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Chapter 1:THE MEANING OF MIRACLES

Section VII: Distortions of Miracle Impulses

  1. Your distorted perceptions produce a dense cover over miracle impulses, making it hard for them to reach your own awareness.  The confusion of miracle impulses with physical impulses is a major perceptual distortion.  Physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses.  All real pleasure comes from doing God’s Will.  This is because not doing it is a denial of Self.  Denial of Self results in illusions, while correction of the error brings release from it.  Do not deceive yourself into believing that you can relate in peace to God or to your brothers with anything external.
  2. Child of God, you were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy.  Do not forget this.  The Love of God, for a little while, must still be expressed through one body to another, because vision is still so dim.  You can use your body best to help you enlarge your perception, so you can achieve real vision, of which the physical eye is incapable.  Learning to do this is the body’s only true usefulness. 
  3. Fantasy is a distorted form of vision.  Fantasies of any kind are distortions because they always involve twisting perception into unreality.  Actions that stem from distortions are literally the reactions of those who know not what they do.  Fantasy is an attempt to control reality according to false needs.  Twist reality in any way and you are perceiving destructively.  Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them.  But although you can perceive false associations, you can never make them real except to yourself.  You believe in what you make.  If you offer miracles, you will be equally strong in your belief in them.  The strength of your conviction will then sustain the belief of the miracle receiver.  Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver.  Reality is “lost” through usurpation, which produces tyranny.  As long as a single “slave” remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete.  Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only goal of the miracle-minded. 
  4. 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 careful study.  You will also need them for preparation.  Without this, you may become much too fearful of what is to come to make constructive use of it.  However, as you study these earlier sections, you will begin to see some of the implications that will be amplified later on.
  5. A solid foundation is necessary because of the confusion between fear and awe to which I have already referred, and which is often made.  I have said that awe is inappropriate in connection with the Sons of God because you should not experience awe in the presence of your equals.  However, it was also emphasized that awe is proper in the presence of your Creator.  I have been careful to clarify my role in the Atonement without either over- or understating it.  I am also trying to do the same with yours.  I have stressed that awe is not an appropriate reaction to me because of our inherent equality.  Some of the later steps in this course, however, involve a more direct approach to God Himself.  It would be unwise to start on these steps without careful preparation, or awe will be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.  Healing is of God in the end.  The means are being carefully explained to you.  Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed.[1]

In our last section of Chapter One, Jesus explains how our awareness is so darkened by the lies and illusions of our own creation that loving impulses are often confused with physical impulses.  In fact our physical impulses are misdirected miracle impulses because real pleasure comes only from doing God’s Will which is spiritual.  When we confuse expressing love with our physical impulses we will often end up in a sexual relationship with the wrong person, we will often find ourselves obligating ourselves to someone’s selfish demands or worse yet, demanding others to show their love to us through physical means.  While pleasure is obviously enjoyed by our romantic, friend, family, and professional relationships, we deny ourselves true relationship by denying the spiritual part of us and only relating through the physical.  When we form any kind of relationship that does not consider our holiness, our innocence and purity of the Spirit, we deceive ourselves, Jesus says.  We think that we can relate in peace to God and to our brothers with the external instead of the internal.

Today during our devotional practice, ask God to give you true perception on every relationship you have and want to have.  Give your yearning for connection to God and ask Him for what He has for you instead of going out and seeking physical communion on your own.  Start putting God first in every relationship – bringing the Spirit which is life, love, joy, and peace into your prayers for each of your loved ones.  Instead of praying selfishly for this one or that one, ask God to broaden your love base to include people that you would normally not think of when you are only praying for those who are close to you.  Pray for those who have used you, abused you, or cast aspersions on you.  Denying the holy Self which is spirit and everlasting in our relationships dooms us to lies, falsehoods, and more separation while correcting our way of relating to others gives us truth and freedom! 

In paragraph two, Jesus calls to each of us.  He tells us who we are:  We are children of God.  He tells us why we were created:  We were created to create the good, the beautiful, and the holy!  Do not let the world tempt us to believe any other thing about who we are or why we are here, dear brothers. Even while we are encased in the flesh and our understanding dim, we will be able to express the love of God if we put our minds to it!  The only right way to use the body is to learn how to broaden our perception, so we get to the real vision of Christ.  Even though our physical eyes are incapable of seeing with the eyes of Christ, our Spirits, our holy Selves have never lost their spiritual sight.  Using our body to get past the need for a body Jesus states is what we will learn in this Course.

