The fifth principle of miracles is:
“Miracles are habits, and should be involuntary. They should not be under conscious control. Consciously selected miracles can be misguided.”
This is another hard principle to understand if you do not understand the philosophical framework of ACIM. Miracles are a way of thinking and a matter of intention not forms or specific behavior. Are you loving are not? When you are loving, miracles happen without your knowing it. To live and act in a loving way becomes natural after a while. It takes great training and discipline but after practice it happens without thinking. It is like learning to play the piano or ice skate. At first it takes great effort and seems very awkward and maybe even impossible, but with ongoing effort and practice we become more proficient and it just comes naturally. Miracle thinking where we seek to do the will of God and not gratify our own ego inclinations and desires takes determination, persistence, and practice and then gradually becomes natural and we do it without be consciously aware.
Miracles, as ACIM uses the term, is not magic. They are not manipulation, they are born of loving intention to allow God’s will to extend itself to the situation and people we interact with. We have choice to react or to respond. Reacting is when we get our buttons pushed and our bodies are triggered. Responding is a conscious, thoughtful, deliberate and purposeful action governed by turning it over to our Higher Power or in the terms ACIM, the Holy Spirit. In AA the second step is turning our lives over to our Higher Power and this is what this fifth principle is describing. We have turned our lives over to the Holy Spirit to use as a conduit of God’s loving grace. This most often happens when we are forgiving. It is a humbling experience for us to forgive ourselves are escapades into egoistic drama, and to forgive other people for the imagined injustices and hurts we perceive them to have perpetrated on our bodies and our pride.
Unitarian Universalism asks us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. When we intentionally do this with love for ourselves and others we are working miracles, and ACIM is telling us that this intention and action should be habitual and not under our conscious control because we trust in our Higher Power, the Spirit of Life to guide us because our HP and SL knows best. When we try to guide and pick and chose miracles we are in danger of becoming judgmental and projecting our own desires, resentments, drama onto other people. ACIM teaches that we can’t work miracles by ourselves because of our egos it is too easy to make mistakes. It is better to turn ourselves over to our HP and SL for guidance. This is easier to do when we remind ourselves of the seventh UU principle which is that we are just a part of the interdependent web of all existence and who am I to think that I know what is best for the universe?