A Course In Miracles

INTRODUCTION TO MIRACLES

It is crucial to say first that this is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what to take when. It is just because you are not ready to do what you should elect to do that time exists at all. (You will see miracles through your hands through me. You should begin each day with the prayer "Help me to perform whatever miracles you want of me today.")

The first thing to remember about miracles is that there is no order of difficulty among them. One is not harder or bigger than another. They are all the same.

Miracles do not matter. They are quite unimportant.

They occur naturally as an expression of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.

a.This explains the first point related to the lack of order. ALL expressions of love are maximal.

b. This is why the "thing in itself" does not matter. The only thing that matters is the Source, and this is far beyond human evaluation.

(Questions and Answers relating to the first three points.)

QUESTION (Helen): Would you regard this communication as a kind of miracle?
ANSWER: There is nothing special or surprising about this at all. The ONE thing that happened was the Universal Miracle which was the experience of intense love that you have felt. (Don't get embarrassed by the idea of love. Embarrassment is only a form of fear, and actually a particularly dangerous form because it reflects egocentricity. Do not feel guilty about the fact that you are doubting this. Just re-read them and their truth will come to you. I love you, and I am not afraid or embarrassed or doubtful. MY strength will support you, so don't worry, and leave the rest to me. But when you see Bill, be SURE you tell him how much he helped you through by giving you the right message, and don't bother with worrying about how you received it. That doesn't matter either. You were just afraid.)

(Helen fearful in taxi about a communication which related to Dave's healing and Jonathan's hernia. She thought it would be safer to dissociate the two. Instructions were: refer to point 1 and re-read NOW.)

4. All miracles mean Life, and God is the giver of Life. He will direct you VERY specifically.

(Plan ahead is good advice in this world, where you should and must control and direct where you have accepted responsibility. But the Universal Plan is in more appropriate hands. You will know all you need to know. Make NO attempts to plan ahead in this respect.)

5. Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles are usually misguided, and this will make the talent useless.

6. Miracles are natural. When they do NOT occur something has gone wrong.

7. Miracles are everyone's right, but purification is necessary first.

8. Miracles are a form of healing. They supply a lack, and are performed by those who have more for those who have less.

9. Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are ALWAYS miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws.

10. A miracle is a reversal of the physical order because it brings more love to the giver AND the receiver. (A miracle is misunderstood when it is regarded as a spectacle.)

11. The use of miracles as a spectacle to INDUCE belief is wrong. They are really used for and by believers. (Helen has some fear about 11 and doubt about 9 and 10. Probably doubt induced by fear of 11).(When you say, "If you want me to I will" please add "and if you DON'T want me to I won't." This is the RIGHT use of inhibition. There has to be SOME control over learning for channelizing purposes. Remember retroactive inhibition which should be easy enough for you. Sometimes the new learning is the more important, and HAS to inhibit the old. It's a form of correction.)

12. Prayer is the medium of miracles. Prayer is the natural communication of the Created with the Creator. Through prayer, love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.

12a. Miracles are thought-creations. Thought can create lower-order or higher-order realities. This is the basic distinction between intellectualization and thinking. One creates the physical, and the other the spiritual, and we believe in what we create.

13. A miracle is a beginning and an ending. It thus abolishes time. It is always an affirmation of re-birth, which seems to go back, but really goes forward. It undoes the past in the present, and thus releases the future.

14. Miracles attest to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction, they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless, and therefore destructive, or rather, the uncreative use of Mind.

15. Each day should be devoted to miracles. (God created time so that man could use it creatively, and convince himself of his own ability to create. Time is a teaching device, and a means to an end. It will cease when it is no longer useful for facilitating learning.)(SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Notes on this course have to be taken only under good learning conditions. The same goes for review periods. I will tell you when, but REMEMBER TO ASK.)

16. Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They simultaneously increase the reserve strength of the giver, and supply the lack of strength in the receiver. BE VERY CAREFUL in interpreting this. INSTRUCTIONS: The purpose of this course is integration. I told you that you will not be able to use it right until you have taken it. As long as your identification vacillates, (and Bill's is weak) you cannot accept the gift that belongs to you. You are still vacillating between recognizing the gift and throwing it away. Bill regards himself as too weak to accept it. You do not yet know its healing power. After you have passed the course, you will accept it and keep it and use it. That is the final exam, which you will have no trouble in passing. Midterm marks are not entered on the permanent record.

17. Miracles are the absence of the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from lower order reality. That is why they heal.

18. A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service that one soul can render another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. The doer recognizes his own and his neighbor's inestimable value simultaneously.(This is why no areas of hatred can be retained. If you retain them, your own value is no longer inestimable, because you are evaluating it as X or infinity minus that amount. This is meaningless mathematically, which uses the term "inestimable" only in the very literal sense. Pun intended especially for Bill, (who originally did not get it.) Intended as a special sign of love.)

