Toward the end of 2021 I was struggling. I wasn’t sad as much as apathetic. All the anger, hate, persecution and victimization from the previous years had come to a head for me. My past had built me to take these things on as my own. I was feeling too much negativity or like I said more accurately a nothingness and I wanted to make a shift. I wanted and needed to feel better.
One of the tools I chose to incorporate was A Course in Miracles Workbook which is a collection of daily thoughts and a simple practice. Marianne Williamson has an inexpensive program where she sends each day’s lesson right to your inbox. It was great and I recommend this approach if you are busy or tend to lose momentum. I didn’t always do the formal exercises from the course but I listened to every lesson and I am very proud of myself for that.
According to https://acim.org A Course in Miracles began with the sudden decision of two people to join in a common goal. Their names were Helen Schucman and William Thetford, Professors of Medical Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. (ACIM, Preface.1:1-2)
Helen, the one who received the material, describes herself as a Psychologist, educator, conservative in theory and atheistic in belief, I was working in a prestigious and highly academic setting. And then something happened that triggered a chain of events I could never have predicted. The head of my department unexpectedly announced that he was tired of the angry and aggressive feelings our attitudes reflected, and concluded that “there must be another way.” As if on cue, I agreed to help him find it. Apparently this Course is the other way.
Three startling months preceded the actual writing, during which time Bill suggested that I write down the highly symbolic dreams and descriptions of the strange images that were coming to me. Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still very surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.” That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook. The writing was never automatic. It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again. It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop. It seemed to be a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete. It represented a truly collaborative venture between Bill and myself, and much of its significance, I am sure, lies in that. I would take down what the Voice “said” and read it to him the next day, and he typed it from my dictation. I expect he had his special assignment, too. Without his encouragement and support I would never have been able to fulfill mine. The whole process took about seven years. The Text came first, then the Workbook for Students, and finally the Manual for Teachers. Only a few minor changes have been made. Chapter titles and subheadings have been inserted in the Text, and some of the more personal references that occurred at the beginning have been omitted. Otherwise the material is substantially unchanged. (ACIM, Preface.5:1-17)
The Course consists of three books: a 669-page Text, a 488-page Workbook for Students, and a 92-page Manual for Teachers. The order in which students choose to use the books, and the ways in which they study them, depend on their particular needs and preferences.
The curriculum the Course proposes is carefully conceived and is explained, step by step, at both the theoretical and practical levels. It emphasizes application rather than theory, and experience rather than theology. It specifically states that “a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary”
The Workbook includes 365 lessons, one for each day of the year. It is not necessary, however, to do the lessons at that tempo, and one might want to remain with a particularly appealing lesson for more than one day. The instructions urge only that not more than one lesson a day should be attempted. (ACIM, Preface.4:1-3)
The Course makes no claim to finality, nor are the Workbook lessons intended to bring the student’s learning to completion. At the end, “This Course is a beginning, not an end...No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God...He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word”
Key concepts of ACIM, ones that could be talked about itself for ages are.
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.
All healing is essentially the release from fear.
I love the name A Course in Miracles. It is really an in-depth study of miracles. We will start here by putting some vocabulary words to the meaning of a miracle from my study and perspectives.
From Middle English miracle, from Old French miracle, from Latin mīrāculum (“object of wonder”), from mīror (“to wonder at”), from mīrus (“wonderful”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)meyh₂- (“to smile, to be astonished”).
What a beautiful idea that miracles are wonderful and astonishing as well as something to both be in wonder of and maybe even wonder about. ACIM considers a miracle as a “shift in perception, from fear to love.” What is your definition? Maybe you have even experienced a miracle in your life or know someone that has or is a miracle.
Faith traditions seem to use miracles to buoy their legitimacy. Christianity with the immaculate conception and the healings and miracles performed by Jesus. Judaism with the crossing of the red sea, the bringing down of the walls of Jericho and Hanukkah, the remembrance of 8 days of light powered with only one day's worth of oil after the liberation of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt. And, of course, The Passover.
