Because the title implies, A Course in Miracles is a training device. It teaches us what’s real and what’s unreal, and leads us to the direct connection with our personal Inner Teacher.
The Course is arranged in three parts: a text, a workbook for students and a manual for teachers. The Text presents the concepts underlying the Course. The workbook contains 365 daily lessons that provide students the opportunity to apply and feel the concepts on a practical level. The teacher’s manual is presented in a concern and answer format, addressing typical questions that the student may ask; in addition, it provides a clarification of terms used through 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 interior messages she received. Bill typed what Helen wrote. It took a total of seven years to accomplish A Course in Miracles, which was initially published in 1976 in the United States. Helen wrote additional pamphlets acim master teachers. 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’s been translated into 18 different languages and more translations come in the works. Around 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 media marketing, A Course in Miracles may be obtained in e-book format, on CD, and through iPhone Apps. You are able to communicate with other Course students on Facebook, Yahoo Groups, Twitter, and numerous other websites.
Experiencing the Course
The Course is made to be a self-study tool. However, many students discover that their first interaction with the material is difficult and overwhelming – the change in perspective that it offers is contrary to traditional thinking. Taking an introductory class with a skilled facilitator or teacher provides for a gentler opening to these new ideas and a more fulfilling experience.
There are lots of classes and courses of study based on 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 idea 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 really a beginning, not an end… No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is forget about need of them. Henceforth, hear nevertheless the Voice for God… He’ll direct your efforts, letting you know exactly what direction to go, how exactly to direct your mind, and when to come calmly to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word (Workbook, p. 487).