To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read Chapter 1, Section II. (pages 7-8).
We were created by Love as Love and continuous with Love. Love is always wholly united, with no distinction or division. Because Love is one, all Love is equal and the same. Love is eternally sharing Itself or extending Itself. Because Love is united and continuous, Love is always being extended to Itself. That is why in truth, giving and receiving are the same. This ‘beingness’ in Love’s oneness is our natural state. We experience our natural state of being whenever we offer Love and peace to anyone equally.
When we offer Love’s gratitude, appreciation and oneness, we experience the Love we give. When we offer Love’s gentle peace, we experience the peace we extend. This experience of offering the truth that only Love is real is just a tiny taste of what it is like in our true and natural state of unity in Heaven.
As long as we believe we are separate individuals in separate bodies and limited to the experience of the body, the experience of the exquisite extension of Love that is Heaven is beyond our awareness. But this is only a temporary state. We can learn to let go of identification with the body and a separate identity. The function of our internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit, is to lead us back to our natural state — to Heaven, where we are in truth.
In section II of chapter 1, Jesus tells us, "Revelations are indirectly inspired by me because I am close to the Holy Spirit, and alert to the revelation-readiness of my brothers. I can thus bring down to them more than they can draw down to themselves. The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation." (T-1.II.5:1-3) In this dream realm of time, the chief teaching aid the Holy Spirit uses is the miracle. It is the change in perception that comes with forgiveness.
Forgiveness and miracles are intertwined and are always found together. "Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one. They are the one beginning with the end to lead to Oneness far beyond themselves." (C-4.3:6-7) Forgiveness, which is letting go of the past, or letting go of illusions of differences, opens our minds to a new perception of our brother that is free of guilt. When we forgive and see our brother has never changed and is forever innocent, we move a step closer to the awareness of our unity. Forgiveness unifies. Judgment divides.
In this false world of separate bodies, rarely is anyone capable of total, unequivocal forgiveness with no reservations. The willingness is not yet there. The Holy Spirit has infinite patience and guides us gently and compassionately to forgive when the willingness is there. Each instant of forgiveness brings the experience of peace and unity that our hearts yearn to remember. It may be only experienced briefly, but the memory is retained and serves as a motivator to forgive more. It increases our willingness to be taught another way of seeing. We become open to the miracle of aligning our perceptions with truth as God created it.
Many who have gone through the Pathways of Light ministry training have expressed the experience of a sense of timelessness, sometimes described as the collapse of time. This is the feeling that occurs with accepting Holy Spirit’s change in perception that occurs when we bring our attention to our reality as eternal Spirit instead of the temporal activities of the body that we call daily living in a world of time and space.
We can learn to open our minds to these shifts in perception, daily, moment by moment. It comes with developing the practice of opening our minds to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. It comes with a willingness to recognize that on our own, we do not know what anything means. The ACIM workbook lessons help us develop this habit. They train us to keep our minds in a state of miracle readiness.
In this section Jesus describes the difference between revelation and miracles. Revelation is outside the realm of time and space, or form, and miracles lie within the realm of form.
About 30 years ago I had a profound experience of unspeakable peace. After a while it seemed that I was brought back to my worldly experience. It was a such profound experience, I will never forget it. It motivated me to want to learn how to return to this profound feeling again. Returning to this experience became my deepest prayer. This intense desire led me on a 30 year journey that continues today. I know now that this lifelong journey is a journey of taking my perceptions, or the way I am seeing the world, to the Holy Spirit to be purified of all my false ideas.
During these past 30 years there have been many times that I felt confused and afraid. I yearned to experience the indescribable awareness of God’s peace and Love again. Over the years I have had many ups and downs. But gradually I was led, step by step, to strengthen the habit of bringing each perceived problem to the Holy Spirit for clarity and healing. I learned that my thoughts were the cause of my problems. I learned to quiet my mind and be open. I learned to step back and listen to the Source of Love within me That had the only meaningful answer.
Each time I practice this, it strengthens a new way of thinking about myself and those around me. I still experience moments of confusion, fear and guilt, but now I have an awareness of an inner Guidance that shines a Light on each situation so I can look at it differently. I believe that this is what Jesus is talking about when he talks about accepting miracles into our lives.
I relate the experience I had 30 years ago of unspeakable peace to what he calls revelation in this section. That experience has been a motivation for me to accept the miracles, or changes in perception, that come from the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit provides the bridge between illusions and the truth, miracles lie within the realm of time and space. Daily they are gradually leading me toward changing the way I think about myself and my brothers. At the end of Chapter 1 it says, "Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed." (T-1.VII.5:11)
Miracles shorten the need for time. Instead of learning through trial and error, which is the ego’s way, I am moving toward learning from the Holy Spirit, Who leads me out of belief in separation and guilt, time and space. The Holy Spirit leads me toward remembering equality, remembering oneness, remembering everyone’s innate innocence. As I am willing to receive a change of mind, the Holy Spirit leads me out of conflict and toward inner peace. "The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. It does so by the underlying recognition of perfect equality of giver and receiver on which the miracle rests. The miracle shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating certain intervals within it." (T-1.II.6:7-9)
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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