I have been hearing about A Course In Miracles in miracles for a long time and was curious, but not curious enough to read the whole thing. Following is a summary of the public domain version. The original is @ 600 pages and 300,000 words This summary is about 3000 words and was generated by the apple text summary wizard.
9. 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.
10. The use of miracles as spectacles to INDUCE belief is wrong; or, better, is a misunderstanding of their purpose. They are really used FOR and BY believers.
11. Prayer is the medium of miracles. Prayer is the natural communication of the created with the Creator. Through prayer love is received, and through miracles love is expressed.
12. Miracles are thoughts. Thoughts can represent lower- order or higher-order reality. This is the basic distinction between intellectualizing and thinking. One makes the physical and the other creates the spiritual, and we believe in what we make or create.
13. Miracles are both beginnings and endings. They thus 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 thus release the future.
14. Miracles bear witness to truth. They are convincing because they arise from conviction. Without conviction they deteriorate into magic, which is mindless, and therefore destructive; or rather, the uncreative use of mind.
15. Each day should be devoted to miracles. The purpose of time is to enable man to learn to use it constructively. Time is thus a teaching device, and a means to an end. It will cease when it is no longer useful in facilitating learning.
16. Miracles are teaching devices for demonstrating that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They simultaneously increase the strength of the giver and supply strength to the receiver.
17. Miracles are the transcendence of the body. They are sudden shifts into invisibility, away from a sense of lower- order reality. That is why they heal.
18. A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service one individual can render another. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. The doer recognizes his own and his neighbor’s inestimable worth simultaneously. 19. Miracles make minds one in God. They depend on cooperation, because the Sonship is the sum of all the Souls God created. Miracles therefore rest on the laws of eternity, not of time.
20. Miracles reawaken the awareness that the Spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth. This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
This is a course in MIND TRAINING. All learning involves attention and study at some level. Some of the later parts of the course rest too heavily on these earlier sections not to require their study. You will also need them for preparation. Without this, you may become much too fearful when the unexpected DOES occur to make constructive use of it.
We have been emphasizing perception and have said very little about cognition as yet, because you are confused about the difference between them. The reason we have dealt so little with cognition is because you must get your perceptions straightened out before you can KNOW anything. To know is to be certain. Uncertainty merely means that you do NOT know. Knowledge is power BECAUSE it is certain, and certainty is strength. Perception is merely temporary. It is an attribute of the space-time belief, and is therefore subject to fear or love. Misperceptions produce fear, and true perceptions produce love. NEITHER produces certainty, because ALL perception varies. That is why it is NOT knowledge.
The confusion between your own creation and what YOU create is so profound that it has become literally impossible for you to know anything.
You have never understood what “ the Kingdom of Heaven is within you” means. The reason you have not understood it is because it is NOT understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, and this does not mean anything. The word “ within” is unnecessary. The Kingdom of Heaven IS you. What else BUT you did the Creator create, and what else BUT you is His Kingdom? This is the whole message of the Atonement, a message, which, in its totality, transcends the sum of its parts. Christmas is not a time; it is a state of mind. The Christ Mind wills from the Soul, NOT from the ego, and the Christ Mind IS yours.
In its characteristically upside-down way, the ego has taken the impulses from the superconscious and perceives them as if they arise in the unconscious. The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the superconscious are unacceptable to it because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself. The ego therefore experiences threat, and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However, as Freud correctly pointed out, what you have repressed can retain a very active life BEYOND your awareness.
The term “ holy” can be used here because, as you learn how much you ARE indebted to the whole Sonship, which INCLUDES me, you come as close to knowledge as perception ever can. The gap is then so small that knowledge can easily flow across it, and obliterate it forever. You have very little trust in me as yet, but it will increase as you turn more and more often to me INSTEAD of your egos for guidance. The results will convince you increasingly that your choice in turning to me is the only sane one you can make. No-one who has learned from experience that one choice brings peace and joy, while another brings chaos and disaster, needs much conditioning.
How can you teach someone the value of something he has deliberately thrown away? He must have thrown it away because he did not value it. You can only show him how miserable he is without it, and bring it near very slowly, so he can learn how his misery lessens as he approaches it. This conditions him to associate his misery with its absence, and to associate the opposite of misery with its presence. It gradually becomes desirable, as he changes his mind about its worth.
