What is a miracle? Why would anyone want to heal the sick?
Miracles arise from a state of mind which is truly forgiving, which doesn't mean a mind which "needs to forgive" but a mind which recognizes there is nothing to forgive. Such a mind recognizes that God's truth is true, that illusions are illusions, and is not deceived by appearances of form.
It is only possible to perform a miracle if you are able to get your mind out of the ego's thought system and into the Holy Spirit's thought system. The miracle itself MAY shift perception if the person needs forgiveness still, but the shifting of the perception is not the miracle itself as such. The shifting of perception to Holy Spirit's thought system is what is REQUIRED IN ORDER TO become able to perform a miracle.
If you are shifting perception, i.e. correcting errors in your perception, then you are still in a process of PURIFICATION. As Jesus says in the miracle principles, miracles are everyone's right but "purification is necessary first". What is this purification? It is the PROCESS of what you call forgiveness, which is the weeding out of what is false from what is true, otherwise known as the correction of perception, or shifts in perception. That is required FIRST before you can become miracle minded. When a person first begins the Course and does their first half-baked error-prone forgiveness process, experiencing a slight shift in perception, is that a miracle? No.
Jesus as an example, Jesus was in a very advanced state of mind when he performed miracles. He did not perform these miracles IN ORDER TO shift his perception and to wake up. He had already purified His mind and His mind was now in alignment with Holy Spirit, clear about what is true and false, and not deceived by the illusions of sickness and death. He had already shifted his perception to correct true vision BEFORE becoming able to perform miracles. Accessing the mind of Holy Spirit facilitates the miracle, because the Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles.
He was already there. He performed miracles BECAUSE he had shifted his perception and woken up. As the principles say, miracles acknowledge the Christ in you. You can't truly acknowledge Christ when you are still sleeping and in need of forgiveness, and having a "shift in perception" as a stepping stone along that journey of purification is not going to necessarily be enough to bring about a miracle. It can bring about a correction, or an adjustment of perception, and a partial awakening, but this is in PREPARATION for being miraculous. If this were not the case, new students to the Course would be raising the dead on day 1.
Jesus performed miracles to heal the sick and raise the dead, among other things (multiplying food, walking on water and so on), in spite of the fact that He knew that the world was not real. He was very clear that the body is not real, that sickness is an illusion, and that God's truth was the only truth he depended on. He was not deceived by forms and He knew the miracle principle that there is no order of difficulty in miracles - because miracles recognize that all illusions are equally unreal. He was not deceived by the ego's illusions that one thing is harder than another.
It was BECAUSE Jesus knew illusions were just illusions, that He was miraculous. Being miraculous requires that you are clear about what is true and false - that God's truth is true and the ego's truth (illusions) are not reality. It is that certainty and clarity and sanity which allows the miracle to happen at all. The miracle overlooks form completely (which is complete forgiveness). It denies the illusion any power to prevent healing, and thereby is capable of defying all rules and laws that the illusion would exhibit, such as the laws of physics, biology, chemistry etc.
Jesus's ability to overlook form and to recognize the truth clearly, allowed Him to be miraculous. When He performed a miracle, He was not necessarily in need of having a "shift of perception". If there are only so many shifts in perception that you can have before you are fully awake, you would run out of miracles! And yet miracles are natural, they are supposed to be happening ALL THE TIME, otherwise something has gone wrong. They happen all the time when there are no illusions in the way to block them, rather than the idea that they only happen as removals of those blocks.
Yes they might remove blocks to awareness, but they come from a place of love, from a place of NO BLOCKAGE, where love is unlimited and miracles are completely normal and natural all the time. Jesus would've run out of blocks to awareness a long time before being able to perform the countless miracles that He did, if miracles were only shifts in perception. His perception had already shifted TO the miracle minded right mind of the Holy Spirit, and because of that He had UNLIMITED miracles at His disposal.
You might find it odd then that Jesus performed powerful miracles regularly, in spite of the fact that in order to perform miracles you have to recognize the world is an illusion. Why would He attempt to heal sick bodies if He knew sickness was an illusion? Why would He bother raising the dead - literally bodies which were dead - if He knew that the world was just an illusion? Why bother to help illusory bodies in a dream?
Some people use this as an explanation for why healing the sick is not important or something Jesus would do. Yet Jesus did it. What they don't understand is the paradoxical nature of this. Similarly there is a paradox whereby when you are forgiving, truly forgiving, there is nothing to forgive. You fore-give in order to prevent perceptual errors, so that there is nothing to forgive. Forgiveness is a constant state of mind - a forgiving attitude - not a process of purification. It's the permanent state of Holy Spirit's mind.
