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. They correct false, or ego-based, thinking by realigning it with truth. In this way, miracles allow for a healed perception of reality, which A Course in Miracles refers to as the Atonement.

“False thinking” refers to thoughts which arise from the ego’s thought system, which is premised on separation, and the feelings of guilt and fear which are its emotional hallmarks. According to the ego’s view, the self is alone in the world, separated from every person, place and thing, and locked with them in a grim battle for survival. God is nowhere to be found. Hope is nowhere to be found.

It is a painful way to live.

The course describes this view of reality as false, or erroneous, because it misrepresents the true nature of our existence. In truth, we are aspects of the interconnected wholeness of Creation, in which it is not possible to be separate from God or anything God created. Creation is seamless; there are no parts.

Thus, we can think of the miracle as a formal spiritual intervention, which enables us to recognize our dysfunctional reliance on perception (i.e., ego’s insistence that perception is reality), and open to a new way of thinking (conforming to the Holy Spirit’s emphasis on honesty and willingness as the means of true forgiveness). Miracles are catalysts, causing the mind to shift from fear to love, and from conflict to peace. They respond creatively to our thoughts by teaching us to recognize the underlying belief system from which they arise. We no longer take seriously what God does not take seriously.

We learn how to disregard the ego’s emphasis on separation, and rely instead on the Holy Spirit’s gentle insistence that unity and oneness are God’s gifts to us, and can be recognized and accepted now.

To the extent we accept and participate in this realignment of perception, then 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 (T-27.VIII.10:1), and we are willing to do something different.

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. This is our reality and we can remember it – and live the effects of remembering it – now.

Healed perception allows us to attain “knowledge of the Divine Order.” This means we understand and experience reality as it is – an expression of God’s Will endlessly extending love. We perceive the world as a reflection of this endlessly extending love, 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!

This principle of A Course in Miracles reinforces our understanding that miracles are shifts in perception from fear to love – from separation to unity – in accordance with what is divine. This shift heals our perception, aligns us with the reality of our shared oneness with God, 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; the work we undertake to undo it cannot be done alone. We need help. By reminding us of his presence, Jesus also reminds us that none of us take this course solo. The Atonement principle is not exclusive – it includes and gives welcome to all of us. Anything less would be just another instrument of the ego.

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