Right out the gate, the root of ACIM is in the Heart. This first chapter establishes very firmly that all miracles are rooted in love and are therefore equal as all expressions of love are maximal.
“The only thing that matters is their Source, which is far beyond evaluation”
The verse goes on to say that it is not really the miracle itself that matters, but the love that causes the miracle to happen, as all miracles are that, an expression of love.
3″The real miracle is that love inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle”
4 All miracles mean life, and God is the giver of life. His voice will direct you very specifically. You will be told all you need to do.
33″Miracles honor you because you are lovable.”
35 “Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable events.”
40 “The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother, and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.”
When we begin to view love as the real miracle, this makes miracles more accessible to the average person, opening up the slightest belief that we can all be capable of miracles in our own lives.
The first chapter goes on to tell us that miracles should be habit, they should not require thought, basically, because they are rooted in love (and essentially God), they should be natural, unconsciously occurring, by the direction of the divine.
The verse mentions purification as a necessary component, everyone has a right to miracles, but purification is necessary first.
Miracles are healing expressions of love which are always miraculous, again, this takes us back to miracles being synonymous with love and discuss the benefits to both the giver and the receiver in a charitable sense and chastises the use of miracles for spectacle.
Prayer is discussed as a medium or conduit of miracles, a means of communication with the creator. This implies that devout prayer (love of the creator) leads to some sense of accessibility to the creator, in that he will allow your hands to perform the expression of love or miracle as the case is.
11″Through prayer love is received, and through miracles, love is expressed.”
I find verse 12 particularly interesting in that while the material is very Christian in nature, and the authors to claim to be Christian, the concept in verse 12 is very “other” in nature. In all of my years in catholic school, I never once was led to believe that the every day man had the power to perform miracles, yet here, in Chapter one, in the Course in Miracles, I am feeling like miracles are very accessible. Verse 12 leaves me feeling more like I am reading a Tibetan text or an Ancient Chinese Medicine text or even verses from Hindu Vedas.
12″Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent the lower bodily level of experience, or the higher or spiritual level of experience. One makes the physical, the other creates the spiritual”
For me, this verse ties Christianity for the first time, to the belief in an energetic body if you will. In Eastern Ideology, Thoughts create reality. Here in the first chapter of ACIM, we are learning that Thoughts are Miracles and Miracles are Love and Love is an expression of God through the hands of he who performs it (arguably the one who prays)
Verse 13 clues us into the circle of life, everything is a beginning and an ending. But, if we look back to verse 9, where we learned that the exchange of a miracle can reverse the physical laws and we refer back to verse 13 where we learn :
13″Miracles are both beginnings and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They are always affirmations of rebirth which seem to go back but really go forward. They undo the past in the present, and this release the future.”
To me, this is stating that much like clearing blocked energy, these acts of love (called miracles) can undo the damage caused by mistakes in the past, thereby “changing the physical laws” and perhaps changing the course of the future. This idea almost reminds me of the purification process of a catholic confession. Once you have recognized your misgivings and spoken them in the confessional with repentance the sin is washed away and you are given a clean slate.
In this case however, miracles are not only those of forgiveness, but as we were shown in verse 8 Miracles also consist of being charitable.
8″Miracles are healing because they supply a lack; they are performed by those who temporarily have more for those who temporarily have less”
This idea is revisited in Verse 16, where we learn that miracles (Again, remember in this regard, we are talking about acts of love) are teaching devises for demonstrating that it is as much a blessing to give as to receive.
Time an again, we hear that giving to others less fortunate is nourishing to the soul. The fact that ACIM brings having a charitable heart to its introductory chapter emphases the importance to which it places charitable miracles on the spectrum of importance.
16 ” Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating it is as bless to give as to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and the receiver”
18″A Miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. “You recognize your own and your neighbors worth simultaneously”
In Verse 21 we are introduced to forgiveness as a means of miracles
21 “Miracles are natural signs of forgiveness. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others”
25 “Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all dimensions of time”
27 A miracle is a universal blessing from God through me to all my brothers. It is the privilege of the forgiven to forgive”
Much of Chapter 1 discusses atonement, a means of forgiveness and cleansing, or wiping of clean of the slate (your mind) with untruths in preparation to receive the truths
25 “Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which when completed, is the Atonement. Atonement works all the time and in all the dimensions of time”
34 “Miracles represent freedom from fear. “Atoning” means “undoing” of fear as essential part of the Atonement value of miracles”
34″Miracles restore the mind to its fullness. BY atoning or lack they establish perfect protection from fear”
37″ A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.”
39″The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
42 “A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack”
44″The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of His Atonement.”
49″The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of mis-perception. It is a device for perception correction, effective quite apart from either the degree of the direction of the error. This is true indiscriminateness.”
Finally, it is important to recognize in this first chapter that miracles are described as some sort of awakening to the Holy Spirit
39 “The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.”
41 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct for, atone for, the faulty perception of lack”
44″ The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of his Atonement.
46″The Holy Spirit is the highest communication medium. Miracles do not involve this type of communication, because they are temporary communication devices. When you return to your original form of communication with God by direct revelation, the need for miracles is over.”
This first chapter of ACIM introduces us to the Miracle, a direct link with the Holy Spirit which allows for the truth to be seen and expressed through the hands of the believer in an effort to help another see the light.
As a non-Christian, I can certainly see where the messages of this book can quickly become lost in the doctrine and dogma of the Christian Faith.
However, if you are able to see the Holy Spirit and God in the terms you believe them, such as the Universal Power, Source, Spirit, or even your internal spirit, if you can just see past the terminology, you may be able to get the message from its content.
Many of the concepts as you will see, as we go through this Course, are closer in ideals to other studies like Buddhism and Hinduism. You will see in the course, where its authors try to dispel some of the Christian concepts of an angry, punishing higher power and get us to understand the concept of its study lies in pure unconditional love and rightful action, concepts that can be applied to every single religion, no matter which deity or deities you choose to believe in.
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