This is my cliff notes for A Course in Miracles: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God. A Course in Miracles is over a 1,000 page combined volume of text and lessons. This will be at least a 6 month study for me. After each chapter, I will type what I have highlighted for contemplation.
Chapter 1: The Meaning of Miracles
Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. Miracles are habits; miracles are natural; miracles are healing. Miracles are both beginnings and endings – they undo the past in the present, and thus release the future. Each day should be devoted to miracles. Through miracles you accept God’s forgiveness by extending it to others. Miracles praise God through you. Miracles inspire gratitude. Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, a state of “miracle-readiness.” A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
The power to work miracles belongs to you. You must be ready and willing.
The ability is the potential, the achievement is its expression, Atonement is the
The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly. Look from your own holiness to the holiness of others.
Reality belongs only to spirit. The mind that serves spirit is invulnerable.
Truth is always abundant. Those who acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind. You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was. A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.
Spirit is unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it
chooses to serve. All shallow roots must be uprooted, because they are not deep enough to sustain you.
You can only find peace in complete forgiveness.
The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief. You made fear, and you believe in what you made:
Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love. AND,
only perfect love exists. If there is fear, it produces a state that does not exist.
Fantasy is a distorted form of vision. Fantasy is an attempt to control reality according to false needs. False associates and attempting to obtain pleasure from them can never make them real.
Chapter 2: The Separation and the Atonement
The Separation was the “detour into fear.” The Garden of Eden, or the pre-separation condition, was a state of mind in which nothing was needed.
Free will was given you for your joy in creating the perfect. All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God. The knowledge that illuminates not only sets you free, but also shows you clearly that you are free.
Peace is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside. Illness is some form of
external searching. Health is inner peace.
When you are afraid of anything, you acknowledge its power to hurt you.
Where your heart is, there is your treasure also. Everyone defends his treasure.
The real questions are, what do you treasure, and how much do you treasure it?
The Atonement is the device y which you can free yourself from the past as you go ahead.
The acceptance of the Atonement by everyone is only a matter of time. This may appear to contradict free will because of the inevitability of the final decision, but this is not so. You are capable of enormous procrastination, but you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, who set the limits on your ability to mis-reate. [free will & pre-determination]
Tolerance for pain may be high, but is is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. This is the turning point. [Critical threshold]
The mind becomes increasingly sensitive to what it would once have regarded as very minor intrusions of discomfort.
You are entitled to the perfect comfort that comes from perfect trust. Until you achieve this, you waste your creative powers on useless attempts to make yourself more comfortable by inappropriate means.
Look upon the world as a means of healing the separation. [A return to Oneness]
The miracle is the means; healing is the result. All healing is essentially the release from fear.
All mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to mis-thought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Only the mind can create because the spirit has already been created, and the body is a learning device for the mind. Ego and fear usually occur together, you may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing.
The sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for
herself. This means you recognize that mind is the only creative level.
Corrective learning always begins with the awakening of spirit; discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness.
In time we exist for and with each other. In timelessness we coexist with God:
I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
You are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you
can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide.
The correction of fear is your responsibility. You are much too tolerant of mind wandering, and are passively condoning your mind’s miscreations.
Fear is always a sign of strain, arising whenever what you want conflicts with what you do. [Fear = incongruence]; there is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own.
Undoing the error: Know first that this is fear. Fear arises from lack of love. The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love. Perfect love is the Atonement.
Both miracles and fear come from thoughts. By choosing the miracle you have rejected fear. The fearful must miscreate, because they misperceive creation. When you miscreate you are in pain. The fundamental conflict in this world is
between love and fear. The true resolution rests entirely on mastery through love.
The Last Judgment is a final healing rather than a punishment. Punishment is a concept totally opposed to right-mindedness, and the aim of the Last Judgment is to restore right-mindedness to you – to understand what is worthy and what is not. It is the doorway to life.
The Apocalypse is the sorting out of the false from the true.
The purpose of time is solely to “give you time” to achieve this judgment. It is your own perfect judgment of your own perfect creations. When everything you
retain is lovable, there is no reason for fear to remain with you.