This blog is in response to Diana, who asked bloggers to comment on this question: “When Jesus was ‘in the body’ he performed physically observable miracles. Are we to do the same, somehow?”
My short answer is yes, eventually. I think we’ll have to reach a very advanced state before we can do this consistently, but this is definitely what Jesus envisions for us, the result of our walking the Course’s path. The goal of his course in miracles is to produce miracle workers just like him. Of course, the content of our miracles is meant to be healed perception and this is the most important thing. But if this is truly given, this can also produce observable results.
We see this right at the beginning, in the miracle principles: “Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects” (T-1.I.35:1). Look at that statement carefully: It says that miracles may not always have observable effects. The clear implication is that they usually do.
Jesus also says in the miracle principles, “Miracles enable you to heal the sick and raise the dead because you made sickness and death yourself, and can therefore abolish both” (T-1.I.24:1). This is a clear reference to the kinds of miracles he did in his earthly life. Later on, speaking of unhealed healers, he says, “They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole. Some of them have healed the sick at times, but they have not raised the dead” (T-5.VII.2:2-3). Clearly he expects healed healers to be able to do all these things. And then there is the role of healer of patients, described in the Manual (especially in sections 5-8). This is a Course-based spiritual healer who heals people who come to him or her with physical illness. So, there’s no doubt that he expects his students to eventually be able to do the types of healing miracles he did.
Of course, most of us are not there yet, and that’s okay. I’m certainly not there. I’ve never done a physical miracle that I’m aware of. (I’ll leave open the possibility that I healed someone physically at a distance without knowing it, but it seems unlikely.) But I think I have done some observable ones.
For instance, I remember a time when an acquaintance of mine sent one of the most vicious e-mails I have ever received. At one point in the e-mail, she equated me with a Muslim terrorist. Of course, I initially felt angry about being “unfairly treated.” But I decided to apply one of the Workbook’s forgiveness lessons to her: I think it was Lesson 161, “Give me your blessing, holy Son of God.” I practiced repeatedly with this situation, asking to see the face of Christ in this person beyond what her body did. It took a while, but eventually I really did feel a shift in my attitude toward her. And the next time I met her, something amazing happened: She apologized for the e-mail, shared why she was so upset (it had little to do with me), and we ended up becoming good friends. That felt truly miraculous to me.
And I have heard of Course students who seemed to work physical miracles. One was a woman who had serious forgiveness issues with her mother, who was staying with her at the time. The mother had a number of ailments, including diabetes. The woman decided she would use Course practice to forgive her mother (I don’t recall the specific practices she used). She practiced very diligently. And she shared with me that soon after she started this forgiveness regimen, her mother experienced a miraculous recovery. Her ailments abated; even her diabetes healed to the point that the doctors took her off insulin. This happened within a few days. The doctors were completely mystified at her recovery. Of course, we can’t prove a cause and effect relationship between this woman’s forgiveness work and her mother’s recovery. But I for one think she extended a miracle.
So, we can do this. I think we don’t have to worry about whether we can heal the sick or raise the dead today. All we need to do is walk the path daily, and I think over time we’ll see more and more miracles coming through us. And I think our confidence that we can do this increases as we hear about the miracles of our fellow travelers.
So, do you have stories of observable miracles that you feel happened as a result of your work with the Course? They don’t have to be physical — they could be like the healing I had with the person who wrote that angry e-mail. If you have a good story, share it in the comments here. I look forward to reading some great stories!