Note: This blog post starts a consideration of the Circle of Atonement’s edition of A Course in Miracles, the first four chapters, which include many words deleted in previous editions. The Circle of Atonement, headed by Robert Perry, editor, and Greg Mackie, assistant editor, went back to the handwritten notes of Helen Schucman to present this phenomenal edition.
This edition offers the opportunity to learn what Jesus really said to Helen and Bill (Thetford). In line with Jesus’s instructions, though, personal references to Helen and Bill are not included in the Text proper. (Instead, the COA team offers cameo essays available at the end of the new edition to round out the full story of the scribing of ACIM.)
The Course in Miracles community owes a heartfelt debt of gratitude to the COA team for their contribution to ACIM scholarship.
“1. The first principle of miracles is that there is no order of difficulty among them. One is not ‘harder’ or ‘bigger’ than another. They are all the same.
“2. Miracles in themselves do not matter; they are quite unimportant.
“3. Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.
This explains their lack of order. All expressions of love are maximal.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-1.1-2)
The Circle of Atonement edition makes much clearer than previous editions that a miracle is an expression of love. Of course, one could always read through the lines and realize that love was at the base of a miracle. But Jesus does spell this out in no uncertain terms in the notes that Helen took initially.
Our expressions of love, as miracles, may be big or small, but miracles are not subject to a categorization that would defy the miracles. It is not harder to perform a “big” miracle than a “small” one; Jesus dismisses all evidence of big and small as being of no relevance. After all, if we follow him the way he intends, he will send us on missions to express love, to perform miracles. Personally selected miracles are apt, he suggests, to be misguided.
Our attention to Jesus in regard miracles thus becomes paramount. We don’t select the individuals to whom we are sent anymore than the miracle itself. We decide, in submission to our elder brother, Jesus himself, that we will let him make the decisions about miracles and their recipients.
We are merely instruments, or, as he says later, “special agents” sent on a mission.