A Course in Miracles is spiritual guide for life. The book begins: “This is A Course in Miracles, it is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary.” “The Course” as the book is commonly known, comprises of 365 lessons of spiritual guidance. It is divided into three sections: Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers.
The author, Dr. Helen Schucman channeled the content of the book over a 7-year period between 1965 and 1972 whilst she was a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. She gave herself no credit for the authorship of the text and claimed she received it as a kind of mental dictation from a voice who identified himself as Jesus. Needless to say A Course in Miracles has caused consternation among certain Christians who cry, “Beware of false prophets” and while the book is Christian in tone, much of the writing is comparable to eastern wisdom traditions.
The book tells us of the return of Jesus. It states, “The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return. Behold, my children, reality is here. It belongs to you and me and God and is perfectly satisfying to all of us. Only this awareness heals because it is the awareness of truth.”
The key tenet throughout the book is forgiveness, and we are informed, forgiveness is the answer to all of life’s problems. “Let forgiveness be the substitute for fear. This is the only rule for happy dreams.” The book goes on to say; “forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven. What is sin, except a false idea about God’s Son? Forgiveness merely sees its falsity, and therefore lets it go. What then is free to take its place is now the Will of God.”
Sin, we are told is non-existent; it is merely an illusion constructed by the ego, and the world we see around us is an illusion constructed by our thoughts. “The world is false perception. It is born of error, and it has not left its source. It will remain no longer than the thought which gave it birth is cherished.”
“The only thing that is real is created by God, there is nothing else and everything we think and feel is real in the physical world is nothing but an illusion. What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.”
Love is everything; perfect love is the goal for all of us and we simply have to let it in; “the search for love is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with love.” Love is the opposite of judgement and love really does conquer all.
The original text was dictated to Schucman who sat in a trance state and wrote down in shorthand everything the inner voice told her. Dr. William Thetford, was Schucman’s supervisor and friend at the time, and he assisted her by typing up the text and arranging it into a coherent document. Personal information given to Schucman and Thetford was intentionally omitted and the 1100 pages that remained became what we now know as A Course In Miracles.
In 1972 the text was sent to Hugh Lynne Cayce, son of the famous American psychic and medical intuitive, Edgar Cayce. Cayce was interested in the work and assisted by distributing it to a select number of people. A later edited version was published in 1975 by “The Foundation for Inner Peace.” More than a million copies were sold around the world and the book became a huge commercial success. In 2000 a court case took place to establish copyright of the work and this earlier more complete text was judged by a US court to be outside of copyright and in the public domain. It became known as the “Hugh Lynn Cayce text.”
The “Course” is essential reading for spiritual seekers, religious followers, or anyone searching for spiritual meaning in their lives.
About the author
Dr Helen Schucman (July 14, 1909 – February 9, 1981) was a clinical and research psychologist. She held a tenured position of Associate Professor of Medical Psychology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. It was there that she met William N. Tetford, who was the head of the Center’s Psychology Department.
In 1965 after practicing meditation Schucman began to have vivid experiences and she claimed ‘an inner voice’ had made contact with her. He mother was interested in Theosophy and Christian Science so she had been exposed to spiritual doctrines as a child but at this time of her life she professed to be an atheist. Tetford encouraged her to record her experiences and not to resist what was happening to her. On October 21, 1965, Schucman heard an inner voice that told her, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”
Over the next 7 years Schucman record what she the voice told her and Tetford transcribed what she recorded. It totalled 1200 pages and it is now known as The Course in Miracles.
She gave herself no credit for the authorship of the text and claimed she received it as a kind of mental dictation from the voice who identified himself as Jesus. Needless to say A Course in Miracles has caused consternation among certain Christians who cry, “Beware of false prophets” and while the book is Christian in tone, much of the writing is comparable to eastern wisdom traditions.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published May 2011