The big event in the news right now is the upcoming American election. Needless to say, A Course in Miracles doesn't give us any advice about which candidates to choose. However, interestingly enough, the original typescript of the Course has a passage that refers to elections and voting machines. Given that the election is on everyone's mind right now, I thought it would be interesting to look at this passage to see what kind of election it is talking about and which candidate in that election it wants us to vote for.
Here's the passage, which in the published Course became Miracle Principle #42 and parts of T-1.V.4-6:
A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing man from his misplaced sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack. They are affirmations of Sonship, which is a state of completion & abundance.
[Bill's] very proper emphasis on "changing your mind" needs clarification.
Whatever is true & real is eternal, & cannot change or be changed. The Soul is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect the level it chooses to serve. The only limit which is put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters.
While the ballot itself is a secret one, and the right to vote is fully protected, voting always entails both election and rejection. If two candidates are voted for for the same position, the machine cancels the ballot automatically.
This is necessary, because a split vote does not represent any real allegiance.
Free will is the attribute of the mind, not the Soul. The Soul always remains changeless, because it never leaves the sight of God.
The Creation of the Soul is already fully accomplished. The mind, if it votes to do so, becomes a medium by which the Soul can create along the line of its own creation. If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains this creative ability, but places itself under tyranous [sic] rather than authoritative control. As a result, what it creates is imprisonment, because such are the dictates of tyrants.
To "change your mind" means to place it at the disposal of True authority. The miracle is thus a sign that the mind has elected to be guided by Christ in His service. The abundance of Christ is the natural result of choosing to follow him.
The major theme of this passage is Jesus' clarification of what "changing your mind" really means. First, he tells us what it doesn't mean: It doesn't mean changing your Soul. ("Soul" is an Urtext term that was changed to "spirit" in the published Course.) Who we really are cannot be changed at all — as the Course reminds us so often, we are as God created us. Thank goodness! No matter how big a mess we think we've made of ourselves with our crazy choices, our true Self remains a perfect creation that has never left the sight of God.
But while the Soul cannot be changed, the mind can be changed; that is, it has the freedom to elect what it wants to identify with and serve. The candidates in this election are the ego (our false self) or Christ (our true Self). Every day, every hour, every minute, and every second, we go into the secret voting booth of our mind and cast our ballot for the candidate of our choice. And just as with any election, we can only vote for one of these candidates — we "cannot serve two masters" (a reference to Jesus' statement in the gospels that we cannot serve both God and Mammon). There are no hanging chads in this election; we are making a total commitment to one candidate or the other.
And this election is definitely not the proverbial choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. These candidates are very different. A vote for Christ promises all the blessings that come from following true authority: the joy of creation in Heaven, perfect freedom to do what we truly will, the blessing of total completion, and the abundance of divine gifts that is our birthright as Sons of God.
The ego, on the other hand, gives us lots of juicy campaign promises that sound great, but it is the consummate slick politician. If elected, what it really delivers is the crushing burdens of living under a tyrant: imprisonment to a "will" that is not our own, the isolation of being a separate self surrounded by enemies, and the deprivation and lack that come from cutting ourselves off from all that is truly ours. The ego is like one of those democratically elected leaders who promised a new age of freedom and prosperity, but became totalitarian dictators once elected — their intention all along.
So what does it mean to change your mind? "To 'change your mind' means to place it at the disposal of True authority." It means to vote for Christ, to identify with and give our lives over to our true Self. The implicit assumption here is that we have been voting for the ego for a very long time, re-electing it again and again in spite of the fact that it never delivers on its campaign promises. The ego is like that corrupt Congressman who keeps getting sent back to Washington on the basis of nothing more than bribes and name recognition. Changing your mind means throwing the bum out and choosing new leadership: the leadership of Christ, a candidate wholly worthy to be placed in a position of authority. To adapt the campaign slogan of one of this year's presidential candidates, it's a decision to put "Christ first." To use the campaign slogan of the other, this is "change we need."
The ballot is secret, but everyone will know when we've voted for Christ, because when we do so we will extend miracles. Extending miracles of love and healing to others is "a sign that the mind has elected to be guided by Christ in His service." Having been released from our "sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack," our miracles release others from the tyranny of the ego and bless them with the freedom, completion, and abundance of Christ.
Is this not something we all want? Haven't we been straining under the yoke of the despotic ego long enough? If you've had enough, don't vote for four more years or even four more seconds. Vote for Christ!