A Course in Miracles

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A couple of months ago I joined an online study group that meets weekly to read and discuss the Course in Miracles.  First published in 1976, the book’s content originated with two professors of medical psychology, Helen Schucman and William Thetford, at Columbia University.  I have the third edition which includes the preface, text, workbook for students, manual for teachers, clarification of terms, and supplements.

To explain how the book came to be, it’s best to cite Schucman’s own words from the preface:

Three startling months preceded the actual writing, during which time Bill (Thetford) suggested that I write down the highly symbolic dreams and descriptions of the strange images that were coming to me.  Although I had grown more accustomed to the unexpected by that time, I was still very surprised when I wrote, “This is a course in miracles.”  That was my introduction to the Voice.  It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook.  The writing was never automatic.  It could be interrupted at any time and later picked up again.  It made me very uncomfortable, but it never seriously occurred to me to stop.  It seemed to be a special assignment I had somehow, somewhere agreed to complete.…The whole process took about seven years. (p. vii-viii)

The material in the Course in Miracles is dense and profound.  I must reread sentences multiple times, and even then, the connections and meanings may elude me.  It has felt like a return to my college philosophy class, but much more demanding of focus. 

That we are spiritual beings having a physical experience in a world that is only an illusion is a premise hard for me to maintain in daily life.  Most of the other members of the study group are more experienced students of the Course. 

Some passages are so glorious that I return to them again and again:

Lesson 278

2. Father, I ask for nothing but the truth.  I have had many foolish thoughts about myself and my creation, and have brought a dream of fear into my mind.  Today, I would not dream.  I choose the way to You instead of madness and instead of fear.  For truth is safe, and only love is sure.

Lesson 291

2. This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me.  And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself.  I do not know the way to You.  But You are wholly certain.  Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You.  Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.

To hear Marianne Williamson explaining aspects of the Course in Miracles, go to this link:

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