The Fifty Miracle Principles
of A Course in Miracles
Later on in Principle 32, Jesus says that he is the one who inspires miracles. I want to mention one thing about the role of Jesus and the role of the Holy Spirit, because in these principles they will be used interchangeably, and I will use them interchangeably. From the point of view of function, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are synonymous. They both serve the function of being the internal Teacher or the inner Voice that will lead us home. This makes sense when you consider that Jesus is the one who had totally transcended his ego, which means that the only Voice that he has within him is that of the Holy Spirit. A Course in Miracles teaches that we have two voices that are continually speaking inside us -- the ego's voice and the Holy Spirit's Voice. Since Jesus no longer has an ego, the only voice that is within him is the Holy Spirit's Voice. That is why later on in the Course he says that he is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit (manual, p. 85; C-6.1:1). He is not the Holy Spirit, but the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. He also makes it clear in many references in the text how he had listened to the Holy Spirit (e.g., text, pp. 71, 75; T-5.11.9,10; T-5.IV.4:1). The Holy Spirit had been his Teacher, and now he will help us to learn the same lessons he did. Therefore, from the point of view of function, we could use the Holy Spirit and Jesus interchangeably. They both serve as the inner Voice, the internal Teacher who corrects the errors of the ego's teaching. The miracle, then, comes from him. To say that Jesus is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is also to say he is the manifestation of God's Love.
In a more general sense, the real miracle is the love that inspires the miracle, which means that the real miracle, then, is God, or the Holy Spirit and Jesus Who speak for God inside our own minds. This also makes it clear, as these principles repeatedly do, that the miracle does not come from us. We are not the ones who could shift our perception from the ego to the miracle; that is the role of the Holy Spirit. All that we can do is to choose the miracle instead of the ego. That is what the Course refers to when it speaks of "the little willingness" (text, p. 355; T-18.IV). That is the only thing the Course requires of us: the little willingness that enables us to begin to question our judgment of the world, and of what we see in the world. It asks that we at least be able to question what we have made real in terms of our perceptions of other people or of ourselves. Again, it says "a little willingness"; it does not say a lot. It also teaches us that if we had a lot of willingness, then we would not need the Holy Spirit, the holy instant, or the Course (text, p. 366; T-18.W.2,4,5).
Q: Would that be an expression of love?
A: Choosing to hear Jesus' voice rather than the ego would be. You could say that would be an expression of love or a decision for love. The idea really is to try not to get too hung up with the specific words, because then you will go crazy. This is not the Talmud. You are not supposed to dissect this and analyze this line by line in that sense. The idea is to use the words as a way of getting to what the experience is, which is an experience of God.
Remember, it is very easy to get trapped by words. The manual says that "words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality" (manual, p. 51; M-21.1:9-10). A Course in Miracles speaks of God in symbolic terms, calling Him "Father," and often speaking of Him as having attributes of caring, loving, being lonely, etc. A section called "Beyond All Symbols" (text, p. 531; T-27.111) underscores the idea that truth and God are beyond all symbols and concepts we use here. Yet within this world, the Holy Spirit has need of symbols to lead us ultimately beyond them all. Right -- and wrong-mindedness are the Holy Spirit's and the ego's use of symbols so that in this context the word "miracle" is used in a more general sense. Elsewhere, Principle 24 states: "You are a miracle."
Q: But the yardstick of always asking the question, "What is it for?" is that one of the keys?
A: Yes, that is the key. As I alluded to before, the Course says the only thing we should ever ask of anything in this world is: "What is it for?" What purpose does it serve? (text, p. 341; T-17.VI.2:1-2) And there are only two purposes, just as we said there are only two contents. One is the purpose of the ego, which is to reinforce separation; the other is the purpose of the Holy Spirit, which is to heal the separation. That is why the Course repeatedly urges us, just as the gospel has done, not to judge. It is the ego that judges; and when we judge, we always judge based on form. One of the major ingredients in the ego system is judgment, because once you judge a form as being good or not good, sick or well, holy or not holy, you are making it real. You are saying that there are levels in this world, levels of holiness; there are some forms that are holier or better than other forms. If you have to pinpoint one of the major mistakes that organized religions have made, it is in the preoccupation with form, saying that form matters. Once you say that the form matters, then you are saying that the body is real. You are saying that there is a hierarchy of illusions: certain behaviors, certain bodies, certain forms are holier than others. What frees you from that temptation, again, is to ask the question, "What is it for?" It is the purpose that is holy, not the form. And what makes the purpose holy is that it comes from the Holy Spirit, which means that the purpose is to heal and to join. What makes something unholy is not the thing itself, not the form, not what it looks like, not what the behavior is, but the purpose that it serves: namely, to reinforce attack and separation. What the miracle does is correct that misperception; this will become clearer as we work through a lot of these other principles.
Miracle Studies Navigation Table
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|Biographical: Helen, Bill, Ken||Unauthorized Manuscripts||The Story of A Course in Miracles||The Psychology of ACIM|
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