The Thirty-Third Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity (T-1.I.33:1-4).

When A Course in Miracles refers to “illusions,” it is pointing to our perceptions – and the beliefs that arise with and sustain those perceptions – which are based on duality, and thus reinforce the ego’s argument that we are separate from the world and from each other.

That division – self from Creation – begets a literal cosmic daisy chain of additional fragmentations. Judgment enters in an attempt to enforce some order on the illusion. Things are categorized as good and evil, right and wrong, our tribe and that tribe, and so forth. Suddenly, “vs.” appears everywhere. The appearance of these dualities is not the problem; the problem is that we believe they accurately reflect reality. Then the “vs.” stops being play and becomes a cage match to the death.

That single mistaken belief keeps us separated from our true self which does not know division at all, especially not from our Creator or Creation.

In this principle, the Course is pointing directly at its intersection with nonduality, rather than duality. Nonduality suggests that everything is a single, interconnected whole. There is no separation anywhere, notwithstanding any appearances.

Thus, when ACIM refers to miracles dispelling illusions and thereby restoring us to sanity, it is talking about shifting our perception from a dualistic understanding of the world (where we see ourselves as separate from God, others and the cosmos) to a nondualistic understanding in which we both recognize and accept our interconnectedness with all things, living and nonliving alike.

This is the radical shift in perception that miracles accomplish, bringing about in us a deep and abiding peace and understanding. We become happy in ways that cannot readily be described but which can be shared. Indeed, must be shared. How else could they relate to happiness?

This happiness is not otherworldly. From a traditional mental health standpoint, the effects of the miracle allows us to release a lot of pent-up fear and guilt, and their cousins such as anger, jealousy, greed and lust. As fear and guilt are relieved, and as their symptoms lessen, a renewed sense of inner peace and quiet joy begins to emerge. We do not feel trapped by our feelings nor confused by our thoughts. We are liberated from the tyranny of false thinking.

The miracle allows us to redefine our lives in ways that make us more functional and productive. It’s true that underneath these shifts in living, deeper currents are being addressed – such as our separation from God, or our recognition of the equality of all life, both of which instantiate a true commitment to living nonviolently. However, the two levels are not separate. Our psychological wellness at the level of the body and the world is a natural reflections of the underlying coherence that is our true self, when it remembers itself as God’s Creation.

We are fundamentally lovable beings. We are not sinners, we are not trouble-makers, and we are not alien in the Kingdom of Heaven. The miracle simply reminds us of what we are in truth, which naturally aligns our will with God’s Will, undoing illusions and promoting a calm and quiet mind that knows it is one with Love.

This is a shift from dualism to nondualism, which is transformative at all levels.

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