Jesus writes: "See the point about miracles as a perception corrector (for himself) ***before*** he can effect (perform) miracles as CREATIVE ENERGIZERS (for others), which they are."
Becoming a miracle worker has two phases. As Jesus writes here, in the first phase there is an emphasis on the correction of YOUR perceptual flaws. This GIVES WAY, to the second phase, which is the ability to EXTEND love to others as a creative energizing power, which can heal them.
This is because miracles express FROM a loving state of mind, and in the initial phase you are NOT loving enough to express them yourself. You have to shift perception FIRST, to get INTO a loving state, before you can PERFORM a miracle.
This all hinges around a very simple mechanic. The question of, are you in a state of mind in which you are willing to EXTEND?
When you are in the first phase, you are still much too selfish, too in the dark, too afraid, too unwilling, and riddled with sin, to be able to truly extend maximal love to others. You can't PERFORM miracles very effectively. The mind is deluded with false perception and temptation. In this stage, your mind is very much IN NEED of help itself. It can't effectively get out of the way or give or supply the lack in others, because it itself is too lacking.
In this first phase, our main function is PURIFICATION. We need to RECEIVE healing for ourselves. The mind has to be trained. Fear has to be undone. Sin has to be forgiven. Blocks to awareness have to be removed. All the ways that we are HOLDING BACK THE LIGHT have to be dissolved. It's kind of like, you are a light of healing, but while your light is covered up with ego bullshit you cannot SHINE enough to effectively "shed light" onto others. You are too dark.
"Miracles are everyone's right (the right to PERFORM them), but purification is necessary first."
So you have to go through a phase, which could be quite extensive, of purification for yourself. Here you can RECEIVE miracles, ie outside help, FROM those who are already miraculously powerful. That could be another miracle worker who can SUPPLY YOUR LACK, because they "temporarily have more" than you, or it might be healing received from Jesus or the Holy Spirit. Our task here is also to practice forgiveness and learn to undo sin through atonement.
Now, you can probably imagine what's going to happen as, over time, your mind becomes LIGHTER. Or rather, the various ways that you are unwilling to EXTEND LIGHT into the minds of others, unwilling to join, and are too focused on separation, is removed. What's going to happen as you open up, develop trust in your brother, forgive yourself and him, and remove the blocks to unconditional love?
You're going to gradually SHINE more, becoming brighter and more able and willing to ALLOW love to extend through you. You're learning to line up with God's will. To let go of ego. To connect and communicate. To express love more unconditionally. Special relationships are melting into holy relationships. And your mind is becoming UNBLOCKED. So it's not getting in the way of the extension of the mind itself.
As this progresses, you are gradually approaching the second state of miracle mindedness and more consistently "being the light of the world." As you UNVEIL yourself, you are more willing and able to express love and extend LIFE. You start becoming more able to GIVE to others and to serve, to be truly helpful. And you begin to represent God and Christ more. Your mind is reconnecting with other minds and your heart is opening to love.
By becoming less blocked, less inhibited, less afraid, less selfish and less separated off, you are resuming your NATURAL FUNCTION of miraculousness. Being miraculous is actually permanent. Even God is miraculous and so are all His creations. "Miracles are a universal blessing from God" "God's miracles" "You are a miracle" "The miraculous nature of the soul" etc. Miracles are supposed to naturally be happening ALL the time.
When we talk of miracles as ONLY the shifts in perception which LEAD UP TO the state of miracle mindedness, we are missing half the story. This would imply that once your mind IS shifted into truth, you STOP being miraculous. This is not AT ALL true. In fact what happens is you are uncovering your PERMANENT and natural innate miraculous NATURE, which puts you back in touch with being ALWAYS miraculous.
As your mind becomes healed, YOU become able TO heal others. As you become more loving and unafraid, you are able to GIVE the miracles you have received. As you become more in line with the Golden Rule, you are able to recognize that giving and receiving are ONE. As you remove the blocks to awareness, you become more JOINED with other minds and SUPPORT and STRENGTHEN them.
"Those who are healed become instruments of healing."
So the first phase is all about uncovering your natural miracle working ability and nature, and the second phase is about starting to get in touch with and EXPRESSING that nature. First becoming stronger in the truth, then GIVING that truth to others. First receiving healing that you need in order to BE healed, then GIVING that healing to others effortlessly.
