The Thirty-Fifth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects (T-1.I.35:1).

Most traditional understanding of miracles implies observable effects that are usually supernatural. Jesus walking on water, say, or turning water into wine. Closer to home, we win the lottery or get the ideal parking space.

But A Course in Miracles teaches us that mirales are shifts in perception away from fear and towards love, reflecting in turn a shift in our our mental and emotional orientation that brings us closer to our true self, the self that God created.

That transformative shift does not always mean that we can “see” it or otherwise take note of it with the body’s senses. Love is not merely an emotion but rather the ground of our identity. How do you “see” seeing? How do you “see” attention?

The changes induced by the miracle occur at the level of the mind. Their outward effect can be negligible or even non-existent. For example, we might forgive a brother we have long considered too greedy or aggressive. Our behavior is always polite and efficient but our feelings were often hurt. Our forgiveness liberates him from our judgment. Nothing changes and yet internally, everything has changed. We aren’t angry anymore. We aren’t hurt.

The change is meaningful in our experience but this does not automatically mean that it will lead to observable changes in our external situation or in the behavior of the various people with whom we are in relationship.

ACIM’s emphasis on internal change reflects its overall teaching that the external world is a reflection of our internal state. Therefore, the primary goal is not to change the world, but to change our perception of the world. This is why miracles can still be effective even though they do not appear to change the world in any way.

A true miracle transforms perception, leading to internal peace and understanding that we experience but which need not “appear” externally. Our practice is devoted to this change of mind, independent of the world “out there.” It might change and it might not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the shift in the interior towards love.

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