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, He 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. All fear is the former, all love in the latter. 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. We experience this as discernment.

When we accept love in place of fear, our understanding of ourselves as limited and limiting is undone. 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). And, critically, we share this reality with all our brothers and sisters.

On our own, we are not capable of actually effectively 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. He never falls for our illusions; He never buys into the mistaken perceptions that drive separation and its negative effects.

Because He can discern between the two, the Holy Spirit can teach us how to discern this way as well. Teaching us discernment in this way is his function.

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 listen 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, we evaluate it based on our appetites, and then either accept or reject it. And we think this is the law by which reality operates.

This is an obvious error that only yields misunderstanding and conflict which in turn reinforce the error.

On the other hand, the Holy Spirit does not accept the body – either its potential or its limitations – as our self. Because He perceives only lovingly, He naturally perceives only love, and thus knows the whole of God’s creation as God created it. In the perception of the Holy Spirit (which is naturally shared with us) that which appears separate to the body’s senses becomes a symbol of interconnectedness, attesting to the unity which underlies the cosmos, .

Because He 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). He sees us the way God knows us.

It is God’s Will you share His Love for you, and look upon yourself as lovingly as He conceived of you before the world began, and as He knows you still. God changes not His Mind about His Son with passing circumstance which has no meaning in eternity where He abides, and you with Him (T-24.VI.3:4-5).

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, ourselves and everyone else. Miracles are gentle and reliable corrections, taking us precisely as far as we are able to go in a given moment and context.

Miracles induce gratitude, not discomfort. This is such an important idea! Miracles aren’t about pushing limits but rather forgiving limits, which usually means shrugging and saying, “there I go confusing myself for a body again.” Miracles affirm the Teacher whose only need is our own need to remember our Creator’s Love, which is limitless.

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