Some people focus only on the aspect of ACIM which discusses the "benefits to you" of reaching the atonement "for yourself". Your sole responsibility. But this misses an entire other half of the story. The rest of the story tells us of how, having been restored to our natural condition, we become empowered to WORK MIRACLES ourselves, by being able once again to EXTEND God's Power to others.
"Having been restored to your original state, you naturally ***become part of the Atonement yourself***. You now share MY inability to tolerate the lack of love in yourself and in everyone else, and MUST join the GREAT CRUSADE to correct it. The slogan for this Crusade is "Listen, Learn, and DO.""
Jesus is ALSO clear in the course that he does not intend for us to WAIT until we reach 100% atonement before working any miracles. In fact, he describes it as an ability to be PRACTICED.
"The power to work Miracles BELONGS to you. I will create the right opportunities for you to do them. But you must be ready and willing to do them, since you are already able to. Doing them will bring conviction in the ability."
He states that as we ATTEMPT to perform miracles, sometimes we will have successes and that DOING THEM will BRING conviction in the ability. That we need a bit of convincing and the only way to get that is to TRY to perform them. Perhaps we will fail at first. Perhaps we will be too involved in the ego to get a result. But if we don't TRY, we will not discover what we can do or learn from mistakes.
"Miracles are taken first on faith" also tells us that initially we have to TRUST and have faith in order to perform miracles, because we are OUT OF TOUCH with the miracle-minded state. And so we need Holy Spirit or Jesus to do the work for us. To help us out where we fail. But LATER, as we get more in touch with our innate miraculousness, we become more able to directly PERFORM them ourselves.
He also describes how if we were to just TEMPORARILY suspend fear, or uses words to focus the mind in prayer, that this would be sufficient to bring about a miracle. EVEN IF we then return to a state of fear afterwards. He also discusses how "some of you have healed the sick at times but have not raised the dead because your faith was not whole." A PARTIAL faith can bring about "minor miracles", while a FULLER faith (a more healed mind) can bring about what would seem to be "more difficult" miracles such as raising the dead.
Becoming ABLE to perform a miracle, is clearly a PROGRESSION, something to be experimented with, explored, discovered, learned, strengthened, so that we can GAIN confidence in the ability. We will see lesser miracles and later more significant ones as we hone the ability. As our mind becomes more purified, it becomes easier. As our ego gets more out of the way, we become more powerful. As we trust more, we gain God's Power more. And as we become more truly loving, we are able to supply a lack of love in others, healing and enlightening them.
This is also why Jesus says "an untrained mind can accomplish nothing." Meaning that a trained mind CAN accomplish something. A trained mind is more ABLE to perform miracles for others.
We are to gradually unlock our potential as miracle workers. We are to "test the waters" and dabble and TRY to perform them. We are to experiment with working with the Holy Spirit. And we are to learn from our failures and forgive our faults and fears, so that we can become more effective healers. Once we reach consistent miracle mindedness we'll be so empowered that we can effortlessly perform miracles all day every day. "Every day should be devoted to miracles."
So miracles "benefit both the giver and the receiver". As you attempt to give them, even from a non 100%-atoned state, they LIFT YOU UP, as well as lifting others up. As you flow and give the love that you DO NOT have, you tap into the flow and it starts to move, and it starts to LIFT YOU out of the darkness. You get healed as well as the other person. But once you have BEEN healed, and are sustaining a higher level of functioning, the healing you extend has less need to heal YOU, and focuses more on the healing you GIVE to others.
"Miracles are the maximal SERVICE you can render to others."
Being miraculously MINDED, as a state, is distinct from miracle DOING/WORKING, which is an EXPRESSION FROM that state.
"The distinction has also been made here between "miracle-mindedness" as a STATE, and "miracle-doing" as its expression. "
Becoming closer to the miracle-minded STATE is the first PHASE of learning to be a miracle worker. Miracle DOING/WORKING is the EXPRESSION/extension of that state, which entails the PERFORMING of miracles for others. This second state is completely natural and automatic and effortless and MANDATORY. You cannot become loving WITHOUT being willing to GIVE love. You cannot be healed without a willingness TO HEAL. And you cannot accept atonement or miracles without a recognition that it is to be SHARED with others.