You cannot love what you do not appreciate, and FEAR MAKES APPRECIATION IMPOSSIBLE. Whenever you are afraid of what you are you do NOT appreciate it, and will therefore reject it. As a result, you will TEACH REJECTION. The power of the Sons of God is operating all the time because they were created as creators. Their influence on EACH OTHER is without limit, and MUST be used for their joint salvation. Each one must learn to teach that all forms of rejection are utterly meaningless. The separation IS the notion of rejection. As long as you TEACH this, you still believe it. This is NOT as God thinks, and you must think as He thinks if you are to know Him again.
Truth can only be RECOGNIZED, and NEED only be recognized. Inspiration is of the Spirit, and certainty is of God according to His laws. Both, therefore, come from the same Source, since inspiration comes from the Voice FOR God and certainty comes from the laws OF God. Healing does not come DIRECTLY from God, Who knows His creations as perfectly whole. Yet healing is still OF God because it proceeds from His Voice and from His laws. It is their result, in a state of mind which does NOT know Him. The STATE is unknown to Him and therefore does not exist, but those who sleep ARE STUPEFIED, or better, UNAWARE. BECAUSE they are unaware, they do NOT know.
You have NOT failed to add to the inheritance of the Sons of God, and thus have not failed to secure it for yourselves. If it was the Will of God to give it to you, He gave it forever. If it was His Will that you have it forever, He gave you the means for keeping it, AND YOU HAVE DONE SO. Disobeying God’s Will is meaningful only to the insane. In truth it is impossible. Your self-fullness is as boundless as God’s. Like His, it extends forever and in perfect peace.
Our creations are as holy as we are, and we are the Sons of God Himself, and therefore as holy as He is. Through our creations we extend our love, and thus increase the joy of the Holy Trinity. You do not understand this for a very simple reason. You who are God’s own treasure do not regard yourselves as valuable. Given this belief, you cannot understand ANYTHING. I share with God the knowledge of the value HE puts upon you. My devotion to you is of Him, being born of my knowledge of myself AND Him. We cannot BE separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. Can you be separated from your life and your being?
I love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive YOU, but they CANNOT deceive ME. Knowing what you are, I CANNOT doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, Who speaks to me through YOU. If you would hear ME, hear my brothers in whom God’s Voice speaks. The answer to ALL prayers lies in them. You will be answered as you hear the answer in EVERYONE. Do not listen to anything else or you will not hear truth.
If sickness is separation, the will to heal and be healed is the first step toward RECOGNIZING what you truly want. Every attack is a step away from this, and every healing thought brings it closer. The Son of God HAS both Father and Son because he IS both Father and Son. To unite having and being is only to unite your will with His, for He wills you Himself. And you will yourself to Him because, in your perfect understanding of Him, you KNOW there is but One Will. Yet when you attack any part of God and His Kingdom, your understanding is not perfect, and what you will is therefore lost to you.
When you want ONLY love you will see nothing else. The contradictory nature of the witnesses you perceive is merely the reflection of your conflicting invitations. You have looked upon your minds and accepted opposition there, having SOUGHT it there. But do not then believe that the witnesses for opposition are true, for they attest only to YOUR decision about reality, returning to you the message you GAVE them. Love is recognized by its messengers. If you make love manifest, its messengers will come to you because you INVITED them.
Blessed are you who teach with me. Our power comes not of us, but of our Father. In guiltlessness we know Him, as He knows us guiltless. I stand within the circle, calling you to peace. Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground. Remember for everyone your Father’s power that He has given him. Believe not that you cannot teach His perfect peace. Stand not outside, but join with me within. Fail not the only purpose to which my teaching calls you. Restore to God His Son as He created him by teaching him his innocence.
The reflection of God NEEDS no interpretation. It is CLEAR. Clean but the mirror, and the message which shines forth from what the mirror holds out for everyone to see no-one can FAIL to understand. It is the message that the Holy Spirit is holding to the mirror that is in him. He recognizes it because he has been taught his NEED for it, but knows not where to look to find it. Let him, then, see it in YOU and SHARE it with you.
Do you think that what the Holy Spirit would have you GIVE He would WITHHOLD from you?
The lesson I was born to teach, and still would teach to all my brothers, is that sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere. For communication embraces EVERYTHING, and in the peace it re-establishes love comes of itself. Let no despair darken the joy of Christmas, for the time of Christ is meaningless apart from joy. Let us join in celebrating peace by demanding no sacrifice of anyone, for so will you offer me the love I offer you. What can be more joyous than to perceive we are deprived of NOTHING? Such is the message of the time of Christ, which I give you that YOU may give it, and return it to the Father, Who gave it to me. For in the time of Christ communication is restored, and He joins us in the celebration of His Son’s creation.