So the ego would logically deduce that there is no point raising the dead or healing the sick because they are illusions, and Jesus was very very aware that they were illusions. BUT the truth defies the ego's logic. The truth bypasses it. In the truth, miracles are extensions of love which are a service to OTHERS.
Miracles adjust spacetime in order to facilitate a greater closeness to God and an experience of love, as well as being teaching devices that help others to awaken. They correct illusions, not just illusions in the mind but illusions AS the world. Bodies are illusions just as much as thoughts and perceptions, since the body is IN the mind. They are just as correctable as faulty vision. Why would you correct only illusions in the mind and not recognize the body and the world are also in the mind, thus avoiding their correction? This is because most body-identified humans do not realize that the entire body and world is also an illusion and is also IN THEIR MIND.
When you become miracle minded, it is because you recognize that illusions are just illusions. It is that recognition that ALLOWS you to perform miracles, because you can't wield God's power if you don't believe God is real. To believe God is real is to recognize that illusions/world/body/sickness/death is NOT real. That's HOW you make these things disappear, through your not fueling them and not believing in them.
So when you become miraculous, it is in the recognition that miracles are not NEEDED as such, because nothing has gone wrong, everyone is innocent, everyone is immortal and eternal, and there isn't even any real problems to fix. AND YET, the miracle is still present. Jesus still performed them in spite of His advanced awareness of the unreality of the world, and BECAUSE of that awareness. He didn't just sit on his laurels like, oh, I know there's nothing to forgive and no real problems so I'm just going to sit back and let everyone suffer. That would've been cold and intellectual.
Instead Jesus went out to the people with an open heart and mind, knowing sickness and death had no power over Him, and demonstrating left right and center - teaching - that these things were not real by example. He was helping his brothers. He was healing people because He LOVED them and because He had a HEART engaged with the truth, not just an intellectual understanding. And He knew that even though there was no "real" need for healing or miracles because bodies were not real, OTHER PEOPLE believed they were real and were in a state of suffering. He was being loving by alleviating their suffering and simultaneously teaching them through demonstration that the body was not real. He didn't just take away people's suffering, He showed also how THEY could take it away by masterfully showing how it was done.
So to the ego, miracles make no sense. It makes no sense to heal the sick if the body is not real. It makes no sense to raise the dead if people aren't really bodies and they're supposed to be making the body disappear. But all things can be used as teaching devices and miracles are a maximal service to others. It says so in the miracle principles. Jesus could've raised a million people from the dead if he wanted to, but also He recognized that people needed to learn of this capability themselves as well and so was using miracles to teach (demonstrate) what the truth is.
This is why miracles are not just shifts in perception. They are not just corrections in your own mind, which is a process of purification. They are not just forgiveness, which is a process of progressively undoing belief in illusions. And they are not ineffective or unpowerful. And they are not reserved only for the "private" waking up of individuals.
As Jesus teaches, Love must be extended in order to be REAL. It is the nature of God's Kingdom and reality that it has no PRESENCE unless there is extension happening. It has to radiate and be shared. Sharing is the key element, and miracles share love with your brother. They unify your mind with theirs and correct BOTH of you, if there is any correction needed. Jesus didn't need that correction because He was already done with it. But He still corrected others and was TRULY HELPFUL.
The Course states (in its less edited-out versions) that miracles ENTAIL a shift in perception from illusions to truth. This means that you must shift your perception INTO a state of mind which recognizes truth in order to perform a miracle. It does not mean that the miracle shifts your perception, or that the purpose of the miracle is to shift your perception. You HAVE TO shift your perception into Holy Spirit's perception so that you become miracle minded in order to become miraculous.
He asks us now to continue His mission and help the brotherhood to awaken, by sharing and extending and expressing love to everyone, to be "active workers" in His plan, and to perform miracles on a daily basis. He even says in the urtext (later edited out) that we should be asking Him every day what miracles to perform. Note also that He instructed His disciples in the ways of miracles and told them to go out and heal the sick and raise the dead, which they did. Why would he tell them to do that and why did they do that and why were they able to do that? Because it was LOVING and because that love made it possible. So why wouldn't they?!
Miracles also affirm the truth in you, since you share in them, and so by performing them for others it reinforces for you the truth of God's reality, giving you additional faith and conviction and clarity that the body is not real and can be overcome. Death can be overcome. A Course in Miracles is not "armchair spirituality" where you just contemplate it behind closed doors and discuss it on Facebook. We are to be powerful workers of miracles helping Jesus in His plan of atonement for the great awakening - the great crusade.
Jesus performed miracles. I will perform miracles.