Here are the first words Course Scribe Helen Shuchman heard in her mind from the voice she knew was Jesus.
“This is a Course in Miracles. Please take notes.”
Ken Wapnich. close friend of Helen Shuchman, and Long-time teacher of the Course led his first workshops on January 8 and 13, 1985, which focused on the 50 Miracle Principles. Ken told those attending how this quote from Alice in Wonderland, “You begin at the beginning, you go until the end, and then you stop” (given to him by his wife Gloria), convinced him to have his first subject be miracles
The basic and unrelenting subject of ACIM is miracles ─ a change of mind. Here is Ken Wapnick’s four part miracle definition found in his Glossary Index. (4th ed. P.144) (Parts are divided by semi-colons)
The change of mind that shifts our perception from the ego’s world of sin, guilt, and fear, to the Holy Spirit’s world of forgiveness; reverses projection by restoring to the mind its causative function, allowing us to choose again; transcends the laws of this world to reflect the laws of God; accomplished by our joining with the Holy Spirit or Jesus, being the means of healing our own and other’s minds.
(Note ─ not to be confused with the traditional understanding of miracles as changes in external phenomena.)
Miracles help us to change our mind from believing the world is created by God to seeing that it is an illusion we make happen by projection our thoughts. It certainly would take a miracle for religious people to change their mind about the age-old belief that God created the world.
For a business perspective about mind changes consider this Warren Buffet quote from John Von Neumann’s recent article Unrecognized simplicities of effective action #1: expertise and a quadrillion dollar business, I found in “The Browser.”
I’d say that the history that Charlie [Munger, his partner] and I have had of persuading decent, intelligent people who we thought were doing unintelligent things to change their course of actions has been poor.…
We don’t really believe in buying into organizations to change them.
It is even more difficult, and unsettling, for people of faith to change their minds. Folks who believe in God but have no religious orientation find it less complicated: Still, miracles are needed.
The brief introduction to A Course in Miracles begins this way,
This is a course in miracles. It is a required course.
and concludes with these words.
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
Thus, the Title for the first Chapter of the Text is;
THE MEANING OF MIRACLES
I. Principles of Miracles
Number one of 50 miracle principles is,
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.
This first principle is re-stated in many ways all through the Course. Since there is nothing outside of our mind no projection is more difficult to reverse than any other. Every time we express love it is “maximal.” In my previous blogs I emphasized passages which contained thoughts which help us get through our days of dualistic activity here in the separation. A Miracle is behind all of those passages. For instance, this final sentence from the New Lord’s Prayer:
And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love. Amen. [T-16.VII.13]
The miracle behind that sentence is God’s most miraculous gift: creating us a spirit. Here is the Course passage about that.
The statement “God created man in his own image and likeness” needs reinterpretation. “Image” can be understood as “thought,” and “likeness” as “of a like quality.” God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There [is] nothing else. Amen. [T-3.V.7.1-4]
The above passage is as clear and effective as any in ACIM. It provides us with a miracle that reverses projection by restoring to the mind its causative function, allowing us to choose again. [from Ken’s definition]
The “causative function” is our “spirit in [God’s] own thought and of a quality like to [God’s] own.” [my edit] The perception which is reversed is our belief in the material world. The statement, “There is nothing else. Amen,” certainly makes it evident that ACIM teaches that the world is an illusion.
Further ─ in the Manual for Teachers the first two sentences from question 14 “How will the world end?” reinforces that concept.
Can what has no beginning really end? The world will end in an illusion, as it began. [M-14.1-2]
I believe that it would help readers to accept the Course concept of miracle if they were to have a copy of Ken’s first workshops: The Fifty Miracle Principles of A Course in Miracles. Go to www.facim.org – Book store – Books – click on M – to order the book.