A miracle, according to A Course in Miracles, differs from the conventional meaning of the word. In ACIM, when we are able to look upon an enemy without condemnation or judgement, a miracle has taken place. The miracle involves changing one’s perceptions so that one is able to extend love and forgiveness to others; it means we have followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit instead of listening to the ego.
“....The miracle enables you to see your brother without his past, and so perceive him as born again. His errors are all past, and by perceiving him without them you are releasing him. And since his past is yours, you share in this release...” ACIM, Text p. 251.
The reason we share the past with others is that we are, in fact, all one, united with each other and with God. Therefore, when we release someone from the past, we are equally released; when we forgive, we are forgiven. That is why forgiveness is one of the paths back to God. It is through forgiveness that we can overcome illusions and awaken. By being forgiving we are acknowledging that there really isn’t anything to forgive because life on earth is simply an illusion. We can think of forgiveness as a way of letting go of illusions; this is the way to defeat the ego.
“Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Those who forgive are thus releasing themselves from illusions, while those who withhold forgiveness are binding themselves to them....” ACIM, Workbook p. 73, Lesson 46.
Forgiveness takes place in the present. It is at this point in time that we release someone from his past, by choosing to be forgiving now, instead of condemning him for what he appeared to have done previously. The Course explains clearly why we need to remember that the past is over and that the present is the only time there is. “....Look lovingly upon the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true. All healing lies within it because its continuity is real. It extends to all aspects of the Sonship at the same time, and thus enables them to reach each other. The present is before time was, and will be when time is no more. In it are all things that are eternal, and they are one...” ACIM, Text p. 252.
Jesus is well aware of the hard work it takes for us to be completely loving and forgiving towards everyone. In Lesson 73 he advises us to repeat the following two sentences whenever we feel tempted to hold a grievance against someone: “I will there be light. Darkness is not my will.” We need to repeat that to ourselves as soon as any negative thoughts enter our mind, and we need to repeat it frequently. That will make it easier for us to remain in the present and let go of the past; and easier to be forgiving towards others instead of blaming and condemning them.
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