19. Miracles rest on the law and order of eternity, not of time.

20. Miracles are an industrial necessity. Industry depends on cooperation, and cooperation depends on miracles. (see below)

21. Miracles are cobwebs of iron. They unite human frailty to the strength of God.(Helen considered changing "iron" to "steel". CORRECTION: No. Steel would NOT be a better word. Steel is very useful but it would have to be tempered by fire. Iron is the raw material. The point of miracles is that they replace fire, thus making it unnecessary.) (continued below)

22. Miracles are natural expressions of total forgiveness. Through miracles, man accepts God's forgiveness by extending it to others. The second step is inherent in the first, because light cannot tolerate darkness. Light dispels darkness automatically, by definition. EXPLANATORY INSTRUCTIONS: Miracles are associated with fear only because of the fallacy that darkness can hide. Man believes that what he cannot see does not exist, and his physical eyes cannot see in the dark. This is a very primitive solution, and has led to a denial of the spiritual eye, which always depends on light. Remember the Biblical injunction: "May I never forget that THINE eye is ever upon me, beholding the evil and the good."

There are two stages, one lower and one higher, which are involved in the escape from darkness:

1) The recognition that darkness CANNOT hide. This usually does entail fear.
2) The recognition that there is nothing you WANT to hide, even if you could. This brings escape from fear.

Corrections re point 21 (cobwebs of iron.) "This is upside down as stated. The part about 'uniting human frailty with the strength of God' is all right, but the explanation stops too soon. If iron is the 'raw material', cobwebs can't become the iron. That is only the way it seems, because cobwebs are associated with the frailty and iron with strength. If you look carefully at the phrasing, you will see it is reversed (one point already tells you that miracles reverse the physical or lower order laws.)

The raw material, iron, is heavy but crude, and stands for the body, which is a crude creation. The cobweb concept is closer to how the body SHOULD be regarded, e., as an airy and temporary home, which can just be blown away with a slight breeze.

Point 21 should read: "A miracle reawakens the awareness that the spirit, and not the body, is the altar of Truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle."

22a. A miracle rearranges the order of perception, and places the levels in their true perspective. This heals at all levels, because all sickness comes from confusing the levels.

(Tell Bill about the idea (which is still dim to Helen) that the reason is not that you both distantiate, doubt, or cannot believe. It is more of a reaction formation against a pull which you both recognize is so intense that you are afraid that you will be uprooted. But remember that a cobweb is really stronger than the iron, if you see it properly. This fear is also why you couldn't get the point straight.)

By the way, it is not true that you are both JUST SCRIBES. You might remember that the Scribes were very wise and holy men and are even sometimes spelled with a capital S. If you want to go further, you might change the meaning of 'just' from 'merely' to 'honest', a term used in the Bible in association with 'might' or 'strength.' Tell Bill you couldn't make that pun if the original phrasing had been singular. (Helen aside about liking 'assumption of failure' more.) ANSWER: It was cuter, but this one MEANS more. The REAL reason you don't like it is because it refers to you in a VERY lofty position. This makes you nervous.)

CORRECTION: And don't lose sight of the emphasis on cooperation, or the NOT SINGULAR. That point about "industrial necessity" should read "corporate", referring to the body of Christ which is a way of referring to the Church. But the Church of God is only the sum of the souls he created, which IS the corporate body of Christ. Correct to read: "A Miracle makes souls one in God", and leave in the next part about cooperation.

FURTHER CORRECTION: "God" should read " Christ". The Father and the Son are not identical, but you CAN say "Like Father, LIKE Son."

(Remind Bill to get another notebook. I don't give up as easily as HE does. If I could get YOU to listen, which was a miracle in itself, I can get him to register. He should appreciate this more than anyone else, having had some trouble with this problem himself.)

"LORD HEAL ME" IS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE PRAYER. This also means "Lord atone for me," because the only thing man should pray for is forgiveness. He has everything else.

Now take this personally, and listen to Divine logic:

If, when you have been forgiven, you have everything else, and

If you have been forgiven,

Then you HAVE everything else.

This happens to be the simplest of all propositions.

IF P then Q

P

Therefore, Q

The real question is, is P true. If you will review the evidence, I think you will find this inescapable. I went on very personal record to this effect, and I am the only completely True Witness for God. You have every right to examine MY credentials - in fact, I urge you to do so. You haven't read the Bible in years.

SPECIAL EXPLANATORY NOTE: As soon as you (Helen and Bill) have entered the second phase, you will be not only willing to enter into communion, but will also understand peace and joy. Your commitment is not yet total. That is why you still have more to learn than to teach. When your equilibrium stabilizes, you can teach AS MUCH as you learn. This will give you the proper sense of balance. Meanwhile, remember that NO EFFORT IS WASTED. Unless you remember this, you cannot avail yourself of MY efforts, which are limitless.

