The title for chapter 1 is The Meaning of Miracles. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: Principles of Miracles, Revelation, Time and Miracles, Atonement and Miracles, The Escape from Darkness, Wholeness and Spirit, The Illusion of Needs and Distortions of Miracle Impulses.
Growing up in the church, the word miracle implied something supernatural, something done directly by God that humans could not create by their own ability. You looked at the miracles that Jesus did: healing people, delivering people of demons, turning water into wine, and rising from the dead. You were told that the purpose of a miracle was to show people that God was still alive, still interested in interacting in your everyday lives, you had not been forgotten. A Course of Miracles, looks at miracles with a much broader perspective. It states that all miracles are expressions of love and no miracle is harder or easier than another to perform. The “miracle” is not as important as the love that produced it. It states, “Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love both to the giver and the receiver. The use of miracles as spectacles to induce belief is a misunderstanding of their purpose. Prayer is the medium of miracles. It is a means of communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.” Miracles go beyond just the physical but are used to help you transform beliefs, illusions, false perceptions, anything that is not in alignment with the love of God. It says, “Miracles are examples of right thinking, aligning your perceptions with truth as God created it.”
The word atonement is used throughout this book. From a Biblical perspective, you have been taught that atonement means Jesus atoning for your sins on the cross to bring you into right standing with God. In this book, atonement means the correction of perception, the awareness that you were already given everything you need at creation. A miracle is the ability to recognize when you have perceived incorrectly and receive correction. A miracle is the ability to offer and receive forgiveness for yourself and those around you. A miracle is the ability to see yourself from the perspective of God’s love rather than from the perspective of man. Jesus states that the Bible verse, “Lead us not into temptation” means “recognize your errors and choose to abandon them by following my guidance.”
In the book of Genesis, the meaning of the fall is that you were separated from God, which led to the perception that you lacked something which then led to the creation of fear. This book states that the real purpose of this life on earth is to use your experiences here to correct your unbelief and false perceptions. “To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to this test, to that extent are your perceptions corrected. The miracle proceeds along these lines:
Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.
Only perfect love exists. If there is fear, it produces a state that does not exist.
You were all created by God as whole, complete spiritual beings. When you arrived on the planet, you forgot this and got entangled in the physical, ego driven world around you. You were created to be dependent on God and it is through relationship with God that everything planted within you is watered and brought forth and manifested in the world around you. Miracles are affirmations of Sonship (you are all sons and daughters of God), which is a state of completion and abundance. Once you make the decision to connect with God, all the false things you have believed in or built your life around will begin to collapse and you may feel unstable through this process. In time, you will feel stable again as your life will be built on the solid foundation and truth of God’s love for you rather than on the doctrines of man. My book, God is Love is about how God took me through this process.