We are entitled to miracles because of who we are as created by God. When we accept this as the truth, miracles extend through us. When we know the love that we are, everything that comes through us comes from that love. It comes about as a result of the correction of our wrong-minded perceptions. This requires a willingness to release our guilt, fear, grievances, and attack thoughts, which block the truth in our minds. The source of all our suffering in this world is our choice for the ego and with it the body and the world of pain. It has resulted in a dream of separation from the love we are. We were created as the unlimited Christ Self. This Self is still in our right minds. It is the part of the mind still connected to the truth. The Holy Spirit is the bridge to truth and a reflection of God's Love in this dream. We are entitled to that love completely and fully because we are God's Son and remain as He created us.
Suffering is our experience in this dream when we identify with the ego. Yes, we have bouts of happiness and pleasure, but they don't last. Suffering comes with the separation because now we no longer experience ourselves as complete and whole, needing nothing. The miracle corrects our wrong-minded perception, which is the source of all our suffering. The miracle shows us that we are indeed entitled to the truth of what we are, and in that experience, we recognize this is all a dream. The miracle shows us that our experience here is an illusion.
Since we chose the ego and the world of fear in the first place, we can choose against it. When we bring our false perceptions to the truth, their undoing brings a shift in how we see. This shift is the miracle that comes when we choose with the Holy Spirit rather than with the ego. We turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation of the people, situations, or events in our lives. When we choose not to listen to the ego, it loses its relevance in our lives. When we make a choice to see with the eyes of Christ, we choose Jesus as our guide and teacher. When we listen to the voice of the ego, we actively block the truth of what we are and look out on a darkened world.
"Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light."
The ego is stubborn, and we may feel this is very difficult when we are suffering. Jesus assures us that grievances are easily passed and have no power to stand between us and the miracle. Why is he so certain? He is certain because, he says,
"The reason is very simple. Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?"
(W.73.5.6-8) It is all about our choice. Do we wish to continue to hold onto our perceptions and suffer, or do we want to forgive these misperceptions and turn to the Holy Spirit for the truth?
"You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is."
(W.77.1.1‑2) He withholds nothing from us.
There is only one thing required of us---to be willing to accept the means given by the Holy Spirit for our salvation and the salvation of the world.
"You have asked for the salvation of the world, and for your own. You have requested that you be given the means by which this is accomplished. You cannot fail to be assured in this. You are but asking that the Will of God be done."
(W.77.5.2-5) The means is forgiveness.
Often when we pray, we come to Jesus or the Holy Spirit with a problem we have already defined, and then we ask for help. We have already limited the scope of the answer by the nature of our question. This limits the miracle when we think we know the problem and therefore we know what question to ask.
"In doing this, you do not really ask for anything."
(W.77.6.1) The reason is that specific questions we ask around specific problems are always related to what we think we need. The truth is that we don't need anything except the healing of our false idea of what the problem is.
The only problem is the belief in separation.
"But the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything."
(T.3.V.6.3) (ACIM OE T.3.VII.56) The miracle is always there, shining its magnificent light behind every seeming problem. Our part is to ask for help in releasing the misperceptions we have about the problem. The problems we have always come from our interpretations of the situation and never from the situation itself. When our misperceptions are brought forward for healing, the miracle can shine through, and then our prayer can be one of gratitude. Accepting the miracle that is always available to us is the answer to every problem we seem to have.
Our job is to let go of the false. We simply claim the right that is our inheritance.
will never ask what you have done to make you worthy of the gift of God. Ask it not therefore of yourself. Instead, accept His answer, for He knows that you are worthy of everything God wills for you. Do not try to escape the gift of God He so freely and so gladly offers you. He offers you but what God gave Him for you. You need not decide whether or not you are deserving of it. God knows you are."
(T.14.III.11.4-10) (ACIM OE T.13.VIII.75) When we hold onto our unworthiness and the belief that we are bad, we are actually trying to escape the gifts God offers us so freely and gladly. We falsely believe we have to make ourselves worthy of His gifts. Yet when we ask that God’s Will be done, we can be certain it is done. He assures us that we cannot fail because the gift is already given. We can only fail if we do not avail ourselves of the means given us so we can claim the gift. The means provided us is to forgive.
To forgive is to bring the blocks in the mind to the truth. We must expose the ego to the light. The Holy Spirit will do all the heavy lifting. Our job is not to try to clean up our own act. It is not to try to fix what we think is wrong. Our job is only to take responsibility for our errors, bring them to the inner altar, and leave the healing to the Holy Spirit. The ego will never undo itself. It is threatened by what we do to expose it for what it is. Until we no longer see value in our will and in our way, in our uniqueness and in our specialness, we will still look to the ego for our salvation. This is what keeps the miracle away.
"Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised."
