The Thirty-Seventh Principle of A Course in Miracles

A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible (T-1.I.37:1-4).

This principle illustrates the Course understanding that miracles reflect transformative changes in perception, initiated by Jesus. Miracles correct false or ego-based thinking, realigning it with God’s Truth. In this way, they allow for a healed perception of reality, which A Course in Miracles refers to as the Atonement.

“False thinking” refers to thoughts which arises from the ego’s thought system, which is premised in separation, fear and guilt. On this view, the self is alone in the world, separated from all people and things, and in a grim battle for its own survival. God is nowhere to be found.

It is a painful way to live.

The Course describes this as false, or erroneous, because it misrepresents the true nature of our existence as being part of the interconnected whole of Creation, in which we cannot be separated from God or from one another. Creation is seamless.

We can think of the miracle as a kind of spiritual intervention, which enables us to recognize our dysfunctional reliance on perception, and become to a new way of thinking. Miracles are catalysts, causing the mind to shift from fear to love, and from conflict to peace. Miracles rearrange our thoughts by teaching us to recognize the underlying belief system from which they arise.

We are taught to disregard the egoic emphasis on separation, and to rely instead on the Holy Spirit’s gentle insistence on unity and oneness, which are gifts from God to us.

To the extent we accept and participate in this realignment of perception, we rest with one another under the Atonement principle. We acknowledge our true selves and refuse to deny our Creator. We recognize that fear and guilt arise in misperception, and are sustained by our unwillingness to correct that misperception. We see clearly that we are doing this to ourselves.

The Atonement principle is the recognition that separation is an illusion and that we are, in fact, eternally united with God and with each other, where “other” includes black bears, bumble bees and atoms.

Healed perception allows us to attain “knowledge of the Divine Order.” This means we understand and experience reality as it truly is – as an expression of God’s Will, endlessly bringing forth love. The world is seen as it truly is – perfectly innocent – and all our brothers and sisters share in that innocence with us. Only the false thinking of the ego stands in the way of this understanding.

In summary, this ACIM passage suggests that a miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love, from separation to unity, enabled by divine influence. This shift heals our perception, aligns us with the truth of our oneness with the Divine, and allows us to experience and understand the world as an expression of this divine unity.

Finally, Jesus clearly identifies himself as an intercessor in this principle. Ego is no joke, and the work we undertake cannot be done alone. We need help. By reminding us of his presence, Jesus also reminds us that none of us are alone. The Atonement principle is not exclusive – it is for all of us. Otherwise it would merely be another tool of the ego.

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