The Thirty-Eighth Principle of A Course in Miracles

The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions. He separates the true from the false by His ability to perceive totally rather than selectively (T-1.I.38:1-3).

A Course in Miracles characterizes the Holy Spirit as that part of our mind which knows both the world of illusion constructed by ego and the real world created by God in love. Because the Holy Spirit knows both, it can helpfully bridge the one to the other.

Miracles move us from fear to love, according to the Holy Spirit’s understanding of the gap between our illusions and the truth as God created it. In a sense, what the Holy Spirit does is open our mind to the light of truth, allowing it to shine away the shadows of fear perpetuated by ego.

Our understanding of ourselves as limited and limiting is undone accordingly. We realize we are not alone in a world where our survival is uncertain, but rather one with God in a Creation where nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists (T-in.2:2-3).

On our own, we are not capable of truly discerning between fear and love, between guilt and innocence. We might be able to do so one day but not another. Or do it a little but not a lot. The Holy Spirit always remembers the reality of love, unity, and perfection. It never falls for our illusions; it never buys into the mistaken perceptions and beliefs that drive separation and its attendant negative effects.

Because it can discern between the two, the Holy Spirit can teach us how to discern this way as well.

The Holy Spirit “separates the true from the false by His ability to perceive totally rather than selectively” (T-1.I.38:3). When we are listening to ego, our perceptions are selective and fragmented because we are operating from a separation, or scarcity, mindset. The body’s eyes see a part of the world, and we conflate that with “all.” This is an obvious error that can only yield misunderstanding and conflict.

On the other hand, the Holy Spirit does not accept the body’s limitations as our own. By perceiving only lovingly, it naturally perceives only love, and thus knows the whole of God’s creation as God created it. What appears separate to the body’s senses become symbols of interconnectedness, attesting to the unity which underlies the cosmos.

Because it can perceive in this way, the Holy Spirit can help us discern the true (the reality of unity and love) from the false (the unreality of separation and fear).

It takes time to learn how to learn from the Holy Spirit. And it takes time to learn that all we really want is to learn from the Holy Spirit. Before we know it as salvation, wholeness is frightening. Alignment with love is natural but we are accustomed to an upside-down view of the world and of ourselves. Miracles are gentle and reliable corrections, taking us precisely as far as we are able in a given moment and context.

Miracles induce gratitude, not discomfort. They affirm the Teacher whose only need is our own need to remember our Creator’s Love.

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