Prophet Muhammad showed his people a miracle by splitting of the moon and said, “Every Prophet was given miracles on account of which their people believed; but, I have been given divine revelation which Allah has revealed to me, so I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of other Prophets on Resurrection Day.” Muhammad was implying that the Quran itself is the greatest miracle of all time
According to Buddhist texts, Buddha performed a miracle when he emitted fire from the top half of his body and water from the bottom half of his body simultaneously, before alternating them and then expanding them to illuminate the cosmos. The miracle was performed during a miracle contest between Gautama Buddha and six rival religious teachers. The very idea of enlightenment suggests a miraculous event.
Hinduism has a modern story in what is called the miracle of milk. According to believers, on 20 September 1995, a worshiper at a temple in southern New Delhi made an offering of milk to a statue of Ganesha. When a spoonful of milk from the bowl was held up to the
trunk of the statue, the liquid appeared to disappear, apparently taken in by the idol. Word of the event spread quickly, and by mid-morning it was found that statues of the entire Hindu pantheon in temples all over India were taking in milk. By noon the news had spread beyond India, and Hindu temples in the United Kingdom, Canada, and among other countries that they had successfully replicated the phenomenon, and it was announced that a miracle was occurring. Hinduismtoday.com states
MIRACLE IS ALMOST ANOTHER WORD FOR RELIGION.
FOR ONCE ONE WITNESSES A MIRACLE,
THE WORSHIP OF GOD FOLLOWS EFFORTLESSLY.
Some examples of the texts of ACIM workbook looks like this. The entire text is available for free at acim.org.
LESSON 2. I have given everything I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] all the meaning that it has for me.
1. The exercises with this idea are the same as those for the first one. Begin with the things that are near you, and apply the idea to whatever your glance rests on. Then increase the range outward. Turn your head so that you include whatever is on either side. If possible, turn around and apply the idea to what was behind you. Remain as indiscriminate as possible in selecting subjects for its application, do not concentrate on anything in particular, and do not attempt to include everything you see in a given area, or you will introduce strain.
2. Merely glance easily and fairly quickly around you, trying to avoid selection by size, brightness, color, material, or relative importance to you. Take the subjects simply as you see them. Try to apply the exercise with equal ease to a body or a button, a fly or a floor, an arm or an apple. The sole criterion for applying the idea to anything is merely that your eyes have lighted on it. Make no attempt to include anything particular, but be sure that nothing is specifically excluded.
Miracles are seen in light. It is important to remember that miracles and vision necessarily go together. (seeing miracles makes them be)
LESSON 184. The Name of God is my inheritance. You live by symbols. You have made up names for everything you see. Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name. By this you carve it out of unity. By this you designate its special attributes, and set it off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it. This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.
LESSON 249. Forgiveness ends all suffering and loss. Forgiveness paints a picture of a world where suffering is over, loss becomes impossible and anger makes no sense. Attack is gone, and madness has an end. What suffering is now conceivable? What loss can be sustained? The world becomes a place of joy, abundance, charity and endless giving. It is now so like to Heaven that it quickly is transformed into the light that it reflects. And so the journey which the Son of God began has ended in the light from which he came. Father, we would return our minds to You. We have betrayed them, held them in a vise of bitterness, and frightened them with thoughts of violence and death. Now would we rest again in You, as You created us.
Are miracles always a good thing?
There is a great series hosted by Morgan Freeman where they explore all sides and avenues about God. Who, what why, and how along with science, spirituality, religion, and experience.
It is a great way to expand your mind and connect with how fellow humans look at the concept of life and God.
The episode on miracles starts with a man working as a window washer who fell 47 stories or 500 ft and recovered. They explain in the episode that a fall of 10 stories is almost always deadly. This man’s survival was declared a miracle. But, in a very real complexity I myself have found to be true, his feelings about his miracle comes with more deep questions than answers.
His beloved brother died in the fall. He has to ask, "why didn’t the miracle happen for my brother? What is so special about me? If my life was spared for a purpose, what is that purpose?" He admits that there has not been a clear path toward a purpose and he doesn't feeling like his life has a distinct purpose.
These complexities have been perplexing to me as well. Close ones that have experienced miracles and even ones that I have experienced don't make all the problems go away and even create new problems some of the time. Were these really miracles?
After a year of A Course in Miracles I had to come to the conclusion for myself that the ingredient that decides whether something is a miracle or not is me. I am the factor. I get to choose. I participate in the creation of a miracle and, at the very least, that part of me is part or at-one with God.
Here are some affirmations for miracles in your life. ENJOY!