The key you threw away God gave your brother, whose holy hands would offer it to you when you were ready to accept His plan for your salvation in place of yours. How could this readiness be reached save through the sight of all your misery, and the awareness that your plan has failed, and will forever fail to bring you peace and joy of any kind? Through this despair you travel now, yet it is but ILLUSION of despair. The death of specialness is not YOUR death, but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you.
The little that the body fences off BECOMES the self, preserved through sacrifice of all the rest. And all the rest must LOSE this little part, remaining incomplete to keep its own identity intact. In this perception of yourself, the body’s loss would be a sacrifice indeed. For sight of bodies becomes the sign that sacrifice is limited, and something still remains for you alone. And for this little to belong to you, are limits placed on everything outside, just as they are on everything you think is yours. For giving and receiving ARE the same. And to accept the limits of a body is to impose these limits on each brother whom you see. For you must see him as you see yourself.
An empty space which is not seen as filled, an unused interval of time not seen as spent and fully occupied, become a silent invitation to the truth to enter, and to make itself at home. No preparation can be made that would enhance the invitation’s real appeal. For what you leave as vacant God will fill, and where He is, there MUST the truth abide. Unweakened power, with no opposite, is what creation IS. For this there ARE no symbols. Nothing points beyond the truth, for what can stand for more than everything? Yet true undoing must be kind. And so the first replacement for your picture is another picture, of another kind.
Behold your role within the universe! To every part of true creation has the Lord of Love and Life entrusted ALL salvation from the misery of hell. And to each one has He allowed the grace to be a Saviour to the holy ones especially entrusted to his care. And this he learns when first he looks upon ONE brother as he looks upon himself, and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon, to judge what he beholds.
the face of Christ, and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this One. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight.
The veil across the face of Christ, the fear of God and of salvation, and the love of guilt and death, they all are different names for just one error; that there is a space between you and your brother, kept apart by an illusion of yourself which holds him off from you, and you away from him. The sword of judgment is the weapon which you give to the illusion of yourself, that it may fight to keep the space that holds your brother off unoccupied by love. Yet while you hold this sword, you must perceive the body as yourself, for you are bound to separation from the sight of him who holds the mirror to another view of what he is, and thus what YOU must be.
What is temptation but the WISH to stay in hell and misery? And what could this give rise to but an image of yourself that CAN be miserable, and remain in hell and torment? Who has learned to see his brother NOT as this has saved himself, and thus is he a Saviour to the rest. To everyone has God entrusted all, because a partial saviour would be one who is but partly saved. The holy ones whom God has given each of you to save are everyone you meet or look upon, not knowing who they are; all those you saw an instant and forgot, and those you knew a long while since, and those you will yet meet, the unremembered and the not yet born. For God has given you His Son to save from every concept that he ever held.
Yet while you wish to stay in hell, how could you be the Saviour of the Son of God? How would you know his holiness while you see him apart from yours? For holiness is seen through holy eyes that look upon the innocence within, and thus expect to see it everywhere. And so they call it forth in everyone they look upon, that he may be what they expect of him. This is the Saviour’s vision; that he see his innocence in all he looks upon, and sees his own salvation everywhere. He holds no concept of himself between his calm and open eyes and what he sees. He BRINGS the light to what he looks upon, that he may see it as it really is.
Whatever form temptation seems to take, it always but reflects a wish to be a self which you are not. And from that wish a concept rises, teaching that you ARE the thing you wish to be. It will remain your concept of yourself until the wish that fathered it no longer is held dear. But while you cherish it, you will behold your brother in the likeness of the self whose image has the wish begot of YOU. For vision CAN but represent a wish, because it has no power to create. Yet it can look with love or look with hate, depending only on the simple choice of whether you would join with what you see, or keep yourself apart and separate.
The Saviour’s vision is as innocent of what your brother is as it is free of any judgment made upon yourself. It sees no past in anyone at all. And thus it serves a wholly open mind, unclouded by old concepts, and prepared to look on only what the present holds. It cannot judge because it does not know. And RECOGNIZING this, it merely asks, “ What is the meaning of what I behold?” Then is the answer given. And the door held open for the face of Christ to shine upon the one who asks, in innocence, to see beyond the veil of old ideas and ancient concepts held so long and dear AGAINST the vision of the Christ in you.