A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 1: The Meaning of Miracles

Section III: Atonement and Miracles

Read Chapter 1, Section III. (pages 8-11).

What part does Jesus play in the Atonement?

The Course is written from the point of view that Jesus is the speaker. Because he has wholly aligned his thoughts with the Holy Spirit, he is the manifestation or expression of the Holy Spirit. So when he says, “I am in charge of the process of Atonement,” (1:1) we can think of it as the Holy Spirit speaking to us through the symbol that we call Jesus. It is not important that we believe that this is Jesus talking. The ego can easily get caught up in theological debates and try to keep our attention on ‘outer form’ rather than the truth of oneness. What is important is that we allow ourselves to experience and extend miracles (healed perception), which is the means to the Atonement.

What does Atonement mean?

Miracles principal #26 tells us that, ” ‘Atoning’ means ‘undoing.’ ” So the Atonement is the undoing of the mistaken ideas in our mind. We are thinking that separate bodies are real and this is not how God created us. The means for the Atonement is the acceptance of miracles, which is the correction of our perception. As we listen to the Voice for God (Holy Spirit), the errors in our mind are corrected. As we accept a correction in our perception, we just naturally join in the plan of the Atonement, because in truth, minds are joined.

In this section, Jesus is correcting our perception by bringing us to the remembrance of our true Identity. He tells us, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is.” (2:3-4) It is a very helpful practice to remind yourself often during the day that you are the work of God and that as God’s work (or extension), you are wholly lovable and wholly loving. Reminding yourself daily that you are Love’s extension helps you return to your true Identity. The more you identify yourself as being Love’s extension, the more you will just naturally extend the Love that you are.

The purpose of the Atonement is to undo all the errors in our mind. We have been thinking of ourselves as something other than Spirit and this is clearly mistaken thinking. Joining with mistaken thoughts is the source of all our fear. As we are willing to let all the errors in our minds be corrected, the Atonement uproots the source of fear. As we learn to accept the undoing of the dream of separation, we return to remembering that we are eternal Spirit. We gradually let go of believing in the ego’s laws of limitation and recognize that we are under no laws but God’s. We recognize that we are in a state of God’s grace forever.

What happens when we accept the Atonement?

As we accept the Atonement, or the undoing of the dream of separation, we recognize that we are united with all our brothers and we naturally join in releasing our brothers by focusing on their true reality as one with all Love. As we accept this change of mind for ourselves, we become miracle workers. Jesus tells us, “The miracle worker can only bless them [our brothers], and thus undoes their distortions and frees them from prison.” (5:11)

The goal of the miracle is to restore the awareness of reality. Jesus tells us, “Those who are released must join in releasing their brothers, for this is the plan of the Atonement. Miracles are the way in which minds that serve the Holy Spirit unite with me for the salvation or release of all of God’s creations. (3:3-4)

Why was this world ‘made’ and what is the way out of the stress and ups and downs we experience so frequently?

This world was made up in our minds as a ‘place’ to serve the ego belief that separation is real. The way out of this stressful dream of separation is through shifting our allegiance from the ego’s way of seeing everything in this world to the Holy Spirit’s spiritual sight. We do this by letting the Holy Spirit decide for us what everything means, and not deciding anything on our own. The early lessons of the Workbook teach us that we do not know what anything means. This is an important step in learning to let the Holy Spirit be in charge of all our thoughts.

When we join in the one-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, we are uniting with Jesus and serving God’s plan of awakening. When we put the Holy Spirit in charge, He leads us to forgive the past, to forgive our brothers and therefore know we are forgiven. By releasing our brothers from all guilt, we are helping them release themselves from guilt by not sharing in their distorted ideas about themselves. We bless our brothers by seeing them truly, with the Holy Spirit’s help. We see that they are still as God created them. Perceiving correctly with the Holy Spirit, we are helpful in all our relationships with ‘others.’ The Holy Spirit helps us recognize our own holiness and we are then able to see the holiness in everyone equally.

What happens as we are able to see the holiness in everyone?

Jesus tells us that as we are released from the pain of believing in separate bodies, we just naturally join in releasing our brothers because we are seeing them truly. He tells us, “When you have been restored to the recognition of your original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself. As you share my unwillingness to accept error in yourself and others, you must join the great crusade to correct it; listen to my voice, learn to undo error and act to correct it. The power to work miracles belongs to you. I will provide the opportunities to do them, but you must be ready and willing. Doing them will bring conviction in the ability, because conviction comes through accomplishment.” (1:5-9)

What does Jesus say about applying the Golden Rule?

Jesus makes it very clear here how to correctly apply the Golden Rule. He tells us, “The Golden Rule asks you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This means that the perception of both [you and others] must be accurate. The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly. Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others.” (6:2-7)

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

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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