The Miracle

The Course teaches us that nothing exists outside our minds. It is our perception which requires healing rather than any external situation.

This certainly does not mean that we can -- or should -- ignore the suffering which we see in this world. We can offer assistance to our brothers and sisters on a level at which they can accept and receive help. Someone who is dying from hunger should be given food, not a metaphysical discourse on the illusory nature of the world. Our aim is to decrease his fear, not heighten it. Once he has recovered, he can then look at the underlying issue: the problem of separation.

Some people may be able to ignore the surface issues and go straight to the real problem -- the separation. For most of us this will take time. We have spent many years (and, some would say, many lifetimes) building up our belief in our ego and the world.

This collective illusion is not undone by spending just ten minutes a day reading A Course in Miracles. The change only comes when we apply faithfully the lessons of the Course to each situation we encounter.

When we offer help, we should question our motives honestly: do we help because it makes us feel wanted and/or increases our self-importance? Or do we offer assistance because we feel inspired by God's love and want to extend this to others? Only when the latter is the case can we speak of a miracle. The Course asks us repeatedly: "Why are you doing this, what is it for?"

In simple terms, a miracle is an expression of love, just as forgiveness is. By means of the miracle, we extend God's love to others. The real miracle is the change in perception: from the ego's view, to the certainty of the Holy Spirit.

A miracle will not always have an observable effect, and we should not be disappointed by that. It is not for us to judge whether God's love has been accepted, and in what way. Our only function is to be a channel for this love, and we trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the best way possible.

It may be tempting to wish for a particular miracle, but this could be an indication of ego involvement in the desired outcome. When we experience that, we are encouraged to take a step back and hand the situation over to the Holy Spirit. He is infinitely better at solving problems than our egos will ever be.

Many students will be able to share their first-hand experience of the way love can change us. The miracle is a sign that a long period of darkness is coming to an end:

"Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality." (W-part II.13.5:1-4)

The immortality which the Course mentions actually refers to the mind, not the body. According to the Course, the body is not really alive and, therefore, cannot die. It is merely laid aside when it has served its purpose on earth (to be a means of communication and a vehicle for learning).