The Sixteenth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating that it is as blessed to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver (T-1.I.16:1-2).

An early and essential tenet of A Course in Miracles is the understanding that miracles represent shifts in perception from fear to love. They are not physical or supernatural events; they are not spectacles designed to affect the belief of observers.

The miracle always promotes our shared recognition that all life is interconnected because it was created by God in and as Love. Thus, when the Course refers to miracles as “teaching devices for demonstrating that it is as blessed to give as to receive,” it means that miracles are literally examples of how the extension of Love benefits both the giver and the receiver.

This is connected to the principle that we “keep” ideas by giving them away. Sharing is the way we remember what is true. True abundance is always empty-handed.

The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared . . . It is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it away to your brother (T-5.III.2:1-2, 6-7).

Miracles have to be shared; that is what miracles are.

The “strength” to which the Course refers is not physical strength – like being able to withstand physical pain. It is not even emotional strength – like being stoic in the face of injustice.

Rather, it refers to a spiritual and psychological resilience. In the context of ACIM, this strength derives from the awareness of our true nature as extensions of God in Creation. The miracle allows us to remember this and share the remembering with our brothers and sisters. Together we support and encourage one another in learning.

The memory of the Self-as-Love is an idea; the form it takes in the world will shift and change, according to the shared learning needs of both the giver and the receiver. It might be deep listening, might be doing the dishes on the night it’s not our turn, might be going to therapy.

The form is not the point; the form is in not in our control. Our work is to remember what we are, which we do by seeing what we are in our brothers and sisters. The form will always reinforce our connection to God and all Creation, but it is the underlying idea for which we are responsible.

As we give and receive miracles (remember – we are called to do both), our spiritual “strength” is increased and buttressed because we are aligning our will with God’s Will, and thus refusign the ego’s narrow and bitter interpretation of what we are. Separation, and the fear that is separation’s calling card, are dissolved.

Together we remember what we are in truth, because it is together that we perceive correctly what is true: our shared interest in becoming Christ. Love holds everything; fear is weak and alien.

The laws of the world teach us that sacrifice is real, that scarcity is the law, and that only competition can truly protect our interest in survival. The Course gently undoes that by teaching us how to cooperate, and bring forth together the Vision of Christ, which does not perceive difference at all.

As we practice forgiveness, and as fear gives way to the Love that is our inheritance, we naturally accept the Atonement which brings to an end our meaningless sojourn through the world of separation. The world is not our home; Love – which gives and receives without qualification or condition – is.

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