The Twenty-Third Principle of A Course in Miracles

Miracles rearrange perception and place all levels in true perspective. This is healing because sickness comes from confusing the levels (T-1.I.23:1-2).

Note that this principle subtly points out that miracles occur in the context of separation – the healing they produce (here defined as the end of level confusion) still relies on perspective, i.e., a distinct observer of the world.

Yet the perspective is still ordered – it is still functional – because it is no longer confused about its place. It understands that perspective is always partial and therefore reflects separation. When we no longer insist that our perspective is right, then perception begins to shift from body to mind, there to become attentive to love rather than fear.

Miracles are fundamentally shifts in how we understand ourselves and the world, and they always involve seeing all relationships in a clearer light. We no longer look at the world through a lens of fear but of love, which brings forth acceptance, recognition of our shared equality, and mercy for all the so-called effects of all our so-called errors.

This is a commitment we make as miracle-workers – to see this way, to act this way in anticipation of being transformed in this way, and then – as a result of this practice – to actually being transformed. We see beyond the illusion of separation and remember our true nature as one with God in Creation.

God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful . . . God goes out to them and through them, and there is great joy throughout the Kingdom. Every mind that is changed adds to this joy with its individual willingness to share in it. The truly helpful are God’s miracle workers . . . (T-4.VII.8:1, 5-7).

“Levels” here refers broadly to the physical and the spiritual, though it is possible to see both as having sub-levels. Emotion and intellect, for example, are body levels. Intuition and understanding are more mind levels, and mind and spirit being basically synonymous.

When we are healed by the miracle, we no longer mistake one level for another. We aren’t trying to force the physical world into a spiritual posture it can’t adopt. We aren’t over-investing in the spiritual in order to deny the physical. We aren’t in a state of resistance, trying to force our own ideal or interpretation. What is given? And what is it for? We let the Holy Spirit answer these questions, and the answer always leads to peace.

This is another way of saying that miracles realign perception, so that the various levels remain distinct and clear, lessening our confusion, and allowing us to remember again our unity with all creation.

We call this “healing” because believing in separation – and suffering its myriad effects, such as level confusion – is a form of sickness. The fix is right-seeing which, in A Course in Miracles, we call forgiveness.

To forgive is to see reality as clearly as possible, i.e., with as little judgment and emotional investment as possible. We want to see what is true, not what we prefer be true. This is harder than it seems! We are hard-wired and socially-coded for self-deception.

Yet the more we do this, the more freedom we experience, and the more freedom we experience, the less guilt, fear, anger and hate pervade our awareness. They disappear like mist in sunlight. We don’t heal them, we simply look at them without fear. Doing so reveals their fundamentally illusory nature.

In practice, this means that when our co-worker yells at us, or when we are given a task we don’t think we can do, or when our child is sick or when our dog dies, we see it not as a chance to play the victim, but as a chance to remember that we are Christ by committing to seeing differently. The more we do it the more familiar the process becomes.

As become more skillful with miracles, the mind begins to exercise more of its natural power, which is creativity. This, in turn, leads to more healing and more peace. We create a dynamic cycle in which fear and its effects are increasingly undone. What remains is peace, which is God’s gift to us in Creation.

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