The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose (T-I.10:1).
There are really two aspects to this principle, both of which are given to help us be in right relation both with the world and our body, and with the mind which is confused about world and body and needs to be healed.
This principle also addresses a popular misconception of the gospel miracles of Jesus. Often, those miracles are interpreted as reasons to believe in him and, by extension, the religious hierarchy that arose in his wake. The implicit logic is that a man who walks on water is obviously favored of God so of course you should follow him, obey him, et cetera.
But miracles are given to heal. They are not given to establish a new world order. They reveal a Heaven premised on radical equality, not rigorously-enforced leadership pyramids. The emphasis is not on performance but accomplishment. What does the miracle do is more important than who does the miracle.
Nor are miracles conditional upon obedience or belief. They are gifts, freely given. We can deny they are given, and in this way deny ourselves their grace, but we cannot “un-give” them.
Miracles are not spectacular – they are often quite subtle, nearly unnoticeable. Indeed, given the range of consciousness, and how much goes on outside our awareness, it is often the case that the deepest healing offered by miracles is barely noticed by us. We notice the effects later – I’m happier, less likely to lose my temper, no longer jealous, et cetera.
When we insist that miracles have recognizable effects – when we place conditions on them – we are essentially refusing the miracles. Miracles are not about rearranging the natural world to better accommodate our egoic fantasies of wellnesss. They are given to heal the mind that is divided against itself.
If we are waiting on miracles to “fix” our lives in the world, then we are going to be disappointed. They may or may not have observable effects in the material world; they will always have effects in the mind that believes it is a body in the world.
We might think of this principle as laying the groundwork for right relationship with God. Miracles are given freely to all; they are not conditional in any way. Belief is not a pre-requisite for healing.
Similarly, our expectations for the miracle often function as rejections of miracles. We want a better parking place, not a mind that isn’t concerned about parking places because it knows they’re not real.
For all the drama inherent in its creation – it was dictated by Jesus! Helen was a former disciple! Light shows and ascended masters for some students but not all! – A Course in Miracles is very much about dialing the drama down. We are called to give attention to our lives as they are given to us – we need add nothing and we need subtract nothing.
In the end, the miracle allows us to notice life as it is, without anything extra. It heals the mind that believes there is more to add or something to take away, and lets it rest in reality. This rest allows the mind to empty and clarify, becoming kin to a prism through which the light of love passes, healing everything it touches by teaching it how to heal itself.