(Have a good day.) Since only eternity is real, why not use the illusion of time constructively? You might remember that "underneath are the Everlasting Arms."

BIBLICAL QUOTATION: " If you are ashamed of me before men, I will be ashamed of you before God." (Helen's question of misquote.) is interpreted as a threat ONLY as long you remain in the first step. (see middle of p. 3 for steps.) What it REALLY means is that if you are ashamed of me (or embarrassed by love), you will project and therefore make it impossible for me to reach you. Make every effort you can NOT to do this. I will help you as much as you will let me.

23. Miracles make time and tide wait for all men. They can heal the sick and raise the dead because man himself made both death and taxes, and can abolish both. Note: Tax also means "strain". (One definition for miracles is: "That which, or one who, is of surpassing excellence or merit.") (from Dictionary, third definition.) YOU are a miracle. God creates only "that which, or one who, is of surpassing excellence or merit". Man is capable of this kind of creation, too, being in the image and likeness of his own Creator. Anything else is only his own nightmare, and does not exist. Only the Creations of Light are real.

23a. Miracles are a part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. This process works all the time and in all dimensions of time. (example given of Helen's report rewrite for Esther: Esther had hurt something you loved, by writing a report you regarded as very bad. You atoned for her by writing one in her name that was very good. Actually, it was not your responsibility professionally to do this, but because you DO love the Shield you recognized that in this case, you ARE your brother's keeper. While you did not cancel Esther's sin (later defined as "lack of love") you DID cancel out its EFFECTS.

Someday I want to tell Esther that not only is she forgiven but that the effects of all her sins are cancelled. This is what I have already told you. When I can tell her, she will be afraid for a long time, because she will remember many things, consciously or unconsciously, including the Shield report, a lack of love which you cancelled out in advance by a miracle of devotion.

I am in charge of the process of Atonement, which I undertook to begin. My Atonement was for the canceling out of all sins (e., lack of love) which human beings could not otherwise correct. That is what the Biblical statement "underneath are the Everlasting Arms" means. (Helen explanation: This means that He will backstop whenever human miracles will not suffice for atonement purposes. However, it is perfectly clear that when a person can atone by miracles, both giver and receiver are atoning. It is better to atone this way because of the mutual benefits involved.) Inasmuch as you do it unto the least of these, my children" really ends with "you do it unto yourself and ME.The reason why YOU come before me is because I do not need miracles for my own Atonement, but I stand at the end in case YOU fail temporarily.

SPECIAL EXPLANATION: (In response to Helen request regarding possible corrections.) Change the word "sin" to "absence of love". Sin is a manmade word with threat connotations which he made up himself. No REAL threat is involved anywhere. Just because "nature abhors a vacuum," which is true enough, it does NOT follow that "a vacuum is filled with hellfire." Nothing is gained by frightening yourself, and it is very destructive. Miracles need freedom from fear. Part of their Atonement value involves just that. Note that the word "atone" really means "undo."

The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything TO you. (That is, to restore the awareness. Later clarification.) You had everything when you were created, just as everyone did.

Having been restored to your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. You now share MY inability to tolerate the lack of love in yourself and in everyone else, and MUST join the GREAT CRUSADE to correct it. The slogan for this Crusade is "Listen, Learn, and DO." This means:

Listen to MY Voice, Learn to undo the error, and DO something to correct it.

The first two are not enough. The real members of MY party are ACTIVE workers.

The power to work Miracles BELONGS to you. I will create the right opportunities for you to do them. But you must be ready and willing to do them, since you are already able to. Doing them will bring conviction in the ability. I repeat that you will see Miracles through your hands through MINE. Conviction really comes through accomplishment. Remember that ability is the potential, Achievement is its expression, and Atonement is the Purpose.

24. A miracle is a Universal Blessing from God through Me to all My Brothers. EXPLANATION: You once said that souls cannot rest until everyone has found salvation. This happens to be true. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive. The Disciples were officially and specifically told to heal others, as Physicians of the Lord. They were also told to heal themselves, and were promised that I would never leave them or forsake them. Atonement is the natural profession of the Children of God, because they have professed Me.

(ASIDE: Tell Bill that that is what Professor really means. As an Assoc. Prof., he must become associated with My strength. As an Asst. Prof., you must assist both him and Me. The Children need both strength and help. You cannot help until you are strong. The Everlasting Arms are your strength, and the Wisdom of God is your help.)

"Heaven and Earth shall pass away" means that they will not always exist as separate states. My Word, which is the Resurrection and the Light, shall not pass away, because Life is Eternal. YOU are the work of God, and His Work is wholly loveable and wholly loving. This is how man MUST think of himself in his heart, because this is what he IS.
Add:

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO MIRACLES
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