While the title implies, A Course in Miracles is a training 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 an information for teachers. The Text presents the concepts underlying the Course. The workbook contains 365 daily lessons that give students the ability to apply and feel the concepts on a practical level. The teacher’s manual is presented in a question and answer format, addressing typical questions that the student may ask; additionally it provides a clarification of terms used through the entire 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 internal messages she received. Bill typed what Helen wrote. It took an overall total of seven years to complete A Course in Miracles, which was 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 learn the Course together in order to better understand the Course’s message. In this era of electronic and social networking, A Course in Miracles may 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 a self-study tool. However, many students realize that their first interaction with the material is difficult and overwhelming – the change in perspective so it offers is despite traditional thinking a course in miracles. Taking an introductory class with an educated 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 in relation to the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, and even specific classes on key Course concepts, such as True Forgiveness or Cause and Effect. Such classes give students the opportunity to experience the theory and application of specific material more deeply. Through such deep experience, many students find the reassurance of inner peace and the joy of knowing the Inner Teacher.
“This Course is really a beginning, not an end… Forget about specific lessons are assigned, for there’s you can forget need of them. Henceforth, hear however the Voice for God… He’ll direct your efforts, telling you exactly what direction to go, how exactly to direct your brain, and when to come quickly to Him in silence, requesting His sure direction and His certain Word (Workbook, p. 487).