The Twenty-Sixth Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing.” The undoing of fear is an essential part of the Atonement value of miracles (T-1.I.26.1-3).

The shift in perception that the miracle creates in our mind is always a shift away from fear and towards love. The actual move may be only incidental or appear insignificant. It doesn’t matter. As the first principle of miracles makes clear, “all expressions of love are maximal” (T-1.I.1:4).

Fear and love both appear to us as potential responses in the world. What A Course in Miracles does is invite us to remember that only one of them is actually a real option; the other is an illusion. Therefore, what a miracle does us undo our belief in the unreal, in order to demonstrate that love, not fear in its myriad forms, is our true inheritance (T-in.1:7).

It is in this sense that the Atonement is fundamentally an “undoing.” It changes our mind. It is the active process of correction, which undoes illusion in the present, in order to reveal what was always true, and cannot be otherwise. Atonement clarifies our thinking so that we can know the love of God without the detour into fear manifesting as body-in-world. Without miracles – which are the activity of Atonement – our understanding and practice of Atonement would devolve in rules for behavior, rather than rules for decision.

Decisions are continuous. You do not always know when you are making them. But with a little practice with the ones you recognize, a set begins to form which will see you through the rest. It is not wise to let yourself become preoccupied with every step you take (T-30.I.1:1-4).

This means that in any given situation which feels unmanageable to us – be it a conflict with a family member, an addiction in the body, or an existential crisis in the mind – as ACIM students we are less concerned with updating our behavioral posture in the world, and more interested in undoing the conditions in our mind which led to the error (and its effects) in the first place. By all means go to a twelve-step meeting or take an aspirin. But don’t mistake those actions for healing the sickness of separation; they merely redress some of the symptoms.

Thus, often, our “practice” of A Course in Miracles involves sitting quietly and giving attention to what is, without judgment, without imposing any qualification or condition upon it (which impositions are always attempts to bring past and future into the present in order to minimize its healing effects). When we are still like this, we are able to give attention to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work in our lives. Childhood memories, workplace drama, family behavioral pattners . . . the Holy Spirit disentangles all of them from what we think we are, thus allowing what we truly are to come forth in the manner of a light.

The dark journey is not the way of God’s Son. Walk in light and do not see the dark companions, for they are not fit companions for the Son of God, who was created of light and in light. The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you (T-11.III.4:5-7).

This divine psychotherapy with the Holy Spirit as our therapist is always ongoing, and it is always healing. Sometimes we call this “miracle-minded thinking” or “right-minded thinking.” What we call it doesn’t matter, so long as we are doing it.

Miracles are both causes and effects of miracle-minded thinking, which is always about getting out of our own way in order to allow the Holy Spirit to heal us by restoring to our awareness what we are in Truth, which is beyond the need for healing, because it cannot be other that perfectly whole. This is natural but not easy because we have trained ourselves away from what is natural. Separation takes effort.

This remembrance occurs in time and by degrees. Yet as it gathers strength in us, we learn to trust it. We lean into it. And the further we lean, the more it holds and sustains us, thus enabling even more trust and healing. In this way, Atonement saves us by pointing out that we do not need – and never did need – saving.

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