The Thirty-Ninth Principle of A Course in Miracles

The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears (T-1.I.39:1-2).

In A Course in Miracles, an error is a perception or belief that does not align with reality as God created it. It perceives fear instead of love, fragmentation instead of unity, and lies instead of truth. Errors arise from a belief system grounded in separation and guilt; they distort our understanding of our true self and our real relationships with one another and with God. They extend conflict, not peace.

The correction of this error allows us to perceive love predicated on unity, and to feel the happy effects of that perception.

Critically, this shift is under the direction of the Holy Spirit, who remembers Creation even as it sees the misguided world of the ego. What the Holy Spirit does is teach us the difference between the two ways of seeing – one premised on love and union, the other on fear and separation. It teaches us the latter is an error, and can be gently laid aside. When we realize that our fear-based beliefs are not grounded in reality as God created it, they lose their power over us. We become open to a new way of seeing and living.

This principle relies on the metaphor of darkness and light. Darkness is error, truth is the light. When the light appears – a candle lit, a switch thrown, the sun rising over the eastern hills – the darkness is undone. It is the same with erroneous thinking. As the light of truth dawns in our mind, our mistaken beliefs dissolve and disappear. The Holy Spirit is our teacher and guide in this process; our role is simply to be devoted students.

The way that this principle is brought into application is through questioning every belief that we hold, and accepting nothing less than happiness and peace in our living. We cannot do this alone. We need the Holy Spirit in a very literal way and we need our brothers and sisters to share the learning experience with us. Fear and conflict are forms of confusion which can be corrected in relationships given to the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness as A Course in Miracles reframes it is an ongoing process of releasing our grievances and judgments and being willing to perceive the world and all its inhabitants as God created them. We cannot do this alone; our part is simply the “little willingness” upon which all salvations rests.

Thus, when we notice that we are experiencing fear – and doubling down on it through fear-based behavior – we can remember that miracles are natural and always on hand. We can invite the Holy Spirit to show us a different way of seeing, one that restores to awareness the fundamental unity that governs Creation.

The more “light” that we allow in to our minds, the more the errors of perception – and their apparent effects – are gently undone.

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