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 are occurrences 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 primacy. 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 a relationship in a clearer light, because we are no longer looking through a lens of fear but of love, which means acceptance, recognition of our shared equality, and mercy.

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

“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, 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.

Miracles realign perception, so that the levels remain distinct and clear, lessening our confusion, and allowing us to remember again our unity with all life.

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.

The more we do this, the more freedom we experience, and the more freedom we experience, the less guilt and fear, anger and hate, pervade our awareness. They simply begin to disappear, like morning fog as the sun rises. We don’t heal them, we simply look at them without fear.

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 we are Christ by committing to seeing differently.

The body’s eyes lose their centrality, as the mind begins to realize its power, which is the power of creativity. This begets yet more healing, and yet more peace.

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