The Forty-Seventh Principle of A Course in Miracles

The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless (T-1.I.47:1-3).

In A Course in Miracles, time is a human construct the Holy Spirit uses to help us remember our identity in Creation. It is the means by which we perceive separation and are empowered to bring it to an end. We perceive a past in which we are separate, and from which – in the present – we can learn how not to be separate in the future by undoing past and future now.

Time is effectively the measure of the gap between fear and love, for those who are as yet unable to recognize that fear does not exist and only love is real. Miracles shorten the gap and thus decrease our need for time in order to learn. What would ordinarily take a thousand years can take an instant thanks to the miracle.

Time is your friend, if you leave it to the Holy Spirit to use. He needs but very little to restore God’s whole power to you. He Who transcends time for you understands what time is for. Holiness lies not in time but in eternity (T-15.I.15:1-4).

Our ideas about time are that it is clear and strict – a second is not a minute but a minute is comprised of sixty seconds, a minute is not an hour but an hour is comprised of sixty minutes, an hour is not a day, a day is not a month, et cetera. But that has to do with the measuring of time, not time itself. The Course suggests that time – because it is a thing we make – is much more malleable. And we can use it to good ends.

How long is an instant? As long as it takes to re-establish perfect sanity, perfect peace and perfect love for everyone, for God and for your self (T-15.I.14:1-2).

Gradually, as the gap between our self and God shrinks, we loosen our grip on the future and the past. We begin to see the illusory nature of time, and we don’t need the illuson of order it offers. The present moment expands; beginnings and endings cease to matter in the way that they once did.

Essentially, miracles allow us to perceive the world – and the relationships of which it is comprised – without the shadow of the past or the future upon them When we perform a miracle, when we are miracle-minded, we step outside the illusion of time and perceive truly, which is to say, lovingly.

There is no fear in the present, only the “crystal cleanness” of our release from guilt (T-15.I.13:7).

All of this is to say that miracles are not subject to the laws of time. They intervene in time and reveal both its illusory nature and the fact that we are the ones making it up. Miracles make clear that we are not subject to the laws of time, save by our decision to pretend otherwise. In this way, we become empowered. We see that separation is not being forced on us by external forces, but is rather an internal decision to accept a distorted and limited way of thinking.

What does this look like in practice?

Miracles are manifestations of love and unity in our living. Say that somebody is angry with us; rather than respond to their anger, we perceive the fear which underlies their anger, and we recognize that the fear is not their fear but our shared fear. Then we can respond to the fear rather than the anger. And the response to fear is always love.

This shortens the need for time because when anger is healed by the recognition that love holds everything, it does not need to return. It is undone forever; it is literally replaced by the knowledge of eternity. When Love is all that we perceive, then the need for time is undone.


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