The Second Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles as such do not matter. The only thing that matters is their Source, which is far beyond evaluation (T-1.I.2:1-2).

In A Course in Miracles, atonement corrects the error of mistaken self-identity. We are confused about what we are, and our confusion creates illusions – including the illusion of problems. Atonement is the overall process by which those illusions are undone, and mind restored to its rightful state of knowledge.

Miracles are the means of the Atonement. Imagine you are building a bonfire – a great light to comfort your brothers and sisters. Each miracle is kindling, facilitating this symbol which we build together and around which we gather.

In a sense, miracles – which are shifts in thought away from fear and towards love – are given to restore our self to our Self. It has nothing to do with what’s going on in the world, and everything to do with the mind that is perceiving the world as “that which is out there” or “that which is not this” and then making decision about what it all means and who it’s for and what it’s worth and so forth.

Thus, the miracle is indifferent to the specific problem to which we apply it. To the miracle, a stubbed toe and the death of a child are equal. They aren’t equal to us – hence the need for miracles – but the miracle heals both problems in exactly the same way: it reminds us of what we are in truth. And what we are in truth is totally unaffected by pain and loss, sacrifice and suffering. It simply does not recognize them. Thus, their apparent causes are transformed into causes for peace, love and understanding.

Yet miracles have effects in the context in which they are needed. When we observe the miracle’s effects – especially when, according to our unhealed mind, they appear truly miraculous (we are healed from cancer or win the lottery or the grief of personal loss is suddenly manageable) – we begin to perceive the nature of the gift we have been given.

That is, we begin to realize that the healing the miracle offers is both too great and too generous to have come from our own sense of self, which is limited. Miracles are not of the world, nor of the limited selves which populate that world. They can’t be. They are too magnificient in helpfulness.

Miracles are gifts of God through which we remember our shared identity with both the Creator and Creation, both because there is nothing to hide or keep from one another. Sharing is total. “God has no secret communications, for everything of Him is perfectly open and freely accessible to all, being for all” (T-14.X.11:2).

This begets a sense of respect and humility for the Source of the miracle. It is as if we begin to fully understand that a Will other than our own is at work in us, and it is that Will we trust rather than our puny and confused own.

Where there is love, your brother must give it to you because of what it is. But where there is a call for love, you must give it because of what you are . . . by supplying your Identity wherever it is not recognized, you will recognize It (T-14.X.12:2-3, 5).

This posture of humility and respect is important because it allows us to be more open to the miracle and its healing effects. It enables us to get out of our own way, to “let go and let God.”

We begin to understand that “fear is really nothing and love is everything” (T-2.VII.5:3). We begin to notice our lives subtly changing as our will realigns with God’s, under the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This is a critical step in the overall correction of the error of self-identity. We cease to fully trust our limited sense of what is a problem and, thus, what the correction must be. We avail ourselves of an intelligence whose knowledge of correction and healing is total and thus incapable of error.

Importantly, this intelligence is “far beyond evaluation” (T-1.I.2:2). We can neither explain nor judge it. We aren’t being invited to re-imagine ourselves as gods or ascended masters or spiritual gurus. We aren’t here to get what we want. We are here to be healed. All that is required is willingness and open-mindedness.

Imagine visiting a doctor. You have cancer, and you are being treated. Do you understand how chemotherapy functions in the body? Do you understand how to build a chemotherapy pump? Could you actually manage a hospital?

No. And you don’t have to. You just show up and trust that a whole bunch of people you never met did and will continue doing their job which allows a whole bunch of other people – some of whom you will meet – to do their job. You’re just here to be healed. And when you see the vast network of brothers and sisters collaborating and cooperating in your healing, you will realize that miracles aren’t actually about you at all.

This will come as a vast relief.

You and I are just here to be healed. The so-called error is confusion about what we are in truth, and the so-called solution is given through miracles, which restore to mind our actual identity. Fear is really nothing; love is all there is.

Will you give yourself to the One who knows what is best for you? And knows how to give what is best for you in the form you can most easily accept?

Will you – at last – obey the Law of Love, which is your Source, and the Source of all, in and through which, you will remember yourself as Love?

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  1. …so challenging to separate what I was taught as a child…pray to God for a miracle and if it did not happen, I was undeserving…or, someone needed it more than me.
    Thank you for this comforting message, Sean. 🙏

    1. You’re welcome, Jennifer. Having my concepts of God undone has been one of the most challenging and beautiful and terrifying aspects of practicing ACIM . . . I’m grateful but wow, what a trip 🙂

  2. In light of the recent tragedy at Oxford High School, this really hits home. I can only be love, extend love, and I can do nothing else. Anger and despair are emotions I feel, and I can observe them and let them pass. I cannot control mass shootings, but I can work on myself, I can do my best.

    I read something today that might help your readers, Sean:

    “Cancer can be accepted as a natural part of life. Are you saying that the conflict and violence that mankind perpetrates is natural as well?
    Answer: Yes. It is also a natural disaster that human beings lack compassion. We have to go to the root of this specific natural disaster and ask, “Why?” It is because most people feel that they are separate entities. At the root of war, at the root of lack of compassion, there is the ego, the notion that I am a separate, personal entity.

    How am I going to liberate everybody from their ego? Maybe that is not my mission. It is ambitious and pretentious. All we can do is work on ourselves. We can start with our own sense of being separate, with our own judgment, with our own feeling that things should be different, with our own refusal of the present situation, with our own refusal of others. As a person, we are not going to save the world and perhaps the world doesn’t need to be saved.

