The Forty-Second Principle of A Course in Miracles

A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack (T-1.I.42:1).

The human experience includes loneliness and frustration. We often feel deprived of love or companionship. Hardships abound – people go without food, are subjected to violence, suffer and die. We all know this; we all see this. If it is not our experience today, it might be tomorrow.

We live with uncertainty, and we fear what might happen to us and those we love, and our fear makes a world in which fear appears reasonable. It appears justified. We are, as A Course in Miracles makes clear over and over, doing this to ourselves (T-27.VII.10:1). But also as A Course in Miracles points out – echoing Bill Thetford’s inaugurating insight – there is another way.

Miracles teach us that the traditional understanding of ourselves and the world is upside-down. It’s a way of seeing that reflects confusion rather than clarity; it is a distortion of reality rather than a revelation of reality. By gently shifting us from fear-based to love-based modes of thinking, miracles enable us to align our perception of reality with reality as God creates it. We don’t have to accept poor translations or painful alternatives. We can have a direct encounter with love.

Miracles correct the error that we are incomplete. They undo the belief that God creates unequally. And they heal the mind that seeks to meet its own needs through competition and conflict rather than through communication, coordination and cooperation. In this way, miracles teach us that we are fundamentally worthy, and that our worth is reflected in all that we perceive. God doesn’t make mistakes.

These are actual felt experiences in our lives! A Course in Miracles appears in and functions in the context of separation. So we have these moments when we rise about petty grievances, or decline to indulge argument, or ask ourselves sincerely if there is another way to look at a situation that feels troubled or broken. We live our lives in a way that makes us happy and allows us to share our happiness with each other without a lot of drama or self-involvement. We want to help, and being helpful is not difficult, once we understand that it is helpfulness that makes us truly happy.

To heal is to make happy . . . The light that belongs to you is the light of show . . . Joy calls forth an integrated willingness to share it, and promotes the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one (, 4, 6).

Miracle-minded thinking often shows us that we are not alone but in relationship. We are not isolated but connected, joined at levels that bring forth life rather than death, and joy rather than sorrow. We are not problems in need of fixing, but perfect creations of a loving Creator who need only remember their perfection. Love holds everything.

A lot of us want bright light experiences. There’s a reason ascended master books sell the way they do. They reflect our desire for spiritual extravagances that befit our sense of specialness. This is not a crime against God or nature! But miracles do not work like that because God doesn’t work like that. All his creations have all his love, always (T-1.V.3:3).

Imagine that the world is hard to see. It is cloudy and dark; everything is blurred. You bump into things a lot; you miss opportunities to connect and join. A lot has to go undone. Over time, it gets worse.

This is a lonely and painful way to live.

The miracle gently points out that the problem is the lens we are using to view ourselves and our world. The world is not as it appears and so our reaction to it is not real either. It’s not properly calibrated and therefore not helpfully resposive. When we accept this, then we can accept a new lens. We can let some light in. That is what ACIM does for us – it offers us the Holy Spirit’s translation of our life in the world rather than ego’s. The Holy Spirit is the new lens. It’s the new lens and it’s also the last lens we’ll ever need.

This is why the miracle is more like switching a pair of broken glasses for a pair that works. It’s like updating our prescription from one that doesn’t work to one that does. And when we can see clearly, then our response to the world also clarifies. Miracles are ordinary; we work them every day. What the course does is allow us to do this more intentionally and more inclusively. We come to rely on our miracle-mindedness. We trust the Holy Spirit and, by extension, ourselves.

The move from fear to love corrects our misconception of reality by undoing the effects of fear. In the context of separation, it is given us to remember wholeness and to share the effects of that remembrance with all our brothers and sisters, and all of life.

What does this look like?

It’s closer to a party than a therapy session, and closer to a therapy session than surgery, and closer to surgery than suffering. Love holds everything; the miracle has no other lesson to teach us. And there is nothing else for us to learn.

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