As the title implies, A Course in Miracles is a teaching device. It teaches us what is real and what is 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 a guide for teachers. The Text presents the concepts underlying the Course. The workbook contains 365 daily lessons giving students the opportunity to use and go through the concepts on a functional level. The teacher’s manual is presented in a concern and answer format, addressing typical questions a student may ask; it also provides a clarification of terms used through the Course.
On How it All Began
The Course was compiled 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 inner messages she received. Bill typed what Helen wrote. It took an overall total of seven years to accomplish A Course in Miracles, which was initially 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.
Within the last 34 years, the popularity of A Course in Miracles has grown and spread worldwide. It’s been translated into 18 different languages and more translations are in the works. Around the world, people gather with other like-minded students to read the Course together in order to better understand the Course’s message. In this era of electronic and social networking, A Course in Miracles could 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 was created to be described as a self-study tool. However, many students find 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 many classes and courses of study based on the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, and even specific classes on key Course concepts, a course in miracles such as for example 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, not an end… No further specific lessons are assigned, for there is forget about need of them. Henceforth, hear however the Voice for God… He’ll direct your efforts, telling you exactly how to proceed, how exactly to direct your brain, and when to come calmly to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word (Workbook, p. 487).