A Course in Miracles is a set of self-study materials published by the Foundation for Inner Peace. The book’s content is metaphysical, and explains forgiveness as put on daily life. Curiously, nowhere does the book have an author (and it is so listed without an author’s name by the U.S. Library of Congress). However, the writing was compiled by Helen Schucman (deceased) and William Thetford; Schucman has related that the book’s material is dependant on communications to her from an “inner voice” she claimed was Jesus. The original version of the book was published in 1976, with a revised edition published in 1996. Part of the content is a teaching manual, and a student workbook. Since the very first edition, the book has sold several million copies, with translations into nearly two-dozen languages.
The book’s origins could be traced back to the early 1970s; Helen Schucman first experiences with the “inner voice” led to her then supervisor, William Thetford, to make contact with Hugh Cayce at the Association for Research and Enlightenment. Subsequently, an introduction to Kenneth Wapnick (later the book’s editor) occurred. During the time of the introduction, Wapnick was clinical psychologist. After meeting, Schucman and Wapnik spent over a year editing and revising the material. Another introduction, this time of Schucman, Wapnik, and Thetford to Robert Skutch and Judith Skutch Whitson, of the Foundation for Inner Peace. The very first printings of the book for distribution were in 1975. Ever since then, copyright litigation by the Foundation for Inner Peace, and Penguin Books, has established that the content of the very first edition is in the public domain.
A Course in Miracles is a teaching device; the course has 3 books, a 622-page text, a 478-page student workbook, and an 88-page teachers manual acim lessons. The materials could be studied in the order chosen by readers. The information of A Course in Miracles addresses both theoretical and the practical, although application of the book’s material is emphasized. The text is mostly theoretical, and is a cause for the workbook’s lessons, which are practical applications. The workbook has 365 lessons, one for every day of the entire year, though they do not need to be done at a rate of just one lesson per day. Perhaps most like the workbooks that are familiar to the average reader from previous experience, you’re asked to utilize the material as directed. However, in a departure from the “normal”, the reader is not required to trust what’s in the workbook, or even accept it. Neither the workbook nor the Course in Miracles is designed to complete the reader’s learning; simply, the materials really are a start.
A Course in Miracles distinguishes between knowledge and perception; the fact is unalterable and eternal, while perception is the entire world of time, change, and interpretation. The world of perception reinforces the dominant ideas inside our minds, and keeps us separate from the truth, and separate from God. Perception is restricted by your body’s limitations in the physical world, thus limiting awareness. Much of the ability of the entire world reinforces the ego, and the individual’s separation from God. But, by accepting the vision of Christ, and the voice of the Holy Spirit, one learns forgiveness, both for oneself and others.One comment