The Twenty-Fifth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time (T-1.I.25:1-2).

Forgiveness here refers to right seeing. It refers to the process of correction in our minds, whereby perception is aligned with reality – with Creation as created – to the maximal extent possible.

Miracles facilitate this process by effectively cleansing our minds of error, especially in the very contexts that we find ourselves. So if there is a dispute in our life, or if there is a grievance or a conundrum, then the miracle is what heals that. And the healing is not necessarily about fixing what is external, but rather seeing clearly the nature of our relationship to the external.

Forgiveness allows us to be in right relationship with the external world by making clear that nothing external can truly harm us or help us, which is an extension of “nothing real can be threatened/nothing unreal exists” (T-in.2:2-3).

Love holds no grievances. When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe (W-pI.68.6:8-9).

Thus, miracles are not necessarily experienced as comforting, at least not at first. In fact, we may experience them as discomforting, because they shift our thinking away from the familiar (which is ego, which is dominanted by fear and chaos, and whose logic is misdirection). It is important to never underestimate our desire to remain in familiar patterns, even when they damage us and others.

This is another way of saying that we are accustomed to separation, and it takes time and energy to investigate it in a truly healing way, a way that undoes separation and its effects.

The references to time in this principle have to do both with the experience of Atonement in time – e.g., I have to study A Course in Miracles, I have to practice forgiveness, I have to go to therapy and do yoga, I have to avoid using food as a defense against feeling, et cetera. These encompass the so-called life hacks that can be very helpful in our acceptance of the Atonement for ourselves.

But the principle also – especially in the phrase “dimensions of time” – makes clear that the Atonement transcends our limited ideas about what we are and what the world is. Atonement can heal the past in the present; it can heal the future in the present, and it does all this by restoring the present to our awareness.

When we are fully capable of living only in the present moment, which the Course calls the holy instant, then we recognize the way in which time is a construct – it is always relative to an observer, to an ego – and it becomes easier for us to perceive it as a construct and find out what lies beyond it.

This is a statement about experience; it is not a supernatural promise. There are no mysteries that A Course in Miracles is given to solve. It is not introducing us to some supernatural codex containing the secrets of the universe.

Rather, it restores to memory our true self, in a way that cashes out in awakening from the dream of separation. Once awakened – once knowing oneself only in terms of Atonement – then the need for time and learning end.

That we are not there yet is not a problem; it is not a crime against God or nature. Instead, it is an opportunity to embrace uncertainty and imperfection, and to accept without qualification or condition experience as it is given to us.

When we look at our lives without judgment – or, rather, with the judgment of the Holy Spirit rather than ego – then we are relieved of the need to do anything. Seeing clearly liberates us; we realize that all the anxiety and fear and guilt we have been experiencing are contingent on a way of seeing ourselves and the world that is wrong. So we let it go.

And so we agree to be healed – we agree to see with the Holy Spirit and not with the ego. And if we don’t know how to do that, then we agree to learn. Willingness, not accomplishment, is the hallmark of the miracle-minded. Nothing else becomes us.

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