The Fifty Miracle Principles of A Course in Miracles
by Kenneth Wapnick

Principle 47

The miracle is a learning device that lessens the need for time. It establishes an out-of-pattern time
interval not under the usual laws of time. In this sense it is timeless.

Let me go over what I said earlier, and then we will apply it to this principle. The need we all share is to use time to help us realize there is no time, and to use time to get us off this carpet (see chart  ). Let us say that we have a massive ego problem with certain specific people around certain specific issues, which would take a tremendously long period of time to get off this carpet.

The miracle lifts us above the world of time. Through our choosing to forgive this huge chunk of guilt, it carries us over and then drops us back down onto time. It establishes an "out-of-pattern time interval." Let us say, for example, that this time interval within the laws of the world would have been a thousand years. By lifting us above the world of time, carrying us over, and then dropping us back down, we saved that thousand years, and so that whole interval of time now has been abolished. Again, that is the idea of saving time. Let me repeat what I said earlier. A very difficult relationship -- one that brings up a tremendous amount of anger, hurt, resentment, guilt, anxiety, etc. -- then becomes a very powerful means, if we let it, for working through a huge chunk of guilt. For it is this deeply repressed guilt that has surfaced through the relationship. If you read the first paragraph on page 6 in the text (text, p. 6; T-I.11.6), you will see this process clearly discussed. It is a very nice encapsulated summary of much of what we have been talking about.

Helen once was complaining to Jesus: "How come my life is so difficult?" To anyone else, her life would not have seemed difficult. Externally, she did not have a very hard life, but internally it was very painful for her. She was complaining to him about it, and as an answer, he gave her the image of a mountain. Helen's understanding of the image and Jesus' explanation was: "You are walking through the mountain. It would be much easier, in terms of requiring less effort, if you walked up the mountain and then down the other side, but it would take you much, much longer. By walking through the mountain, which is much more difficult, you will save a lot of time. Walking through the mountain is walking through very difficult and very painful situations, which in the usual course of events would have taken you many, many lifetimes, which is the walking up the mountain and down the other side." A Course in Miracles aims at saving time by having more and more people have their minds healed more quickly go that the plan of the Atonement can be speeded up, so that people can find peace more quickly.

That is why for many people, when they begin working with the Course, things seem to got worse. It is not because God is punishing them. It is because the Holy Spirit has taken their request seriously. They are saying to the Holy Spirit, "I want to learn more quickly." That is why Goethe is reported to have said, "You always have to watch out for what you ask because you might get it." This is how the miracle works. In this sense, it is timeless because it undoes time. It still occurs within the dimension of time, but it abolishes time or collapses time.

The crucial point is understanding what the miracle does, and this cannot be emphasized enough -- in fact, if you leave today with nothing else but this idea, you would have come away with a great deal -- the miracle is the means that the Holy Spirit uses to teach us that we are not the victims of the world. Our problems are not what others or the world do to us, but rather what we believe we have done to ourselves. Let me repeat a line that I quote frequently: "Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated" (text, p. 523; T-26. X.4:1). I can be treated unfairly only by myself, and for that I have already been forgiven. This is the essence of the curriculum of A Course in Miracles.

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