    All we can do as a person is to do our best. To do our best, we start by liberating ourselves from our own ignorance. We stop stirring up more disharmony and conflict in the world by freeing ourselves from inner conflict, which comes from fragmentation. In this process we discover our eternity, our immortality. That will fill us up to the brim with happiness, and this will overflow and start resonating in others around us, without our doing anything to cause it. That is the only way to be happy and to do our best in the world as we know it. I am not suggesting that if we have a job in the world that involved helping others, we shouldn’t do it. Of course we should. However, it is the understanding that is important, because it is the understanding that is truly implemented in any activity.
    [Francis Lucille, The Perfume of Silence: Love in Search of Itself]

  3. Sean im knocking at that door you’ve just described and it’s so obvious,why didn’t i see it before? I wasn’t ready now I am and I have got hear with no little help from you sean. Keep posting your clarity is needed. Sean

  4. I am interested in the metaphysics of the illusion. If all minds are connected at some fundamental level, then we could be living in a collectively shared dream. We are projecting these shadows together. That means a person just cannot shrug their shoulders by saying it is all an illusion. We are all connected or networked.

    As it says in the UrText “Lord heal me is the only legitimate prayer” which also means “Lord atone for me”. I found this to be a good prayer to pray. Now when more people wake up or become lucid in this dream then that increases my chances of waking up too.

    1. Yes . . .

      But if we follow the logic of interconnectedness, which we should, then perhaps we will see that there aren’t many minds realizing they can unite as one but rather one mind remembering what it is in truth.

      Many minds IS the dream A Course in Miracles gently ends, leaving “an empty space that is not see as filled, an unused interval of time not seen as spent and full occupied” which becomes “a silent invitation to the truth to enter, and to make itself at home (T-27.III.4:1).

      By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours. This Mind is invincible because it is undivided (T-8.V.1:7-8).

      I.e., if we follow the illusion to its root and then deeper into the soil from which it appears to spring we reach the truth – the observer and the observed are one – the illusion never really hid in the first place.

      1. Hi Sean and Edward.

        Hope it’s okay if I add to this interesting dialogue.

        Perhaps there are as many takes on it as there are so-called illusory minds.

        Here’s yet another to consider.

        There is no such thing as illusion.

        There is only reality.

        Wherever there is life, God is. Even the Course says so.

        Well, this is a form of life, and we are living, breathing miracles creating in an immediate, very temporary, intricately structured reality.

        It’s not our ultimate reality as One in spirit, but perhaps We, and this world, is in truth the miracle of miracles.

        Might it all be love wearing brilliant disguises in a plan beyond evaluation?

        The formless becoming form is no ordinary dream.

        Perhaps it too is a miracle if seen through a lens of love.

        Much love.

        1. Yes, this works, too 🙂

          But also, as a spiritual beginner, the course and its plan for atonement through a practice of forgiveness, remains vital and necessary for me.

          I’m not here because I get it, but because I don’t 🙂

          1. Being born into a world so alien to our Nature, I think we are all here paddling away in the beginners’ boat. 🙂

            I heartily agree with what you say about the plan of atonement and forgiveness. To me, it just makes no difference if we see our bodies and this world as “illusion” or a miraculous “separate reality” beyond our understanding.

            Both words are but approximations, symbols of symbols, et cetera.

            I prefer viewing the world as a separate reality because what we call “form” is in no way solid. Not even close. Energy is fluid, constantly changing and infinitely malleable under the influence of Love which sees no separation – here, there, or anywhere – and that’s who we really are. Our Light goes with us wherever we do, regardless of what world we imagine we’re in or what body we temporarily employ as a tool in our part of the overall plan of atonement. It just keeps it simple for me. This is my present reality and I love it knowing full well the best is yet to come.

            Love is all that counts and thanks to God we can be that anywhere.

            Thanks for all you do, Sean.

            Much love.

          2. All of this.

            And – the thing about that beginner’s boat – is that we are not alone in it. Friends go with us, and help goes with us. Not just people either, as you know – flowers and sunsets and constellations and birds and elephants. Very beautiful to see this and remember it, very powerful symbol of the best that is yet to come.

            Thank you, Paul, and love to you as well.


  5. Your analogy is well meaning but misguided.
    Chemi is so Dark Ages.
    Chemotherapy does not heal cancer.
    In order to heal cancer or any dis-ease, it is absolutely necessary to identify the Root Cause of the condition. Something the current medical system does not do. They treat. They try to kill problems.
    True medicine on the other hand, sees the condition seeks the underlying root cause and only then administers a remedy.
    All people who want true healing must have be fully engaged participants in their own healing. Information is Light. Light brings understanding of the Truth that sets us free.
    In order for true healing to occur Truth must be known, applied and understood by the individual.
    We are each of us in charge of our own bodies. There is nothing we cannot heal with the right understanding of what caused us to be sick in the first place .
    Supporting the bodymind’s own ability to heal itself ( for the body is a self healing organism fashioned by our Creator) we simply support our body’s innate desire for wholeness by nourishing ourselves with living foods and loving thoughts along with supplements and herbs sunshine, prayer meditation and a deep understanding of what we are doing.
    We So No Harm. We love ourselves back to wholeness using our God given power .
    “ Ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free…
    … Al these things I do YOU can do; and greater things SHALL you do” -✨Jesus

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