We are to be like Jesus.  Greater works than Jesus are we called to do.  As we identify with our true Self in Christ, we will be able to perform the miracles that He is calling us to do.  Jesus longs to see us follow in His steps and not allow our bodies to define us, tempt us, or in any way stand in the way of the miracles the world needs.  When Jesus was here on earth, he went for days without food.  He walked on water.  He raised the dead.  He cast out devils, healed the sick, multiplied the bread and fishes.  Now all He is asking of us is to be like Him.  To share our testimony of His love and devotion toward us; to stand with Him and become one with Him in the salvation of the world. 

One of the big temptations of the physical realm is not only to engage us in its illusions but also to add to the illusions by fantasy, fiction, and thrilling adventures in nothingness.  Our movies, romances, novels, and dramatic theatrical performances seem to bring such great pleasure to us that it is all too easy to mistake the enjoyment that we take in such as a harmless source of entertainment, inspiration, and relaxation.  But Jesus tells us that excursions into fantasy take us even farther from reality and provide another means of dimming our wits and tyrannizing our minds.  While we rivet our minds with fantasies, our minds are being appropriated by that which is not love.  Fantasies are only another distortion of miracle impulses.  They seem creative, but they are regurgitated forms of illusion – slightly different forms of the same tired tale of separation, sin, shame, specialness, and sacrifice. 

Fantasy is just not necessary to miracle workers, Jesus says.  There is no reason at all to engage in it when reality becomes not only apparent to the miracle worker but also to the miracle receiver.   Our practice of the loving impulse and the strong conviction that comes from changing the minds of those who are trapped in cycles of death and despair will sustain us and keep us from craving what fantasy offers.  The only goal we should have as a miracle worker is for the complete restoration of the Sonship.  Pray for me dear brothers even as I pray for you each day that we are kept free of all temptation and devote ourselves only to Him.     

A Course in Miracles is a course that trains our minds.  We apply ourselves to its message by paying attention and setting time aside each day to study and devote ourselves to this practice.  Jesus plainly states that these first few chapters of the Course require careful study because they prepare our minds to overcome our fear of God and the communion that we seek with Him.  Take the time each day to go over your notes, meditate upon each section of the text, and listen to the lessons.  Many students have shared that they record their own voice reading the chapters and listen to them on their devices as they go back and forth to work or to the gym.  There is something very powerful about listening to your own voice speaking of God, Jesus Christ, and holiness.  As we hear the sound of our own voice telling us about the good things of God and blessing others instead of cursing them, we begin to feel our inner Selves come to the forefront.  No longer are we ashamed to speak for God because God is in us and of us.  The God in us transforms our mediocre lives in the flesh to that of Spirit and everlasting love.  We ready ourselves for the bright, brave future which God has in store for us by preparing our minds now.

By applying our minds to our daily study of this Course, we are building a solid foundation in learning how to separate lies from truth, illusions from reality.  Pay particular attention to the last paragraph.  Jesus again emphasizes the need for us to learn the difference between awe and fear.  We are not to be awed by any of our brothers. Jesus even includes himself in this category.  He is our brother.  No matter how many followers someone has, no matter how their insights have blessed us, no matter how many miracles they perform, or how beautiful, sweet, and holy – we are not to stand in awe of our equals.  We are not to gush over each other or encourage others to make us more special for any reason whatsoever.  Jesus has called us all to be like Him for while we are both holy and unholy, Jesus is nothing but holy.  Jesus has given all.  Once we come to know Christ, we are ever grateful for His gift to us and answer His call to us with love and devotion, but not awe. 

Now we communicate with God through Jesus, but as we get closer to the truth and our minds are trained to get past darkness and see through illusions, we come to know God directly as we become one with Christ.  While this is a sublime experience, unproperly trained, we could become full of fear.  We do not want to be afraid of miracles, my brother.  We do not want to be afraid of our God Who heals through those who become one with Christ.  We do not want to be traumatized or bewildered by the loving acts that will restore sanity to the minds and hearts and even bodies of our brothers.  And so we come to our daily practice with good faith and apply ourselves to this training as if the salvation of the world depends up on it, because it does! 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 1: VII Distortions of Miracle Impulses. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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