While the title implies, A Course in Miracles is a teaching device. It teaches us what’s real and what’s unreal, and leads us to the direct experience of our personal Inner Teacher.
The Course is arranged in three parts: a text, a workbook for students and information for teachers. The Text presents the concepts underlying the Course. The workbook contains 365 daily lessons that provide students the chance to apply and experience the concepts on a functional level. The teacher’s manual is presented in a question and answer format, addressing typical questions that a student may ask; in addition, it provides a clarification of terms used throughout the Course.
On How it All Began
The Course was written by Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, two highly trained and successful Professors of Psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Helen was the scribe for the Course, writing down in shorthand the internal messages she received a course in miracles. Bill typed what Helen wrote. It took a complete of seven years to complete A Course in Miracles, which was first published in 1976 in the United States. Helen wrote additional pamphlets. Her Song of Prayer was published in 1977 and The Gift of God in 1978.
Over the past 34 years, the popularity of A Course in Miracles has grown and spread worldwide. It has been translated into 18 different languages and more translations are in the works. Across the world, people gather with other like-minded students to read the Course together to be able to better understand the Course’s message. In this era of electronic and social networking, A Course in Miracles can be obtained in e-book format, on CD, and through iPhone Apps. You can communicate with other Course students on Facebook, Yahoo Groups, Twitter, and numerous other websites.
Experiencing the Course
The Course is designed to be considered a self-study tool. However, many students see that their first interaction with the material is difficult and overwhelming – the change in perspective that it offers is unlike traditional thinking. Taking an introductory class with a qualified facilitator or teacher makes for a gentler opening to these new ideas and an even more fulfilling experience.
There are numerous classes and courses of study based upon the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, and even specific classes on key Course concepts, such as for instance True Forgiveness or Cause and Effect. Such classes give students the chance to experience the theory and application of specific material more deeply. Through such deep experience, many students get the reassurance of inner peace and the joy of knowing the Inner Teacher.
“This Course is a beginning, no end… No longer specific lessons are assigned, for there is forget about need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God… He’ll direct your efforts, letting you know exactly how to proceed, just how to direct the mind, and when to come calmly to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word (Workbook, p. 487).