The Twentieth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles reawaken the awareness that the spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle T-1.I.20:1-2).

The confusion that A Course in Miracles is given to correct is our identification with the body rather than spirit, and the various arguments and rationales that we consciously and unconsciously hold in defense of this position.

Miracles restore to awareness our actual identity. Spirit represents what we are in truth, which cannot be contained in a body. A Course in Miracles does not deny the body or its experiences, it simply invites us to reconsider our conviction that we are the body.

This principle effectively invites us to shift our focus from the physical and temporal realm to the spiritual and eternal, and to remember that it is the latter level that reflects our actual identity and true home.

The phrase “altar of truth” is used symbolically here. We are conditioned to think of altars as physical objects capable of channeling divine or spiritual energy and meaning. A Course in Miracles reverses that emphasis. Love and peace are found in non-material domains; healing occurs as we allow the miracle to correct our misperception of body and spirit, and essentially realign them with the truth as God created it.

The Course is not advocating for conflict between body and spirit. Spirit does not change; the body does. Spirit cannot die; the body must. Perceiving a conflict between these two domains is a confusion sponsored and encouraged by ego. Our work is not fight the body or privilege the spirit; it is simply to give attention as directed by the Holy Spirit, Who is ever devoted to clarifying our perception of reality.

This clarification happens in a body in the world, which is not a crisis. As the Course makes clear, everything that appears to occur to us in the world is a lesson given to help us remember our true home and self (e.g., W-pI.193.h).

Miracles are a means by which the memory of truth dawns in the mind which yet sleeps and remains unaware of what is true. Healing is the process by which the mind that believes it is a body, remembers that it cannot be a body, and thus is free to create as God creates.

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