82 The miracle is a learning device which lessens the need for time. In the longitudinal or horizontal plane, the recognition of the true equality of all the members of the Sonship appears to involve almost endless time. However, the sudden shift from horizontal to vertical perception which the miracle entails introduces an interval from which the doer and the receiver
both emerge much farther along in time than they would otherwise have been.
83 The miracle thus has the unique property of shortening time by rendering the space of time it occupies unnecessary. There is
no relationship between the time a miracle
takes and the time it
covers. It substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. It does this by the underlying recognition of perfect equality and holiness between the doer and the receiver on which the miracle rests.
84 We said before that the miracle abolishes time. It does this by a process of
collapsing it and thus abolishing certain
intervals within it. It does this, however,
within the larger temporal sequence. It establishes an out-of-pattern time interval which is
not under the usual laws of time. Only in this sense is it timeless. By collapsing time, it literally saves time. Much as daylight saving time does, it rearranges the distribution of light.
85 The miracle is the only device which man has at his immediate disposal for controlling time. Only revelation
transcends time, having nothing to do with time at all.
86 The miracle is much like the body in that both are learning aids which aim at facilitating a state in which they are unnecessary. When the Soul's original state of direct communication is reached, neither the body nor the miracle serves any purpose. While he believes he is in a body, however, man can choose between loveless and miraculous channels of expression. He can make an empty shell, but he
cannot express nothing at all. He can wait, delay, paralyze himself, reduce his creativity to almost nothing, and even introduce a developmental arrest or even a regression. But he
cannot abolish his creativity. He can destroy his medium of communication but
not his potential.
87 Man was
not created by his own free will alone. Only what
he creates is his to decide. The basic decision of the miracle-minded is not to wait on time any longer than is necessary. Time can waste as well as be wasted. The miracle-worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly because he recognizes that every collapse of time brings all men closer to the ultimate
release from time in which the Son and the Father
88 Equality does not imply homogeneity
now. When everyone recognizes that he has everything, individual contributions to the Sonship will no longer be necessary. When the Atonement has been completed,
all talents will be shared by
all the Sons of God. God is
not partial. All His Children have His total love, and
all His gifts are freely given to everyone alike. "Except ye become as little children" means that, unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father.
89 You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness. You never really
wanted peace before, so there was no point in being told how to achieve it. No learning is acquired by anyone unless he wants to learn it and believes in some way that he
needs it. While the concept of lack does not exist in the creation of God, it is
very apparent in the creations of man. It is, in fact, the essential difference. A need implies lack by definition. It involves the recognition that you would be better off in a state which is somehow different from the one you are in.
90 Until the "separation," which is a better term than the "fall," nothing was lacking. This meant that man had no needs at all. If he had not deprived himself, he would never have experienced them. After the separation, needs became the most powerful source of motivation for human action. All behavior is essentially motivated by needs, but behavior itself is not a divine attribute. The body is the mechanism for behavior. The belief that he
could be better off is the reason why man has this mechanism at his disposal.
91 Each one acts according to the particular hierarchy of needs he establishes for himself. His hierarchy, in turn, depends on his perception of what he
is—that is, what he
lacks. A sense of separation from God is the
only lack he really needs to correct. This sense of separation would never have occurred if he had not distorted his perception of truth and thus perceived
himself as lacking. The concept of
any sort of need hierarchy arose because, having made this fundamental error, he had already fragmented himself into levels with different needs. As he integrates
he becomes one, and his needs become one accordingly.