[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
The other day I was reading in Helen’s original notes for what is now Chapter 2. Those first two chapters, of course, introduce the miracle, laying down the basics for it so that we have those for the rest of the Course. Here’s what struck me. I encountered this line:
We have emphasized that the miracle, or the expression of Atonement, is always a sign of real respect from the worthy to the worthy. (original version of T-2.VI.8:1)
When he said “we have emphasized,” I realized that was true. There had been a few comments about the miracle involving the giver simultaneously recognizing both his worth and the worth of the receiver. So I tracked those down:
The doer recognizes his own and his neighbor’s inestimable value simultaneously. (original version of T-1.18:4)
It [the miracle] contains nothing but an acknowledgment of equality and worth. (not in FIP version)
Then acknowledge the true creative worth of both yourself and the other one.” (This is the final step in translating sexual impulses into miracle impulses. Also not in FIP version)
The pattern in each is the same: The miracle worker recognizes the equal worth of both himself and the receiver at the same time.
I had known this, but I had inadvertently reduced it down to the following: The miracle worker recognizes the worth of the receiver. That seemed like the really important part. After all, it is the recognition of the receiver’s worth that heals him, since his denial of his worth is what has made him sick.
But when I saw just how many times Jesus emphasized both sides, I thought that he must have a reason. It must be important. And I admit that adding in the recognition of my own worth does make for a different picture. Besides the affirmation of me, it also adds in an important statement of my relationship to the receiver: now we are both equals.
I can see this affirmation of the miracle workers’ own worth as the solution to two big problems.
First, there is the problem of what Jesus calls “indiscriminate miracle-working,” where the miracle worker basically gives more miracles than he is supposed to and than he can really handle. This was Edgar Cayce’s problem, and it led to his early death. And interestingly, Jesus said it was due to his lack of a sense of self-worth:
What did hamper him was a profound sense of personal unworthiness, which, characteristically enough, was sometimes over-compensated for in what might be called a Christian form of grandiosity. Cayce was essentially uncharitable to himself. This made him very erratic in his own miracles, and, because he was genuinely anxious to help others, left himself in a highly vulnerable position [vulnerable to over-doing it].
Second, there is the problem—mentioned many times in the Course—of the miracle worker feeling superior to the miracle receiver:
Magic always sees something “special” in the healer, which he believes he can offer as a gift to someone who does not have it. He may believe that the gift comes from God to him, but it is quite evident that he does not understand God if he thinks he has something that others lack. (T-7.V.4)
Based on all this, I made my lesson for yesterday: “I acknowledge the true creative worth in both myself and you.” I thought that I better get started laying down a new pattern in relation to miracle-giving.