(W.77.2.1-2) Magic is always about something external, whereas the miracle is internal. Magical thinking is to believe that our spiritual practices will protect us and make us happy. It is the belief that by doing the Course the things we think we need in the world to make us happy will appear. This is an error protected by the ego as it ensures our bodily identification. The fact is that only the Love of God will protect us in all circumstances. It requires healing of the guilt in our own minds. When it is brought to the truth and is healed by the miracle,
"You have been promised the full release from the world you made."
The world we made came from the belief we could separate from God. The miracle shows us that this could not happen. It shows us that,
"We ask no more than what belongs to us in truth,"
(W.77.3.4) which is the awareness of the Kingdom of God within us. (W.77.3.3) With that awareness comes a recognition of the Christ Self. It is always available to us when we choose the Holy Spirit, Who is a reflection of the love we are. When we settle for littleness, lack, or a limited self, we shut out the glorious truth of our Being. The miracle helps to restore to us our inheritance that could never be lost except from our own awareness.
With the separation comes guilt and fear with all its manifestations of anxiety, worry, upset, jealousy, specialness, needs, expectations, frustrations, comparisons, and a never-ending list of problems. The only solution that will ever work is if we go back to the source of every problem, which is always the guilt in the mind. When we take our mistaken perceptions to the Holy Spirit, He offers us a correction, which is the miracle. When we remember to ask sincerely for help to see it differently, the miracle will be received. This shift happens when we turn to the Teacher within instead of relying on our limited resources for the answer. When we try to solve our own problems in form, we are turning to magic. Magic will alleviate symptoms and perhaps address a problem temporarily, but as long as guilt is still in the mind, the problem will persist.
"The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control."
(T.2.IV.2.8) (ACIM OE T.2.III.54) Magic is related to
"the powers the ego ascribes to itself."
(T.4.II.9.1) (ACIM OE T.4.III.35)
When healing is experienced, the extension of the love that shines through us is not the same as being loving. The problem with trying to be loving is that the separated mind has no idea of how this is accomplished. The closest reflection of love in this world is in forgiveness. When grievances, attacks, and judgments are brought to the truth, space is made for love to shine through. That is what the miracle shows us. It shifts our perception from the wrong mind to the right mind where the rights of everyone are upheld.
"Remind yourself also that miracles are never taken from one and given to another, and that in asking for your rights, you are upholding the rights of everyone."
(W.77.4.3) To try to offer unconditional love from our unhealed minds is simply a response to guilt. The guilt in our minds stands in the way of extending miracles. The answer is always the same, which is to release whatever ego thoughts and grievances arise so the love we are can come forth. It takes no effort on our part to extend this love. It is not something we do. It is something that shines forth from us when the blocks to love are removed. To try to be loving, as we understand it, is to expect reciprocity. If we don't get the love in return, we withdraw our love. This is special love, which is a substitute the ego has made for the love we are.
When we don't experience miracles, it is because we stubbornly hold onto our false perceptions. Grievances hold back the miracle. We stubbornly hold onto our judgments when we want to see ourselves as innocent at the expense of our brothers. We are either holding judgments and grievances, or we are in a state of miracle-mindedness. These are mutually exclusive states. Miracles do not always have observable effects. What is important is that perception is shifted in our minds from guilt to innocence. It is a mental shift, which frees our minds from grievances. We are not the source of the miracle. The Holy Spirit is. We can't generate a miracle through our own resources. We must turn to the Holy Spirit. He is the Source of all miracles.
This is a very practical course, but to be experienced this way, we must apply these teachings to our lives on a daily basis so the Course comes alive in our experience. Otherwise, while we can be blown away by the beauty of the words and the brilliance of the concepts, they don't help to shift our minds. Without application, the words and concepts will only have value for the intellect. It takes great willingness to accept complete responsibility for the difficult and challenging situations in our lives and to see every situation as an opportunity for healing.
With the miracle comes a shift from seeing our interests as separate from others to realizing our interests are the same as others. That kind of shift is the focus of the whole Course. It is this shift in our minds from which miracles emanate. It is not about changing our behavior. It is about changing our minds, and behavior follows naturally. It takes practice to choose the thought system of the Holy Spirit more consistently than the thought system of the ego. As we do the practice, we become more in tune with the thought system of the Holy Spirit, and this is the source of miracles. Then the world becomes a witness to our state of mind. When we witness miracles, we witness our own healed perspective.
When we ask for our rights, we are also upholding the rights of everyone because
"Miracles do not obey the laws of this world."
(W.77.4.4) The laws of this world rest on differences, while miracles recognize our brothers as the Self we all share. Jesus says that each decision we make is one between a grievance and a miracle. It is our choice. The only meaningful thing we can do in this lifetime is to watch our minds for grievances and be willing to let them go so miracles can abound.
Love and blessings, Sarah