinity is raised from a spark to a flame and from a flame to a divine conflagration.

Practically, this sugars out in service, nonviolence and our ongoing commitment to transformation into the image of Christ. We are called to meet all of life with equanimity and openness – to see not with the ego but with the Holy Spirit. Love, peace and understanding cease to be only words or merely concepts. They become a lived reality, pointing the way to the state of coherence and resonance that is our shared identity and home.

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