The Thirty-Sixth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it (T-1.I.36:1).

Thinking can be given to the Holy Spirit or to the ego. Ego uses it to make and extend conflict, ever reinforcing the grounds for division and competition. The Holy Spirit uses it to emphasize unity and peace.

“Right” thinking is thinking that is guided by the Holy Spirit. It takes the world we perceive – the world brought forth by the body, its senses and appetites – and uses it to demonstrate that nothing real can be threatened and nothing unreal exists (T-in.2:2-3). This insight takes time to develop and integrate.

Ego-based thinking is rooted in fear, judgement and separation. We learn it early in our lives, before we have any say over it. It’s not designed to be questioned; it’s designed to disappear into the background. It’s designed to take us over – get us invested in taking sides, defending our side and attacking others. Egoic thinking hijacks the body, putting it instantly to the service of survival. This leads to sacrifice, famine and war.

There is – thank Christ there is – another way.

In contrast, Holy Spirit-based thinking is founded on love, forgiveness and oneness. It is easy to dismiss these as mere abstractions or spiritual ideals, but they have psychological and behavioral correlates. They take form in the world and yield effects, the same as egoic thinking.

Therefore, the guide for thought that we choose shapes our behavior and relationships, and – through the principle of recursion – also shapes our ongoing experience of both self and other.

As we have noted so many times, the miracle is the shift in our thinking away from fear and towards love. It arises from the decision to listen to the Holy Spirit rather than the ego. In concrete and context-specific ways, when we are aligned with love, we perceive our brothers and sisters as both loving and worthy of love. Regardless of their actions, individually or collectively, we know we are one with them. Their worthiness and our worthiness are not separate.

As every gift my brothers give is mine, so every gift I give belongs to me. Each one allows a past mistake to go, and leave no shadow on the holy mind my Father loves. His grace is given me in every gift a brother has received throughout all time, and past all time as well (W-pII.316.1:1-3).

The miracle always emphasizes interconnectedness and innocence. And that emphasis always yields nontrivial transformations of behavior – not because behavior is the site of healing, or the goal of our learning, but because of the underlying belief system upon which we are relying to guide our perception. We notice behavior. It is a symbol of our thinking, and we can “read” it to better align ourselves with love.

We can either perceive a world that is fragmented and violent – one in which only survival matters, and survival is always our responsibility – or we can perceive a world which God created, in which Love awaits our shared remembrance, and all things become symbols not of separation but the end of separation, the undoing of separation. The ego does not want us to remember our Creator, much less our place in Creation.

Aligning our perceptions with “truth as God created it” means embracing – and extending – our inherent nature as expressions of God’s Love.

The world itself is beyond change, being merely a momentary perception. In the final sense, this is the true cause for peace. But in the interim, miracles transform our experience of the world, allowing us to perceive a home in which there is no cause for fear, guilt and separation. We can live this way now.

Remembering what we are in truth means having our function to heal restored to our awareness. We reclaim our inheritance in Creation – not through fear but through Love.

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